Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA

Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA

Explore our top 5 picks for the best crypto exchanges in the USA, focusing on security and adherence to financial regulations.

Summary: The United States has become a leader in the global cryptocurrency scene. With over 40% of the entire population owning digital currencies, various platforms have emerged to serve the U.S. trading community. Regulation falls under the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which works to ensure that these exchanges comply with financial laws.

For American investors starting their digital asset investment journey, here is a guide to the top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges in the USA:

  1. Kraken - Best Crypto Exchange in the USA
  2. Uphold - Transparent Crypto Exchange
  3. Gate.io - Most Diverse Cryptocurrency Selection
  4. eToro - Recommended for Multiple Asset Classes
  5. Coinbase - Leading American Crypto Exchange
Best Crypto Exchange in the USA
5.0 out of 5.0 by Datawallet.
Kraken stands out as the best platform for cryptocurrency trading in the USA due to its impressive combination of high security, regulatory compliance, and a diverse range of over 250 digital assets.
Licensing & Regulation
Supported Assets
200+ Cryptocurrencies to trade and stake.
USD Deposit Methods
ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card, Plaid and more.

Kraken is a regulated U.S. entity with FinCEN registration and a Special Purpose Depository Institution charter in Wyoming for digital asset-related services.

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Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the USA

Our team has evaluated the 23 cryptocurrency platforms available in the United States to find the best options for American traders. Our assessment covered factors such as regulatory compliance with the SEC and FinCEN, user experience, fee structures, supported cryptocurrencies, USD deposit methods, trading options, and additional features. Below is a comparison table showcasing the top 5 exchanges in the USA:

Trading Fees
Regulatory Licenses
Key Features
Maker Fees 0.016% & Taker Fees 0.26%
Spot Trading, Futures, Staking & More
1% Fee and 1% Spread
The FCA and FinCEN
Staking, Supports Metals (Gold & Silver) & More
Maker Fees 0.1% and Taker Fees 0.2%
Offshore and Not US-Regulated
Widest Altcoin Variety, Futures, Options & More
4,500 (Cryptos, Stocks & ETFs)
0% Fees and 1% Spread (Variable)
The FCA, FinCEN, ASIC & More
Multiple Asset Classes & Most Regulated
1.49% Fee and 1% Spread
The FinCEN and SEC-Licensed
Staking, Margin, DeFi Wallet & More

1. Kraken

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange based in San Fransisco that services 10 million registered users across the United States and 180 other countries. The platform has a staggering $200 billion in quarterly trading volume across both spot and futures order books. It offers a diverse portfolio of over 200 cryptocurrencies to for spot and derivatives trading with 5x leverage on select contracts.

The exchange prioritizes transparency and regularly undergoes external audits to show all users funds are held on a 1:1 basis and accessible 24/7. Another popular feature is the rewarding staking service that allows you to earn annual yields as high as 28% (APY) on 30 digital currencies. Kraken Pro caters to the needs of advanced traders and institutional investors with its competitive spreads, robust liquidity, OTC Desk and high deposit limits.

  • Fee Structure: Maker fees are 0.01%, taker fees are 0.02% for futures, and spot trading fees are 0.1%.
  • Available Assets: Over 200 spot markets and 100 futures contracts.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN (‘Payward Ventures, Inc.’, MSB Registration No. 31000239561651).
  • USD Funding Options: ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card, FedWire, Plaid, and Zelle.
Best Crypto Exchanges USA - Kraken

2. Uphold

Uphold is an exchange based in New York, showcasing a diverse offering of over 260 digital assets, plus other traditional financial instruments. In addition to crypto, it supports four precious metals and 27 fiat currencies. The platform adheres to stringent regulations under the oversight of FiNCEN, providing a regulated trading environment for American users. Its standout feature is its staking services, with opportunities to earn up to 21% APY.

Its reputation in the U.S. market is enhanced by its unwavering commitment to transparency and security. It is one of the few exchanges providing an audited proof-of-reserves, assuring users of the safety of their funds and confirming that all assets are fully backed 1:1. This focus on clarity and reliability positions Uphold as a trusted and dependable choice for American investors.

  • Fee Structure: 1% trading fee and a 1% spread fee.
  • Available Assets: Over 260 cryptocurrencies, plus 27 fiat currencies and 4 precious metals.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Regulated by FinCEN and holds several state-issued licenses nationwide.
  • USD Funding Options: ACH, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

3. Gate.io

Gate.io is one of the most popular platforms in the United States, gaining recognition for its extensive range of altcoins. The platform stands out with an impressive selection of over 1,700 cryptocurrencies, making it an attractive choice for those interested in emerging sectors like BRC20s, AI coins, layer 2s, and meme coins. It has a significant 24-hour trading volume surpassing $5 billion and a global user base of over 14 million nationwide. 

