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Best crypto exchanges

Ground Picture / Shutterstock

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Updated: January 02, 2024

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

How to choose the right exchange

Cryptocurrency investing has been booming in popularity in the last few years. And if you're ready to add digital assets to your portfolio, using a crypto exchange is one of the simplest and safest ways to get started.

But there's a lot of variety between the best cryptocurrency exchanges. Some exchanges are great for beginners while others cater to active traders. Furthermore, crypto exchanges support different coins, payment methods, and countries. And some even have lucrative passive income options through staking and lending programs.

If you need a helping hand, this list of the best crypto exchanges can point you in the right direction. Crypto investing doesn't have to be rocket science, but it's important to pick an exchange that has the features you need to succeed.

Binance
  • Best for: low fees
  • Supported cryptos: 80+
  • Trading fees: 0.10% maker/taker and 0.50% for spot trading
  • Minimum trade: Varies depending on crypto
  • Crypto rewards: Staking
  • Current promotions: none

Binance.com is the largest crypto exchange in the world in terms of trading volume. And even though U.S. investors can't use the platform, Binance.US is still a comprehensive exchange with incredibly low fees.

Low trading fees are truly the main reason to use this exchange. But you still have extensive cryptocurrency selection and the ability to stake several coins to earn crypto passive income. Binance.US also has an advanced trading dashboard for more technical traders. And if you live internationally, Binance.com is one of the best crypto exchanges out there for trading fees and overall selection.

Potential drawbacks: Binance.US has less cryptocurrency selection than Binance.com and options like Coinbase. However, you still get major cryptos like Bitcoin, Cardano, Solana, and even altcoins like Dogecoin.

Additionally, Binance.US isn't available in Hawaii, Idaho, New York, Texas, or Vermont.

Trading fees: Binance.US fees start at a 0.10% maker and taker fee and 0.50% fee for spot trading. You can also get trading fee discounts for holding BNB coin, the exchange's native token for the Binance Chain.

Pros

Pros

  • Low trading fees

  • Decent cryptocurrency support

  • Earn staking rewards on several coins

  • Get trading discounts for holding BNB

Cons

Cons

  • Doesn't support as many cryptocurrencies as Binance.com

  • Binance.US isn't available in every U.S. state

eToro
  • Best for: Crypto and stocks
  • Supported cryptos: 40+
  • Trading fees: 1% for buying and selling
  • Minimum trade: $10
  • Crypto rewards: Staking
  • Current promotions: none

If you want to manage all your stock, ETF and crypto in one place, eToro is your best choice. This online broker has always been a popular choice for stock trading. And now, eToro supports crypto trading for over 40 popular coins

What's nice is that eToro has a simple crypto trading interface for beginners as well as a crypto exchange interface with more advanced trading tools. You can also create a virtual portfolio to test your crypto trading skills before investing.

Potential drawbacks: eToro crypto trading isn't as robust as dedicated crypto exchanges. It still has advanced trading tools, but it supports fewer crypto assets than many competitor exchanges. This makes it the best choice if you want to also trade stocks and ETFs. But for standalone crypto support, eToro isn't the best.

Trading fees: eToro has a simple 1% trading fee whenever you buy or sell crypto. This is higher than many crypto exchanges but it's also easier to understand. If you're new to crypto investing, this fee structure is easy to understand, although it's not the most cost-effective option in the long-run.

Pros

Pros

  • Supports a variety of assets

  • Simple fee structure

  • Simple and advanced trading dashboards are available

Cons

Cons

  • Trading fees are higher than exchanges like Binance.US

  • Doesn't support as many cryptos as many major exchanges

Moneywise is compensated if you access certain of the products or services offered by eToro USA LLC and/or eToro USA Securities Inc. Any testimonials contained in this communication may not be representative of the experience of other eToro customers and such testimonials are not guarantees of future performance or success

Crypto.com
  • Best for: Global investors
  • Supported cryptos: 250+
  • Trading fees: 0.40% maker/taker fee
  • Minimum trade: Varies by crypto
  • Crypto rewards: Staking and crypto rewards card
  • Current promotions: None

Crypto.com is one of the most popular global cryptocurrency exchanges. This exchange supports over 250 cryptos and 20 currencies, and it's available in over 100 markets. You can trade through its simple mobile app or use its advanced trading web dashboard. Margin and derivative trading are also available.

