Buying Bitcoin in Idaho is legal via Bitcoin ATMs, mining, and a handful of approved cryptocurrency exchanges.
A snapshot of Idaho Cryptocurrency Market:
- Legal minium aged to buy and sell bitcoin is 18 years old.
- Bitcoin can be bought through several Idaho licensed cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Licensing and regulation is through the Idaho Department of Finance, Securities Bureau
- Local Bitcoin ATMs are available to buy bitcoin
Buying bitcoin in Idaho is not difficult, but there are only a handful of approved cryptocurrencies to trade with. Besides buying through an exchanges, bitcoin can be purchased through ATMs, mining and via the exchange for goods and services.
Federal IRS taxes are applicable on any investment gains and losses when buying and selling bitcoin. State taxes have yet to be defined when bitcoin is being used for the exchange for goods and services.
We discuss futher, how to get started with buying bitcoin, where can you buy bitcoin, the legality of buying bitcoin personally as well as how to choose an exchange.
Before jumping into further details, we have singled out a handful of our recommended Idaho exchanges for you.
Top 5 Idaho Bitcoin Exchanges
- Licensed with the Idaho Department of Finance, Securities Bureau
- Caters for both beginner and sophisticated traders
- Fees are among the lowest (second to Binance.US)
- Mobile app is available for on the go trading
- Licensed with the Idaho Department of Finance, Securities Bureau
- The best for sophisticated volume traders
- Has its own card, partnering with VISA
- Provides an online wallet
- Good low fees, but not the lowest
- Great perks with Crypto.com card and native coin
- Easy to use layout without compromising on features
- Licensed and regulated in Idaho
- Great user experience
- Easy to use
- Large selection of crypto
- Platform for NFTs
- High volume
- Over 90 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin
- Perfect for starters to mid level experienced traders
- Top customer Service
Overview of Idaho Bitcoin Exchanges
Idaho lawmakers don’t know whether they are coming or going. But definitely, buying bitcoin is legal in this state. The only real question is via what channels. This has posed many dilemmas among the cryptocurrency exchanges. As a result there are some cryptocurrency exchanges , most notably Binance.US, that are not allowed to accept residents from Idaho. There are even some exchanges that were previously acceptable, have no closed up shop, for example, LocalBitcoins.com.
In many ways, having a reduced number of exchanges that Idaho residents can choose from makes life easier when choosing an exchange. Having said that, it should still not discount the importance of what factors make a good cryptocurrency exchange.
We discuss the attributes that you should consider when selecting a bitcoin exchange.
Fees is considered the number one factor when selecting a cryptocurrency exchange. Fees can start from as little as 0.10% (i.e. Coinbase) and extend up to 2% At first look, it may appear not a big difference in percentage fees, but it is! This is a vital consideration, especially if you intend to trade often and in volume.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the lowest fee cryptocurrency exchange site in America is not availble to residents of Idaho. That is, Binance.US. Binance.US is the lowest with fees AND spreads combined, making it the most cost effective cryptocurrency exchange for most Americans. But sadly not for residents of Idaho.
🔒 Safety and Security
Back in the day, when cryptocurrency exchanges first came to prominence, several high profile hacks occurred with many bitcoins stolen. One of the hacks, was at a Japanese exchange named Mt Gox, which led to the creation of Kraken. An exchange that proudly touts that is has never been hacked. Nowadays, safety and security has signficantly improved. All the top exchanges have insurance to protect against them in the event of a hack. Please remember, that this insurance is for the exchange only, and does not provide protection for individual customers of the exchange.
In addition to a platforms safety and security, the Federal and State government have imposed their own requirements to be met to ensure criminal activity is prevented. The US is one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to licesning and regulatins. As a result, some exchanges will go to great lengths to ensure customers fulfill their KYC (Know Your Customer) obligations. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) is also at the forefront of exchanges in the US. If any activities appears to be supicious, many exchanges have in their terms and condition to close down an account.
