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Bitcoin Exchanges in the USA

Last updated 10th May 2022
Disclosure

If you are looking to buy Bitcoin online, you will need a cryptocurrency exchange. According to a recent research by Coincub, the USA leads in the number of users who trade in cryptocurrency. But which is the best exchange in the USA? This article provides you with a structured analysis of the best Bitcoin exchanges where investors can buy Bitcoin.

Here’s our list of top Bitcoin exchanges in the USA

Crypto exchanges continue to evolve at a fast pace. There are many factors to consider when seeking the right fit. Here are our top recommendations:

1
eToro
Minimum Deposit
$200
Exclusive Promotion
User Score
10
More than 3,000 assets, including currencies, stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, indices and commodities
Buy crypto, or trade cryptocurrencies via CFDs
This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.
2
Atani
Minimum Deposit
$100
Exclusive Promotion
User Score
9
Popular among traders
Fast system for trading
Popular for beginners
3
Coinmama
Minimum Deposit
$100
Exclusive Promotion
User Score
9
Easy to use tool
High profit potential
Offers Phone Support
4
UpHold
Minimum Deposit
$250111111
Exclusive Promotion
User Score
7
36 cryptocurrencies and utility tokens available
Highly rated
Clear user interface
5
Coinbase
Minimum Deposit
$50
Exclusive Promotion
User Score
6
Trade and invest in over 25 cryptocurrencies
Extremely simple user interface
Over 68 million customers

What should I look for in the Bitcoin exchange in the USA?

Choosing a crypto exchange mainly depends on the goals of an investor. Those buying Bitcoin for long term investment (HODL) will have different preferences to those involved in trading. Beginners will want to make the purchase process as smooth as possible. Weighing all these scenarios, here is what we found top considerations across all levels of Bitcoin investors

  • Fees: Fees payable form the top concern for most Americans. Some of the standard fees chargeable for purchasing or trading Bitcoin are:

    • Deposit fees

    • Withdrawal fees

    • Maker and taker fees

Traders love Binance, US, and BlockFi due to the low fees. Most exchanges offer free ACH bank transfers. Credit and debit cards Bitcoin purchases face high fees. Beginners should watch out for withdrawal fees. Fees are charged when converting the Bitcoin to USD. Most exchanges incentivize users by offering free deposits to their exchanges while charging hefty withdrawal fees. Fees may be in the form of USD or Bitcoins.

  • Security: Hackers have been on the rampage recently, with crypto exchanges experiencing a myriad of attacks.A secure exchange has to tick the following boxes:

    • Two-factor Authentication (2FA) for clients

    • Insurance on hot storage

    • Bug bounty programs

    • Cold storage – offline storage of Bitcoins

    • Multi-signature wallets

    • Multi-level verification for withdrawals

    • Operating with a valid SSL certificate

Bitcoin investors should read the fine print on the exchange they choose. Get direction on whether there is insurance for deposits and crypto-assets. Bug bounties are essential in discovering security loopholes on the exchange software before exploitation by malicious actors. It is prudent to store Bitcoins off the exchange, especially for investors planning to HODL.

  • Reputation: Gauging the reputation of a crypto exchange is something every Bitcoin investor must do. An exchange may have a good reputation for customer service but high fees. So, how do you evaluate the reputation of a crypto exchange? The best way is to check trusted consumer review sites like Google reviews and Trust Pilot that show verifiable reviews. Forums like Discord and Reddit can also be helpful.

  • Payment & withdrawal methods accepted: There are mainstream payments and withdrawal methods for Bitcoin investors, including wire transfers, ACH bank transfers, Paypal, digital assets, VISA/Mastercard debit and credit cards. Exchanges continue to integrate other third-party payment and withdrawal solutions such as Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Payoneer, Neteller and Skrill. The choice for Bitcoin investors will mainly depend on the fees associated with a method and how fast the funding reflects onto the exchange. For instance, On Binance wire transfers may clear the same day, while ACH transfers may take two to three days. Withdrawals methods are mainly similar to deposit methods. Bank transfers, wire transfers and cryptocurrencies are the more common methods.

  • KYC process: Know Your Customer (KYC) is part of the Anti Money Laundering laws (AML), which helps verify client details. This involves submitting personal details such as full names, addresses, a photo and a government-issued ID.xMajor exchanges in the USA will require your KYC details. Buying Bitcoin anonymously is becoming harder, primarily through exchanges. However, users may use decentralized exchanges like Bisq, which allow you to skip KYC verification.KYC verification may be lengthy and time consuming depending on the exchange. Some exchanges like Bitfinex offer full and intermediate KYC verification depending on the user activity level. Complete verification may take 2 to 3 working days for exchanges like Kraken. Other exchanges like Bittrex and Coinbase do it for under 15 minutes.

