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    Best Crypto Exchanges of 2022

    Our Top Picks for the Best Crypto Exchanges of July 2022

    Best Crypto Exchanges Reviews

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    Best for Beginners: Coinbase

    PROS

    • Intuitive, user-friendly interface and easy purchase process
    • Broad assortment of educational material
    • Wide selection of cryptocurrencies

    CONS

    • Higher fees
    • Complex fee structure

    Why we chose it: We chose Coinbase as the best crypto exchange for beginners because of its easy-to-use interface, extensive educational material on everything from blockchain to volatility, and robust security features.

    If you’re familiar with crypto, chances are you’ve already heard of Coinbase. The exchange is one of the largest and most well-known in the U.S., and its debut on the public market last year was seen by many as a legitimization of the crypto market.

    The Coinbase platform does a great job of lowering the barrier to entry for investing in crypto, with a straightforward onboarding process that eases users into trading. At the same time, its interface makes navigating the platform and managing crypto a seamless experience.

    Coinbase also features a comprehensive and accessible variety of learning materials. Users are encouraged to use these resources through the Coinbase Earn program, which teaches how to trade specific cryptocurrencies and rewards users with free crypto.

    Lastly, the exchange’s security features are worth mentioning: Coinbase uses two-factor authentication on all versions of its platform, stores 98% of customers’ crypto offline, and has an insurance policy to protect custodial accounts of up to $250,000 (in line with per-depositor FDIC coverage limits). Such robust measures are why Coinbase is ultimately worth it, despite the higher fees.

    Users who enjoy Coinbase but would like more advanced trading and charting features may want to look at the company’s other exchange platform, Coinbase Pro.

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    Best for Low Fees: Binance.US

    PROS

    • Highly affordable trade and conversion fees
    • Advanced trading charts and data graphs
    • High-speed trade execution

    CONS

    • Limited coin variety compared to its international version
    • Not supported in all U.S. states

    Why we chose it: We chose Binance.US as the best crypto exchange for low fees because it features one of the most generous fee structures across all the trading platforms we considered.

    Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, and its domestic counterpart, Binance.US, offers many of its parent company’s advantages. One of its biggest attractions is a competitive maximum 0.1% maker/taker fee. This fee starts low and keeps getting lower as your trading volume increases.

    Binance.US also offers discounts for using the company’s proprietary cryptocurrency (BNB) to buy and sell other coins.

    For those who want to buy crypto directly, many of the exchange’s cryptocurrencies are purchasable with USD, saving you money in conversion fees. This variety of discounts and purchase options benefits advanced users who may also enjoy the platform’s comprehensive market dashboards, margin trading, and variety of order types, including limit orders, market orders, and stop limit orders.

    Binance.US is not available in Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas and Vermont.

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    Best for Security: Crypto.com

    PROS

    • Outstanding cybersecurity infrastructure
    • Low fees if your account is funded with cash transfers
    • Large selection of crypto assets

    CONS

    • Expensive credit and debit purchases
    • Some services are not available in the U.S.
    • No crypto-to-crypto trading options

    Why we chose it: We chose Crypto.com as the best crypto exchange for security because of its multiple layers of protection against crypto fraud and cyberattacks.

    Most reputable crypto exchanges feature a solid cybersecurity infrastructure, but this is where Crypto.com really stands out. The exchange is ranked first in the Cybersecurity Ranking and CERtification Platform’s top 100 exchanges by cybersecurity rating.

    Crypto.com employs various techniques to keep users’ cryptos secure on its trading platform, including offline cold storage for all crypto, a regulated custodian bank account for traditional currency, and regular software peer-review. It also uses multi-factor identification with a password, biometric, email, phone, and authenticator verification.

    In addition, its platform has successfully completed several penetration tests, which are simulated cyberattacks performed to evaluate system security, and has shown proof of its funds over the years.

    Security isn’t Crypto.com’s only attraction. The exchange offers the largest selection of currencies among all the companies on our list — over 250 coins.

    Other noteworthy features are its non-custodial DeFi wallet — which allows users to send crypto at their preferred speed and earn interest on tokens —, margin trading, prepaid visa cards to spend crypto, and crypto loans.

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    Best for Earning Interest: BlockFi

    PROS

    • Earn monthly interest payments on your cryptocurrencies
    • U.S.-based and regulated, and institutionally backed
    • No commission or monthly account fees

    CONS

    • Available products vary widely from state to state
    • Interest accounts have limited free withdrawals

    Why we chose it: We chose BlockFi as the best crypto exchange for earning interest because it allows users to earn interest on their crypto and borrow money using Bitcoin as collateral.

