If you are 18 years or older, you can legally buy bitcoin in Indiana through state regulated cryptocurrency exchanges.
A snapshot of Indiana Cryptocurrency Market:
- It is legal for residents of Indiana to trade in cryptocurrencies
- Investors, buyers and sellers must be at least 18 years old
- Onshore cryptocurrency exchanges unofficially should be State licensed.
- There are only a handful of Indiana State “Licensed” bitcoin exchanges to choose from.
In this article we explain which bitcoin exchanges to use and to avoid, the legislation at both Indiana State and Federal level, and other important tips and tricks to guide you with investing in cryptocurrencies.
If you intend to trade and invest in Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies in Indiana, then we highly recommend the following exchanges:
Table of Contents
Top 5 Indiana Bitcoin Exchanges
- Legally operates in US, Regulated and Licensed
- Established in 2016 with a good track record.
- Listed on stock exchange and is strongly regulated
- Mobile App is rich in features
- Excellent user friendly layout
- US based in Berkeley, California
- Regulated both Federal and State
- Accepts BTC and 19 other cryptocurrencies
- Available in all US States including Indiana.
- Over 50 cryptocurrencies are available, including BTC
- Great for serious traders
- Fees reduce the greater the volume of trade
- Legally operates in US via a third party.
- Track record of withdrawal is good
- Safe and secure to use with no history of hacking
- Mobile app platform available
- Legally operates the majority of US States, including Indiana
- One of the earliest bitcoin exchanges to operate in the US
- Reliable platform
- Account creation is relatively quick
Overview of Indiana Bitcoin Exchanges
Indiana is not the most prominent of US States pushing for development of bitcoin and blockchain technology into law. To be honest, it is absolutely confusing how they are currently governing the buying and selling of cryptocurrency through exchanges. Accordingly, there are only a handful of cryptocurrency exchanges that have lawfully obtained a license at a Federal level, and the “blessings” at an Indiana State level. While cryptocurrency exchanges that state they are regulated and licensed in the state of Indiana, there is infact no formal State licensing issued by Indiana government.
Nevertheless, this does not mean you should disregard comparing exchanges.
Bitcoin exchanges will appeal to different bitcoin buyers depending on whether they are high volume traders or casual sit and hold. It is still important to affirm the safety and security of an exchanges capital backing, and to determine whether they have the user features that suits your trading style.
In addition to license Indiana State exchanges, there are also offshore exchanges that legally allow Indiana resident to buy bitcoin with. However, it is against the law for financial institutions to help residents facilitate the deposit and withdrawals to offshore exchanges. Thus, Indiana bitcoin traders, although allowed by law, may find it difficult to in fact transact on an offshore cryptocurrency exchange.
Irrespective of onshore or offshore, we discuss the factors that are important when deciding on a cryptocurrency exchange to use.
🔒 Safety and Security
The first and foremost area to evaluate is the safety and security provisions of a cryptocurrency exchange. Since traders intend to provide their personal as well as confidential details (bank and credit/debit card details, address, cryptocurrency wallets etc.) to the exchange’s database, it should be backed by a strong and reliable security system. Currently, all cryptocurrency exchanges in Indiana would use 2 Factor Authenication to create an account with some having extensive KYC and AML documentation to be provided.
Often an exchange will also store a customers bitcoin on the exchange – “hot wallet”. In the past some exchanges have been hacked, with customers having their bitcoin stolen. As a result, all the exchanges that accept Indiana residents have some form of insurance to protect their customers, if the exchange is hacked. The level of insurance varies between exchanges.
📞 Customer Support
Having good customer support is very important as a trader. As an example of this important, is the creation of an account. Even the very basic tenet of account creation by provide KYC documentation can be confusing, and Customer Support is vital in navigating through this process. Binance.US is often regarded as one of the worst Customer Support providers for account creation. Its normal day to day trading customer support is quite good.
Other exchanges provide good all round customer support from account creation, through to platform usage. Do not discount the importance of choosing a cryptocurrency exchange with professional Customer Support that is fast, efficient and accurate.
💳 Payment Methods
Indiana’s cryptocurrency exchanges will all accept wire transfers and ACH deposits. Some however will have limits for using some payment methods, so make sure you are aware of the limits. Most exchanges will also accept debit and PayPal, Google Pay and ApplePay. Very few accept credit cards such as VISA and Mastercard, and if they do the amount is quite small.