  • Insurance: This is starting to become a hallmark for tier 1 exchanges. With security breaches increasing, exchanges have set apart funds to reimburse users in case of security incidents resulting from their fault. Some insure only hot “online” crypto assets stored online. We recommend inventors store their Bitcoin in a hardware wallet where the coins are stored offline and have complete control.

  • Design, user experience, and ease of use: The complexity of using an exchange has been cited by many Americans as a reason they have avoided investing in cryptocurrencies. Exchanges like Coinbase have a simple user interface which has seen it being touted as the best exchange for beginners. Other platforms like Kraken allow users to manage their user settings which aims to enhance the user experience.

  • Withdrawal limits: Bitcoin investors may be subjected to different withdrawal limits depending on several factors, such as account verification status. Fully verified accounts will have better limits. Institutional accounts will have more significant limits. Withdrawal limits are usually a concern for clients who buy and withdraw large numbers of Bitcoins. All exchanges have a withdrawal limit, with daily and weekly limits in place. For instance, Coinbase Pro users have a withdrawal limit of $50,000, while Gemini offers a daily limit of $5,000.

  • Customer service: Many investors have complained about the poor level of customer service offered by Crypto exchanges. A majority of exchanges lack live support, and email response may take weeks. This is primarily a serious issue for those who wish to trade in Bitcoins to make margins quickly in volatile markets. A delay in response from customer support may see the investor lose money. Exchanges like Kraken and BitStamp have commendable customer support.

  • Trading engine: How the core trading infrastructure holds up during highly volatile periods is a critical consideration for Bitcoin traders. Users do not want a trading engine that freezes when they are in the middle of buying or selling their Bitcoins. An incident where Binance froze for about an hour comes to sharp focus because many Bitcoin investors who had leveraged their assets experienced heavy losses.

What exchanges are available to trade Bitcoin in the USA?

There are a myriad of exchanges available for US residents. Picking one that suits your needs can be confusing and challenging. Our analysis shows exchanges based on trading volume, customer service, security and customer satisfaction.

Coinbase

It is a leading crypto exchange in the USA with over 50+ tradeable digital assets. Bitcoin investors seem to be really attracted to the simple user interface.

Fees

Coinbase has a complex fee structure. See below:

Deposit/Payment MethodFeesBank Account1.49%Debit/Credit card3.99%ACH transferFreeWire transfer$10Crypto conversion2%

Trading Amount(USD)

Fees (USD)

Less than $10

$0.99

$10 – $25

$1.49

$25 – $50

$1.99

$50 – $200

$2.99

Trades and purchases are also subject to variable spreads. For sale below $10,000, Coinbase charges a spread variable of 0.5%. The fee reduces with higher tiers.

There is also a convenience fee called the “Coinbase fee” dependent on the payment method utilized, region and purchase value.

Coinbase Pro offers significantly lower fees. ACH and crypto-assets transfers are free. Here are the maker-taker fees

Pricing Range (USD)

Maker Fees (USD)

Taker Fees (USD)

Less than 10K

0.5%

0.5%

10K-50K

0.35%

0.35%

50K-100K

0.15%

0.25%

100K-1M

0.1%

0.2%

1M-10M

0.08%

0.18%

10 -50M

0.05%

0.15%

50M-100M

0.00%

0.1%

$100 – 300M

0.00%

0.07%

300M-500M

0.00%

0.06%

500M-1B

0.00%

0.05%

1B+

0.00%

0.04%

Key features

  • High daily trading volume

  • A hot wallet to store Bitcoins

  • Versatile for both expert and beginners

  • Crypto to crypto trading

  • Offers institutional investor accounts

Pros:

  • A wide selection of cryptocurrencies are available

  • Simple, intuitive user interface that is beginner-friendly

  • High liquidity

  • Provides a crypto learning and educational platform

  • Digital assets are insured to prevent losses in the event of a security breach.

Cons:

  • Higher fees compared to other exchanges, unless using Coinbase Pro

  • Limited customer support (email option only)

Kucoin

Although based in Singapore, Kucoin is a well-established exchange in the USA, with many cryptocurrencies available. The platform receives over 2.2 million visits weekly, with a trading volume surpassing 1 billion dollars within 24h.

