Whether it’s Elon Musk or Warren Buffet, cryptocurrency is the buzz word in the financial markets. Released in 2009, Bitcoin was the first decentralized digital asset and undoubtedly the most popular cryptocurrency to date. While Bitcoin and Ethereum are popular coins familiar to many, emerging altcoins, like the meme-based Dodge coin, or Shiba Inu coin are setting social media afire with the hopes of making people rich and/or working toward changing our world. An altcoin is defined as any token that isn’t Bitcoin. According to Bloomberg News, Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain. Like any investment, it’s imperative one does research, especially when it comes to crypto as it’s quite volatile and there is so much to learn regarding blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency can be bought in a variety of different places. Each platform doesn’t offer every coin and there are varying fees. You want to ensure wherever you purchase or trade your coins, it’s a secure platform to prevent your coins from getting stolen.
Once you’ve educated yourself on the coins, here are the top three places where you can buy them. Remember, no matter how exciting this seems, never invest more than you are willing (or able) to lose.
Launched in San Francisco, CA in 2012, Coinbase was one of the top 10 US IPO’s in history, making early investors, including Nas, very rich in April 2021. The platform is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange and broker. You can buy popular altcoins on the platform as well, with the ability to purchase 32 different digital assets. Coinbase will even pay you in altcoins to learn about the specific coin! Your account can have as little as $2.00 and you can begin trading at that price as well. The fees to trade are between 0.5% to 4.5%, depending on the transaction, making it one of the higher cryptocurrency transaction fees for platforms on the market. Also, depending on your payment method, you’ll incur various fees. Your debit card will lead a 3.99% transaction fee, your U.S. bank account or Coinbase wallet has a 1.49% fee, while ACH transfers are free. Coinbase also has Coinbase Pro, which has 36 cryptocurrencies to trade and contains more straightforward transaction fees. Coinbase only allows U.S. based transactions, in every state except Hawaii. The site platform is offering $5.00 in free Bitcoin for signing up.
Founded in 2007, eToro offers access to buy and trade 15 cryptocurrencies and recently made headlines for adding Dodge to their mix because of customer demand. Users can begin trading cryptocurrency at $50 and the platform operates in over 60 countries and in the United States, offers cryptocurrency trading in 38 states and two territories. The platform also allows traders to buy stocks, Contracts for Difference (CFD’s) on ETF’s, commodities, and indices; however, this isn’t available to U.S. citizens. eToro is the first social trading platform and allows users to talk to other eToro users about their trades, follow other traders, and even mimic trading strategies of other users. This is a great platform for individuals who are new to cryptocurrency trading and want to learn from more experienced traders or anyone who wants more information on the market in general. Fees to trade on eToro start at .75% for Bitcoin; however, the range is between 1.9% and 2.9%. eToro also offers a free digital wallet called eToro wallet for individuals that want to store their cryptocurrency and it’s available in iOS and Android. However, to convert your cryptocurrency into USD via the wallet will cost 5%, which is a pretty hefty fee.
Binance (BinanceUS for United States users) is a popular platform because of their low fees. The American version was launched in September 2019 in San Francisco. Depending on the payment method, fees range from 0.1% to 5%. There are more than 50 cryptocurrencies available to trade, even though it’s lower than it’s parent version, Binance, it’s still higher than many of the other U.S. exchanges. The trading minimum on this platform is $10.00 with a flat .1% spot trading fee. Binance.US offers three different trading platforms: Basic, Advanced and OTC, which allows for peer-to-peer trading. Peer to peer trading on Binance.US allows direct trading between buyers and sellers with no transaction fees. Instead, users are charged the spread between the buy and the sell price. While there have been no reported hacks in Binance.US, in 2019, the parent company, Binance reported $40M worth of bitcoins stolen, but they paid their users back in full. BinanceUS doesn’t have their own personal wallet; however, they use Trust Wallet (which is available on IOS and Android) and users can use their own choice of crypto wallet.