Where to Buy Bitcoin North Carolina

Want to buy or sell Bitcoin in North Carolina? Or want to learn more about cryptocurrency exchanges that are available in NC?

Summary of North Carolina Crypto Market:

  • Buying and Selling bitcoin is legal in North Carolina
  • Some cryptocurrency exchanges have obtained North Carolina State approved licenses
  • Some cryptocurrency exchanges operate without a license but accept local residents.

North Carolina is a pro-crypto state, only just behind Wyoming and Nebraska with introducing laws to govern cryptcurrency exchanges and banking services with virtual currency.

As a result North Carolina has a wide range of bitcoin exchanges to choose from.

In this article, we explain the best bitcoin exchanges to use, how to sign up and get started, how to choose an exchange that is right for you, the money transmitter and tax laws, and storing with wallets.

Top 5 North Carolina Bitcoin Exchanges

Overview of North Carolina Bitcoin Exchanges

The most common way to buy bitcoin in North Carolina is via a cryptocurrency exchange. Yes, there are other ways as well, including bitcoin ATMs, mining and exchange for goods and services, but by far the easiest and cheapest way is through an exchange.

An exchange will facilitate matching buyers and sellers. This can either be done directly (peer to peer), or indirectly with the exchange taking on the transaction.

A peer to peer exchange will connect the buyer with the seller. An escrow account is often used to hold the bitcoin and USD, while the transaction is being processed. Once both buy and seller have completed their sides of the transaction, the bitcoin and the USD is then released to complete the exchange. The most popular peer to peer exchange is LocalBitcoins.Com, which acts as an intermediary.

The more traditional exchange acts that the buyer and seller (itself). That means a customer can have its buy and sell orders fulfilled by the exchange operator. These exchanges generally have a higher spread, generating higher profits for the exchange. However, completing a bitcoin transaction is much faster, easier and more convenient.

In selecting any exchange, you should consider several attributes. We outline these attributes and the importance of each.

🔒 Safety and Security

Safety and security is important for user and exchange

During the nascent years of bitcoin, cryptocurrency exchanges were making headlines all the wrong reasons. That is, being hacked, operating as a scam and/or falsifying liquidity. Those years are now long gone, with vast improvement with safety and security for customers. In most states, including North Carolina, exchanges are licensed and regulated. However, due to ambiguity with North Carolina State laws, it is not mandatory to be licensed to accept users. Though some exchanges have obtained a license anyways, which is a very good thing. It demonstrates that those exchanges who have acquired a North Carolina license are serious about being law abiding.

Along with stronger regulatory controls, Exchanges have also improved their technology to be more secure. Strengthening infrastructure, putting in place better procedures, but also offering users functionality to protect user access and authorized transaction limits.

No exchange, however, can protect against a user’s carelessness of revealing passwords or losing keys. Nor can the State prevent users from mistakenly signing up to scams.

Weigh up safety and security. Though it has improved, it should still be at the forefront of consideration.

📞 Customer Support

Prompt, Accessible and Professional

You will find that Customer Support is very important when buying bitcoin on an exchange. Some users will need support going through the KYC process, to execute a trade or to just have general questions about the platform.

Customer Support needs to be accessible, whether it be through Live Chat, email or a hot line. It also needs to be prompt and accurate. Some customer support is AI driven, which is not the best and can become frustrating if you have an urgent issue to be resolved.

Customer Support can also be found with Self Help Centers – information portals with guides, procedures and rules. Self Help Centers are meant to be useful, easy to read and comprehensive. The low trading fee exchanges tend to push their Customer Support towards Self Help Centers because it is one way of saving costs in an effort to allow for low trading fees.

In knowing this, you may find that low a trading fee exchange can compromise on their Customer Support. Bear this in mind when choosing an exchange with low trading fees vs Customer Support.

💳 Payment Methods

Make sure your Payment Method is available

Many of the top North Carolina exchanges will offer the common US payments – ACH, wire transfers. Some will accept debit cards but with limits. Credit cards are much harder to come by, because many financial institutions will not facilitate it (even though it is lawful). Finally, there are very few that will also accept PayPal, Skill and Neteller.

The no frills exchanges may only accept one or two types of payment methods. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the exchange is bad, as long as you are willing to use the payment methods that they offer then there are no issues.