Crypto.com also has excellent crypto rewards. Its staking program Crypto Earn supports 40+ coins and pays up to 14.5% APY. And the Crypto.com Visa card pays up to 8% crypto back in CRO tokens, the exchange's native token.

When you add its new NFT marketplace, Crypto.com is one of the most robust and globally-friendly exchanges.

Potential drawbacks: The main downside to Crypto.com is that you have to hold and stake CRO tokens to get more rewards. For example, its crypto rewards card has tiers with better rewards the more CRO you hold. Trading fees also get heavy discounts but only once you trade a lot of money per 30 days or if you stake serious amounts of CRO tokens.

Trading fees: Trading fees start at a 0.40% maker and taker fee. But fees drop incredibly low for high-volume traders. This makes Crypto.com worse for small portfolios but a competitive choice for active traders dealing with a lot of capital.

Pros

Pros

  • Available in 100+ markets

  • Supports 20+ currencies

  • Comprehensive staking program and crypto rewards card

  • Trading fee discounts for high-volume traders

Cons

Cons

  • CRO staking is how you get the best rates and discounts

  • Favors high-volume traders over beginners

Gemini
  • Best for: Security
  • Supported cryptos: 90+
  • Trading fees: $0.99 to $2.99 or 1.49% depending on order value
  • Minimum trade: Varies by crypto
  • Crypto rewards: Staking
  • Current promotions: None

Gemini is another leading cryptocurrency exchange that lets you buy and sell over 90 cryptocurrencies. It also has an excellent staking platform that lets you earn up to 8.05% APY by staking different coins. And, with its ActiveTrader offering, Gemini also caters to more serious crypto traders who need extra tools.

But where Gemini shines is in its security. The exchange is a licensed New York trust company, so it goes through more audits and cybersecurity reviews than your average exchange. Plus, U.S. dollars in your account are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Gemini also has digital asset insurance and stores most assets in cold wallets which are less vulnerable to theft.

Potential drawbacks: Gemini's main drawback is that its fee structure is somewhat complicated. Normal mobile and web orders charge various fees depending on the order amount. And Gemini ActiveTrader has a completely different fee structure altogether.

Fees are similar to Coinbase overall but aren't as low as Binance or DEXs like 1inch.

Trading fees: Mobile and web fees cost $0.99 to $2.99 for orders up to $200. Orders over $200 then charge 1.49% of trade value. Gemini ActiveTrader fees start at a 0.40% taker fee and 0.20% maker fee plus 0.01% auction fee.

Pros

Pros

  • Gemini is a regulated U.S. exchange

  • Cash is FDIC-insured and Gemini has digital asset insurance

  • Competitive crypto staking rates

Cons

Cons

  • Confusing fee structure for beginners

  • Mobile and web fees are slightly higher than some other exchanges

Coinbase
  • Best for: Beginners
  • Supported cryptos: 100+
  • Trading fees: 0.5% to 2% or more
  • Crypto rewards: Staking and crypto rewards card
  • Minimum trade: $2
  • Current promotions: Get free BTC after making your first trade

Coinbase is one of the largest exchanges in the world. It's also very beginner-friendly, making it the best overall crypto exchange for beginner investors. And with extensive coin support, you can buy popular cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum plus plenty of altcoins.

Coinbase also has staking rewards and a crypto rewards card that pays up to 4% back in crypto on daily spending. And there's even a new Coinbase Learn program that pays you with free crypto for completing short educational modules.

Potential drawbacks: Coinbase is very easy to use, but trading fees are slightly higher than some other cryptocurrency exchanges. The basic version of Coinbase doesn't have many trading tools either, so you need to learn how to use the free Coinbase Pro interface if you want more trading capabilities.

Trading fees: Coinbase charges various spread fees that vary depending on order size, payment method, and the crypto you're trading. This can range from 0.5% to 2% or higher, which is steep. Using Coinbase Advanced Trade is a smart move since the first trading tier has a 0.40% maker fee and 0.60% taker fee.

