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8 Best Crypto Trading Platforms & Exchanges Ranked in 2024

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Cryptocurrency exchanges function as trading platforms where individuals can purchase, sell, and convert different cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens). These exchanges play a vital role in enabling the trading of digital assets on the present magnitude.

While specific platforms may highlight their affordable rates and quick transaction times, others prioritize providing unique financial offerings. Learn more about the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, and how they operate, and get advice on choosing the best option for your needs.

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

8 Best Trading Platforms for Crypto

  • Bisq – Best Exchanges for Crypto Overall
  • Cash App – Best for Bitcoin
  • eToro – Best for Crypto Exchanges
  • KuCoin – Best for Earning Options
  • Coinbase – Best for Beginners
  • Gemini – Best for Security
  • Crypto.com – Best for Diverse Services
  • Public.com – Best $0 Commission Platform

Bisq – Best Exchanges for Crypto Overall

Introduced to the public in 2014, Bisq stands as an open-source software tailored for crypto trading, facilitating global individuals to engage in peer-to-peer transactions with a variety of digital currencies and tokens. Its platform currently accommodates over 120 digital assets.

Distinguished as a decentralized exchange, Bisq operates without mandating users to undergo Know Your Customer (KYC) identity authentication procedures. It imposes no restrictions on user accessibility based on geographical location. 

On this platform, users can use Bitcoin wallets and other cryptocurrencies using diverse payment methods such as bank wire transfers, ACH transfers, and cash deposits.

Bisq has garnered favor among early adopters of cryptocurrency due to its adherence to the fundamental principles upon which Bitcoin was founded: decentralization, privacy, and individual control over finances. 

However, the exchange may not be particularly welcoming for novices. The escrow mechanism employed in peer-to-peer transactions might pose challenges for new users, while relatively sluggish trade execution could deter first-time traders and active participants. 

Bisq primarily caters to facilitating smaller trades since its trading volumes are comparatively lower than those observed on centralized global exchanges.

Pros

  • Accessible globally
  • Ensures a high level of privacy with no required ID verification
  • Accepts over 50 different payment options

Cons

  • Transaction speed may be slow
  • Trading volumes can be low
  • Not optimized for active trading

>> Consider Using Bisq >>

Cash App – Best for Bitcoin

Introduced in 2013 by Block, Inc. (previously known as Square, Inc.), Cash App enables people in the United States and the United Kingdom to transfer money, make purchases, manage finances, and participate in investments. 

It’s a mobile banking application primarily designed for peer-to-peer transactions but also encompasses an investment feature. Users can invest in stocks, ETFs, and Bitcoin through Cash App. Cash App distinguishes itself from competitors like Robinhood and Venmo, allowing users to transfer their Bitcoin to external wallets.

Cash App presents a convenient solution for those who wish to dip their toes into the world of Bitcoin or require an additional platform for swift Bitcoin dealings. Unlike other general cryptocurrency exchanges, Cash App empowers you with control over your digital assets, a compelling reason to give it a go.

The fees associated with Bitcoin trading on Cash App are variable and are disclosed only when you’re prompted to authorize your purchase or sale transaction. In executing Bitcoin trades, Cash App uses the mid-price mechanism while adding a spread fee into the equation.

Pros

  • One of the most user-friendly platforms for purchasing Bitcoin and entering the crypto space
  • Allows users to lock prices immediately and facilitate quick withdrawals
  • Facilitates making and receiving mobile payments

Cons

  • Lack of insurance coverage from the FDIC
  • Inability to use for international payments
  • Limited to trading only Bitcoin

>> Consider Using Cash App >>

eToro – Best for Crypto Exchanges

eToro is a well-known online platform for trading and investing, offering a wide range of financial assets including cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities, and indices. It’s recognized for its unique social trading functionality that allows users to track and emulate the tactics of experienced investors. This caters to passive investors and those interested in gaining insights from others. Read our full eToro review.

With an active user community, eToro provides a collaborative environment for discussions and analysis. Its many regulatory certifications ensure a safe and compliant trading atmosphere. For traders looking for diverse assets and interactive learning opportunities within a regulated framework, eToro is an exceptional option.

Pros

  • An active investment community, ideal for engaging in social trading
  • Supports crypto staking for select coins
  • Offers a diverse selection of cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Withdrawal fees and spread fees are disappointing
  • Crypto trading isn’t available in all states

>> Consider Using eToro >>

KuCoin – Best for Earning Options

KuCoin prides itself on its minimal charges and remarkable average trade volumes, along with a robust liquidity rating. It has a global presence that extends to over 200 nations. However, it’s important to highlight that KuCoin must obtain the required permits to operate in the United States.

