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How to buy cryptocurrency in Puerto Rico

This US terrority is becoming a hub for crypto investors.

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You can buy cryptocurrency if you live in Puerto Rico. Like other countries and US states, buying cryptocurrency requires a few simple steps, choosing a storage method and making decisions based on what you believe is a good investment.

How to buy cryptocurrency in Puerto Rico

Residents of Puerto Rico can buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat currency. Not all the regulations for the US apply to Puerto Rico — it’s not a state, but an unincorporated territory.

In the US, you’re required to report your crypto earnings to pay taxes because cryptocurrency is considered taxable income. However, residents of Puerto Rico don’t have to pay taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains from cryptocurrency earnings.

To buy crypto in Puerto Rico, there are three basic steps and a few things to understand before you get started.

Step 1: Compare exchanges

No matter where you live, ensure the cryptocurrency exchange you want to use is licensed to operate where you’re located.

Gemini is a top cryptocurrency exchange and is licensed to operate in Puerto Rico by the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions. Gemini lists 96 cryptocurrencies for Puerto Rico, including Bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Solana (SOL) and many others.

Our Top Pick: eToro Cryptocurrency Trading

N/A
Minimum Deposit
74
Cryptocurrencies
19
Fiat Currencies
  • Over 20 cryptocurrencies
  • Well-suited for beginners
  • Social trading feature
  • Trusted platform with insurance fund
  • US users can't access trading pairs
  • Fee structure confusing
  • Limited in altcoins
An online cryptocurrency and stock brokerage, and known as one of the first trading companies to support digital currency. It's also known for its 'social trading' feature that allows users to interact with other traders on the platform. eToro features tiered memberships, an easy-to-navigate platform, and is well-suited for beginners. Users can also stake their assets, British eToro members can get a debit card, and eToro also has an insurance fund that covers theft, hacking and insolvency losses up to one million.
Deposit Methods Bank transfer
Debit card
Neteller
PayPal
Online banking
Skrill
Deposit Fees Fees vary (conversion fees for non-USD deposits)
(US$200 minimum deposit)
Withdrawal Fees US$5 (minimum withdrawal of US$50)
Trading Fees Fees vary. Overnight and weekend fees apply

While residents of Puerto Rico have access to numerous exchanges, a handful aren’t available — such as Coinmama, for example. Always check that the exchange you want to use is licensed in Puerto Rico before buying cryptocurrency on the platform. Signing up with an unlicensed exchange could result in legal troubles and losing your digital assets.

Once you’ve settled on an exchange, general steps to sign up with the platform include:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Verify your identity, usually with a government-issued ID.
  3. Connect a digital wallet.
  4. Deposit funds.

With crypto exchanges, you’re required to complete the know your consumer (KYC) requirements, which involves verifying your identity. Have a valid government ID ready and be prepared to send in a photo.

Step 2: Choose a digital wallet

Crypto wallets — also called digital wallets — is software or hardware that you use to store your digital assets, such as cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

Many people use software wallets, also called hot wallets. These are installed on your computer and used as a browser extension. Some popular examples of hot wallets include MetaMask, WalletConnect and Trust Wallet.

There are also hardware wallets that plug into your computer, such as Trezor and Ledger. Hardware crypto wallets are also called cold storage, since these devices aren’t online (hot) all the time they are generally considered a safer method of storing digital assets.

Nearly all software crypto wallets are free to install and use, and typically require a simple account setup that goes like this:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Record the generated seed phrase — this acts as a master password.
  3. Connect your wallet to the network as required by the crypto exchange.

Step 3: Research coins

With an exchange picked out that’s licensed in Puerto Rico and a crypto wallet at the ready, you can start looking at what crypto coins you want to buy.

Three things to know when choosing a coin to buy:

  1. Cryptocurrency is a speculative investment and there’s no guarantee of earnings.
  2. All coins aside from Bitcoin are considered “alternative coins” or altcoins.
  3. Research the market, security and accessibility of a coin before buying.

Popular coins around the world include BTC, ETH, SOL, SHIB, MATIC, DOGE and ADA.

Where do I buy crypto in Puerto Rico?

If you’re a resident of Puerto Rico, you must use a cryptocurrency exchange that has its money transmitter license (MTL), licensed by the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

Compare these popular crypto exchanges to find one that suits your needs:

FTX.US Cryptocurrency Exchange

An international crypto exchange that launched in 2019. FTX, or FTX.US for U.S. residents, is known for its multiple deposit methods, low fees and easy-to-use platform. FTX supports over 30 cryptocurrencies, multiple fiat currencies for deposits, and also has its own NFT marketplace. FTX is well-suited for both beginners and experts. However, it has a smaller selection of coins compared to larger exchanges.

Crypto.com App

Crypto.com bills itself as the world's fastest-growing app and includes a large selection of cryptocurrencies. The exchange launched under the name Monaco in 2016 and changed to crypto.com in 2018. Its native token, Crypto.com Coin (CRO), can be used to lower fees on the exchange.

Crypto.com charges maker and taker fees for cryptocurrency trades. The fees vary depending on customer tier levels. Tiers are adjusted daily and are based on a customer's individual trading volumes incurred over the past 30 days.

Okcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange

Based out of China and launched in 2013, OKcoin is known as one of the largest crypto exchanges — it's available in over 190 countries to date. Its claim to fame is its low fee structure, charging less in trading fees than many other exchanges. OKcoin lists over 50 cryptocurrencies, has a convenient mobile app and bank transfer deposits are free. It's a good choice for beginners and experts. However, it's not available in all U.S. states.

Uphold Digital Money Platform

Based in Silicon Valley and founded in 2013, boasts 7M+ users and serves 150+ countries. Trade between cryptocurrencies, precious metals, US equities and national currencies. Offers 76 currencies that include BTC, BCH, ADA, ETH and DOGE. Supports account funding from banks, cards and other crypto wallets. Deposit fee only on bank transfer wires — $20 for deposits of up to $5,000.

Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange

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.

Is Bitcoin in Puerto Rico?

Yes, Bitcoin (BTC) can be purchased in Puerto Rico. Most mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges list BTC, including Gemini, FTX.US, Coinbase and Binance.

Is Dogecoin in Puerto Rico?

Yes, you can buy Dogecoin (DOGE) in Puerto Rico. While DOGE is considered an altcoin, it’s available on many cryptocurrency exchanges.

Regulations around cryptocurrency in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s residents are not subject to the US federal income taxes on income derived from sources within the territory.

In January 2012, Puerto Rico enacted Act No. 22, known as the Individual Investors Act. In a nutshell, this act means that people who live in Puerto Rico are exempt from taxes on interests, dividends and capital gains — and this includes earnings from cryptocurrency. Those that reside in Puerto Rico for at least 183 days each year are also exempt from taxes on capital gains.

Know before you buy crypto

There is never a guarantee that you can come out on top when investing in cryptocurrency. For this reason, it’s often recommended to avoid investing more than you can afford to lose.

Other things to keep in mind when investing in cryptocurrency include:

  • Keep your wallet secure. Crypto wallets are protected by a master password, known as a seed phrase. Never give out this information to anyone. If someone were to get this master password, they could take your digital assets.
  • Exchanges typically aren’t liable for losses. If your crypto wallet is hacked while using an exchange, know that the exchange may not do anything to recover lost assets as both crypto wallets and exchanges act as third parties. Read the fine print and policies of cryptocurrency exchanges before signing up.
  • KYC requirements. Lying about your credentials or skipping KYC requirements can mean consequences, and legitimate crypto exchanges should require you to verify your identity.

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