5 Best Crypto Exchange: Top Crypto Exchanges Review of 2023
When cryptocurrencies launched for the first time in the late 2000s, no one would have imagined just how big they would become. Today, cryptocurrency has become an integral part of modern finance. These digital currencies are also offering good investment opportunities for folks around the world.
So, how do you actually buy a cryptocurrency? Well, is actually simple. You can buy or sell digital currencies through cryptocurrency exchanges. Think of crypto exchanges as the forex market only that, instead of exchanging fiat currencies, you are buying and selling crypto. Now, unlike forex, where you have one huge exchange, there are several cryptocurrency exchanges, each offering a set of unique features for users.
For someone who is new to crypto, deciding which exchanges are legit and worth your time is not always that easy. But you don’t need to worry. We have done extensive research on a lot of cryptocurrency exchanges out there and came up with a list of five of the best here below. We will also give you details about what crypto exchanges are, how they work, and why they are very important in Decentralized Finance or DeFi.
Table of Contents
Best Crypto Exchange: What Is Crypto Exchange?
Before we get to the list of the top 5 bitcoin exchanges, let’s just give you a basic idea of what they are. Well, a crypto exchange is an online-based platform where people can buy and sell cryptocurrency. Think of its as your traditional stockbroker but instead of buying and selling stocks, you basically do cryptocurrency trading.
These exchanges are divided into two major categories. They include centralized exchanges and decentralized exchanges or DEXs. A centralized exchange is typically run by a central entity like a corporation or a firm. The entity takes full charge of the security of transactions and verifies every crypto purchase made through its platform.
DEXs basically distribute transaction verifications across a network in the same way blockchains do when verifying crypto trading. Each of these two options has pros and cons. For example, centralized platforms tend to have a lot of liquidity, something that makes it a whole lot easier to buy and sell digital assets.
DEXs however have limited liquidity and typically rely on independent liquidity providers or LPs to function. This can make transactions of crypto assets a bit challenging. However, a decentralized exchange enjoys autonomy. Unlike centralized exchanges that solely rely on the cooperate entity behind them to run, decentralized exchanges can run on their own provided there are enough people willing to join the network.
Additionally, DEXs tend to be relatively safer. While it’s easy to hack a single corporation, it’s very difficult to infiltrate an entire network of computers all over the world. Also, unlike centralized exchanges, you will notice that DEXs do not require users to verify their identity to start trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This basically means that you can set up your account in a matter of minutes and start trading securely and privately.
Despite these benefits, the liquidity problem has often undermined the growth of decentralized platforms and as such, most crypto traders continue to use centralized crypto trading exchanges.
Best Crypto Exchanges in 2023?
- Best Overall Crypto Exchange: Gemini
- Best for Beginner Crypto Traders: Coinbase
- Best for Bitcoin Enthusiasts: Binance
- Best for Cybersecurity: Crypto.com
- Best for Active Trading: Tradestation
5 Best Crypto Exchanges
As noted above, there are hundreds if not thousands of crypto exchanges these days. These platforms can either be centralized or decentralized. However, not all can deliver the smooth and efficient experiences traders want when they do crypto purchases. Nonetheless, a few exchanges appear to be at the top of their game. Here are the top 5 bitcoin exchanges in 2021.
#1. Best Overall Crypto Exchange: Gemini
Gemini makes it to the top for three main reasons: accessibility, versatility, and ease of use. In terms of accessibility, the cryptocurrency exchange is available for all users in the United States and several other countries around the world.
In addition, the crypto platform is extremely versatile, making it a good choice for beginners and advanced crypto traders looking for things like margin and futures trading. Thirdly, the Gemini platform is so easy to use. You can open an account in minutes and start buying crypto-assets anytime.
The exchange also has a wide variety of products, including a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange and its own cryptocurrency wallet. It is also backed by some of the leading security features, including SOC certifications, hardware security keys, and full insurance coverage.
Gemini also offers robust trading tools for both beginners and advanced traders who want complex derivatives including exchange-traded funds. You also get a multiplatform approach with both a desktop and mobile app. Despite all these features, the fees charged by this platform are a bit higher compared to other crypto exchanges. As of now, the transaction fees here range between 0.5% and 3.99%.
How does it work?
Gemini is a no-fuss platform that works in a very simple way. First, you will need to open an account with them to trade crypto. Since this is not a decentralized exchange, you will also be required to verify your identity.
Additionally, while Gemini is available in all 50 US states, it is not available in many other countries. This may limit some folks. Once your account is approved, the second step is to deposit fiat currency in your cryptocurrency account.