The range of features offered by KuCoin caters to cryptocurrency enthusiasts, providing opportunities such as crypto staking, loan services, and even an NFT trading platform. Acknowledge that navigating KuCoin’s user interface may appear complex, which could be less than ideal for beginners in the world of cryptocurrency trading.

KuCoin stands out as an exceptional cryptocurrency exchange due to its cost efficiency and diverse avenues for generating income. These include staking, lending, KuCoin Earn, KuCoin Pool, and Cloud Mining.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of tradable cryptocurrencies
  • Competitive trading fees with volume discounts
  • Provides advanced features such as margin trading and futures trading
  • Accepts credit cards and debit cards

Cons

  • Not licensed in the U.S.
  • Funds kept on the platform aren’t insured
  • Experienced a major hacking incident in 2020

>> Consider Using KuCoin >>

Coinbase – Best for Beginners

Coinbase has been selected as the top choice for beginners entering the world of cryptocurrency due to its user-friendly interface, in-depth educational content covering a wide range of topics from blockchain to market volatility, and strong security measures.

If you’re involved in crypto circles, it’s likely that Coinbase is already on your radar. This exchange stands out as one of the largest and most prominent platforms in the United States. Its straightforward onboarding process significantly reduces barriers for new investors and guides users smoothly into trading activities. Its interface ensures effortless navigation throughout the platform while managing cryptocurrency assets.

Coinbase offers an extensive and easily accessible array of educational resources. Users are actively encouraged to engage with these materials through the Coinbase Earn initiative, which provides guidance on trading specific cryptocurrencies while also rewarding participants with free crypto assets.

Read more: Is Coinbase safe?

Pros

  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface with an easy purchase process
  • Offers a broad assortment of educational materials
  • Features a wide selection of cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Incurs higher fees compared to other popular exchanges
  • Possesses a complex fee structure

>> Consider Using Coinbase >>

Gemini – Best for Security

Established by the Winklevoss brothers, Gemini stands out as one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges accessible in all 50 U.S. states, including New York and Hawaii, notorious for their stringent regulations. A fundamental element of Gemini’s services is its strong emphasis on security, exemplified by its provision of insurance for digital assets held by users.

The exchange’s wide array of products provides insight into various sectors of the cryptocurrency market. From its primary cryptocurrency exchange to a marketplace for non-fungible tokens, a staking program, and even a credit card that rewards users with cryptocurrencies, Gemini aims to cater to almost every need in the crypto sphere.

An important feature that sets Gemini apart is its ongoing provision of staking opportunities to U.S. customers, whereas competitors such as Kraken and Crypto.com have halted their staking programs in the United States. At Gemini, staking operates similarly to a bank’s Certificate of Deposit (CD), enabling users to earn interest by temporarily locking up their crypto assets with the exchange.

Pros

  • Recurring buys and dynamic price alerts
  • Allows crypto withdrawals to approved addresses only
  • Provides transaction histories and downloadable account statements

Cons

  • Incurs higher trading fees compared to other exchanges
  • Limited options for customer service

>> Consider Using Gemini >>

Crypto.com – Best for Diverse Services

Since its inception in 2016, Crypto.com has solidified its position as a prominent global cryptocurrency exchange. It’s currently accessible in 90 countries around the world and facilitates the trading of over 250 digital currencies.

Apart from its extensive array of supported assets, Crypto.com presents an expansive digital asset ecosystem encompassing its proprietary blockchain.

The noteworthy feature is the Crypto.com mobile application. Unlike many other cryptocurrency exchange mobile apps that offer limited functionalities compared to their web-based platforms, Crypto.com has prioritized developing an app that provides a diverse range of products and features for users to leverage the full potential of this exchange’s ecosystem on-the-go. 

Mobile app users can engage in buying, selling, trading, earning interest on their cryptocurrencies, and making payments using crypto.

Despite offering an impressive variety of products and features, customer support at Crypto.com is reported to be inadequate. Unless one engages in high-volume trading activities, they may incur trading fees amounting up to 0.075%.

Read the Crypto.com review.

Pros

  • Supports over 250 cryptocurrencies
  • Offers a variety of cryptocurrency products

Cons

  • Credit and debit purchases can be costly
  • Lacks crypto-to-crypto trading options
  • Customer support is lacking in quality

>> Consider Using Crypto.com >>

Public.com – Best $0 Commission Platform

We selected Public as the top $0 commission platform because, apart from offering incredibly affordable trades, it’s exceptionally user-friendly and delivers extensive educational material.

