In this beginner’s guide, we have put together 8 of the most popular and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges to buy Bitcoin in the UK in 2021. All these exchanges I have personally used to buy bitcoin and all available to use in the UK. I’ll also explain the advantages, fees, ease of use, as well as the cheapest way to buy Bitcoin in the UK.
Bitcoin is again attracting a lot of attention due to the current economic and political environment. In these unprecedented times, it’s important to be diversified and in the previous recessions, investors would flock to precious metals likes gold as a safe haven.
However, since the last recession in 2008 Bitcoin is now potentially the new digital gold that investors want a piece of. But how do you take advantage of this potential once in a lifetime opportunity?
How To Buy Bitcoin in the UK in 2021?
I have put together some of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges to buy Bitcoin in the UK. The below breaks down the exchange, the number of supported cryptocurrencies, fees*, if GBP is supported and any related sign-up offers.
*Please note where maker/taker structures are not available, these are deemed as taker fees, and credit/debit card fees have not been included. For credit/debit card fees, please check out the 8 best exchanges to buy Bitcoin in the UK in 2021.
|Exchange||Supported Cryptos||Maker Fees||Taker Fee||Support GBP||Sign-up Offer|
|Binance||260+||0.1%||0.1%||No||20% Off Trading Fees|
|Coinbase||50+||n/a||1.49%||Yes||$10 BTC Bonus|
|Coinbase Pro||50+||0.5%||0.5%||Yes||$10 BTC Bonus|
|Crypto.com||70+||0.4%||0.4%||Yes||$25+ Sign-up Bonus|
|FTX||50+||0.02%||0.07%||Yes||5% Off Trading Fees|
|Gemini||50+||n/a||1.49%||Yes||$10 BTC Bonus|
Once purchased, your crypto should be moved to a wallet to store safely offline. Two hardware wallets I personally use are the Ledger Nano & Trezor. However, there are other wallets that can be downloaded for free on your desktop or mobile such as Trust Wallet, Exodus, or Argent.
Is Bitcoin Legal in UK 2021?
The Bank of England does not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender. The FCA and the Bank of England have however issued warnings and guidance about their use.
7 Exchange to Buy Bitcoin in the UK
We have put together our list of the best crypto exchanges in the UK to buy Bitcoin. For an in-depth review and tutorial of each platform, check out the links below.
Coinbase is one of the best-known exchanges to buy Bitcoin in the UK, with over 68 million customers in over 100 countries. In 2021, Coinbase was listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker COIN and became the first crypto platform to be listed on the stock market.
When signing up to Coinbase as a new user, Coinbase offers $10 of free Bitcoin to get you started, when you buy or sell $100 or more. Another Coinbase feature, I would recommend checking out is Coinbase Earn, where you can receive free crypto while learning about each token you earn.
Coinbase allows users to purchase crypto with credit/debit cards (this can be expensive) and also support 3D secure. You can also pay by faster payment with GBP bank accounts or with SEPA transfers for Euros. Plus, you can also use their mobile app, where you can purchase crypto on the go.
A lot of newbies often confuse Coinbase.com for a wallet, which it’s not as you don’t have access to your private keys which is a big no-no in crypto. Coinbase.com is an exchange to purchase or swap crypto. Once purchased it’s recommended to store your crypto assets in a secure wallet and off the exchange.
Coinbase does have a mobile and browser-based wallet which we covered in our in-depth Coinbase Wallet Review.
Coinbase exchange fees are one of the highest to buy and sell crypto. With fees starting at 1.49% per trade, however, if you choose to buy the like of Bitcoin using a credit card these fees increase even further to a massive 3.99%. Although this option is convenient it’s not a recommended way of buying crypto.
2. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro is Coinbase.com´s professional trading platform built for the more experienced crypto investor. With trading fees starting at 0.5%, this makes it a cheaper alternative to Coinbase.com. Although compared to similar advanced trading platforms (FTX or Binance) these are still some of the highest trading fees in the industry.
At first, the interface can look very busy with its in-depth trading charts, flash numbers and this can seem daunting to a crypto newbie. However, if you check out our in-depth tutorial we explain how you can get started using Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Pro Fees
Compared to Coinbase, Coinbase Pro fees are low. Instead of paying 1.49% or 3.99%, Coinbase Pro fees start at 0.5%. Once purchased you can then send your crypto assets back to Coinbase (free of charge) or alternatively send them to a secure crypto wallet for a fee (network fee).
