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How to buy cryptocurrency in New York

The Empire State heavily restricts crypto trading — so look for licensed platforms.

Disclaimer: This page is not financial advice or an endorsement of digital assets, providers or services. Digital assets are volatile and risky, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Potential regulations or policies can affect their availability and services provided. Talk with a financial professional before making a decision. Finder or the author may own cryptocurrency discussed on this page.

New York State has strict laws around buying and selling cryptocurrency.

As a New York State resident, if you want to purchase crypto through a cryptocurrency exchange, you have a limited selection of exchanges to choose from. This is due to the fact that the New York State Department of Financial Services requires companies that conduct “virtual currency business activity” to obtain a BitLicense.

The BitLicense first came into effect in June 2015, and the process of obtaining a BitLicense has proven to be costly, tedious and time-intensive.

For this reason, many popular crypto exchanges – including Binance.US and Kraken – do not operate in New York State.

How to buy crypto in New York through an exchange

All registered crypto exchanges in New York support blue chip crypto assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), while some support over 100 of the 21,000+ altcoins on the market today.

1. Compare and sign up with a crypto exchange.

When comparing exchanges look at things like the number of coins supported, supported payment methods, and any extra features you might like to use, like an NFT marketplace or earning hub.

You can find a list of exchanges available in New York below.

SoFi Invest Crypto

Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

Founded in 2011, this popular fintech offers multiple options for investing, including crypto. Lists 21 cryptocurrencies that include BTC, ETH, DOGE, LTC, SOL and ADA. No account minimum, and free financial counseling. Charges 1.25% markup on crypto transactions, supporting purchases of $10 to $50,000, with limits on select coins. You can't transfer crypto to external wallets or accounts.

Robinhood Crypto

Finder Rating: 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Founded in 2013 as a traditional investment app, you can now buy up to seven cryptocurrencies through Robinhood, including BTC, ETH, LTC and DOGE. No fees to buy and sell crypto and no account minimum. But you can't withdraw crypto funds from your Robinhood account.

Bitstamp Cryptocurrency Exchange

Founded in 2011, Bitstamp was the first nationally licensed Bitcoin exchange in the world. It supports 45 cryptocurrencies that include BTC, ETH and LTC. It also allows for multiple deposit methods, but with trading, deposit and withdrawal fees that depend on the method. Accepts USD, EUR, GBP and CHF.

Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange

Finder Rating: 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Founded in 2014, Gemini lists more than 40 coins that include BTC, ETH, SUSHI and DOGE. Transaction fees depend on your transaction amount, starting at $0.99 for a transaction of up to $10. No deposit fees with crypto or wire transfers, though you'll pay 3.49% of your total purchase amount with a debit card transfer, according to Gemini. No account minimum.

Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange

Finder Rating: 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Founded in 2012, Coinbase lists more than 50 coins that include BTC, ETH and DOGE. Its conversion fee ranges from 0.50% to 2.0% and is calculated based on when you place your order, your payment method and market conditions, according to Coinbase's pricing and fee disclosures. You must have at least $2 in your account to buy.

Webull Cryptocurrency Exchange

Webull's holding company is Chinese, but it's a U.S. company that's registered in New York. Founded in 2017, Webull is an electronic trading platform to buy crypto and stocks, and uses Apex Crypto for crypto trading. It lists 11 cryptocurrencies to date, including the big ones such as BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH and SOL. However, there are no stablecoins. Webull doesn't have its own crypto wallet, so while you can buy and sell crypto using the platform, you can't transfer it out of the application. Webull's mobile app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, both stores citing mostly-positive reviews

2. Sign up using a government-issued ID

Once you’ve chosen an exchange, keep in mind that all licensed exchanges in New York are required to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.
These regulations require you to provide proof of a government-issued ID, your social security number and other important information to verify your identity when signing up for an account.

3. Buy your coins or tokens.

After you’ve created an account with an exchange, select and purchase the coins you want.
Once you’ve made a purchase, please understand that you technically do not have full ownership over the coins or tokens you’ve purchased yet. Instead, the exchange holds them on your behalf.

To have full ownership over your crypto assets, you must move them out of your exchange account into a non-custodial crypto wallet. This ensures you have total control over your funds and removes the risks associated with holding your coins on an exchange.

4. Get a non-custodial crypto wallet.

A non-custodial crypto wallet is a type of software or a combination of hardware and software that helps you to store the private keys to your crypto assets. You can think of private keys like the password to your crypto.

When you purchase a crypto asset from a centralized exchange like Coinbase, the private keys for your crypto asset are kept in a wallet on that exchange. This type of wallet is often referred to as a custodial wallet.

You don’t actually have control over the asset you’ve purchased until you move the asset into a non-custodial wallet.

As mentioned, non-custodial wallets include software and hardware wallets.

Software wallets remain connected to the internet at all times and are slightly less trustworthy than hardware wallets because of this.
These types of wallets include MetaMask, Exodus Wallet and Atomic Wallet.

Hardware wallets help you to store the private keys to your digital assets offline. See our review of the best crypto hardware wallets on the market to learn more.

For a more extensive overview of crypto wallets, see our overview of the best crypto wallets on the market today.

Keeping your crypto secure

All centralized exchanges, including , are vulnerable to counterparty risks like hacking, theft and insolvency. Using a self-custodial or hardware wallet is widely accepted as the best way to improve the security of your funds. We've shared some of our top picks below.

