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Cryptocurrency in Hawaii

This guide on how to buy cryptocurrency in Hawaii will provide you how full details of buying crypto assets.

For the longest time, Hawaii operated a crypto regulatory sandbox – only allowing a handful of crypto exchanges to operate in the Aloha State. It, however, abandoned this stance in February 2024. Moving forward, we expect to see more crypto exchanges set base in the Aloha state operating as unregulated businesses.

At the time of writing, though, only a few popular exchanges are allowed to offer crypto trading services to Hawaii residents. We review the best in this guide and provide a step-by-step guide to buying your first crypto asset. We also explore the changing crypto regulation and taxation in the State.

How to Buy Cryptocurrency in Hawaii – Quick 4-Step Guide

Here is a quick 4-step guide to buying cryptos in Hawaii today. It outlines the crypto buying process embraced by all the best altcoin exchanges in the State. It is fast and straightforward – only taking a few minutes. For this illustration, we teach you how to buy cryptos instantly on Kraken.

  • Step 1: Register a crypto trader account: Create a free crypto trader account on Kraken. Open the official Kraken website and hit the “Sign Up” icon. The exchange will ask for basic personal information and trading experience. You will also need to create a strong password for this account.
  • Step 2: Hit the ‘Buy Crypto’ icon: Log in to the Kraken account and hit the “Buy Crypto” icon on the website or home page. A trading tab will pop up with a default crypto asset – Bitcoin – already selected.
  • Step 3: Customize the trade: If you don’t wish to buy Bitcoin, identify the best crypto to buy from the drop-down menu provided. You could also use the search menu to find the best crypto for you.
  • Step 4: Execute the transaction: To execute the investment, determine how much you intend to invest in the crypto. Then, choose a payment method and follow the prompts to complete making a deposit.

Later on in this article, we will provide you with a more detailed crypto-buying process. First, though, we look at the most popular digital currencies to buy in the State and review the best crypto exchanges in Hawaii today.

Most Popular Cryptos to Buy in Hawaii

Bitcoin is arguably the most popular digital currency in the US and Hawaii State. It is the most traded crypto asset by experts and one of the most searched cryptos by beginner investors. Much of this popularity can be attributed to its rich history of uptrending price action, deep liquidity, and accessibility.

This accessibility was especially given a boost by the approval of 10+ Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC in January 2024. Other equally popular cryptos in Hawaii include:

  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ripple
  • Solana
  • Dogecoin
  • Shiba Inu
  • Avalanche
  • Cardano

Where to Buy Cryptocurrency in Hawaii

We started by mentioning that there currently are only a handful of crypto assets operating in the Aloha State today. We vetted them all and eventually settled on these four as the best crypto trading platforms in Hawaii today. When coming up with this list, we considered such factors as their regulation, reputation, customer service, trading fees, ease of use, security, and crypto library.

Here is a quick overview of what we consider the best crypto exchanges in Hawaii today.

1. Kraken – Overall Best Crypto Exchange to Buy Cryptocurrency in Hawaii

Kraken is our top pick of the best crypto trading platforms in Kraken. A number of factors helped inform our decision to feature it here, the key among them being user-friendliness and security. It, for example, has a quick and straightforward account processing process. It also presents you with multiple ways of buying cryptos.

Kraken - Best Crypto Exchange to Buy Cryptocurrency in Hawaii

Here, you can buy cryptos instantly with credit cards. You can also open a buy/sell order on the Kraken trading platform. May we also add that the crypto buying process on Kraken is also quick and straightforward.

Kraken is also the safest crypto exchange in Hawaii today. This observation is premised on the fact that, since its establishment in 2011, Kraken has never been hacked. It has never lost client funds. The feat can be attributed to the fact that the exchange has put adequate security measures around its systems and client accounts in pace.

These include holding 90%+ of client assets in offline and geographically distributed vaults. Further, the exchange enforces multi-factor authentication on client accounts.

We also believe Kraken to be the best because of its competitive trading fees. When buying cryptos instantly on Kraken, you will pay a fixed fee of 1.5% of the trade volume. For spot crypto trades, you pay a volume-based maker/taker fee that ranges between 0% and 0.26%. The exchange doesn’t have a minimum deposit limit, but the minimum trade amount is set at $10.

