If you’re just getting into cryptocurrency and buying your first Bitcoin, or if you’re an experienced trader, looking for the best cryptocurrency exchange for you can be tough. With so many things to consider, in terms of liquidity, trading volume, fees, how safe they are, and whether or not the platform is actually supported in your region.
Today, I thought I’d take you through some of the cryptocurrency exchanges that I’ve personally used over the years and run you through some of the factors that lead them to be part of my top picks.
Just a word of warning. No matter which exchange you use nor how safe it’s reported, you should never keep large amounts of funds stored on there. It is always much safer to withdraw your coins back to a secure, wallet, such as a Trezor or a Ledger, where you have control over your private keys and therefore your funds.
Binance Exchange currently dominates the global exchange space, making up a significant portion of crypto trading volume daily. In my opinion Binance is one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges out there with a strong focus on altcoin trading. As a regular leader of Cryptocurrency Spot Exchanges in terms of traffic, liquidity and trading volumes on the likes of CoinMarketCap it shows that people trust the platform, and also that there are going to be competitive prices available.
The exchange offers hundreds of trading pairs between different cryptocurrencies. Although Binance offers some FIAT to crypto pairs, most of its pairs are between cryptocurrencies. You can also start by buying crypto with FIAT from the site using 3rd parties, bank transfers and credit or debit cards. And they have some of the lowest trading fees of any exchange, starting at 0.1% which can then reduce further depending on trading volumes, promotions or you can get these even lower by using their own BNB coin.
Binance not only have an exchange, but they have a whole host of financial services, including staking, liquidity pools and swaps, as well as deritivatives, education and their own Trust Wallet.
Now in terms of how safe Binance is, Binance did have a security breach in 2019 where it was hacked and resulted in 40 million dollars of Bitcoin stolen, however binance refunded all affected investors and is deemed as a safe platform since.
Coinbase Pro Exchange
Next is Coinbase & Coinbase Pro, which in contrast to Binance can work out to be expensive in terms of fees. However Coinbase is very user friendly and most people getting into Crypto do tend to start here, especially with sign up offers such as their $10 of free Bitcoin. The interface is easy to use and ideal for newbies with their simple buying process.
However, these newbies will soon be aware that Coinbase has some of the highest fees in all the exchanges, ranging from 1.49 to 3.99% for trading on Coinbase and from 0.5% on Coinbase Pro which has a wider range of tokens than and is more aimed at experienced traders. Coinbase supports customers in over 30 countries, including the United States, most of Europe, Singapore, Canada, and Australia with some very high volume and liquidity.
Their Coinbase Earn feature is one of the best ways to get your hands on some free crypto where you can earn up to $177 in alt coins by taking some quizzes and learning about each crypto. Another thing that makes Coinbase one of the top crypto exchanges is the fact that the platform’s very secure. While there have been multiple different attempts to breach the exchange’s security, Coinbase is yet to suffer a huge hack and they store 97% of bitcoins offline.
Coinbase has, however got quite a negative press in the crypto community and this is mostly due to their poor customer services and tracking of how and where you spend your bitcoins which has led for Coinbase users to start to find alternatives.
Kraken Exchange is another great option for newbies with a simple and basic interface to get started with, whilst also being a good option for more experienced traders too and is one of the oldest exchanges and has operated since 2013. It offers users more than 150 different cryptocurrencies to trade, buy and sell. Plus you can trade with six different fiat currencies including USD, Japanese Yen, Canadian dollars, British pounds, euros and Australian dollars. meaning you don’t need to visit other exchanges before you start trading.
In terms of Fees, Kraken takes anywhere from 0% up to 0.26% from your transaction which is pretty low in terms of crypto exchanges but will obviously depend on your trading amount. Their trading volume and liquidity is high too currently ranking on CoinMarketCap at number 4 in terms of cryptocurrency spot exchanges.
Kraken has some great staking options and rewards too where you can Stake the likes of Polkadot, Cosmos and Tezos. Not only that but in some countries you can even stake FIAT currencies such as Euros and US dollars too!
Kraken isn’t only popular for being a cryptocurrency exchange with some of the lowest fees but it’s also considered to be a very secure space to trade crypto coins, too with most of its cryptocurrency stored offline.
KuCoin is one of the newer platforms on my list and was created in 2017 where you buy and sell 200 cryptocurrencies worldwide. They have high liquidity, a high number of users and a wide selection of supported assets and services.
Users can Buy crypto with top fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, and many more. This exchange is also another great option for low trading fees where you’ll only pay 0.1% of the amount you are buying.
There are several trading options available to suit different trading levels, including spot trading, instant exchanges and margin trading. Plus You can earn crypto with KuCoin’s crypto lending, staking, soft staking, and KyCoin Shares (KCS) bonus.
KuCoin was hacked in September 2020 with hackers obtaining the private keys to the exchange’s hot wallets.
Uniswap is an automated token exchange, based on the Ethereum blockchain, that launched in 2018. Unlike centralised exchanges, Uniswap has no order book for executing trades. Instead, It allows users to trade without a middleman or third party, with a high degree of decentralization and censorship-resistance.
This may not be suited for the newbie first getting into crypto as you’ll need an understanding of DEFI, and already have Ethereum in your wallet to get started but DEFI platforms have certainly risen in popularity over the past 12 months. Although their volume and liquidity does not match the most popular centralised exchanges. It’s s average daily trading volume can be up to about $200 million, making it the largest DeFi Exchange.
There are endless options of ERC20 tokens available or on Uniswap. Their trading fees are at 0.3% but there are also Ethereum gas fees to pay which will depend on how congested the Ethereum network is. Uniswap also offers users to become liquidity providers and earn the 0.3% fees on all the trades proportional to their share do the pool.
Unlike a centralised exchange, With a decentralised exchange you are in control of your funds therefore it is pretty safe. However because anyone can list a token on Uniswap, and its decentralized nature means there is no review process, it is easy for scammers to create a token with a name similar to a popular DeFi platform, and trick users into purchasing worthless tokens.