Top 8 Crypto Exchanges Compared for Fees, Features, & Volume

Top 8 Crypto Exchanges Compared for Fees, Features, & Volume

Cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms where individuals can exchange, purchase, or convert digital currency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

These exchanges play a crucial role in facilitating the trading of digital assets on a large scale. While some platforms boast competitive pricing and speedy transactions, others focus on offering specialized financial products. 

If you’re interested in learning about the top cryptocurrency exchanges, their functionalities, and how to choose the right one for your needs, continue reading.

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

8 Best Exchanges for Crypto

Bisq – Best Exchanges for Crypto Overall

Best Exchanges for Crypto Overall

Introduced in 2014, Bisq is a cryptocurrency trading software that operates on an open-source platform. It provides a peer-to-peer environment for individuals worldwide to engage in the exchange of various digital currencies and tokens. The software currently supports a wide range of over 120 digital assets.

One notable feature of this decentralized platform is that it doesn’t require users to undergo any Know Your Customer (KYC) identity verification process. It doesn’t impose restrictions based on specific jurisdictions. 

On Bisq, users have the flexibility to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using different payment methods like bank wire transfers, ACH transfers, and cash deposits.

While Bisq has gained popularity among early adopters of cryptocurrency due to its commitment to core principles such as decentralization, privacy, and sovereignty, values closely associated with Bitcoin, it may present challenges for beginners. 

The escrow mechanism employed in its peer-to-peer trading process may be difficult for new users. The trade execution speed on this platform is relatively slower compared to other exchanges, which could discourage first-time traders or active traders seeking quicker transactions. 

Furthermore, Bisq primarily caters to smaller trades as its trading volumes are lower than those on centralized global exchanges.

Pros

  • Global accessibility
  • High privacy level with no need for ID verification
  • Over 50 diverse payment options

Cons

  • Potential for slow transaction speeds
  • Possibility of low trading volumes
  • Not tailored for active trading

>> Consider Using Bisq >>

Cash App – Best for Bitcoin

In 2013, Block, Inc. (formerly known as Square, Inc.) introduced Cash App, a mobile banking app designed explicitly for peer-to-peer payments. 

This innovative platform allows individuals in the United States and the United Kingdom to send money, make purchases, manage their finances, and even invest. With Cash App, users can invest in stocks, ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), and Bitcoin.

One of the standout features that sets Cash App apart from its competitors like Robinhood and Venmo is its ability to allow users to withdraw their Bitcoin funds into third-party wallets. This unique feature provides more flexibility and control over one’s digital assets.

If you’re new to Bitcoin or simply looking for an additional platform for quick transactions involving this cryptocurrency, the Cash App is an excellent choice. 

Unlike other non-dedicated cryptocurrency exchanges, Cash App allows you to retain custody of your coins. This added level of security makes it a worthwhile option worth exploring.

Regarding trading fees on Bitcoin transactions within Cash App’s platform, they can vary. However, these fees are only displayed during the confirmation process when buying or selling cryptocurrencies. 

The app uses a mid-price range and a spread fee when executing trades involving Bitcoin. Cash App offers convenience combined with investment opportunities in stocks and cryptocurrencies like never before!

Pros

  • Among the most user-friendly platforms for purchasing Bitcoin and entering the world of crypto
  • Enables prompt locking of prices and swift withdrawals
  • Facilitates mobile payments, both sending and receiving

Cons

  • Lacks FDIC insurance coverage
  • Not suitable for international payments
  • Limited to Bitcoin trading, with no support for other cryptocurrencies

>> Consider Using Cash App >>

eToro – Best for Crypto Exchanges

 Best for Crypto Exchanges

eToro is a well-known online platform for trading and investing that offers a wide range of financial assets, including both cryptocurrencies and traditional options like stocks, commodities, and indices. 

What sets eToro apart is its unique social trading features that allow users to follow and replicate the strategies of experienced investors. This appeals to passive investors looking for easy investment options and those who want to gain insights from others.

One of the key advantages of eToro is its active user community, which provides a collaborative space for discussions and analysis. eToro holds multiple regulatory certifications, ensuring a secure and compliant trading environment. 

For traders who are interested in diverse assets and interactive learning opportunities within a regulated framework, eToro is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Boasts an active investment community, making it well-suited for social trading
  • Offers support for crypto staking with certain coins
  • Provides a wide variety of cryptocurrencies for trading

Cons

  • Presents drawbacks in terms of withdrawal fees and spread fees
  • The availability of crypto trading is restricted in certain states

>> Consider Using eToro >>

KuCoin – Best for Earning Options

With its low fees and impressive trading volumes, coupled with a solid liquidity score, KuCoin is renowned in the cryptocurrency world. Operating in over 200 countries worldwide, it’s important to note that KuCoin must adhere to licensing requirements when operating within the United States.

