Top 5 Most Reliable Crypto Exchanges to Buy and Sell Bitcoin or any other crypto currency
When considering to invest in virtual currency, you need to find a credible, trustworthy, and reliable crypto exchange because it is necessary to your success. In this article will go through the best and most reliable cryptocurrency exchanges to buy, sell, and trade digital currencies.
In addition, we will look at the factors to consider when picking a trading platform, which includes; security policies to safeguard users’ assets, supported payment methods, offered services, and many more.
The 5 digital exchanges discussed in this article have great results ranked against the factors that determine a good cryptocurrency trading platform.
What is a cryptocurrency exchange(Crypto Exchange), and how does it work?
A cryptocurrency exchange is a trading platform that deals on buying, selling or Trading of virtual assets. Bitcoin and Ethereum the two leading digital currency assets are supported by majority of crypto exchanges. The remaining virtual assets are selectively available in hundreds of Exchanges. Each exchange has a list of policies that determine the assets available for buying, selling, or trading on their platforms.
Cryptocurrency trading platforms allow the deposit of funds which could either be traditional currencies or digital currencies and convert them to other virtual assets. For example, a client could make a deposit of USD into a crypto exchange and purchase Ethereum. Then trade the Ether coin for any other digital assets available on the platform. They could even change the Eth back to USD and withdraw their money.
These are functions of a crypto exchange but it has the functions of most Exchanges have expanded, as we go on, we learn about the other functions.
Types of crypto exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges are classified in 2 categories:
“Centralized and Decentralized Crypto Exchanges”
The trading platforms can either fall under centralized or decentralized, depending on who runs it. If is runned by a single authority like; an individual or a company, it is said to be a CEX “centralized cryptocurrency exchange”.
However, if it is not managed by a single entity but rather a group of individuals coming together, then it is known as a DEX “decentralized crypto exchange”.
Majority of the leading crypto Exchanges are centralized, which gives them an edge over decentralized Exchanges. Nevertheless, depending on your level of technical know-how and your preferences, you may find DEXes more attractive.
Crypto exchange vs. Crypto broker
A Crypto broker is different from a crypto exchange, but most times the are confused to be the same thing considering their overlapping concepts.
Both have similar concept like; the 2 platforms allows the buying and selling of virtual assets, accounts are created in similar ways.
Nonetheless, with a digital exchange, traders (buyers and sellers) interact with each other. There is a trading fee charged for facilitating the exchange. Value of each asset is determined by market.
Meanwhile, a crypto broker allows buyers and sellers to transact but do not permit direct interaction. Rather, the broker buys from the seller and sells to the buyer. The price value is up to the broker who buys at a discount and sells at a higher rate compared to the market value.
Crypto Exchanges are suitable for small trades, while brokerages are suitable for large transactions. Reason is, exchanges, aim to match buyers and sellers but brokerages serves as either buyers and sellers of the assets depending on the circumstances.
Brokerages support fewer virtual assets, payment methods and have a covered limited geolocation. Compared to brokerages, crypto exchanges support a large number of digital assets, payment methods, and geolocation coverage.
Finally comparing Crypto exchanges to crypto brokerage, crypto brokerage platform is more regulated. Making them more trustworthy, secured, and attractive to institutional clients. Digital exchanges are less regulated, specifically those DEXes. Making them appealing to retail clienteles.
Crypto exchange features and services
Trading virtual assets on exchanges could be the most popular function of these platforms, but certainly not the only one.
At the initial stage, these exchanges started up as trading platforms, but as time went on, crypto assets evolved so did these exchanges. They currently serve a wider variety of clients, offer more services to satisfy a continually increasing clients.
Below are some of the services provided by leading crypto exchanges:
- ▪️Trading – this is the transaction of digital assets between the buyer and the seller. Clients can transact with a broker via a brokerage platform or carry out transactions with one another via an exchange. By default, all crypto Exchanges support trading functions.
