5 best VPNs for crypto trading and bitcoin payments in 2021
Cryptocurrency trading involves speculating price movements or buying and selling Bitcoins and other altcoins through an exchange. With CFD trading, you can go short (sell) or go long (buy) without owning the underlying coins. However, you will have to make a small deposit (margin) to gain full access to the underlying market.
Alternatively, you can also purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat currency through an exchange. This means you own a portion of the digital currency that you hold in a crypto wallet. All you need to do is to open an exchange account.
The downside is that cryptocurrency wallets, trading platforms, and exchanges are susceptible to hacking. A virtual private network (VPN) will introduce an encryption layer to keep you safe. In addition, you can connect to a server in a different location to avoid censorship.
And of course, using a VPN that accepts bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, gives you the anonymity you’re looking for. This guide will look at the best VPNs for cryptocurrency trading, why you need to use a VPN, and more.
Top crypto VPNs quick list
Short on time? Do not worry. We understand sometimes a user might want to pay for a VPN with Bitcoin quickly as it provides maximum-possible anonymity at the purchase time. Below you can have a quick look at our 3 best VPNs that accept crypto as payment and help keep your activities safe:
- NordVPN – Our #1 recommended VPN for cryptocurrency. Boasts super-fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, TrustedServer technology, 30-day-money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – Top-notch VPN with unrestricted simultaneous connections, low-cost plans.
- ExpressVPN – Watertight security, a transparent no-logs policy, affordable long-term plan, effective malware blocker (an added privacy tool).
Wish to compare best crypto VPNs more thoroughly? No problem, again (excellent thought we’d say). Keep reading.
Best VPNs for cryptocurrency
Let’s have a detailed look at the high-quality VPNs that accept bitcoin. These providers are also ideal for safe cryptocurrency transactions. Our results are based on several factors such as speed, server network, security, and privacy.
- 5,500 servers in 75 locations
- AES 256-bit encryption
- DNS leak protection
- Double VPN
- CyberSec suite
- 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN is well-established VPN that accepts cryptocurrencies and allows users to have safe crypto transactions. It has everything you will need in a VPN, including robust security measures, incredible speeds, and the ability to bypass geo-blocks.
It has massive worldwide coverage of more than 5,500 servers in 59 locations. There are multiple servers in every location, with the majority in the US. The SmartPlay feature will enable you to get around geo-restrictions and access blocked crypto trading platforms from anywhere.
In terms of security, encryption technology is the first thing you need to look out for. NordVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and backs it with perfect forward secrecy. Other tricks it employs to maintain your security include double VPN, OpenVPN protocol, automatic kill switch, and Cybersec malware blocker.
You might think you are safe with some VPNs, but the provider keeps personal information or browsing activity. NordVPN has a valid zero-logs policy, and PwC has independently audited the claims. It is also registered in Panama, which is not a member of any massive spy network or alliance.
Another impressive privacy feature is the obfuscated servers, designed for regions with VPN restrictions like the UAE and Turkey. They will mask not only your traffic and location but also VPN activities. This will help you to avoid government censorship and conduct your crypto transactions privately.
It has a ticketing system and round-the-clock live chat if you need any assistance. The customer representatives are knowledgeable and will handle any issues you may have. There is also a decent array of helpful information in the support section.
- Massive server network
- Unblocks crypto trading sites
- Advanced security
- Lacks kill switch on Android
- 3500 servers in 65 countries
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- No-logs policy
- Automatic kill switch
- Unlimited simultaneous devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Surhshark is another best VPN to buy Bitcoin safely. Besides being budget-friendly, it boasts a variety of advanced features and works with all major operating systems.
One of its primary payment methods is cryptocurrencies, allowing you to buy your desired package anonymously. It also supports credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and AliPay.
Surfshark operates a decent-sized network with consistent connections. It has more than 3,500 servers spread out in over 65 locations with a significant presence in the US and Europe. Connect to a closer server if you want sufficient speeds to trade Bitcoins online.
The VPN’s security is relatively standard in comparison to other providers. It will safeguard your cryptocurrency transactions with AES 256-bit encryption in conjunction with 2048-bit DHE-RSA keys and SHA512 authentication.
Besides, OpenVPN and IKEv2 are the default protocol on desktop and mobile apps, respectively. Shadowsocks encryption is also available for Android and Windows users if the other protocols refuse to establish. WireGuard is the new addition to Surfshark’s protocol list. It is incredibly lightweight and open-source with great speeds.
