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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
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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