Ledger Nano X Wallet

Trezor Model T Wallet

Go to site
Go to site

Supported assets


Supported assets


Price (USD)


Price (USD)


Details about New York crypto laws and BitLicense

New York passed crypto regulation in June 2015 that requires businesses to register for a BitLicense to operate a crypto business legally in the state.

Regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in the state are developing and change frequently.

Currently, a cryptocurrency business in New York is required to get a BitLicense if it:

  • Receives cryptocurrency for transmission or transmits cryptocurrency.
  • Stores, holds or maintains custody of cryptocurrency on the behalf of others.
  • Allows customers to buy or sell cryptocurrencies.
  • Allows customers to perform exchanges of cryptocurrencies.
  • Controls, administers or issues a cryptocurrency.

Many startup crypto exchanges looking to plant roots in New York struggle due to the cost and time involved in getting a BitLicense.

CoinDesk calls the regulations stifling, saying it “prevents crypto startups from growing their operations in one of the world’s premier financial hubs.”

While part of the purpose of the BitLicense is consumer safety, the BitLicense inhibits competition amongst crypto exchanges in New York and gives crypto enthusiasts in New York fewer options for purchasing cryptocurrencies.

Crypto coins in New York

Different exchanges and platforms available to New York residents support different crypto coins and tokens.
Regulations in New York limit the coins and tokens you can purchase. So, not only do exchanges have to have a BitLicense to operate in New York, but the crypto assets that they sell have to be approved, as well.

Coins and tokens pre-approved for listing in New York

The New York State Department of Financial Services has published a “Greenlist” – or a list of coins and tokens pre-approved for exchange listings.

Approved crypto assets as of July 2020 include:

  • Binance USD (BUSD)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Pax Gold (PAXG)
  • Paxos Standard (PAX)

Entities may also self-certify coins to be listed, which is why exchanges like Coinbase can list DOGE even though it’s not on the official Greenlist. These coins are also tracked by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Is available in New York?

No. is not available in New York.

New York is the only state in the US in which residents cannot use

The platform is currently taking steps to obtain a BitLicense so that it can serve New York residents in the future.

Is KuCoin licensed to operate in New York?

No. Though plenty of Redditors talk about using KuCoin to bypass the law, it is not licensed to do business in New York or in any US state for that matter. If you use a VPN or other illegal workarounds to access KuCoin, you could face legal consequences.

Instead of KuCoin, consider an exchange like Coinbase which offers over 200 different cryptocurrencies.

Can I use Binance in New York?

No, New York residents can’t use Binance or Binance.US. Neither are licensed to operate in New York State.

Instead you can use one of the many exchanges listed here which are all available to residents of New York State.

Is Bitcoin legal in New York?

Yes, Bitcoin (BTC) is legal to buy and sell in New York state.

How do I buy XRP in New York?

Ripple’s native token, XRP, is a little harder to find in New York. Bitstamp is the only licensed exchange in New York that supports the token.

How do I buy Shiba Inu in New York?

You can buy Shiba Inu (SHIB) on multiple exchanges and brokerages in New York, such as Robinhood, Coinbase and Gemini.

How do I buy Dogecoin in New York?

You can buy Dogecoin (DOGE) on multiple exchanges and brokerages in New York including Robinhood, Coinbase and Gemini.

Know before you buy crypto

Before you throw yourself headlong into the world of crypto, know how to protect yourself against theft or loss:

  • Read the fine print. Marketplaces and exchanges often aren’t liable if bad actors get access to your digital wallet or assets. Learn about the security measures in place to prevent access to your money.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing attempts are a common scam tactic in the crypto world. No exchange will ask you to confirm the password to your wallet or keys through email or by phone. Call the company directly to ask about suspicious contacts or anything else you’re not sure about.
  • Reputable exchanges require ID. Signing up with a reputable exchange site typically requires you to submit such personal information as your address, SSN and email.
  • Enable 2-FA. Reputable exchanges also often offer email verification and 2-factor authentication (2FA) in efforts to help you protect your account. Utilize these services as an extra precaution.
  • Cryptocurrency is volatile. The value of any coin can change in a matter of seconds, spelling major losses or gains that depend on interest and how much you invest.

How many people own Bitcoin in New York?

8% of New York adults currently own Bitcoin, according to an online Google survey of 1,036 people conducted across March 27-April 5 2022. However, an additional 5% said they don’t own Bitcoin yet but plan to buy some in 2022, meaning Bitcoin adoption in New York could hit 13% by the end of the year.

Ownership by gender

Men in New York are more likely to own Bitcoin than women. 13% of men own Bitcoin compared to 3% of women. Men that don’t own Bitcoin are also more likely to have plans to buy some this year – 6% compared to 4%. If they follow through with their plans that means the gap could be twelve percentage points by the end of the year.

Ownership by age

American adults ages 25-34 (12%) are the most likely to have Bitcoin in New York, followed by 18-24 (10%), 35-44 (9%), 55-64 (7%), and 45-54 (6%). Only 3% of adults 65+ responded currently owning Bitcoin.


Our data is based on a Google survey of 1,036 people conducted online from March 27, 2022, to April 5, 2022. We asked New Yorkers if they currently own Bitcoin and, if not, whether they plan to buy Bitcoin in 2022. We assume the participants in our survey represent the US population of 259.4 million Americans who are at least 18 years old, according to the world population review estimate. This assumption is made at the 95% confidence level with a 2.17% margin of error.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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