    Where most crypto exchanges offer bonuses and discounts for high-volume trading, BlockFi has chosen to create financial products that cater to conservative traders instead.

    The exchange’s main highlight is its BlockFi Interest Account, offering up to 9.5% APY as monthly compounding interest to crypto investors who store their assets in the account. The platform also lets users use existing bitcoin as collateral for a loan.

    In addition to its novel financial products, BlockFi also features an affordable fee structure and a strong cybersecurity infrastructure. The exchange charges spread fees and withdrawal fees, but no transaction fees for trading on its exchange. To keep your data secure, BlockFi uses tools such as two-factor authentication and allowlisting, which lets users ban withdrawals or restrict them to certain addresses to avoid theft.

    Consumers should keep in mind that decentralized finance (DeFi) products and services like BlockFi carry significant risks related to the technology of the software, the assets involved, and compliance with regulators.

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    Best Decentralized Exchange: Bisq

    PROS

    • Supports trades with a broad selection of coins and traditional currencies
    • Wide variety of payment methods
    • Short verification process

    CONS

    • Mobile version only works for notifications
    • Must trade with Bitcoin or BSQ only

    Why we chose it: We chose Bisq as the best decentralized exchange because it follows the ethos of Bitcoin best by maintaining an open-source platform that is completely decentralized without limiting currency support.

    Formerly known as Bitsquare, Bisq brings the clean, easy-to-use interface and vast coin support of centralized exchanges to a decentralized environment. The platform is built on open-source software, meaning its design is publicly available, and the project is funded by personal savings and donations from its community of users.

    Bisq doesn’t need a third party to conduct cryptocurrency transactions, nor does it require users to submit personal information to trade on the platform. It’s an excellent alternative for Bitcoin fans looking for a wide variety of coins to trade with, including altcoins like Cardano, XRP, and Dogecoin. In fact, it’s not typical for decentralized exchanges to support so many digital assets — and fiat currency.

    Additionally, the platform’s security features, such as multisignature and a security deposit system, enhance the inherent safety and privacy of decentralized exchanges by ensuring that both parties act honestly and have complete control of their funds during the trading process.

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    Other crypto exchanges we considered

    The following trading platforms are all excellent options, especially for newer traders. However, they are not dedicated crypto or bitcoin exchanges but primarily deal in other securities, like stocks and futures. We decided to list them separately for this reason.

    Public

    PROS

    • Commission-free trading platform
    • Fractional stock investing available
    • Volatility reminders on cryptocurrencies
    • Social trading lets you see what others are buying and selling

    CONS

    • Lack of technical charts and research tools
    • Long waiting time for withdrawals

    Robinhood

    PROS

    • No commissions and minimum account balance
    • Exceptionally easy to use and start trading
    • Heavily regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission

    CONS

    • No mutual fund and forex trading
    • Lacks educational content and research tools

    eToro

    PROS

    • Active investment community, ideal for social trading
    • Support crypto staking for some coins
    • Broad selection of cryptocurrencies

    CONS

    • Disappointing withdrawal fees and spread fees
    • Crypto trading not available in all states

    Cash.app

    PROS

    • One of the easiest platforms to buy Bitcoin and get started with crypto
    • Lock prices immediately and withdraw quickly
    • Make and receive mobile payments

    CONS

    • No insurance coverage from the FDIC
    • It cannot be used to make payments internationally
    • Can only trade Bitcoin; no other crypto available

    Crypto Exchanges Guide

    Despite having broken into the mainstream, crypto can still be a confusing subject for investors of all levels. How exactly do they work? What are the different types of exchange and how do they differ from crypto wallets? Read our guide to understand the ins and outs of cryptocurrency exchanges.

    • What is a crypto exchange?
    • How do crypto exchanges work?
    • What to look for when choosing a crypto exchange?
    • Latest News on Crypto Exchanges
    • How We Chose the Best Crypto Exchanges

    What is a crypto exchange?

    Crypto exchanges are platforms where users can trade digital currencies for other assets, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and regular currencies, like U.S. Dollars and Euros.

    Exchanges are an essential part of the crypto ecosystem because most traditional investment firms do not offer cryptocurrencies in their portfolios. Without exchanges, you would have to find another person willing to trade crypto and agree at an exchange rate. Then, you would have to send the coins directly to each other’s cryptocurrency wallets — a somewhat convoluted process.

    Crypto wallet vs exchange

    Crypto wallets and exchanges are both essential tools used to manage cryptocurrencies. Wallets are meant to keep your crypto funds safe, whereas exchanges are trading hubs where users convert fiat currencies to digital ones and buy or sell crypto based on current market rates.

