Where To Buy Cryptocurrencies In New York


    For those who do not want to read through this post, I'll post links below to where to buy cryptocurrencies.

Best Exchanges
Substitution Exchanges
Bitcoin Only Vendors
Terrible Exchanges
    You may have heard about cryptocurrencies in the news, online or plastered in advertisements somewhere.  You hear stories about people become wildly rich in a few years with only a few dollars in their pocket.  Believe it or not, it is actually very possible.  You as an individual, not wanting to miss out on the opportunities to amass great fortunes, decide to join in the craze.  You see advertisements for sellers of cryptocurrencies such as Crypto.com and Kraken  only to find out after trying to sign up, you learn they do not provide services to New Yorkers.

    You might end up scratching your head trying to learn why New Yorkers aren't allowed to buy Cryptocurrencies in New York.  Unique from other states, New York has special restrictions on which Cryptocurrency exchanges are permitted to sell to New Yorkers.  It part of a controversial regulation known as a Bitlicense.  Part of the intention is to hinder money laundering in New York.  It also regulates which exchanges are allowed to operate in New York, what services they are permitted to provide, and which cryptocurrencies are permitted to be sold in New York.

    I could bore you with the details on what the bitlicense does but it comes with upsides and drawbacks.  The benefit of the regulation has largely created a system in which only higher quality exchanges can obtain these licenses.  However, the burden of the cost of trying to comply with these regulations has some institutions walking away from servicing cryptocurrency customers in New York.  As the overall utility of Cryptocurrencies improve, there are more opportunities to obtain the cryptocurrencies you are looking for on internet applications called "decentralized exchanges", which can service customers in any part of the world and is absolutely legal to use New York.  Before you can use any of these decentralized exchanges, you first must acquire other cryptocurrencies through centralized exchanges, which you buy cryptocurrencies with dollars.

    In this page, I will go over the options of centralized exchanges available for people in New York.  Not all of them are created equally.

You can go to the New York State Department of Financial Services to find which exchanges are available but it is filled with institutions are permitted to operate in New York regarding cryptocurrencies but aren't necessarily exchanges in which you buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Below I will provide information on where to buy Cryptocurrencies in New York.


Gemini Exchange

  • Emphasis on Security
  • Offers Yield on Cryptocurrencies
  • Mostly Sells High Quality Cryptocurrencies
  • Large Selection of Cryptocurrencies
  • Offers Trading Platform
  • Pays for transaction fees to withdraw cryptocurrencies from exchange
  • Works and operates the same in New York as it does in any other state
  • Servers tends to operate when a high volume of trades are being performed
  • Besides Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Filecoin and ZCash, most of the cryptocurrencies sold are ERC-20 tokens restricted to the Ethereum Blockchain
  • Initial account setup can be frustrating
    If you are cryptocurrency investor in New York, using Gemini should be a no brainer.  The same exact services you get in New York are exactly the same in any other state.  I find the service reasonably easy to use.

    The selection of Cryptocurrencies are largely high quality cryptocurrencies, however most of the cryptocurrencies are ERC-20 tokens native to the Ethereum platform.  There is a reason for this.  The founders of the exchange, Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, have noted three major reasons; 

  1. The Ethereum Ecosystem represents 95% of the cryptocurrency market
  2. Other Cryptocurrencies are still in development for their own ecosystems
  3. ETH2.0, it's proof of stake model, is coming out very shortly which could leave other ecosystems in the dust.
    Pound for pound, if I had to choose to buy crypto from two competing exchanges, I mainly buy them on Gemini.  I only use other exchanges because they will have cryptocurrencies not available on Gemini.

    You definitely need to keep on top of how your account is setup.  The Gemini exchange has a heavy focus on security.  If you ever decide to withdraw your cryptocurrencies from the exchange, you will need to have a list of whitelisted addresses on where you want to send your cryptocurrencies.  So there are "no accidental" sent cryptocurrencies from one address to another.