Public is an entry-level platform that aims to blend accessible and cost-effective investing with a strategy prioritizing financial education. It achieves this by furnishing users with articles covering a wide range of investment subjects, regular market updates, and a daily live broadcast called Public Live. During this show, a group of professionals including experts, analysts, and journalists convenes to discuss current market news.

Public doesn’t function as a full-service cryptocurrency exchange. The platform places its primary focus on stocks and ETFs. Therefore, it lacks certain tools and operates in a different manner compared to an authentic crypto exchange. Most notably, users currently cannot transfer cryptocurrency assets in or out of their Public account.

Pros

  • Regulated by the SEC and FINRA
  • Allows fractional stock investing
  • Provides volatility reminders on cryptocurrencies
  • Social trading feature enables users to observe others’ buying and selling activities

Cons

  • Incurs transaction fees for crypto trades
  • Lack of technical charts and research tools
  • Long waiting time for withdrawals

>> Consider Using Public >>

Our Ranking Methodology for the Best Exchanges for Crypto

We examined over 20 cryptocurrency platforms and assessed them according to their affordability, safety, and user interface. Our evaluation methodology also factored in elements such as their range of cryptocurrencies, payment methods, and trading activity.

Our primary emphasis was on specialized crypto exchanges before extending our review to encompass trading platforms facilitating the trade of various financial instruments. The best crypto exchanges excelled across the aforementioned criteria:

  • Security: Ensuring the security of users’ cryptocurrency is paramount on any trading platform. Hence, measures to prevent security breaches and employ safe account management methods are crucial. We examined each platform’s track record in safeguarding user funds and information, including their provision of insurance in cases where users may incur losses due to their own errors.
  • Security Breach Prevention: To actively fortify user accounts against potential breaches, exchanges often conduct penetration tests, implement bug bounties, and subject themselves to third-party audits to validate their proof of reserves. These assessments help to confirm the absence of vulnerabilities and ensuring the adoption of the latest security measures.
  • Safe Account Management: Cybersecurity best practices should be a priority for crypto exchanges to minimize vulnerabilities in their systems. This involves enforcing TLS/SSL encryption and, for centralized exchanges, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors, such as SMS and email.
  • User Experience: An exchange with an easily navigable and user-friendly interface is a positive for novices and experienced traders. We evaluated each crypto exchange’s mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop interface, favoring those with intuitive designs. We considered the availability of educational content and research tools for users.
  • Mobile and Desktop Interface: Modern crypto exchanges typically feature streamlined user interfaces that cater to the accessibility needs of new traders. This holds true even for decentralized exchanges, which historically targeted more experienced users.
  • Educational Content: Educational content plays a vital role for traders at all levels, particularly those new to the crypto space. This encompasses a range of materials, from blog articles and explainers on specific coins to test runs and guided transactions for those learning how to use an exchange.
  • Research Tools: Market data is indispensable for crypto investors, and research tools enable users to refine their crypto searches based on specific criteria. These tools allow sorting by metrics such as market cap, daily price changes, and social trends.
  • Cost: Fees can be a concern for users, especially active traders. Our preference leaned toward crypto exchanges offering low service fees and mechanisms to reduce transaction fees. We also valued transparency regarding fee structures.
  • Low or Reduced Fees: Many popular crypto exchanges adopt a declining fee schedule, where higher order volumes result in lower transaction costs. Some exchanges further decrease fees for trading with native tokens, like Cronos (CRO) on Crypto.com or Binance Coin (BNB) on Binance.us. Some even waive fees for specific order volumes.
  • Fee Structure Transparency: Fee schedules must be openly shared by all crypto exchanges, a prerequisite for inclusion in our list. Given the varying complexities of fee structures, we also considered how well exchanges explained these fees, including any exceptions.

>> Consider Using Bisq >>

Best Exchanges for Crypto – Buyer’s Guide

What Is a Crypto Exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange functions as a market where individuals can engage in buying and selling various digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, or Dogecoin. These platforms operate similarly to other trading venues with which you may have experience. They furnish accounts that enable users to execute diverse types of orders for purchasing, vending, and speculating within the cryptocurrency realm.

Certain cryptocurrency exchanges facilitate advanced trading options such as margin accounts and futures trading. Although these aren’t as readily accessible to users based in the United States. 

Some platforms incorporate features like cryptocurrency staking or loans that offer opportunities for earning interest on one’s digital currency holdings. The most reputable exchanges provide educational resources aimed at keeping users informed about all aspects of cryptocurrencies.

How Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work?

