The Best Crypto Exchange 2023: Complete Guide

When you want to trade in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, many factors come into play. For instance, safety and security are some of the vital aspects to consider when you want to buy and sell cryptos. While cryptocurrency wallets are important for storing, sending, and receiving bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, they cannot convert one cryptocurrency to another. Crypto exchanges, thus come into the picture when you want to trade in cryptocurrency. Crypto exchanges convert or exchange one type of currency (fiat and/or crypto) to another. 

When it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges, there is no One Size Fits Them All rule. Because every user is unique and has their own set of requirements. Whatever the reason, whether you want to trade or exchange cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Altcoin, you will give importance to certain features. For instance, while you may prefer the level of anonymity, other traders may look for privacy or may lay emphasis on the exchange’s simple user interface. 

Choosing the right crypto exchange is crucial, especially when investing in cryptocurrencies that are highly volatile digital assets. Although over the years, crypto trading has advanced, making it safe and secure, there’s always the threat of scams and Bitcoin thefts. While cryptocurrency users and traders must be extra vigilant, choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange makes it quite simple, ensuring safety. So, what is a cryptocurrency exchange?

Introduction to Cryptocurrency Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchanges are services or websites which enable users to exchange cryptocurrency for other traditional currencies and/or digital currencies. In a layman’s language, a cryptocurrency exchange helps users convert fiat currencies like EUR or USD, etc. to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. and vice versa at the applicable current marketplace cryptocurrency rates. 

Most often they enable users to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies as well. Nevertheless, they differ from a cryptocurrency wallet where users can send or receive, and store cryptocurrency. 

Cryptocurrency wallets store cryptocurrencies, but unlike exchanges, wallets cannot convert cryptocurrency to Fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) or other cryptos. While this may be true, exchanges over the years have integrated wallets enabling users to store cryptocurrencies in the exchange’s wallet. Here, the users can access the wallet through their registered account. 

Also, most of the exchanges over the years are incorporating additional features for better user experience. These include the cold storage support for storing digital tokens offline. In fact, some exchanges have their own hardware wallets for storing cryptocurrency tokens. And, users can consider these additional features and support systems while choosing the exchange for enhanced safety and user experience.

As established earlier, there are different types of crypto exchanges for a broad spectrum of users, which are as follows:

Types of Crypto Exchanges

Broadly, crypto exchanges are categorized as;

  • Centralized Crypto Exchange
  • Decentralized Crypto Exchange

Centralized Exchanges

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are where investors can buy, sell blockchain tokens using fiat or other crypto-currencies. They differ from decentralized services as a third-party authority is involved in the case of a centralized exchange. Thus, it is a service where the exchange takes place between the traders and the service provider. 

Decentralized Exchanges

A decentralized cryptocurrency exchange also referred to as DEX operates in a decentralized way, meaning without the involvement of a central authority. Thus, decentralized exchanges are also known as peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges.

While decentralized platforms protect from hackers and account thefts, they are also known to allow anonymous transactions. Thus, users looking for anonymity can opt for these types of exchanges. 

Apart from this, cryptocurrency exchanges are of the following basic types; 

  • Trading Platforms
  • Direct Trading
  • Online Brokers

Trading platforms are typically websites that facilitate sellers to connect with potential cryptocurrency buyers and vice versa. These trading platforms charge trading fees for every transaction.

Direct trading platforms as the name suggests, enable direct trading between one individual to another, while also facilitating currency exchanges from their bank account irrespective of the country. Unlike the regular trading platforms with fixed market rates, direct trading platforms have exchange rates, which are assigned by the sellers.

Online trading brokers are basically web-based trading platforms where users can buy the cryptocurrencies at exchange rates, which are assigned by the broker. And, thus, similar to Forex brokers. 

