Cryptocurrency, informally known as crypto, is a digital currency commonly used to purchase various goods and services. However, it differs from normal currency because it utilizes an online ledger with solid cryptography to conduct online transactions with safety.
The incentive for investors to trade in these currencies lacking any regulation is mainly to obtain maximum profit, as the market is extremely volatile. Bystanders sometimes drive cryptocurrency prices to immense heights.
The buzz surrounding crypto investments has recently gone haywire as millions jumped onto the bandwagon of investing in cryptocurrency. These often come with goals to make exceedingly high profits that this digital currency promises due to its volatile nature.
In such circumstances, investors seek to find an exchange that puts customer experience first. Whether it is a beginner-level investor or an experienced one, all of them require a good customer support team. The overwhelming, yet adrenaline-inducing, process of buying and selling cryptocurrency can be a bit tricky, as a lot of money is involved. Therefore, the crypto exchange needs to be safe, secure, easy to use, and most of all affordable.
We do not want some sneaky hacker plotting behind a computer screen to take your money or your future profits. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the top five crypto exchanges in the market, which will save you the hassle of having to do the research yourself.
Our Top 5 Picks of the Best Crypto Exchanges [Detailed Reviews]
- Binance: Overall Best Exchange for Cryptocurrency
- Coinbase: Runner Up for Top Crypto Exchange
- eToro: Excellent Platform for Crypto Enthusiasts
- Coinmama: Best Cryptocurrency Prices
- BlockFi: Easily Buy, Sell, and Earn Cryptocurrency
Detailed research combined with in-depth consideration of certain factors led us to pick the following five credible, convenient, and categorical crypto exchange platforms.
#1. Binance: Overall Best Exchange for Cryptocurrency
Commonly known as the number one global cryptocurrency exchange situated worldwide, Binance was originally launched in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, and it is located in China. This crypto-to-crypto service quickly expanded to Japan and finally launched in the United States by 2019. Eventually, it established itself as one of the ten largest exchanges by trading volume.
The reason for its popularity is that Binance comes with an array of advantages. It offers more than 50 various coins to invest in to ensure diversification of investments. In addition, this platform conducts high-speed trade, and it offers relatively lower fees than many of the other exchanges present in the market.
As Binance continues to be the best in terms of reputation, process, and features, its place as the market leader seems to be further crystalized. A low minimum deposit, low trading fees, various diverse coins, and certain security measures define Binance.
- Binance is ideal for cryptocurrency traders, peer-to-peer trading, and crypto-to-crypto trading.
- Binance requires 0.1% trading fees, which is lower than other crypto exchanges.
- It requires a 0.5% instant buy/sell fee, while debit card transactions add up to 4.5% to the overall fees.
- It offers more than 50 crypto coins to invest in, which gives traders a list of diverse coins from which to choose. This, therefore, helps them minimize their risk while increasing their chances of obtaining profit.
- It also offers more than 50 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.
- Binance offers a flexible payment model, as it allows its users to purchase crypto via bank transfers, bank deposits, credit, and debit card transactions.
- In case of a theft, Binance possesses an asset fund which it uses as insurance.
- It has a 2-Factor Authentication system (2FA) to keep its users safe from hackers; however, there have been a few glitch reports over time.
- Binance has a minimum trade limit of only $10.
- The strategy of “staking” allows its users to gain rewards by holding different coins in their Binance accounts.
- Its customer service extends to contact via email only and, therefore, is limited.
- It offers a mobile application that is compatible with iOS and Android devices, which makes daily investment tracking immensely convenient and provides opportunities for on-the-go trading.
- Binance is not available in all U.S. states, as it excludes residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Vermont from investing their money through this exchange.
- It has easy buy and sell options, which makes it ideal for beginners.
- Its basic and advanced level trading features make it a great pick for experienced investors.
- Numerous cases were reported towards the parent company of stolen Bitcoins worth millions. But, according to the company, these losses were completely reimbursed by them.
- Binance gives its users the leverage to use their own digital wallets. However, many use the Trust Wallet, which is a free mobile app made to store cryptocurrency.
- Binance offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS. But, the iOS version has much better ratings, while the Android-based app has relatively lower ratings.
- Large variety of altcoins accessible
- Only 0.1% per trade for crypto-to-crypto
- Prizes and rewards offered to consistent traders
- A favorite of numerous cryptocurrencies
- Maintains a certain standard for the cryptocurrency it lists
- Highly values security measures with its 2-Factor Authentication system
- Follows the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS)
- High volume trading
- Subpar reviews for its customer service
- Does not support fiat deposits
- Not the best choice for beginners
- Does not offer its services to seven U.S. states
#2. Coinbase: Runner Up for Top Crypto Exchange
Commonly known as one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, Coinbase was launched in 2012 in San Francisco, and its success has continued to be on the upward trend. It has been ranked one of the best crypto exchanges worldwide in terms of traffic, liquidity, and trading volumes, and it has over 30 million users around the globe spread over up to 103 countries.
