You would have to be living under a rock to not notice that cryptocurrency has exploded in popularity over the last few years. And not just popularity—its value has gone off the charts as well.
But what is cryptocurrency?
How does it work?
Why is it valuable?
And where do you even get it?
So, now we know that cryptocurrency is non-physical money. Where do you get non-physical money?
You get it from trading apps. Most of the time those apps will be normal trading platforms, but not always. You see, most trading platforms started off as stock trading platforms that branched out to foreign currency, and then branched out to cryptocurrency after a while.
Those apps will sometimes require a “broker” to get you a license for the app. Apps that are purely focused on crypto, however, will not require a step like that. We will go over both kinds of app.
With all that being said, here are ten of the best crypto apps in 2022.
TOP 10 Crypto Apps in the UK 🇬🇧️
|Service Provider||Rating||Sign up|
|1. eToro||★★★★★||Open Account|
|2. Coinbase||★★★★★||Open Account|
|3. Gemini||★★★★★||Open Account|
|4. Binance||★★★★★||Open Account|
|5. Kraken||★★★★★||Open Account|
|6. Crypto.com||★★★★★||Open Account|
|7. BlockFi||★★★★★||Open Account|
|8. FTX.US||★★★★★||Open Account|
|9. Robinhood Crypto||★★★★★||Open Account|
|10. Webull||★★★★★||Open Account|
Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on
profits may apply.
1. eToro – Best Overall Crypto App
You do not have to go far to hear someone extolling the virtues of eToro. And there is good reason for that. In many ways, eToro is the “complete package” as far as trading apps go.
What does that mean? It means that there is basically nothing that you cannot trade on eToro. Stocks, ETFs, CFDs, all of it can be exchanged on eToro.
Cryptocurrency can be exchanged as well, but more importantly, most cryptocurrency can be exchanged on eToro, and for other securities.
68% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on
profits may apply.
eToro users under FCA regulation cannot open CFD crypto positions, all orders are opened as real assets.
When most people think of cryptocurrencies, they think of Bitcoin. Maybe Ethereum if they spend time around people who talk about crypto. But there are actually hundreds of different cryptocurrencies.
One of the best parts about eToro is that you can use it to trade them all.
And not only can you trade many different types of crypto, but you can use eToro to trade them for each other as well. This is possible because eToro tracks the value of each currency.
Because they know how much Bitcoin is worth, and how much something more obscure like the Graph is worth, they can facilitate a fair trade between someone offering Bitcoin and someone else offering the Graph, when ordinarily a trade would be really difficult.
The biggest issue that eToro has is its own size. Its community is big, but it is made manageable by the fact that you will only need to approach a single part of it at a time. The rest of the app, on the other hand, can feel as large and difficult to navigate as the market itself.
If you have knowledge of what you are looking for beforehand it can be made much easier. But newer traders are going to feel overwhelmed, and even people experienced in the cryptocurrency exchange are going to feel like they have to sift through too many other securities to get what they want.
2. Coinbase – Best Crypto Investment App
But the focus of Coinbase is not trading. Rather, it is about investing. How does investing in crypto work though? It is simple: Either you invest in the currency itself, or you trade the currency like foreign currency. But not everyone has traded in foreign currency, so let’s go over what that means.
Trading in foreign currency is a complex business in practice, but in theory it is quite simple. Think of any given currency. We will use French francs as an example again. Francs change in value relative to, say, the Euro. Sometimes they are worth more, and sometimes they are not worth as much as Euros.
You can buy francs with Euros while they are not worth as much, and then sell them when they are worth more than Euros. Just by moving money around you have increased your amount of Euros.
You can do the same thing with cryptocurrencies, except it is even easier to do with crypto. The funny thing is that its difficulty is actually the inverse of normal foreign currency.
With normal foreign currency, the idea behind it makes sense and is somewhat easy to track. But the practice of it is difficult due to all the hoops brokers make you jump through. Cryptocurrency is far harder to track, but there are far fewer hoops to jump through to do it because it is more secure.
So, Coinbase lets you trade and invest in cryptocurrency. What else does it do?
The best feature of Coinbase is its app and interface. Every platform has a trading app for crypto, and every one of those apps has an interface, but not all of them are created equal. In the case of Coinbase, its interface makes navigating the hundreds of cryptocurrencies surprisingly easy.
