If you want to buy and sell cryptocurrency easily, you’ll need a cryptocurrency app. In this article, we’ll go over the four best cryptocurrency apps you can use to get into and out of the crypto market anytime you want.
You’ll see that the best crypto apps have low fees, great coin selection, and excellent security. So we’ve rounded up our top picks that excel in these categories.
Whether you’re a buy-and hold investor, crypto user, or day trader, chances are you’ll find that one of these apps will suit your needs.
The Best Crypto Apps
Coinbase - Largest North American user base of any crypto app, great for beginners
Kraken - An excellent exchange for serious traders
Crypto.com - Low fees, offers a debit card for instant withdrawals
Offers debit card purchases and Paypal withdrawals
Excellent security, has never been hacked
What We Don’t Like
Higher fees than other exchanges
Doesn’t allow advanced order types
Doesn’t carry some major cryptos, like Harmony and Fantom
If you’re looking for a huge selection of coins, you’ll like that Coinbase has one of the best coin selections of any crypto exchange in North America. It carries over 160 coins. Compare that to the average exchange selection of around 60 to 100 coins, and you can see why Coinbase has become the biggest crypto exchange out there.
It also doesn’t hurt that Coinbase is great for beginners, but we’ll get into that next.
Easy to use interface
Coinbase’s menus work similarly to an online bank account. There are no advanced order types such as “limit orders” or “stop losses,” and you don’t have to wait for your order to fill like you do on so many other exchanges. We found that this simple interface made it easy for beginners to buy and sell crypto without needing to read help files.
This simple interface may not be best for serious traders. But for casual users and buy-and-hold investors, it’s nice to have.
FYI: If you are a day trader who likes to use complex order types, you may prefer to use Coinbase Pro. It’s a separate app made for frequent traders.
Simple deposit and withdrawal methods
Coinbase allows you to deposit through bank transfer or debit card, and it lets you withdraw via regular bank transfer, instant transfer, or Paypal.
This means that you can get crypto into your wallet quickly using Coinbase, as long as you’re willing to pay a little extra (we’ll discuss fees below). It also means that you can make fast withdrawals from Coinbase should you need to dip into your crypto savings.
Coinbase also offers a debit card that allows you to spend cash or crypto directly from your exchange account.
Coinbase charges a spread of up to 2% on each trade. On top of this, it also charges a “Coinbase fee” for buying or selling crypto. This fee varies based on the amount of the purchase and the payment method used. It’s $0.99 to 1.49% for purchases made with a bank transfer and up to 3.99% for purchases made with a debit card.
Crypto sales also require a commission of up to 1.49%, but cash withdrawals are free if you make them using PayPal or the Coinbase card.
Overall, Coinbase’s fees are higher than those of many other exchanges, especially for users that do frequent, high-volume trading.
Kraken has low fees, especially for frequent or high-volume trading. It charges a commission of 0.1% to 0.26% per market order, depending on your 30-day trading volume. The higher the volume of trading you do per month, the lower the commissions will be.
Kraken may also charge up to $10 per deposit, depending on which intermediate bank is used by your bank to perform the transfer. So if you’re going to use Kraken, you may want to try to make large deposits infrequently rather than smaller, more frequent deposits.
You may also want to check with your bank to make sure there won’t be surprise charges on their end.
Beginner or advanced interface
One of the things we like most about Kraken is that it has both a simple and advanced interface. If you just want to make a quick trade, you can do this with the “Buy Crypto” button. But if you want to place limit orders, stop-losses, or other advanced order types, you can click “Trade” instead to get to an interface that will give you these options.
Which Kraken Mobile app is the right one?
One drawback to Kraken is that it requires multiple mobile apps if you want to trade on the go, and some users have had difficulty figuring out which app is the right one. The regular Kraken app is the only one that can be used to make deposits or withdrawals, but Kraken Pro is required if you want to make complex order types.
Kraken Futures is a third mobile app that is supposed to let you trade futures. But futures trading at Kraken is currently not available in the U.S.
The bottom line is that most mobile users will need Kraken only. If you are a day trader or scalper, you may need both Kraken and Kraken Pro.
Pro Tip: If you trade from your desktop or laptop only, you can ignore this whole discussion, because there is only one web app for Kraken.
Crypto.com is known for its debit card program. The basic Visa card is available to all users, and it offers 1% cash back on all purchases. If you want to earn even more cash back, you can buy the app’s native coin, CRO, and stake it to get a higher-level debit card.