You can then use the desktop and mobile app platforms to buy the crypto that you want. Other than USD deposits, Gemini also allows you to deposit crypto from your cryptocurrency wallets into your cryptocurrency exchange account. The transaction fee here will however be a bit higher.
- Easy to use user interfaces that are beginner-friendly
- A versatile cryptocurrency exchange that can be used by advanced traders to sell crypto
- The exchange has one of the best security ratings in the market
- Offers a wide range of trading products including margin trading and others
- Account opening takes a few minutes and all US citizens are eligible
- The fees are a bit higher compared to other exchanges
- Gemini is not available in all countries
Commission & Fees
Gemini does not charge a flat fee for its crypto trades. Instead, the exchange has a variety of fee schedules that depend on the type of product you are trading and the volume of trading. In essence, active traders with a higher trading volume pay relatively less in fees compared to other folks.
In general, however, Gemini charges a commission of somewhere between 0.5% and 3.99% depending on your trade volume and the type of product you are using.
#2. Best for Beginner Traders: Coinbase
Coinbase is one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges based on its simplicity alone. In fact, it is rated as one of the easiest places to buy crypto assets, including bitcoin cash and others. Coinbase also has a decent reputation for excellence in the market and is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
The exchange also offers both individual and institutional accounts to cater to small-ticket traders and large investors. You also get a huge variety of cryptocurrencies to buy in fact, Coinbase has over 100 tradable cryptos for its users.
The exchange has also developed a series of tools that help you manage your investment strategy better. They include trade or order automation, portfolio management, and others. The Coinbase user interface is also quite simple and easy to use. Whether you want to sell bitcoin fast, buy hundreds of crypto for speculation, or simply do some advanced margin and futures trading, Coinbase has your back.
How does it work?
As one of the easiest exchanges to buy crypto, one thing you can be sure about Coinbase is just how easy it is to use. But just like with other exchange platforms, the first thing would be to create a crypto exchange account.
Here, you will need to decide between a personal and business account. After that, add your personal details and start the registration process. Coinbase is available in over 100 countries outside the US so it should be easy to get your account approved.
As soon as that happens, you can deposit some money through a debit card or a bank transfer. Once the funds are active in your account, it is time to now start trading cryptocurrencies. Coinbase also has a series of educational videos and cash rewards that incentivize users to learn more about the cryptocurrency investments they are about to make.
- The exchange is one of the biggest in the world with a strong reputation of excellence
- You get an easy to use platform, including quick account setup
- The platform supports a huge variety of cryptocurrencies
- There is also an incentive program that gives cash rewards for learning how certain currencies work
- Relatively lower fees for Coinbase Pro customers
- The crypto trading fees and the way they are structured appears quite complicated
- Customer support pales in comparison to other exchanges
- There are very limited altcoins on offer
Commission & Fees
Coinbase does not provide clear details on how it charges its fees. In fact, the exchange recently removed the “fees” section from its support pages on its website. However, what we know is that fees range from 0.5% t0 4.5% of the transaction. This will be determined by your trade volume, type of crypto assets, and other factors.
In addition to this, Coinbase also offers two pricing models. The first one is for its regular or primary Coinbase users. The second model is for Coinbase Pro, a premium service that you have to pay for. Generally, fees for Coinbase pro are relatively lower compared to the main Coinbase account.
#3. Best for Bitcoin Enthusiasts: Binance
For folks who want a reputable exchange with a stellar reputation in the global crypto stage, then this is it. Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world in terms of trade volume and for good reasons.
Founded in 2017, it was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to bring high-frequency trading into the market. Binance is designed for bitcoin enthusiasts. It has low fees, a modern trading platform, and a huge variety of cryptocurrency assets to trade.
The exchange also strives to give its users advanced flexibility with its multiple trading platforms. There is also a large community of Binance traders out there that can help new users learn the trade fast. Binance is also a popular exchange for Initial Coin offerings. You also get a wide range of products including crypto derivatives and non-fungible tokens or NFTs.
How does it work?
Starting your crypto investing on Binance is quite straightforward. As with many exchanges, you will start off by opening a trading account. Since this is one of the biggest exchanges on the planet, it’s open to many countries so it should be easy to get your account approved.
Some verifications will be needed though before you start investing. Once your account is ready, you will be required to make deposits either from your bank account or your cryptocurrency wallet. This normally takes a few minutes. After the money is reflected on your account, you can now start trading on a wide range of products on offer here including crypto pairs, derivatives, and others.
