The 10 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges 2023
The best cryptocurrency exchanges offer traders access to a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and attractive low fees for trading.
Some popular crypto exchanges allow you to get started immediately and deposit funds with fiat currencies, while others deliver extensive tools indispensable to experienced traders.
Whether you’re an entry-level cryptocurrency trader looking to get their foot in the door, or a serious crypto investor with years of experience, this list will help you find the best crypto exchanges on the market.
Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (“CEX”)
Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges act as an intermediary between a buyer and a seller and make money through commissions and transaction fees. You can imagine a CEX to be similar to a stock exchange but for digital assets.
Popular Crypto Exchanges are Coinbase, Crypto.com, Gemini, and Binance. Much like stock trading websites or apps, these exchanges allow cryptocurrency investors to buy and sell digital assets at the prevailing price, called spot, or to leave orders that get executed when the asset gets to the investor’s desired price target, called limit orders.
CEXs operate using an order book system, which means that buy and sell orders are listed and sorted by the intended buy or sell price. The matching engine of the exchange then matches buyers and sellers based on the best executable price given the desired lot size. Hence, a digital asset’s price will depend on the supply and demand of that asset versus another, whether it be fiat currency or cryptocurrency.
CEXs decide which digital asset it will allow trading in, which provides a small measure of comfort that unscrupulous digital assets may be excluded from the CEX.
Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges (“DEX”)
A decentralized exchange is another type of exchange that allows peer-to-peer transactions directly from your digital wallet without going through an intermediary. Examples of DEXs include Uniswap, PancakeSwap, dYdX, and Kyber.
These decentralized exchanges rely on smart contracts, self-executing pieces of code on a blockchain. These smart contracts allow for more privacy and less slippage (another term for transaction costs) than a centralized cryptocurrency exchange.
On the other hand, even though smart contracts are rules-based, the lack of an intermediary third party means that the user is left to their own, so DEXs are meant for sophisticated investors.
Advantages of Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Centralized exchanges offer beginner investors a familiar, friendly way of trading and investing in cryptocurrencies. As opposed to using crypto wallets and peer-to-peer transactions, which can be complex, users of centralized exchanges can log into their accounts, view their account balances, and make transactions through applications and websites.
Centralized exchanges offer an extra layer of security and reliability when it comes to transactions and trading. By facilitating the transaction through a developed, centralized platform, centralized exchanges offer higher levels of comfort.
One of the other benefits of certain CEXs is the option to leverage your investments using borrowed money from the exchange, called margin trading. It allows investors to reap higher returns, but losses can also be amplified.
Disadvantages of Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
1. Hacking risk
Centralized exchanges are operated by companies that are responsible for the holdings of their customers. Large exchanges usually hold billions of dollars worth of bitcoin, making them a target for hackers and theft.
An example of such an incident is Mt.Gox, which was once the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange company before it reported the theft of 850,000 bitcoins, leading to its collapse.
2. Transaction fees
Unlike peer-to-peer transactions, centralized exchanges often charge high transaction fees for their services and convenience, which can be especially high when trading in large amounts.
3. Custody of digital assets
Lastly and most importantly, most CEXs will hold your digital asset as a custodian in their own digital wallet rather than allow you to store your private keys on your own digital wallet. While more convenient when you want to trade, there are drawbacks, namely the risk of the centralized cryptocurrency exchange failing and fraud.
Advantages of Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Users of decentralized exchanges do not need to transfer their assets to a third party. Therefore, there is no risk of a company or organization being hacked, and users are assured of greater safety from hacking, failure, fraud, or theft.
2. Preventing market manipulation
Due to their nature of allowing for the peer-to-peer exchange of cryptocurrencies, decentralized exchanges prevent market manipulation, protecting users from fake trading and wash trading.
3. Less censorship
Decentralized exchanges do not require customers to fill out know-your-customer (KYC) forms, offering privacy and anonymity to users. Since DEXs don’t exercise censorship, more cryptocurrencies and digital assets are available than through a CEX. As a matter of fact, many Altcoins are only available on DEXs.