If you stake $400 worth of CRO, for example, you can receive the Ruby Steel Visa card, which will give you 2% cash back every time you spend your crypto. Or if you’re a serious crypto whale, you can stake $400,000 worth of CRO to get 8% cash back on every crypto spend.
History of reimbursement
Crypto.com was recently hacked and lost $30 million.1 However, it admitted that it was at fault, and it reimbursed all users immediately. None of its users lost any money from the hack.
We’ve always argued that an app’s reimbursement policies are one of the most important considerations for crypto security, since an app developer isn’t likely to cut corners if it knows it will be financially responsible for any breaches.
So we were happy to see that Crypto.com has quickly reimbursed users.
Crypto.com has low fees. It charges a commission of 0.4% or less on each trade. The greater your 30-day trading volume, the lower the commission will be. If you buy crypto with a debit card, the Crypto.com app will charge you an additional 2.99%.
What we like the most about Binance.US are its incredibly low fees. It charges just 0.1% per trade for even the lowest-volume traders. If you trade more than $50,000 per month, the fee is even lower. You can reduce your trading fees further by staking Binance’s native coin, Binance Coin (BNB).
FYI: The one outlier among Binance.US’ fees is the fee for credit card purchases, which is 4.5%.
Reputation and security
Binance.US is an affiliate of the offshore exchange Binance.com, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume.
Binance.US practices the same security and reimbursement policies that have made Binance.com trusted throughout the world. It holds a SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users) that protects users in case of a major hack, just like its parent exchange does.
An app for serious traders
Whereas some crypto apps are aimed more at beginners, Binance.US is definitely intended for more of the day trader crowd. Its interface allows for advanced order types like limit orders, stop-losses, and take-profit points, and it provides charts that you can draw on and add indicators to. So if you think of yourself as a sophisticated crypto trader, Binance.US may be the app for you.
These are the four best cryptocurrency apps. But you may be wondering how we tested these apps and how we determined that they were the best. We’ll explain that in the next section.
So how do we know which crypto apps are the best? We start out by looking at an app’s features, including its security, coin selection, fees, and deposit and withdrawal methods. Then we test its interface by creating an account, depositing funds, making a trade, and withdrawing funds.
For a cryptocurrency app to be great, it must have a good security record. So we start our investigation by researching the app’s history. Has it been hacked in the past? If so, did it reimburse users?
We also check within the interface to see if the exchange offers two-factor authentication (2FA). If an exchange doesn’t offer 2FA, it’s not secure enough to be rated one of the best.
Pro Tip: 2FA is a security feature that requires you to enter a code from your phone whenever you log in or make a withdrawal. This helps to prevent an attacker from using the “forgot my password” link to log into your account should your email account become compromised. It also helps to protect you in case your password is compromised.
If you’re planning to store large amounts of crypto for a long period of time, you may want to move it to a crypto wallet for further protection.
A great crypto app will have a wide selection of coins available in the U.S. Some app developers publish lists of supported coins. But these are not always up to date, and they sometimes list coins that are available outside the U.S. only.
So we always check the actual trading interface to determine how many coins are available.
We view an app’s public fee disclosure page to determine which fees are charged. A great crypto app will have fees that are at or below industry standards.
In the crypto world, beginner-oriented apps have slightly higher fees than ones made for experts. But these higher fees can be justified only if the app offers greater convenience, such as faster deposit and withdrawal options.
For the purposes of this guide, the most important test we perform is trying out the user interface itself. This allows us to see if the app is difficult to use or if there are stumbling blocks a user may encounter as they are learning how to use it.
Some apps don’t offer full functionality in the mobile version. We test the mobile version of each app to make sure it lets users deposit and withdraw as well as trade.
There are many different kinds of crypto apps. But the most widely used crypto apps are exchanges like Coinbase or Crypto.com. These are apps that let you buy and sell crypto. So when someone talks about a “crypto app,” this is usually what they mean.
There are several secure crypto apps available in the U.S., including Binance.US, Crypto.com, Coinbase, and Kraken. If you want even more security, you can transfer your crypto out of your exchange app and into a crypto wallet.
It all depends on what you want to use it for. Coinbase is great for beginners. Binance.US and Kraken are especially good for day traders and scalpers. If you want to spend crypto at any store, you may want to check out the Crypto.com app for its excellent debit card program.