- ▪️Staking – in the crypto market, staking has to do with keeping a needed minimum balance of a particular digital asset in your wallet to gain the right to carry-out transaction validation on a blockchain network. This is done through the PoS “Proof of Stake” consensus mechanism supported by Ethereum (the second most valuable blockchain by market value) and several other blockchain networks. Some virtual exchanges support ”staking as a service” to render service to users who want to ‘lock’ their assets within the trading platforms for a specific time frame. At the end, they get a part of the staking rewards.
- ▪️Storage (custody) – virtual exchanges can also serve as banks and keep custody of their clients’ assets. These storages are known as wallets, and most of these platforms provide these services. But it’s not advisable to keep your assets within these trading platforms for a long term. Coinbase as an Exchange stepped up to provide more specialized storage facilities to institutional clients like funds for family and offices.
- ▪️Lending – not a well known service, but trading platforms like; KuCoin and Binance provide the outline for their clients to lend out their assets to other clients. The idea is similar to how a bank savings account works. At the end, the lenders get interest on their (lent) assets.
- ▪️Educating – the concept behind blockchain has more technical aspect involved than most people would prefer, but, with the level of market attraction, most crypto exchanges have decided to provide learning resources. These free educational articles are easy to find and simple to understand and. Trading platforms that provides these services in the crypto market are; Kraken, Coinbase, and Binance.
What to look for when choosing a crypto exchange
There are more than 300 listed Crypto exchange son the crypto data aggregator Coinmarketcap, and several others not on the list. That means there are a lot of exchanges in the market to choose from.
Every platform has its own unique operations, interface, trading position, and targeted audience. So to be able to narrow down the best crypto exchange to trade your coins?
We will go over several important factors to consider when deciding on a trading platform that suits your preferences.
Currently, there are over 4,200 crypto coins listed on Coinmarketcap and as of September 2021, it was over 12,000 in total. A large number of these coins are not available on any of the major trading platform. With regard to the market value some notable crypto coins are not listed in well known exchanges. Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary to take into consideration the virtual assets available on the platform you are considering.
The protection and safety of your assets are of utmost importance. In the years past, over 100 (hundred) billions dollars worth of digital currency have been stolen from platforms resulting in most of them almost ending in bankruptcy. Some of the top exchanges have insurance to cover their customers’ assets in the event of these unfortunate occurrence. However, this is only a solution when the event has already taken place.
The most important factor is that these platforms take preventive measures to safeguard their clients’ assets in the at the initial stage. When it comes to the safety of digital assets, these Exchanges should apply the best means of protection.
The liquidity of a Crypto Coins is the measure of its level convertibility to Fiat curriencies or other digital coins. You may easily determine this factor by going through the number of daily transaction carried out on the platform.
A high number of trades means that; that particular asset is be easy to purchase, sell or trade. You have a larger range of assets to trade if there is a general high trading volume.
Also, it’s the same on the other side, a low volume of trades means; that particular asset is hard to buy, sell or trade.
Regulation and compliance
Standard policies is important in the present financial industry, especially when it comes to the blockchain sector. This field has been in the market for bearly more than a decade but it’s growth has been very fast in this short period making it hard for regulators to keep up.
Regulators have made policies to oversee the activities of blockchain related companies around several countries in the globe. It is necessary to know that there is a possibility of a red flag in the event that a trading platform you’re considering does not adhere to any of the industry regulations put in place.
1.How to go about depositing and withdrawing money from an exchange? 2. Is bank transfers available on an exchange? 3. Is Credit or debit cards supported? 4. Is PayPal or your preferred payment method available on an exchange? 5. Trading pairs that are available on an exchange? 6. Checking if these currencies GBP, USD, EUR, or your country’s local currency can be traded on an exchange.
You can also go through the fees charged for both deposit and withdrawal at the same time. Payment services done with credit cards are more expensive compared to bank transfers.
Ease of use
This particular factor may not be possible to confirm before getting an account, nonetheless, you can interact with most platforms without having an account with them. You can visit the site and check how easy it is to locate your what you need.
You should check the account creation procedure. How simple and easy it can be? Do you need to verify your identity on the platform? Not every exchanges adhere to the KYC “know your customer” regulations. You should also check if the platform has a functional customer support service. Go through online reviews before signing up on any Exchange.
