Cryptocurrency in New York State Guide
New York state is one of the hardest states in the US to get involved in cryptocurrency, thanks to the Bitlicense. I want to discuss some of the best places to buy, sell, and earn interest on your crypto in the Empire State, since there are no updated guides to navigating crypto in NY.
A lot has changed in the past year, so I am going to list the platforms I know work in NY state, so you don’t have to go through the same arduous and complicated process that I did. Keep in mind that this post is subject to change.
“What major exchanges are offered in NY state?”
From my experience, you have two options:
At the time of posting, you are able to buy and sell the following crypto in NY state:
BTC, ETH, BCH, LINK, LTC, XLM, ALGO, ZRX, BAT, CGLD, CVC, ATOM, DAI, MANA, ETC, NU, OMG, OXT, ZEC, USDC
You are able to DCA using Coinbase, but if you are working will small amounts of cash I do not recommend using Coinbase to DCA; the fees are astronomical. If you wish to save on fees, you can use Coinbase Pro which offers trading at much lower fees. You cannot, however, DCA using Coinbase Pro. There is also a network fee for withdrawing your crypto to an external wallet.
At the time of posting, you are able to buy and sell the following crypto in NY state:
BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, LINK, ZEC, BAT, DAI, OXT, FIL ,AMP, COMP, PAXG, ZRX, BAL, CRV, MANA, KNC, MKR, REN, STORJ, SNX, UMA, UNI, YFI, AAVE, GUSD
Much like coinbase, you are able to DCA using, but if you are working will small amounts of cash I do not recommend using Gemini to DCA; the fees are astronomical. If you wish to save on fees, you can use Gemini Active Trader which offers trading at much lower fees. You cannot, however, DCA using Gemini Active Trader. Another advantage to Gemini is that it offers 10 free withdrawals per month, which Coinbase does not offer.
I do not personally use this exchange, but they are clear to operate in NY State. At the time of posting, you are able to buy and sell the following crypto in NY state:
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BCH, XLM, LINK, OMG, USDC, PAX
There is no DCA option at all for Bitstamp. Instead, you are able to deposit your fiat and trade, with fees similar to that of Coinbase pro. There is a flat withdrawal fee that is specific to the coin you wish to withdraw.
“What if I want to DCA into certain coins without crazy fees? What are my options?”
Sadly, there are not many options for DCAing into coins for NY state residents. Rather than using an exchange, we can use crypto brokers to DCA using a different fee system called a “spread.” Most platforms in this category are not available to NY state residents, but I have found three that have worked decently well:
This platform is relatively new, and offers crypto brokerage services similar to that of Voyager or Uphold (both of which are not available in NY state as of the time of posting). At the time of posting, you are able to buy and sell the following crypto in NY state:
BTC, ETH, LTC, LINK, ADA, DOT, XMR, XLM, XRP, ZEC, NANO, BAT, XTZ, DOGE, GRT, USDC, USDT, BCH, ATOM, EOS, ETC, DASH, UNI, MKR, YFI, SNX, OMG, ZRX, KNC, REP, REN, AAVE, DAI, COMP, TRX, FIL, KSM, WAVES, ICX, CRV, LRC, QTUM, MANA, SC, BNT, GNO, ANT, BAL, NMR
You are also able to earn interest on the crypto held in their wallet, which is paid out daily. The interest rates vary depending on what crypto you are holding. You are able to DCA by setting up recurring purchases with no additional fee, except for the spread. In my experience, the spread offered typically has the price per coin about 1% higher than the major exchanges at a given moment. The fees are much lower compared to Coinbase or Gemini. However, there is a $15 purchasing minimum. There is also a network fee to withdraw your crypto to an external wallet. Keep in mind, this platform is very new and your funds might take a while to clear. I have successfully bought and withdrawn my crypto from this platform, but it took a while for my funds to clear.
CashApp makes it very easy to DCA into BTC and with near-immediate withdrawals. However, the only crypto supported is BTC. You have the option to create recurring purchases and has a fee of around 2%, although it decreases with higher buying amounts. There are no withdrawal fees either. There is a $10 purchasing minimum. I purchase with a debit card every day, and only have to pay the 2% fee at the time of purchase, then immediately withdraw for free.
