The Top 10 Bitcoin And Crypto Investing Sites

Investing in Bitcoin is all the rage but how exactly does a beginner get started?

Do you need to already have Bitcoin to invest? 

Or do you transfer money from your bank account to somewhere and convert it to Bitcoin? What does that look like?

We’ll answer all of these questions and list 10 of the best cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms that allow you to buy Bitcoin and other tokens.

Going forward, we’ll use BTC, which is the symbol for Bitcoin on exchanges and trading platforms.

If you just want to earn a high return with crypto, you might consider a crypto savings account. These accounts pay up to 12%, but do come with risks (just like regular crypto investing). 

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Investing Platforms
Here is our list of the 10 best cryptocurrency exchanges and investing or trading platforms. The cyrpto offers that appear on this site are from companies from which The College Investor receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The College Investor does not include all cryptocurrency exchanges or all crypto offers available in the marketplace.

1. Coinbase


Coinbase is by far the most popular and one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges because you can invest directly with USD. You can currently purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin and 30+ other coins and tokens on the platform. Furthermore, you can earn interest on your USDT, and you can earn token rewards by completing various activities.

Plus, when you open a Coinbase account, you get a $5 bonus!

2. Gemini


Gemini is a popular platform to invest in crypto because of its focus on security and transparency. Unlike some exchanges that appear vulnerable, Gemini makes it a focus to protect its customers. 

Gemini is one of the only exchanges we've seen that offers FDIC-protection on USD deposits. They also now support DOGE.

Plus, when you open a Gemini account and deposit $100, you get a $10 bonus!

3. BlockFi


BlockFi is a cryptocurrency investment platform that allows you to lend and earn interest on your holdings. Also, instead of selling your coins and tokens, you can also borrow against your holdings.

If you're just looking to hold your tokens, you can also just let them earn interest for you.

Bonus Offer: Get up to $250 bonus when you make a $25 deposit and maintain it for the specified period of time.

4. Uphold 


Uphold offers simple solution to trading multiple assets — open one account and trade multiple assets without making a trip back to cash. If you've every traded crypto, you'll know a lot of coins and tokens only trade in certain pairs, so you're always going back to BTC or ETH. But on Uphold, you can trade multiple assets directly.

Plus, Uphold is one of the few exchanges that allows you to trade XRP, DOGE, and more.

5. Kraken


Kraken is one of the original crypto trading platforms and they have a good selection of coins and tokens to trade and invest in. They also allow margin trading. However, it's a real exchange, and not as easy to use as some of the top platforms on this list. 

Kraken is one of the few platforms on this list that allow you to trade in DOGE and other, more risky, tokens.

Note: Kraken offers a limited section of coins and tokens to US customers versus international customers.

6. eToro


eToro has been around for a while in the UK and throughout Europe, but they are now allowing traders in the United States. They offer a huge variety of digital assets to buy and sell on their platform, and even better, they have a practice trading account so you can give it a try before you actually use real funds.

Right now, eToro is offering a $50 bonus to new customers who open an account and trade $1,000 worth of crypto before August 31, 2021.

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.

7. Bitcoin IRA


Bitcoin IRA is a little different than the other platforms here. Unlike most exchanges and wallets, you're basically just exchanging currency and are subject to paying taxes on your gains (learn how taxes on your cryptocurrencies work here).

With that being said, Bitcoin IRA combines the best of being a crypto wallet and exchange, with also being an IRA. That means that your gains inside the account are tax free or tax deferred. 

8. Crypto.com


Crypto.com is one of the largest and fastest growing crypto exchanges. It's based in Hong Kong, but offers a ton of support for US-based customers.

Right now, you can have access to over 90 tokens and coins worldwide, and 50 tokens and coins if you're in the United States. Plus, the offer solid rates on their crypto savings accounts.

The only major drawback is that it's only app-based at this time, there is no desktop platform.

9. Binance 


A great platform for getting into some currencies like Cardano or Neo. Not as easy to use as some of the top platforms on this list, but they do have one of the most robust trading platforms out there. They do have a decent mobile app, but again, not as easy to use and we've been frustrated with it. Try Binance here.

Note: Binance.us is the US-version of the platform and has limited coins and tokens to invest in versus the international version of Binance.9. Binance 
A great platform for getting into some currencies like Cardano or Neo. Not as easy to use as some of the top platforms on this list, but they do have one of the most robust trading platforms out there. They do have a decent mobile app, but again, not as easy to use and we've been frustrated with it. Try Binance here.

Note: Binance.us is the US-version of the platform and has limited coins and tokens to invest in versus the international version of Binance.

10. Hodlnaut


If you're looking for an alternative to trading cryptocurrencies, check out Hodlnaut. Hodlnaut is a savings and lending platform that focuses on Bitcoin and several stablecoins.

Right now, you can earn up to 6.2% on your bitcoin and up to 10.5% on your USDC through saving and lending options on their platform. 