The apps come with plenty of features you will not find on other VPNs. First, the auto-connect feature will establish a connection when your device connects to the internet. Second, the ChaCha encryption performs better on Android devices. Third, its NoBorders feature will enable you to use the VPN even in restricted regions like the UAE and China.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, which does not require data reporting or retention. Moreover, the provider has an explicit no-logs policy and does not keep traffic logs. This means you don’t have to worry about your cryptocurrency transactions being tracked.
There is a decent amount of information on the Help section to solve a variety of common issues. It also has numerous setup tutorials, connection guides, and answered FAQs. Alternatively, you can get in touch with customer support via the 24/7 live chat.
- Accepts cryptocurrency payments
- Excellent speeds
- Does not keep logs
- Prompt captchas when using a mobile app
- 3,000 servers in 94 countries
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Unlimited bandwidth and data
- Kill switch
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is the best cryptocurrency trading VPN. It uses the latest security and privacy measures to protect your crypto transactions.
First of all, it supports a wide range of payment methods, including Bitcoin. Therefore, you can purchase a subscription anonymously.
ExpressVPN is among the handful of VPNs with massive networks. It operates over 3000 servers distributed across 94 countries, even in regions with VPN restrictions like Turkey. This means you will be able to access geo-restricted altcoins and trading platforms in many locations
Its servers have TrustedServer technology that makes them run on RAM. They will be incapable of storing any data, so your information will be wiped clean after every session. Hence, you will be less vulnerable to cyberattacks when trading cryptocurrencies.
We did our speed tests of multiple VPNs for several days using both Ethernet and wireless connections. Results show that ExpressVPN is a speed wizard, especially with nearby servers. Due to its massive server network, you are likely to get a server closer to your location.
ExpressVPN will protect your cryptocurrency transactions with AES 256-bit encryption. It also supports perfect forward secrecy that changes the encryption key often to prevent security compromises. There is also AES 256-bit cipher, SHA-512 HMAC authentication, and RSA key.
The minimalist interface and easy-to-navigate server list make ExpressVPN an excellent choice for beginners. Setting up the app is effortless, whether on desktop or mobile. It works well with all the major operating systems such as Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux. This means you can trade cryptocurrencies on your smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop, or any other compatible device.
ExpressVPN is slightly pricier than many of its rivals, but it’s worth considering the features it offers. The annual package has the best value that comes down to $6.67 per month plus 3 months free. Nonetheless, the VPN backs its plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Super-fast servers
- Accepts bitcoin payments
- Reliable chat
- Priced a little higher than competitors
4. Private Internet Access (PIA)
- AES 256-bit encryption
- No-logs policy
- Split tunneling
- Identity guard
- MACE feature
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Private Internet Access (PIA) is among the reliable VPNs to buy Bitcoin safely. It offers valuable features and ensures privacy, attracting a huge customer base worldwide.
The VPN provides a variety of payment options, including popular credit cards and online payment platforms. It also accepts anonymous payments through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
A massive and spread-out server network is always better. This will enable you to evade bans, unblock crypto trading platforms in more locations and get improved speeds. At present, it has more than 34,551 servers in 77 countries across 99 locations.
Many VPNs claim to have superior encryption, but only a few do. Thankfully, PIA uses AES 128-bit encryption, but you can always switch to 256-bit encryption. Additional security features include OpenVPN protocol, automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
The split tunneling feature is available on desktop apps. It gives you more freedom as it allows you to choose the traffic to encrypt. For example, you can protect your cryptocurrency transaction traffic and leave the rest outside the encrypted tunnel.
Does private internet access keep logs? One thing that will really impress you with PIA is that it does not keep logs. The provider will not have any data in the first place, even if the government requests it. This means your cryptocurrency trading activities will always remain private.
Crypto exchanges are susceptible to malware attacks. PIA has a MACE feature that will block intrusive pop-ups and prevent trackers and all malware types.
The VPN provides native apps for Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and iOS. All the apps have similar features except for the iOS app that uses IPsec protocol and lacks MACE features. It also offers Chrome, Opera, and Firefox secure browser extensions. Fortunately, it allows you to connect up to 10 simultaneous connections.
- Variety of customization
- Fast servers
- Generous devices
- It does not work in China
- 150+ servers in 60 countries
- Automatic kill switch
- No-logs policy
- Stealth mode
- 30-day money-back guarantee
PrivateVPN is one of the most affordable VPNs for cryptocurrency. It is completely safe, unblocks trading sites, and offers consistent speeds.
Although it has few servers, they are spread out in 60 countries. This gives you plenty of locations to bypass restrictions and access a wide range of trading platforms. Fortunately, the company is constantly expanding its network.
