Buying bitcoin in Maine has many options available. Maine residents can buy bitcoin at licensed online cryptocurrency exchanges, bitcoin ATMs, mining or in exchange for goods and services.
A snapshot of Maine Cryptocurrency Market:
- Buying and selling bitcoin in Maine is legal
- Must be at least 18 years old to buy and sell
- Only buy and sell on licensed cryptocurrency exchanges
- All exchanges require KYC to be performed
Maine Bitcoin Exchanges are many to choose from. From small to large, residents can assess their investment strategy and select an appropriate exchange. Other avenues include bitcoin mining, ATMs, and acquiring through exchange for goods and services.
Read through your options of buying bitcoin in Maine.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Maine Bitcoin Exchanges
- Licensed Maine Money Transmitter
- Low fees
- Narrow Spreads
- Best all rounder for Maine
- Very low fees
- Fast and quick transactions
- High liquidity
- Excellent spreads
- Global exchange
- Trusted around the world
- Supports over 100 cryptocurrencies
- Great for sophisticated investors
- Great for the newbie of buying bitcoin
- Simple, yet effective platform
- Healthy selection of cryptocurrencies outside of bitcoin
- Intuitive, easy to use layout
- Lowest fee bitcoin exchange
- Bespoke IT platform for the best user experience
- Growing in customers everyday, with improving liquidity
- Simpe and easy to use
Overview of Maine Bitcoin Exchanges
There are several bitcoin exchanges to choose from in Maine. Each have their pros and cons, and will cater for different investment strategjes. How to buy bitcoin is relatively consistent among each exchange, but some are more onerous with KYC than others.
In choosing an exchange, there are several aspects that should be considered. Holistically, after considering each aspect, you can then choose the best exchange for you. An exchange that is good for you may not be good for someone else. It very much depends on your investment strategy and risk appetite, but also your experience of trading bitcoin.
Often those new to buying bitcoin will simply choose the cheapest exchange. But beaware, that the cheapest exchange is not always what it seems. They often lack customer support (to cut costs) and some even “transfer” the fees to other areas of the process.
We outline the aspects that you should consider when selecting an exchange.
🔒 Safety and Security
We often take for granted that our financial institutions have safety and security control in place to protect us. We forget that it has taken time to develop security features for the most common methods of transaction i.e. banking and payment for goods and services. Cryptocurrencies is a new way, and continues to evolve and develop Any “new way”, in particular when attached to significant monetary value and investment, will be prone to hacks and scams. When exchange first came into prominence, hacks of large sums of bitcoin were making the headlines. (refer to Mt Gox whereby customers had stolen millions of dollars of bitcoin).
Safety and Security features have greatly improved over the years, with many exchanges now purchasing insurance to cover customers in the event of loss of coins. In addition, exchanges now provide users layers of protection such as Two-Factor Authentication, whitelisting IP address, capping limits and other identification controls.
Exchanges now also need to be licensed Money Transmitter in Maine. They also needed to be approved by FinCen, the Federal regulator. With these additional compliance that never previously existed, user of an exchange can be assured of their safety. We therefore strongly recommend joining a licensed exchange in Maine.
📞 Customer Support
Don’t underestimate the importance of Customer Support. KYC is onerous for those who want to establish a business account for a company, trust or partnership (not so much for personal accounts). Exchanges won’t tell you how hard it is for business accounts to be created, to not deter you from signing up. But, often it is the low fee exchanges that will not support you through an account creation.
In addition, exchanges that may have some issues on the platform have the worst communication for low fee exchanges. The exchanges with a trading fee generally communicate better and will lend you the support that you need.
Therefore, strongly balance an exchanges fees with the customer support that you need.
💳 Payment Methods
After signing up to an exchange, you will need to make a deposit either in fiat or in crypto. Most Maine buyers of bitcoin will decide to deposit onto the exchange with USD from their bank account or with credit (credit card). Payment methods that are most common are wire transfers and ACH. Some exchanges will accept credit card and debits card, whilst only a handful will accept e-wallets, PayPal, GooglePay and ApplePay.
Take note that payment methods may incurr a processing fee by the merchant provider. The exchange will normally pass these fees onto you. If you wish to save on fees, then consider the payment method that you choose to make a deposit or withdrawal with the exchange.
🪙 Cryptocurrency Selection
Bitcoin maybe a core pillar to your investment strategy, but you should also mitigate risk through diversification. Buy other cryptocurrencies so that if bitcoin falls, you may take advantage of other coins which may rise instead. Through diversification your risk is spread. If you are starting out with buying bitcoin, will you need to ensure that the exchange at the very least accepts USD.
An exchange should support various cryptocurrencies to help you diversify. As long as it have the coins that you are interested in, it need not be an exchange with an immense range, to be the best exchange for you.
