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Thinking about getting into the cryptocurrency game? Why not start investing from your phone? Apps for cryptocurrency trading have exploded in the last few years and while options are many, a few key players have risen above the rest to make cryptocurrency trading simple.
These apps are a driving force in the adoption of cryptocurrency, and they can help you get in on the action too without ever mining a single coin yourself, or hiring a broker like some other apps.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What to look for in a cryptocurrency trading platform
- The top 5 cryptocurrency trading apps
App features to keep in mind
Aside from the obvious ability to trade in a number of cryptocurrencies, you’ll want to consider the added benefits of the overall platform too. You’ll want to make sure an app has:
- A user-friendly interface
- No charge to sign up
- Low fees for trades
- Rewards for referring your friends
- The ability to set up recurring and automatic investments
- Secure operations for purchase and storage of coins
- Notifications for important changes
- A help center, blog, or news section for crypto-related media content
- A stable reputation and happy customers
You’ll need to decide which app requirements matter most for your purposes as not all apps check the box on all features. A new trader who wants to invest in small volumes might be less concerned with recurring investments and more concerned with a news section to increase their knowledge.
On the contrary, someone who is already a crypto expert, and intends to invest thousands in cryptocurrencies weekly, might be heavily worried about trade fees and not bother with referral rewards.
The Top 5 Breakdown
After scouring the depths of the app store, these five crypto apps and companies have risen above the others as solid choices for crypto investing.
This company is always one of the first to surface in discussions around cryptocurrency trading. One of the earliest players to the game in 2012, Coinbase has continued to gain market share and show its staying power. Thanks to its simple interface, security, and support for over 100 countries, it doesn’t look like Coinbase is going anywhere anytime soon.
The app features a real-time crypto watchlist and the ability to transfer between Coinbase wallets. The downside of Coinbase trading is that it tends to have slightly higher fees than the others we’ve listed. In a transaction, you’ll pay the Coinbase fee, which starts at $.99, and the fees associated with buying and selling, which Coinbase refers to as the spread.
Best for: Beginners looking to invest small sums
Kraken first came on the scene in 2011 and can be considered an early adopter in the cryptocurrency exchange space. With a mission to accelerate cryptocurrency adoption, the company offers two apps, Kraken Pro and Kraken Futures.
Kraken operates on a maker/taker fee structure with increasingly lower rates, as trading in a 30-day span increases. You’ve gotta go big, really big, $10 million-plus kinda big to get down to a 0% maker fee, which is unlikely for your everyday trader. But even if you’re not trading in the millions, overall, Kraken’s fees tend to be less than other apps like Coinbase or Gemini.
Best for: Advanced or high-volume crypto investors
Robinhood became a household name for its fee-free trading platform. But most people don’t realize that you can also trade crypto. One of the primary drivers for the popularity of Robinhood is the sleek interface and easy-to-transact nature. Robinhood also shows bitcoin in your account immediately following purchase, which can take days to process with some other apps.
On the downside for Robinhood is the limited scope of cryptocurrencies. Presently, Robinhood only offers trading in 7 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum. In addition to the limited scope of coins, Robinhood also keeps all investments in the app. This means your bitcoin stays in Robinhood until you’re ready to sell, or until they start to offer withdrawals. For seasoned investors looking to choose from the plethora of cryptocurrencies available and move coins in and out of a personal wallet, it’ll be best to consider other options.
Best for: Day traders who are curious about crypto, yet hesitant to step out of their comfort-zone completely
Binance is one of the younger players getting its start in 2017. But don’t let its age fool you; it’s already become the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform by volume. The fact that Binance supports trading worldwide gives it the benefits of a massive audience of potential investors. The Binance US app is a bit cluttered but still easily allows for buying and selling, allowing you to quickly get the job done.
Security is a top priority for Binance after it suffered a major hack in 2019. As such, one of the largest benefits of using Binance is that it has substantial insurance funds to be able to protect itself against future attacks.
