Once shrouded in technical know-how and confusing whitepapers, cryptocurrency is slowly making its way into the mainstream. It’s now easier than ever before to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies — you can even trade from your smartphone.
As more and more investors begin to pay attention to crypto, the demand for fast and convenient mobile solutions is growing. Whether you’re an Android user or you prefer iPhone, there are plenty of simple ways to get started with cryptocurrency
We’ll look at a few cryptocurrency apps and also give you some additional tips so you can spot the next great app.
Quick Look: The Best Cryptocurrency Apps
- Best Overall: Gemini
- Best for iPhone: Voyager – Create an account and get $25 in bitcoin credit for free
- Best for Android:
- Best for Absolute Beginners: Coinbase
- Best Crypto News App: Crypto News Scoop
What’s a Crypto App?
A cryptocurrency app is a cell phone app that allows you to manage your cryptocurrency portfolio. When you first get started investing in cryptocurrency, it can be useful to invest some phone space in an app. Apps usually have easier setup and login features than desktop platforms, which makes them a less intimidating introduction to cryptocurrency.
Here are a few separate types of cryptocurrency apps.
By far the most popular type of cryptocurrency app, exchanges allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. You may be able to connect your bank account or credit card to buy your first set of crypto.
Some of the larger exchanges (like Binance) don’t allow you to buy cryptocurrencies directly but instead, focus on exchanges between currencies only. As a result, you might need more than one exchange, depending on which coins you want to buy or hold.
A crypto wallet is a type of storage for your cryptocurrencies. Unlike an exchange, you can’t buy or sell cryptos with a wallet app. Wallets focus on very high-level security features to keep your coins safe. Most expert traders don’t recommend holding your coins in an exchange if you don’t plan to short them, so you may need two separate apps for your exchange and your wallet if you want to hold cryptos long-term.
Every wallet is designed to work with a specific type or subset of cryptocurrencies, so make sure that you’ve chosen the right one for your portfolio. If you aren’t sure which network your coins work on, try sending a small amount of cryptocurrency to your new wallet. You should see it within 10 to 15 minutes in your wallet.
Unlike the stock or forex market, cryptocurrency exchanges are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. This makes it especially important to keep up with news on a daily basis. A good cryptocurrency news app focuses on some of the most important cryptos (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) as well as smaller coins that make unusual movements.
A cryptocurrency tracker is a type of app that shows your real-time information on cryptocurrency prices. Any exchange will feature this information but having an individual tracker app can also be beneficial.
For example, if you prefer to store your crypto in a hard exterior wallet but you still want to keep up with price movements throughout the day, choosing a simple tracker app is less complicated than signing up for an exchange.
What to Look for in a Cryptocurrency App
No matter which type of cryptocurrency app you need, there are a few things you should look for when you compare all of your options.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions are very difficult to trace. Once you initiate a transaction between wallets, it’s virtually impossible to cancel or get your money back. Due to the decentralized nature of the blockchain, it’s also almost impossible to tell who owns which wallet.
An unauthorized transaction from your exchange could have gone down the street or all the way to Australia — there’s no way to tell exactly who’s responsible. This makes cryptocurrency the perfect market for criminals, hackers and scammers. Before you download any exchange or wallet app, review the company’s safety features. Look for two-factor authentication and back-end encryption to keep your coins as safe as possible.
Cryptocurrency markets are always moving. It’s possible to go to sleep and see a single coin skyrocket by 25% — or lose half of its value. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the cryptocurrency market means up-to-date, minute-by-minute information because crypto data becomes obsolete much faster than information on stocks or fiat currencies.
Whether you want a comprehensive cryptocurrency trading platform or a simple tracker that lets you know how your favorite coins are doing, look for real-time data and information. This ensures that you’re not using outdated information to inform your trading and investing decisions.
Availability in Your Area
Availability isn’t much of a concern if you’re just interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies with a news app or tracker. However, if you want to actively buy and sell cryptocurrencies, make sure that the app you’re interested in is available in your area.
