It was more than a decade ago that the word cryptocurrency made everyone around the globe curious and excited. That said, not all the excitement was positive. All these years and the negative connotation still surrounds crypto markets – from investment risks to blurry legal definitions.
Considering that less than 5% of the world’s money has been invested in cryptocurrency, there’s still so much potential left to explore. This article should help you become a well-informed cryptocurrency investor before making your first trades on some of the best crypto exchanges platforms. We were particularly impressed by the provider eToro.
What Is Cryptocurrency Trading?
Crypto, short for cryptocurrency, is a decentralized digital currency in your crypto wallet that is run using blockchain technology or private encrypted databases. This bitcoin trading technology stores asset data across a chain network which is transparent and more secure than centralized networks.
It is this network that keeps cryptocurrency accessible at all times and from any part of the world. All you need to access this technology is an internet connection. The trading of cryptocurrencies is facilitated by a trading platform.
If you’re new to the world of crypto, then using this list of best cryptocurrency exchanges platforms may overwhelm you at first. However, we are here to help you find the most useful and easy-to-use service based on your needs.
#1 eToro: Best Automated Trading Exchange
Based in the UK, eToro was founded in 2006 and is supported in 140 countries.
eToro charges different fees based on the cryptocurrency (the lowest charge is for Bitcoin at 0.75%).
The platform is different from other cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the cryptocurrency industry due to its social media-influenced CopyTrading feature. eToro allows users to copy the trades of other cryptocurrency investors on the platform in real-time.
One of their most unique features is CopyTrader – a special tool that lets you follow other traders, find those that you trust and with the click of a button, simply emulate their entire trading strategy. While this carries risk, if you find an investor you can put your faith in, you may be in for serious gains with barely any effort.
Although the account opening fee is zero, eToro charges high rates for non-trading activities like withdrawals. The platform offers many in-depth reports, market guides, daily market reviews, investment advice, tutorials and podcasts on personal finance news.
It also offers a virtual dummy account for new users. This demo account has a $100,000 deposit and acts as a trading exercise for users to try learning how to use the cryptocurrency investing platform and also put to use some trading lessons they’ve learned.
eToro Copy Portfolios are investment portfolios regularly balanced and managed by the eToro investment team. Investors get the added benefit from the use of innovative strategies, diverse digital assets and risk management tools. All this at no extra management costs.
- 15+ currencies
- 0.1% conversion fees
- Minimum withdrawal fees applied
- Payment methods: credit and debit cards, eWallets and bank transfers
- Supports fiat currency
- Up-to-date market reports
- Zero transaction fees
- Social trading
- Automated trading
- Inactivity fees
- Blockchain transaction fees applied
- Only U.S. based Visa or Mastercard debit cards are accepted
- High non-trading fees
- High withdrawal fees
#2 Binance: Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform Overall
Founded in 2017 and based in China initially, Binance is one of the most popular and secure bitcoin exchanges platforms in the world and on our list. With support for as many as 500 of the best crypto decentralized exchanges and trading fee as low as 0.1%, Binance is one of the best crypto exchange platforms in the world.
It is a mobile app available on a variety of devices including Android and iOS. The decentralized exchange bitcoin platform also provides 24/7 support, a crypto exchange blog, and a learning program for the most common digital currency and crypto assets around the world.
Binance DEX is another exciting feature of the exchange platform. It is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges service that allows users to manage their trading activity, funds and their keys on their own private servers as well. The alternative is free to use and all the user has to do is operate it by adding some BNB coins or buying fiat currency from the exchange platform.
The cryptocurrency trading platform also has its utility coin BNB that was created as a discounted token for crypto trades. This can be used to pay the transaction fees on the platform itself and also a few other sites to make purchases using bitcoin cash. Users also get a variety of discounts on spot trading, and futures fees for crypto transactions when using BNB.
- 500+ cryptocurrencies
- Largest variety of altcoin options
- Binance DEX
- Staking rewards
- Supports fiat currency
- High liquidity
- Lowest transaction fees
- Free deposit funds
- Payment methods: bank transfer, credit cards, or crypto transfer
- Withdrawal fees
- Limited deposit options
#3 Kucoin: Lowest Fees on Crypto Exchanges
Kucoin is a Seychelles-based cryptocurrency trading platform that was launched in 2017. It supports the buying and selling of over 200 cryptocurrencies and is active in 400+ markets. It is available on iOS and Android devices.
Kucoin is one of the top contenders alongside Binance due to its low trading and withdrawal fees. It offers a fixed 0.1% fee for each transaction and discounts based on volumes o. The fee structure is based on trade volume, with low fees as the trading increases. It also has a standout feature in the form of KuCoins – its very own currency that exists on a blockchain and is earned through trading bonuses.
The investment platform also launched Futures trading options with its Futures Lite, Futures Pro and Futures Brawl programs.
Another feature we found very interesting on the platform is the Pool-X program for advanced traders. This service allows users to liquidate staked cryptos. Users can participate in the staking on this program to win staking rewards and POL credits, which is a type of token. They also are free to choose from flexible or fixed staking products across .