Note: Cryptocurrency trading is subject to market risks. Considering the trading volume of your crypto will help you make informed decisions when trading cryptocurrencies. Trading volumes typically provide information on a trend or trend reversal. Thus, trading volumes are indicators or signals for buying/selling cryptos. Kraken, Binance, etc. are some of the exchanges offering trading volume information on their platform. 

Top 15 Cryptocurrency Exchanges: The Complete Review

We have enlisted 15 best cryptocurrency exchanges that are suitable for different types of crypto traders. 

1. Coinbase

Coinbase is based in San Francisco, California, the United States with over 4 million active users from over 32 countries around the globe. In fact, it is one of the largest and popular centralized exchanges. Coinbase allows both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto exchanges. 

Coinbase was one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges, considered as one of the forerunners, which not only popularized them, but also enabled users to invest and transact using cryptocurrencies. 

Coinbase Exchange - #1 Trading Platform
Coinbase

As one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase enables users to buy, sell, and convert a multitude of cryptocurrencies including and not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Lumens, Tezos, Algorand, Chainlink, among others. 

The exchange platform, Coinbase, supports different types of payment methods, right from bank transfer to Credit Cards to PayPal, to name a few. Trading is quite easy on Coinbase where users must first establish an e-wallet account, while linking it to their bank account or credit card, debit card, or valid payment gateways for purchasing bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. 

While Coinbase is believed to be the best cryptocurrency exchange platform for beginners or newcomers, Coinbase Pros was introduced for more advanced and professional traders. In fact, the latter is an all-inclusive crypto exchange with advanced trading tools for professional traders. 

Recurring buys is another salient feature of Coinbase, where it allows investors to trade in cryptocurrency at scheduled intervals. Also, the crypto exchange recently initiated Comp Trading or compound trading.

Coinbase supports the cold storage of cryptocurrencies where it can store up to 98% of its virtual assets in cold storage. Thus, your digital asset, which is in cold storage cannot be accessed by hackers and also cannot be manipulated via the internet as they are stored as physical copy offline. 

Apart from this, Coinbase is well-known for its safety and security standards. For instance, the exchange features a mandatory 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) or two-step verification process. In fact, Coinbase has insure policy, safeguarding the users’ cryptocurrencies while enabling safe conversions and transactions. 

Coinbase Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Enhanced safety and security  Higher spreads 
 Coinbase exchange platform has the best customer services  High service fees
 Known for simplicity with easy User Interface for a better User Experience
 Supports both Fiat-to-Crypto and Crypto-to-Crypto exchange
 Highly regulated crypto exchange with additional verification processes like email verification

2. CashApp

Yet another suitable cryptocurrency exchange for beginners with its easy user interface is the iOS and Android application, Cash App. As a peer-to-peer or P2P exchange like Venmo, Cash App is similar to Robinhood as well where it allows trading or investing in ETFs, stocks, apart from cryptocurrency. 

CashApp - Cryptocurrency Exchange

While Cash App allows users to send and receive fiat currencies like USD, EUR, it also enables them to buy bitcoin or BTC. Cash app makes it into the list of the best crypto exchanges as users can buy, sell BTC, while they can withdraw the trading profits to their bank account. It is also compatible with Bitcoin wallets, enabling the transfer of Bitcoin to Cash App. 

Users can also use their Visa Debit Card for money transfer on Cash App where sending and receiving currency is free of cost. However, businesses must pay a standard 2.7% transaction fees for receiving funds or payments. Buying and selling bitcoin using one’s personal account is also free. 

The standard deposit and withdrawal are free while it takes up to three working days. Instant deposit and withdrawal are also an option, however, trading fees of 1.5% applies. Also, fixed fees of 3% apply when using your credit card.

Installing the app and login process is free. While users can send and receive the money within standard limits, as follows: Sending limit is up to $250 for a period of seven-days while the receiving limit is up to 1000 USD for 30 days. Users can also increase the payment limits after verifying their ID, and by providing details like name, date of birth, last four digits of SSN, etc. 