KuCoin offers a wide range of features for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, including opportunities for crypto staking, lending services, and even an NFT trading platform. However, it should be acknowledged that KuCoin’s user interface may appear complex and may not be ideal for beginners in the world of cryptocurrency trading.

KuCoin stands out as a top-notch cryptocurrency exchange due to its affordability and variety of earning options. These include staking, lending, KuCoin Earn program, and Cloud Mining services.

Pros

  • Competitive trading fees
  • Extensive range of tradable cryptocurrencies
  • Volume discounts are available on fees
  • Accepts credit cards and debit cards
  • Advanced features, including margin trading and futures trading

Cons

  • KuCoin lacks licensing in the US
  • Funds held on the platform aren’t insured
  • Experienced a significant hacking incident in 2020

>> Consider Using KuCoin >>

Coinbase – Best for Beginners

Coinbase has been selected as the ideal cryptocurrency exchange for beginners due to its user-friendly interface, extensive educational resources covering topics ranging from blockchain technology to market volatility, and strong security measures.

If you have any knowledge of cryptocurrencies, it’s highly likely that you’re already familiar with Coinbase. This particular exchange is one of the largest and most renowned platforms in the United States. 

Its primary goal is to simplify the process for new investors by offering a straightforward onboarding system that gradually introduces users to trading. Coinbase provides a seamless experience through its user interface, allowing individuals to easily navigate the platform and effectively manage their digital assets.

Coinbase offers an extensive range of learning materials that are comprehensive and accessible. Users are actively encouraged to take advantage of these resources through their Coinbase Earn program. By participating in this program, individuals can learn how to trade specific cryptocurrencies while being rewarded with free digital currency as they progress.

Overall, Coinbase stands out among other exchanges due to its commitment to making cryptocurrency investing more approachable for beginners while ensuring a smooth user experience through intuitive design choices.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface with an intuitive purchase process
  • Abundant educational material for users
  • Extensive variety of cryptocurrencies available

Cons

  • Fees are relatively high when compared to other well-known exchanges
  • Features a complex fee structure 

>> Consider Using Coinbase >>

Gemini – Best for Security

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, stands out for its availability in all 50 states of the U.S., including the highly regulated regions of New York and Hawaii. 

These states require extensive oversight, making Gemini’s presence there a testament to its commitment to navigating regulatory challenges. A key aspect of Gemini is its focus on security, demonstrated by its provision of digital asset insurance on user funds.

Gemini offers a diverse range of products that cater to different segments within the crypto market. 

With features such as a primary crypto exchange, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, a staking program, and even a credit card that rewards users with cryptocurrencies, Gemini aims to meet nearly every cryptocurrency-related need.

One notable distinction for Gemini is that it continues to provide staking services to U.S.-based customers while competitors like Kraken and Crypto.com have paused their staking programs in the country. 

Staking on Gemini functions similarly to a certificate of deposit (CD) at a bank: users can earn interest by temporarily locking their crypto assets with the exchange.

Pros

  • Ability to allow crypto withdrawals exclusively to approved addresses
  • Recurring buys and dynamic price alerts for enhanced flexibility
  • Provides output transaction histories and downloadable account statements

Cons

  • Trading fees are elevated compared to other exchanges
  • Limited options for customer service

>> Consider Using Gemini >>

Crypto.com – Best for Diverse Services

Best for Diverse Services

Since its launch in 2016, Crypto.com has emerged as a predominant player among global cryptocurrency exchanges. With a presence in over 90 countries, it enables transactions involving more than 250 cryptocurrencies.

Apart from an extensive range of supported assets, Crypto.com boasts of an elaborate digital asset ecosystem that includes its own blockchain called Crypto.org Chain and a native token named CRO. The platform provides yield-generating crypto products and a crypto visa card.

However, what sets Crypto.com apart is its mobile app. Unlike other exchange apps that offer limited functionalities compared to their web-based counterparts, the company focused on developing an app with diverse features so users can seamlessly access all products while on the go. 

The app allows users to trade cryptocurrencies effortlessly at any time without compromising security or convenience by buying and selling coins or earning interest on them, besides facilitating payments through cryptocurrency.

Despite offering various benefits for traders and investors alike through these features and products mentioned above, customer support remains one area where there’s scope for improvement at Crypto.com. 

Also worth noting is that trading fees may go up to 0.075%, which could prove costly unless you’re dealing with higher volumes of trading activities on this platform.