Pros

Pros

  • Incredibly beginner-friendly

  • Trade crypto starting with just $2

  • Earn staking rewards for passive income

  • Earn free crypto with Coinbase Learn

Cons

Cons

  • High Coinbase trading fees, especially for small trades

  • You need to switch to Coinbase Pro to avoid high fees

1inch
  • Best for: Decentralized exchange
  • Supported cryptos: 350+
  • Trading fees: Variable gas fees
  • Minimum trade: No trading minimum
  • Crypto rewards: You can stake 1inch tokens
  • Current promotions: None

Unlike centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) don't rely on a custodian or middleman to hold funds and process trades. Rather, DEXs use automated market maker protocols and let people exchange crypto and fiat in a peer-to-peer network.

And out of all decentralized exchanges, 1inch is one of the best. That's because it's a DEX aggregator that finds the lowest crypto prices across other DEXs and connects traders to get the best prices possible. And this decentralized exchange doesn't charge trading fees. If you value your privacy and want to avoid fees, 1inch is one of your best options.

Potential drawbacks: DEXs like 1inch aren't nearly as beginner-friendly as centralized exchanges like Coinbase. For starters, you have to learn how to connect a crypto wallet to 1inch. And while you don't pay trading fees directly, you still pay gas fees, which can get pricey depending on the crypto and blockchain network congestion.

1inch also has limited fiat options, so it's really a crypto-to-crypto DEX aggregator above all else. If you're willing to go down the crypto rabbit hole, 1inch is worth it. But for the occasional crypto trader, the learning curve isn't something to take on lightly.

Trading fees: 1inch doesn't charge crypto trading fees. But you pay gas fees for every transaction that vary depending on the crypto and blockchain conditions.

Pros

Pros

  • Supports hundreds of cryptocurrencies

  • 1inch doesn't charge trading fees

  • Works with numerous blockchains and crypto wallets

Cons

Cons

  • Steep learning curve for new traders

  • Fiat-to-crypto trades are expensive

Kraken
  • Best for: Advanced traders
  • Supported cryptos: 100+
  • Trading fees: 0.90% to 1.5% for spot trading
  • Minimum trade: $10
  • Crypto rewards: Staking
  • Current promotions: None

Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges out there and began in 2011. It's also a great exchange if you want advanced trading tools and to trade futures or on margin.

Kraken still has a simple trading interface if you're new. But its premium Cryptowatch dashboard lets you analyze 2,000+ crypto markets and trade across multiple exchanges. The Kraken terminal itself offers robust charting and analysis tools as well. Plus, Kraken has excellent staking options that pay up to 23% APY.

Potential drawbacks: Kraken has spot trading and a simpler mobile app and web version if you're new to crypto. But this exchange really shines for advanced traders who use Kraken Pro. If you're new to crypto, exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini are more beginner-friendly.

Trading fees: Kraken spot trading charges a 0.9% fee for any stablecoin and 1.5% for other crypto or FX pairs. For Kraken Pro, fees start at a 0.26% taker fee and 0.16% maker fee. Margin fees vary by coin and futures start at a 0.05% taker fee and 0.02% maker fee.

Pros

Pros

  • Professional trading dashboard

  • Margin trade with up to 5x leverage

  • Trade across numerous markets with Cryptowatch

Cons

Cons

  • Steep learning curve for new traders

  • High spot trading fees

Robinhood
  • Best for: Mobile trading
  • Supported cryptos: 11
  • Trading fees: Varies by crypto
  • Minimum trade: $1
  • Crypto rewards: None
  • Current promotions: Get free stock for opening an account

Robinhood is a popular commission-free investing app that's also branched out into crypto. This mobile-friendly app lets you invest in popular cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Polygon, and Solana starting with just $1.

If you want a simple way to buy crypto from your smartphone, Robinhood is for you. Recently, Robinhood opened its waitlist to let users receive and send crypto from their account to other exchanges or wallets. This means you can soon use Robinhood to buy your favorite cryptos and then send them to an external wallet or platform that offers staking if that's what you're interested in.

Potential drawbacks: Robinhood supports under a dozen cryptocurrencies, and this is its main drawback. If you want to occasionally add popular cryptos to your portfolio and keep things simple, it's a great app. But for more crypto trading tools and asset support, look to various exchanges instead.