The downside is that Cash App is accessed by users from only 50 states in the United States, while another version of the app was recently launched in the United Kingdom.

Cash App Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Easy to use mobile app for crypto exchanges   Only accessible by 50 states in the US
 Can connect Bank account, credit card or debit card to Cash App account  Cash App for the UK users has limited features
 Two-step authentication process with 2FA
 Free for standard deposit and withdrawal limits

3. Binance Exchange

One of the largest and best crypto coin exchanges suitable for trading Altcoins, Binance is a centralized, crypto-only exchange platform. Binance cryptocurrency exchange was established by Changpeng Zhao who is known for developing software for the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Tradebook by Bloomberg. Presently, Binance is regulated under the Malta Financial Services Authority. However, the cryptocurrency exchange recently launched Binance US, which is regulated under the United States regulations and regulatory bodies.

Binance Exchange

Although a crypto-only exchange, Binance also allows margin trading, while the base unit of trading is always BTC. Nevertheless, Binance supports a myriad of cryptocurrency pairing of over 600 types involving Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, to name a few, while more than 150 types of cryptocurrencies can be traded on this cryptocurrency exchange.

Binance cryptocurrency exchange exclusively offers Binance coin or BNB to its users. Typically, for other tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and also stablecoin like Tether, etc., standard trading fees of 0.1% applies. And, this can be reduced by 25% more when using BNB for payment. 

The standard withdrawal limit is up to 2 BTC/day. However, to increase the limit, traders must upload a photo ID alongside a selfie photograph. After which, users can withdraw up to 1000BTC/day. 

While the Binance crypto exchange does not support payments made in USD, it supports 20 other fiat currencies like EUR, GBP, AUD, etc. In fact, users can also purchase cryptocurrencies using their credit or debit cards. 

Binance Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Supports over 600 cryptocurrency trading pairs and 150 cryptos  Average customer support
 Considerably low fee or transaction charges of 0.1%
 Simple User Interface for best user experience

4. Bisq

Bisq Exchange, initially known as Bitsquare is a P2P application and an open-source exchange. As a decentralized crypto exchange, Bisq requires no registration and thus users are provided with anonymity. Nevertheless, it is a safe and secure platform as Bisq supports multisig trade wallets, while it never holds the traders’ funds. What makes Bisq platform the best exchange? It is the fact that traders, regardless of their nationality, can trade without providing their personal information. 

Bitsquare Decentralized Crypto Exchange

Bisq supports both fiat and cryptocurrency exchanges. While the trading fees are payable in Bisq’s native cryptocurrency, BSQ and in BTC, the maker-taker side fees for BTC is 0.20% and 0.60% respectively. Nevertheless, while paying in BSQ, the maker side trading fees is 0.10% and the taker side fees is 0.30%. 

What makes Bisq the best exchange? Trading using Bisq is quite safe, as it is a non-custodial crypto exchange, meaning the users are in complete control of their funds. Also, Bisq is easy to download and use, and it is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones. 

Bisq Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 No KYC required  Comparatively low liquidity
 Highly secure  Low trading volume
 Good customer support  Unsuitable for active trading

5. Bitbuy.ca Cold Storage Exchange Wallet

Initially known as Instabit and renamed as Bitbuy cryptocurrency exchange, Bitbuy.ca is one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that offer the utmost transparency. In fact, Bitbuy.ca is the best cryptocurrency exchange for Canadians.

Bitbuy.ca Cold Storage Exchange Wallet

One of the salient features of Bitbuy.ca is that it allows users to store at least 95% of their funds offline or in cold storage. As a secure crypto exchange, it employs a 2FA or a two-step authentication process for added safety.

As the best cryptocurrency exchange for Canadians, the Bitbuy platform supports fiat deposit payments in CAD or Canadian dollars only. Nevertheless, a plethora of cryptocurrencies ranging from BTC, ETH, XRP, etc. can be traded on Bitbuy.ca.