The platform also has a Crypto coins Lending program that allows you to purchase crypto assets with interest rates up to 0.2%.
- 200+ countries
- Multi-Factor authentication and encryption
- Payment methods: credit/ debit card, wire transfer, Interac e-transfers and PayPal
- Margin trading
- Staking rewards for active traders
- Futures trading
- Lending program
- Trading bot
- User-friendly interface
- Low fees for withdrawal
- Anonymous trading available
- Zero deposit fees
- Supports fiat currencies
- Not strictly regulated for personal data
- Liquidity issues
#4 Coinbase: Best Crypto Exchange Learning Program
Based in Delaware, Coinbase is supported in over 100 countries and is available for android and iOS devices. It is also the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange platform. It has various services that allow individuals, brokerage, and commercial services to buy, sell, store, and spend crypto coins and crypto asset.
The platform also provides users free cryptocurrencies if they take the quiz from their learning program. It is a good start for beginners wishing to engage in cryptocurrency.
The platform charges a 0.5% trading fee plus an amount-based fee for every trade in bitcoin and ethereum. What makes them a good choice is the insurance offered against all their online funds. They also offer a custody solution to store customers’ assets offline. Coinbase also has a platform called the Coinbase Pro.
The pro version has more features available to users who are looking for extensive trading and market analysis. However, the only downside is the fee for the pro account is charged based on asset liquidity at purchase and the volume of trade in a month – so make sure to understand your usage patterns before going pro.
- 50+ cryptocurrencies
- Offline and online storage of funds
- Insurance for digital currencies stored online
- 98% of customer funds stored offline
- 2 step verification security
- Services for individuals and businesses alike
- Fully regulated and licensed
- Crypto-to-crypto trading
- Payment methods: debit cards, credit cards and wire transfers
- 5$ free Bitcoin for signing up
- Supports fiat currency
- Simple user interface
- Variety of options in altcoins
- High liquidity
- High fees
- No margin trading
#5 Crypto.com: Best Crypto Exchanges For Investment Options
Launched in 2016, Crypto.com is headquartered in Switzerland and is a trading app available in over 90 countries. This is one of the best bitcoin exchange platform that supports the buying, selling, transferring, and tracking of over a hundred supported crypto assets. The bitcoin exchange platform has possibly the largest crypto ecosystems on our list for active trading.
It has a special Visa card where bank account holders can earn rebates of up to 8% on all transactions with no hidden fees. The card comes without any annual charges or fees. The app also does not charge any trading fee to users for the first month to buy bitcoin.
If you’re in the market for offbeat best crypto exchanges and investments, Crypto.com supports buy and sell of some uncommon cryptocurrencies. Since their cryptocurrency trading fee is volume-based (decreases with increasing trading volume), it is an ideal platform for long-term cryptocurrency investments and personal finance. The service is compatible with Android and iOS.
Crypto.com has two services, the DeFi Wallet, which allows users access to the private keys and the DeFi Swap, which works without the need for these keys to complete a ‘swap’ of coins between trading pairs.
Unlike most other platforms Crypto.com has an insurance policy on its cold storage funds. The trading platform also has advanced features like a program that allows users to store cryptocurrency (for 6.5% p.a.) or stablecoins (for 12%) in their wallets. This is the Crypto.com mobile app Earn program wherein users can earn interest weekly.
- 90+ cryptocurrencies
- Several convenient payment methods
- Two-factor authentication
- Get verified in 5 minutes
- Referral program
- Supports fiat currency
- Zero deposit or withdrawal fees
- Easy-to-use interface
- App doesn’t work on desktop
- Customer service could be better
- No educational tools
Types of Crypto Exchanges
Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchange or CEX
Now you may think we’re misleading you with the term centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. We’re not. While cryptocurrency isn’t itself centralized how can the exchange be?
If you think these have something to do with a government regulation then you’re wrong. Centralized cryptocurrency exchange refers to the trading of crypto done via a trading platform or an escrow service. These act as the third party that conducts the transaction for users to make the process simpler and convenient, since blockchain technology is quite new for most trading pairs.
With centralized exchanges, you risk your funds getting stolen because of an attack on the centralized platforms itself.
Platforms that do provide centralized exchanges will require the customers to go through a more detailed verification process in a centralized exchange.
The result is that the trading on these platforms is smoother and liquidation is faster. However, they are more prone to attack by hackers.
Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange or DEX
Where an exchange service acts as the go-between in a centralized crypto trading, decentralized exchanges of cryptocurrency are not regulated by any middle man. It is also referred to as a peer-to-peer market.
Here the cryptocurrency traders are in full control of their funds and their public and private keys.
These private keys, to put it simply, are the only way for users to access their cryptocurrency and losing them is one of the most common problems in the world of digital currency. There are however new businesses that are working on solving this problem.
Since DEX does not use an exchange platform, the users aren’t required to provide any of their personal information to anyone, thus reducing the risk of data theft. It also allows the traders to access more cryptocurrencies than those that are supported on the trading platforms.
How to Choose the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
Knowing what to look out for in a crypto exchange platform can help greatly when you’re just starting out.
