How to buy Bitcoin in New York

Here’s how to buy crypto and earn interest on crypto if you’re a New York resident

How to buy Bitcoin in New York

If you’re a resident of New York state, then you may have discovered that not all cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to buy crypto through them. Since the introduction of Virtual Currency Business Activity Licenses, also known as BitLicenses by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) back in 2015, New York state residents can only purchase crypto assets from select licensed crypto exchanges.

Can you buy crypto in New York?

Of the more than a hundred crypto exchanges and other crypto asset management sites, only 20 or so are registered with the NYDFS.  The limited number of crypto asset sites allowed to operate in New York State leaves only a few choices for purchasing Bitcoin and other crypto assets.

Which crypto exchanges are allowed to operate in New York?

Coinbase Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms globally, boasting over 30 million users in 100 countries. One of the oldest crypto exchanges, Coinbase, was founded by Fred Ehrsam and Brian Armstrong in 2012. Initially, they only sold Bitcoin to customers but have morphed into one of the busiest exchanges in the crypto world.

Pros

  • Healthy selection of currencies
  • Has never been hacked
  • One of the easiest interfaces for beginners to use

Cons

  • High fees
  • Customer support is iffy
  • Website prone to crashes

Coinbase Pro

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A subsidiary of Coinbase, Coinbase Pro has rapidly become one of the crypto world’s go-to exchanges primarily due to its intuitive and simple platform for users and low fees.

Pros

  • Being a subsidy of Coinbase, its user interface is intuitive and easy to use
  • Insured against platform hacks
  • High liquidity

Cons

  • Customer support is lackluster
  • Trading fees for retail investors is high

Bitpay

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BitPay started as a merchant processor in 2011 founded by Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair. Its user interface is intuitive and easy to use. The BitPay app is a secure, non-custodial open source wallet app that enables customers to buy, store, swap and spend crypto that is based on the company’s open-source CoPay open-source wallet.

Pros

  • Ability to pay in your own currency
  • Easy to use
  • They offer a crypto-powered debit card

Cons

  • Bitpay was hacked back in 2015, but CoPay has never been hacked

BitStamp

Bitstamp

Originally based out of Luxembourg and founded in 2011 by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak in a garage for a mere €1,000, BitStamp has grown to become one of Europe’s top crypto exchanges.

Pros

  • Great Customer Support
  • Supports Fiat currency payment to buy cryptocurrency

Cons

  • The user interface is complicated to use
  • It’s a peer-to-peer sale – you are not buying coins from the exchange itself.

Gemini

Gemini

Started in 2018 by financier Zac Prince, the platform offers multiple financial services, including interest-bearing accounts, crypto trading accounts, loans backed by crypto assets as collateral, and crypto-backed credit cards.

Pros

  • Backed by major financial lenders like Fidelity and SoFi
  • Mostly no-fee or low-fee services
  • Pays one of the best interest rates on Bitcoin accounts
  • New York City-based company

Cons

  • The user interface more difficult to understand for a novice user

Nexo

Nexo

Noted for one of the earliest exchanges to provide loans backed by crypto assets, Nexo is a cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easy to get loans in fiat currency against your crypto assets. Based in Switzerland, this crypto trading platform is operating in over 100 countries.

Pros

  • It is well-insured against platform hacks.
  • High-yield interest-earning accounts
  • Simple to use and intuitively designed app for users at all levels.

Cons

  • Few, if any tutorials for new users.
  • Cannot purchase cryptocurrencies on the Nexo Platform itself

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Celsius

Celsius

Celsius is another player in the Decentralized Finance (or DeFi) industry that has risen to popularity recently due to its controversial lending practices in making uncollateralized loans to wealthy clients. It has also gained momentum due to ease in finding loans in fiat currency at minimal interest.

Pros

  • User-friendly mobile app.
  • Great Rewards Program
  • Can disburse payments instantly via Celpay program

Cons

  • Limited choice of cryptocurrencies
  • Very few learning resources for new users

Which crypto exchange do we recommend if you’re in New York?

After weighing all the pros and cons, we would recommend buying your Bitcoin and crypto as a New York resident from Coinbase. For those looking to earn interest on their crypto, we recommend Nexo. Both of these platforms are well-funded with high liquidity, have not had any significant security or hacking issues, and are highly trusted platforms overall.

Which crypto exchanges can you earn interest within New York?

Due to reporting requirements of NYDFS and other entanglements, interest-earning accounts can only be opened on the following exchanges:

  1. Nexo (recommended)
  2. Gemini
  3. Coinbase

In conclusion, the NYDFS requirements for granting BitLicenses may create less choice regarding where one can buy a Bitcoin if a New Yorker. Still, it has proven to protect the average New York resident against fraud or misrepresentation by a website touting investment opportunities in the crypto world.