Pros

  • Supports over 250 cryptocurrencies
  • Offers a diverse array of cryptocurrency products

Cons

  • Credit and debit purchases come with high costs
  • Lacks options for crypto-to-crypto trading
  • Customer support is subpar

>> Consider Using Crypto.com >>

Public.com – Best $0 Commission Platform

 Best $0 Commission Platform

We’ve selected Public as our top choice for a commission-free platform due to its affordability and user-friendly interface, along with its extensive educational resources.

The public aims to combine accessible and affordable investing with a strong emphasis on financial literacy. To achieve this, the platform offers users a range of articles covering various investment topics, regular market updates, and an interactive daily show called Public Live. 

During this live show, industry experts, analysts, and journalists come together to discuss the latest market headlines. It’s worth noting that Public doesn’t function as a full-service cryptocurrency exchange. Instead, it primarily focuses on stocks and ETFs. 

Consequently, the platform operates differently from traditional crypto exchanges and lacks certain tools associated with them. One significant limitation is that users are currently unable to transfer their crypto assets into or out of their Public account.

Pros

  • Regulatory oversight from the SEC and FINRA
  • Availability of fractional stock investing
  • Volatility reminders are provided for cryptocurrencies
  • The social trading feature allows visibility into others’ buying and selling activities

Cons

  • Transaction fees are incurred for crypto trades
  • Limited technical charts and research tools
  • Withdrawals may entail a lengthy waiting period

>> Consider Using Public >>

Our Ranking Methodology for the Best Crypto Exchanges

After thoroughly examining more than 20 cryptocurrency exchanges, we assessed their performance in terms of affordability, security, and user-friendliness. 

Our evaluation methodology also took into account factors like the range of cryptocurrencies offered, available payment methods, and trading volume.

Our primary focus was on specialized cryptocurrency exchanges before expanding our analysis to include trading platforms that facilitate the trading of other securities. The top-performing cryptocurrency exchanges excelled in the following areas:

  • Security: The protection of users’ cryptocurrency on a trading platform is paramount, necessitating robust security breach prevention measures and secure account management practices. We evaluated each platform’s track record in safeguarding users’ funds and information, taking into account the availability of insurance for users in the event of monetary loss due to their mistakes.
  • Security Breach Prevention: Proactive measures to fortify user accounts against hackers include scheduled penetration tests, bug bounties, and third-party audits to validate proof of reserves. These evaluations ensure that the platform is devoid of vulnerabilities and employs the latest security protocols.
  • Safe Account Management: Adherence to cybersecurity best practices, such as TLS/SSL encryption and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for centralized exchanges, adds an extra layer of protection. MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors, like SMS and email, reducing vulnerabilities in the system.
  • User Experience: An intuitive and user-friendly exchange interface is advantageous for novices and experts. We considered the design of each crypto exchange’s mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop interface, prioritizing those with more user-friendly designs. Educational content and research tools were also evaluated.
  • Mobile and Desktop Interface: Modern crypto exchanges, including decentralized ones, typically feature streamlined interfaces accessible to new traders.
  • Educational Content: Educational content, ranging from blog articles to guided transactions, is valuable for traders of all levels, particularly those new to crypto.
  • Research Tools: Market data is essential for crypto investors, and research tools enable users to refine their search results based on specific coin types and various metrics.
  • Cost: Fees can be burdensome, especially for active traders. We favored exchanges with low service fees and options for reducing transaction fees. Transparency in fee structures was also valued.
  • Low or Reduced Fees: Many popular crypto exchanges offer declining fee schedules based on order volume, with further reductions for trading with native tokens.
  • Fee Structure Transparency: Open sharing of fee schedules was a prerequisite, and we considered how well exchanges explained complex fee structures and exceptions.

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

Best Crypto Exchanges – Buyer’s Guide

What Is a Crypto Exchange?

A crypto exchange serves as a platform for purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, or Dogecoin. These exchanges operate similarly to other familiar trading platforms. 

They provide users with accounts where they can create various order types to engage in buying, selling, and speculating within the cryptocurrency market.

Certain crypto exchanges offer advanced trading features like margin accounts and futures trading. However, these options are less commonly available to individuals based in the United States. Other exchanges provide additional features, such as crypto staking or crypto loans, that enable users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. 

The best crypto exchanges also offer educational resources aimed at keeping users informed about everything related to cryptocurrencies.

How Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work?

Crypto exchanges function similarly to brokerage platforms, providing a platform where users can engage in various order types to purchase, trade, and speculate on cryptocurrencies with fellow users. 