In addition to the best future cryptos, you can buy NFTs and trade crypto derivatives on the exchange. The leverage for the crypto derivatives starts from X5, and the exchange maintains competitive interest rates for margined trades. You can also earn passively via staking on Kraken. Other factors that make Kraken the best include its deep liquidity and solid reputation. It was even the first to publish an audited proof of reserves report.

Pros:
  • Buy high volume cryptos pseudonymously on Kraken dark pool
  • Kraken support is readily available 24/7 via live chat and over the phone
  • Regulated crypto exchange with a solid reputation for reliability
  • Large crypto library supporting new cryptos as well as the more established assets
Cons:
  • SEC cases threaten to hurt Kraken’s passive income-generating programs while terming some popular coins as securities

2. Crypto.com – Popular Crypto Exchange with a Large Crypto Library

A number of factors informed our decision to feature Crypto.com, among the best crypto exchanges in Hawaii today. Chief among them was its large crypto library, seeing that it is home to 250+ digital assets. It also lets you interact with 400+ crypto pairs.

This means that you get to interact with not just the most sustainable cryptos but also get to invest in the most undervalued digital assets. It also gives you access to the best cryptos for beginners as well as the hottest cryptos for active traders.

Crypto.com – Popular Crypto Exchange Hawaii

In addition to having a large library, Crypto.com is also sufficiently liquid. It then compliments this trait with ultra-fast transaction processing speeds and competitive fees. When buying Bitcoin on Crypto.com, for example, you only pay a volume-based maker/taker fee. The amount ranges between 0% and 0.075%.

You don’t even pay a maker fee if you have staked CRO tokens. The taker fee is also discounted by between 3% and 30% – depending on the number of staked CRO tokens. These make Crypto.com one of the best crypto exchanges for active traders.

However, Crypto.com also appeals to beginners and long-term investors. This is done by providing an easy-to-use trading interface and simplifying the crypto-buying process. You, for instance, can buy the best altcoins instantly with PayPal on Crypto.com. Plus, you only need $2 to start investing in the platform. Other supported payment methods include debit cards, credit cards, and bank transfers. The exchange doesn’t charge you a deposit processing fee.

The regulated exchange also exposes you to several passive income-generating programs. Here, you earn up to double-digit interest as income for staking your cryptos. You might be interested in knowing that Crypto.com is one of the few crypto exchanges that support Bitcoin staking. You also earn equally competitive interest rates through crypto lending.

Other factors making Crypto.com one of the best crypto trading platforms and exchanges in Hawaii include its responsive support. This team is available 24/7 via live chat and over the phone. It also makes it here because it is a safe crypto exchange. It presents users with a free mobile wallet app for iOS and Android as well as a web wallet. Plus, it, too, has published its audited proof of reserves.

Pros:
  • Crypto.com is a multi-platform exchange with one of the best crypto trading apps.
  • Holds client private keys in an offline vault
  • It has an OTC portal for large-volume trades at highly competitive fees
  • Multiple ways of buying crypto on the exchange – including trading bots
Cons:
  • One may consider its trading platform complex
  • Crypto.com maintains high crypto withdrawal fees

3. Uphold – Popular Multi-Asset Trading Platform

Uphold is a Silicon valley based multi-asset trading platform. It stands out as the ultimate “Anything for Anything” trading platform as it lets you buy one asset using any other supported asset. Say you want to buy Bitcoin on Uphold, and you only have Gold or stocks in your portfolio.

In other trading platforms, you would first have to convert Gold or stock to fiat cash. Uphold, on the other hand, lets you buy one asset with any other asset. At the time of writing, the trading platform supports all the top trending cryptos and the next cryptos to explode – as many as 250.

Uphold – Popular Multi-Asset Trading Platform

The crypto trading platform maintains a standard fee for all the supported assets. For trades under $500, you will pay a fixed trading fee of $0.99. Trades above $500 are charged a fixed spread of 1.5% of the trade volume. The minimum trade amount on Uphold is also set at $10, and this may be deposited using credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, and eWallets like Google Pay.

Uphold is also one of the best places to buy cryptocurrency in Hawaii because it is easy to use. It appeals to both beginner and expert crypto investors. We especially liked the fact that Uphold is a multi-platform trading brokerage with a highly intuitive mobile trading app. Creating a trader account on either the app or website is also easy – taking no more than just a few clicks. Both platforms have quick transaction processing speeds, while their deep liquidity guarantees minimal to zero slippage.