Sadly, this has caused much angst to several customers. Therefore when selecting an exchange, don’t just select an exchange with the lowest fees, but weigh against the burden of fulfilling KYC for opening an account. Often very little support (if any) is provided for customer business accounts that need to jump through many hoops before it can be approved. An an example, Binance.US has been known to take many month to approve and open some business account. Clearly, the effort to ensure complex business structures meet KYC, is not worth their time, so they “go slow”.
📞 Customer Support
Do not discount the importance of assessing the Customer Support of an exchange. In particular, if the intention is to open a business operated account. As mentioned in Safey and Security, a business account will need to fulfill a more stringent KYC process, and some exchanges (notably Binance.US) will provide very poort Customer Support to complete this. Customer Support will be needed to open a business account, but also for buyers of bitcoin who are new. Starting out buying bitcoin is difficult in itself with the concepts, let alone with using a new platform. Therefore, the top exchanges will also have a library of online information that answers frequently asked questions. Customer Support should also be accessible through email and Live Chat, be prompt, accurate and professional.
💳 Payment Methods
The best cyrptocurrency exchanges all offer payments that are quite similar. In Idaho, buying bitcoin will require deposits and withdrawal via fiat and/or cryptocurrencies. The vast majority offer bank wire transfers, ACH, debit cards and small amount with credit cards. Others will also support PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Processing speed varies from exchange to exchange, with deposits generally quicker than withdrawals.
🪙 Cryptocurrency Selection
Buying bitcoin is the most sought after cryptocurrency, but remember, diversification is key to de-risking any investment strategy. Diversification is the concept of spreading investments among several asset types. This means, buying other cryptocurrencies instead of simply “placing all eggs into one basket” with bitcoin. In order to diversify, it’s best to select an exchange that offers a wide variety of altcoins to choose from. The wider the selection, the more options to diversify with cryptocurrencies that have purpose, for example, Ethereum and Polkadot.
⚙️ Platform Reliability
A cryptocurrency exchanges needs to be available to trade when needed, hence the reliability of a platform is important for frequent traders. Yes, still important for the invest and hold traders, especially in times of volatility, hence platform reliability needs to be considered. All the top exchanges currently have very reliable systems. Some however, have been known to be offline for up to a week for “system upgrades”.
Binance.US has one of the most reliabile crypto exchanges, having leveraged off Binance.com. Crypto.com and FTX.US also have very strong platforms, that are continuously being improved.
Licensed and regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in Idaho must also meet third party system audits. These audits ensure platform reliability for residentds of Idaho.
Idaho Bitcoin Exchange Reviews
Unfortunately, Binance.US is not available in Idaho, hence we have excluded it from our list of reviews. For other exchanges which are available in Idaho, we provide a brief summary of their pro’s and con’s and their features.
Coinbase is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, let alone for Idaho. With Binance.US unavailable, Coinbase becomes the lowest fee and spread exchange in Idaho. Licensed and regulated in Idaho, Coinbase is legally allowed to accept Idaho residents. Being the second largest exchange in the world, liquidity and volume enables small spreads which is perfect for all types of traders.
Their customer support, especially for KYC is excellent. Plus there is a library of content that is at hand for self service. The layout is simple and easy to use, and the interface and user experience is frictionless.
Without doubt, Coinbase is one of the best exchanges for Idaho.
A stalwart of cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinmama has been around since the early days of bitcoin becoming mainstream. A global exchange that has high liqudity and volume through its exchange. Trading fees aren’t as low as Binance.US or Coinbase, but makes up for it with a large variety of cryptocurrencies to trade with.
Etoro was and still is a foreign currency exchange, that has expanded its offerings to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. With a lengthy history of developing and improving its trading platform, Etoro has a very advanced system.
Etoro is used worldwide in many countries, and has a reputation of being professional and fast.
Not the lowest of trading of fees, but certainly is one of the safest and secure to trade with.