🪙 Cryptocurrency Selection
As a bitcoin buyer, you may think cryptocurrency selection is an important factor. It is correct that all Indiana exchanges will offer the pairing of Bitcoin and USD, but diversification if a strategy of all crypto investors. Spread your bitcoin purchases through to other altcoins. Some exchanges will also offer native coins which opens up the opportunity to ride the upward wave if more and more users jump on board.
In summary, don’t limit trading to just bitcoin. Look for an exchange that will offer other cryptocurrencies, or even rewards you with its native coin.
🏷 Coupons and Discounts
Not a huge factor, but a nice to have. The most common discount is “Refer a Friend” commission. This can be up to $30 credited to your account for having a “friend” join the exchange. Other exchanges will offer a discount if a coupon is used. A nice promotion, that is great for serious high traders.
Overall, coupons and disccounts aren’t a major factor to consider unless you intend to introduce many of your friends to the network and/or is a high volume trader.
For some, this is the make or break in deciding which exchange to use. High fees will hurt traders who are high volume or high dollar amounts. Sadly, it’s not just the fees that need to be thought through. For example: Binance.US undoubtly has the lowest fees, BUT it is well known that they have one of the slowest account creations for new sign ups. You could be waiting for months on end, even if you are in regular contact with Customer Support.
⚙️ Platform Reliability
All platforms will require maintence. Exchanges are continually improving with their technology and provider better and richer features for their customers. Often, as with any financial service provider like a bank, the platform will need to be taken offline for an upgrade or health check. Indiana state law does not clearly state that cryptocurrency exchanges need to be audited by third party IT firms, however, fortunately the Federal government does have laws in place to ensure that exchanges have reliable platforms.
Indiana Bitcoin Exchange Reviews
Considering the above criteria, following is a review of several bitcoin exchanges for Indiana.
Binance.US has a lengthy history that stems from the original and still existing Binance platform. The two platforms are infact completely detached from each other, with Binance.US dedicated to several US States only. Binance.US has the lowest fees of all cryptocurrency exchanges. There is no doubt about it, however there are two clear cons, that you should be aware of.
Firstly, the speed of verification of your account, in particular if you are opening a business account, could take one month or more. When compared to other exchanges such as Coinbase, this is a very long time! Hence, weigh up whether you are willing to wait for a month or more to have your account established.
Secondly, Binance.US does not clearly refer to an Indiana license. This is possibly because there is no real form licensing from the Indiana State government. However, on Binance.US site, it clearly does not include Indiana as a restricted US State of trade. Hence, we can assume that Indiana residents are permited to use Binance.US.
As a platform, Binance.US is user friendly, and is great for beginners due to their low fees. They also have a mobile app – iOS and Android – that is reliable, glitch free, and convenient. It can also connect to your online wallet seamlessly, making buying bitcoin a breeze. In summary, Binance.US is a good choise for Indiana residents, but take note that it’s assumed that they are legally allowed to operate in the State and that opening an account could take a month of more.
Coinbase is one of the most popular exchanges in the world. It is reputable, safe and secure, and a platform that is fast, efficient and reliable. The platform supports many cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and ethereum. It also supports USD, EUR, AUD and other fiat currencies.
The trading fees are calculated on a rather complex structure. But overall the fees tend to come out as quite low.
A nice range of reporting is available, without the need to manually piece together data to meeting tax requirements.
This exchange is the best all rounder, both good for the beginner and experienced, and for the HODLer or day trader.
Crypto.com has exploded into the mainstream of US cryptocurrency exchanges, with recently acquiring the naming rights to the LA sports arena previously known Staples Center. In addition, it has employed brand ambassadors Matt Damon and Lebron James to gain further market penetration. However, Crypto.com is not licensed in every state. Fortunately, Indiana is one state that Crypto.com is available which is fantastic because there are many benefits. Crypto.com has one of the best mobile apps, it’s easy to get started and begin buying and selling Bitcoin. Although the number of other cryptocurrencies to trade with, aren’t as many as other cryptocurrency sites, it covers the most popular coins.
Etoro is one of the oldest cryptocurrency platforms, having launched first into foreign exchange then adding cryptocurrencies. The mobile experience is the same as its desktop version, which provides for consistency and ease of use. Sadly, the transparency of fees is lacking. Etoro has built into the exchange rate their fees, which therefore makes it difficult to determine how much is being bourne by users. As a guess, it appears that transaction fees can vary from 0.75%-5.0%, which by no means is low. Customer Services is quite good, with accounts with balances of over $5,000 receiving a dedicated account manager to answer queries. For those with balances under $5,000 there is a Live Chat and a comprehive help and guide library of content.
