Why Can‘t I Buy Crypto on Robinhood? Here‘s a Detailed Guide to Fix It

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Hey there!

So you‘re interested in jumping into the exciting world of crypto trading on Robinhood, but ran into some roadblocks when you tried to actually buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Not to worry! I‘ve got you covered.

As an active crypto trader and technology enthusiast, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be when a platform like Robinhood seems glitchy or limited. In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through the most common issues that prevent crypto purchases on Robinhood – and more importantly, how to fix them.

By the end, you‘ll have all the insider tips and solutions you need to start trading top cryptos seamlessly. Let‘s dig in!

Why You Might Be Unable to Buy Crypto on Robinhood

Before we troubleshoot, it helps to understand exactly why Robinhood users often struggle to purchase cryptocurrencies in the first place.

The main thing to know is that Robinhood operates differently than dedicated crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance when it comes to trading rules and regulations.

Some key limitations to note with Robinhood Crypto:

  • Only 7 major cryptocurrencies are supported
  • You can‘t withdraw crypto to an external wallet
  • Real-time pricing is shown but actual trading is limited
  • Lower trade volumes can lead to volatile prices
  • Cryptos aren‘t SIPC insured like stocks on Robinhood

This unique approach can lead to buying issues – especially during times of peak demand. But the good news is that nearly all problems buying crypto on Robinhood have a fix!

Here are the most common purchase errors and how to resolve them:

"Insufficient Funds" Error

By far, the most frequent reason folks can‘t buy crypto on Robinhood is not having enough cash in their account to cover the purchase.

  • Robinhood requires you to have sufficient buying power to trade cryptos, which only cash – not your crypto balance – contributes to.

  • If your cash balance is less than the order amount, you‘ll get an "insufficient funds" error.

The fix:

  • Add more cash to your Robinhood account via bank transfer or debit card.

  • Note that selling stocks or ETFs increases buying power, but selling crypto does NOT.

  • Be sure to leave a cash cushion for pending settlements too.

Pattern Day Trading (PDT) Limit

Got flagged for Pattern Day Trading (PDT)? It‘s a common issue on Robinhood.

  • Making 4+ day trades in 5 days with an account under $25k gets you labeled as a PDT.

  • This restricts new trades, including crypto buys, until the rolling 5 day period expires.

The fix:

  • Stop day trading until the PDT flag resets after 5 days.

  • Deposit funds to exceed the $25k limit and remove PDT status.

  • Appeal to Robinhood support if you believe the flag was inaccurate.

Account Restriction

Robinhood may completely restrict account activities like trading for various reasons:

  • Suspected fraudulent behavior
  • Unsettled cash reversal
  • Updating personal info
  • Submitting verification documents

The fix:

  • Check your Robinhood email for the restriction reason & follow instructions.

  • Allow 1 week for standard review processes to restore account access.

  • Contact support if your case requires additional help.

Platform Outages

With over 22 million users, increased demand can overwhelm Robinhood‘s systems and cause temporary outages:

  • Full platform crashes prevent all trading activity during the outage.

  • Particularly common during major market events like Coinbase‘s IPO.

The fix:

  • Check Robinhood‘s status page during issues:

  • Outages are usually resolved within a few hours, so sit tight.

  • Avoid urgent trades during known periods of peak demand.

Glitches with Robinhood Crypto

In rare cases, technical glitches may temporarily break Robinhood Crypto‘s buying/selling features:

  • Buttons disappearing, pricing failures, etc.

  • Typically fixed quickly but can be frustrating!

The fix:

  • Restart the app and clear cache/data to fix most glitches.

  • Reinstall the app if needed.

  • Check Robinhood‘s status page during problems.

  • Contact customer support if issues persist.

Expert Tips for Buying Crypto on Robinhood

Now that you‘ve got strategies for tackling the main problems that can block crypto purchases, let me share some pro tips for maximizing your trading experience:

Use Limit Orders

One of my top recommendations is to use limit orders instead of market orders when buying cryptocurrencies.

  • Limit orders let you set a maximum price you‘re willing to pay per coin.

  • This protects you from buying at peak prices during volatility.

  • Market orders will buy at the current market price at time of order execution. More risky!

Schedule Recurring Purchases

Take advantage of Robinhood‘s recurring buy feature to dollar cost average into crypto positions over time:

  • Set up scheduled buys daily, weekly, or monthly.

  • Great way to mitigate market risk instead of lump sum investing.

  • Choose a consistent, affordable amount that fits your budget.

Practice Account Security

Don‘t let a compromised account stop you from the crypto trading action!

  • Enable two-factor authentication and use strong unique passwords.

  • Never share account access or personal details.

  • Review account activity daily for unauthorized behavior.

Linking a bank account enables the fastest cash transfers into your Robinhood portfolio:

  • Debit card transfers are instant but have low weekly limits.

  • Bank transfers take 4-5 days but have higher limits.

  • Fund transfers before trying to buy crypto.

Understand the Risks

And of course, only trade what you can afford to lose. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile!

  • Be aware of potential tax implications.

  • Unlike stocks, cryptos aren‘t SIPC insured on Robinhood.

  • Do your due diligence before investing.

Still Unable to Buy Crypto on Robinhood?

I hope this detailed troubleshooting guide has armed you with everything you need to start buying and trading cryptocurrencies seamlessly on Robinhood. But if you still can‘t resolve your issues, reach out directly to Robinhood‘s excellent customer support team.

They can provide tailored assistance based on your specific account limitations or restrictions. Just explain your situation and they‘ll help get your account back up and running!

Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to chat more about crypto and share the knowledge I‘ve picked up from my own experiences investing in this fast-moving space.

Happy trading!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.