Look for a sophisticated exchange, rich with features, yet still user friendly?… then choose CEX.IO. CEX.IO has millions of customers worldwide, trading with multiple cryptocurrencies. Payments include credit and debit cards, wire transfers and many other e-wallets. Trading fees tend to be slightly towards the higher end, however, they simply can’t be beaten for diversification of cryptos.
Kraken is proud to be a cyrptocurrency exchange that has never been hacked. Naturally, they tout their safety and security and their number feature, which cannot be denied. Kraken was bourne after the infamous Mt. Gox hack which saw many customers lose money. Kraken wanted to provide to the world the safest exchange, which they did, and therefore Kraken is one of the largest exchanges in the world.
Available in many US States, including Idaho.
LocalBitcoins.com – Peer to Peer
One of the best peer to peer exchanges, which unfortunately is now no longer available to residents of the US. It can be used for foreigners who reside in the US, but not for Amercian Citizens. LocalBitcoins.com matches buyers with sellers and does not hold bitcoin on its exchange. A bitcoin transaction, is therefore held in escrow until it is completed. Buyers and seller can review each other’s ratings, terms and conditions, speed of transaction, to give confidence of who they are exchanging with.
Idaho Bitcoin ATMs isn’t the cheapest way to buy bitcoin with fees ranging from 5 to 10%. But they certainly allow the convenience of a quick deposit or withdrawal.
To use a Bitcoin ATM you must first register with the provider. Go online to the providers website and create an account. Once approved, you can then use the Bitcoin ATM to make deposits and withdrawals.
Idaho Cryptocurrency Tax Ruling and Rates
The IRS considers bitcoin to be an asset. That is, all digital currencies are treated exactly the same as if buying or using foreign currency. Any capital gains and losses are used to calculate tax, and the use of bitcoin for exchange also has income earning implications.
The IRS requires bitcoin traders to submitt detailed buy, sell and exchanging of bitcoin in the 1099 forms. Many of the bitcoin exchanges that accept and cater for residents of Idaho, will provide 1099 statement forms to help support tax submissions to the IRS.
If you intend to buy bitcoin, please see a qualified tax accountant.
Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Laws and Legislation
Idaho’s cryptocurrency laws are governed via the Department of Finance, and the Money Transmitter Act. It wasn’t till 2016, when the Money Transmitter Act was updated to include the definition of Virtual Currency. Once this change came into effect, any cryptocurrency exchange that was accepting residents of Idaho was considered a Money Transmitters and must abide by licensing and regulations applicable to all money transmitters.
Department of Finance Money Transmitter Rules
In 2018, the Unclaimed Property Act was amended to also include Virtual Currency. This change concludes all changes that relates to the trading of currency, ensuring that cryptocurrencies are treated exactly the same as foreign currency exchanges.
Yet to be determined is the sales tax applicable to transactions involving cryptocurrency. HB239 was introduced to begin the process of defining buyers and seller in a bitcoin transaction to lay the foundation of applying sales tax rules.
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.
- Idaho 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.
- Idaho 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.
Minimum Legal Age
The Idaho minimum legal age to buy and sell bitcoin is 18 years old.
Idaho has several method to buy bitcoin, however, the number of cryptocurrency exchanges is limited relative to other US States. Most notably, is Binance.US is not available in Idaho which is regarded as the lowest trading fee exchange in the world.
There are other methods beside buying bitcoin at an exchange for residents of Idaho. Bitcoin can be acquired through ATMs, however they will charge a significant fees or bitcoin can be acquired through the exchange for goods and services.
The IRS regards bitcoin as a taxable asset, while the State of Idaho has yet to detemine if pay for good and services with bitcoin should incur a State tax. The legal minimum age is 18 years old to buy and sell bitcoin.
How to Lodge a Cryptocurrency Customer Complaint
If you have a customer complaint at a cryptocurrency exchange, please raise the issue with them first.
If unresolved, please contact the Idaho Securities Bureau.
Idaho Department of Finance, Securities Bureau
800 Park Boulevard, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83720-0031