Cryptocurrencies are a big part of the future of finance, with blockchain technology playing a growing role in finance and asset management, among other uses.
But if you want to get in on the ground floor and buy cryptocurrency, one easy way to get started is to use a cryptocurrency app on your phone that enables you to buy and sell cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum with a few taps on the screen.
However, not all crypto apps deserve a spot on your phone. Here’s a look at five cryptocurrency apps that any serious trader or investor can take advantage of.
The Best Cryptocurrency Apps
These days, many leading cryptocurrency exchanges have robust mobile apps that let you buy, sell, and swap crypto while on the go. Many software crypto wallets also have comprehensive apps that let you securely store digital assets and also trade.
If you need a starting point, the following five crypto apps are some of our absolute favorites.
Coinbase is arguably the best-known and most prominent cryptocurrency exchange for investors in the United States.
While most people will likely pick the default Coinbase app, savvy users upgrade to the Coinbase Pro experience, which provides more trading features and lower costs than the primary Coinbase Platform.
Coinbase Pro is easy to use for secure bank transfers and several of the most common order types. It works well for active traders. Beginners and those new to crypto may initially find the platform intimidating, but it’s easy to get the hang of.
It’s also very secure and one of the most reputable exchanges. But you should still follow best practices for passwords and two-factor authentication to keep this and any other crypto account safe from hackers.
Kraken Pro is the active trading app from the Kraken exchange. Like the pro version from Coinbase, it’s available to any crypto investor. You don’t need to be an active or professional trader to use Kraken Pro, though it would also meet these customers' needs.
The advantage of using Kraken Pro over the regular exchange is that you get more in-depth trading tools. Kraken also has an excellent staking program, letting you earn passive rewards with your crypto.
While the exchange had some security issues in the past, it employs robust security practices, including a requirement to use three multi-factor authentication codes for sign-in, withdrawals, and a master key. You can also use the app to transfer funds from the trading section of the app to the interest-earning section. Trades are also very competitive and low cost.
Binance is one of the biggest exchanges in the world, and users in the United States can use the smaller Binance.US version. Fortunately, the app includes much of the same functionality as the global Binance app, including access to a lengthy currency list and competitive trading fees.
This crypto app is known for its extensive coin support and very low trading fees. You can trade, swap, stake, and even invest in NFTs by using Binance.
If you use Binance or Binance.US as your main exchange, consider buying and using the Binance Coin (BNB), as users get 25% off of trading fees when fees are paid with BNB.
KuCoin has a reputation of being a bit of a Wild West, thanks to its support for a vast number of altcoins far off the beaten path for many investors. And while the app is a little tricky to get used to and has some annoying advertising built-in, trading fees are low, and you can buy a truly impressive number of currencies.
The platform works with more than 600 currencies as of this writing and adds new coins frequently. Remember, many of these lesser-known coins and tokens will not turn out to be profitable investments, so proceed with caution.
But if you’re a true crypto junkie and want to get into some of the more obscure trading pairs without using a decentralized exchange (DEX), KuCoin could be appealing.
The app also features spot trading, leveraged futures trading, staking and lending, and trading bots. If you use KuCoin, keep in mind that futures, trading bots, and certain staking programs are extremely risky, so only use these if you know what you’re doing and understand the risks involved.
Exodus is a cryptocurrency wallet software designed for computers and mobile devices. For crypto geeks who want to control their own keys and hold their own crypto outside of a centralized exchange, Exodus is a top choice. It’s free to download and use and integrates with external hardware wallets for added security.
Note that transferring funds to or from an outside wallet requires paying network fees, like Ethereum gas fees. Third-party fees may apply if you use the built-in exchange or crypto purchase features.
The software also supports add-on app features, including a tie into the FTX exchange, sending and receiving with the Lightning Bitcoin network, and other investing, staking, and portfolio management tools.
Exodus also works with more than 100 different cryptocurrencies. Overall, it's one of the most robust and reliable crypto software wallets alongside options like Trust Wallet and MetaMask.
What To Look For In A Crypto App
If you’re on the fence between several cryptocurrency apps, focus on these critical features to help you make the best decision:
- Pricing & Fees: If part of your app use will include buying and exchanging cryptocurrencies, pricing and fees play a significant role in your long-term profits.
- Security: Security is paramount in the blockchain and digital asset space. Always look at the security features available and take advantage of multi-factor authentication to keep unwanted visitors out of your accounts.
- Supported Cryptos: Some apps work with just a few currencies, while others support hundreds. Decide which cryptos you want to invest in and then find an app that supports them.
- Staking & Interest: If you plan to participate in the decentralized finance (DeFi) economy, you’ll want a crypto app that works for your needs. You may want to pair your crypto with an additional software wallet like MetaMask or TrustWallet to access yield farms and direct staking opportunities.
- Ease-of-Use: Finally, you want to know that you’ll be able to use the app independently. If you’re less comfortable with computers and technology, you may prefer a beginner-friendly app.
If you want to buy and monitor your crypto on the go, a crypto app is a necessity. Any of these apps could be a good fit to get you started or upgrade your experience with digital currencies.
Options like Coinbase are great for beginner investors, and Coinbase Pro is there if you want more tools. Kraken is also versatile, and it has one of the best staking plaforms out there. And if you're a global investor, Binance and KuCoin have the best crypto support. Finally, once you start investing in crypto, you can use Exodus to safely store your assets.
Just be sure to research the cryptocurrencies you're investing in so you understand the tech behind the coins. And always protect your personal information and passwords so you maintain complete control over your crypto.
Eric Rosenberg is a financial writer, speaker, and consultant based in Ventura, California. He holds an undergraduate finance degree from the University of Colorado and an MBA in finance from the University of Denver. After working as a bank manager and then nearly a decade in corporate finance and accounting, Eric left the corporate world for full-time online self-employment. His work has been featured in online publications including Business Insider, Nerdwallet, Investopedia, The Balance, HuffPo, Investor Junkie, and other fine financial blogs and publications. When away from the computer, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, traveling the world, and tinkering with technology. Connect with him and learn more at EricRosenberg.com.