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How to buy cryptocurrency in Puerto Rico
This US terrority is becoming a hub for crypto investors.
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.
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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:
- Create an account.
- Verify your identity, usually with a government-issued ID.
- Connect a digital wallet.
- 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:
- Create an account.
- Record the generated seed phrase — this acts as a master password.
- 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:
- Cryptocurrency is a speculative investment and there’s no guarantee of earnings.
- All coins aside from Bitcoin are considered “alternative coins” or altcoins.
- 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:
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.
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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.
Can I use Binance in Puerto Rico?
Yes, you can use Binance.us in Puerto Rico with the same access as the 46 permitted US states.
However, the exchange Binance is not legal in the US or Puerto Rico, so be sure to use the branch Binance.us.
Can I buy Bitcoin in Puerto Rico?
Yes, Bitcoin (BTC) can be purchased in Puerto Rico. Most mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges list BTC, including Gemini, Coinbase and Binance.
Can I buy 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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