    Crypto exchangesCrypto wallets
    Facilitate trading between usersHold the private keys that are necessary to access cryptocurrency on the blockchain
    Convert fiat currencies into digital currenciesAre offered by exchanges and independent developers.
    Are available 24/7, unlike traditional investment firmsCan be an online-only platform, a physical storage device, or incorporate both aspects.

    Many crypto exchanges operate their own wallets, so users can start trading crypto as soon as they open their account without having to worry about getting a digital wallet of their own. These are known as web-hosted wallets, and their incorporated exchange is responsible for their security measures.

    Serious traders are encouraged to keep an independent cryptocurrency wallet to deposit any coins they aren’t actively trading. This is because you could lose all your digital assets if the exchange is hacked.

    Although you’ll be responsible for securing, backing up, and managing your own funds, independent digital wallets are a much safer alternative for safeguarding the bulk of your crypto.

    How do crypto exchanges work

    The way crypto exchanges work depends on their type of platform. Most crypto trading platforms are known as centralized exchanges, which function as a brokerage, acting as intermediaries between buyers and sellers.

    Users can deposit money into exchanges to buy cryptocurrency or deposit their own crypto to trade for other currencies, known as crypto-to-crypto spot trading. Traders can expect to pay a fee for converting one crypto to another, like when exchanging regular currencies at a bank (for example, converting USD to EUR).

    In exchange for digital currencies, exchanges may accept a wide variety of payments, including credit card payments, direct bank transfers, credit or debit cards, money orders and even gift cards.

    Dedicated crypto and bitcoin exchanges will allow you to withdraw your crypto funds and transfer them to another wallet of your choice. Others, especially those that focus on other assets, like stocks — including Robinhood and eToro — only let you purchase the crypto but not transfer it out of their web wallets.

    What are the different types of crypto exchanges?

    Crypto exchanges come in three varieties: centralized, decentralized, and hybrid.

    Centralized exchanges (CEX)

    Centralized exchanges are the most common and traditional type of crypto exchange. These are owned by private companies and offer investors a platform to trade cryptocurrencies. This type of exchange tends to have higher trade volumes and liquidity and a greater number of trading pairs.

    Centralized exchanges are often considered a good option for new crypto traders because of their better onboarding and user interface, availability of customer support, and insurance should the platform’s systems fail.

    The main issue with this type of exchange is that users are inherently more vulnerable to hacking attacks. Some users also feel uncomfortable sharing their private data in the KYC process.

    Examples: Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini

    Decentralized exchanges (DEX)

    Decentralized exchanges follow in the spirit of Bitcoin by operating with no central point of control. Servers for this type of exchange are spread throughout computers located across the world, which means if one computer is attacked, the network keeps running. This alone entices many users who fear losing their crypto due to a security flaw in a company’s trading platform.

    Where centralized exchanges operate as brokerages, decentralized exchanges are more like marketplaces. They facilitate peer-to-peer trading and have a less rigid registration process. The main drawbacks of decentralized exchanges include lower trading volume, small liquidity, generally poor user interface, and a lack of customer support.

    Examples: Bisq, Uniswap, PancakeSwap, Tokenlon, dYdX

    Hybrid exchanges

    Hybrid exchanges are part of a new generation of crypto trading platforms whose goal is to provide the best of both worlds. They aim to overcome the limitations of older exchanges by offering the greater functionality and liquidity of centralized exchanges together with the security advantages of decentralized exchanges.

    Hybrid exchanges boast fast transaction speeds without compromising their users’ privacy but are still a relatively new development in the crypto world. Time will tell if they will be successful or struggle due to high costs, limited scalability and limited assets.

    Examples: Nash, Qurrex, Eidoo, Legolas

    Understanding crypto exchange fees

    Crypto exchanges charge several fees, and it’s not always clear what exactly you’ll be charged for.

    There are two main types of fees to look out for: exchange fees and network fees.

    Exchange fees are how crypto exchanges make money. In other words, they’re service fees that include:

    • Trading fees, charged when making transactions and are also called “maker/taker” fees. Trading fees indicate whether a crypto order provides liquidity to the market or not. These also apply when converting currencies.
    • Deposit fees, charged when users add money to their account, usually via debit card, credit card, or PayPal instead of through a direct bank transfer.
    • Withdrawal fees, charged when withdrawing regular currency or cryptocurrencies from your account.
    • Account fees, charged on a regular basis, usually monthly.