Disadvantages of Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Users of decentralized exchanges must remember the keys and passwords to their crypto wallets, or their assets are lost forever and cannot be recovered. They require the user to learn and get familiar with the platform and the process, unlike centralized exchanges, which offer a more convenient and user-friendly process.
2. Lack of fiat payments
DEXs are best for investors looking to switch from one digital asset to another and not well suited for someone looking to buy or sell digital assets with fiat currency, called on and off-ramping. It makes them less convenient for users that do not already hold cryptocurrencies.
3. Liquidity struggles
Some 99% of crypto transactions are facilitated by centralized exchanges, which suggests that they are accountable for the majority of the trading volume. Due to the lack of volume, decentralized exchanges often lack liquidity, and it can be difficult to find buyers and sellers when trading volumes are low.
The 10 Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Ranked by Volume
#1.Gemini – Best For Nifty Gateway Users
If you’re looking to get started with crypto trading, Gemini delivers an easy-to-use and versatile service for beginners and experienced traders alike.
SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 compliant, it’s a secure platform that uses hardware security keys for extra peace of mind for its users.
Getting started is simple; you can set up a crypto wallet quickly, and there are over 45 cryptos to acquire, including ether, bitcoin, and Dogecoin.
It doesn’t require a huge investment on your part, with just $5 sufficing to get the digital assets trading ball rolling and discover your bitcoin cash value.
For the pros, there’s Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform, which unlocks a host of additional features, including multiple orders, block trading, and auctions.
Since Gemini owns Nifty Gateway, users can start collecting their favorite non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the same peace of mind.
Easy to use
Good selection of available currencies to trade
Available throughout the United States
Higher fees than some other exchanges
#2.FTX – Best For More Experienced Traders
If you’re not based in the United States and are looking for a cryptocurrency exchange that supports other fiat currencies such as Euros or British pounds, FTX is a great option.
There’s also FTX US, a subsidiary that deals exclusively in USD, although the fundamental basics of each system are the same.
A more advanced exchange than some, FTX was established by traders seeking to develop a platform for first-time users and professional trading firms.
It’s geared towards the former, and the extensive selection of derivatives, futures, and other tradable instruments might be overwhelming for newer traders.
There’s a wide selection of tokens available, including FTX’s native token, which forms the backbone of its ecosystem.
Traders with more experience dealing with complicated financial instruments and handling leverage and automation will find the FTX platform’s wide range of features indispensable.
Comprehensive trading options
Cryptocurrency purchases can be made with credit/debit cards
Available in over 100 countries
Very complicated for beginners
Limitations on access for some US residents
#3.Gate.io – Best IEO Platform Cryptocurrency Exchange
Gate.io was established in 2013, making it one of the oldest and best crypto exchanges available for traders.
Services available on Gate-io range from margin trading, lending and borrowing, and trading in cryptocurrencies, of which over 180 are available.
There’s a wealth of great features to access, which can initially overwhelm new users, but mastering the site’s learning curve is shallow.
Fees are relatively low, and while some other platforms offer lower fees than here, you can often pick up discounts for additional savings on your digital assets.
It’s also a highly secure crypto trading platform, rated as one of the top exchanges in this department by Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER), using two-factor authentication, SMS 2FA, and other security measures.
Gate.io has established a strong reputation as the go-to platform for IEO trading, and the mobile app version makes this easy to access crypto assets while on the move.
Excellent selection of currencies
Renowned IEO platform
Not for beginners
Fiat deposits aren’t accepted
#4.Cash App – Best For New Traders
If you’re after something on the more basic end of the crypto exchange spectrum and only want to trade in Bitcoin cash, the Cash App service is an entry-level platform to consider.
Offering users peer-to-peer money transfers and a clean and simple user interface, Cash App acts more like a bank account with Bitcoin added on than a full-blown exchange platform.
Created by Square Inc. in 2003, Cash App charges no fees when sending money to your bank account, while the in-app security lock and encryption means transactions are safe and secure.
The app also allows users to invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds, although this feature is only available to US residents over 18.
