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How to buy cryptocurrency in Washington
Buying cryptocurrency in Washington doesn't have to be tricky — compare 10+ licensed platforms.
In Washington, there are multiple exchanges to choose from to buy coins like Ripple (XRP), Avalanche (AVAX) and Litecoin (LTC). Washington also has 407 registered Bitcoin ATMs where you can buy Bitcoin on the go, with the most popular locations being Seattle (202 ATMs), Yakima (60 ATMs) and Spokane (47 ATMs). The most popular coin in Washington in 2021 was Dogecoin, as reported by FinanceBuzz. Of course, there are more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, so who knows what Washington's most popular coin will be next year.
How to buy cryptocurrency in Washington
With a personal per-capita income of $64,758 in Washington, choosing the right exchange and coin to purchase is a big decision. The average person in Washington earns the equivalent of roughly 3.36 BTC or 60.90 ETH per year. Follow these steps to buy the crypto of your choice:
Step 1: Compare exchanges.
Exchanges vary in what coins they list and wallets they support. For example, Uphold Digital Money Platform lists over 125 cryptocurrencies and Crypto.com App lists 264. Exchanges can also vary in deposit methods and fees. Confirm the platform supports any specific coins you're interested in before signing up.
Our top pick: Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Wide range of exchangeable currencies
- User friendly
- Newcomer incentives
- Insurance on currency balances up to $250k
- Balances can earn interest
- High fees on mobile app
- Missing some notable top 20 currencies
- No linked debit cards available
|Deposit Methods||Bank transfer (ACH)
|Deposit Fees||Cryptocurrency: None
Wire transfer: None
Bank transfer (ACH): None, bank fees may apply
Debit card transfer: 3.49%
|Withdrawal Fees||Cryptocurrency: None for first 10 withdrawals of each month
Other: None for first 10 withdrawals of each month
|Trading Fees||Order amount below USD 200: USD 0.99 - USD 2.99
Order amount over USD 200: 1.49%
Convenience fee: 0.50%
No matter what exchange you choose, it's important to verify that it's available in Washington. Some states have strict requirements, while others simply require a money transmitter license. Okcoin is not available in Washington, so watch out for that. Once you've settled on an exchange, you're required to complete "know your consumer" (KYC) requirements, which involves your name and proof of identification. You may also need to prove your address by uploading something like a government benefits statement, a credit card statement or a pre-printed paystub from your employer.
General steps to signing up with an exchange include:
- Create an account
- Verify your identity, usually with government-issue ID
- Connect a digital wallet
- Deposit funds
Step 2: Choose a digital wallet.A crypto wallet, often called a digital wallet, is where you store your crypto assets, like coins and tokens. Digital wallets fall into roughly two types:
- Software. Downloadable, Internet-connected programs stored on your computer or device.
- Hardware. External, offline physical devices you plug into your computer or device to access your digital assets. Also called cold storage.
- Create an account
- Record generated seed phrase — or master password
- Connect a debit card, credit card or bank account
- Connect wallet to network required by the marketplace
Popular online wallets include Ledger, Trust Connect, MetaMask and Coinbase.
Step 3: Research coins.You've heard of crypto staples Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), but there are literally thousands of altcoins available to invest in, with more created all the time. Other recently popular coins include KuCoin (KCS), Polygon (MATIC), Evmos (EVMOS) and Moonbeam (GLMR). Cryptocurrency is a speculative investment. Costs can vary greatly among coins and fluctuate daily, leaving room for dramatic gains and losses. Investing in the big-name coins still doesn't come with any guarantee of profit. Despite the lack of guarantee, you can still narrow down a coin that fits your needs by researching elements that include:
- Security. Since cryptocurrency is under the umbrella of digital assets, there is a chance that issues could be in its coding. A coin on a secure blockchain could mean a higher value.
- Long-term performance. Look for stability or patterns you think you can trade on. Large drops may indicate waning demand.