Fees

  • Maker and taker fees 0.1%

  • Deposit is free

  • The withdrawal fee for Bitcoin is 0.0005 BTC

The platform recently launched a tiered trading fee discount program for Bitcoin trading. The tiers depend on a 30-day trading volume and the KCS (Kucoin native token) you own.

Key features

  • KCS tokens that reduce trading fees

  • Earning cryptocurrency by lending crypto or staking.

  • Core trading engine capable of handling a large number of transactions

  • High liquidity for Bitcoin

  • Asset management system to secure clients’ portfolio

  • Futures and margins trading

  • Institutional investor accounts

Pros:

  • Free deposit, minimal trading and withdrawal fees

  • Diversity in cryptocurrency with over 200 options available

  • A simple and easy to use interface friendly to beginners

  • High level security with industry level encryption of data, multiple authentication levels

  • Non-custodial trading facilitated by Arwen.

Cons:

  • Lower liquidity for smaller altcoins

Kucoin provides advanced trading with options for passive earning. Investors can stake their Bitcoin or lend it out to earn interest. Kucoin outcompetes Coinbase and Coinbase Pro in terms of deposit and trading fees, as well as the number of digital assets available. Both platforms offer advanced Bitcoin trading features and high-level security.

Kraken

Kraken is a high profile exchange based in San Francisco. The exchange experiences just under a billion dollars trading volume in 24 hours with about 2.4 million visitors weekly.

Fees

Instant buy fees

Instant buy fees (USD)

Fees

Kraken fee

1.5%

Credit and debit cards

3.75%+€0.25

Online banking/ACH transfers

0.5%

Digital Payment wallet

3.75%+€0.25

30- Day Volume (USD)

Maker

Taker

$0 – $50,000

0.16%

0.26%

$50,001 – $100,000

0.14%

0.24%

$100,001 – $250,000

0.12%

0.22%

$250,001 – $500,000

0.10%

0.20%

$500,001 – $1,000,000

0.08%

0.18%

$1,000,001 – $2,500,000

0.06%

0.16%

$2,500,001 – $5,000,000

0.04%

0.14%

Key Features

  • Bitcoin future trading

  • Earn rewards by staking Bitcoins

  • Margin trading

  • Crypto to crypto trading

  • Crypto watch, indices and dark pool

  • High-level platform security

Pros:

  • A secure and reliable trading platform featuring 2FA, air-gapped cold storage, SSL encryption, and a bug bounty program.

  • A wide range of funding options, including Etana custody.

  • Personalized over the counter transactions for larger transactions.

  • High trading and withdrawal limits

Cons:

  • Intermediate and pro-level accounts take considerable time before approval.

  • Credit and debit card deposits are not available.

  • Customer service is limited to live chat and email. There are no direct phone calls available to customer support.

  • Does not have a crypto wallet

Kraken offers considerably lower fees when compared to Coinbase. The platform offers high-level asset management and security like Kucoin and Coinbase.

Gemini

This is an exchange that offers a solid option for both novice and expert Bitcoin traders. It is available in all states.

Fees

Gemini offers a complex fee schedule depending on the product and usage level. This includes mobile fees, API fees, web, custody, transfer, connectivity, market data and Gemini earn fees.

Mobile and web fees consist of trading and convenience fees.

Order Amount (USD)

Fees (USD)

Less than $10

$0.99

$10-$25

$1.49

$25 – $50

$1.99

$50 – $200

$2.99

Above $200

1.49%

Key Features

  • Advanced order types and charting options

  • Advanced tools and products such as Gemini clearing and Gemini custody for security

  • Gemini wallet

  • Gemini dollar backed by the USD.

  • Crypto to crypto trading

Pros:

  • An advanced trading platform called The Gemini ActiveTrader for professional trading.

  • Earn interests on the Bitcoin held in the exchange

  • A wide range of selections of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

  • The exchange allows Bitcoin investors extremely low-value purchases – 0.00001BTC

  • A learning hub that offers a wide range of fundamental to advanced crypto subjects

  • Available across all states

Cons:

  • Higher fees compared to exchanges like Kucoin

  • The exchange may be complicated for complete beginners

Like Coinbase, Gemini has been around for some time. Gemini trading engine is comparable to Kucoin. The fee structure is complex, just like Coinbase.

Bittrex

Bittrex markets itself as a global exchange with next-level security. The exchange provides investors with the option to buy, sell and trade over 500 markets. Users get instant buy and sell options.

Fees

  • There are no deposit fees

  • There are minimal withdrawal fees

  • Maker and taker fees depend on a 30-day trading volume.