    Another fantastic service they offer is Gemini Earn, a crypto lending program that offers in-kind yield on your crypto.  If you are looking to get more of the cryptocurrencies you love, Gemini Earn is a great way to gain more crypto while waiting.  Think of it like a bank that pays interest.

    A problem with using other Crypto Exchanges in New York is the differential services they provide New York Customers.  This shouldn't be too much of a deal breaker but it does require a little extra leg work when researching crypto.  Another leading exchange in New York, coinbase, provides services in other states that is NOT provided in New York.  That means you always need to be watching out for those pesky asterisks that say "*Not Available in New York."  Because of the Bitlicense Laws, you sometimes feel like you are in a different country all together.

    There are times when the cryptocurrencies are becoming very active, with people either trying to dump their cryptocurrencies or buy the dip.  It isn't unusual for servers to become overwhelmed with market orders and not be able to execute market orders.  Among the largest Exchanges, Gemini is able to handle that volume load.

    The only serious complaint I have is the double edge security protocols.  It is great the exchange puts a premium on the security of their funds.  If you are going to withdraw cryptocurrencies from Gemini, make sure you have all your cryptocurrency addresses in check.  Gemini requires you have a "whitelisting" of addresses before you make any withdrawals and takes 7 days before you are allowed to withdraw your crypto to that white listed address.  It can be a bad predicament when you consider how fast the crypto markets act.



  • Very Easy to Use
  • Get Free Crypto with the Coinbase Earn program
  • Earn Interest on some cryptocurrencies
  • Large selection of cryptocurrencies
  • Supports multiple smart contract platform
  • Provided additional market information, news and data on cryptocurrencies, including ones not sold on Coinbase

  • Security isn't a default feature, you must set it up
  • Services and Cryptocurrencies provided in other states are not provided in New York
  • Some cryptocurrencies offered are not high grade cryptocurrencies        

    Between Gemini and Coinbase, having accounts with these two as New Yorkers is a must.  This will give you the largest array of selection of cryptocurrencies to use.  Nearly all other cryptocurrency exchanges available in New York can easily be ignored.

    Gemini tends to be my default go to exchange for buying cryptocurrencies. The primary weakness of Gemini as stated before it only supports the Ethereum smart contract.  Currently, we are seeing an emergence of new smart contract platforms arrive in cryptocurrencies; Polkadot, Atom, Avax, Cardano and Solana just to name a few.  For this reason, I actually spend money on coinbase for this reason.

    One major caveat about Coinbase in my opinion is coin selection. Gemini tends to choose more quality projects to sell to clients.  When buying cryptocurrenies from Gemini, projects are better curated.  Coinbase is much more agnostic in their offerings. They’ll go as far as sell coins like Ethereum Classic which has been dead in the water for years.  You definitely need to do more due diligence when buying cryptocurrencies on coinbase.
    Coinbase also has a service called “Coinbase Earn”, which educates the public on the cryptocurrencies they offer on their platform. It isn’t all that much, about $3 for a cryptocurrency, but it is a good way to catch some of the developments going on in crypto as a whole.  And hey, free stuff is free stuff. public on the cryptocurrencies they offer on their platform. It isn’t all that much, about $3 for a cryptocurrency, but it is a good way to catch some of the developments going on in crypto as a whole.  And hey, free stuff is free stuff.

    Another nice feature is the information feed on coinbase.  You can do research and gather data on coinbase about cryptocurrencies that aren’t even sold on coinbase.  I wouldn’t call it the best place to do research but it is worth checking out. Like Gemini, you can earn yield on your cryptocurrencies.  It isn’t really worth stressing on about given that Gemini’s Earn program is superior to Coinbase’s interest earning program.  However, Coinbase does offer an interesting collateral loan model.  You can actually borrow money against your Bitcoin as collateral.

    One thing you have to be careful about coinbase is security.  Gemini requires a lot of security demands for their clients to make sure funds are safe with things like 2FA and whitelisted cryptocurrency wallets.  With coinbase, you need to make sure you have all the security is setup for your account.  Without a proper setup, anybody with your account information can easily steal money from you.