- Offers relatively lower fees compared to other exchanges out there
- Advanced charting and trading tools are also provided
- Has a huge reputation as one of the biggest exchanges in the world
- Supports over 500 cryptocurrencies, one of the largest on the planet
- You also get a variety of products to trade including derivatives like futures
- The platform is closed for US investors
- Learning how to use Binance takes some time
Commission & Fees
Binance offers some of the lowest fees for any cryptocurrency exchange. However, these fees are not standard and they depend on the type of asset you are buying and the trade volume. For example, spot trading fees are capped at 0.1% of the transaction.
Liquidity swaps on the other hand can go as high as 0.2%. Unlike other platforms out there, Binance has done well to openly spell out its fees in an easy and clear way. This should make it possible for anyone to estimate how much they will need to buy certain assets here.
#4. Best for Cybersecurity: Crypto.com
Crypto.com is one of the older exchanges in the world. It started operations back in 2016 and during this time, it seems the exchange has learned a lot of lessons, especially when it comes to security. Crypto.com is one of the most secured exchanges.
First, all deposits into the platform are screened for compliance. Crypto.com also has a dedicated team of cybersecurity experts who monitor all transactions to ensure they are above board. This has helped build trust and confidence in the platform.
Crypto.com also offers a wide range of excellent services including margin trading and non-fungible tokens. The platform has also partnered with Visa to develop its own card that lets you earn rewards every time you use it. With over 150 currencies available for US users, it is one of the best exchanges to start.
How does it work?
As a US-based exchange, Crypto.com is expected to meet certain regulatory requirements before they allow you to trade. Also, the exchange has its own internal security measures that require identity verification for all new accounts.
So, before you start the registration process, make sure you have all the required documents needed. If your account is approved, you can go ahead and make the deposits needed to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
As noted above, Crypto.com will scan and analyze each deposit to ensure it complies with US regulation, including several tax reporting requirements. But in most cases, it takes just a few minutes for this to be done.
- Has over 150 cryptocurrencies on offer for US customers
- One of the most secure trading platforms in the world
- Give users the ability to earn decent interest on their crypto holdings
- Provides support for tax and regulatory compliance in the US
- The educational resources offered by the platform look outdated
- Not ideal for low-volume traders due to high fees.
Commission & Fees
Just like the other platforms we have looked at in this review, Crypto.com does not charge a flat fee for its service. Instead, all fees are volume-based in that, the more you trade, the lower you pay in transaction fees.
The exchange has nine different levels of trade with level 1 having the lowest volume and level 9 having the highest trade volumes. In between these levels, the fees range from 0.1% to 0.4%. You may however be able to pay less by staking the native CRO token
#5. Best for Active Trading: Tradestation
If you are looking for a trading platform suited for active crypto traders, then TradeStation will not disappoint. Featuring superior cryptocurrency trading technology, relatively low fees for large trade volumes, and advanced charting and order entry tools, Tradestation gives active crypto traders the technology and efficiency they need to succeed in the marketplace.
The platform also comes with a series of trade automation tools and a multiplatform approach that includes a desktop and mobile app for trading. You also get a simple and uncluttered user interface that lets you find and execute trades in no time.
Tradestation also has interest accounts on selected crypto assets that let investors earn up to 6% in returns. The exchange has also invested in state-of-the-art security features, including a team of cybersecurity experts who monitor the platform 24/7.
Two-factor authentication is also a must when accessing your trading account. This gives you that extra layer of security. With these features, no doubt TradeStation is one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for the tech-savvy and advanced active traders out there.
How does it work?
So, in case you’d like to take advantage of the advanced trading tools available at TradeStation, the first thing to do is to create a free account. It takes about three minutes to do this. However, since TradeStation is actually a traditional broker offering crypto assets, you will be required to verify your identity and address.
Once this is done, proceed and link your bank account or debit card to make a deposit. Tradestation offers a huge variety of trading accounts. While there are generally divided into Individual and Institutional, there are several other subcategories in between.
Make sure you read each of them and see which account suits you best. Please also note that minimum deposits are required for some accounts. The minimum deposit is $2000. You will need to make that deposit before your account is activated.
- Offers a high quality and technologically superior trading platform compared to other exchanges
- You also get a wide range of advanced trading tools including order automation and charting tools
- Low fees especially for large volume active traders
- The platform also gives you comprehensive research on selected assets
- You can trade a wide range of cryptocurrencies and other financial products like ETFs, and options
- Some accounts require minimum deposits of $2000
- The pricing plans can be a bit confusing for the average trader
Commission & Fees
TradeStation offers commission-free trading under two major pricing plans. They include the TS Select and TS Go. However, you will be charged a transaction fee for every contract executed under these plans. This however depends on the type of assets you buy. For example, futures attract a fee of $1.5 for every contract on the TS Select plan while TS G0 charges $0.85 per contract.