On top of that, it also has currency tracking so that you can get alerts when certain currencies increase, decrease, or reach certain thresholds of value. And finally, it has an excellent knowledgebase.
The real issue with Coinbase is that for all it does to allow you to trade and invest in crypto, what you will find is that many more obscure currencies will have to be traded for “translator” currencies first.
This means that while every currency is one step away from being tradable for every other currency, it still will have to go through that step. A translator currency is a currency that all currencies can be measured against. For example, consider Bitcoin and Dogecoin.
Maybe you cannot trade Bitcoin for Dogecoin to an exact degree of value, but you can trade either or both to a translator currency. And only then can you trade that currency for either of the others for a highly exact amount that reflects the value of what you are getting.
This complicates the process of trading, making the interface improvements feel wasted.
3. Gemini – Best Security
Most people who get into crypto nowadays come from finance. That means they approach crypto as if it were just another security, such as stocks or bonds. But anyone who started dealing in crypto back when it was first coming out will tell you that security is the most important feature an app can have.
This might seem obvious. Of course you want your money to be secure. But security works differently for cryptocurrency than it does for other securities. That is what Gemini addresses so well.
Holding onto cryptocurrency means keeping that cryptocurrency in a “wallet”. That wallet is technological in some way. Either it will be a website, an app, or a physical memory stick. In any case, it is something that you need a computer to access. That is its greatest strength and its biggest weakness.
You need a computer to access your crypto because you need the internet to connect to the blockchain. But when you connect to the internet, the passwords that secure your crypto can be compromised.
When this happens, it is like if someone steals money out of your safe—who is to say why it got transferred? Once it leaves your account, it can be very hard to get it back by any means.
Gemini uses layers of security measures to ensure that your crypto stays yours. The main method it uses is by protecting all of your account access behind a wall of 256-key encryption. This is encryption that is unbreakable by even the most advanced computer, as it takes far too long for a computer to break it.
But that is not all it does. The thing about the blockchain is that once it changes, it can be hard to undo those changes without another record to contradict it. Gemini supplies those records. Because they keep track of your crypto themselves, they can make disputing issues in the blockchain much easier.
All of that accounts for how good Gemini is as a wallet. But it also serves as a cryptocurrency debit card, as well as a trade platform that is pretty intuitive. Its focus is on cryptocurrencies, trading over 70 different coins, as well as having its own translator currency to make sure you can trade all of them.
It also has cashback opportunities and a variety of different account options from demo accounts, professional investor accounts, and even student accounts with a more manageable interface.
The focus Gemini puts on cryptocurrency means that it is, rather knowingly, not going to be getting into public trading. It has more in common with a crypto wallet than a trading app. So, while you can trade cryptocurrency on the app, it is not going to let you use that currency to get stocks, bonds, CFDs, etc.
4. Binance – Best Translator Currency
We just got done saying translator currencies are a pain. But that is what makes Binance great: It solves the problem of translator currencies.
How? By having its own translator currency.
When most apps use a translator currency, they are using a currency that they do not have control over. Because they have control over that currency, there will be value lost in a few ways when the translator currency is used. Transaction fees, processing times, that sort of thing that adds up over many trades.
But Binance’s translator currency is local to the Binance platform. That means that it can be used without any slowdown to the trading process, and with no value lost on top of that.
Binance also allows you to buy its own currency from it and store it elsewhere. It can do this because the total amount of Binance is capped at all times. Only a certain amount exists, and the blockchain allows the market to quickly assess the value of it. That makes it an easy currency to track in many ways.
It is so easy to track, in fact, that some other sites and platforms have begun using Binance as a translator currency in contexts outside the Binance platform. This is generally a good thing, but those apps will occasionally saddle you with a transaction fee for a currency that does not require it.
Using the Binance app ensure you do not get swindled in this way.
Besides that, Binance is a great app for trading between literally every cryptocurrency in the world (even new and obscure ones). Because you can buy Binance directly from the app, it is also an excellent entry point for newer traders who are starting from only having real-world money and want to get into crypto.
With that being said, it is one of the more simple apps out there. Its interface is clean as a result, but you should not expect to buy other securities on it, or even have alerts as to certain currencies’ prices.
