Author: Ashton Lewis
Cryptocurrency Exchanges is your trusted guide to finding the best cryptocurrency exchanges for crypto trading. We provide unbiased reviews and ratings on hundreds of different exchanges all over the globe, to bring to light the most trusted services.
Top 10 Online Cryptocurrency Exchanges
What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
As a simple definition, a cryptocurrency exchange is a platform that you can use online to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. Exchanges vary in regulation, legitimacy, and trading options among several other factors.
Types of Cryptocurrency Exchanges
When it comes to choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange, you need to first understand that there are different types of exchanges, for different types of trading.
Some exchanges let you buy cryptocurrencies with fiat (normal money) and others let you trade cryptocurrencies without actually owning them (contracts). There are also some exchanges that let you do both these things – we like to call them hybrids.
Margin Trading Exchanges
These exchanges let you trade cryptocurrencies with leverage – meaning that you may trade with more than the amount in your account. Margin trading platforms have grown significantly in popularity over the years as people can get quick wins on them and multiply their profits trading BTC and other cryptocurrencies.
Spot Trading Exchanges
The next most common type of cryptocurrency exchanges is spot trading exchanges. These exchanges allow users to buy and sell real Bitcoin and Altcoins, rather than just profit on the price differences.
You can still make a lot of profits on spot exchanges, but they don’t have leverage and therefore are deemed safer. Some of the most popular spot crypto trading exchanges include Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex & Bitpanda.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Safety, Security & Regulation
One of the major factors you need to consider when choosing which exchange platform to trade on is how safe it is with regard to the security measures in place and the regulations the exchange abides by. There are several governing bodies across the globe which regulate crypto exchanges, the main ones being the FCA, FINRA, CySec & the SEC.
That being said, there are also many crypto exchanges that aren’t regulated as they are based offshore in places like Seychelles. Some of these unregulated exchanges are still safe to use, however, it would be harder to get your money back should anything go wrong.
It’s pretty common in crypto trading to find unregulated exchanges as it is a more anonymous industry – although, if you are looking for regulated crypto trading platforms, don’t worry, they do exist.
Other than regulation, there are many other factors which contribute to a crypto exchange’s safety and security, including but not limited to:
- 2FA: 2-factor authentication for login and withdrawals
- Cold Storage: Offline crypto storage
- Transparency: Company information, address, names of team members
- SSL: Secure connection to the site
- Insurance funds: In case of hacks and unfair trading
As you can see, there are many things exchanges can do to make sure clients funds are kept safe – so it’s good to keep an eye out for these things when choosing a crypto exchange to trade Bitcoin and other Cryptos on.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Payment Methods
Cryptocurrency exchanges also vary in the way that you deposit and withdraw onto them. Some only allow traditional fiat currencies like USD, GBP or EUR for example, some only accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and some allow you to use both fiat and crypto.
For regulated exchanges, it’s most common to fund your account with debit and credit cards like VISA and Mastercard and for unregulated exchanges, it’s more likely that you’ll only be able to use digital currencies as a payment method on the exchange.
Here is a list of the most common available payment methods you see on exchanges:
- Credit card and debit card
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- XRP (XRP)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bank account transfer
- Wire Transfer
- Fiat currencies
That’s a pretty exhaustive list, but there are some exchanges which offer more deposit and withdrawal options, especially crypto-crypto exchanges like Binance where you can use almost every different Altcoin on the platform to make deposits and withdrawals.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Fees
Almost every crypto trading platform charges some sort of fee when you use it – this is how they generate revenue.
The market varies significantly with regards to how much exchanges charge when you trade on their platform as well as when you make withdrawals among a few other things. Let’s take a bit of a deeper look into crypto-currency exchanges and the fees they charge.
The most common type of fee you’ll see on a cryptocurrency exchange is a trading fee – this is a commission/charge that you pay every time you make a trade on the platform.
Trading fees are usually charged as a percentage rate and come in two main types; maker and taker (different order types). The trading fees on margin trading platforms are usually a lower percentage than those seen on spot exchanges as the fee is increased by leverage.
A typical fee on a margin crypto exchange like Bybit is around 0.025% for taker (market) orders and -0.025% for maker (limit) orders; a negative fee rate means that you actually earn money making the trade for providing liquidity on the platform. For spot exchanges like Coinbase & Binance, you usually pay around 0.1% per trade which is still pretty reasonable – so for a $100 order, you would only pay $0.10 in this case.
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
The next type of fee you commonly see on a cryptocurrency exchange is a deposit/withdrawal fee. Most of the time, you’ll never have to pay a deposit fee, although you’ll almost always have to pay a withdrawal fee.
Sometimes, this withdrawal fee is just how much it costs the exchange to make the transaction on the blockchain, whereas other times, exchanges charge a small amount on top of the blockchain fee to generate revenue.