While CAD can be deposited via bank transfer, Express Interac e-transfer, Interac e-transfer, Bitbuy does not support the use of credit and/or debit card for purchasing cryptocurrencies.

Bitbuy typically offers two types of trading services; Pro Trade, which is a traditional order book style trading platform, and Express trade, where traders can buy and sell cryptocurrencies using CAD fiat currency.

Trading fees of 0.50% apply for buying and selling in Express Trade, while maker fees of 0.10% and taker fees of 0.20% apply in Pro Trade. Apart from this, flat wire transfer fees of 0.50% and e-Transfer fees of 1.50% respectively also apply.

Bitbuy.ca Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Easy to use  Only CAD fiat currency supported
 Supports fiat-to-crypto exchange  North American telephone number mandatory for registration

6. Xcoins

Xcoins exchange differs from the other crypto exchanges as it is a trading platform that provides cryptocurrency loans. Typically, the loans are offered in the form of collateralized Bitcoin for traders buying bitcoins using their credit card.

Xcoins connects bitcoin lenders to BTC borrowers. Thus, Xcoins is ideal for traders who do not want to sell Bitcoins but want to earn money by lending them to potential borrowers.

Basically, Xcoins exchange is accessible to US citizens alongside a few countries with a PayPal facility.

Xcoins for Cryptocurrency Exchange

Xcoins Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 P2P Bitcoin lending exchange  No cold-storage
 Safe transaction secured by SSL encryption  The borrower must pay the loan origination fees along with payment processing fees.
 Users can borrow bitcoins using their credit card

7. ChangeNOW

As a non-custodial exchange, ChangeNOW is registered under ChangeNOW International Ltd, based in Seychelles. ChangeNOW also has offices in the Netherlands and Amsterdam. Known for offering limitless deposits and withdrawals, ChangeNOW is ideal for professional traders. While the site offers user anonymity, it is also quite reliable and facilitates faster transactions.

Another important feature is that ChangeNOW has no restricted countries unlike the other exchanges. The platform is easy to use and is accessible from anywhere in the world. ChangeNow supports more than 30000 cryptocurrency trading pairs, while it supports more than 170 blockchain tokens.

ChangeNOW - Non-custodial Exchange

ChangeNow Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Largest number of trading pairs in the world  Comparatively high fees
 Supports more than 170 digital currencies
 No limits on maximum and minimum withdrawals and deposits

8. Kraken Exchange

Yet another largest cryptocurrency exchange platform. Kraken is one of the best crypto exchanges for both beginners and experienced traders. The trading platform supports both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto exchange. And, as a top-tier exchange, Kraken implements best practices where safety and security elements are concerned. Some of the features ensuring user account safety include hardware authentication with devices like the YubiKey apart from the universal 2nd-factor authentication or U2F, master account lock, info-leakage protection, among others.

Similar to most of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, the Kraken exchange employs severe KYC protocols and verification processes. Thus, it is widely preferred as Kraken offers the utmost security. 

Kraken Exchange

Kraken supports over 138 cryptocurrency pairs where traders can buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via both bank transfer and crypto transfer. The fiat currencies supported on the Kraken exchange include USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CHF, and JPY. Kraken is one of the high liquidity-enabled exchanges.

Apart from margin trading with up to 5x leverage, the Kraken exchange also supports Forex trading and futures trading. Thus, Kraken is one of the popular cryptocurrency exchanges.

Compared to other crypto exchanges, Kraken has one of the lowest fees, which are as follows; flat 0.00% fees for makers and 0.10% fees for takers when trading more than $10,000,000/month.

While Kraken is an exchange, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world, only the following countries are restricted on the trading platform; Afghanistan, Cuba, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, and Tajikistan.

