Despite recent setbacks, cryptocurrency has remained a wildly popular new asset class for investors. Among the top Google searches for 2022, Bitcoin beat out TikTok, Apple and NFL, and almost topped “restaurants near me.”
At last count, there were more than 20,000 cryptocurrency projects worldwide, and there are now around 295 million crypto users in total, according to Debthammer, with 20% of them located in the U.S.
If you’re interested in buying cryptocurrency, you need to open an account with a crypto exchange. There are around 500 examples to choose from, and Forbes Advisor combed through the leading players to determine the best crypto exchanges for both new and experienced investors.
The Best Crypto Exchanges of October 2022
- Robinhood Crypto
- Webull Crypto
- TradeStation Crypto
Buying crypto within cash and payment apps
A number of cash and peer-to-peer payment apps now allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin. On balance, these apps are more limited in what they offer than the exchanges and brokers above.
CashApp, a peer-to-peer money transfer system run by Square, allows users to purchase and sell Bitcoin. Unlike other cash apps noted here, Cash App allows users to transfer their Bitcoin to their own cryptocurrency wallet. Cash App charges a fee depending on price volatility and market trading volume, which it reveals at the time of purchase.
Cash App limits Bitcoin withdrawals up to $7,500 within any seven-day period.
PayPal allows users to purchase and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Fees include an estimated 0.5% trading fee (this may vary depending on market conditions) and a tiered transaction fee that amounts to $2.49 for $200 in Bitcoin.
PayPal allows purchases to be made with crypto where available, but you will need to pay taxes on the sale of Bitcoin on top of any taxes related to the purchase of the goods or service.
Venmo also offers Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Venmo, which is owned by the same company as PayPal, has a similar fee structure: estimated 0.5% trading cost, with a fee structure that amounts to $2.49 on a $200 purchase.
How do we review cryptocurrency platforms?
NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks platforms and companies that allow U.S. customers to buy and/or sell cryptocurrency. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.
For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.