Cryptocurrency investments can be withdrawn to a user’s wallet, making it a good option for newcomers to Bitcoin trading who want an easy-to-use system.
Long-term traders aren’t going to find what they’re looking for with Cash App, but as a gateway into the trading community, its basic tools will more than suffice.
Easy to set up
No fees to send money to your bank account
Simple user interface
Only supports Bitcoin
#5.Huobi Global – Best For Asian Market Tokens
Huobi Global is an extensive cryptocurrency platform with an emphasis on Asian-based digital assets and trading pairs.
Setting up a crypto exchange account is easy with a straightforward verification process, and accessing the markets once you’ve configured your 2FA account is instantaneous.
Fees are kept to a minimum thanks to their native token-based economy built around the Huobi Token, which gives users the option to cut their trading fees in half.
There are also options for engaging in market trading and derivatives trading, while institutional traders are also drawn to the platform.
Huobi Global’s customer service is exceptional, with the company often responding within an hour to queries, far faster than many other cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
While some aspects of the service can take a little time to get to grips with, these cause negligible issues and are balanced out by the wealth of options available.
Top tier customer support
Access cryptocurrencies from the Asian market
User interface is occasionally confusing
VIP membership could be improved
#6.KuCoin – Best For Non-US Residents
Unfortunately, KuCoin isn’t licensed to operate in the United States since it hosts some excellent advanced features along with attractively low fees.
However, for non-US residents, KuCoin is well worth considering signing up for, offering a wide range of coins for trading and a solid user base (the company claims 1 in 4 crypto holders worldwide use its service).
There’s an option to earn interest on your crypto investments, which you can do by staking coins through Pool-X or loaning your Crypto out.
Advanced users can leverage their position with margin trading, although this makes an already potentially risky investment even riskier.
KuCoin isn’t as intuitive as some entry-level cryptocurrency exchanges, but their support responds to queries promptly, so they can help if you get stuck.
Overall, KuCoin offers versatile cryptocurrency trading for global crypto traders who already have some experience in the field.
Potential to earn interest on Crypto
Great customer service
Not available in the US
Payment methods are limited
Not ideal for first-time traders
#7.Kraken – Best For Margin Traders
Another great trading platform that has been around since the early days is Kraken, featuring over 80 cryptocurrencies and a diverse selection of user options.
It’s a fully functioning exchange, which means new traders will experience a steep learning curve if this is their first time working with cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
That aside, Kraken’s array of options makes it one of the top choices for retail and institutional investors, with margin and futures trading also available.
Since Kraken is well-established, users can operate with confidence knowing that the security measures are top of the line – in short, this is a platform you can trust.
It’s also one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that allow users to trade in more risky tokens such as DOGE, ideal for traders willing to take more of a gamble on their investments.
If you want to access their exchange’s consultation and account management services, you’ll need to be one of their high-net-worth clients.
80+ cryptocurrencies available
Trades in nearly 200 countries
Steep learning curve for beginners
Poor customer service ratings
#8.Crypto.com – Best For Selection of Currencies
With more than 150 currencies listed on their exchange, and some of the most competitive fees on the market, Crypto.com is one of the most prominent crypto exchanges available.
Founded in Hong Kong in 2016, Crypto.com is available in 90 countries and features a great balance of tools that suits established traders as well as first-timers.
Popular assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin are easily traded after a smooth sign-up process, and you can also trade in their unique coin, the CRO.
When viewing their service via the app, the central trading hub is easy to use, and you can access popular assets or your portfolio in a couple of steps.
Linking your debit card to an account is nice and simple, and there’s also a Crypto.com credit card you can sign up for.
While some users report poor customer service, Crypto.com manages to strike a good balance between usability and complexity.
Supports a huge number of tokens
Access to NFT sales
Pays interest on cryptocurrency savings
Customer support is limited
Not available on desktop PC
#9.Coinbase – Best For Investing in USD
One of the main restrictions traders often experience when using crypto exchanges is the inability to make purchases with fiat currency, particularly USD.