This company goes beyond being a basic cryptocurrency brokerage, as it offers custodial services for storing cryptocurrency for various institutions. It also serves as a stable cryptocurrency payment platform for businesses. Its cryptocurrency is linked to the U.S. dollar, which is called the USD coin (USDC).
Coinbase was also the first U.S.-based crypto exchange which was listed on a U.S. exchange. This has put the company’s worth at a substantial amount of 86 billion dollars. In addition, this exchange offers two facilities — Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro is a premium service meant for expert-level investors and includes the feature of crypto-to-crypto transactions along with many other advanced trading features. This exchange also offers a free-of-charge digital wallet for both iOS and Android-based users.
Another outstanding feature of Coinbase is that it privately insures its site in case of losses incurred due to theft or hacking. Coinbase has insurance by SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) unlike other trading platforms in the market.
- Coinbase is ideal for crypto-to-crypto trading and for all types of cryptocurrency traders.
- The unique selling point of Coinbase is its easy trading process and how it is tailor-made for beginner-level investors.
- This exchange offers access to both iOS and Android users through its browser-based site and can be used without making space in the storage.
- Despite being a beginner-centric platform, Coinbase also caters to its experienced traders through its Coinbase Pro premium feature.
- The Coinbase Pro comes with a much more complex design specially made for the pro or experienced traders.
- Coinbase has a minimum trade limit of only $2.
- Coinbase charges fees ranging from 0.5% to 4.5% depending on what payment method the user opts for, the cryptocurrency type, the size of the transaction, and the platform.
- This platform offers up to 56 cryptocurrency coins, while Coinbase Pro offers a few more than 56.
- Coinbase Pro offers more than 60 trading pairs for crypto-to-crypto trading.
- Users are given the option to use a digital wallet of their own choice.
- This exchange offers two mobile applications for iOS and Android, both of which are highly rated.
- Coinbase offers limited customer service, as agents are only available through email.
- An emergency phone number is also provided to disable an account in case of any problems.
- Coinbase offers promotional incentives to its users, as it provides $5 worth of Bitcoin upon signing up.
- The fee is higher than other competitors when the standard version is used; however, the easy user interface is a great trade-off for this slightly more expensive fee.
- Coinbase Pro offers an array of features including better-charting facilities, the option of margin trading, and the chance to place market, limit, and stop orders with an exceedingly cheap commission fee.
- Despite not being protected by the SIPC or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, it promises all digital currency held by the exchange is under insurance, which covers all possible losses in case of employee theft or breach of Coinbase Cyber security.
- Other safety features offered by Coinbase include a two-step verification process and biometric fingerprint logins.
- More than 50 cryptocurrencies accessible to users
- Very low minimum trade requirement of $2
- Offers insurance on the cryptocurrency
- Simple and easy user interface ideal for beginners
- Caters to both beginner and experienced traders
- Charges a higher fee in comparison to others
- Limited payment options
- Custodial wallet system, which makes it easy for a third party to access the user’s information
#3. eToro: Excellent Platform for Crypto Enthusiasts
eToro was launched in 2017 in Tel Aviv, Israel, and it is commonly known as a low-risk and safe exchange involving the trading of Forex and CFDs. It is under the regulations of two tier-1 jurisdictions and one tier-2 jurisdiction.
It continued to expand after its launch, and it moved its headquarters to London and established its United States division as a cryptocurrency exchange. eToro has massively grown in no time with 17 million users worldwide spread over up to 100 countries.
For social copy and cryptocurrency trading categories, it has continued to establish itself as one of the top exchanges. Its features cater to casual investors and beginners perfectly due to its easy-to-use interface on the web platform and the mobile application.
It has recently started cutting spreads and implementing the idea of zero-dollar commissions for U.S. traders. However, eToro continues to be slightly more expensive than its competitors for Forex and CFDs trading. Furthermore, the traditional research tools offered by eToro are quite limited in comparison to its competitors.
- eToro successfully manages a high trust score of 92 due to the various regulatory bodies it works under.
- eToro is a multi-asset broker platform and offers a range of investments, including cryptocurrency trading via underlying assets and CFDs.
- Choosing between CFDs and trading the underlying asset from the ticket-trade window straight away is given to its users, which is a subtle yet useful feature.