It is based in Sweden, which has strict data retention laws. However, the provider does not keep any logs, so there will be no information to hand over to authorities. It is a VPN that supports Bitcoin payment, so you can even pay anonymously.
The VPN offers plenty of customization options in terms of security. For example, you can either use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption, both of which are completely secure. In addition, it supports several protocol options such as OpenVPN UDP/TCP, L2TP, IKEv2, and PPTP.
PrivateVPN has a simple pricing structure. The annual plan is the cheapest package at only $3.82 plus one free month. Fortunately, all the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Good value for money
- Transparent logging policy
- Remote control support
- Kill switch available only on Windows
Quick guide on how to purchase a VPN service with crypto
- Pick a VPN that accepts cryptocurrency for payments. NordVPN is our number one recommendation (you probably read above why already).
- Complete your VPN purchase, download it, and then install.
- Connect, and that is all. Enjoy stealthy security and better privacy when trading cryptos or doing your market research.
What makes the best VPN for crypto?
As you can see above, transacting crypto without a VPN is very risky. But as many VPNs claim to be crypto-friendly, it’s tough to pick the right one for your needs. Here are the things you need to consider when choosing a top cryptocurrency trading VPN.
Perhaps this is the first thing you should consider. The primary function of a VPN is to secure your data and activities when using the internet. However, some VPNs use inferior security measures and cannot keep you safe. So, look for a VPN that offers at least AES 128 or 256-bit encryption to protect your crypto transactions.
Although a VPN will prevent third parties from seeing your activities, the provider itself has this information. Check logging policy to know the kind of data the company keeps. Make sure it has a strict no-logs policy and does not log any identifiable information. Many VPNs claim to have a zero-logs policy, yet they keep sensitive data. We tested numerous services and found the 10 best no-logs VPN.
Global server network
Choose a VPN with an extensive server network to bypass trading platforms’ geo-restrictions in more locations. Also, ensure it has local servers that you can access crypto trading platforms if you travel abroad. Some providers have servers in restricted regions such as Kuwait, China, Saudi Arabia, and others.
When doing crypto trading activities, your DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC can leak and expose your actual IP address. So choose a VPN with a leak protection feature to prevent this. Some providers even offer a kill switch that acts as a fail-safe in case the VPN connection fails.
You’ll want a VPN that has reliable customer support so you can get help anytime you encounter an issue. Many providers are increasingly adopting a live chat option to solve problems promptly.
Why you should use a VPN for crypto activities
Bitcoin is the biggest cryptocurrency, a growing area that is redefining the financial market. With cryptocurrency, you are responsible for your own security. Read on to know how a VPN helps and a few tips to maintain your safety and privacy for your crypto-activities.
Generally, bitcoin is a digital currency that is entirely virtual. It works using blockchain technology that involves a large number of nodes. This makes it difficult to fake bitcoins, and a malicious actor has to hack all the nodes simultaneously to succeed.
The blockchain system is protected with strong cryptography, but cryptocurrency transactions are not entirely safe and anonymous. In addition, they are irreversible, which means a coin can disappear from your account without a trace. Besides, there are increasing reports of hackers stealing small bitcoin amounts from exchanges. For instance, in early 2107, Bithumb was hacked and over $1,000,000 stolen.
Security risks that come with cryptocurrency
Besides online exchange hacking, cryptocurrency faces many other issues. Here are the most common:
They are cumbersome and vulnerable to hacking. For example, Masad Stealer, remote control spyware, targets offline crypto wallets on mobile devices and computers.
Initial coin offering (ICO)
These days, numerous crypto startups are offering ICOs. While most of them are legitimate, some are fake, so you should be careful.
Fake crypto exchanges
Crypto exchanges allow you to buy or sell bitcoin and other digital currencies. Ensure that you use a reputable exchange to be on the safer side.
Bitcoin addresses are not completely anonymous, so that you can be compromised. Therefore, avoid posting your address on social media or sharing on messaging apps. It can easily reveal your identity.
Remember that cryptocurrency addresses are publicly recorded for transparency. Hackers can target your cryptocurrency wallet, especially if you have a lot of money.
Phishing is a social engineering attack where malicious actors trick you into giving your personal information. The hacker masquerades as a trusted entity, which distinguishes phishing from other cyber-attacks. This technique was used to steal over 250 bitcoins from Electrum wallet around 2018.
This is an emerging online threat where cybercriminals hijack computers and mobile devices. They then use the device’s CPU as the bitcoin mining load. Since it is an intensive activity, it can cause your system to slow down or shut off completely. So, always run a malware check if you notice an abrupt drop in system performance.