Pros:

  • Advanced asset management with cold asset storage available.

  • Supports a wide variety of fiat and cryptocurrencies.

  • High-level security with personnel specifically tasked with user and asset security

Cons:

  • Limited customer support options

  • Lack of passive investment options

Bittrex makes this list because of its high-level security. A large percentage of its currency is stored offline in cold storage. The exchange competes favorably in security but lags in passive investment options, which Gemini and Kucoin offer.

Bisq

This is a popular decentralized exchange (DEX) where investors can buy and sell Bitcoins. The trading protocol enables traders to exchange Bitcoin directly, eliminating the need for a custodial exchange.

Fees

Type

BTC

Maker

0.001

Taker

0.007

Key features

  • Easy to use interface.

  • No ID verification

  • Works on a P2P network

Pros:

  • Provides a wide variety of funding option

  • Absolute control of your Bitcoins

  • No KYC requirements; therefore, high level of privacy.

  • Supports multiple digital assets

  • No geographical limitations and works in all states.

Cons:

  • Bisq works on a P2P network which comes with a risk.

  • Functionality is basic and not suited for professional traders

Bisq allows investors to buy Bitcoins anonymously without ID verification. Unlike the other exchanges we have analyzed, Bisq is a software that acts as a medium between buyers and sellers.

Other notable exchanges operating in the USA include Binance US and CashApp. Binance US is associated with Binance, which is the largest exchange globally. CashApp is a mobile application where beginners can buy Bitcoins easily.

How to get started with Bitcoin exchange in the USA

These are things you will need before getting started:

  • A phone or computer connected to the internet

  • A phone number or Google authenticator app for 2FA authentication

  • An updated browser

Here are the steps to opening an account and buying Bitcoins:

  • Opening an account on a suitable exchange: Requires you to enter your email/mobile number and your password.

  • Verification via email or mobile phone: Follow the instructions sent by email or use the SMS code provided for account confirmation.

  • KYC information and verification: Investors will have to enter their legal names, occupations, source of funds, and upload their identity documents, etc. The exchange will perform identity verification and approve the account.

  • Link a payment option: Connect your account with a way to deposit funds. This can be via ACH bank transfer, cards, PayPal or cryptocurrency.

  • The first transaction: On the exchange tradeview, select Bitcoin and enter the amount you wish to spend. The transaction details will be displayed.

  • Finalize the purchase: Finalize the trade by sanctioning the transaction. We recommend transferring your Bitcoin to a Bitcoin wallet for safe custody.

Congratulations on your investment. We recommend setting up 2FA to secure your account further.

What are the options I have to buy and sell Bitcoin in the USA?

There are a variety of trading instruments, but Investors can use crypto exchanges, brokerage firms, and Contract for Differences (CFDs) trading platforms. Brokerages typically manage the buying and selling of Bitcoin on your behalf. They act as intermediaries between the selling party (a market such as an exchange) and the buying party(investors). They also allow users to trade in a wide range of assets, EFTs, and CFDs. Top brokers in the USA include eToro and Robinhood.

CFD trading platforms allow Bitcoin investors to speculate on the future value of Bitcoin without owning it. Investors can go “long” when they believe Bitcoin will rise in value or go “short” when they speculate that the prices will fall. CFDs can be leveraged such that your stake’s value is multiplied, which magnifies your profits or losses. CFD trading platforms are popular in the USA, with eToro again leading the way. The platform provides social and copy trading and is well regulated.

Do I have to pay tax when selling Bitcoin for profit in the USA?

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) recognizes Bitcoin as an asset. Profits arising from the sale of Bitcoins are taxable.

Conclusion

US residents have many options when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges. The best exchanges in the USA are the tier 1 exchanges that experience massive volumes daily. Picking the best Bitcoin exchange depends on your investment goals. For those concerned with low fees and high security, Kucoin is your best bet. Beginners should probably start with Coinbase, while those looking to buy Bitcoin anonymously can check out Bisq.

FAQs

What is an exchange?
Can I buy and sell Bitcoin with ID on exchange?
Are exchanges legal in the USA?
What is the difference between an exchange and a broker?Bitcoin Exchanges in the USA

Khashayar Abbasi

Khashayar Abbasi

Khashayar discovered Bitcoin back in 2014 and has since spent countless hours researching the different use cases of cryptocurrencies. He has a bachelor's degree in International Relations and has been a writer in the financial services industry for nearly half a decade. In his spare time, Khashayar enjoys photography, cycling, and ice skating.