Cryptocurrency exchanges function similarly to brokerage platforms, providing users with the ability to execute various types of orders for purchasing, selling, and speculating on digital currencies alongside others. These exchanges are categorized as either centralized or decentralized.

  • Centralized Crypto Exchanges: Centralized crypto exchanges operate under the management of a single corporate authority, often resembling a brokerage company. This centralized structure involves the facilitation of trade security and oversight of various transactions.
  • Decentralized Crypto Exchanges: Decentralized crypto exchanges operate with a different paradigm, distributing verification powers across participants who willingly join a network. These participants then certify transactions akin to the functioning of cryptocurrency blockchains. 

This decentralized model aims to enhance accountability and transparency while ensuring the continued operation of an exchange, even in the event of challenges faced by the company overseeing it.

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

Crypto Exchange Fees

When purchasing and selling cryptocurrency, you’ll encounter two kinds of charges: transaction fees and withdrawal fees.

Trading Fees

Trading expenses might be imposed as a fixed proportion of the cryptocurrency quantity you purchase or sell, or an exchange could discriminate between orders categorized as makers and those classified as takers, and impose varying percentages accordingly.

At its core, makers refer to orders that inject liquidity into an exchange, showing they don’t execute standing orders. Takers deplete liquidity from an exchange by finalizing pending trade orders. Maker fees are typically marginally lower than taker fees, subject to the specific exchange. This isn’t always the scenario.

Although it’s preferable to opt for an exchange with minimal expenses, fixating excessively on maker and taker fees can be counterproductive. This is because you have no control over whether your order is processed as a maker or a taker. 

It’s more beneficial to contemplate overall charges and potential discounts applicable for trading a specific sum each month or holding the native cryptocurrency of an exchange instead.

A crucial point to consider is that certain cryptocurrency investment applications assert they impose no fees, which isn’t entirely true. Rather than imposing direct fees, they apply a spread, which refers to the margin between their buying and selling rates for cryptocurrencies. Spreads often end up being considerably more costly than paying a percentage-based trading fee.

Withdrawal Fees

Many trading platforms impose charges for transferring coins from their system. This might pose a problem if you transfer your cryptocurrency to a safe external wallet or another platform. The fees for withdrawals differ based on the type of cryptocurrency.

If you plan to transfer your cryptocurrency away from a platform, it’s advisable to select a system that permits a specific number of withdrawals incurring no fees, such as Gemini.

Other Fees

When delving into more complex trading methods such as margin trading, there are extra charges linked to borrowing funds. User-friendly platforms like Coinbase and Gemini provide rapid purchasing options with increased fees, which can be circumvented by gaining proficiency in utilizing an exchange’s trading interface.

Using a credit or debit card for transactions may cause additional costs imposed by the exchange and the card provider. This underlines the importance of opting for cash or wire transfers when acquiring cryptocurrencies.

>> Consider Crypto Exchange of Bisq >>

What Services Do Crypto Exchanges Offer?

Besides their primary function of facilitating crypto transactions, exchanges have introduced several supplementary services. These include programs that offer incentives to individuals who loan out their cryptocurrency. Many crypto exchanges provide storage for your digital assets in case you prefer not to manage your own wallet.

Certain crypto exchanges have encountered challenges with these additional services. For example, some have had to halt withdrawals from their rewards initiatives due to liquidity constraints. Entrusting your cryptocurrency to an exchange’s wallet may expose you to potential losses in the event of an exchange collapse or a cyber breach.

Are Crypto Exchanges Worth It?

If you wish to buy cryptocurrencies, registering with a crypto exchange is the optimal way to begin. Although it might be convenient to purchase a few hundred dollars worth of Bitcoin from a nearby Bitcoin ATM, using an exchange becomes more practical when aiming to invest a larger sum or diversify into various cryptocurrencies.

Crypto exchanges offer the most secure and legitimate means of acquiring cryptocurrency. However, these aren’t the sole grounds for favoring exchanges:

  • Cryptocurrency exchanges enable users to engage in buying and selling digital assets through online platforms or mobile applications, ensuring convenient access to the crypto markets from anywhere
  • Most cryptocurrency exchanges present a variety of digital currencies and tokens, offering investors many choices to construct a diversified portfolio of digital assets
  • Leading cryptocurrency exchanges typically secure user funds in cold storage, enhancing the safety and protection of assets
  • Global cryptocurrency exchanges adhere to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, as well as other financial rules, providing users with assurance that they’re not dealing with fraudulent entities or malicious market participants

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

What to Look for When Choosing a Crypto Exchange?