Best for: International investors interested in obscure coin investing
Founded by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook/The Social Network fame, Gemini is still in the rollout phase and has also only launched to about 50 countries so far. This app is definitely the most bare-bones of the group featuring only a market section to view prices in real-time and your portfolio.
Transactions done in Gemini’s app are subject to both a transaction fee and a convenience fee (identical to Coinbase). Perhaps the largest upside is that Gemini is regulated. While not something crypto investors necessarily want to hear, it does mean that the company has an “in” with institutional investors and will likely have a say in future regulatory decisions.
Best for: Those who want a simple, secure interface without the fluff
More Crypto Investing Apps
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are experiencing a meteoric rise in recent months in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. And who would have thought that a cryptic response to the 2008 financial crisis could be a multi-billion dollar industry that is flirting with a trillion dollars in valuation.
If you’re looking to get on the cryptocurrency craze, here are some more apps to help diversify and enhance your investing opportunities. As we mentioned earlier, if you want to trade crypto, you’ll have to download an investing app. Once you transfer some money over, you’ll be able to buy, trade and sell crypto to your heart’s content. The best part is that since there are no investing hours like traditional stock markets, so you can trade 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
Crypto Investing App #6: BlockFi
While most crypto trading apps may only allow you to buy, trade or sell crypto, some apps give you the ability to make interest on your holdings, just like a savings account or another type of traditional investment. BlockFi is one of these apps for investing that extends your investment opportunities beyond the usual suspects of buy and sell. If you’d rather not sell but you need some extra cash, you can even borrow money against your holdings, paying it off with portfolio growth.
As a bonus offer to new traders, BlockFi will give you a $250 bonus with just a $25 deposit.
Crypto Investing App #7: eToro
Originally a crypto trading app for the UK and throughout Europe, eToro is now open to traders in the United States. But unlike typical trading apps, eToro allows you to practice trading with fake money before you put your hard-earned money on the line. That means you can get up to speed without any risk, which makes eToro one of the best crypto investing apps out there.
For new users, eToro is offering a $50 bonus for anyone that signs up and trades $1,000 worth of crypto prior to March 31, 2021.
Crypto Investing App #8: Bitcoin IRA
For those that are interested in crypto retirement accounts, Bitcoin IRA is a bit different than most crypto investing apps. With other crypto trading apps, anytime you sell or profit from a sale of crypto, you need to report your gains to the IRS and pay taxes on them. But inside of a retirement account, you’ll be able to defer your taxes until you retire or avoid paying taxes on your earnings altogether. Just sign up at Bitcoin IRA to learn more.
Crypto Investing App #9: Crypto.com
As one of the largest and fastest-growing crypto exchanges, Crypto.com is based in Hong Kong but serves customers in the U.S. and all over the world. With access to almost 100 cryptocurrency coins and tokens worldwide (50 for the U.S.), Crypto.com is an emerging crypto investing app that doesn’t currently have a desktop site, but the app is full-featured so you won’t need much else. Like BlockFi, Crypto.com also allows you to earn interest, and you can even spend your crypto with the convenience of a convenient Visa card.
Crypto Investing App #10: Coinmama.com
Most crypto investing apps require you to link a bank account and transfer some funds over before you can get started. But Coinmama.com lets you buy crypto with a credit card, debit card or even Apple Pay. That gives you more ways to easily get into crypto, and Coinmama.com also supports many of the most common cryptocurrencies — though you won’t be able to trade cryptocurrencies with other traders as only fiat-to-crypto purchases are supported.
The bottom line
Cryptocurrency investing is a volatile game from both the pricing standpoint and the fact that there are so many players. Before you choose to start buying crypto via an app, make sure you fully understand the app’s capabilities. By selecting an app that aligns with your goals, you can get the most out of the app, and hopefully, the most out of your investments.
Contributor’s opinions are their own. Always do your own due diligence before investing.
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