- In terms of commission and fees, it charges 1 pip on the Euro or U.S. dollar, which is slightly more expensive than the industry average; however, the social copy trading feature’s capability offered by eToro is prioritized over its fees.
- Its cryptocurrency trading cost is low at only 0.1% per trade, but for fiat-to-crypto conversions, the cost is high and goes up to 5%.
- eToro offers a range of tools and features with its main innovation being the merger of self-directed trading and social copy trading.
- This exchange offers an easy process for basic operations and instant task completion by making watchlists as well as adding instruments by browsing available markets and placing a direct trade from the watchlist.
- Its features have successfully landed eToro as one of the top-ranked exchanges under the category of ‘Ease of Use’, and that is what makes it popular among beginners.
- Another tool offered by eToro is CopyPortfolios, where the exchange platform creates groups of traders into a single fund, which the user can then copy trade. This feature caters to investors who wish to use eToro passively, as it allows users to make a portfolio based on more than one account
- With a manual trading system, the users are assured that each trade is copied and placed manually.
- eToro offers competitive research with some scope for improvement, as its research tools include an economic calendar, earnings reports calendar, news headlines, daily market analysis series, and podcasts. But, some of these are not added to the eToro platform.
- This exchange has an outstanding history of fundamental analysis for shares trading into its platform.
- eToro successfully surpasses its competitors by calculating sentiment data based on the top traders buying and selling activity instead of basing it on all users.
- eToro uses a Twitter-style feed, including commentary regarding a specific instrument.
- It showcases a modern and social media-inspired feel in its interface design.
- The eToro wall feed shows a list of updates from fellow users to keep everyone updated on each other.
- eToro provides weekly webinars and an adequate range of educational content on its page for users.
- The mobile trading experience is immensely smooth because of its neatly integrated charting.
- There is a separate application for an eToro-specific digital wallet, which holds user information and is used to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies.
- Zero-commission incentive on cryptocurrency
- Easy, simple, and convenient user interface
- Simple sign-up process
- Offers a range of coins for trading, including Bitcoin and Ethereum
- Fee is higher than most competitors
- Low ratings and subpar reviews for its customer service
- Only offers one account-based currency
#4. Coinmama: Best Cryptocurrency Prices
Coinmama was launched in 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel, and it is a successful cryptocurrency brokerage with up to two million users around the globe in over 188 countries. This leading cryptocurrency exchange allows its users to purchase various different types of cryptocurrencies, and it offers payment via credit card, wire transfer (SWIFT, SEPA, FasterPayments, Fedwire, and Sofort), and through Apple Pay.
This company especially focuses on its customer service department to ensure a hassle-free experience for its users. Their main aim is to speed up the transactions and make them as quick as possible.
Coinmama is an excellent option for first-time traders, as the trading process is really simple and the user interface is easy to navigate through. Furthermore, it offers various payment options, so you can choose whatever is convenient for you.
- Coinmama offers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies directly, as opposed to purchasing them from someone else.
- The trading process is simpler and quicker, as currency is being bought directly from the exchange.
- Coinmama continues to make consistent efforts to reduce the fee for its users so they are affordable for everyone.
- There are several different types of payment methods offered by this exchange.
- Coinmama has a 5% processing fee if credit cards are used, which totals the fees to 10.9% more than the market rate.
- Coinmama has a minimum buying limit of Bitcoins worth 60 USD or the equivalent amount in Euros, Pounds, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, and Japanese Yen.
- The buying limit set per day is 5,000 USD, while for the entire month it is 15,000 USD for level one and further varies according to the level.
- Coinmama’s services expand all over the globe, except for a few banned or sanctioned countries and a few U.S. states.
- Coinmama offers a complete help center and an active support channel via email in terms of customer service. In addition, this exchange has a record of usually responding to support requests within 24 hours.
- Exceptional customer service
- User-friendly and simple website interface
- Live pricing offered as an incentive
- Bitcoin is sold directly, saving users time and effort
- Available in many different languages
- Does not offer a mobile trading application
- Relatively high fees
- Does not offer crypto-to-crypto trading
- Must have an E.U. bank account to sell Bitcoin
#5. BlockFi: Easily Buy, Sell, and Earn Cryptocurrency
Launched in 2017, BlockFi was meant to offer credit to various individuals and institutions which did not have access to savings accounts. The company succeeds in offering various services, which include cryptocurrency exchange, interest-bearing accounts, and loans with low-interest rates worldwide.
All trades associated with BlockFi do not have an associated transaction fee. Therefore, customers are spared the headache of any hidden fees or minimum balance requirements. This largely caters to beginners and intermediate-level investors who wish to start small when making their debut in the investment world. Moreover, those who wish to expand their traditional finance experience with cryptocurrency investments are most benefited by these low requirements.