Gemini is a US-based crypto exchange and was launched in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins Cameron & Tyler. The Winklevoss´ had risen to fame in 2004 after they sued Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook. The company has since expanded its operations to Europe and Asia.
Gemini is available in over 50 countries and supports 60+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Etheruem, XRP, Cardano, and stable coins such as GUSD or DAI. They also support GBP account deposits, as well Euros, and USD.
Similar to Coinbase, Gemini also offers UK customers $10 of free Bitcoin at sign-up when making a deposit and buying/selling $100 worth of crypto.
Unfortunately, their Gemini Earn feature isn´t available in the UK ATM
Gemini´s fee structure is quite complex and depends on how you are accessing their site and the method of payment you choose. Again, similar to Coinbase.com, Gemini fees are some of the highest in the industry with credit/debit card payment fees at 3.49%. You´ll find these fees can be greatly reduced by using their more advanced trading platform, “Gemini ActiveTrader”. Where you can reduce your trading fees to (a maximum of) 0.35%.
If you´re interested in trying Gemini out for yourself, you can check out our in-depth Gemini Review,
4. Kraken Exchange
Kraken is one of the largest and oldest Bitcoin exchanges in the world, having launched in 2011. Kraken is known for its low trading fees, versatile funding options, and security.
With Kraken, you can transfer your GBP via FPS, BACs, CHAPS, or using their FIAT currency funding partner Etana.
Once signed up, Kraken provides users with two crypto trading options. Their simple trading platform for beginners or Kraken Pro, aimed at the more advanced traders (similar to the likes of Coinbase Pro or Gemini ActiveTrader).
There are a lot of trading pairs available on Kraken, although not every asset can be purchased with GBP. Therefore, you may need to start with purchasing Bitcoin and then trade for the more diverse type of asset.
To find out more about supported cryptocurrencies with Kraken, check out our detailed Kraken exchange review.
With Kraken, there can be fees for bank transfers (depending on the method that you choose). Instant buys with credit or debit cards are charged 3.75% which again are pretty steep.
However, these fees can be reduced when using Kraken Pro, where fees are 0.16% to 0.26% for trading under $50,000.
With the Crypto.com app, you can deposit and buy crypto with 7 FIAT currencies including GBP which can be deposited using a bank transfer or using a debit/credit card.
Crypto.com provides new users with some great sign-up offers, especially when you buy and stake their CRO token. Plus, one of the best features I find using Crypto.com is their debit card. Where you receive cashback in their CRO token for every purchase you make.
The Crypto.com exchange has a lot to offer with low trading fees, more advanced order types, and a few different pairs you can trade between. Although, if you want a wider range of cryptos and altcoins then you may be better using alternative exchanges such as Binance.
With the Crypto.com exchange, the maximum trading fee is currently at 0.4%. You can also purchase crypto with a credit or debit card on the crypto.com app. However, these fees are a lot higher, at 3.5%.
Crypto.com has also been known to run promotions in the past with 0% fees, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these.
6. Binance Exchange
Binance Exchange is the most popular cryptocurrency trading platform in the world and was founded in China by Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ. They have some of the cheapest rates in the industry, with fees starting at 0.1%. Making it an affordable way for their users to trade with a diverse range of tokens.
There have been issues recently with Binance UK customers being unable to deposit and withdraw from the platform. Plus two of the UK’s largest banks Barclays and Santander have both blocked customer payments to the crypto exchange platform.
The UK regulators aren’t the only jurisdictions asking questions of Binance. Financial regulators in Japan, Poland, and the Canadian province of Ontario have also targeted the company in recent months.
With some UK users unable to deposit the likes of GBP, Binance can now be used as a crypto to crypto exchange platform instead. Meaning that you´ll need to start with the likes of Bitcoin and then trade for another token.
Binance.com used to have a subsidiary which was Binance Jersey, aimed at the UK market, which I covered in my previous post, however, the platform has now ceased trading.
Binance has some of the lowest trading fees across all the cryptocurrency exchanges and charges a maximum of 0.1%.
New users can reduce these fees further by up to 20% by using our referral code at sign-up. Plus you can get better rates by using Binance´s own BNB token. Check out our guide on How to Save up to 45% on Binance Trading fees to find out more!
Please Note: Some of these exchanges are extremely busy ATM, so if you have any questions there may be some delays from customer support. Also, some links are affiliates and may not work depending on your location.