Cryptocurrency exchanges are where most people buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other types of cryptocurrencies. There are many reasons for this, but the simplest and most decentralized form of cryptocurrency is relatively inconvenient to acquire and use. And because of the high risks involved, the crypto market is very, very unregulated and fraud and hacking are common. You need a reputable and stable platform you can trust.
This means, at a minimum, you can use a cryptocurrency exchange that keeps your cryptocurrency safe, giving you unlimited control over your assets, and making it simple and inexpensive to buy, sell, send, receive and trade cryptocurrency.
Of course, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchanges continue to evolve and expand, and investors can use more advanced features, including the ability to earn interest, access to more esoteric forms of crypto, or to buy, store and display NFTs. You may want a function. (It is worth noting that the safest place to store your cryptocurrencies is your exclusive cold cold storage wallet.)
Here we will focus on the basics, highlighting exchanges that allow you to easily register, start and run trades without fees. As with all investments, high fees can erode your returns over time, and some exchanges offer fees that are more competitive than others.
Our top pick for the best cryptocurrency exchanges caters to a wide range of investors, whether beginners looking for an easy-to-use cryptocurrency trading platform, or advanced traders looking for the lowest fees on the market. What you need to choose the best cryptocurrency exchange for you.
Note: Cryptocurrency exchanges add and remove tokens on a regular basis. Our “number of tokens” is based on data from each exchange website as of May 27, 2023.
Best crypto exchanges
- US availability: All states except Hawaii
- Number of supported tokens: 174
- Spot trading fees: $0.99 to $2.99, or 1.49% for trades over $200
- Credit/debit card fee: 3.99%
Simple and Intuitive Coinbase provides an intuitive and streamlined experience to easily buy, sell, trade, and send Bitcoin, Ether and many other cryptocurrencies. As a public company, it is one of the most recognizable and high-capital players. However, you will be paying higher transaction fees and more complex perks than other exchanges. We believe the platform’s ease of use and simplicity are relatively modest, and if you plan to trade infrequently, it’s well worth paying the high fees.
Coinbase says it keeps 98% of its crypto assets in cold storage (a way to keep crypto tokens offline) and has never lost user funds. The U.S. dollar balance of your Coinbase account is insured by the Federal Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which Coinbase holds and has a private insurance policy of $320 million as a whole for its crypto assets. Coinbase’s Q1 earnings report caught the eye with a new disclaimer that custodial cryptocurrencies could be used to pay creditors in case the company goes bankrupt.
Unlike most cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase offers live phone support and email support. This can provide additional convenience to new cryptocurrency investors and there is a library of well-written content useful for beginners. Coinbase is available to residents of all US states except Hawaii.
For real-time cryptocurrency trading (referred to as “spot trading”), Coinbase charges between $0.99 and $2.99 for transactions up to $200. A flat 1.49% fee is charged for transactions over $200. Coinbase is also adding a “spread” fee of 0.5%.
If you purchase cryptocurrency with a debit card, a fee of 3.99% is added. However, funding your Coinbase account with ACH e-transfer is free. Deposits via wire transfer cost $10.
The more advanced versions of the platform, running on separate apps and websites, are cheaper but have a less user-friendly interface that is not suitable for beginners.
- US availability: All states except Hawaii, New York or Washington
- Number of supported tokens: 130
- Trading fees: 0.0 to 0.2% maker; 0.0 to 0.5% taker; 1.5% instant buy
- Credit/debit card fee: No credit/debit card purchases in US
One of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, and having been in business since 2013, Kraken’s low fees make it particularly attractive to high-volume traders. Kraken also offers more risky and advanced trading features, such as margin trading and on-chain trading, with bi-monthly payments.
The exchange supports trading of around 130 crypto assets that can be bought or traded in the United States. It also supports over 100 cryptocurrency pairs (two tokens that can be exchanged for each other).
Kraken claims to hold 95% of its digital assets offline, with sufficient liquidity for users to withdraw at any time, although it does not include insurance for cryptocurrency deposits held in hot wallets. Kraken cryptocurrency exchange hacks have not been reported.
Kraken is available to most US crypto investors, but crypto services are not licensed in New York, Washington State, or Hawaii.
- US availability: All 50 states
- Number of supported tokens: 99
- Trading fees: Spot trading fees: $0.99 to $2.99, or 1.49% for trades over $200
- Credit/debit card fee: 3.49%
Gemini offers competitive trading fees and support for nearly 100 currencies and 20 cryptocurrency pairs, but the exchange’s educational resources are what attracts beginners the most. It is also one of the few exchanges operating in all 50 US states and the only one operating on this list.