Kraken Exchange Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Facilitates margin trading  No credit or debit card deposit payment method
 High Liquidity
 Low fees

9. CEX.io Cryptocurrency Exchange

Cex.io is a UK-based crypto exchange. Since its inception in 2013, CEX.io has grown as one of the preferred exchanges with some of the most sophisticated tools for advanced traders. CEX.io is a registered and secure exchange operated under the Money Services Business with FinCEN in the US.

CEX.io Cryptocurrency Exchange

The level 2 DSS certification makes CEX.io a highly secure exchange platform. Also, CEX.io enables both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto exchange while it supports USD, EUR, GBP, RUB.

CEX.io exchange offers fairly high liquidity and also enables cross-platform exchange via different APIs and applications. Another version of the exchange, CEX.io Broker, allows margin trading.

CEX.io Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Registered crypto exchange  High service fee
 Level two DSS certificate for safety
Cross-platform exchange

10. ShapeShift Exchange

ShapeShift is a crypto-crypto only exchange founded in the year 2013. Also, known as an instant cryptocurrency exchange, it supports the conversion of Altcoins to Bitcoin tokens and other cryptocurrencies.

ShapeShift supports the cold storage of your blockchain token. In fact, the ShapeShift exchange procured the popular hardware wallet, KeepKey. Thus, shapeShift is an ideal platform when you are seeking privacy and enhanced security standards.

ShapeShift Exchange

Shapeshift Exchange Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Supports instant transactions  No fiat currency payment option
 A suitable platform for a multitude of altcoins  Crypto-only exchange
 Owns KeepKey Hardware wallet
 Best in the industry privacy standards

11. Poloniex Exchange

Poloniex is a Seychelles-based world-wide crypto-to-crypto exchange. Although a very recently launched exchange, it enables buying and selling of cryptocurrency in more than 100 markets.

Poloniex features cold storage support. It also offers enhanced security against DoS attacks and robot infiltration. Registry locks preventing unauthorized transactions along with IP lockouts and Email confirmations are some of the other important features of Poloniex.

Poloniex has mobile compatible apps for iPhone and Android smartphones. As a platform suitable for both beginners and advanced traders, the exchange features multiple payment options as well.

Poloniex Legendary Crypto Exchange

Poloniex Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Features IEO launchpad  Unregulated
 Instant transactions
 Low fees
 Better customer support

12. Bitstamp Exchange

Bitstamp is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, which is a centralized exchange. Bitstamp is a fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto exchange. Thus, users can buy cryptocurrencies using fiat money like USD, EUR, CNY, RUB, etc.

Bank transfers and credit cards are some of the payment methods supported by Bitstamp exchange.

Bitstamp - Oldest Cryptocurrency Exchange

Standard 5% charges on purchasing cryptocurrencies using credit cards apply, while the debit card withdrawal fee starts from 10 USD and depends on the withdrawal amount. For all trades below $20000, a transaction fee of 25% applies.

Users can also access and control their Bitstamp account via Bitstamp API. However, for every 10 minutes, requests that are more than 600 are allowed. Bitstamp exchange offers two types of crypto trading accounts namely; personal account and corporate account. As the names suggest, a business account is for commercial use while a personal account is for non-commercial or personal use.

Bitstamp Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Highly regulated  No user anonymity
 Stringent verification process  High fees

13. LocalBitcoins

What makes LocalBitcoins different from the other crypto exchanges is that it acts as a trading platform that helps users communicate directly for buying and selling bitcoin manually. That said, LocalBitcoins facilitates a myriad of payment methods like PayPal, Wire transfer SEPA, MoneyGram, Skrill, Payza, etc. A cash deposit is also a type of payment method at LocalBitcoins. 

The built-in escrow feature for enhanced security is yet another feature of LocalBitcoins. While LocalBitcoins allows users to buy bitcoin anonymously, the site also features 2FA and email verification when users log in from another browser. Thus, although a decentralized, open-source crypto exchange, LocalBitcoins offers the utmost transparency and safety. 