🏷 Coupons and Discounts
Referral discounts is a way for you to earn something on the side for promoting exchanges that you think are good. Most exchanges reward customers who refer their friends and family to join up. The earnings and discounts can seriously add up to a healthy return if the people you refer are large volume traders.
Also, when signing up to an exchange, you may find some review sites offer special coupons. These coupons provide a small nominal discount. Sometimes, you will receive emails, informing you of signing up to an exchange to claim your discount. Don’t fall into the trap of clicking through on these emails. No reputable exchange will be sending out unsolicited emails to market themselves. These are poor marketing schemes funneling you to unsafe exchanges, and may even include hidden malware that loads onto you device.
Fees are always front and center of bitcoin buyers and sellers. When using an exchange, they will charge you for using their service. There are some unscrupulous exchanges that tout zero fees. Don’t fall for this nonense of zero fees. They will actually charge you some way or another, and that is through the spreads. The low fee exchanges are fantastic for the buy and hold bitcoin buyer who is using a personal account. Low frequency trades and easy KYC process is what low trade exchanges are good for. On the other hand, high frequency and business trading is frustating at low fee exchanges because they generally have “poor customer support”.
Fees sometimes are complicated and confusing to calcuate at an exchange. They often have a tiered fee structure – the lower tiers have a higher percentage fee, whilst the higher tiers charge a lower percentage.
In addition, fees may be incurred on the payment method for depositing and withdrawing.
⚙️ Platform Reliability
A platforms reliability is paramount for the day trader. The last thing you want is an outage of the platform when markets are rising or falling fast. Platform reliability is quite good at the larger exchanges. They have the funding and the expertise to maintain and manage platform upgrades very well. Smaller exchanges, may struggle to keep maintence, but it depends on how complicated and rich in feature is the exchange.
Take for example, an exchange that has mobile Android, iOS, online desktop lite, online desktop full and desktop downloadable. With so many versions to maintain, the chances of downtime are greater than having only one protocol to support.
An exchanges liquidity is important if you are a day trader. It still is important if you intend to buy and hold, but to a lesser degree. An exchange with good liquidity will be able to match buyers and sellers quickly, just like any market place where buyers and sellers come together to exchange. If there isn’t liquidity, it will take time for the limited buyers and sellers to come to an exchange price agreement. Hence, the larger exchanges with more users tend to have more liquidity.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sign up to a low liquidity exchange. With less liquidity, you may need to spend more time waiting for your price to be matched, alternatively you may find better exchanges to be had. It might just take that little bit longer.
Maine Bitcoin Exchange Reviews
There are many bitcoin exchanges that can be selected in Maine. We review a selected few that you can choose from.
Coinbase Pro is the advanced platform for more frequent traders. The basic version, named “Coinbase”, is the slimmed down version with higher fees but better support. Coinbase Pro, however, is the most popular among Maine traders. It has the largest pool of bitcoin buyers and sellers, wiht Binance.US, FTX.US and Crypto.com fast catching up.
There is excelent liquidity on the Coinbase Pro platform, and the supported range of cryptocurrencies is high. Buying limits are fantastic, with an “Instant Buy” function, if you need bitcoin in a hurry.
The customer support can be found to be lacking at times. Business accounts have been slow to process with KYC being onerous.
Coinbase Pro offers a debit card for its customers. Users can order it and store bitcoin on it. That said, never store large amounts on the card. It can be stolen and easily hacked. Keep amounts on the card minimal and top it up when you have to. The card is very handy for buying and shopping with bitcoin, but keep it safe.
Coinmama could be regarded as a quality mid tier exchange for Maine. It’s not as large as Binance.US or Coinbase, and it doesn’t have the budget to splash out on like Crypto.com and FTX.US, but it is a global exchange with a very good reputation. Their trading fees are relatively high, ranging between 4 %to 5% on instant buys. Coinmama is global which brings the advantage of extra liquidity that can be drawn upon worldwide.
Etoro is a cryptoexchange that has an excellent platform for both novice and experienced buyers, but it sadly hides its true trading fees within the spread. Yes, they do have a “zero” fee for processing of transactions, but this is (in our opinion) misleading because the spreads are intentionally wide.
Etoro launched in 2007 most focusing on foreign currency exchange. It has since expanded to other financial products including cryptocurrency.
CEX.IO is a global cryptocurrency exchange with a customer base of over 4 million. As a result, you can expect high liquidity and fast trades. Customer support is professional, prompt and useful making account creation quite smooth and seamless. Get trading by making a deposit with either your debit or credit card, wire and ACH. The platform is rich in feature, perhaps at times confusing, but you will get the hang of it in no time. The fees aren’t as low as FTX.US, but the service is better.