It is absolutely necessary to consider how easy it is to use an exchange. Currently, majority of these platforms has provided mobile and desktop applications added to the normal web interface. Nevertheless, not all exchanges offer this convenience. Although some platforms provide this options (mobile & desktop) may have a poor implementation of these apps. Therefore be sure to first of all download these applications and experience using them in order to determine if you can use them regularly.
Is access to an application programming interface “API” needed?
The API gives you the ability to get data from your account to show on a third party Exchange like; a crypto trading bot.
Many platforms support the API feature. To make use of the API, consider its function. *The data which can be remotely accessed. *The security of the API is also an essential factor to consider. *Is fund withdrawal permitted via the API? *Is there a possibility of changing this setting? Go through the functionality of the API settings to determine if you have absolute control that you need.
5 most trusted crypto exchanges to buy & sell digital assets
Binance was created by Changpeng Zhao (CZ) in the year 2017. At the initial stage, Binance was based in China, but along the line it relocated its headquarters to Japan and finally to Malta in search of a suitable regulatory environment.
Since 2018, Binance was crowned the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange( Crypto exchange ) in terms of trade volume, and currently still maintence it. Futhermore, it is the number one crypto-to-crypto trading platform having about 340 virtual assets and over 1,100 trading pairs available.
The firm created localized outlines in several countries in order to comply to specific local financial regulations. For example, it launched Binance America in the US; it launched Binance Singapore when it got to Singapore and also in India it went ahead to buy WazirX, a top local peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform.
Binance Services and Features
Binance has the most extensive list of features compared to any other crypto trading platform. Below are some of them:
- ▪️Trading – trading aspect it has these features; Peer-to-Peer, spot, margin and derivatives trading, OTC;
- ▪️Staking –in the aspect of staking it supports coins like; Binance Coin (BNB), Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA), Matic, EOS, Tron (TRX), IOST, Tezos (XTZ), Dash, and many more.
- ▪️Investing – investors can use Launchpad to crowdfund new blockchain projects.
- ▪️Learning – from the Binance Academy, users can get every information needed on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
- ▪️Lending – lend out your digital coins to other users on the Binance platform to earn a little profit or you can also borrow from other users on the platform to carry-out trades on Binance.
- ▪️Storage – Keep your digital coins in Binance’s affiliate wallet service “Trust Wallet” or you can simply store your coins in your account on the platform.
Geolocation and Payment Methods
At the beginning, the exchange started up as a crypto-to-crypto trading platform but later increased the payment methods available it accepted traditional currency deposits and allows purchases directly with fiat. Below are payment methods available on Binance:
- ▫️ Crypto deposits;
- ▫️Payment cards (Visa or Mastercard);
- ▫️Bank deposits or wire transfers for traditional currencies like; GBP, EUR, USD and more;
- ▫️ payment made through a 3rd party integrations like; Simplex, BANXA, and Koinal;
- ▫️over 60 payment methods available on the P2P platform.
- ▪️Deposits – free deposit. Nevertheless, the provider of a payment method may charge a fee for the transaction.
- ▪️Withdrawals – this depends on the network charges for each digital token.
- ▪️Transaction fee – charges can be up to 0.1% depending on the number of trades in the preceding 30-day. The higher the number of trades there is, the lower the fees charged. It also gives a 25% and 10% discount respectively on spot and derivative market trades, as fee for payments when using BNB coin.
Coinbase was established by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in June 2012, currently, Coinbase is one of the oldest digital currency exchanges ( Crypto exchange )and also one of the biggest and most trustworthy trading platforms in the crypto market. The headquarter of Coinbase is based in San Francisco, California.
Coinbase serves both as a broker and an exchange. It attends to both institutional and retail investors via its Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com properties. Coinbase covers for retail selling and buying or trading of low or medium quantities.
For those advanced traders who want to exchange their digital assets through the spot market, can make use of the Coinbase Pro interface.
