San Francisco, CA, April 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Finding a good crypto exchange can make or break your cryptocurrency trading career.
You want a platform with the lowest fees possible, a large selection of altcoins, fast trades and payouts, and good customer service that’s available 24/7.
Anything less can result in missed trading opportunities, signup headaches, or week long delays to receive your funds.
Based on these benchmarks, we’ve spent over 30 hours researching, testing, and scoring the 25 most visited crypto exchanges. Below we’ve listed the highest scoring sites and what stood out about each.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms: First Look
- Best overall, low fees – Binance (or BinanceUS for US residents)
- Best customer service – Kraken
- Best for beginners – Coinbase
- Crypto meets forex – eToro
- Simple brokerage service for popular coins – Coinmama
- No ID required – Bisq
- Attractive trading volumes – Bittrex
- Strong security features – Gemini
Addition Benchmarks for Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms
Customer service – Cryptocurrency exchange platforms can see a lot of trading, and other back-and-forth scenarios between clients and staff. For this reason, a customer service team that offers excellent communication and transparency is essential for success.
Regions covered – As a user, it is smart to choose a platform that is close to home so they can remain in compliance with the law. These laws change between countries and regions, while some platforms offer extensive services worldwide. Others are more limited.
Security – Security is one of the most crucial components of a cryptocurrency exchange platform. This includes the security of users’ funds, what personal data is necessary for signing up and the amount of servers worldwide. The more servers there are, the less likely it is the platform will fall prey to an attack.
Here is a closer look at each one of the platforms listed above:
1. Binance – Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Overall
This platform is based in Malta, even though it has branches in different parts of the world. It is a perfect option for beginners and experts alike. Not only that, but the platform has around 200 coins in total, ranging from the usual ones like Bitcoin to their native coin known as Binance Coin.
- Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU)
- Native Binance Coin (BNB)
- Approximately 200 cryptocurrencies to trade
- 0.1 percent flat trading fees
- US residents must use Binance.us which has only 80 cryptocurrencies available
- Potential issues with ID verification
- Slow-to-respond customer service
Binance offers a range of services such as margin trading, futures trading, and a lot more. Their fee remains at 0.1 percent on most transactions, but they also have a credit card brokerage service for more convenient purchases and sale of cryptocurrencies (at higher fees).
Security might not be something to worry about when using this platform, thanks to their system known as Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), ensuring users from theft of funds. On the downside, however, this platform’s 2FA and ID verification processes can take quite a while to set up.
2. Kraken – Best Customer Service
This cryptocurrency platform takes pride in offering amazingly fast bank withdrawals, being available in most parts of the world, and charging low fees. The fees are between 0 and 0.36 percent, which is dependent on your type of trading as well as your trading volume for the last 30 days – you will enjoy lower fees if you trade more.
- Wonderful customer support
- Available worldwide
- Strong reputation
- Fast bank withdrawals
- Considerably low transaction fees
- Some bugs and issues
- Not the largest selection of altcoins
This platform also facilitates discreet trading through its dark pool feature, which is another reason it is quite popular. You will, however, note that the user experience is not the best in the market if compared to other platforms. The platform’s UI needs a little bit of tweaking to make it more user-friendly.
3. Coinbase – Best Platform for Bitcoin Buyers and Beginners
Coinbase is, hands-down, one of the best platforms for Bitcoin exchanges online. It is used by lots of beginners who are trying to get their hands on digital currency. For this reason, it is a common platform for those looking to make both deposits and withdrawals of the most popular coin in the market – Bitcoin.
- Intuitive UI for beginners and experts alike
- Best place for Bitcoin purchase
- 30 million users worldwide
- Accepts debit cards, credit cards, and wire transfer
- Sluggish customer support
- Rather extensive monitoring of trades
- Fees are a little bit on the higher side
In addition to facilitating fast deposits and lots of payment methods, this platform has a UI that is almost perfect and easy to understand. Here, you can trade the most popular cryptos, including Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.
Having been founded in 2012 and accruing a total of over 30 million active users currently, this platform is truly popular for a good reason.
One of the slight downsides of the platform is transaction fees that are somewhat higher compared to the best platforms for crypto exchange. The fees here are in the form of a 0.5 percent premium, after which you have to pay a slight fee depending on the amount that you trade.
Well, you may say that such are the fees that you pay to enjoy a well-designed UI as well as get your services from a popular crypto trading platform.
Is There a Difference Between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro?
There, indeed, is a slight difference between Coinbase Pro and Coinbase. Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro is a separate app that is meant for expert crypto investors. It is also more geo-restricted compared to the normal Coinbase app.
4. eToro – Crypto and Forex in One Place
If you are a fan of both the worlds of forex and crypto, then eToro should be your go-to platform. This might be the best platform yet for traders interested in having their fingers in many pies. The platform can be used from both its web or mobile platform.
- Choose between web and mobile platforms
- Has been in operation since 2007
- Can be used for both crypto and forex
- Supports up to 94 cryptocurrency pairs
- Not a crypto-specific site
- Supports only 14 crypto coins
It is also good to keep in mind that eToro has a dedicated crypto wallet app that utilizes multisig authorization for added security when investing with other parties. Having been established in 2007, eToro has done a great job in building a recognizable reputation for itself.