Coinbase is a great choice for investors who want that fiat currency option, allowing users to pick up Ethereum, Bitcoin, and over 80 other tokens on the platform using regular dollars.
It’s built around an incredibly easy-to-use interface, with a good selection of investment options for the more savvy traders and institutional clients.
There’s also Coinbase Prime, which focuses on high-net-worth clients (those with at least $1 million) and institutions, and Coinbase Pro, geared towards advanced traders.
Coinbase Pro is also useful for those looking for depth and range in their exchange’s selection of charts and indicators.
Security-wise, members are in good hands since Coinbase is insured against data breaches, while your cash is stored in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for safekeeping.
Good selection of tokens
A wider ecosystem of crypto products
CRO required for lower fees
Customer support is lacking
#10.Binance – Best Overall Cryptocurrency Exchange
A global cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, features a combination of low fees and multiple currencies, making it one of the most popular decentralized exchanges available.
Signing up to their platform takes minutes, and unlike most crypto exchanges, it even allows for US dollar deposits by global users via the SWIFT system.
You can also directly purchase some cryptocurrencies with a debit or credit card, making cryptocurrency trading more accessible.
Currencies available here are often not found anywhere else, so traders looking to invest in some rarer tokens will be able to pick up currencies such as Neo and Cardano easily.
There are two versions of Binance, with Binance US limited in its options compared to the worldwide version, so if you’re trading from the States, it’s worth bearing this in mind.
It’s a robust, comprehensive crypto trading platform that allows investors to bring in additional earnings of approximately 6-9% from staking rewards.
Nice variety of currencies
Fast and secure transactions
Not available in all US states
Customer support is limited
FAQs About Cryptocurrency Exchanges
If you still have some questions or concerns about the best crypto exchange platforms, our answers to these FAQs should point you in the right direction.
Q: How does a Cryptocurrency exchange work?
Crypto assets have had a huge impact on how the world’s financial system is structured and look set to continue its shake-up of the monetary system as time passes by.
A cryptocurrency exchange allows users to buy cryptocurrencies with different altcoins or fiat currency and sell them to other users on their platform.
The exchange functions as the intermediary between the buyer and seller and takes a small fee for each transaction as part of the costs of providing this service.
Q: What is the safest crypto exchange?
Whether you’re using a centralized exchange or decentralized exchanges, those with the best overall security are subject to change as new technologies emerge and company policies are updated.
At the time of writing, Coinbase is widely considered the safest and most secure cryptocurrency exchange since all funds held there are insured by the FDIC.
That said, the top crypto exchanges will store your crypto assets securely and help you to trade Crypto with confidence.
Before choosing an exchange platform to invest in, make sure you take the time to research the security measures they have in place, so you’re satisfied your investments will be in safe hands.
Q: Should I keep my Crypto on an exchange?
If you are using a mainstream cryptocurrency exchange, there’s a low level of risk depending on the security measures put in place by the exchange in question.
However, most investors prefer to store their cryptocurrency in a hard wallet or cold storage to avoid centralized exchanges.
This means they are safely stored offline and are inaccessible to anyone aside from the owner of specific access codes for this wallet.
Q: Which crypto exchange has the lowest fees?
Fees associated with crypto exchanges are liable to change over time, so when choosing an exchange to use, you should always check for the most up-to-date information.
Trading fees can vary from 0.01% to over 1%, which can make a big difference when trading in high volumes of tokens, so it pays (quite literally) to check these fees before making investment decisions.
Q: What crypto exchange should I use?
There is a wide selection of crypto trading platforms available for people to invest and trade crypto assets, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages and offers decentralized or centralized exchanges.
This review covers some of the best crypto trading exchanges on the market, so if you haven’t already checked through to see which one suits your needs, head back to the top of the page and check out our selection.
With a vast number of top crypto exchanges available, choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange to invest your time and money in can be time-consuming.
The best crypto exchanges deliver various currency options while offering competitive fees and advanced trading options.
For those looking to avoid centralized exchanges in preference for decentralized exchange, the best crypto exchanges offer this feature for crypto investors.
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