Its main function is the translation of different currencies between each other. This is an irreplaceable niche to fill, but because it is focused entirely on that, it does not do much else.
5. Kraken – Best Beginner App
When you think of what is keeping you from getting into crypto, what do you think of? The cost? Knowledge? Ease of access? There are probably a thousand more things that are in your way, whether you know about them or not. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an app designed to circumvent those?
That is exactly what Kraken aims to do. Where there is a need, the free market often rises to meet it. In this case, that need is a need for an app that helps one get started in cryptocurrency.
Kraken starts by having a low cost of entry. You do not need to have crypto to get it—you can pay into the app by putting £7.50 into your app’s account, which you then use to buy up to 65 different currencies.
And if you are unsure which currencies to buy, the Kraken has you covered on that front as well. They have an extensive knowledgebase that they offer you just for having an account. This knowledgebase includes the fundamentals of cryptocurrency, as well as which currencies are used for what purposes.
This is important, as the differences between market currencies like Bitcoin and translator currencies like Binance might indicate to you. But while these differences are critical to getting the right currency, they are not always well-advertised. The right information can save you from buying the wrong coin.
Kraken does not throw it in your face on their site, but through their trading platform you can actually access quite a few different types of securities. They are focused on crypto, and as such they do not pull from that many different markets. But the markets they pull from are well-covered.
These securities include the standard things like stocks and bonds, to more advanced securities like ETFs and indices. This means that you do not just have to learn through stuffy tutorials. ETFs and indices are not just securities, they are also great tools for learning practical lessons about how the market works.
Some traders are going to find the user friendliness of Kraken to be almost extreme. One of the classic tensions in designing a platform like Kraken is that you cannot please everyone. If you hold a new user’s hand, you will be holding an experienced user back from what they really want to do on the market.
And if you make things easy, you also deny the user the ability to optimize their money making ability. You can feel this in Kraken’s design, since crypto trades are far easier to make than trades in other securities. Also, Kraken lacks the ability to reliably facilitate users’ trades of securities using crypto.
6. Crypto.com – Best Spending App
So, you have made your first hexa-deca-septillion dollars from cryptocurrency.
Now what? How do you spend it? The answer to that is not so easy. In the case of most crypto, in fact, it is quite complicated.
You see, due to the way the blockchain works you are going to have trouble spending your money like a normal person. If you are at a gas pump you cannot pay for the gas you buy with Bitcoin. You know how when you swipe your card there is a period where the system verifies that you have the money?
In that moment, the machine you swipe your card at is asking the bank if you have money. If that bank says yes, the system accepts that bank’s word. Transferring the money from the bank to the place you are swiping your card at takes longer than that, but the value of the bank’s word makes it faster.
Because cryptocurrency makes use of blockchain technology, that “word” needs to be gotten not just from one bank, but from every link in the blockchain. That means it is hard to have a Bitcoin credit card.
Crypto.com seeks to solve that problem. They do this by essentially structuring themselves as a cryptocurrency bank. They participate in the blockchain, but they transfer the value of your money and their own in a number of different ways to ensure that you can use their debit card like a normal card.
In short, Crypto.com is the app you want to use if you intend to manage and use your crypto like normal money. You can apply for a card easily and start both trading and using your crypto as you see fit.
All that talk about the practical uses of Crypto.com’s debit card are great, but some people will just want a good trading platform. Crypto.com has that too. Trading in over 250 different currencies, trading stocks on margin, CFDs, options, and binary options, the app lets you trade in a huge number of ways.
The goal of Crypto.com is to blur the line between crypto banking and normal banking. For this reason, they naturally have a lot of tools for making sure you can trade whatever currency you hold for whatever security you want. Even if a currency is incompatible, they will help you translate it.
The nature of Crypto.com living on the cutting edge means that sometimes, you get cut. Many of the markets Crypto.com participates in are risky and volatile. This extends to the securities they trade in.
Crypto.com has a huge community with lots of traders and different currencies, but it has trouble keeping up with its own size at times. It will help you make use of a strange currency, but that help might come from a customer service representative rather than the app itself if it is too weird.
7. BlockFi – Best Margin Trading
Margin trading is a technique of investment that is very much situated in traditional markets’ methods of trading. Cryptocurrency trading sits in between new and old methods of trading, and this is one of the methods that many crypto trading apps are the most resistant to allowing their users to employ.