Almost always this is a small amount (usually less than a few dollars), although there are of course a few outliers who charge high fees – these are the ones that we try to stay away from. Rarely, you can find exchanges that don’t charge any fees whatsoever for deposits and withdrawals – these are the creme de la creme; an example of an exchange that doesn’t charge any deposit and withdrawal fees is Phemex.
Funding Fees (Margin Trading)
This fee is only commonly seen with margin trading platforms, and it is basically a loan fee that you pay for borrowing funds to pay for your trade when you use leverage. This fee is charged on a regular basis when you have an open position, for example, every 8 hours it would be taken from your account if you have a trade open with leverage.
Generally, this is charged as a dynamic percentage fee and varies depending on the margin exchange you’re using. It’s normally less than 0.1%. Weirdly, sometimes you will even earn this fee from other traders depending on the direction of the current trend even if you’re using leverage – so that’s something to think about.
Cryptocurrency is a globally-traded asset class by nature, and as a result, most of the time, exchanges can be accessed and used from all over the world. If you’re using a worldwide crypto-crypto exchange like Binance which isn’t focussed on providing services to any one particular country, then you won’t have to worry about which country you’re from (unless it’s banned in your location, of course, e.g Binance is banned in the United States).
If you’re using an exchange to buy crypto with fiat currencies, then you’ll most likely have to use a specific exchange in your country as it will need to be able to process bank transfers in your currency, etc.
We know this here at Cryptocurrency Exchanges, so we’ve put together individual guides to the best exchanges by country – so that anyone in the world can find the right platform for trading digital currencies. Here is a list of the different countries and locations in which you can find a cryptocurrency exchange:
- United Kingdom (UK)
- United States (US)
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- New York
Again, this is not an exhaustive list, there are other countries where crypto exchanges are prevalent, but the aforementioned are the most notable.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Bonuses
Everyone loves free money and deals – that’s a fact and ultimately, human nature. Exchanges usually offer some sort of welcome bonus for new traders and occasionally host trading competitions as a marketing tactic. Let’s take a look at some of the need-to-know facts about crypto exchange bonuses.
- They’re usually for new traders only
- The most common bonus is a fee discount
- To get the bonuses, you usually have to complete tasks and make a deposit
Now, with that in mind, you probably want to know about some of the top bonuses available; here’s a list of our favourites:
There are other bonuses around, you just have to keep an eager eye out.
In my humble opinion; the customer support on a cryptocurrency exchange is the backbone of the entire service – without it, I doubt you would have any customers. People need a good customer support system if they are going to be trusting an exchange with their hard-earned money. Most crypto exchanges understand this and hence provide comprehensive support channels, although of course, some are better than others.
When we rate crypto exchanges, this is one of the first things we test. We make a trial support query and asses a few main things; Is it a real person? How helpful were they? Did they solve the problem? How long did it take to hear back from them?
How to Choose a Crypto Exchange: Ideal Exchange Finder
When you start trading crypto, it can be really daunting when you see just how many different exchanges there are out there, all offering different things etc. To help you, we’ve put together a short tutorial which shows you how to choose the right exchange for you depending on the reason you want to trade cryptocurrency.
- If you want to make a profit, but aren’t interested in actually owning cryptocurrencies, then you’re best off with a crypto CFD platform like eToro.
- If you want to make a profit and want to physically invest in cryptocurrencies, then open an account on an exchange which lets you buy them like Coinbase or Coinmama.
- If you own cryptocurrencies and want to sell them, then register for a fiat-crypto exchange like Coinbase and sell them for your local currency.
- If you want to exchange (swap) cryptocurrencies between each other, then use a crypto-crypto exchange like Binance.
- If you think the price of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will go down, then use an exchange like Phemex to short the digital currency with or without leverage.
There are other reasons as to why you might want to use a crypto exchange. The basic thing you need to understand is that fiat-crypto exchanges are used when you want to buy/sell cryptos for real money like USD, EUR & GBP for example, crypto-crypto platforms are used when you want to swap between different digital currencies and crypto derivatives platforms are for when you want to trade crypto with leverage for quicker results and increased profits.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Reviews
For each crypto exchange listed on this site, you’ll find a detailed review written by our in-house experts which provides you with the critical information you need to know before using each exchange. We’ve reviewed hundreds of different online cryptocurrency exchanges to bring you the best of the best.
How do Cryptocurrency exchanges work?
In a basic sense, exchanges work by connecting buyers to sellers on a singular user interface. The exchange then matches orders and completes the transfer of funds from one person’s account to another’s.
They use an advanced matching engine to do this. Once the order is complete and the funds have switched in each person’s account, the exchange then lets you withdraw the funds to an external address/bank account.
Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges Safe?