Payment methods are often sought by users for first and foremost Credit Cards. They want to use loyalty points on their cards to access greater rewards. The second most sought after payment methods, are the cheapest ones. Some payment methods will incurr a fee by the exchange which is passed onto the user. Each exchange will have a different fee for their payment methods that they offer.

🪙 Cryptocurrency Selection

Spread your investment

There are two aspects to cryptocurrency selection that should be considered. First, is the diversification benefit that can be obtain by buy several cryptocurrencies outside of bitcoin. Diversification is a common strategy among investors to spread their risk. This reduces volaility.

Secondly, some top exchanges have their own native coin. For example Binance and Crypto.com. With these exchanges, you will be rewarded with native coin, which could go up in value. The more users who join these exchanges, the more liquidity with the native coin.

These benefits should not be overlooked when considering an exchange.

🏷 Coupons and Discounts

Refer a friend and Claim Discounts

To generate a Win-Win situation between exchange and customer, coupons and discounts are offered to grow an exchange. For a quality cryptocurrency exchange, these offers work as a fantastic marketing tool where they can extend their reach without a large marketing expense.

💰 Fees

Trading, Deposit and Withdrawal

Fees can be incurred as trading fees, on deposits or withdrawals. They can also be hidden in spreads, deliberately widened so that an exchange can take a cut.

Fees are very hard to compare from exchange to exchange, because there is no standardized fee calculation. For trading fees, the most common method of calculation is a tiered approach based on volume and dollar amount. The tiers may be complex or simple and can have Terms and Conditions.

Deposit and withdrawal fees can differ based on the method. Different methods may require merchant providers to facilitiate, whom in turn charge a fee, and the exchange may then impose their own administration fee.

Beware that some exchanges will purport to have “zero” exchange fees. This is not possible. The exchanges with zero fees, have wider spreads when buying and selling bitcoin. The wider spreads (which are worse for users) encapsulate a cut for the exchange. This is how the exchange earns an income on the exchange.

The total and absolute fee that a user will incur is therefore difficult to ascertain. But the most popular low trading fee exchanges are FTX.US, Binance.US and Coinbase Pro. These exchanges have fees starting as low as 0.4%.

⚙️ Platform Reliability

Limited downtime, glitch free

The vast majority of exchanges are built on reliable platforms that are easy to use, interface well and do not crash. But, as part of the North Carolina state licensing, they are required to continually improve their system controls, reliability and IT infrastructure. Occasionally, they will need to shut down their platform for maintenance which includes fixing bugs, upgrading software, and adding new features. At most, a shut down should not last more than a day, and will occur outside of normal working hours.

For the vast majority of buyers of bitcoin who are long term traders, platform reliability is an important attribute but not as important as other attributes that we have mentioned.

📈 Liquidity

More buyers and sellers equals more liquidity

Without good liquidity it is hard to be able to sell, liquidate the earnings (or losses). It is important to have liquidity, if not then it could become a problem. Liquidity comes and goes. This is the same for any tradeable asset, like stocks. Trading in stock volumes increase and decrease seasonal and also broadly in alignment with how well the economy is performing.

A low volume exchange has risks that are two fold. One, you will need to bide your time in order to sell for the right price. Low volumes will make this difficult, and especially if you urgently need to sell this could cause you to lose some of your profits. Secondly, a low volume exchange is prone to market manipulation. The larger holders of the coin, could possibly move the market, but it more than likely causes volume volatility on the exchange.

Setting Up an Account

To buy bitcoin on an exchange, you will need to set up an account. The process varies slightly between each of the exchange platforms, but ultimately you will need to go through a KYC (Know-Your-Client) process.

A KYC process is a mandatory requirement by all licensed exchanges in North Carolina. They need to perform this verification, to prevent money laundering and to meet AML (Anti-Money Laundering) international regulations.

The KYC will normally ask for your person details, proof of identity in the form of utility bills, drivers license or passport and social security number. Some exchanges may ask for more information.

Once your KYC has been processed your account will be activated. Now send whatever amount of money into it that matches how much fiat currency you’re willing to spend on bitcoin.

Send your US dollars through a payment method such as a bank transfer and then sit back and wait until it arrives in your exchange wallet — which could take several days depending on how busy they are.

North Carolina Bitcoin Exchange Reviews

Considering the above criteria, following is a review of several bitcoin exchanges for North Carolina.


Binance.US is one of the most popular exchanges in North Carolina. It is part of only a handful of exchanges that have formally obtained a North Carolina Money Transmitter license (November 2020). Thus you can be assured that Binance.US is erring on the right side of the law, even though a license is not necessary. This makes Binance.US an attractive exchange to choose over others.