This cryptocurrency exchange offers strong security features such as FDIC insurance for US dollar deposits, hot wallet personal security for blockchain-based crypto assets, and U2F hardware key support. The ActiveTrader platform offers high volume traders charting, multiple order types, auctions and group trading. Gemini Digital Enables Nifty Gateway on NFT Marketplace in 2019
Gemini’s educational resources are among the best of all cryptocurrency exchanges we have found. The Cryptopedia section provides in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrencies and the technology behind them. Cryptopedia has an extensive list of topics, from basic explanations of Bitcoin and its descriptions, to the practical use of smart contracts, to topics such as the NFT market model for music and decentralized cloud storage.
- US availability: All states except New York
- Number of supported tokens: 220
- Trading fees: 0.04% to 0.4% maker; 0.1% to 0.4% taker
- Credit/debit card fee: 2.99%
Crypto.com offers trading support for over 200 cryptocurrencies and has the largest variety of currencies on this list in . It also lists support for over 60 trading pairs.
Crypto.com claims that 100% of all user cryptocurrencies are stored offline in cold storage and secured $750 million in crypto insurance. The exchange also states that all online funds in the custodian wallet are generated by the company itself to fund users’ withdrawals. This means that your crypto assets are safe offline. Metropolitan Commercial Bank maintains USD balances in Crypto.com accounts and is affiliated with FDIC.
Crypto.com uses multi-factor authentication for all crypto transactions, including password verification, biometrics, email, phone, and authenticators. Crypto.com also requires all external addresses to be whitelisted via email verification. This means that you must be authorized to withdraw from your cryptocurrency wallet or bank account, which helps protect your crypto assets from accidental or tampered withdrawals.
Crypto.com is one of 15 exchanges allowed to operate in Hawaii along with Gemini and bitFlyer. Crypto.com is available to residents of all US states except New York.
- US availability: All states except West Virginia and Nevada
- Number of supported tokens: 15
- Trading fees: 0.03% to 0.1% maker/taker fee
- Credit/debit card fee: 1.95%
BitFlyer is a private company that launched its first cryptocurrency exchange in Japan in 2014 and then expanded to the US in 2017. Although BitFlyer has significantly less volume than the larger exchanges, it ranks in the top 20 in terms of average liquidity per CoinMarketCap. It supports 9 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Ripple (XRP).
BitFlyer offers the lowest trading fees of any exchange on this list. There are two ways to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on bitFlyer. BitFlyer’s instant buy/sell platform and bitFlyer’s Lightning Network transaction.
Once your identity is verified and your account is funded, the bitFlyer Lightning Network’s maximum manufacturer and socket fee is 0.1% for transactions under $50,000. This is lower and lower Kraken’s base fee (0.2% for makers, 0.5% for buyers) and much more reasonable than Coinbase Pro (0.4% for makers, 0.6% for players).
BitFlyer’s online buying and selling platform doesn’t charge any transaction fees, so it’s a suggestion, but beware of wide spread fees ranging from 0.1% to 6%. BitFlyer will show you the spread fee for every trade before you place it. The 1.95% fee for credit and debit card purchases is also the lowest on this list.
Its interface is more rudimentary than other exchanges, and the registration process ran into minor bugs such as unexplained error messages and missing 2FA codes. The low trading volume on the bitFlyer exchange may affect your ability to complete trades at the desired price.
BitFlyer is available to all U.S. residents, including residents of West Virginia and Nevada.
What about Binance and Binance.US?
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency perCoinMarketCap. The exchange started in China in 2017 and moved servers and operations to Japan a few months after China banned cryptocurrencies.
In 2019, due to tighter regulations, Binance was banned in the US. Eventually, the old cryptocurrency exchange spun off from Binance.US as a separate company that now operates in 45 states. Binance and Binance.US are two sister companies with different ownership structures.
Binance.US has a very similar interface and experience to Binance and has slightly lower fees than major cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the company has a grim past and an uncertain future.
In May 2021, Bloomberg News reported that the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service were investigating Binance’s operations that could be related to money laundering and tax evasion. Bloomberg reported in September that the CFTC was investigating Binance’s connections to insider trading and market manipulation.