While it is free to register, sell, and buy bitcoins, LocalBitcoin users creating advertisements need to pay transaction fees of 1% whenever they complete a trade. Transacting from one LocalBitcoins user’s wallet to another is again free. However, charges apply when users send BTC to non-LocalBitcoins user wallets.

LocalBitcoins - Buy And Sell Bitcoin Everywhere

LocalBitcoins Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Different type of payment method to choose from  Prone to scammers as it provides user anonymity
 Super-fast transactions
 Accessible from most the countries globally
 Very low fees

14. Coinmama

 Coinmama is an Israel-based cryptocurrency exchange or broker registered under Slovakia. While users from over 188 countries from around the world can access the crypto exchange, Coinmama is accessible to only 23 states in the US, which are listed below;

Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Coinmama - Top Cryptocurrency Exchange

As one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinmama facilitates the buying of a myriad of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. using multiple payment options like a credit card, SEPA, and SWIFT transfer, etc.

Coinmama presently supports cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, EOS, etc. The Fiat money supported include USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and CAD.

The crypto exchange charges standard service fees of 5.9% along with an additional 5% fee on using a credit card.

Users can buy bitcoin using fiat money like USD, EUR, CAD, etc. Typically, the buying limit at Coinmama depends on the user’s account level, while there are basically three levels. Level 1 has a daily buying limit and monthly buying limit of $5000 and $15000 respectively. Also, depending on the level, users must provide various levels of verifications. For instance, level 1 requires users to submit a government-issued ID along with the user’s selfie, while level 2 requires 2 ID proofs, and level 3 requires the user to fill a short application form.

Coinmama Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Faster transactions and delivery speed  Very high transaction fees, which makes it one of the most expensive exchanges for cryptocurrency trading. 
 Optimal user interface
 Good customer support

15. SwapZone

Rather than an exchange, Swapzone.io is referred to as a comparison platform that aggregates various exchanges. The objective here is to provide the best offer and exchange rates to traders. Ideal for comparing the exchange rates of various other platforms, SwapZone, as the name suggests, allows users to swap digital currencies on a single interface. 

In other words, SwapZone aggregates the best exchange rates and presents them to traders as per the traders’ enquiry or request. 

SwapZone - Exchange Crypto Now!

SwapZone Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
 Traders can access and make use of the services without registration Cryptocurrency transaction orders cannot be reverted or canceled
 Non-custodial service providers  Sum received after exchange may differ from the predicted rate
 24/7 customer support

Conclusion

 Ultimately, choosing an exchange that works for you is a process, considering factors like trading fees, security, and geographical restrictions is essential and this takes time if you’re a beginner. Every trader is unique and has different expectations and requirements. Beginners who want to test the waters should go for exchanges like Coinbase, CashApp, and Binance. Experienced traders can choose from Coinbase Pro, Bitsquare or Bisq, and Kraken. At the end of the day, you still have many exchanges to choose from; you can experiment and take calculated risks to see which platform gets you more profit. 

FAQs on Crypto Exchanges

1. How do I choose a Cryptocurrency exchange?

Ans. Before you begin trading, it’s crucial that you do a little research before you jump right in. When choosing an exchange, you need to consider its reputation, trading fees, payment methods, verification requirements, geographical restrictions, and the exchange rate itself.

2. Are cryptocurrency exchanges regulated?

Ans. Unlike stock exchanges, Cryptocurrency exchanges do not have a central regulatory authority. Due to the absence of an authority that protects investors from scams and frauds, crypto regulation varies by state.

3. Are cryptocurrency exchanges safe?

Ans. As long as the cryptocurrency exchange is transparent about its storage & security methods, you can consider the exchange in question to be a safe one.

4. Are cryptocurrency exchanges taxable?

Ans. While you have to pay taxes when using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for transactions, authorities do not explicitly mandate exchanges. Coinbase does keep a report of user transactions and trading history, and there has been news that the IRS might start the process of keeping tabs on virtual transactions.