One reason for Binance.US’s popularity is its low fees. The trading fees and narrow spreads are among the lowest which is attractive for regular buyer. Liquidity is probably the highest, so you will not find any better exchange for a quick bitcoin buy.

Another reason that Binance.US is popular is its native coin BNB. Users are rewarded with BNB for using the exchange, and BNB itself can also be traded. Creating an extraordinarily worthwhile investment.

Lastly, personal accounts can be established and verified within an hour. A no hassles quick start for the buyer who is in a hurry.

In summary, Binance.US is a trustworthy exchange to use to buy bitcoin. The pro’s certainly outweigh the con’s and certainly exceeds in comparison to other exchanges.

  • Money Transmitter License: 190690
  • Cryptocurrencies: 64
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: 0.1% – 0.5%
  • Payment Methods: Debit Card, ACH, Wire Transfer

BlockFi – Avoid

*Update – BlockFi has been issued with a penaly of $196m by the US SEC for the issuing of bitcoin interest earning accounts. BlockFi has stopped accepting new customers, but has been sanctioned to maintain existing customer accounts.

Not many users have heard of BlockFi as an exchange, but they may know of it as a deposit/lender of bitcoin. Offering a good interest rate, for those who don’t want their bitcoin just sitting on their wallet being idle. On the flip side, you can borrow bitcoins from BlockFi, if you want to leverage or need it for business transactions.

It have recently launched an exchange to compliment their deposit and lending facility. The exchange is still in its infancy, only accepting ACH transactions and fees are “zero” which means they are embedded in the spread. Lack of transparency of fees is concerning, with many user prefering low trading fee and narrow spread exchanges.

BlockFi may turn out to have a great exchange. But for the time being perhaps give this one a miss.

  • Money Transmitter License: 187117
  • Payment Methods: ACH
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: embedded in the spread
  • Only supports crypto pairs


CEX io cryptocurrency exchange

Valued at $43 billion, over 4 million customers, CEX.IO is a UK based worldwide exchange. Supporting over 100 cryptocurrencies, it most certainly is the best exchange to use to diversify quickly and with convenience. Its platform is advanced, and is suited for the experienced trader, while fees are reasonable.

For beginners the platform maybe confusing at first – lots of products, features and reporting that can be used. The platform is most definitly secure and safe, with regulations to be met in the UK, as well as US FinCen. In addition it is licensed in North Carolina, and is legally accepting local residents.

  • Money Transmitter License: 184054
  • Cryptocurrencies: 100+
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: 0.15% – 0.25% + deposit and withdrawal fees
  • Payment Methods: Debit Card, Credit Card, ACH, Wire Transfer

Coinbase Pro


Coinbase Pro is a great exchange that many in North Carolina are using. Coinbase is a licensed Money Transmitter in the State, hence you can be assured of its safety and security.

Users like the low trading fees, but also a reliable platform and selection of supported cryptocurrencies. The downside is that the fee structure is quite complex. So just be cautious when choosing your payment method and trading volume if you are concerned about fees.

Also note, that there are two platforms. Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The latter is the cheaper platform is suitable for a trader seeking to buy and sell bitcoin regularly. The Coinbase (generic) platform is the basic version which charges more for instant bitcoin buys.

  • Money Transmitter License: 161420
  • Cryptocurrencies: 96
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: 0.5% – 4.5%
  • Payment Methods: Debit Card, Credit Card, ACH, Wire Transfer


coinmama cryptocurrency exchange

For beginners, you can’t go past Coinmama – intuitive, simple and well thought out user experience. Buying bitcoin on Coinmama could not be any easier. It’s fees aren’t the lowest around, but it excels with customer support. At just under 100 supported cryptocurrencies, you can easily divest your digital assets and spread your risk.

The exchange is reliable and offer both Android and iOS mobile apps.

Choose Coinmama if you want a no fuss quick buy bitcoin exchange.

  • Money Transmitter License: N/A
  • Cryptocurrencies: 96
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: 0.5% – 4.5%
  • Payment Methods: Debit Card, Credit Card, ACH, Wire Transfer

Crypto.com (CDC)

Crypto.com is splashing out with marketing to become the biggest exchange in North Carolina. Joining forces with the well known basketball player – Lebron James, and the movie star – Matt Damon, you will definitely see lots of promos. Crypto.com is now also the name of the LA sport stadium that used to be called the Staples Center.

