Buying Bitcoins in Hawaii – a Beginner’s Guide

Last updated: 2/1/19

Nowadays, Bitcoin can be bought almost anywhere. This guide aims to help those buying Bitcoin in Hawaii by providing all of the essential information in one place.

Post Summary

Bitcoin is legal in Hawaii but there are some local laws which complicate its use and purchase from certain exchanges. To quickly purchase Bitcoin in Hawaii without any issues, follow these steps:

  1. Download a suitable Bitcoin wallet
  2. Go to LocalBitcoins
  3. Choose the amount of Bitcoin you wish to buy
  4. Enter your payment information and Bitcoin address

Here are the top Exchanges for buying Bitcoin in Hawaii

Review coming soon

If you want a detailed explanation of how to buy Bitcoin in Canada, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Bitcoin legal status in Hawaii
  2. Bitcoin popularity in Hawaii
  3. Bitcoin communities in Hawaii
  4. Buy Bitcoin in Hawaiian exchanges
  5. Buy Bitcoin in international exchanges
  6. Bitcoin ATMs in Hawaii
  7. Conclusion

1. Is Bitcoin legal in Hawaii?

Although there is some disagreement between agencies on Bitcoin’s precise classification, Bitcoin is legal in the US and in Hawaii too, by extension. Therefore, the sale, exchange, or purchase of goods with Bitcoin is allowed by law.

However, there have been some unique complications for Bitcoin in Hawaii. In particular, Coinbase announced that it was suspending its business in Hawaii, due to the state imposing certain reserve requirements on cryptocurrency exchange.

As Coinbase is a popular choice for Americans looking to buy Bitcoin, this can lead some Hawaiians to doubt Bitcoin’s legal status. Rest assured, it’s perfectly legal for you to buy Bitcoin.

2. How popular is Bitcoin in Hawaii?

An increasing number of businesses in Hawaii are accepting Bitcoin. The weekly US dollar volume on LocalBitcoins shows declining volume since December of 2017.

USA Local BTC volume

According to Google Trends, search interest in Bitcoin has been largely flat for most of 2018 and into early 2019.

Google trends USA

3. Are there Hawaiian Bitcoin communities?

At the time of writing, Hawaii’s Bitcoin online activity is pretty thin in social media platforms. However, there is a Honolulu Bitcoin Group on Meetup with over 400 members. Also available is the Bitcoin Hawaii Facebook group, but it doesn’t seem to be too active.

4. Are there any Bitcoin exchanges based in Hawaii?

While there are no Bitcoin exchanges based in Hawaii, there are some US-based Bitcoin exchanges that you can access:


Having been in operation since 2011, Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. It operates in the USA and Canada, as well as Europe and Japan. With Kraken, you’re able to buy Bitcoin,plus get a selection of about 20 other cryptocurrencies. The fees are relatively low at 0.16% to 0.26%, although their trading platform isn’t the most beginner-friendly.


Uphold is a digital-money platform, rather than a cryptocurrency exchange. Uphold has been recommended by many residents in Hawaii. It’s easy to deposit via bank transfer, credit or debit card. You can then purchase Bitcoin with USD. Keep in mind that deposits and withdrawals are on the slow side, and can take days. Uphold has a 1.05% trading fee plus a 0.0003 BTC withdrawal fee.

5. Are there any international exchanges available in Hawaii?

In addition to Bitcoin exchanges in the USA, you have the option of a few international exchanges:


***As of March 2019, Coinmama no longer supports users from Hawaii.*** 

Coinmama operates in over 200 countries worldwide, including the US. One of the main advantages of this Bitcoin brokerage is that you can make rapid purchases with a credit or debit card. It’s also an easy platform to use for beginners. However, there’s a 5.9% fee on each purchase, plus an additional 5% processing fee, which added together is a higher fee than most Bitcoin exchanges.


Based in Luxembourg, Bitstamp was founded back in 2011. Users of Bitstamp can purchase Bitcoin and a number of cryptocurrencies with USD. It offers users the option of buying Bitcoin with a credit or debit card. However, there is a 5% fee attached to it. For the average user, the most likely transaction fee is 0.25%.


LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer marketplace based in Finland. It directly connects buyers and sellers, and is available in many countries around the world, including the USA. There are a wide range of possible payment methods in Hawaii, including cash, PayPal, and Western Union. Keep in mind that Bitcoin prices are typically higher in Hawaii. A 1% fee is charged.

6. How many Bitcoin ATMs are there in Hawaii?

According to CoinATMRadar, there are seven Bitcoin ATMs in Hawaii (as of January 2019). They are concentrated in Honolulu, the state capital, although there’s one in Kapolei and another in Kapaa. Average fees for these BTMs are between 15% to 19%, which is on the steeper side.

CoinATM Radar Hawaii

7. Conclusion

Hawaii’s reserve requirements for US exchanges aren’t a big obstacle, given the ease with which Bitcoin may be purchased from international exchanges or directly from peers via LocalBitcoins, Bisq, and similar services. It seems that Honolulu is host to a surprising amount of Bitcoin activity, so if you reside elsewhere in Hawaii it might be worth the trip to the capital to network with other island Bitcoiners.

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Coinmamma doesn’t seem to be doing business in Hawaii anymore.


Coinmama didn’t allow me to buy here.


Very interesting article! But actually, it’s not that difficult to buy bitcoins in Hawaii. As far as I know, Hawaiians can easily purchase coins from cex. Though the exchange operates worldwide but not all the US states, Hawaii is one of those, which are not restricted.