Over the past several years, cryptocurrency has grown in popularity. Thanks to relatively low fees, investors find buying and selling cryptocurrency particularly attractive. Cryptocurrency isn’t connected to any government, and it offers significant profit potential over the long term.
If you’re just getting started with investing in cryptocurrency, you may need some help navigating the exchange waters. Whether you intend to trade frequently or to purchase coins and hold them, this article recommends four of the best crypto exchanges based on exchange score, average liquidity and trading volume.
4 of the Best Crypto Exchanges
The cryptocurrency space is rapidly growing, and crypto traders need a reliable source to track their assets. CoinMarketCap is the most referenced crypto asset price-tracking website worldwide. It provides investors with well-researched, unbiased and accurate information to make the most informed cryptocurrency buying and selling decisions.
The following chart lists four of the 25 most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges according to their exchange score, average liquidity and approximate trading volume, as reported by CoinMarketCap as of June 15.
To understand how cryptocurrency exchanges are rated, you’ll want to know more about what each rating category means.
Here’s a look at each type:
- Exchange score: Cryptocurrency exchanges are ranked and scored based on their amount of web traffic, average liquidity, volume and legitimacy confidence level. These factors are weighted, and an exchange is assigned a score between 0.0 and 10.0.
- Average liquidity: Simply put, liquidity is the ability of a crypto asset to be converted to cash essentially on demand. The average liquidity of cryptocurrency can also be determined by its bid-ask spread, which is the difference between the best available price to buy or sell an asset.
- Trading volume: A cryptocurrency’s trading volume is the number of assets or coins that have been traded, usually within a 24-hour period.
|Exchange||Exchange Score||Average Liquidity||Trading Volume|
|1. Coinbase Exchange||8.5||701||$3.17 billion|
|2. Kraken||8.2||714||$1.59 billion|
|3. Gemini||7.4||672||292.76 million|
|4. Binance.US||6.8||515||$354.23 million|
Here’s more detailed information about these crypto exchanges and why they made this list.
1. Coinbase/Coinbase Pro
Overview: Founded in the U.S. in 2012, Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges around. The service is available in more than 100 countries and in all U.S. states except Hawaii.
Users can buy and sell bitcoin using their bank accounts, credit cards and debit cards. You can also use the platform to trade USD coin, a Coinbase-built stablecoin.
Customers report that rates are on par with other exchanges, but according to the Better Business Bureau, Coinbase Pro’s customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
Services and features: Coinbase’s main offering is a platform for buying and selling cryptocurrency. The exchange has a relatively good reputation and marketing strategy and a user-friendly interface.
Here are some of the available features:
- Coinbase and Coinbase Pro wallet: Coinbase offers independent Android and iOS mobile wallets. Coinbase Pro offers more advanced features such as multiple wallets, open-order tracking and real-time market reports. The wallets store an investor’s private keys on their mobile device, and only the user has access to the crypto funds.
- Funds transfer: You can instantaneously transfer funds between your linked Coinbase account and Coinbase Pro account for free using your same login credentials. Each account has a separate wallet.
Accepted currencies and payment methods: Coinbase Pro accepts the following currencies: U.S. dollars (USD), euros (EUR), Canadian dollars (CAD) and British pounds (GBP).
- 0.05% to 0.60% fee for placing an order at the market price
- Flat fee for transactions under $200 or a percentage of the transaction, whichever is greater
- Most standard buy transaction fees are 1.49%, and credit card buys are 3.99%.
- Deposits are free via ACH transfer, but otherwise, users pay $10 per transaction.
Supported countries: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro offer services in more than 100 countries. See the website for a complete listing.
Average customer rating on G2.com: 3.9 out of 5
Best for: Traders of all levels looking for a simple yet secure way to exchange a wide variety of crypto
- Funds kept in FDIC-insured custodial wallets
- Supports almost 150 cryptocurrencies
- Earn crypto rewards if you qualify for the Coinbase Visa
- Tutorials available for beginners
- High level of BBB customer complaints
- Potentially high order fees of up to 0.60%
Overview: Established in 2011, Kraken is headquartered in San Francisco. It claims to be one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in terms of liquidity and euro volume. Kraken offers an advanced crypto trading platform with over-the-counter and margin trading options.
Previously, Kraken’s unstable platform gave it a bad name. However, the exchange has redeemed itself and updated its services, focusing more on security and customer support. Additionally, its trading fees are very competitive.
Services and features: Kraken offers crypto traders an array of services on its platform, including:
- Spot and margin trading: For more experienced users
- OTC services: For high-volume trades — over $100,000. Frequent high-volume traders have access to a dedicated account manager to make trades for them.
- Staking services: Crypto investors can earn a return on crypto assets that would normally be held and unused by other investors.