Coinbase is very regulated aims to comply to all financial policies in every market to which it covers. It has the greatly sought-after BitLicense which is issued by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
Its branch in the UK – CB Payments Limited – the UK Financial Conduct Authority approved for the platform to offer services to the residents of Great Britain. It also keep to EU financial policies. These plus several other licenses grants it the right run in over 100 countries in the globe.
Services and Features
Various features supported by Coinbase includes:
- ▪️Trading – buying and selling of crypto through Coinbase.com and Trading of these assets on Coinbase Pro. Institutional clients can make use of Coinbase Prime to trade in large volumes.
- ▪️Staking – just like Binance, Coinbase allows its clients to earn staking rewards by holding a particular asset within their accounts. Some of the supported assets for this service include; Dai, Ethereum, Algorand, Tezos, and Cosmos.
- ▪️Storage – Coinbase provide a mobile and a web wallet for it’s retail clients to keep their digital coins. The mobile wallet is known as a Coinbase Wallet. Clients looking for a long-term solution for storing their digital coins can look for it in the Coinbase Vault. The Coinbase platform launched a Coinbase storage which is a custodian solution for institutional investors.
- ▪️Learning – “Coinbase Learn” is a service that provides informative and educative materials to Coinbase clients in order to get them up to speed on blockchain and cryptocurrency. Learners also receives rewards for taking part in the process.
- ▪️Investing – The exchange invests in startup businesses creating solutions within the blockchain ecosystem through the Coinbase Ventures. It also provide a payment integration solution that allows various businesses to receive cryptocurrencies as a form of payment on their online stores. This is known as Coinbase Commerce.
- ▪️Coinbase Card – in terms of payment, Coinbase is supporting more applicable method, and currently, Coinbase is providing its customers with the option to pay with a Visa debit card.
There are various payment methods supported by Coinbase made available to different clients depending on their location.
- ▫️Residents of the United States – Debiy card, Wire transfer,the Bankount (ACH), and PayPal.
- ▫️Residents of UK– payments are done through Faster Payments, 3D Secure Cards, SEPA Transfers, Instant Card Withdrawals, and PayPal. PayPal can not be used for deposit just withdrawals.
- ▫️EU Residents – residents of EU can use these payment methods; 3D Secure Cards, Ideal/Sofort, SEPA Transfers, 3D Secure Cards,Instant Card Withdrawals, and PayPal for withdrawals.
- ▫️Canadian Residents – Debit cards are used for deposit and PayPal are used for withdrawals
- ▫️Singapore Residents – the only supported payment method is Only 3D Secure cards both debit and credit cards
- ▫️Australian Residents – direct purchase of crypto can only be done using Debit cards.
- ▫️ Clients that are based in other countries can neither buy nor sell crypto. They can only allowed to exchange crypto coins amongst the various available assets.
Coinbase may not be the cheapest exchange to buy, sell, or trade crypto on. Nevertheless, its fees charged are one of the lowest in the whole cryptocurrency trading industry. The charges changes depending on the location and the chosen payment method of the user.
Below is a short rundown of the fees you may need to pay when you trade on the platform.
- ▫️Selling and buying – charges may run from $0.99 to $2.99 for trade between $1 and $200. Orders that go above $200 are subjected to a changing percentage fee which goes from 1.49% to 3.99% which depends on location and payment method.
- ▫️Crypto conversions – less than 2% of the transaction value.
- ▫️Free Deposits – deposits done in the US via ACH bank deposits, in the UK deposits done via the Faster Payments transfer and SEPA transfers, and in the Eurozone deposits done by SEPA transfers.
Kraken claims to be the most trusted and best-rated crypto exchange platform in the market. But most certainly it is the oldest standing Bitcoin trading platform since its launch in 2011 by Jesse Powell. It is also based in San Francisco, just like Coinbase.
Kraken is highly regulated, it offers several crypto trading pairs against many traditional currencies, which includes; AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY, and USD.
The exchange is available almost in all the countries in the world besides in ten countries with shakey bilateral relations with the US. Some of these countries include; Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Syria, etc. Ten other countries have restrictions on the payment methods, which includes; Namibia, Lebanon, Yemen, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen etc.