I have not personally used this service, but according to their website they offer services to NY state residents. The app seems to work much like CashApp in the sense that you can only purchase BTC, but can set up DCA purchases at a lower rate than DCAing using an exchange. Their fees seem to be similar to CashApp, but do not seem to offer near-immediate withdrawals. From my understanding, BTC purchases are automatically withdrawn to a wallet of your choice once a week, with no fees. You can withdraw manually, but this might incur an additional fee.
“What if I want to purchase some low-cap altcoins that are not listed above?”
If you’re a newbie, I would not recommend this section to you at all, but if you are ambitious, there are a few routes you could take. You can either try a non-KYC crypto-only exchange, a decentralized platform, or a centralized anonymous swap system. I will list out the ones I know about, but I am sure there are more out there you can try.
KuCoin is a crypto-only exchange that you can use without KYC. In addition, it does not block US IP addresses, so you are free to trade on the platform without the fear of being shut out of your funds. KuCoin offers so many coins it would be pointless to list them all out here. Since it is crypto only, you would need to deposit crypto or stablecoins to trade into the crypto of your choice. The easiest way is to buy BTC, or ETH using the platforms listed above, or get USDC from Coinbase and transfer it over.
KuCoin also offers staking, soft-staking, and lending services so you can lend/stake your crypto for passive income. The lending service is peer-to-peer, so someone needs to accept your lending offer at your listed rate in order to earn interest. Staking requires you to lock your funds for a given period to earn interest. Soft-staking is simply leaving the coin in their staking wallet to earn interest.
There is no DCA option (unless you use their built-in trading bot), and there is a flat withdrawal fee that is specific to the coin you wish to withdraw.
Uniswap (or other DEXes)
This is a great option for trading ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum. Platforms like Uniswap can be accessed with most Ethereum wallets on the market right now. Simply connect your Ethereum wallet to the DEX, and trade away. Nearly any ERC-20 tokens on the market are up for grabs using this method.
However, you will need to pay fees using ETH, and these fees could be quite big depending on how clogged up the network is.
Another crypto-only platform, SimpleSwap makes things easy by simply sending your crypto to a given wallet address, and receiving the equivalent value of another crypto of your choice to the wallet address you provide. I know that sounds sketchy, but I have used it myself and it worked fine. SimpleSwap lists too many coins to mention here. The coin pairings are given at market rate, so there are no fees, per se.
“What if I want to earn interest on my crypto? What platforms can I lend on?”
Aside from AnchorUSD and KuCoin mentioned above, there are not too many crypto lending platforms allowed in NY state. In addition to KuCoin and AnchorUSD, I do my lending on two additional platforms:
My personal favorite lending platform, Celsius offers high APYs on the following crypto in NY state:
BTC, ETH, USDC, CEL
Because NY state has crazy regulations, Celsius Network is only able to offer yield on the four mentioned above. You are also able to take out a loan using your crypto as collateral. Interest is paid out and compounded weekly, every Monday.
BE ADVISED: I have seen NY residents unable to sign up for Celsius Network, citing region restrictions, although Celsius has been public in saying they are able to offer services to NY State residents. I have been able to make an account and lend out my crypto with no problem, but this might not work for you right away.
EDIT: The CEO has mentioned in an AMA that the bank they use to operate in NY State is overwhelmed with requests, and thus Celsius Network had to stop taking new users in NY State temporarily. I still recommend their services, but will update this post when NY State residents are able to sign up again.
Nexo is similar to Celsius Network in that it can provide crypto lending services and take out loans. Nexo offers lending for the following crypto in NY state:
BTC, ETH, XRP, USDT, USDC, PAX, TUSD, DAI, HUSD, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, XLM, PAXG, LINK, TRX
Nexo offers many coins, but slightly lower yield compared to that of Celsius. Interest is paid out and compounded daily.
My recommended major exchange for larger purchases: Gemini
My recommended platform to DCA: AnchorUSD or CashApp for BTC
My recommended platform to trade low-cap altcoins: KuCoin
My recommended lending platform: Celsius Network and Nexo
I have been in the crypto space for a while, but I am just one person, so if there is a platform that I missed that might fit one of these categories, please comment and I can add it accordingly.
As always, DYOR and this is not financial advice or a shilling of any particular company or coin.
This took me a long time to put together, and I learned all of this through a lot of trial and error. I hope this helps out any fellow NYers navigate the crypto world much easier than I had to.