These exchanges appeal to both newcomers and pros.
As cryptocurrency matures as an investment, digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) are becoming more common additions to traditional portfolios. The way to access cryptocurrencies is through crypto exchanges, where users can buy, sell and store their crypto. There are myriad factors that can influence your decision as to which crypto exchange to choose, including security measures, ease of use, trading fees and the number of coins available for trading. To help you find the crypto trading platform that meets your needs, here are seven options that cryptocurrency investors can choose from.
Investors have been using Coinbase — operated by the publicly traded Coinbase Global Inc. (ticker: COIN) — to buy, sell and manage their crypto since 2012, and this exchange has only gotten better with age. With about 98 million users, Coinbase is one of the best crypto exchanges for beginners, but it’s popular with more seasoned investors and businesses as well. A user-friendly interface, straightforward onboarding process and small free amount of Bitcoin for opening an account make Coinbase an excellent place for new traders to get started. It’s also a great place to stay up to date on alternative coins, crypto projects and the latest news in the world of digital assets. For more experienced traders, Coinbase offers Coinbase Pro, with advanced charts and cryptocurrency trading tools. With hundreds of digital currencies and altcoins supported on Coinbase, users have a wide range of options.
Robinhood Markets Inc. (HOOD) rolled out cryptocurrency trading on its retail investing platform in 2018, and in the years since, the company has built up the crypto side of its app. Robinhood hosts some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV). This beginner-friendly selection is best for users just starting out who want to add exposure to the most-traded cryptocurrencies on the market. With the company’s mobile-first mindset, Robinhood has built an easy-to-use app with no commission fees for trading. The barriers to entry are extremely low: Traders can start with as little as $1. As for security, Robinhood keeps cryptocurrency secured through a combination of hot and cold storage. Hot storage is a crypto wallet that is connected online to the crypto exchange, whereas cold storage is offline. A majority of users’ crypto is held in cold storage for additional protection.
Another popular crypto exchange, Binance, is also the largest, with more than 500 cryptocurrencies and fiat pairs available internationally on its platform and billions of dollars in average daily volume. Binance has risen in popularity because it allows crypto traders to transact with nearly any alternative coin on the market. U.S. users must go to Binance.us, a U.S.-regulated crypto exchange where investors can buy and sell more than 100 cryptocurrencies. The trading platform also has a feature called Binance Academy, where novice crypto traders can learn about cryptocurrency and blockchain through short videos. New cryptocurrency traders will find Binance easy to use, but the exchange is one of the top options among crypto day traders as well, since its low trading fees, strong charting tools and an easy-to-use mobile app allow fast, simple trading.
Founded by the Winklevoss twins in 2014, Gemini has established itself as one of the most trusted names in crypto. Gemini is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange that prides itself on security and compliance. The two crypto leaders of Gemini are Bitcoin and Ether, but the exchange allows users to trade more than 70 cryptocurrencies along with fiat-backed stablecoins. Gemini is a fiduciary, and the site is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. This means security is paramount for Gemini. In a market that has been faced with regulatory challenges, Gemini undergoes regular bank exams and is subject to cybersecurity audits. Cryptocurrency held online in Gemini’s exchange wallet is insured, and most of the coinage on the exchange is held in cold storage. If your primary concern is safety and security, trading via Gemini is an excellent choice.
FTX is a U.S.-regulated crypto exchange built by traders for traders, and its more than 1 million users are drawn to its security and advanced trading features, liquidity and fee structure. This exchange offers margin and futures trading, which is associated with higher market risks and is best suited for professional traders. An attractive feature for FTX users who trade in large volumes is its fee model. Many crypto exchanges make users pay high fees for each transaction, and these fees can add up. If you hold and stake FTT, the exchange token for FTX, as a way of strengthening the blockchain in exchange for an income stream, you get discounts on transactions. The more FTT you hold, the higher the discount on FTX fees. FTX also has an non-fungible token platform for users to buy, sell and create NFTs. If you are an advanced trader looking for technical features on a crypto exchange, FTX is an option for you.
Crypto.com is a fast-growing crypto app with about 50 million users in 90 countries. This exchange has an extensive list of cryptocurrencies, allowing users to trade more than 250 cryptos with more than 20 fiat currencies using bank transfers or a credit card. The exchange also offers competitive fees through its volume-based trading, so users get more discounts as their trading volume increases. You can even stake Cronos (CRO), the native cryptocurrency of Cronos Chain, developed by Crypto.com, to pay for your trading fees and add to your earnings. Crypto.com also has a flexible crypto lending platform that lets users borrow in cryptocurrencies such as USD Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT), BTC and ETH.
Kraken has proven itself to be a trusted, secure crypto exchange since its founding in 2011. While this exchange has basic features for newer traders, Kraken’s Pro site is where you can take your crypto investments to the next level. Advanced tools such as margin trading and crypto futures attract active users, while staking appeals to set-it-and-forget-it crypto investors. The exchange provides crypto guides and a resource center to help newbies easily get started with as little as $10 and access to more than 65 cryptocurrencies. Kraken also caters to institutional clients, including family offices, brokers and high-frequency traders.
Best cryptocurrency exchanges for a range of investors:
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Update 06/21/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.