    Network fees are paid to cryptocurrency miners, who process and secure crypto transactions on the blockchain. Many centralized crypto exchanges incur this cost, though some may allow their users to pay more in miner fees to speed up transaction speeds. Users on decentralized exchanges generally have to pay this themselves, since there is no third party between them and the crypto miners.

    What to look for when choosing a crypto exchange

    When choosing a crypto exchange, the main things to look for are functionality and security measures. Your exchange of choice should have most, if not all, of the features you expect to use, be it fiat-to-currency trade pairings, liquidity aggregation, or specific altcoins and stablecoins you want to trade. It should also provide additional lines of defense, such as two-factor authentication and Bitcoin locks, which help against hackers.

    Ease of use is another factor to consider and is especially important for newer traders who may struggle to use platforms with a less intuitive user interface. Nonetheless, advanced traders can also benefit from greater usability.

    It’s also important to consider geography. Not all exchanges are available in the USA, some only operate in certain states.

    How to be sure a crypto exchange is legitimate and secure

    When looking for a crypto exchange, it’s essential to keep an eye out for fake websites and mobile apps. Even if the platform seems legitimate, make sure to check for any misspellings in the copy, inauthentic branding, and, in the case of a website, whether there’s a small lock icon indicating security near the URL bar.

    Likewise, it’s important to remind yourself that scams aside, trading crypto can be dangerous. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, meaning that they are subject to sudden increases and decreases in values that even the wisest investors cannot predict with certainty.

    Financial advisors recommend that if you invest in cryptocurrency, practice caution and keep it below 5% of your total investments.

    How to open a crypto exchange account

    Every crypto exchange has its own registration and setup process. Some exchanges may let you open an account without verifying your identity or submitting sensitive information. Others will require new users to undergo an extensive “Know your Client” (KYC) process to comply with U.S. government regulations meant to prevent money laundering and fraud.

    However, some parts of registration are shared across platforms. You will need the following information and documentation to open an account on most crypto exchange platforms:

    • Your full name and date of birth
    • Your phone number and email address
    • Your physical address
    • Your Social Security number
    • A government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport) and a picture of you holding it or a scan of the ID

    The sign-up process generally starts by asking for your personal information, followed by an email to confirm your address. Some exchanges may also ask for a copy of a utility bill sent to your physical address and inquire about your interest in trading crypto. Then, you’ll need to add a payment method to deposit funds into the exchange and start to buy and sell cryptocurrency.

    Company  Transaction Fees Currencies Minimum Deposit or Purchase Trade Limits
    Crypto.com Best Mobile App 0.04% to 0.4% 250+ $1 Yes
    Bisq Best Decentralized Exchange 0.1% to 0.70% 100+ Not disclosed No
    BitMart Best for Altcoins 0.045% to 0.25% 1,000+ $30 for Bitmart purchases No
    Kraken Best for Low Fees & Experienced Traders 0.00% to 0.26% 120+ $1 No
    Gemini Best for Security 0.0% to 0.40% for active trader, 1.49% for most transactions on regular platform 75+ Varies Yes
    Cash App Best for Bitcoin Varies 1 $1 Yes

    Guide for Choosing the Best Crypto Exchanges

    Are Crypto Exchanges Worth It?

    If you are looking to purchase cryptocurrencies, signing up for a crypto exchange can be your best option to get started.

    While buying a few hundred dollars worth of Bitcoin from a local Bitcoin ATM may be convenient, it makes more sense to use an exchange if you are looking to invest a larger amount or you’re interested in buying a range of cryptocurrencies.

    Crypto exchanges are the safest and most legal way to obtain cryptocurrency. But that’s not the only reason using an exchange is most suitable. Here are some of the reasons crypto exchanges are worth it.

    • Crypto exchanges let users buy and sell cryptocurrencies online or using a mobile app, making it easy to access the crypto markets from anywhere. 
    • Most cryptocurrency exchanges offer a range of digital currencies and tokens, providing numerous options for investors that want to build a diversified portfolio of digital assets. 
    • Leading crypto exchanges typically hold user funds in cold storage to ensure the safety of assets. 
    • Global crypto exchanges usually comply with Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) rules as well as financial regulations. Therefore, users can be assured they’re not dealing with a fraudulent company or malicious market participants. 