Notwithstanding its long lasting history, Kraken has not acquired the BitLicense from the NYDFS, which prevents it from working in New York. In addition, residents of Washington can’t make use of the service also.
Services and Features
- ▪️Trading – Kraken serves as a broker and an exchange at the same time, enabling its customers to buy, sell and trade various crypto assets. They also support OTC markets for high volume traders, margin trading, indices, and futures markets for derivatives traders.
- ▪️️Staking – just like Binance and Coinbase, Kraken enables staking services for its users with supporting coins like; Cosmos, Ethereum, Kava, Kusama, Polkadot, Tezos and many more.
- ▪️Learning – the platform offers in-depth educational resources from blog posts to tutorials to assist beginners to understand blockchain technology and crypto market related topics.
- ▪️Storage – similar to the majority of the trading platforms, Kraken also provides digital and fiat storage equipment via its web wallet with focus on security.
- ▪️Banking – this feature was recently announced to be released in 2021. Kraken gained the approval of charter in Wyoming, enabling it to create the “world’s number one Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI)”. The platform naming it the Kraken Bank. The exchange also stated that the Bank will be the “first ever regulated U.S. bank to provide extensive deposit, withdrawal, custody, and fiduciary services for digital coins”.
Kraken supports a large range of payment methods to credit your account. Which are dependent on the user’s location. They include:
- ▫️In the US – Etana Custody, Fedwire, the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) and SWIFT. Wire transfers are also available internationally for USD deposits.
- ▫️In the UK – BACS “a bank-to-bank transfer system”, CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System), Etana Custody, and Faster Payment.
- ▫️Within the Eurozone – Etana Custody and SEPA bank transfer. Wire transfers are also allowed for EUR deposits.
- ▫️The rest – Kraken also allows numerous other account funding options like; bank transfers, PayID for those in Australia, and in-Person deposits for users in Canada.
Kraken charges are different fees for both makers and takers on the trading platform and depending on the total number of preceding trades in 30-days. Makers are those that bring liquidity into the market by placing orders, but takers take liquidity away from the market by fulfilling those orders.
The platform fees are some of the lowest in the market and it’s highly competitive.
- ▫️Instant purchases – directly trading (buying or selling) on the Kraken App attracts a certain fee of 0.9% for stablecoins and 1.5% for other coins. This fee may get up to 3.75% + €0.25 when a client uses a payment card.
- ▫️Trading fees – the platform make use of a graduated scale to determine trading fees favoring higher trade volumes. Makers get better charge rates going from 0% to 0.16% however, takers’ charges go between 0.10% and 0.26%.
- Other products, like; margin and futures trading, also require a changing fee.
Bittrex was launched in 2014 by Bill Shihara, Richie Lei, Rami Kawach, and Ryan Hentza, it is a Seattle, Washington based crypto exchange. This particular crypto exchange at the initial stage launched as a crypto-to-crypto trading platform enabling its clients to trade their digital Coins for other digital Coins. Nonetheless, as time went on, the exchange has made available crypto purchases using traditional currencies like the US Dollar.
With reference to Coinmarketcap, Bittrex processes an average number of over $200 million worth of crypto trade daily. It ranks top 15 amongst Exchanges in terms of the trading volume.
Bittrex’s can boasts of its security. Notwithstanding its long history in the market, the exchange has been able to prevent any security incidents, something that the majority of its counterparts cannot claim. This achievement can be traced back to its founders, who have a combined fifty-plus years experience in the security field. In the past, the founders have described their method of exchange safety as “paranoid security.”
Bittrex exchange is a well known crypto trading platform. Since 2015, the exchange has been aiming to gain the New York BitLicense but has not been able to secure it. That’s to say it is not able to operate in New York as a virtual asset services provider (VASP) yet.
Services and Features
When compared to other well known Exchanges, Bittrex offers limited services. Up to this point, its clients are only able to access 2 services which are:
- ▪️Trading – clients can either go into spot or margin trading of about 330 available currencies across over 650 markets.
- ▪️Storage – Just like many other Exchanges, Bittrex also offers a web wallet service enabling their clients to store their virtual assets in a safe place. Nevertheless, wallets within the Exchanges are not the safest storages to store your digital Coins.
