Investing in cryptocurrencies or trading them can be a challenging activity at first sight. However, the secret of success is choosing the right platform to buy and trust your money to any counterparty. Crypto exchange itself is a platform where customers can buy, sell, trade, or exchange cryptocurrencies.
Here is a list of the best crypto exchanges considering their reputation, speed, fees, limits, and more. Get the most comprehensive guide to centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges.
Best Places to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency
First of all, you need to decide which digital assets you will work with. Popular coins such as ETH, ETC, XRP are traded on the most significant part of exchanges, and young projects – on no more than two or three services, and then the choice is already obvious. Before we reveal the best crypto exchanges, it’s noteworthy to keep in mind some factors influencing the platform’s quality.
- Security. First and foremost, the investor should check the platform on hacking events and info leaks connected to the exchange. It can be prevented with such measures as 2-factor authentication and pin. You should also know if the platform you chose is custodial or non-custodial. Note that in case your exchange is custodial, it stores your assets right on the platform.
- Reputation. It’s easy to know the platform better in such communities as BitcoinTalk and Reddit.
- Exchange rate. Different platforms have different exchange rates. They fluctuate up to 10% or even more.
- Trading fees. Fees are different on every platform. There are also some types of trading fees: they can be deposit, transaction, and withdrawal.
- Payment methods. There is a wide variety of payment means, e.g., debit or credit cards, bank transfer, PayPal, fiat transaction, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. The chosen payment method defines the speed of the transaction.
- Verification requirements. Usually, in order to make a withdrawal and deposit, the exchanges ask for ID verification. This measure protects the exchange from scams and money laundering.
- Residents restriction. Some trading tools and options can be available in certain countries. It can be connected to the laws and regulations of a particular state.
- Speed. As a rule, fiat transactions take longer than crypto-to-crypto transactions.
- Limits. Get the info about how much you can withdraw or deposit at once. If you need to buy a big amount of bitcoins, check the platform on the OTC feature.
It is far from possible to work on only one crypto platform. Most miners and traders have 2-3 accounts on different services, switching between them depending on the situation, both on the market as a whole and on each of the trading platforms separately.
How to Start Trading Cryptocurrencies
If we talk briefly about the basic rules for beginners, then you should understand the following points:
- Greed is the enemy of the cryptocurrency trader. You should never wait for the best possible moment. Play it safe and close the order if there is the slightest uncertainty about a favorable outcome.
- Patience increases capital. Do not panic and do not rush to make entries and exits from open positions at the slightest sign of strong market fluctuations.
- Regularly monitor the order book because this is the main source of data about the coin you are interested in.
- The mood of other players is another important criterion for forecasting quotes. It can be recognized by trading volume and capital investment.
Best Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange – Coinbase
One of the top crypto exchanges, the Coinbase platform was founded in 2012. The exchange is operating in over 40 U.S. states and is regulated and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Coinbase has an easy-to-use interface, a fast verification process, and apps for Android and iOS. Coinbase wallet is extremely easy for beginners. However, the private keys are stored not on the users’ device but on the platform.
The core of the project is the marketplace. The exchange is distinguished by a strict ranking of access to tools, depending on the region of the users. The rules also apply to trading pairs. Up-to-date information can be found in the corresponding section of the platform. It is noteworthy that the cryptocurrencies available for work on the common platform and the Pro version differ. Coinbase provides traders with access to the most liquid assets.
An important product that differentiates Coinbase from many popular digital asset exchanges is its debit card. The plastic was released in collaboration with the international payment system Visa.
We’re excited to announce Coinbase Card, a Visa debit card that lets UK customers spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank. Available today in the UK, and in the EU in the coming months. We'll look to expand internationally later this year. https://t.co/Yf36PL57S8 pic.twitter.com/2LJRj49Y60
— Coinbase (@coinbase) April 11, 2019
The card allows users to pay with cryptocurrency from their account. The list of a digital asset and other card settings are carried out from the mobile application.
There are some drawbacks. If you are not a Coinbase Pro user, the fees are very high ($0.99-$2.99) compared to the average market ones. Coinbase Pro version offers a cheaper fee structure, but it’s suitable only for those who learned the basics of Coinbase. One more con is a limited withdrawing amount.
Best Custodial Exchange – Binance
Founded in 2017, Binance is focused on altcoins trading in more than 600 trading pairs. The platform is suitable for those who would like to trade, not very popular cryptocurrencies (due to the endless listing). Not only a wide range of cryptocurrencies but also the advanced charts are attracting traders worldwide.
Binance has initially been an exchange that specializes in Crypto-to-Crypto transactions, which also helped avoid dependence on regulators. Starting in 2019, trading pairs with fiat were added to the exchange. The Binance crypto exchange’s daily turnover averaged one billion US dollars, and at the peak of trading, it reached four billion.
The platform has an American version called Binance U.S. However, it has fewer supported trading pairs, and 13 states, including New York, are not endorsed by the American version of Binance.
Binance is not only an exchange platform; it has a lot more exciting features:
- Binance Earn allows users to earn DeFi tokens with the help of yield farming right on the platform.
- Trading service.
- Binance Launchpad allows us to invest in new startups that are audited by Binance Team.
- You can have a crypto loan in USDT and BUSD with ETH and BTC as collateral.
- Binance OTC trading allows users to conclude transactions for large amounts (from 250 BTC) under the best conditions.
Best Instant Exchange – Changelly
Changelly, an instant cryptocurrency exchange service, appeared in 2015 and since then, the service has attracted more than two million users. Changelly is a cryptocurrency swap platform service that is implemented in many cryptocurrency projects.
The system chooses the best rate on the exchanges and places bets. This is very beneficial for users who want to exchange Bitcoin for Ethereum. The user does not have to search for the most advantageous offer on the exchanges, wasting time on registration. Changelly will do everything automatically.
Changelly serves as both an exchange office for digital currencies and a widget for users with its website, as well as an API for wallets such as Exodus, Ledger, Trezor, Jaxx. The transaction fee is only 0.25%.
The service has gained an excellent reputation, and its traffic is growing every day. At any time, you can contact the support service, which responds promptly.
Best Decentralized Exchange – Bisq
Bisq is a decentralized exchange that is accessible to everyone regardless of nationality or location without any identification. A decentralized exchange is an opportunity for countries with less-developed banking systems or no proper finance infrastructure. Bisq is a great project for the privacy of those who don’t have any government-issued identification.
Bisq has its own mobile app for Android and iOS and many payment options. What about fees? You can pay fees both in BTC and BSQ. Here is a table with fees on the platform:
|In BTC||In BSQ|
Centralized vs. Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange
Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to purchase a relatively extensive list of cryptocurrencies. Almost all liquid altcoins can be bought here. Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are regulated by the government, albeit less strictly than fiat exchanges. In this regard, centralized exchanges offer for acquisition only those cryptocurrencies behind which specific people and companies stand. When trading on a centralized exchange, you can be sure that you will not accidentally acquire a complete scam.
The main difference between decentralized and centralized exchanges is the absence of an intermediary between the seller and the buyer. On a decentralized exchange, contact occurs exclusively between traders who place orders to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Due to this fact, DEXes charge a lower transaction fee.
Decentralized exchanges, unlike centralized ones, do not have a single control center. They are based on a distributed ledger technology. Decentralized platforms have greater confidentiality since they do not require verification from users.