The platform is enhanced by unique features such as automated trading bots, Gate Visa Card, copy trading services, demo account, crypto loans and staking with yields up to 499% APY available. There are also multiple order types supported, which includes spot, derivatives and options with up to 100x leverage.

  • Fee Structure: 0.1% for maker orders and 0.2% for taker orders.
  • Available Assets: Over 1,700 digital assets.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Based offshore in the Seychelles, it's not directly licensed in the U.S. but is accessible to American users.
  • USD Funding Options: Bank transfers, credit cards, and Apple Pay.
Gate.io USA

4. eToro

eToro is a powerful global trading platform for various financial investments. Its extensive offering includes over 4,500 assets, including a broad selection of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Additional traditional instruments include stocks, commodities, and ETFs like the Blackrock Bitcoin ETF, further enhancing its appeal to investors.

Compliance with regulations is a key pillar of eToro’s operations in the U.S., highlighted by its registration with FinCEN and a dedicated commitment to upholding strict financial protocols. This emphasis on regulatory compliance guarantees a trustworthy trading environment for American investors. The platform also extends to investments in crypto assets and related stocks, such as Microstrategy and Coinbase. 

  • Fees: eToro's fee structure is variable, typically around 1% for cryptocurrency.
  • Supported Assets: Over 4,500 cryptocurrencies, ETFs, stocks and commodities.
  • Regulation & Licensing: Registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) #31000204884179 with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
  • USD Funding Options: Bank transfers, credit cards and debit cards.
eToro USA

5. Coinbase

Coinbase is a trusted and thoroughly regulated cryptocurrency exchange based in San Francisco. Its position as a publicly traded entity on the NASDAQ adds a layer of trust and accountability uncommon in the crypto space. Its extensive cryptocurrency selection includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and more than 200 other altcoins, which can be traded on both spot and futures markets with up to 50x leverage.

A notable feature is the Coinbase Wallet, which allows users to securely engage with DeFi platforms and Base, their own Layer 2 network. Furthermore, Coinbase provides robust staking options, particularly appealing to institutional investors seeking to safely generate yields on assets like ETH, SOL, ATOM, and more. Despite its many offerings, the fee structure is higher than some competitors, with a 1.49% trading fee.

  • Fee Structure: 2% fee for deposits and withdrawals and a 1.49% trading fee, plus 1% spread.
  • Available Assets: Features over 200 cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the SEC as a NASDAQ-listed entity.
  • USD Funding Options: Bank Transfer and Debit or Credit Cards.

Is Crypto Regulated in the USA?

Cryptocurrency regulation in the USA is managed through a blend of federal oversight and diverse state laws. Federal agencies such as the SEC, CFTC, FTC, IRS, OCC, and FinCEN oversee various facets of digital assets. These bodies are actively involved, but comprehensive formal rules are still evolving. The U.S. Congress has introduced legislation like the Responsible Financial Innovation Act and the Toomey Stablecoin Bill to integrate digital assets into existing financial systems.

At the state level, approaches vary significantly. Some states like Wyoming and Utah have enacted laws to promote blockchain technology, recognizing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and establishing specialized financial institutions for digital assets. Other states have ramped up regulatory demands, requiring money transmitter licenses and strict compliance with securities laws, as seen in enforcement actions against major blockchain firms.

The definition of "cryptocurrency" remains non-uniform across the U.S., with terms like "virtual currency" and "digital assets" being used interchangeably. Efforts by the Biden Administration, including an Executive Order focusing on areas like consumer protection and financial stability, indicate a move towards establishing a balanced regulatory framework.

How is Crypto Taxed in the United States?

The IRS treats cryptocurrencies as property for tax purposes. According to IRS Notice 2014-21, gains from crypto transactions are taxable. Taxpayers must report these gains or losses on their tax returns, with tax rates based on the holding period. Cryptos held for more than a year fall under capital gains tax; those held for less than a year are taxed as ordinary income.

The IRS mandates thorough record-keeping for all cryptocurrency transactions. This involves documenting transaction dates, amounts, and the crypto’s fair market value at the time. The 2017 tax reform ended the practice of like-kind exchanges for cryptocurrencies, making such transactions taxable events.

Since January 2024, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires digital asset brokers to report transactions over $10,000 to the IRS. This reflects the growing regulatory attention on cryptocurrency transactions and the importance of compliance with tax reporting requirements in the U.S. cryptocurrency market.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the United States is a leader in the global cryptocurrency scene, supported by robust regulatory oversight and a growing number of local digital asset exchanges. Our analysis identified Kraken, Uphold, Gate.io, eToro, and Coinbase as the top cryptocurrency platforms for American traders based on regulatory compliance, user experience, fee structures, and available assets.

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