 Although not a deal breaker, there are differences in the services provided to New Yorkers.  This is going to require a little extra leg work in terms of research.  If you aren’t getting information from within the app, you always needs to be looking for that askerisk that says “*except in New York.”

Substitution Exchanges

The whole purpose of mentioning these additional exchanges is for two purposes:
  • To have alternative ways to buy and sell cryptocurrencies just in case coinbase or gemini shuts down.
  • To reveal additional options in case you don't like Gemini or Coinbase for whatever reason.



  • Inexpensive Fees
  • Fairly Large Selection of Cryptocurrencies
  • Easy to Use


  • Simply Not as good as Gemini and Coinbase
  • Crypto withdrawal fees 

I have nothing bad to say about Bitstamp.  Most of the cryptocurrencies they sell are solid projects.  However, just about everything they offer can be found on Coinbase and Gemini.  It is one of the oldest surviving cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.  When you know the history of cryptocurrency exchanges, you’ll know that is quite a feat.  It is better thought of as a slimmer version of Gemini or Coinbase.



  • Fee Free Trading


  • Small Selection of Cryptocurrencies to Buy
  • Crypto Withdrawal fees

This exchange is ideal for people looking to do day trades.  Some people have ZERO interest in acquiring more cryptocurrencies and have an interest in acquiring more Dollars.  I have the goal of actually acquiring more Cryptocurrencies. So why is this exchange great for day traders?  Their standard exchange allows you to buy cryptocurrencies for free.  There might be a spread on which they make their money on but nonetheless, there is no fee.  There is an instantaneous spot trade cost which is significantly lower than any other exchange.

itBit (paxos)


  • Best OTC Market in Crypto


  • Extremely Sparse Selection of Cryptocurrencies
The itBit exchange itself isn’t all that great for retail customers. Most of their business is related to their OTC offerings.  I think what the company does is great.  They created a synthetic digital gold asset that can be used on the blockchain and be redeemed from the London Metal Exchange.  The Stablecoin they created is top notch as well.  But as an exchange, it doesn’t have much to offer.  itBit is mainly used to offer other companies an API to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, such as paypal.



  • Service includes integrated algo trading service


  • Scarce selection of Cryptocurrencies 

This is another trader platform for cryptocurrency.  You’re better off using Bitflyer instead of ErisX for trading.  However, the one advantage of this platform is it’s algo trading platform. But if you are interested in an Algo service, you ought look into the Cultivate Crypto Algo Service by Charlie.

Bitcoin only vendors

There are places to buy only Bitcoin.  As an exchange, it really isn’t worth it.  However, let us assume you need some cash immediately.  Under other exchanges, you first need to sell your crypto, then wait 5 to 7 days to go through an ACH, then you get the money in your bank account.  In this system, you can get it immediately.  

Cash App

    The cash app is an interesting place.  You can use it to buy stocks, Bitcoin, use it as a bank account.  The only reason to use the Cash App is as another way to get money in and out of crypto.  Maybe you want a seamless way of taking dividends from stocks to buy more crypto.

LibertyX and Coinsource

    They are basically Bitcoin vending machines.  You can turn your physical cash into Bitcoin or turn your Bitcoin into cash immediately.  Great Idea to own a Bitcoin Vending machine if you own a strip club and have clients who need to chuck dollars at dancers.

Terrible Exchanges

These places are terrible places to purchase cryptocurrencies. Why?  As it stands of writing this, you can’t gain personal custody or control of it.  Likewise, there are already better alternatives available.  None the less, I’ll list them.


I’ll admit, I actually used Robinhood to buy my first Ethereum and Litecoin.  I actually regret it.  There are apparently plans to offer ways to take crypto off of Robinhood but there are conditions being tied to it.


The reality about cryptocurrencies on paypal is the fact that it ties itself to the itBit (Paxos) exchange.  You’re basically using the itBit exchange without being able to make a withdrawal from it.  Just use itBit.


Believe it or not, they offer a fairly good selection of cryptocurrencies.  It just happens to be a poor place to buy them because You cannot withdraw them from the exchange.


At this point, what did you expect?

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