With Bitcoin reaching such high values and so many new tech and crypto companies forming in the United States, it should be no surprise that residents have numerous options when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges to use with Bitcoin. Some of these are better than others, however.
When trying to determine which is the best Bitcoin exchange in the USA you should consider factors such as reliability, what cryptocurrencies you can exchange Bitcoin with, where the company is located, the ease of withdrawal and more.
The following list, in no particular order, gives you the relevant information about the best Bitcoin exchange options in the USA, including what users have to say about each platform.
Coinbase is among the best-known cryptocurrency exchanges around the world, and its fame is accompanied by an excellent reputation. Users appreciate the ability to use Coinbase quickly.
What’s more, the simple interface appeals to even those who are just entering the world of crypto with their first Bitcoin purchase. In addition to working as an exchange, Coinbase is also a wallet that lets you store, spend, buy and receive Bitcoins.
This company is based in San Francisco, so not only is it available to American users, but it is actually U.S. based. In addition to supporting use by U.S. residents, Coinbase buys and sells services in 32 countries.
Coinbase’s good reputation comes from its long history. It launched in 2012, right at the beginning of the Bitcoin phenomenon.
Coinbase also stands out with a wide range of deposit options, including bank transfers and credit cards. While there is a fee for using credit cards to make your deposit, many users consider the added convenience to be worth the small cost.
The fees for Coinbase vary from about 1.49 to 3.99 percent depending on the payment method you choose, but the fees are almost always lower than the competition.
Compared to other options, Coinbase is one of the best Bitcoin exchanges for users in the USA in terms of security. Because it is based out of the United States, it must meet all federal laws.
Since many crypto exchanges, including those that Americans can use, are based out of other countries with laxer regulations, this is a strong point in favor of Coinbase. In fact, Coinbase has sought out conversations with regulators to ensure users are protected. Coinbase is also transparent in terms of fund storage.
Overall, Coinbase offers an easy-to-use, practical interface. When you combine this with the fact that it’s one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, it is clear why so many users opt for this platform.
Although Coinmama is one of the best Bitcoin exchanges USA residents can take advantage of, it is not based in the U.S. Instead, this exchange is registered in Slovakia and its owner, New Bit Ventures Limited, has its headquarters in Israel.
You can use it in 24 U.S. states and 217 countries around the world. Like Coinbase, Coinmama is very easy to use, providing an intuitive interface for investors to take advantage of. It also has a very strong reputation.
One of the advantages of Coinmama is that it accepts credit cards or debit cards as a form of deposit, an option that is not always available on exchanges. For even further convenience, it is possible to buy as much as $150 worth of cryptocurrency without verifying your identity, something that can save users a great deal of time and hassle.
For purchases greater than this, users must provide verification and identifying information such as a passport, driver’s license or ID card with their gender, date of birth, full name and address. The initial verification only takes 10 minutes, and the full verification can be as quick as several hours.
With your basic verification, Coinmama has a relatively high purchase limit compared to other exchanges at $10,000 USD. Higher levels of verification can increase the limit to $50,000 or $1 million.
A downside of Coinmama that you should be aware of is that it comes with high fees. The platform charges a 5.5 percent fee for every transaction. For convenience, this is already included within the displayed Ethereum or Bitcoin rate.
Those who choose to take advantage of debit or credit cards will have to pay an extra 5 percent fee. There may also be fees from your financial institution.
To protect users, Coinmama doesn’t store any information regarding debit or credit cards on its exchange server or hold cryptocurrency on behalf of its users. Reviews of customer service for this exchange are mixed, but there do not seem to be significant issues with either security or response time.
Changelly is yet another candidate for the title of best Bitcoin exchange in the USA. It allows you to buy Bitcoin using a range of digital tokens, including Dogecoin and Litecoin. It works in the United States and most other countries and is located in Prague, Czech Republic.
Changelly is highly intuitive to use, letting you select the two currencies you want to exchange between right on the homepage. It will even display an estimate of the conversion rate, so you can plan accordingly.
Changelly has low fees, but when you account for other costs, they work out similar to most exchanges. It has a flat 0.5 percent fee per transaction, which is significantly lower than most other exchanges.
The issue is that in some cases, Changelly uses exchange rates that are not as good as the market’s current rate, something that multiple reviews have documented. However, this should be acceptable for most traders since the fees themselves are so low.
This platform offers at least 72 supported currencies and pairs, so you are likely to find the crypto pair that you wish to trade. Another strong point in favor of Changelly is the lack of limits for transactions. After you have used the platform for a little bit, your limit will disappear.
However, keep in mind that your first trade can only be up to $50, which increases to $100 within four days and $500 at the end of the week.
Unfortunately, Changelly does not provide details regarding its security measures. Because funds aren’t stored on the platform, it should be relatively secure. Your assets get sent immediately to a wallet following an exchange.
Changelly also relies on two-factor authentication to prevent fraud. Although Changelly has an extensive FAQ section on its website, actually contacting customer support can prove challenging.
This global Bitcoin exchange has a license with the New York State Department of Financial Services. This licensing makes it one of the best Bitcoin exchanges for USA residents who want an American-based company.
There is support for itBit in every state of the U.S. except for Texas. Because itBit is licensed, it has a high level of trust since it must follow consumer protection laws and undergo regular audits.
