Our top picks for where to buy, sell and trade crypto.
Best crypto apps 2022
A few of our top 2022 picks include Binance, Coinbase, Gemini and BlockFi.
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The accessibility of cryptocurrencies has never been so high; however, certain aspects can still prove to be difficult, and even overwhelming, if you're not familiar with the industry.
Thankfully, there are now a number of applications you can use to make tasks easier. These include cryptocurrency exchanges that allow you to trade on the go, cryptocurrency wallets that securely store private keys, lending platforms where you can earn yield and portfolio trackers that help you evaluate your investments.
With such a plethora of options, it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. In this guide, we will discuss our top picks, the types of cryptocurrency applications available and highlight the things to look out for when comparing.
- Best overall: Binance
- Best for beginners: Coinbase
- Best for trading: Kraken
- Best for altcoins: Binance
- Best for mobile use: Gemini
- Best for earning yield: BlockFi
- Best portfolio tracker: Delta
What are the types of crypto apps?
Cryptocurrency apps come in an assortment of unique designs and tackle a range of crypto-related tasks. Let's look at what the most common types of crypto apps are.
The most common application is a cryptocurrency exchange. These applications allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, either in exchange for fiat currency or as a crypto-to-crypto transaction.
While most fulfill the same end goal, the target audience for exchanges can vary considerably. Some target new cryptocurrency investors and others target frequent cryptocurrency traders. Although options and features vary between exchanges, most offer the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies via bank transfer and credit card.
In the earlier days of the cryptocurrency industry, the majority of exchanges were restricted to website interfaces. However, most major cryptocurrency exchanges now offer the same features via a cryptocurrency app.
When purchasing cryptocurrencies, you will need a place to securely store the associated private keys. Cryptocurrency private keys provide you with the authorisation to unlock your funds from a wallet address on the associated blockchain. Private keys ultimately determine who owns the associated cryptocurrency, so it is vital to store them as securely as possible.
While many cryptocurrency exchanges offer crypto wallets, the custody of the private keys remains with the exchange. The exchange is trusted to look after your funds. To improve security, some exchanges now offer standalone cryptocurrency wallet apps that secure private keys locally on your phone. There are also independent versions. The wallet apps ensure you remain in complete control of your private keys at all times. Although wallet apps such as these are classified as "hot" and are, therefore, more at risk of hacking, they can be extremely useful when actively trading.
A more secure option for long-term investments is to store private keys within a hardware wallet. These are physical devices, such as a USB drive, that can be removed from a computer when not in use and can remain disconnected from the Internet. Cold storage wallets usually come with an associated mobile app that allows you to keep watch on the crypto funds.
Cryptocurrency portfolio trackers
Many cryptocurrency investors use multiple exchanges and often multiple wallets. As a result, keeping track of cumulative holdings can prove to be difficult. This is where crypto portfolio trackers can be helpful.
A portfolio tracker app will display digital asset prices and then calculate your portfolio's value based on the current market price. Multiple exchange accounts and crypto wallets can be connected to one application, so whether actively trading or hodling, you will always know how your portfolio is doing.
When you have established your cryptocurrency portfolio, you may wish to capitalise on the range of yield-earning opportunities that now litter the industry. As returns can often be far above what is offered by traditional financial institutions, it can sometimes feel like an advantageous move to put crypto holdings to work.
There are both centralised and decentralised services where you can deposit cryptocurrency funds in return for rewards. Most of these services come with associated mobile applications. With security provided by blockchain technology, and automation thanks to smart contracts, costs can be significantly reduced in comparison to traditional banking. As a result, returns can be significantly higher.
What is the difference between a crypto app and a crypto exchange?
A cryptocurrency app and a cryptocurrency exchange can be one and the same. A cryptocurrency app can refer to a broad group of mobile applications that fulfil a purpose within the cryptocurrency industry. In comparison, a cryptocurrency exchange allows a user to purchase, sell or trade cryptocurrencies.
As cryptocurrency exchanges have grown in popularity, the amount of features available through exchanges has grown too. Many now provide an associated mobile application for users that provide the same features as the website.
Check out our recommended list of cryptocurrency exchanges below.
How to know if a cryptocurrency app is worth using
Not all cryptocurrency apps are created equally. With the number of apps available, choosing the right one that fulfills the right task can prove to be difficult. To help, here are some factors to consider when choosing which cryptocurrency app is right for you.
- Purpose. Before looking for a crypto app, you have to decide what needs the app has to fulfil. Are you new to cryptocurrency investing and looking for a way to purchase cryptocurrency? Do you hold cryptocurrencies on an exchange and looking for a more secure way to store them on a phone? Are you looking for a place where cryptocurrencies could be deposited to earn yield? Starting with a purpose can save significant time when searching.
- Reviews. Take time to assess whether other users have had a successful time with the app. If the app has not fulfilled its purpose for the majority, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
- Range of cryptocurrencies. When dealing with an exchange, wallet or portfolio tracker, it is important to consider how many cryptocurrencies are compatible with the application. The range can vary considerably between different applications.
- Accessibility. Not all cryptocurrency applications can be accessed from everywhere in the world. For example, some will operate within Australia, others will not. Although a cryptocurrency application may be fit for purpose, it needs to be operational within the country where you live.
- Fees. Fees can vary considerably when comparing different cryptocurrency applications. They will vary between exchanges, wallets and portfolio trackers and also between individual apps within each category. Make sure to get a handle on the associated fees before using any application.
- User interface. For less experienced cryptocurrency investors, having an application with a beginner-friendly interface can greatly improve the user experience and greatly reduce the chance of making mistakes. If possible, try to test out an application before signing up for an account. Alternatively, look for reviews from other inexperienced users to see what their experience was like.
- Security. Security is paramount within the cryptocurrency industry. There have been plenty of examples of exchanges or wallets experiencing breaches that have resulted in lost funds. As a result of past attempts, the industry is now one of the most secure, but that does not mean every application implements the same level of security. It is important to research each application thoroughly and become comfortable with the security measures in place.
Getting started in crypto
When first venturing into the world of cryptocurrency investments, crypto apps can hugely simplify the process. They have significantly lowered the barriers of entry for those considering their first purchase and offer plenty of options for those wishing to keep their crypto safe and track their progress. Not only do they provide the flexibility to perform tasks on the go, but they also provide accessibility for those that may not have access to the equivalent website applications.
Like all investments, it is key to only invest what you are willing to lose. Cryptocurrencies are exceptionally volatile and can fall just as quickly as they rise. Thorough research is key to making the best investment decisions. Utilising crypto apps can increase a person's knowledge and can have an influence on investment decisions.
Frequently asked questions
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