Due to the reglatory requirements of both Federal and State (Indiana), FTX.US was borne from the parent of FTX to cater for US residents. Unfortunately, similar to Binance, the US site is limited when compared to the parent. Still, FTX.US offers over 20 cryptocurrencies and pairings to choose from. Being a relatively new cryptocurrency site, it doesn’t cater for all US States, but it does for Indiana. It offers a debit card which is very convenient for those who are using bitcoin for mainstream purchases, and has one of the lowest fees for trading. FTX.US is a good starter exchange for Indiana residents looking to buy bitcoin.
Gemini is offered in every US State, which makes it one of the largest exchanges in the world. This is great for liquidity, meaning any trader will have the best change to have their buy or sell completed on Gemini. Available cryptocurrencies to trade in is over 52, which is well above the average. The downside, however, is that its trading fees are high. If your strategy is to buy and hold bitcoin, the fees may hurt you. To offset the high trading fees is the zero cost withdrawal fee, which helps to a degree, but not enough to bring it close to other cryptocurrency exchanges. From a feature perspective, Gemini has one of the best mobile cryptocurrency apps – available both on iOS and Android.
Kraken offers a wide variety of cryptocurrencies to buy and sell, with over 50 to choose from. It is one of the oldest exchanges having been established by the co-founders of Facebook. As a starter for buying bitcoin, Kraken is simple and easy to use. The fees are very reasonable, one of the lowest for Indiana residents when using Kraken Pro, but NO the basic Kraken. The difference between Kraken and Kraken Pro is: the former is catering for the basic investor, while the latter is for high volume traders.
Though past experience does not necessarily translate to the current safety and security, it has not been hacked in the past, with no users losing substantional bitcoin holdings. Kraken has proudly continues to improve its safety and security, being licensed and regulated in the US, even though it has no public records of being hacked.
Indiana Cryptocurrency Tax Ruling and Rates
Indiana residents are subject to paying tax according to the tax rules imposed by the IRS. The buying, selling and exchanging of bitcoin is regarded as a financial asset that can result in capital gains and losess and tax on earnings. This treatment is exactly the same as purchasing foreign currencies either as an investment or to transact.
Capital gains and losses are only taxable upon realization, i.e. once bitcoin has been converted back into USD or to another fiat or cryptocurrency. It can also be realized if bitcoin is used in a transaction, i.e. it has been used as an exchange for goods and services.
IRS requires tax documentation to support the trading of bitcoin. Many cryptocurrency exchanges now currently provide tax reports to assist US residents with tax submission to the IRS.
In regards to State taxes, it is still unclear. Indiana State Laws have yet to officially determine whether the sale of goods and services in taxable.
Bitcoin Cryptocurreny Laws and Legalisation
Contributing to the confusion of state taxe is the fact that the State’s Money Transmitter Act does not expressly define what a virtual currency is. Nor does it assign whether or not virtual currencies have “monetary value”. Without any guidance by the State, businesses (including some cryptocurrency exchanges) must informally seek clarification with the Indiana governement.
In an attempt to clarify the treatment of sales tax, a Senate Bill was submitted to declare “a marketplace facilitator” requiring to collect and remit state sales and goods taxes as a retail merchant when it facilitates a retail sale for a marketplace seller on the marketplace facilitator’s marketplace.
It assigned that a buyer of virtual currency is permitted to use the virtual currency to purchase products from the seller via a “marketplace facilitator” – HB1352.
In a further attempt to move forward blockchain technology, a bill was introduced to allow for the payment of State tax in the form of virtual currency – HB1683.
It is clear that some lawmakers are attempting to move forward the development of blockchain technology, however, both the Senate and House have been slow to approve of any changes to current law.
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.
- Indiana 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.
- Indiana 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
Residents of Indiana need to be at least 18 years old to buy, sell or exchange bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Indiana is a state that unofficially promotes the buying and selling of bitcoin, and therefore navigating through the regulations and “licensing” has been achieved with only a handful of cryptocurrency exchanges.
We have listed several exchanges that do accept Indiana residents, however, unfortunately the selection to choose from is no where near as many as other US States. Bear in mind, it is 100% legal for Indiana residents to buy, sell and exchange bitcoin. The burden of legality with cryptocurrency exchanges and financial services that support depositing and withdrawing, is unclear.
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 Department of Financial Institutions.
Indiana Department of Financial Institutions
30 S Meridian St # 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204