A standout feature of itBit is its OTC trading desk that lets customers purchase larger quantities of Bitcoin, specifically 100 BTC and more. Although convenient, itBit’s design is set up to appeal to traders and might prove confusing or overwhelming for those buying crypto for the first time.
To prove this point, the typical OTC trade with itBit is about 350 BTC, with the trade taking place below or at the spot price.
There is phone support available globally 24 hours a day on Monday through Friday. Support is also available via WhatsApp and email.
Those who choose to use itBit will get to take advantage of extremely low fees, particularly compared to other exchanges. Market makers do not pay any fee, and market takers only pay a 0.2 percent fee. If you opt for the OTC brokering service, the fee is just 0.1 percent.
Each of these fees is highly competitive. itBit does have limited options for payments. You must use a wire transfer, but there are not any deposit fees from itBit.
Some users dislike the lack of privacy, as the exchange requires ID verification. However, you do not need to scan your ID unless you live outside the United States.
Kraken is the largest Bitcoin exchange denominated in Euros based on its average daily trading volume. Although it is Euro denominated, it is open to American users.
This exchange supports deposits from customers in Europe, the United States, Canada, Britain, and Japan. Japanese customers can make a bank deposit, and all users have the option of depositing via bank wires, SWIFT, or SEPA.
This exchange has a great deal of consumer trust and a long history, as it was founded back in 2011. It also has high ratings for its security, providing peace of mind for users. To provide transparency, Kraken publishes its proof-of-reserve audits.
In terms of usability, Kraken receives high ratings since there are options for simple, intermediate and advanced interfaces. This lets beginners stick to a straightforward interface while providing experienced traders the tools they look for. There is also support available 24/7, although it has low ratings.
Users appreciate the low fee of just 0.25 percent for takers, a figure that drops to 0.1 percent at higher volumes. Maker fees can be as low as 0 percent at sufficient trading volumes. Additionally, the deep liquidity of the exchange means that the prices are close to the fair market rate.
The only downside of Kraken is that it does require ID verification. Verification for the first two tiers is relatively quick, but it will typically take several days to complete Tier 3 verification.
At the very least, users must submit their full name, country of residence and date of birth and verify their phone number. Considering many exchanges let you trade without some of this information, these requirements may turn away some users.
Keep in mind that you do need Tier 3 verification to deposit fiat currency within the United States, which will also require proof of residence and a valid government ID. This lack of privacy is a small price to pay for Kraken’s reputation as one of the most secure crypto exchanges worldwide.
A unique option on the list, LocalBitcoins is one of the best Bitcoin exchanges in the USA for those who prefer peer-to-peer trades. Instead of acting as the exchange company, LocalBitcoins offers an escrow service that also matches buyers and sellers of Bitcoin.
It supports numerous payment methods, although the most commonly used is cash deposit. Other options include wire exchanges, cash via mail, PayPal, Western Union and Webmoney.
Interestingly enough, LocalBitcoins actually offers the option of buying Bitcoins in person from someone who lives in the buyer’s area. Because these trades take place in person, there is no need to share personal information.
The transactions also occur quickly and privately. Users can search for sellers with a range of criteria, such as accepted payment methods, ID verification requirements and location.
Unfortunately, as with any peer-to-peer exchange, there is always the risk of scams with LocalBitcoins. It is also much harder to buy large quantities of Bitcoin with this exchange than the others.
You will also have to deal with higher prices depending on who you buy from, paying a premium for the higher levels of privacy. Additionally, the risk of scams is somewhat mitigated by LocalBitcoins’ system that lets users check a vendor’s trading history and reputation.
LocalBitcoins is among the oldest of the Bitcoin exchanges, as it began in 2012 in Finland. At the time of writing, the website lists exchangers spread across 248 countries and 15,582 cities, making it likely that users will find a seller or buyer in their area.
Additionally, the ability to use cash to buy Bitcoin makes LocalBitcoins a good choice for those who are new to the world of cryptocurrency.
Founded in 2015 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Gemini is a a digital currency exchange and custodian that allows people to buy, sell, and store digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, and Zcash. According to a CNBC report, Gemini became the world’s first licensed Ether exchange in June 2016. In May 2018, Gemini became the first licensed Zcash exchange in the world.
Gemini was founded in order to make it easier and safer to buy and store Bitcoin. The exchange uses a series of password-protected measures to ensure maximum security. Only a small amount of Bitcoin is actually held online, which reduces the risk of loss from hackers.
Based in New York, Gemini is a trust company that is held to high fiduciary obligations, while maintaining the proper capital reserve requirements and banking compliance standards.
One of the world’s most well-known and longest-running Bitcoin exchanges is Bitstamp. Customers can make deposits through bank transfer, SEPA transfer, international bank wire, and credit cards. Bitstamp has a very low 0.25% transaction fee, falling to 0.1% with sufficient trading volume.
Not only does Bitstamp offer a wide range of altcoins, but this trading platform has a great range of withdrawal and deposit options.
Finding the best Bitcoin exchange in the USA will be somewhat of a personal decision as everyone wants something different from their chosen platform. All the above options deliver security and reliability and have at least some level of customer support with reasonable reviews online.
To determine which exchange you prefer, you will have to compare fees, look at the cryptocurrency pairs and evaluate how much information you are willing to share for account verification.