Since the explosion of smartphones in the early 2000's we have been living in an increasingly "mobile first" world. Just about every application you can think of has made its way to a mobile platform and this trend is only going to continue to increase. While I love my current phone (and probably couldn't live without it!!!), I have always used it more for entertainment, quick info, and communication/social media more than for managing my money. This changed for me when my bank (read this article on how my previous bank froze my account for crypto!) got a mobile banking app that allowed you to deposit checks using your phone camera. Fast forward a few years and now I use my phone for a variety of financial transactions like Paypal, Venmo, & Acorns. In the last few months we now have some really great apps for buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on your mobile phone too.
Mobile Apps To Buy Bitcoin
Chances are that if you have a favorite exchange you can probably use it on your mobile phone, but very few exchanges have an actual mobile app where you can buy Bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies directly with USD. Exchanges seem to pop up every month, but new ways to buy Bitcoin & crypto directly with US Dollars or your native fiat are not so plentiful.
When it comes to the "king" of mobile cryptocurrency app purchases the current leader (and really just first out of the gate) in mobile app offerings comes from Coinbase. They have an easy to use interface and are a major brand that is well established globally. Love them or hate them their Coinbase app is an editors choice and has been in the top 10 for a while now for both Google Play store and the Apple App store.
In late November of 2017, Square announced there was a new sheriff in town. Square would start allowing select customers to test out buying and selling Bitcoin in their already popular Cash app. This is a top 5 app in the apps stores and already boasted millions of users. Adding Bitcoin buying and selling directly in the application along with other ways to pay your friends and get paid is a huge boost for crypto mainstream adoption and ease of buying and selling on mobile for the masses. If you are not a fan of Coinbase, then this is a solid option for you to purchase Bitcoin on mobile.
Robinhood Crypto To The Rescue
In a growing market like buying Bitcoin on mobile phones there is always room for one more at the table. I recently saw an announcement from the popular stock investing app Robinhood that they will begin to support cryptocurrency buying and selling with USD directly in their app with 0% commission fees as part of the Robinhood Crypto rollout! The cool thing about this app is that you can invest in cryptocurrencies alongside stocks, ETFs, and options. The cryptocurrency portion does not go live until February 2018, but you can get a sneak peak if you sign up for beta access on their website here. Once trading begins they will first support BTC and ETH trading, but they seem to have plans to expand it later. Here is an excerpt from official statement from their blog post about it:
Next month, round-the-clock, commission-free cryptocurrency trading comes to the Robinhood platform. Trading will be limited to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), with more coins tradeable later. Trading functionality for BTC and ETH will be released gradually in waves to Robinhood residents in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire. Robinhood Crypto will be available in more states soon.
I had never heard of this app (no surprise there as I don't invest in stocks), but upon hearing this news I downloaded the application to start messing around with it in anticipation of them allowing crypto buying and selling. In general the design and user experience are really great! They already allow you to "track" some cryptocurrencies before they launch the buy/sell features of the app so I added those to my watchlist. Since I am in California I hope that I am one of the lucky ones that gets to test it out in beta!