The features are perfectly displayed to users through the BlockFi mobile application, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices for easy, accessible, and convenient trading on the go.
- BlockFi gives its users the opportunity to earn interest by holding cryptocurrency in their account. The interest rate falls in the range of 3% to 8.6% compounded.
- BlockFi offers its users the incentive of borrowing funds in U.S. dollars from their crypto assets on low quoted interest rates of only 4.5%.
- Users can save tax money by borrowing loans as opposed to selling crypto assets for cash, because users do not have to report to capital gains in this scenario.
- The interest incurred on loans may be tax-deductible and is likely to further decrease the user’s tax bill.
- BlockFi was the first platform to launch a Bitcoin rewards credit card feature. This is a Visa credit card which gives users the opportunity to earn 1.5% back in Bitcoin on various purchases. Furthermore, these rewards are meant to be added to the user’s interest account so they can start earning it instantly.
- BlockFi is originally based in the United States, unlike most of the crypto trading platforms mentioned. Its custodian, Gemini, is regulated under the New York State Department of Financial Services regulations.
- BlockFi offers its users the feature of automatic trading. This means the user can set up their account to purchase cryptocurrency daily, weekly, or monthly on an automatic basis, which can cause their account to grow progressively in value without regular revisits to trading.
- Regulated, U.S.-based crypto trading platform
- Instant trading offered
- No commission fee
- No set monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements
- Services available worldwide, except for a few sanctioned countries
- Cannot create joint or custodial accounts
- Limited number of free withdrawals allowed per interest account
- Annual percentage yield and loan rate undergo immense volatility
- Does not offer protection for savings
How We Compiled This List of the Best Crypto Exchanges in the Market
When an investment is meant to occur and your hard-earned money is involved, then numerous factors should be taken into consideration. So, it is important to carefully make an informed choice regarding the appropriate trading platform in the market based on your needs. Usually, online shopping requires a customer to thoroughly check a product and its retailer before ordering. Therefore, buying and selling crypto requires the same level of scrutiny, if not more.
As a result, we considered the following factors before choosing our top five picks for the best crypto exchanges:
- How long has the company been operating?
- How successful have the company operations been so far?
- What security measures are taken?
- What is the quality of customer service provided by the company?
- How user-friendly is the interface of the website/mobile app?
- What are the fees involved? Are they above the industry average?
- Have there been any cases of breaches or hackers breaking into the system?
- What are the customers required to do to ensure a smooth experience?
Undoubtedly, each platform offers uniquely luring features and comes with its pros and cons. Therefore, the decision-making process will be made easier for you through this article. However, choosing the best option for yourself is still dependent on your own needs as a user. So, due to the subjectivity of preferences and lists of priorities, it requires thought and consideration.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Crypto Exchange
There are numerous factors to consider before choosing a crypto exchange, such as fees involved, security measures, user interface, etc. Ideally, it is recommended to opt for an exchange which perfectly fits your needs as a user.
However, when choosing a platform, some important factors to consider from a generic point of view include:
The level of security offered by the exchange is the most important factor to consider, and an exchange with loopholes in its security system is not recommended. Therefore, any exchange which has a history of reported breaches or cyberattacks should be avoided at all costs.
The most basic prerequisite of choosing a trading platform is its safety. Therefore, an unsafe exchange should be discarded from the list of considerations, as it puts your funds and profits at risk of theft.
Web addresses beginning with HTTPS are recommended, while those beginning with HTTP are suggested to be avoided. The user should also seek a two-factor authentication for logic safety, such as a username, a password, and perhaps a security question.
Furthermore, offline storage should be available for deposits placed by customers, and auditing programs are a further step to ensure security of an exchange as well. The platform’s activity can then be monitored 24/7. SMS and email alerts are also a method of assuring customers of an exchange’s security.
Lastly, users should white list their I.P. address and remove wallet addresses from settings to maximize security.
- Legal Implications
Users are encouraged to opt for a crypto exchange which is located in the same country as them. By this, the process of compliance with any regulatory changes is made easy.
However it is common for users to utilize exchanges located in other countries. In this case, it is important that users double check that their country is given access to services. Most exchanges have exceptions in terms of the countries they offer their services to.
Lastly, it is recommended that exchanges which possess insurance funds are opted for, since they compensate for lost funds.
Exchanges which offer information regarding their inner workings are recommended. Transparency in terms of owners, headquarters addresses, and team members are an important requirement.
Another feature offered by transparent exchanges is revealing their cold storage address, along with aiding in reserve checks via various methods such as audit information.