The reason for this? Margin trading has a bad reputation.
Margin trading is when you take out a loan to buy a security. The idea is that the amount of money you make from the security is at least slightly higher than the payments you make on that loan.
That way you and the person who gave you the loan both make money, as does the person from whom you bought the security. It is a rare case of everyone winning. But it does not work out so well when you cannot make enough money to pay back the loan off of your security.
In that case, the person who made the loan to you does not win. And naturally, they are going to offset that defeat onto you. This circumstance is so displeasing that many platforms avoid margin entirely.
BlockFi, however, seeks to introduce margin trading into the cryptocurrency market in an easy-to-manage way. Technology has made margin trading safer than every way. Refinancing loans is easier, as is spending those loans on securities that will actually yield viable returns to pay the loans.
Because of this, interest rates through BlockFi can be lower as well. That all adds up to low interest loans on cryptocurrencies that are reliably growing fast. BlockFi is one of the few crypto apps exploring margin trading in this way and is definitely the app with the best tools for its users to explore it.
BlockFi is a modern trading app in every way. That means that in addition to simple exchange of cryptocurrency, it also has news and analysis of the newest market trends. This makes it easy to pick which currencies will being seeing booms, and which are about to see some serious busts.
That also means that they have the security you can expect from a top tier app. As mentioned before, this is especially important with crypto, where the keys to your currency are basically your life.
BlockFi has unique apps for trading, wallet management, and loans. This means you do not have to participate in the others if you only want to deal with one.
While it has its own appeal, you probably were able to guess that BlockFi separating trading, its wallet, and its loans into three different apps can be kind of confusing. In addition to this, its trading app is generally rather limited. It does not handle securities outside of cryptocurrency.
Its knowledgebase is also lacking given the complexity of the type of trading it focuses on. Trading on margin is less risky than it used to be, but someone who is unfamiliar needs to learn before they trade.
8. FTX.US – Best NFT Trading
NFTs are the newest addition to the cryptocurrency world. They are similar to the blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, but rather than confirming the presence and security of a currency, they confirm the presence and security of a copyright (although most copyright laws have yet to catch up to them).
Much has been said about NFTs, but no one can deny that they are an enticing marketplace. The amount of money being traded for them, and the amount of corporate interest in them, makes them an exciting new security if only for the profit-seeking minded individual.
FTX.US is an app that is focused on this new security. They also trade in cryptocurrency, and in both cases, they emphasize speed. Creating your account takes minutes, as does depositing your money or currency and beginning your trades. This is all owed to the efficiency of their app.
The value of the FTX.US marketplace comes from prestige and security. Prestige is provided by celebrity endorsements. People want what these people have, so there is interest in the market already.
Security comes from the regulation that FTX.US is subject to. It is a United States-based app (you have to connect the US in order to trade NFTs), meaning they fall under SEC jurisdiction. This is one of the most well respected governmental oversight bodies in the world, ensuring that the platform is legitimate.
As with many apps dealing with new technologies, FTX.US has an issue of scope. It takes on the big challenge of making an accessible cryptocurrency and NFT trading space, but in the process it loses out on trading any other securities.
9. Robinhood Crypto – Best Community
The community around Robinhood Crypto is a curious one. Whenever we talk about an app, we try to focus on what need it fulfills. What does the app do that no other app can do? In the case of Robinhood Crypto, the app has a community that no other app has, despite what the app itself wants.
That is an odd statement. To clarify: Robinhood Crypto is the cryptocurrency branch of the biggest mobile trading app in the world. That does not make it the best trading app in the world, though it does have quite a few good features. Its community is the real attraction here though.
There are times when Robinhood will be restricted by the rules of its home country (the United States) or seek to modify stock trades in its favor (such as by delisting stocks). The community works to keep the app honest, providing communication and feedback with the developers to let their voices be heard.
As a result, the Robinhood community can act as a knowledgebase, a trading group, a mutual fund, and an index all at once. And not only that, but you can engage with these things on a personal level.
Due to being one of the biggest apps in the world, Robinhood Crypto allows you to integrate into the actual Robinhood app. This means access to a huge selection of markets and securities.
These include foreign currency, stocks, commodities, bonds, ETFs, indices, CFDs, binary options, futures, and options. That is basically every security under the sun, and it includes more than 100 different cryptocurrencies on top of that. In short, there are few things on Robinhood that you cannot do.