In April 2022, Reuters reported evidence that Binance had handed over data about cryptocurrency donations to the Security Service (FSB) to Navalny, a political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Binance was hacked in 2019 to steal approximately $40 million and 7,000 bitcoins, the exchange believed to have returned the funds to the lost exchange using a secure asset fund for users. A handful of investors who have suffered huge losses due to a 2021 trading ban plan to file a lawsuit against Binance.
Although Binance.US offers a high-quality mobile and desktop experience and offers low transaction fees, we do not recommend using a cryptocurrency exchange until the legal investigation is complete and the Binance platform provides more transparency to regulators and users.
Questions and Answers
What is a cryptocurrency exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies and digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether. Some may even support the purchase, sale and trade of NFTs.
Cryptocurrency exchanges typically involve users depositing and withdrawing funds in fiat currency (e.g. US dollars) or cryptocurrency, purchasing cryptocurrency in US dollars or another currency, exchanging one cryptocurrency for another, and , send cryptocurrency to other people (or companies), and sell cryptocurrency. for America. dollar.
What are the risks of buying, trading and selling cryptocurrencies?
there are a lot Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and there is no central authority to control or oversee them. No central bank support. And holdings are much less protected than traditional assets like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. In fact, it is worth repeating. The cryptocurrency market is still unregulated, prices are extremely volatile, and scams and hacks are rampant.
Some of the larger cryptocurrency exchanges offer security of up to $250,000, similar to a bank account. However, this insurance only covers US dollar deposits. Some cryptocurrency exchanges offer separate insurance for digital assets, but most do not.
What is the difference between a cryptocurrency exchange and a cryptocurrency broker?
Cryptocurrency exchanges provide a platform for individual buyers and sellers to trade cryptocurrencies or exchange tokens for fiat currencies such as US dollars. Exchange rates are ostensibly based on market exchange rates.
Similarly, cryptocurrency brokerage acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, but the broker sets the price. Brokers often support fewer cryptocurrencies, but charge lower fees than exchanges. For example, Robinhood only supports 7 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, but does not charge any transaction fees.
How much does a cryptocurrency transaction cost?
As with any investment, it is important to consider the cost of buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies. High fees can erode profits over time. Exchange fees usually depend on how you buy, sell, or trade.
“Spot” trading, also known as “spot” trading, involves buying or selling on an exchange in real time at a specified price. These trades are easy and most exchanges charge a relatively high fee of around 1.5% of the transaction amount.
More complex types of transactions using the “Buy ” and “Sell ” orders are more complex and less user-friendly for beginners . However, these transactions are much cheaper with “maker” and “receive” fees that cost between 0.1% and 0.5% of the value of the transaction. With this approach, you choose the price you want to buy or sell, and only when the market finds a buyer or a buyer to buy or sell at that target price.
Where can I buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
Some payment services, along with cryptocurrency exchanges and brokerages like Robinhood, allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, but options for tokens are very limited and generally do not allow you to transfer passwords from your account to your personal pocket wallet.
Cash, Venmo, and PayPal allow users to purchase Bitcoin through payment apps. The Cash app only buys and sells Bitcoin, but it is the only payment service that allows users to withdraw cryptocurrency to their wallet. Crypto fees are not advertised in the Cash app and vary from transaction to transaction. In general, cash apps charge lower fees than most cryptocurrency exchanges for small transactions and higher fees for large transactions.
Venmo and PayPal support Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Both use a tiered cryptocurrency fee structure similar to Coinbase. $0.49 to $2.49 for trades up to $200, 1.8% commission for trades between $200 and $1,000, and 1.5% commission for trades over $1,000. Both sites charge an unlimited spread fee of 0.5%. Each service allows you to send passwords to other Venmo or PayPal users, but cannot transfer passwords to your own wallet.
Why aren’t there many cryptocurrency exchanges in the US?
U.S. regulations for cryptocurrencies are much stricter than others and vary from country to country.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and cryptocurrency exchanges have clashed several times in recent years, and some are facing scrutiny from financial institutions. The biggest obstacle is the SEC’s classification of cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that several cryptographic tokens represent investment securities that must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency also argued that cryptocurrency exchanges should be registered with the SEC as a securities trading platform.
Due to the additional regulatory burden and the threat of litigation from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, many cryptocurrency exchanges have withdrawn from the US market.
CNET uses certain criteria to compare against cryptocurrencies, including manufacturer and payee fees, transactions and withdrawals, security features, number and types of crypto assets supported, geographic availability, number and types of crypto pairs supported, and software. Interfaces and features, transaction restrictions or restrictions, training resources, and customer support.
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