Most people new to the world of cryptocurrency have doubts about the safety of trading Bitcoin & cryptocurrencies, this is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
The majority of exchanges are safe, although there are some out there which are unsafe to use, like with any industry. This is one of the main reasons we started Cryptocurrency Exchanges – to help you find safe and reliable cryptocurrency exchanges.
How to Trade Cryptocurrency?
Trading cryptocurrencies involves using a cryptocurrency exchange to make trades based on your knowledge/predictions of future price movements. To trade digital assets (cryptocurrencies), you first have to sign up with one of the exchanges listed on this website, make a deposit and then start trading on the exchange. Once you have opened the trade, you then have to monitor it and close it when you want to exit the trade and realise profit/loss.
Cryptocurrency Trading Strategies
Like with any type of trading, exchanging in digital currencies can be done in several different ways. Since Bitcoin’s creation in 2009, people have been debating the best way to invest in, and trade cryptos. In this section, I’ll be briefly outlining the main different crypto trading strategies.
Nope, I didn’t spell it wrong. ‘Hodl’ stands for holding (it derives from a meme in the industry). This crypto trading strategy involves buying a cryptocurrency and holding it for the long term, even if the price goes down.
For those who like quick profits, scalping is a strategy where you make lots of trades, all with a goal of a small percentage profit with the aim of compounding profits. This can cost you more in trading fees as you are trading frequently, and can be fairly time consuming, but if you get it right, you can be a very profitable trader.
Another popular crypto trading strategy is Swing trading – this strategy is when you buy/sell BTC or another crypto and then close a trade after a significant move. Most of the time, these trades last a few days to a couple of weeks. Most traders try to trade the trend, as in – go with the current market or try to time the trend change well.
5 Handy Crypto Trading Tips
Now that you’re ready to start trading some crypto, you probably want to know how to increase your chances of making a profit. Our team has been trading Bitcoin and Altcoins for years, and hence have a great insight into some of the best tips you can adopt to improve your trading experience.
- Remove emotion: If you trade emotionally, you’ll most likely end up losing the majority of the time, and therefore not make any profit. Look at crypto trading from a logical perspective and you’ll have a much higher chance of succeeding.
- Read trading books: You can’t put out a fire without looking. If you understand the basic principles of trading, then you will be able to make much more informed trade decisions
- DYOR: When you’re trading altcoins, it’s always a good idea to do your own research into the project/team before buying it. Some things to take note of are the coin’s market cap, USPs and decentralisation
- Don’t over-leverage your position: If you use a leverage trading platform to trade Bitcoin or other cryptos, then you need to be careful about how much leverage you use. It can be tempting to use lots of leverage if you’re confident in the trade, but this puts your position at extremely high risk and you may lose your entire account balance. Use leverage responsibly.
- Only trade with what you can afford to lose: This tip will help you keep tip 1 a reality. By only trading with what you can afford to lose, then you won’t make emotional decsions as much. People that trade with funds that they need usually make very drastic and emotional decisions which leads to a pretty quick demise of your account balance.
How many Cryptocurrency Exchanges are there?
It’s very difficult to know exactly how many cryptocurrency exchanges there are in the world since new ones are popping up all the time. One of the ways we can tell roughly how many there are is by using CoinMarketCap’s trading volume rankings (CMC ranks exchanges based on their trading volumes, i.e how much is traded at each exchange).
According to them, there are around over 300+ different cryptocurrency exchanges. If we add this onto the expected 200+ others that aren’t listed on there, we suspect that there are around 500 different cryptocurrency exchanges.
Exchange vs Broker
A lot of people new to the cryptocurrency market are confused between the names ‘Exchange’ and ‘Broker’. You’ve probably heard of brokers a lot before – especially when talking about stock and forex trading.
A broker is a firm that acts as a middle-man in a transaction, whereas exchanges offer people the opportunity to trade with each other, not through a broker. So you’re probably wondering if there is such a thing as a Crypto Broker?
Well, sort of. Some of the traditional CFD brokers offer cryptocurrency trading like eToro for example. When you use a cryptocurrency broker, you don’t physically buy cryptocurrency, you just buy contracts relating to the price of the underlying asset.
So to put it in simple terms, an exchange is a place where people trade cryptocurrencies between each other, and a broker is a middle-man who completes the transaction.
Is Cryptocurrency the future?
If you’re going to be trading some digital currency (cryptos), then you’re probably silently confident about their outlook. Cryptocurrencies hint at some extremely interesting value propositions to our society including their decentralized nature and immutability – but whether or not they are the future all depends on societies’ demand for these values.
At CryptocurrencyExchanges.com, we are of the belief that cryptos will become a major part of our lives in the future, but to what extent and in what form – we are unsure. Nevertheless, trading digital currencies during the journey to a more fair monetary system can be very profitable and enjoyable.