These exchanges can be categorized as either centralized or decentralized.

  • Centralized Crypto Exchanges: These exchanges operate under the management of a single corporate authority, often a brokerage company. This entity oversees the security of trades, distinguishing them from decentralized exchanges.
  • Decentralized Crypto Exchanges: In contrast, decentralized exchanges distribute verification powers to any participant willing to join the network and verify transactions, akin to cryptocurrency blockchains. This approach enhances accountability and transparency while ensuring the exchange’s continued operation, even in the event of issues with the company running it.

>> Visit Bisq >>

Crypto Exchange Fees

When purchasing and selling cryptocurrency, there are two types of fees to consider: trading fees and withdrawal fees.

Trading Fees

Trading fees can be applied as a fixed percentage of the cryptocurrency amount you buy or sell. An exchange might differentiate between maker orders and taker orders, charging varying percentages accordingly.

In essence, makers are orders that increase liquidity on an exchange. This means they don’t fulfill existing orders. Conversely, takers reduce liquidity by fulfilling standing trade requests. Maker fees are typically slightly lower than taker fees on most exchanges, although there may be exceptions.

While it’s essential to choose an exchange with low costs in mind, getting too caught up in the specifics of maker and taker fees can be counterproductive.

The reason is that you have no control over whether your order is processed as a maker or a taker. Consider overall fees and any discounts available for trading certain volumes each month or holding the native cryptocurrency of exchange instead.

An important note: Certain cryptocurrency investment applications may advertise zero fees, but this claim isn’t entirely accurate. 

Rather than charging a direct fee, these apps charge a spread, which refers to the difference between their buying and selling rates for cryptocurrencies. Spreads can often turn out to be more costly compared to paying a percentage-based trading fee.

Withdrawal Fees

Numerous exchanges impose charges for withdrawing coins from their platform. This could pose a problem if you favor transferring your cryptocurrency to a more secure third-party wallet or another exchange. The specific withdrawal fees tend to differ depending on the type of cryptocurrency being dealt with.

If you foresee the need to transfer your cryptocurrency away from an exchange, it’s advisable to select a platform that permits a certain number of withdrawals without any fees, such as Gemini.

Other Fees

If you participate in more complex trading techniques, such as margin trading, there are extra charges linked to borrowing funds. User-friendly platforms like Coinbase and Gemini provide convenient purchasing options that come with higher fees. However, you can evade these fees by acquiring knowledge on how to trade on an exchange’s platform.

When making transactions using a credit or debit card, the exchange and your card provider may impose additional charges. Therefore, it’s advisable to purchase cryptocurrency using cash or wire transfers instead.

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

What Services Do Crypto Exchanges Offer?

In addition to their primary function as the hub for cryptocurrency transactions, exchanges have introduced various supplementary services. One such service involves offering rewards to individuals who lend out their cryptocurrency. If you prefer not to manage your own wallet, many crypto exchanges will securely store your assets for you.

It should be emphasized that certain crypto exchanges have encountered problems with these additional services. For instance, some exchanges have had to temporarily suspend withdrawals from their rewards programs due to liquidity issues. 

Entrusting your cryptocurrency with an exchange’s wallet exposes you to potential losses in the event of an exchange failure or a cyberattack.

Are Crypto Exchanges Worth It?

If your intention is to acquire cryptocurrencies, registering for a crypto exchange can be the ideal way to commence. 

Although it may seem convenient to purchase a few hundred dollars worth of Bitcoin from a nearby Bitcoin ATM, utilizing an exchange is a more logical alternative if you’re investing a larger amount or seeking to purchase various cryptocurrencies.

Crypto exchanges not only offer the safest and most lawful means of obtaining cryptocurrency but also present other favorable aspects that make them highly suitable.

  • Users can easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies through crypto exchanges, either online or using a mobile app, providing convenient access to the crypto markets from any location.
  • A variety of digital currencies and tokens are typically offered by most cryptocurrency exchanges, giving investors numerous options to construct a diversified portfolio of digital assets.
  • Prominent crypto exchanges commonly secure user funds in cold storage, ensuring the safety of assets.
  • Global crypto exchanges generally adhere to Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) rules, as well as financial regulations. This compliance assures users that they’re not dealing with a fraudulent company or malicious market participants.

>> Consider Bisq >>

What to Look for When Choosing a Crypto Exchange?

When it comes to selecting a cryptocurrency exchange, investors have varying priorities. Nevertheless, for the majority of individuals, factors such as the range of supported currencies, security protocols, liquidity levels, user-friendliness, and geographic accessibility should be foremost in their considerations.