Looking beyond its marketing campaign, Crypto.com is an exchange that offers many perks, and an excellent trading experience. One of the perks is being rewarded with the native coin CRO. The more you use Crypto.com the more CRO you can earn.

CRO can also be traded, just like any other cryptocurrency. Hence, there is a lot of upside with trading on Crypto.com.

Crypto.com offers a fantastic debit card made literally of heavy metal. It can be used just like any debit card and is widely accepted. But to be honest, it is very gimmicky and is mostly used as a good conversation starter at a party.

The app is sturdy, robust and mostly glitch free. If there are any issues, users have found by simply uninstalling and reinstalling the app, it begins to work smoothly again. Trading fees are among the lowest, though spreads are just ok. As Crypto.com grows, we expect to see better spreads.

  • Money Transmitter License: Approved
  • Cryptocurrencies: 250+
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: 0.5% – 4.5%
  • Payment Methods: Debit Card, Credit Card, ACH, Wire Transfer


etoro cryptocurrency exchange

eToro comes across as professional, sharp and powerful. But at the end of the day, when an exchange purports that they have “zero” trading fees, and takes a cut through the widening of spreads, let’s just say transparency is lacking.

There is no question, that eToro has an excellent platform. Their history of trading in foreign currency and extending it to cryptocurrency allows eToro to have one of the best platforms. Smooth, seamless, mostly glitch free, the system is easy to use even for the beginner.

The support cryptocurrencies is limited, at only under thirty, and while it states that they are licensed on their exchange, they don’t explicitly mention their license number.

We like eToro for their exchange capabilities, the trading features that can allow you to implement strategic bitcon buy and sells, but we dislike its lack of transparency in fees.

  • Money Transmitter License: 182621
  • Cryptocurrencies: 27
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: zero (but huge spreads making eToro more expensive than Binance.US and Coinbase).
  • Payment Methods: Wire, ACH, PayPal, e-wallets


FTX.US is competing strongly against Crypto.com in terms of marketing. Partnering several NBA, NFL and MLB teams, it’s biggest drawcard is having Tom Brady as a shareholder and brand ambassador.

Strikingly, FTX.US is the lowest trading fee exchange (without any hidden cuts in the spread). This is certainly attracting many customers to its platform. Unfortunately, the supported currencies is a little light at only 20.

Nevertheless, FTX.US is one of the best buy bitcoin exchanges available for North Carolina.

  • Money Transmitter License: Pending approval
  • Cryptocurrencies: 20
  • Mobile App: iOS and Android
  • Fees: 0.4% – 5.0%
  • Payment Methods: Wire, ACH, PayPal, e-wallets


kraken cryptocurrency exchange

Belongs in the top exchanges for North Carolina, Kraken has been around since the early days of Bitcoin. Famously begun to provide an alernatively to Mt. Gox (which infamously made headline for millions of stolen bitcoins), Kraken has never been “publicly” hacked.

Similar to Coinbase, there is a basic platform and an advance user platform Kraken Pro.

The platform has many users, hence liquidity is not a problem, and fees are reasonable.


Nexo is a Euro based deposit and lending platform which has branched out to being an exchange. It has followed the same path of BlockFi (with the only difference that BlockFi is USA based).

In knowing that Nexo is offshore based, users may want to choose BlockFi for that extra piece of mind.

Certainly the deposit and lending business of bitcoin has made a healthy return for many in the industry. How Nexo.io can make ground in the exchange area remains to be seen with an overcrowded market in the US.

  • Fees – Zero

Bitcoin ATMs

With the help of Bitcoin ATM, it’s quite easy for potential investors to buy bitcoins whenever they have enough funds available. They make the process so quick and easy that traders used to wonder whether things have been done properly or not. It is worth mentioning that Bitcoin ATMs charge between 5% to 10% fees against providing privacy, security and convenience of keeping personal and other details in private. This fee is literally worth the features traders will be getting.


Known for providing an escrow service, this cryptocurrency platform enables clients to find the right buyers for their Bitcoins. Although advertisement is a good option to go with, many have not received the required level of responses. The thing that makes LocalBitcoins different from others is the in-person meeting, which is facilitated and secured by LocalBitcoins have turned out to the fastest platform to acquire Bitcoins within a few minutes.