    Comparing Crypto Exchange Platforms

    When choosing a crypto exchange that meets your needs, there are several factors to consider. The most important things to look at are:

    • Supported assets: If you are looking to buy cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, look at the list of supported assets before deciding on an exchange. Some only support a few cryptocurrencies, while others allow you to trade hundreds. 
    • Payment methods: Crypto exchanges typically offer a handful of ways to fund your account or purchase cryptocurrencies directly. While most exchanges support wire transfers, some platforms also allow you to buy crypto using credit cards, debit cards, and other digital payment methods. 
    • Fees: High fees can eat into your investment returns, which is why it is important to research crypto exchange fees before you open an account. Crypto exchanges typically charge trading fees and withdrawal fees, but other fees can also pop up. 
    • Security: Unfortunately, crypto exchanges are a prime target for hackers looking to get their hands on cryptocurrency. Security breaches and cyber theft are common in the crypto exchange landscape, which is why it is essential to choose an exchange with strong security measures in place.
    • Customer service: If you are new to cryptocurrency or investing, you may have questions or need help getting started. In that case, choosing an exchange with excellent customer support is probably the right move. 
    • Reputation: Before you sign up for an account on a crypto exchange, it’s a good idea to research that exchange’s reputation first. Read customer reviews, look into the exchange’s history, and look for any recent news stories that might provide some valuable insight 

    Signing Up for a Cryptocurrency Exchange Account

    Opening an account on a cryptocurrency exchange works in a similar way to signing up for an online brokerage account.

    To start, you typically need to provide an email address and a password to initiate account creation. Next, you will receive an email asking you to confirm that you are the owner of the email address you provided.

    Once you confirm your email address, you will usually be asked to complete an identity verification process. This generally involves providing personal information, proof of address, and uploading a copy of a government-issued photo ID. Most crypto exchanges ask for your full name, home address, and mobile number, as well as a utility bill or bank statement as proof of address and a digital copy of your passport or driver’s license.

    Some exchanges may also require an extra step to prove that the ID you are uploading is actually yours. Generally, this involves taking a photo of yourself holding your ID with a webcam or phone and submitting the photo to the exchange.

    User verification can take from a few minutes up to several days, depending on the exchange and the level of verification required. Exchanges often offer tiered verification levels, with lower tiers requiring less information. Lower verification tiers, however, usually come with lower deposit and withdrawal limits.

    After completing the verification process, you can fund your trading account using the available funding options and start to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

     

    What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange? How Does It Work?

    A cryptocurrency exchange is an online marketplace where users buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency. Crypto exchanges work similar to online brokerages, as users can deposit fiat currency (such as U.S. dollars) and use those funds to purchase cryptocurrency. Users can also trade their cryptocurrency for other cryptocurrencies, and some exchanges allow users to earn interest on assets held within the exchange account.

     

    What Should You Look at When Choosing a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

    When choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, there are several things to consider, including security, fees, and cryptocurrencies offered. It is also important to understand how your cryptocurrency is stored and whether you can take custody of that cryptocurrency by transferring it to your own digital wallet.

    Cryptocurrency exchanges also come in centralized and decentralized formats. Centralized exchanges closely align with financial regulations from governmental authorities (such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). Many will insure U.S. dollar deposits and require proof of identity to use the platform. Decentralized exchanges are unregulated online exchanges hosted on distributed nodes that are user-owned, and there is no centralized governing authority. While this may sound scary, decentralized exchanges offer transparent transactions and fees as well as direct peer-to-peer exchange of cryptocurrency.

     

    How Do You Buy Cryptocurrency?

    Most centralized exchanges allow you to deposit funds via your bank account, credit card, or debit card to purchase cryptocurrency. You can then exchange those funds for the cryptocurrency of your choosing. While some offer only simple market orders, other exchanges will allow you to set more advanced order types, including limit and stop orders.

    Once you purchase crypto through an exchange, the exchange typically holds it in a custodial wallet. Most exchanges store assets in offline “cold storage” for safekeeping. If you want to take custody of the cryptocurrency yourself, most exchanges allow you to transfer it to your “hot” or “cold” wallet, along with the private keys for that cryptocurrency.

     

    How Do You Open a Cryptocurrency Exchange Account?

    To open an account, most cryptocurrency exchanges require you to provide your name, email, personal information, and proof of identity (to follow KYC standards). This process may include answering personal questions, verifying your identity with a third-party application, or providing a picture of your driver’s license. 

    Once your account is approved, you can then deposit funds and start purchasing cryptocurrency.


    How We Chose the Best Crypto Exchanges

    Our team reviewed 28 cryptocurrency exchanges and collected over 1000 data points using publicly available information before selecting our top choices. We weighted more than 20 criteria and gave a higher weight to those with a more significant impact on potential customers.

    The top picks were selected based on factors like trading fees (weighted 20%), withdrawal fees (15%), and if an exchange offers cold storage of crypto assets (weighted 10%).

    We also took into account platform availability, the number of cryptocurrencies available, and customer support options. For further information about our selection criteria and process, our complete methodology is available.

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