Supported Currencies

Certain cryptocurrency exchanges have the capability to accommodate up to 500 different currencies, whereas others may only support one specific coin. 

The exchange you decide to use should provide the option to buy and sell any cryptocurrency that you’re interested in trading, whether it be well-known options like Bitcoin and Ether or alternative coins such as Cardano, Litecoin, and Ripple. 

Additionally, it should offer the ability to trade between fiat currency and various cryptocurrencies as well as between different cryptocurrencies themselves.

Security Measures

Cybercriminals are increasingly focusing on crypto exchanges, making them vulnerable to hacks. In 2022, hackers stole a staggering $3.8 billion from these exchanges – an alarming increase of around $5 billion from the previous year. 

For better security, opt for a crypto exchange that offers robust encryption measures and additional protective features like two-factor authentication and Bitcoin locks. It’s essential to prioritize the safety of your digital assets by choosing a reliable platform with top-notch security protocols in place.

Liquidity

When it comes to digital currency, liquidity pertains to the ease of converting a coin into cash or other cryptocurrencies. In the world of crypto markets and exchanges, greater liquidity results in more active traders at any time, which translates into quicker order fulfillment. If speedy trades are a top priority for you, then search for exchanges that offer high liquidity.

Ease of Use

Poorly designed software applications often frustrate everyday users with their clunky user interfaces. 

Even experienced traders can face difficulties when using a poorly designed crypto app. To find the best exchange, it’s recommended to try out multiple options and see which ones have a more user-friendly interface for navigation and trading.

Geography

In the United States, not every crypto exchange is accessible. There are specific states where certain exchanges, such as Pionex.US, operate exclusively. 

Therefore, verify that the crypto exchange you intend to register with is available in your area.

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

When searching for a cryptocurrency exchange, it’s crucial to be vigilant for fraudulent websites and mobile applications. Always double-check for any spelling errors in the content or signs of counterfeit branding. In the case of websites, ensure that there’s a small lock icon near the URL bar, indicating security measures.

It’s essential to remember that, beyond scams, trading cryptocurrencies can be risky. Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile, meaning their values can fluctuate suddenly and unpredictably, even confounding seasoned investors.

Financial advisors strongly advise exercising caution when investing in cryptocurrencies and limiting your investment to no more than 5% of your total portfolio.

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

Best Exchanges for Crypto – Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Money Do You Need to Buy Crypto?

Cryptocurrency exchanges have varying criteria, which are usually based on the specific type of cryptocurrency you wish to purchase. 

It’s possible to acquire fractional shares of coins for a minimal amount, such as pennies or a small number of dollars. Prior to making any transactions, it’s important to review the prerequisites enforced by your selected crypto exchange for the particular coin you intend to buy.

How Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Make Money?

Cryptocurrency exchanges generate revenue through various means. One method is by imposing fees on transactions, while another is by implementing additional trading fees. They can also earn interest by lending crypto to traders or charging listing fees for tokens or coins featured on their platform. 

Moreover, they have the potential to profit from market making, which involves providing users with liquidity. Ultimately, cryptocurrency exchanges often utilize a combination of these strategies to generate income.

How Do I Open a Crypto Exchange Account?

To initiate the process of opening a cryptocurrency exchange account, head over to the exchange’s website or install its application. It’s worth noting that every crypto exchange has its own distinct registration procedure. 

Some may enable you to establish an account and trade small amounts of digital currency without undergoing identity authentication or submitting extensive confidential information.

However, as the crypto industry has progressed over time, certain Know Your Customer regulations have been implemented by the U.S. government in order to combat money laundering and fraudulent activities.

In general, you will be required to furnish:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Social Security number

To confirm your identity, you may be required to provide a government-issued ID in the form of a photo or scan.

Bottom Line – Best Crypto Exchanges 

Choosing the perfect cryptocurrency exchange is a critical decision for anyone involved in cryptos. The choice you make can have an impact on trading expenses, the variety of assets available, user experience, and security. 

When exploring the vast array of crypto exchanges, consider what matters most to you: low fees, a wide selection of cryptocurrencies, user-friendly interfaces, or top-level security.

In this search for the ideal platform, options like Bisq, Cash App, or eToro could be your top choices. If security is your primary concern, Gemini is known for its strict security measures. Ultimately, the best exchange for you will depend on your specific preferences and requirements. 

Before diving headfirst into trading activities with any particular exchange, take careful consideration evaluating features that align with your trading goals and risk tolerance level. By doing so, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate confidently through crypto markets while finding an exchange that perfectly suits your needs. Happy trading!

>> Bisq: Best Crypto Exchange >>

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About the Author: Daniel