North Carolina Cryptocurrency Tax Ruling and Rates

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a taxable asset in the eyes of the IRS. Therefore when you buy and sell bitcoin, you will need to calculate how much tax is payable. Tax is dependent on the outcome of realizing capital gains or losses. The tax rates differ between short term and long term, which is defined by one year. Short term realized gains have tax rates that are in alignment with personal income tax rates. While long term realized gains have an average of 20% (but may differ depending on your circumstances).

Be prepared to submit to the IRS details of your trading activity. Most exchanges will provide tax reports which will help with the IRS submission.

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Laws and Legislation

In 2016, Governor Pat McCrory formally signs House Bill 289 into law. This bill amends the North Carolina Money Transmitter Act to include the term “virtual currency”. With this change, licensing of cryptocurrency exchanges becomes legislated and becomes a requirement by state law. The progressive and liberal laws extends virtual currency to ear mark the use of blockchain technology for the use of recording, electronic signatures and for the use of contracts.

Bringing HB298 to fruition took many months in the making. With the collaboration between the two departments of North Carolina Commissioner of Banks and the General Assembly and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, HB289 went through many drafts and revisions. But eventually with the official signing into law in 2016, North Carolina became the third state to introduce virtual currencies into their Money Transmitter, behind Wyoming and Nebraska.

The precedence of New York, which is a state that is staunchly against the development of blockchain, has led other States to persue a more liberal approach, and take advantage of New York’s exodus of blockchain businesses. And North Carolina is one of those states that has moved quickly to take the opportunity to encourage start ups to be based in their state.

As a result of opening the market to blockchain technology, bitcoin ATMs has been able to flourish in the state. Found in several convenience store outlets, grocery stores and other well known department stores, bitcoin ATMs can be located with bitcoin ATM finders.

Some ATMs are also referred to as kiosks, but effectively they behave the same with accepting deposits and withdrawals.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Wallets

Some exchanges also offer wallets. It’s not necessary for a good exchange to offer a wallet to their clients, though it can be a nice to have for new investors. However, be aware that online wallets offered by exchanges are normally hot wallets. That is, these wallets are connected permanently to the internet. This can be quite risky to use a wallet that is controlled by the exchange and not by yourself.

Hence it’s not necessarily a good thing if an exchange offers a wallet, but it’s a nice to have, if you are looking for an exchange with their own wallet.

  • Online Wallets: Every crypto-exchange has their own wallet where traders can store their coins or cryptocurrencies for as long as they want. However, there are two types of these wallets that traders have to decide about which wallet they want to use for their trading.
  • North Carolina Hot Wallets: Since the inception of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, wallets have been transformed and divided into two forms- desktop and online. Digital wallets are free and can hold any cryptocurrency that traders want. They enable them to get easy access to their cryptocurrencies via mobile devices. They are perfect for beginners who want something easy to start with.
  • North Carolina Cold Wallets: These specifically designed devices work as physical cryptocurrency storage that allow traders to bring their cryptos with them, no matter where they are going. Though, the only considerable thing is their expensive nature with limitations of storing certain cryptocurrencies for future use.

The minium legal age to buy and sell bitcoin in North Carolina is 18.


North Carolina, offers various ways to buy bitcoin. The most common is via cryptocurrency exchanges. The vast majority of cryptocurrency exchanges are licensed by the Commissioner of Banks.

When choosing a cryptocurrency exchange consider one that aligns with the investment strategy. A good balance of fees, safety and security, platform reliability, liquidity, supported cryptocurrencies and payment methods is often sought after.

In addition to buying on a cryptocurrency exchange, bitcoin can be bought at ATMs, through the exchange of goods and services or mining.

After purchasing bitcoin, a wallet is needed to store it. The keys to the wallet are vital in keeping safe. There are different types of wallets, each with their pro’s and con’s that should be considered. The choice of wallet, will depend on the user’s risk appetite.

Finally, when using bitcoin there are tax implications. In the event of profit or earnings, these should be consider when lodging IRS taxes.

How to Lodge a Cryptocurrency Customer Complaint

If you have a complaint, you should raise it directly with the exchange first.

Always keep records of the issue, and dialogue with the exchange.

If the issue remains unresolved, you can contact the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks.

North Carolina Commissioner of Banks
316 W. Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27603


Bordering States

South Carolina | Georgia | Tennessee | Virginia

Best Exchanges

Low fees, high liquidity

Top notch crypto exchange, with the lowest fees, high volume trades, and fast processing.