At Paychecks and Balances, we’re here to help offer financial education that you can throw into your toolbox when increasing your personal finance IQ.
For that reason, it’s only fitting that we talk about all the different strategies associated with growing your wealth, not just the long-term ones.
Cryptocurrency is a name that’s no stranger to the investing world as it continues to grow in popularity as technology evolves.
With newer introductions of technologies such as NFTs, Web3, Metaverse, etc., digital currency is making its rounds. It is heavily being adopted by a global user base that’s increased by more than 200% over the last three years.
If you’re interested in investing in cryptocurrency or have already dipped your toes in but aren’t quite sure if you’re starting in the right place or using the right platform, we’ve got you covered.
Since crypto is considered a more volatile form of investing, enough stress comes with watching the charts swing north and south, so you don’t want your trading to be cumbersome, nor do you want to worry about security.
Luckily, a few platforms go out of their way to make things simple and secure.
Cryptocurrency Investing Apps
We all know the world of crypto can be overwhelming at first, but depending on your experience level with crypto, we’ll help you find the right platform for your trades.
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If you’re just getting started, this could be the app for you. Founded in 2012, this platform is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.
While it has no physical headquarters, Coinbase is a fully regulated and licensed exchange that supports all US states, with the exception of Hawaii. As of 2021, Coinbase was listed on the NASDAQ through its IPO, which is no minor deal.
Coinbase offers more than 50 cryptocurrencies and ranks among one of the highest liquid exchanges with an included benefit of added insurance.
One of the main reasons Coinbase is a great platform for beginners is because they make it super easy to buy and sell crypto. If you know how to send a cash app or Venmo, you can purchase crypto with Coinbase.
After adding your bank account or debit card and your account is verified, you’re all set to trade.
For those familiar with Robinhood (who also now trades Crypto), Coinbase is a fair comparison; user interface wise.
Lastly, although there are no monthly fees, this app is known for having higher costs for trades. Be mindful of this when deciding between apps to use.
2. Coinbase Pro
Like Coinbase, its older brother, Pro is also free to use. This version, however, offers a more sophisticated trade experience with lower fees due to its maker-taker fee model that determines its trading fees.
This differentiates pro from the base model app, where the fees are a bit higher.
Coinbase Pro isn’t recommended for beginners; instead, it’s a step up after you’ve spent some time getting used to the base app platform and learning the basics of crypto.
The pro version also allows you to trade with a wider range of cryptocurrencies, another added benefit over Coinbase.
This platform was founded in 2016. Although I may never forgive this exchange for robbing the Lakers stadium of its namesake, Crypto.com has quickly risen as one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges with more than 10M users and offers almost double the amount of cryptocurrencies to trade as Coinbase
They’re not located in the US, which opens the aperture for the number of cryptos you can buy and sell.
Crypto.com also has a neat feature allowing you to open a debit card when signing up with the platform and make purchases with your crypto wallet. In addition to the opportunity of owning this card (and others), they also start your account with a small token of their own coin, $CRO, to start you off with.
Crypto.com works well for those who are still newer to crypto while also appealing to those who may be more advanced in their journey. The platform highlights its vertical integration through its coin and debit cards as a value proposition to being a user.
I use this app and do not have any of its cards, yet I have found it more than helpful and easy to use. As someone who’s used Coinbase in the past, I appreciate the wider variety of cryptocurrencies to trade on Crypto.com.
Created by the Winklevoss twins back in 2015, Gemini has built a strong reputation around its security.
Instead of avoiding regulation like some other exchanges, they’ve made it a point to instill peace of mind in their investors by ensuring their money is in safe hands. This is extremely important since security is a growing concern with digital currency since it continues to gain widespread adoption.
Gemini offers additional features such as automatic purchasing for those looking to do more dollar-cost averaging.
Like Coinbase, Gemini also offers a more advanced version named Active Trader.
Still, Gemini has its cons as well, mainly associated with its fee model. Convenience fees on top of their transaction fees of 1.49% put this on the more expensive end vs. its competitors.
All in all, Gemini is a great app with lots to offer through both its mobile app and website, which is not as common in today’s crypto platforms.
Being an avid crypto investor myself and having tried using the majority of these platforms, I’ve identified pros and cons with each of them.
Things like fees come with trading; they’re part of the inherent nature of crypto investing.
Still, before deciding on either of these exchanges, I’d highly recommend making sure you understand the fee model. So you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll pay when trading beforehand.
Having multiple brokerages can also be a good rule of thumb for anyone looking to balance risk.
Lastly, and arguably most important, know your long-term game with investing in crypto before moving forward with anything.
Knowing whether you plan to use this as extra money or as an alternative means to a committed savings account can make a difference when developing a strategy and deciding which platform to use.
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