How a VPN helps protect crypto activities
Some of the above issues are the reason why you should use a VPN when conducting your cryptocurrency transactions. A reliable VPN will;
Secure your crypto traffic
When you connect to a VPN, it will encrypt the data leaving your device before reaching its destination. Encryption is a technique that scrambles your internet traffic and makes it difficult to decipher. Even if a hacker successfully intercepts the traffic, the data is unreadable.
Why does this matter? In most cases, you will use private or public WiFi to do your cryptocurrency transactions. Usually, these networks use WPA2 for security, which is insufficient and has serious vulnerabilities. Furthermore, many public hotspots do not have encryption. As a result, hackers can intercept your traffic and steal your wallet’s private keys or exchange credentials and take over your account. Nonetheless, a good VPN will ensure you are always safe.
Unlocks trading platforms
Some trading platforms are geo-restricted, and you might not be able to access them depending on your location. For example, one of the largest crypto exchange platforms, Binance, is not available in the US. Similarly, the Chinese government has banned domestic and foreign crypto exchanges.
A VPN allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship to unblock trading platforms from anywhere. All you have to do is connect to a server in a country where the trading platform is available. This will make you appear like you are within the supported country. What’s more, you can switch your virtual location to trade region-specific cryptocurrencies.
Prevents IP tracking
Unlike popular belief, cryptocurrencies are not entirely anonymous. They offer a certain level of privacy but not 100% anonymity.
Because all transactions are in the public domain, it is possible to link your bitcoin address to your IP address. This means malicious actors can easily trace your real identity and location. However, with a VPN, your traffic will seem to originate from the provider’s servers instead of your device.
Note: Many providers allow you to encrypt cryptocurrency activities and leave everything else on the regular traffic. Make sure you choose a VPN that follows a strict zero-logs policy. This is because hackers can match the logged information with your traffic.
Cryptocurrency trading security tips
On top of using a VPN, what else can you do to protect your cryptocurrency transactions? Here are a few tips you should use.
Don’t store your wallet on your device
Avoid keeping your crypto wallet on your mobile phone. This is because it is not only vulnerable to hijacking but can also get lost. If you absolutely have to, just store a small amount of your cryptocurrency in it.
Avoid public WiFi
Many public WiFi hotspots are unsecured and malicious actors can easily intercept your traffic. Worse of all, some hackers create Wi-Fi networks to lure unsuspecting users. So, don’t conduct your cryptocurrency activities over public Wi-Fi unless you are using a VPN.
Use a strong password
A strong password will protect your crypto wallet against unauthorized access. One of the easiest tricks hackers use is guessing passwords. So, use a strong password and different passwords if you have multiple wallets.
Two-factor authentication (2-FA) is an additional security layer that helps to combat poor passwords. For example, you can have a code sent via email or SMS to access your crypto wallet.
You should use escrow when transacting bitcoins with someone you don’t know. Avoid engaging with people who don’t want to use escrow as they can be frauds.
Good cyber hygiene
Finally, always be careful when using the internet and practice good cyber hygiene. This means you avoid clicking on links carelessly, especially those sent through email. Moreover, if a cryptocurrency deal is too good exceeding the market rates, think twice before engaging. Also, conduct thorough due diligence before buying into ICOs.
Popular crypto exchanges list
This is one of the most famous exchange platforms where you can easily buy or sell various cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, it is not available in several countries, including Canada, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Iran.
Coinbase is another legitimate crypto exchange and a broker. It has a simple interface making it effortless to transact Bitcoin and all the major altcoins with a promise to add more. Coinbase has high liquidity, which will protect you from severe price slippage in the volatile cryptocurrency market.
Gemini has become popular because of its focus on user security and privacy. The platform offers over 20 cryptocurrencies that you can trade or store. It even has its own currency dubbed Gemini dollars (GUSD).
Kraken is a well-established crypto trading platform with a great selection of coins to invest in. It is one of the few platforms allowing DogeCoin trading.
Binance is a cryptocurrency trading platform with very competitive rates. It allows you to exchange fiat currency such as the US dollar with bitcoins and other coins. Some selected trading pairs have margin trading of up to 10x.
Huobi is a leading cryptocurrency trading platform that supports numerous digital currencies. It is available in more than 130 countries except in China and the US.
KuCoin is an advanced crypto exchange platform that allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and more. You can access it in over 100 countries, excluding China.
Bithumb has excellent security controls to secure your crypto transactions. It is blocked in several countries, including Korea, North Korea, and Iraq.
Bitfinex is a well-known cryptocurrency exchange suited for professional traders. Some of its notable features include over-the-counter (OTC) trades, limit and stop orders, margin trading, and more. It does not offer its services in the US.