That probably makes it sound like the #1 app, but there is a reason it is the #9. Robinhood Crypto has an issue of integrating all those different currencies together. Not only that, it is well known for having outages, security breaches, and suspicious activity. These are all things that the community helps with.
The community can help you keep track of trades while the app is unresponsive, recover and even prevent security breaches, and spot suspicious activity. But of course, that is a lot of work that not everyone wants to do.
10. Webull – Best Long Term Investments
Many apps focus on the retail investor—that is, the everyday person looking to get into the stock market—but it is oftentimes in the most predatory way. They make it easy for the retail investor to lose money in increasingly more convoluted ways. That investor rarely knows what they are getting into.
The most common reason this kind of investor gets into the cryptocurrency market is because they want to grow a retirement fund. This is the case with the stock market as well. They want to make small investments that appreciate over time. But if an app is taking your money, how can it do that?
Webull’s priority is making sure that your investments grow. To that end they offer great counseling services and tax information for making sure your investment strategy pays off in the longest run.
The focus of Webull is growth. That means that they are all about analysis, prediction, and most importantly, strategy. If you have a good investment strategy, then you can weather even the most turbulent financial situations. Webull helps you develop one with their many tools.
In particular, they help you do this with cryptocurrency. This is a new feature, but Webull handles it very naturally. And this is great, since so many apps treat crypto like a lottery ticket.
Webull is focused on growth. That means that as an app, it is not focused on trading. You can use it to buy different currencies and invest in stocks, but the interface is clearly geared more towards analysis than actually making these actions easy to take. This is by design, but it appeals to a very small niche.
How Does Crypto Currency Work?
Cryptocurrency is defined by two traits: The first is the fact that it has no physical counterpart. Picking a completely random example, there are only so many French francs in existence. If you emptied out all the French banks, wallets, and couch cushions into one big pile, it would be all the French money.
The biggest advantage and the biggest drawback of physical money are both the same thing: Holding the money implies ownership. It does not guarantee ownership in all cases, but it does in most cases.
That means if all of the French francs you own are in a safe in your house and the money gets stolen from the safe, then it is almost impossible to prove that the money was ever yours.
“But wait,” you might say, “it was in my safe!” Yes, and as long as it is in a safe that you own it is easily proven to be yours. But once it leaves that safe, who is to say who owns it beyond who holds it? Most people keep their money in banks because then they can use the bank’s authority to claim ownership.
This is why it is important that cryptocurrency be non-physical. Because it has no physical counterpart, no one can steal it from anyone else. Many people hear that and think it is an exaggeration—how can a currency be immune to being stolen? Well, that is what is so special about cryptocurrency.
The second trait that defines cryptocurrency is its “blockchain”. Holding cryptocurrency does not grant you ownership of it. So, what does grant you ownership of it? That is why the blockchain exists.
What is the Blockchain? ⛓️
The blockchain is a computer program whose job it is to validate the existence and ownership of cryptocurrency. Each cryptocurrency has its own blockchain, though some crypto shares blockchains with other crypto, or is at least tied very closely to the blockchain of that other cryptocurrency.
But what does it mean to “validate the existence and ownership of cryptocurrency”?
Well, imagine you have a single Bitcoin. And then you buy something from me that costs one Bitcoin. In order to complete this transaction, you and the seller must report that purchase to the blockchain program.
Then, the blockchain program reports to the rest of the blockchain that this transaction took place. The rest of the blockchain acknowledges that the seller owns the Bitcoin you gave them for your purchase.
Think back to what we said about money in banks. Most people keep money in banks because the bank has the authority to say that the money exists and that you own it.
The blockchain accomplishes that same thing, but rather than the authority coming from the reputation of a single entity, it comes from all the different Bitcoin holders on the blockchain. All those little voices throughout the whole blockchain add up to one big voice that claims that it has financial value.
Most crypto apps exist to fulfill a niche. Trading is one thing but keeping your cryptocurrency secure is another thing entirely. Some apps are good all-arounders, but not as good at fulfilling your needs.
So, be sure you know what you need as you are getting into crypto. Whether you need somewhere to bet big on trades, or slowly grow your assets, there is surely a crypto app for you.