Regardless, first hand protection of your account and funds are necessary to ensure maximum safety. Therefore, it is suggested users do not leave their funds in any crypto exchange for an unnecessarily long period. This increases chances of cyberattacks or theft. So, storing Bitcoin in private wallets is a much safer alternative.
The simplest way of figuring out an exchange’s liquidity is by assessing its volume of trading. The higher the trading volume, the more liquid the exchange is. Liquidity is a major advantage for an exchange, as it helps speed up transactions.
Moreover, a liquid exchange means there is no price volatility. Users should keep an eye out for “locked-in pricing” because it guarantees a certain price when a transaction is made, even if the settlement is delayed.
- Fees Charged
Before investing in any product or service, all fees involved need to be assessed and evaluated. Therefore, trading fees need to be recognized, which are normally lower than 1% per transaction. They are likely to fall if the user’s trading volume increases. Another important fee to assess is the withdrawal fee, which can be high for various coins by some exchanges.
Deposit fees are also important to consider, as some exchanges charge credit or debit card fees of up to 5%. This raises the overall cost of opting for the exchange.
- Customer Experience
Users normally prefer anonymity and, therefore, will lean towards choosing an exchange which does not ask for too many personal details. Therefore, this needs to be assessed when signing up for a crypto exchange.
Moreover, the design of the site is very important because most users are likely to choose one which has an easy user interface. A simple, easy, and convenient trading process is ensured through a user-friendly design.
Moreover, the Bitcoin Reddit or Bitcoin forum are good platforms to check customer reviews regarding the exchange too, as they can aid in providing adequate information regarding customer experience.
FAQs: Crypto Exchange
Q1. What is a cryptocurrency exchange or trading platform?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are trading platforms available to users online. They are given the option to trade one type of digital asset against another depending on their market value. Currently, one of the most popular crypto exchanges is Binance.
Q2. What is the meaning of fiat-to-crypto exchanges?
Being able to purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat money (U.S. dollars, Pounds, Euros, etc.) means fiat-to-crypto exchanges. Unfortunately, many online exchanges only allow crypto-to-crypto trading.
Q3. What is the meaning of crypto-to-crypto exchanges?
The option of buying cryptocurrency in exchange for another form of cryptocurrency is termed crypto-to-crypto exchanges. This is conducted because cryptos have variable values. For example, Litecoins = 1 Bitcoin. Most exchanges that restrict their mode of exchange from crypto-to-crypto are mainly for professional or experienced traders.
Q4. How does a centralized exchange differ from a decentralized exchange?
A centralized cryptocurrency exchange involves the buying and selling of digital assets. Users must depend on a third-party to check the transaction, and unfortunately, these exchanges have their headquarters centered in one single location. This makes them more accessible to hacking or rogue agents within the building.
On the other hand, a decentralized exchange connects cryptocurrency buyers to sellers via a peer-to-peer marketplace. Unlike centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges are non-custodial, which means users keep possession of their private keys when a transaction takes place on this platform.
A decentralized exchange uses smart contracts that execute on their own under specific conditions when there is no central authority. These types of exchanges are spread across services all over the globe, which negates the possibility of hacking funds completely.
Q5. What are the top crypto exchanges for beginners?
Coinbase is one of the most renowned Bitcoin exchanges and is ideal for beginners. The site for this exchange has an easy-to-use interface; therefore, newcomers have no trouble browsing through the platform.
Q6. What is the safest cryptocurrency trading platform?
Different types of crypto exchanges have their own unique set of measures. Coinbase is the safest, as it holds all assets in its hot storage, provides insurance, and puts a 98% user fund in the cold storage.
Q7. Which is the lowest Bitcoin exchange?
Binance is the cheapest of all crypto exchanges, as the fee ranges from 0.02% to 0.1% for trading and purchase and 3% to 4.5% for purchases made from a debit card.
Q8. What are the revenue sources of these crypto exchanges?
Crypto exchanges gain revenue from various sources, such as commissions, collection of funds, market making, initial coin offerings, initial exchange offerings, tokens, etc.
Therefore, do not skip out on the opportunity to carry out cryptocurrency trading simply. It is important to conduct detailed research regarding the fees involved, ease of use, safety measures, insurance funds provided, and the different features offered by the exchange. All of this is in order to make an informed decision.
Conclusion: Which Is the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform?
In this article, we have outlined the top five cryptocurrency exchange platforms currently available. Each comes with its own features; for example, Binance is the cheapest and Coinbase is the safest and best for beginners. With this information readily available, you can now choose the one that is most suitable for you. However, in doing so, make sure to consider the factors we mentioned above. Remember, security and transparency are key to having a successful trading experience.