Bitstamp is a reliable crypto exchange platform suitable for both novice and experienced traders. The platform charges low fees, making it an excellent option to exchange large amounts of cryptocurrency. Moreover, it has several features to ensure your security.
Poloniex is a centralized crypto trading platform with high-quality services. It has one of the lowest fees in the industry, although it lags in customer support. Besides spot trading, it also allows you to make margin trades.
Bittrex is a robust and secure crypto exchange for beginner and advanced traders. The platform is popular because of its speed and stability, even with large trades. Unfortunately, it is accused of closing accounts without notifying users.
OKEx is a prominent cryptocurrency exchange with hundreds of tokens and trading pairs. The platform is available as an in-browser and downloadable desktop client software. On the downside, you can transact cryptocurrencies with only the Chinese Yuan.
FTX was launched around 2019 but already makes a name for itself in the ever-expanding crypto trading market. It offers trading products such as Bitcoins and other leveraged tokens. There are also OTC services if you’d like to make large crypto purchases.
Gate.io is a low fee cryptocurrency exchange. It has a leading Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), margin trading with leverage, several cryptocurrencies, margin lending, and borrowing, and more. The interface feels cluttered, although the trading engine is powerful in executing orders promptly.
Coinone is a South Korean-based exchange that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is attractive to average users because of the low trading fees. Currently, the platform does not support crypto-to-crypto trading though you can exchange cryptocurrencies with fiat currency.
UPbit is another South Korean crypto exchange with high average daily trading volumes. Currently, the platform only supports the Korean language, which impedes international audiences. However, you can easily translate with Google translate.
HitBTC is a well-known cryptocurrency exchange with a variety of altcoin listings and the latest trading features. It has cryptocurrency margin trading if you would like to leverage your trades. The platform is secure and even supports the MetaTrader 5 terminal.
ZB.com is an exchange platform that allows you to trade both cryptos to crypto and fiat to crypto. The trading platform has a very impressive interface with charts and countless tools. Its interface is sleek yet intuitive suitable for beginner traders.
Robinhood is perhaps the most famous crypto exchange platform in the US as it does not charge commission. This will save you considerably if you trade small quantities frequently. Both the website and app are straightforward to use.
Rain is a sharia-compliant crypto exchange and one of the most respectable in the Middle East. It is based in Bahrain and serves other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, etc. In addition, you can exchange bitcoins with multiple fiat currencies, including the US dollar.
Bitrue is a Singapore-based crypto exchange that supports bitcoins and other numerous altcoins. It is the pioneer of the ‘interest-earn’ program with an annual rate of up to 15%. Unlike other exchanges, Bitrue also provides crypto-backed loans.
Yobit.net is a simple to use online exchange that facilitates the trading of cryptocurrencies and tokens. The platform does not have KYC and AML verification processes to maintain user anonymity. Fortunately, customer support is available 24/7 via Telegram.
CITEX is a digital asset trading platform that allows users to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Its official website is available in five languages and is accessible in more than 100 countries.
Paxful is an online marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers to trade Bitcoins and other altcoins. The platform supports a variety of payment methods, which is very convenient. Interestingly, it also provides escrow services for all Bitcoin transactions.
Deribit is a derivative exchange designed for experienced traders. Initially, it was based in the Netherlands but has recently relocated to Panama because of the strict European laws. The trading platform is powerful enough to handle a large number of requests simultaneously with low latency.
IDEX is an Ethereum-based decentralized exchange. The trading platform uses smart contracts that ensure prudent management of private keys. There are also smart contracts responsible for executing trade settlements.
ByBit is a crypto derivative exchange based in Singapore. The platform has been translated into multiple languages, including English, Korean, Japanese, and recently Russian. However, it is not available in certain jurisdictions such as the US, Canada, and Syria.
Security and privacy are essential when trading cryptocurrencies online. There are numerous cases of hackers repeatedly attacking exchange platforms and crypto-wallets. That is why we advise you to use a VPN. It will mask your IP address and encrypt all traffic, which is very helpful when it comes to cryptocurrency trading. A crypto-friendly VPN supports the Bitcoin payment option, meaning you can subscribe anonymously.
The VPNs listed above are not only the top ones that accept crypto payments, but they also are the best services for all of your crypto trading activities. The fact that these VPNs offer crypto as a payment mode tells that anonymity and privacy are their high priorities. Our top choice is NordVPN due to its formidable security and expansive server network.
About the author
Tech researcher and writer with a passion for cybersecurity. Alex is a strong advocate of digital freedom and online privacy.