You would also like to buy Bitcoin and other crypto on Uphold because it is a safe trading platform. It requires all its platform users to enable two-factor authentication on their accounts. It also holds as much as 90% of your digital assets in ultra-secure offline vaults.

Further, Uphold subjects its systems to regular penetration tests to ensure they remain hack-proof. Even more importantly, Uphold’s books of accounts are regularly audited, and the platform always provides proof of reserves on its website.

Pros:
  • Has never been hacked
  • Integrates educational resources for novice investors
  • Integrates advanced trading and analysis tools as well as fundamental indicators
  • Uphold is a regulated multi-asset trading platform
Cons:
  • Has been accused of maintaining a poorly responsive support team
  • Doesn’t insure client deposits or the digital wallets held in the hot wallets.

4. Gemini – Best Crypto Exchange for Passive Investing

Founded in 2014, Gemini is one of the oldest and most repeatable crypto trading platforms in the US. It was also among the first exchanges to introduce passive crypto investing, mostly through staking. Today, it has expanded the number of digital assets you can stake on the platform and grown the returns. This is part of the reason why we feature it among the best crypto exchanges in Hawaii today.

Gemini – Best Crypto Exchange for Passive Investing

However, the passive investing program is currently being attacked by the SEC. The regulator accuses exchanges like Gemini of listing assets like Solana and Ethereum, which the regulator considers securities. The exchange has even paused offering staking services in the US until the SEC case is heard and determined.

Gemini also makes it here because it is a safe crypto exchange. It provides users with an ultra-secure wallet that holds more than 90% of their client assets in ultra-secure offline vaults. The platform provides institutional level security and insurance to its clients. It also demands that clients activate multi-factor authentication for their accounts.

Several other factors informed our decision to feature Gemini along the best altcoin exchanges in Hawaii. These include its appeal to both beginner and expert investors. Its ease of use draws in beginner investors. The integrated trading tools and advanced trading platform – ActiveTrader – help it appeal to expert traders. You even get to margin-trade crypto derivatives – both futures and contracts.

Pros:
  • Regulated crypto exchange
  • Gemini has a decent crypto library of 70+ cryptos
  • It has a responsive support team
  • Gemini is a multi-platform exchange with one of the best crypto-trading mobile apps
Cons:
  • It has a complicated fee structure
  • The legal battles threaten the future of the Gemini Earn program

Is Crypto Investing Legal in Hawaii

Yes, crypto investing is legal in Hawaii. In fact, the State was among the first to come up with a digital currency sandbox in 2020. It was referred to as the Hawaii Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL). It came up with rules and requirements that crypto exchanges had to meet before receiving a Money Transmitter license that authorized its operations in the State.

By May 2020, only 12 crypto exchanges had met DCIL requirements. In January 2021, four more were licensed to operate in the Aloha State.

Cryptocurrency in Hawaii

In early 2024, however, the sate announced the conclusion date for the Hawaii Digital Currency Innovation Lab. The entity will cease operations in June 2024. Beginning in July, crypto exchanges will no longer be required to have a Money Transmitter license to operate in Hawaii. Any crypto exchange will be allowed to offer its services to Hawaii residents as long as it complies with federal laws.

Crypto Taxes in Hawaii

Unlike such states as California and Georgia, Hawaii doesn’t have specific taxation rules and regulations specific to crypto. Nevertheless, it is important to note that Hawaii categorizes crypto as intangible persona property. This puts it in the same taxation rank as stocks, bonds, and other non-physical asses. Some of the taxable events that involve cryptos in Hawaii include crypto mining, crypto staking, crypto lending, and crypto trading.

Practical Tips for Buying Crypto and Bitcoin in Hawaii

In this section, we share a few tips for buying and selling cryptos in the state of Aloha. We go over some things you need to know before and when buying cryptos in Hawaii.