Payment methods available on Bittrex are just 2 which are:
- ▫️Crypto deposits
- ▫️Bank deposits for the USD currency
Bittrex charges are not expensive and can compete with other platforms on this basis. Just like other Trading platforms, it also enables creation of liquidity by charging lower fees to makers opposed to takers.
Relying on number of trades done in the last 30-day, Makers and takers on the platform are charged as follows:
- ▫️Makers are charged 0% – 0.5% of the transaction value,
- ▫️Takers are charged 0.05% – 0.5% of the transaction value.
The higher the value of the transactions the lower fees charged applied. Makers get charged Zero fees when the trade volume passes $60 million in a given 30-day period.
LocalCryptos (formerly LocalEthereum)
LocalCryptos serves as a peer-to-peer crypto exchange with a twist. Different from other P2P platforms like LocalBitcoins which are custodial Exchanges, LocalCryptos is a non-custodial exchange which means that users are able to hold their digital assets as they trade with one another. LocalCryptos does not support deposits and withdrawals.
At the Initial stage, LocalCryptos was launched as an Ethereum P2P platform permitting the buying and selling of only Ether (ETH) coins. Nevertheless, as it keeps growing, the Exchange grew to allow Bitcoin (BTC), Dash, and Litecoin (LTC).
How does it works
Customers post adverts on the platform permitting payments in different methods. And interested clients respond to those ads. The platform makes use of a smart contract escrow to hold assets when trading is taking place, and immediately both buyers and sellers confirm payment, and crypto Coins are transferred to the new owner.
The smart contract holding service operates on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
LocalCryptos is a worldwide Peer-to-Peer marketplace for trading digital Coins. It permits trades to be executed via above 40 payment methods. Several well known means to fund a trade on the platform include:
- ▫️Bank transfer;
- ▫️Chipper cash;
- ▫️In-person cash transfer;
- ▫️SEPA bank transfers;
- ▫️Western Union;
- ▫️International wire;
- ▫️Venmo, etc.
When a payment system is more popular in your residential country, it can be considered to be; a safe and a sustainable payment method on the platform.
The platform only demands holding fees which are divided between buyer and the seller.
- ▫️Maker which is the trade poster – pays 0.25% of the transaction value
- ▫️Taker who is the trade responder – a taker pays 0.75% of the transaction value
In addition, the service provider charges a proprietary fee based on the payment method.
You now know the top 5 crypto exchanges to trade your virtual assets in 2021. You’ve seen how to evaluate trading platforms to determine the most suitable one for you. Different factors added together makes a safe and convenient exchange platform.
We have highlighted the top 5 exchanges from our selection in the Market based on certain important factors. They are as follows; Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Bittrex, and LocalCryptos.
Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, offer extra services besides trading, providing extra great experiences. Nonetheless, Bittrex and LocalCryptos also have their own unique alternatives.
You can make your pick from any of these platforms.
Crypto Exchanges | FAQs
What is the most trusted crypto exchange?
An exchange is seen as trustworthy when it follows all the relevant financial policies, maintains the highest level of safety and security possible and its business practices are transparent. The top trustworthy exchanges are:
Which crypto exchange has the lowest trading fees?
Exchanges that demand some of the lowest trading fees* (talking about % per trade value) are:
- Binance (0.10%);
- Kraken (0.20%);
- Bitfinex (0.200%);
- Poloniex (0.125%).
Fees can be changed by the service provider without notice.
What is the best exchange to buy and sell Bitcoin?
A great exchange aims to provide the best possible customer service experience. Among other factors are creating intuitive interfaces for both the mobile and web UI, providing the required services of the clients, and following strict security and safety rules to protect clients’ assets. From all the considered factors, the top exchange choosen to buy and sell Bitcoin are as follow:
Is Binance Crypto Exchange more better than Kraken Crypto Exchange and Coinbase Crypto Exchange?
Binance has several points over Coinbase and Kraken, so also does Coinbase and Kraken over Binance. So it doesn’t matter if Binance is much better than the other two platforms or not, it all depends on the platform that suits your needs.