There are many crypto exchanges available, and many provide brokerage services. We can think about them in two categories, centralized or decentralized.
Much like opening a brokerage account to trade stock, CEXs abide by KYC and AML.
A true CEX offers a broader selection of crypto and provides a secure platform for new investors to dip their toes into crypto in ways not available with crypto brokers. We can have greater control and can use our coins instead of only speculating.
Just like trading stocks, the IRS expects us to pay taxes on our crypto investments.