If you do have previous experience in crypto trading then you too can benefit from the points we have shortlisted. If you’re looking for the best cryptocurrency exchange platform, there is no one-size-fits-all. Below are a few factors you should look at when comparing platforms.
Currency Pairs Traded
Supported countries, cryptocurrencies, and devices should be the first thing you check. Knowing what cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies are available to exchange through a platform is very important.
Whether they are supported on all devices and countries might be more of a convenience factor, but it is still important.
The term altcoin refers to the cryptocurrency supported by an exchange platform other than Bitcoin. The higher altcoins a platform supports the better.
Some stock trading platform charge fees to users based on the monthly trading volumes. Which can either increase or decrease based on the changes in the volume. This becomes relevant if you consider what kind of investor you are and what level of activity you are interested in doing. For beginners, it is better to choose a platform that has minimum transaction charges while veteran traders should consider the platforms offering low fees on an increase in trading volumes.
Similar to liquidity in other trade markets, cryptocurrency liquidity also affects how stable your trading goes.
The ability of certain crypto platforms to convert funds into other coins is high. For example, Coinbase and Binance. This is due to the level of exchanges, how regulated the exchange is and generally how stable the market is.
Insurance for online assets, 2 step verification and other safety protocols should be on your list. Along with which there are also factors like whether the platform is regulated or licensed.
Since most web applications are now available on mobile and used by experienced and newcomers as well. The interface on these platforms is really simple. However, you can look at a few websites to understand whether you are comfortable using them for fund transfers and if it is easy to know how to navigate their app for a faster process.
The higher the options available to make payments the easier and convenient it is to conduct seamless transfers.
You need the payments to process quickly when trading online using debit card or credit card and especially for cryptocurrencies. With an exchange platform that restricts your actions, it can be hard to make any profits.
Cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various services and are aimed for different purposes. This means they charge fees differently. Some of the fees you should watch out for are trading fee, minimum account fees, transaction fees, etc. Beware of platforms that charge inactivity fees.
Locking your cryptocurrencies, in the wallet, to gain rewards in the process of staking. You can read it in detail here.
If you want more funds to increase your volume and hence make better profits then margin trading is for you. While not all platforms will provide it, some few that do it take into consideration the size of your balance. However, the losses can be just as high as the profits.
A stablecoin is a currency that has the benefit of being a cryptocurrency but also the stability of being backed by a reserve asset. There are three types of stablecoins.
These are cryptocurrencies backed by another cryptocurrency. How this works is by controlling the supply of the cryptocurrency. The process involves maintaining a 50% or higher reserve of the cryptocurrency and thus keeping the position over-collateralized or stable.
Backed by a fiat currency like the USD, or gold, oil, etc. keeps the cryptocurrency stable. This process is regularly audited by independent custodians. The amount of fiat currency is kept collateral to keep the value controlled.
Most stablecoins backed by fiat currencies, like the Binance BUSD, will have a value similar to that of the fiat collateral.
Unlike the previous two types these stablecoins remain stable with the help of a consensus mechanism. No reserve assets are held collateral, but rather an algorithm is used to determine whether the supply of cryptocurrency needs to be increased or decreased.
The best example of an educational blog is the Binance blog. It includes a variety of information about the cryptocurrency market which we found to be helpful not only for newcomers but also the veterans in the crypto trade.
Common services include buying, selling, storing, and transferring funds. While other services you may not consider but are equally important are the customer support services. It is a real problem if you face any issue with your wallet or funds and there is no support provided to you for a currency and platform that exists online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Open a Crypto Exchange Account?
To open an account simply open the platform on your device and enter your details when creating an account. Depending on the options available your verification will be processed and then you’re required to add your account details to trade cryptocurrency.
How Does One Buy Crypto?
Users need to sign up to use the services and make a purchase of crypto to start trading. To buy cryptocurrency the user will have to transfer real currency from their credit or debit cards.
How Does it Work?
A cryptocurrency exchange works on blockchain technology. This technology requires the person to identify themselves when sending money with the help of a private key. To receive money the sender only needs the address which they can access via a public key. Since there is no centralized storage, this becomes tougher to hack into.
What Are Tokens?
Tokens use the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency does. They are unlike cryptocurrencies backed by physical assets and regulated better.
What Are Crypto Wallets?
Wallets are used on trading platforms to store private keys. Think of these keys as an address or an ID used to identify your asset to you. There are various types of wallets but you can classify them under two categories: hot and cold storage. Hot storage refers to the online storing of these keys and cold refers to offline storage.
What Is Mining?
Similar to literal mining, crypto mining is the process that creates new cryptocurrencies. Think of it as the alternate method to the minting of real money.
In the case of crypto, several computers around the world lend processing power to compute blockchain calculations – making a small amount of currency over time for doing so.
Why Is The Cryptocurrency Market Volatile?
- Lack of regulation
- Not backed by any physical asset
- High level of market speculation
Since cryptocurrency exchange platforms are still new and the potential user base is high, there are many opportunities for improvement in terms of trading fees and services offered.
Use our list of the best crypto trading platforms to pick one or two services based on your needs to get you started.