- Personalized support: Kraken offers an upgrade to the platform’s Account Management program that provides one-on-one support with a dedicated Kraken representative.
Accepted currencies and payment methods: Kraken currently accepts the following fiat currencies: U.S. dollars (USD), euros (EUR), Canadian dollars (CAD), Australian dollars (AUD), British pounds (GBP) and Japanese yen (JPY).
Fees: Among all the major Bitcoin exchanges, Kraken has some of the lowest fees. Your fees depend on your last 30 days’ trading volume and are generally based on a maker-taker basis. If you’re a maker and add limit orders to the exchange, you pay a lower fee than takers who fulfill existing orders.
Here are the details on some of the fees you might encounter:
- Spot trading fees range from 0% to 0.26%.
- Stablecoin trading fees range from 0% to 0.2%.
- Credit card purchase fee is 3.75% plus $0.25, then 1.5% or 0.9% Kraken fee is applied.
Supported countries: Currently, Kraken is available worldwide with some exceptions, including Cuba, Iraq, North Korea and Syria, but restrictions might apply. U.S. traders, except for residents of New York and Washington state, can participate on Kraken’s exchange.
Average customer rating on G2.com: 4 out of 5
Best for: Advanced crypto traders interested in margin trading, futures and options
- Relatively low fees
- Over 120 cryptocurrencies available
- Supports a wide range of popular currencies
- May be too complex for new traders
- Lack of tutorials on crypto
Good To Know
Many people worldwide see cryptocurrencies as the future of money. Early adopters of crypto are also adopting major financial technological innovations such as blockchain. If you’re a new cryptocurrency investor, you too could be positioning yourself to get ahead of the crypto curve. Just be careful not to invest more than you can afford to lose.
Overview: Gemini bills itself as the most trusted crypto-native finance platform. Founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2014, Gemini ranks No. 9 among cryptocurrency exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap. It’s available in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
Services and features: A robust set of features has driven Gemini’s growth.
- ActiveTrader with high-speed trading and professional-level options like advance charting, multiple order types, auctions and block trading
- Gemini Clearing Platform with OTC trades
- Gemini Earn, which pays up to 8.05% APY on cryptocurrency transferred from your Gemini account
- The Gemini Credit Card, which pays cryptocurrency rewards on all your purchases
- Gemini Pay cryptocurrency payment processing app
- Custody and wallet storage
Accepted currencies and payment methods: U.S. dollars (USD), Australian dollars (AUD), Canadian dollars (CAD), euros (EUR), Singapore dollars (SGD), Hong Kong dollars (HKD).
Number of coins available for trade: Gemini offers offers over 75 coins, including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), zcash (ZEC) and chainlink (CHAIN).
- Web and mobile fees range from $0.99 to $2.99 for orders up to $199.99; 1.49% fee for orders of $200 and up.
- ActiveTrader and API fees are determined by gross trading volume over the past 30 days and range from 0% to 0.40%.
- Transfer fees range from $0 for cryptocurrency and wire transfer deposits to 3.49% for debit card transfers.
- Convenience fee is approximately 0.50% of trade value.
Supported countries: Gemini is available in 60 countries.
Average customer rating on G2.com: 3.7 out of 5
Best for: Advance traders and those who prefer a variety of financial products on one platform
- Fees are complicated and comparatively high
- Extensive features could be overwhelming for neophyte cryptocurrency investors
- Fewer cryptocurrencies than other platforms
Overview: The word Binance is a mashup of the words binary and finance. Launched by Binance, the spinoff Binance.US is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Under full U.S. regulatory compliance, Binance.US offers customers in all but four states — Hawaii, New York, Texas and Vermont — the same crypto trading services loved by traders worldwide.
Services and features: Binance.US has quickly become an excellent trading platform for U.S residents because of the following features:
- High liquidity
- Attention to innovation and user security
- Better customer service than its predecessor, Binance
In addition, staking is available for AUDIO, AVAX, BNB, ATOM, LPT, SOL and GRT.
Accepted currencies and payment methods: Binance.US accepts USD only.
Number of coins available for trade: Binance.US has an extensive list of cryptocurrencies on its platform, including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP), bitcoin cash (BCH), binance coin (BNB) and tether (USDT).
- Spot trading fee of 0.1%
- Instant Buy/Sell fee of 0.5%
- Trading fees depend on your trading volume over the past 30 days and your daily binance coin balance.
Supported countries: Binance.US is open to users in the United States only, except for residents of the four aforementioned states.
Average customer rating on G2.com: 3.8 out of 5
Best for: U.S.-focused crypto investors and traders
- Dollar-cost averaging/recurring buys available
- Lower fees for active crypto investors
- Platform supports investors of all levels, offering advanced tools and beginner tutorials
- Not available in four states
- Only USD is supported
GOBankingRates’ Crypto Guides
Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of June 15, 2022.
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