Trading fees: Robinhood doesn't charge commissions on crypto trades. But you still pay varying spread fees which are similar to many exchanges.

Pros

Pros

  • Simple mobile trading interface

  • Also supports stocks, ETFs, and commodities

  • Get a free stock when you sign up

Cons

Cons

  • Low number of available cryptocurrencies

  • The ability to send and receiving crypto to other wallets is still rolling out

How we chose the best crypto exchanges

To choose the best crypto exchanges, we looked at fees, ease of use, supported currencies, security, reputation, and exchange features. We also test and review each exchange, and our ratings are based on our own editorial standards and beliefs and aren't influenced by alternative factors.

When investing in cryptocurrency, it’s important to consider the risks and costs involved — cryptocurrency is highly volatile and not appropriate for all investors. Any exchange on this list may do a good job of meeting your cryptocurrency trading and investing goals, but always approach cryptocurrency with caution.

Factors to consider in a crypto exchange

When considering the best crypto exchange for you, it's important to understand what matters to you. Some traders are more active and need in-depth tools. In contrast, some investors prefer simplicity and low fees. Plus, you can also consider exchange features like staking and crypto rewards.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing your cryptocurrency exchange.

Available cryptocurrencies

Most exchanges let you trade popular cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum. But if you want more altcoins, exchanges like Coinbase, Crypto.com, and 1inch are some of your better options.

Trading fees

Trading fees are one area where crypto exchanges differ greatly. And, oftentimes, the more beginner-friendly exchanges charge higher fees for their convenience.

For occasional traders, paying slightly higher trading fees might be worth it for simplicity. But if you actively trade, consider low-fee options like Binance.US.

Ease of use

Like trading fees, crypto exchanges differ in terms of how beginner-friendly they are. Options like Coinbase or mobile trading apps like Robinhood are excellent for brand new traders. But if you want more trading tools and research, exchanges like Binance.US or Kraken are superior.

Security

If you lose access to your crypto wallet because of a scam or unauthorized access, there's little hope of recovering your funds. And if an exchange suffers a hack, you're basically at the mercy of the owners to restore your funds.

The best crypto exchanges have robust insurance policies in place and a history of not being hacked. This might sound extreme, but some exchanges like Bitfinex have been hacked several times, resulting in losses for its users.

For the most peace of mind, stick with reputable exchanges like Gemini and Coinbase.

Staking rewards

If you want to earn passive income, choose a cryptocurrency exchange that lets you stake coins for rewards. Crypto.com, Gemini, and Kraken all have lucrative staking programs you can explore. In contrast, some exchanges don't support staking, and other options might pay very low rates.

Payment methods

How do you want to purchase your crypto?

For many investors, fiat-to-crypto trading is most common, so you need an exchange that lets you fund your account with money from your bank. Alternatively, you need an exchange that lets you buy crypto directly with your debit or credit card.

And for global investors, support for multiple currencies is another important consideration.

Privacy

Cryptocurrency exchange privacy really boils down to choosing a centralized or decentralized exchange. If you don't want a middleman, DEXs like 1inch are some of the best decentralized exchanges you can use. However, the trade-off is ease-of-use, and centralized exchanges are much more beginner-friendly.

The bottom line

Choosing the best crypto exchange for you is about deciding what matters to you and researching your choices. Look for one of the best cryptocurrency apps that fit your trading needs, style, and experience level. From there, test the waters with a deposit to see how you like trading before adding more funds.

And remember: you can always try out several cryptocurrency exchanges to find the best fit. And since many options like Crypto.com pay crypto bonuses, you can even rack up rewards in the process.

Advertiser Disclosure– This advertisement contains information and materials provided by Robinhood Financial LLC and its affiliates (“Robinhood”) and Moneywise, a third party not affiliated with Robinhood. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Securities offered through Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Securities LLC, which are members of FINRA and SIPC. Moneywise is not a member of FINRA or SIPC.”

About our author

Tom Blake
Tom Blake, Staff Writer

Tom Blake is a personal finance blogger. His work has featured in Business Insider, Frugal Rules, MoneyCrashers, and a number of other financial blogs. When he’s not in Canada Tom lives as a digital nomad, writing from locales like Colombia and Dubai. You can connect with Tom at his blog This Online World.

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