How To Invest In Bitcoin


Investing in BTC is similar to investing in stocks, except far more volatile because of the daily swings in BTC. Here are the steps to invest in stocks from the beginning:

Open a brokerage account at a firm that allows crypto investments
Deposit funds from your bank into the brokerage account.
Buy a stock using deposited funds (cash balance).
Later sell the stock for a gain or loss. Funds are returned to your cash balance.
The main difference with BTC is for step three; you buy BTC or another cryptocurrency instead of stock.

With BTC, the above flow is similar in most cases but it depends on the exchange or trading platform. In some cases, you can buy BTC using your credit card or by transferring funds from your bank account.

For other platforms, you must transfer BTC directly. This is known as a direct deposit of BTC.

We’ll discuss how to invest in BTC for US citizens. The methods vary across countries because of differences in laws and regulations. Some countries require more private information than others to verify you are legitimate.

How To Deposit USD To Buy Bitcoin And Crypto
Coinbase is one of the most popular platforms and has a straightforward process. Some of the mentioned websites below will follow this same process. We love Coinbase because you get $5 if you open an account.

With Coinbase, you open a Coinbase account and link your bank account or credit card. Then transfer funds from your bank account to purchase BTC or purchase using your credit card. Credit card purchases of BTC are the most expensive.

The mechanics of purchasing BTC involve entering a USD amount or a BTC amount. The website will then convert the other currency.

For example, if you enter in 500 USD, the website will fill in the BTC side with 0.0357 (or what ever the current BTC exchange rate is).

Once you have the amount filled in, click to purchase your BTC. While credit card transactions cost the most, they are also the fastest to complete BTC transactions. 

Bank accounts can take up to a few days. Keep in mind that you will get the exchange rate at the time you purchased BTC. 

If BTC goes up 1000 by the time your transaction completes three days later, you’ll miss out on the rise.

Where exactly does the BTC you’ve purchased go? After all, you haven’t invested it yet. Your BTC sits in what’s called a digital wallet. Most all exchanges have their own wallet that you use to contain your BTC.

Going back to the brokerage example, your cash balance is used to trade stocks. BTC in your wallet is used to trade BTC.

What about your USD?

Your wallet has a space for BTC and USD. If you deposit 10,000 USD and buy 5,000 USD of BTC, your wallet will look like this:

5,000 USD

0.34    BTC

Wallets are a big topic of discussion when talking about cryptocurrencies. We won’t go into depth with them but you can use a stand-alone wallet if you don’t want to use the exchange’s wallet. Electrum.org is one example of a stand-alone wallet. This can be desktop, mobile or website based.

You can even use a hardware wallet such as LedgerWallet.com.

Once you’ve deposited funds with the exchange of choice and purchased BTC, you’re ready to invest. Trading platforms on the exchanges look very similar to brokerage platforms.

You’ll have a chart and buy/sell buttons with the amount of BTC to trade.

When trading in BTC, you can exchange into other cryptocurrencies, which is another method for selling BTC. Or you can exchange out of another cryptocurrency and into BTC, which is the same as buying BTC.

Direct Deposit Of BTC
In the case that the exchange doesn’t allow purchasing BTC by transferring funds or using a credit card, you can deposit BTC from another exchange.

This is done by getting your wallet address from the target exchange. Then enter it on the source exchange along with the amount of BTC to transfer to the new exchange.

The transaction takes a few minutes for the exchanged BTC to appear in the target wallet.

Common Cryptocurrency Exchange Questions
Here are some of the most common questions we get when it comes to our picks fr the best cryptocurrency exchanges.

What features are important to look at when deciding on an exchange?

There are a few major features we consider, including the number of tokens and coins available, the price or commission charged, the ease of use, the security of the platform, the customer service, and the features (such as cryptocurrency savings accounts).

What's the difference between a crypto exchange and a crypto wallet?

A wallet is designed for safe storage of your cryptocurrency. An exchange is designed to allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrency easily and quickly. A wallet will hold your private keys security, while when you use an exchange, you provide the exchange your private keys. The exchange then acts as your custodian.

How do you buy cryptocurrency?

You open an account at any of these exchanges, deposit your funds, and then you can "exchange" your USD or fiat currency for the cryptocurrency of your choosing. Some cryptocurrency only have specific pairs they trade with, so depending on what you want to buy, you may need to buy something like Bitcoin, and then exchange the Bitcoin for another token.

How much money do you need to get started?

You can get started with most of these exchanges with as little as $5. 

Methodology
The College Investor is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions around complex financial topics like figuring out the best cryptocurrency exchange. We do this by providing unbiased reviews of the top bitcoin and crypto platforms for our readers, and then we aggregate those choices into this list.

We have chosen crypto exchanges based on our opinions of how easy they are to use, the availability of tokens and coins on their platform, their costs and fees, their trustworthiness and security, and a variety of other factors. We believe that our list accurately reflects the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the marketplace for investors.

Info: Without link data


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