Investors’ priorities in selecting a cryptocurrency exchange vary. Most individuals prioritize supported currencies, security protocols, liquidity, user-friendliness, and geographic accessibility.

Supported Currencies

Certain cryptocurrency platforms can accommodate up to 500 different currencies, whereas others may be limited to supporting just one type of digital currency. 

The selected platform for trading should enable the purchase and sale of any cryptocurrency that piques your interest, including popular options like Bitcoin and Ether and alternative coins like Cardano, Litecoin, and Ripple. It should facilitate various trade combinations such as fiat-to-cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency pairings.

Security Measures

Cryptocurrency exchanges are now a key focus for online criminals. As outlined by Chainalysis, a company specializing in blockchain analysis and data, which has collaborated with the U.S. government, cyber thieves made off with $3.8 Billion in 2022, marking an approximate $5 Billion surge from 2021. 

Seek out a cryptocurrency exchange that offers strong encryption and supplementary layers of security, such as two-factor authentication and Bitcoin locks.

Liquidity

In the realm of cryptocurrency, liquidity pertains to the ease with which a coin can be transformed into cash or other coins. Increased liquidity in crypto markets and exchanges shows a higher number of active traders at any moment, resulting in quicker order fulfillment. If swift trades are a priority for you, seek out exchanges with substantial liquidity.

Ease of Use

Poorly designed software applications often frustrate everyday users with their cumbersome user interfaces. Even experienced traders can find it challenging to use a crypto app if it’s not well-designed. It’s advisable to test multiple exchanges before deciding, focusing on their usability and trading experience.

Geography

Not every crypto trading platform is accessible within the borders of the United States. Several exchanges, such as Pionex.US, only function in specific states. Verify that the cryptocurrency exchange you’re registering with is accessible in your area.

How to Be Sure a Crypto Exchange Is Legitimate and Secure?

When searching for a cryptocurrency exchange, it’s crucial to remain vigilant against counterfeit websites and mobile applications. Always verify any spelling errors in the content or false branding. On a website, ensure a small padlock symbol signifying security near the URL bar.

Apart from fraudulent activities, engaging in cryptocurrency trading can be risky. Cryptocurrencies exhibit high volatility, making them prone to sudden fluctuations in value that even the most astute investors cannot accurately foresee.

Financial experts advise exercising caution and limiting cryptocurrency investments to less than 5% of your total investment portfolio if you choose to invest in digital currencies.

>> Visit Bisq >>

Best Exchanges for Crypto – Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Money Do You Need to Buy Crypto?

Cryptocurrency exchanges impose varying requirements, typically based on the specific type of digital currency you intend to purchase. It’s possible to acquire partial shares of coins for a small sum, sometimes even just a few cents. Always verify the prerequisites of your selected crypto exchange pertaining to the particular coin you wish to acquire.

How Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Make Money?

Cryptocurrency exchanges generate revenue through various methods. They may impose fees on transactions, levy extra trading charges, accrue interest by loaning cryptocurrency to traders, demand listing fees for tokens or coins featured on their platform, make profits via market making (offering users liquidity), or employ a combination of these strategies.

How Do I Open a Crypto Exchange Account?

To initiate setting up a cryptocurrency exchange account, you can either access the exchange’s official website or download its dedicated application. The registration procedures for each cryptocurrency exchange are distinct. 

Certain exchanges allow users to create accounts and engage in limited buying and selling of cryptocurrencies without undergoing identity verification or disclosing extensive sensitive details.

However, with the industry’s evolution, specific Know Your Customer regulations have been implemented by the U.S. government to combat money laundering and fraudulent activities.

You’ll be required to furnish your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social Security number

There may be a need for identity authentication through the submission of a photograph or scan of an officially issued government ID document.

Bottom Line – Best Crypto Exchange

Selecting the ideal cryptocurrency exchange is crucial for individuals passionate about cryptos. The choice made can have a significant impact on trading costs, the range of available assets, user interface experience, and overall safety. 

When exploring the vast selection of crypto exchanges, consider your personal priorities such as low fees, a diverse range of cryptocurrencies, user-friendly interfaces, or robust security measures.

Platforms such as Bisq, Cash App, or eToro could serve as your preferred options. If prioritizing security is paramount for you, Gemini is renowned for its rigorous security protocols.

The exchange that best suits your personal preferences and requirements determines you. Before fully immersing yourself, take the time to carefully evaluate the features that align with your trading goals and risk tolerance.

By conducting a thorough examination of these factors, you’ll be better equipped to confidently navigate the cryptocurrency market and discover an exchange that perfectly meets your needs. Wishing you successful trading!

>> Consider Using Bisq >>