Get cracking with Kraken. Offering a basic user platform and a Kraken Pro platform users can gain access to a highly liquid market. Kraken is a reputable, safe and secure exchange, that proudly has never been hacked. Payments are various, accepting bank and wire transfers, ACH. Great for day traders who need real time prices and charting. The fee structure is easy to understand, with it being only two tiered.
Maine has a few Bitcoin ATMs, that are easy and convenient to use. There are various bitcoin ATM provider each offer very similar processing fees. Take note: these fees are quite high and can range between 5% to 11%. It’s very high, hence carefully consider if you need to use a bitcoin ATM in preference of an online exchange.
Peer to peer exchanges were once a popular form of buying and selling bitcoin in the US. Peer to peer exchanges, such as LocalBitcoins acted like CraigsList, matching buyers and seller through the use of an escrow account. This meant that the exchange, didn’t necessarily need to hold the users true details. This, of course, caused concern among lawmakers who wanted to enforce KYC requirements. As a result, in recent years, peer to peer exchanges have been banned from operating in the US. LocalBitcoins.com is no longer available in the US, let alone in Maine.
Maine Cryptocurrency Tax Ruling and Rates
The IRS in essence stipulates that those who receive any form of income from virtual currencies such as bitcoin will be subject to taxation. Bitcoin and all digital currencies are deemed to be financial assets, the same shape and form as buying and selling foreign currency. Consequently, tax is payable to the IRS when an event triggers the realization of a gain a.k.a realized gain. Realized losses can be offset or carried forward to the next financial year.
The IRS requires tax submissions to detail transactions that form part of realized gains and losses. To support the IRS submission, the top exchanges have tax reports. Some even have reports that can interface to tax software.
The above is general information only. We ask that you seek professional tax advice when lodging your tax.
Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Laws and Legislation
The state of Maine applies the Money Transmitter Act in regulating cryptocurrency exchanges. The Senate amended the act to include virtual currency transmitters in 2019. The regulatory body is the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
In 2019 the House started an initiative to explore further opportunities with blockchain technology.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Wallets
The bitcoin wallet is the most important aspect of protecting your coins. It is where you store all the information that unlocks the ability to send and receive bitcoin. Each bitcoin wallet will be attached to a bitcoin address. The bitcoin address has two keys – public and private. The private key is randomly generated and is encrypted. It cannot be deciphered, which explains why many who have lost their keys cannot retrieve their bitcoin. Hence, you must be careful with storing your bitcoin address keys in a wallet.
There are several ways in obtain a wallet. You can trust a third party to hold the keys on their wallet. Some of the cryptocurrency exchanges that you can use to buy bitcoin will offer wallets for you to use. This means that they have custody of the bitcoin on their exchange, and can seamless be connected to your trading account. The benefit of doing this, is that you can trade easily and quickly. The downside is that exchanges have been known to be hacked or even simply just scams.
With the improving security via licensing and regulations in Maine, it is relatively safe to use an exchanges wallet. However, we do recommend if you are trading large sums of bitcoin to transfer some to your own personal wallet. Your own wallet can either be a “hot” or “cold” wallet. A hot wallet is one that is online, while a cold wallet is disconnected.
Cold wallets are generally in the form of hard copy paper. The bitcoin address and the key are wet (i.e. hand written or typed). This is the safest form of preventing hacks. However, the biggest risks of using cold wallets is that you could lose the piece of paper!
A cold wallet could also be in the form of a hardware, for example a USB stick. This risk of using a USB (or a hard drive) is that the software that holds the information could be ruined, lost or destroyed.
When choosing a wallet, you need to decide – do you trust yourself more than the online exchange.
Minimum Legal Age
The legal minimum age to trade bitcoin in Maine is 18 years old.
Buying and selling bitcoin in Maine is legal through licensed Money Transmitter exchanges. These exchanges are safe and secure to use, with many providing extra layers of protection for their users. Creating an account at cryptocurrency exchanges will required the opening of an account, and the submission of documentation to meet KYC. Often the KYC process will need customer support, especially for business accounts. Customer support is generally correlated to the fees that are charged. High fees equate to good customer support, while low fees have poor customer support. This is not always the case, but is a general observation.
Bitcoin can also be purchased through ATMs placed conveniently in Maine. Though they may be easy to use, their fees are enormously higher than an online exchange. Think twice when using a bitcoin ATM, because you could save a lot of money by avoiding them.
Buying bitcoin will require you to store them in a wallet. Some Maine cryptocurrency exchanges will offer an online wallet that you can use. There are pro’s and con’s with using an exchange’s online wallet vs using your own personal wallet.
When you buy and sell bitcoin, you may be triggering a taxable event. As a result tax may need to be paid to the IRS.
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 State Finance Department.
Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Bureau of Financial Institutions
76 Northern Avenue
Gardiner, ME 04345