The legality of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a hotly debated topic thanks to its decentralized nature and tax difficulties. A number of countries and states have banned unregulated and easily-manipulated exchanges, while others have instituted limitations on the type of cryptos that can be bought and sold. Before you get too invested in a good-looking app, double-check that it’s available where you live.
Our Picks for the Best Coupon Apps
Ready to get started with a cryptocurrency app? Check out some of our top choices first.
Best Overall: Gemini
Who’s it for? Beginning traders who want to get started with a safe, secure cryptocurrency exchange without the hassle of a complicated system.
In a particularly volatile market, it can be comforting to know that you’re trading on a regulated exchange. Gemini is one of the most secure and stable cryptocurrency markets in the entire world, and it’s regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
It’s also the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange to complete the rigorous SOC 2 Type 1 examination, an intensive audit of a company’s security. Multi-layer encryption and two-factor authentication equal peace of mind and the knowledge that your coins are safe and your wallet is secure.
Gemini features a beginner-friendly and easy-to-use system that allows you to buy and sell a limited number of coins. Though you won’t find smaller altcoins on Gemini, the platform is still one of the best and safest ways to get started on cryptocurrencies.
Best for iPhone: Voyager
Who’s it for? Intermediate traders who want to complete more trades and explore the cryptocurrency frontiers beyond Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Price: Free – get a free $25 bitcoin credit for signing up
Want to start getting serious with your cryptocurrency investments? You need a comprehensive exchange app that allows you to view charts and buy more than the largest coins on the market. Voyager is a safe and secure exchange that features a number of unique charting tools, commission-free exchanges and access to more coins than most beginning exchange apps.
A combination app that includes exchange capabilities, a solid and secure wallet
Unfortunately, Voyager is currently only available in a few parts of the United States and completely unavailable internationally. However, the company has plans to expand internationally and domestically in 2019 — so it’s possible that you’ll soon have access to Voyager if you’re not currently able to get the app.
Best for Android: Blockfolio
Who’s it for? More serious cryptocurrency investors who need to track and manage their coins in a safe and convenient place.
Blockfolio won’t be of much use to you if you don’t already own at least some cryptocurrency or you know which coins you want to track. You might find yourself checking Blockfolio’s tracker multiple times throughout the day.
Best for Absolute Beginners: Coinbase
Who’s it for? Absolute cryptocurrency beginners who want to make the jump and learn more about some of the most popular options — or buy a little bit of crypto just for fun.
Price: Free – try Coinbase
Don’t know the difference between a bitcoin and blockchain? Downloading the Coinbase app is an excellent place to begin your journey. Coinbase is a beginner-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. After you complete the verification, you can use your bank account or a credit card to buy some of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Coinbase even has a new education section that you can use to earn free cryptocurrencies — just by learning more about the coins you want to buy.
Coinbase isn’t available everywhere — the app currently operates in 32 countries but has plans to expand. However, if you’ve never bought or sold cryptocurrency before, Coinbase is a great place to start learning.
Best Crypto News App: Crypto News Scoop
Who’s it for? Traders of any level who want fast and reliable information on the cryptocurrency market.
Need your cryptocurrency news on the go? Grab the free Crypto News Scoop and keep your finger on the market — even when you’re not at your desk. Crypto News Scoop’s app is constantly updating and collecting news stories from around the web to keep you informed on the movements and future of your favorite coins.
Crypto News Scoop also doubles as a tracking app and offers you real-time quotes on some of the largest cryptocurrencies. A convenient and free source for news, every serious trader should have Crypto News Scoop.
Getting Started in Crypto
There’s never been an easier time to get started investing in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency represents a new frontier of investment potential but it’s important to remember that the realm of cryptocurrency is also very volatile. Cryptocurrency is decentralized by nature, and very few coins are currently regulated by any overseeing authority.
This means that it’s possible to lose a large amount of money very quickly when you invest in cryptocurrency. Remember to only invest what you’re prepared to lose and diversify your portfolio if you’re planning to buy and sell cryptocurrency.