  • Learn about crypto scams: To date, Billions of dollars worth of crypto has been permanently lost to scammers. In 2023, for example, analysis reports that more than $2 Billion worth of crypto was lost to crypto scams. There are currently several types of scams, from phishing scams to rug pulls. Learn as much as possible about these scams and how to avoid them.
  • Keep your crypto safe: You also need to invest in a reliable and secure hardware wallet. It is more secure than hot wallets provided by exchanges and third parties. Such a wallet should keep your private keys offline.
  • Prepare for volatility: You probably know that cryptos are both the most lucrative and one of the riskiest investments. The best way to prepare and guard your investment against such risk is to prepare for volatility. The first step to preparing for volatility involves investing only what you can afford and are willing to lose.
  • Diversify your crypto portfolio: You may also want to diversify your crypto portfolio. Invest in not just the most searched cryptos like Bitcoin, Solana, and Ripple. Add the most promising altcoins like The Graph, as well as sustainable crypto projects like Ethereum, to your portfolio.
  • Understand what you are investing in: Before buying any coin, learn about it. Understand how it works, what real world problem it seeks to solve, its tokenomics, and expected future price performance. Only invest in the best future cryptos.

How to Buy Crypto in Hawaii Today – Step By Step Guide

In this section, we walk you through the process of buying your digital asset on the Kraken exchange.

Step 1: Create a free account on Kraken

On your browser, open the official Kraken exchange website. Alternatively, download the Kraken mobile trading app. Hit the “Sign Up” icon and complete the user registration form that pops up here. It only asks for your basic personal information. The exchange will also inquire about your income sources and trading experience.

Step 2: Verify your identity

You can only complete the registration process after you have verified your identity. Simply submit a copy of your government-issued identification document to the exchange. They will email an account approval notification within 24 hours.

Step 3: Fund this account

After the account is approved, log in and hit the “Deposit” icon. Choose your preferred fiat currency and deposit method. Follow the prompts and fund this account with a minimum of $10.

Step 4: Identify a crypto currency pair to trade

Once the payment is reflected in your account, identify the crypto you wish to buy. You can find it on the list of supported digital assets or use the search button on the trading page. Hit the “BUY” button to begin the investment process.

Step 5: Fill out and submit the order form

An order form will pop up. Customize it by indicating how much you wish to spend on crypto. You also need to enter your preferred market entry price if it is a limit order. Confirm that the details are correct before hitting the “Submit Order” button to execute this investment.

How to Sell Cryptos in Hawaii – Step by Step Guide

The process of selling cryptos on Kraken in Hawaii is rather simple and straightforward. These are the three steps to selling digital assets on Kraken in Hawaii.

  • Step 1: Log back into your Kraken account and hit the “Wallet” icon to view all your open crypto positions.
  • Step 2: Identify the crypto you wish to sell and hit the “SELL” icon against it. Customize the Sell order form that pops up by indicating the amount of the assets you wish to sell and the preferred sale price (for limit orders).
  • Step 3: Hit the “Submit Order” form to execute the sale.

Note: The fiat equivalent of the crypto you just sold will be deposited into your fiat wallet. You are free to withdraw this amount or use it to buy more digital currencies.

Conclusion – How to Buy Cryptocurrency in Hawaii Today

For the longest time, Hawaii had some of the strictest barriers of entry for crypto exchanges. This limited the crypto investor/trader’s choice of trading platforms and access to digital assets. However, this is bound to change in July 2024 when it stops issuing money transmitter licenses to altcoin exchanges. But even then, buying cryptos on regulated exchange sin Hawaii has been rather straightforward.

Do you want to buy cryptocurrency in Hawaii today? Follow the step-by-step beginner guide to investing in crypto that we have outlined above. It teaches you how to buy your first crypto on Kraken.

References:

FAQs on Buying Cryptocurrencies in Hawaii

What is the best crypto exchange in Hawaii?

Kraken is our top choice for the best crypto exchange in Hawaii today. We liked it not only because it is secure but also because it is safe, easy to use, and deeply liquid.

In addition to Kraken, there are 10+ other reputable crypto exchanges operating in Hawaii today. These include Crypto.com, Uphold, and Gemini.

Yes, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most popular cryptos in Hawaii. They are listed with virtually all the popular crypto exchanges operating in the State.

No. At the moment, none of the crypto exchanges operating in Hawaii support anonymous crypto trading.

No. At the time of writing, Binance is not available in Hawaii.

Yes, regulated crypto exchanges operating in Hawaii give users access to multiple passive investing programs – including crypto staking.