- Utility and accessibility. A well-known coin that is listed on multiple exchanges, or used for crypto applications like play-to-earn games, may have more value if demand is high.
Where do I buy crypto in Washington?
To buy crypto in Washington, look for a crypto exchange that fits your needs. Consider using:
CEX.IO Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Accepts credit cards
18 coins available
No reported sitewide hacks
- Customers report poor customer service
Verification process may take days or weeks
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Coinbase has over 80 cryptocurrencies available, including Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). Transaction fees are calculated using a combination of factors, including your payment method, the order size and varying market conditions, like volatility.
- Large selection of cryptocurrencies
Offline crypto storage
Strong customer reviews
- Transaction fees vary
Minimum balances apply
Customer service ratings remain poor in platform reviews
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.
- Large selection of crypto
Staking for rewards available
- Can be difficult to navigate
Customer service could be more responsive
Expensive withdrawal fees
|Fiat currencies||No supported|
eToro Cryptocurrency Trading
The eToro exchange charges 'round-trip' spreads when buying crypto assets. The spread covers the buy-and-sell side of the transaction and varies based on the asset being purchased. Current spreads vary between .75% and 2.90%
- Multi-asset exchange
Social trading features
Demo account available
- Fewer cryptocurrencies available than some exchanges
$10 account minimum
Fees vary by asset
FTX.US Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Great for beginners and experts
Lists over 30 cryptocurrencies
Fee structure is clear
Supports multiple deposit methods
- Not available in all U.S. states
Fewer coins than other exchanges
How to buy Ripple (XRP) in Washington?
To buy Ripple in Washington, you will first need to sign up for an exchange like eToro, FTX US or Webull. Different exchanges support different payment methods and cryptocurrencies. We have detailed instructions on how to buy Ripple which covers how to pick an exchange, payment methods, wallets and more.
Can I buy Avalanche (AVAX) in Washington?
Yes, you can buy Avalanche in Washington using an exchange like Webull, Crypto.com or Uphold. We recommend exploring a list of exchanges that support Avalanche and taking a deeper dive into how to buy Avalanche.
Can I buy Litecoin (LTC) in Washington?
Yes, you can buy Litecoin in Washington using an exchange like Paybis, eToro or Robinhood. We recommend exploring a list of exchanges that support Litecoin and taking a deeper dive into how to buy Litecoin.
Regulations around cryptocurrency in WashingtonStates also vary on regulations, guidelines and financial regulatory agencies that govern cryptocurrency — despite the fact that crypto is considered decentralized finance, or DeFi.
Washington's regulations according to Bloomberg LawRCW 19.230.010(18) specifically states that virtual currency is included in the definition of money transmission. However, the implementing regulations say that storage of virtual currency without the unilateral power to transmit is not money transmission. WAC 208-690-015(4). Virtual currency money transmitters must have a third party security audit of their computer systems. RCW 19.230.040(5); WAC 208-690-030(7). There are also virtual currency-specific investment and disclosure requirements; RCW 19.230.200(1), RCW 19.230.370, WAC 208-690-085(4), WAC 208-690-205(3). There is a separate minimum net worth requirement for licensees that also store virtual currency. WAC 208-690-060(2). See also Washington Department of Financial Institutions, “Industry Guidance for Virtual Currency, Cryptocurrency, and Digital Assets”
Source: Bloomberg Law
Know before you buy cryptoCryptocurrency is decentralized finance, so there isn't an authoritative entity out there looking out for you. While exchanges and digital wallets can do their best to keep things secure, you can proactively protect yourself with our top tips:
- Secure your wallet. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from theft or hacking is by keeping your digital wallet's keys safe. If someone gets access, you could lose your assets without much hope for recovery.
- 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. 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. This step is often called KYC and is required. If you skip this step, there may be legal consequences – especially if you skip it to use a non-licensed exchange.
- Cryptocurrency is volatile. Don't invest more than you can afford to lose. 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. Learn more about the fundamentals of cryptocurrency to better equip yourself in this volatile market.
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