>>Read more About TradeStation Review: Is it the Best Platform for Advanced Traders?
How We rank the Best Crypto Exchanges?
When creating this review of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, our research team started by looking at the top-rated exchanges on Coinmarketcap.com. After that, a list of leading exchanges was developed. The list was later narrowed down based on several factors including liquidity, trading volume, security and privacy, web traffic, and access to a global customer base.
In addition to this, our team also analyzed several key data sets. First, we started off by looking at the fees charged by the exchanges to buy and sell bitcoin. We also looked at whether these exchanges charge to deposit funds or to withdraw. Our analysis also wanted to see how open and transparent the fee structures were. Exchanges that had an easy-to-understand fee structure with no hidden commissions were ranked higher.
Here, the team looked at platform usability, including how easy it is to open and fund an account and start trading. We also did deep internet research to try and find real reviews of people who have used these crypto exchange platforms before. The goal was to see genuine customer reviews that shed a light on platform usability. The bitcoin exchange platform that had positive customer reviews was ranked higher.
Finally, the team also looked at the variety of products available to trade. For instance, exchanges that offered additional trading services like futures trading, margin trading, while still keeping fees slow, received better rankings. However, in order to properly incorporate these data points into the final ranking, we needed to create a weighting system. The system was based on what most investors are looking for. So, in essence, things like security and ease of use were weighted better than say availability of crypto derivatives.
How to choose the Best Crypto Exchange?
For someone new to the world of trading crypto, picking the right exchange can be a very complicated process. However, there are certain factors you can look for before you choose the best cryptocurrency exchange. First, trading fees matter a lot.
If you are planning to trade the cryptocurrency market for regular daily profits, then you cannot afford brokerage services that charge an exorbitant transaction fee. Sadly, most exchanges are not always transparent about their trading fees and how they are structured. It is up to you to dig deeper and find out what you have to pay to buy a digital currency there.
Secondly, pick a user-friendly exchange. The crypto market is highly volatile and prices change very fast. The last thing you need is a crypto exchange that takes so long to execute trades. You will miss out on so many opportunities.
Thirdly, check the overall security of the exchange. Various crypto exchanges have developed state-of-the-art security features, including regular audits and bug bounties to help safeguard their systems. Do not take any chances when you trade bitcoin and other digital assets. Safety has to be your number one priority.
Conclusion: Best Crypto Exchange
For any crypto trader out there, finding the best crypto exchanges is a number one priority. These exchanges play a huge role in determining just how profitable and safe your crypto investments will be. However, even though there are a few exchanges that really stand out in the market, Gemini has to be our top pick, and for good reasons.
The platform is backed by a good security rating from third-party audits and comes with a simple-to-use interface for any beginner. It takes a few minutes to open a crypto trading account here too and you also get access to a huge variety of crypto assets to buy.
Although the fees can be somewhat problematic for some people, on the basis of trade volume, you can actually end up paying less on Geminin than you think. It is a great place to start for crypto investors and while other platforms like Binance and Coinbase are still incredible, Gemini just edges them out slightly. Just open an account and start your crypto journey today.
Best Crypto Exchanges FAQs
What is Cryptocurrency exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where you can buy crypto and sell it. Typically, you will start by opening an account there and adding a payment method. This can be a credit or debit card. After that, deposit fiat currencies like the US Dollar into the crypto trading platform.
Now you can access the user interface where you can choose the crypto assets you want to buy and start your journey in cryptocurrency investing. These exchanges also allow you to trade between different cryptocurrencies as part of your crypto investments.
Which is the safest Crypto exchange?
Well, to be fair it’s not really that easy to tell. The threats that face some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges evolve on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, a platform that was probably the safest yesterday may not be tomorrow.
Nonetheless, the best thing you can do as someone who is trading cryptocurrency is to assess how your chosen broker or exchange evolves with these threats. Try and also assess some of the measures the exchange has put in place to safeguard the platform.
What is the most trusted Bitcoin exchange?
There are a few major exchanges in the world that appear to be trusted by lots of cryptocurrency traders. Platforms like Gemini, Coinbase, Binance attract the biggest share of trading volume in the cryptocurrency market.
This means that millions of people trust them. As a personal finance writer, let me give you some investment advice. If millions of people trust these platforms, then it means they are legit. These are also popular crypto exchanges so it should be a nice place to start for any crypto trader.
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Author: Wilbert S
Wilbert is an avid researcher and is deeply passionate about finance and health. When he's not working, he writes research and review articles by doing a thorough analysis on the products based on personal experience, user reviews and feedbacks from forums, quora, reddit, trustpilot amongst others.