The only downside is the fact that they support a mere 14 crypto coins, even though it is a catalog of the most popular coins.
5. Bisq – Best Decentralized Platform
This is a decentralized crypto exchange platform. As such, its servers spread out all over the world, which makes it almost resistant to attacks. In that light, this is one of the best platforms for the purchase of different types of cryptocurrency in terms of security.
Read More about: Decentralize crypto exchange platform
- Brilliant security
- Open-source code
- Usable in the United States
- No ID required
- Does not allow the use of credit cards for deposits
What is more? The platform’s source code is discussed openly on GitHub and Slack, which makes it all transparent. One thing to keep in mind about the platform is that you will be charged 0.001 BTC and some extra mining fees for transactions, regardless of whether you are selling or buying.
The main downside is that the service only allows wire transfers for deposits. Also, after Litecoin and Bitcoin, the rest of the cryptocurrency is negligible.
6. Coinmama – Good Brokerage Service for Bitcoin
This is simply not a cryptocurrency exchange platform; rather, it is a brokerage service. What this means is that you can use the service to purchase your preferred Crypto coins from them rather than from other users.
- Live pricing in EUR and USD
- Buy up to 10 different cryptocurrencies
- Amazing customer service
- Buy Bitcoin without a hassle
- No mobile app
- 2.9-3.9 percent trading fees
- You will need a European bank to sell BTC
The main benefit of transacting that way is that you are sure of faster and safer transactions. You, however, might want to be aware of the 2.9–3.9 percent fees. On the positive side, you can purchase up to 10 different crypto coins from this platform and still get to enjoy a considerably competitive rate.
Their customer service is an outstanding one, too. Overall, however, the platform’s system seems to be more favorable to European users and might as such not be the best platform for US users.
7. Bittrex – Best For Security
This platform came into existence in 2013 in Seattle, courtesy of computer security experts who were former employees of Blackberry and Microsoft. This is one of the best, if not the best, cryptocurrency exchange platform in terms of security. It is worth noting that they have never experienced a security breach, which is not typical in the world of cryptocurrency.
- Attractive trading volumes
- Top-notch security
- Lots of currency pairs
- US laws-compliant
- Does not offer the best customer service
- No leveraged margin trading
This platform works with a flat 0.25 percent trading fee, which is somehow okay in terms of the pricing. Bittrex is available on a worldwide basis, even though some of the advanced features that it offers, such as margin trading, are not.
Also, all withdrawals and deposits are supposed to be via wire transfer, which is not something that everyone will find pleasurable.
Nonetheless, that does not take away the fact that this platform is one of the most secure. The owners believe in it so much that they offer full insurance on 80-90 percent of the user funds should there be an unlikely event of a breach.
8. Gemini – Best For Traders From the United States
This platform was founded in the year 2015 by the twins who sued Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the Facebook idea. Gemini is, without a doubt, a platform that is highly respected in the United States. It is renowned for having considerably low fees and strict trading security.
- USD accounts insured
- Easy-to-use platform
- Strong security
- 0-1 percent fee, which is quite affordable to most
- Personal data required
- ID required when signing up
- Has had a software crash in the past
In addition to the fact that Gemini specializes in Ethereum and Bitcoin, it is also quite easy to use, making it a good choice for the new, inexperienced user. However, users have to keep in mind that their ID and personal data are necessary when signing up. For this reason, it may not be the best option for those looking to protect their identity.
Choosing the Ideal Crypto Exchange Platform: 5 Factors to Consider
It is not a good idea to settle for just any crypto exchange platform without trying to figure out whether it is the best for a certain person. In that light, below are five factors that should guide potential clients to choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange platform.
Needless to say, the best cryptocurrency exchange platform is the one that offers the tightest security. Users should not be tempted to register with a platform just because it has a fancy app or cute graphics. It would be much better if they can consider the big names that have proved to have secure systems.
Take, for example, a platform such as Bittrex that has never had a security breach or lost anyone’s money. The vital features to look out for include 2-Factor Authentication, ID verification, data encryption, and user reviews.
Also, if a platform utilizes a decentralized system, it is a little bit safer compared to the one that uses a centralized system.
The laws and regulations that govern the trade and use of cryptocurrency vary depending on the jurisdiction. In that light, customers should research well to find a platform that is compliant with the law in their country of residence.
In the majority of situations, it is best to choose a platform that is based in their country, if possible. For example, US traders should consider platforms such as Gemini since it is based in the United States.
Most trading platforms offer Bitcoin and Ethereum as the basic crypto coins. However, if users would like to use the coins that are not readily available such as SushiSwap, Dogecoin, BakeryToken, and others, they have to be careful with the platform they choose.
If clients want a larger selection to pick from, they would be at a better place if they choose a platform like Binance, which has approximately 200 coins to choose from.
Some of the coins that are available on Binance according to Coin Market Cap include:
- Binance coin
- Bitcoin cash
…and others. If, for example, people are after the rare altcoin, they are quite likely to find it on the Binance platform.