We’re living in an age of rapid cryptocurrency expansion and whether you're new to the crypto world or a veteran investor—it can often get a little intimidating. From real-life scams to high fees that feel like a scam, one wrong choice can cause a lot of financial damage in the crypto universe.
When choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange, there are various factors that you should take into consideration, as there are a lot of options to choose from. With varying deposit and withdrawal fees, identity verification requirements, payment options, and user experiences, the list is endless.
This article will help you make the right choice by guiding you through the basics of crypto exchanges and providing you with a list of the best crypto exchanges to support your specific, digital assets needs.
What Is A Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange also called a Digital Currency Exchange (DCE), is a business that enables you to trade digital currencies or cryptocurrencies. In other words, it provides liquidity for you to trade your cryptocurrency for USD, stablecoins, or other altcoins. The buying and selling of orders on the exchange help determine the market price of a cryptocurrency.
How Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Work?
Cryptocurrency exchanges work similarly to stock exchanges, where investors can either place a limit order or a sell order on an exchange, providing liquidity for other investors on the same platform. The buy and sell orders can be placed either as market orders or limit orders.
Market orders buy the crypto asset at the market price, whereas limit orders buy or sell crypto at the price specified by you. If the market price doesn't reach the price of your limit order, then your order will not get executed.
Which Features Make The Best Crypto Exchange?
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best cryptocurrency exchange. Here are the most important ones from our review methodology to help you get started.
The first thing to look out for when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange is to determine what sorts of currencies it supports. This isn’t just about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, but it is also important to know whether it exchanges for fiat currencies and which ones are available.
Security Measures On Crypto Trading Sites
The second most important factor to consider when looking for the best crypto exchange for your needs is security. The best cryptocurrency exchanges take great care to uphold their reputation by ensuring fund security, making sure the privacy of your identifiable information is safe, and securing against potential hackers and scammers. Common security measures to look for include:
- Detailed user ID verification
- Two-factor authentication
- Latest encryption protocols
- Asset insurance
Methods Of Deposit And Withdrawal
Just like currencies, it’s very important to determine which method of transaction can be used by you on cryptocurrency platforms. Even the best cryptocurrency website will be of no use to people using a credit or debit card, or bank transfers if their chosen transaction method isn’t supported by it. Another popular choice these days are eWallets.
Just like banks, cryptocurrency exchanges make their money mostly through exchange rates. That being said, you may still be charged several types of fees, such as deposit, withdrawal, CFD trading, and inactivity fees. Another essential part of every crypto transaction is the transaction fees. The point here is to look for an exchange with the lowest fees of sorts.
A crypto trading platform will go a long way towards creating a positive experience if it is well-designed and provides a smooth user experience. Digital currency exchanges can be confusing if offered in the form of a clunky user interface with a flood of poorly presented information. Apart from a well-designed user interface, crypto exchange reviews often reflect the value of having good mobile apps and wallet apps on your chosen platform.
While not mandatory, these can make the experience of selling and buying cryptocurrency better and give you more options for trading on the go.
Lastly, the quality of customer support at various cryptocurrency exchanges is an important consideration for choosing a crypto exchange. Whether you’re new to the website, new to cryptocurrency in general, or simply have a technical or transaction-related issue, good customer support can give you a seamless and enjoyable experience.
The Best Crypto Exchanges in The USA
1. Best For Security Features: Coinbase
Coinbase, launched in 2012, has been synonymous with cryptocurrency trading for almost a decade. It is now a tried-and-tested route for those seeking to enter the crypto space. Coinbase has nearly 40 supported cryptocurrencies, a fantastic wallet app, and excellent security features. This makes it one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
- A beginner user-friendly interface
- Straightforward and comfortable exchange of cryptocurrencies
- Direct purchase
- US regulatory compliant
- Holds 98% of cryptocurrencies offline in cold storage
- Higher transaction fees
- Lower selection of cryptocurrencies than other exchanges
- Lack of advanced crypto exchange features
2. Best For Mobile App: Gemini
Since its inception in 2014, Gemini has grown to be a true industry powerhouse and one of the most regulated cryptocurrency exchanges globally and holds one of the super-strict New York BitLicenses. Apart from these, a lot of other features make it the best crypto exchange in the USA with the highest trading volume.
- The mobile app for trading on the go (both iOS and Android)
- Works with US regulators to ensure best practices
- High trading volume
- One of the highest exchange liquidity in the US
- Charges a commission fee as well as a convenience fee for mobile app users
- Credit or debit card payments not available
- Fewer cryptos available
3. Best For Beginners: Coinmama
A popular financial service from Israel, Coinmama has since 2013 been focused on the ease of cryptocurrency purchases through a wide variety of payment options. It acts not as a centralized crypto trading post, but as a marketplace where you can not only purchase cryptocurrencies using a credit card, debit card, wire transfer, Fedwire, FasterPayments, Sofort, and Apple Pay but also directly sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies.
With a strong focus on customer support and service, Coinmama is the best crypto exchange for those looking to make their first cryptocurrency transaction.
- Various payment methods can be used
- Quick transactions
- One of the fastest account verification
- High purchase and sales fees
- No crypto-to-crypto exchanges
- Customer support only via email
4. Best For Low Trading Fees: eToro
eToro is a social trading platform that has been around since 2007 and is more than just a cryptocurrency exchange platform. It can be considered the best cryptocurrency exchange in the USA that allows users to actively trade a wide variety of cryptocurrency/fiat pairings such as BTC/USD and XRP/EUR, utilizing multiple market orders. Users can also access stocks, commodities, FX, ETFs, and indices. eToro is a great option to consider with about 15 cryptocurrencies, a great platform, and some unique perks for its traders.
- Allows copy trading
- Low fees
- Flexible market orders via market and limit orders
- Margin trading by long or short a cryptocurrency pairing
- No defined fee structure
- Market spreads on certain digital assets are often variable and sometimes high
- Limited cryptocurrencies option
5. Best For Advanced Traders: Binance
Binance was formed as a US-regulated subsidiary of the Binance global exchange and is now one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, and probably the most famous. It is an option mostly considered by investors looking to make large purchases in the crypto market. Binance offers over 50 different cryptocurrencies to trade and is a good option for anyone who wants more advanced charting than most other exchanges.
- Over-the-counter purchases over $10,000
- Minimal transaction fees
- One of the broadest range of cryptocurrencies
- Limited crypto-to-crypto pairs
- A slow process of identification, verification, and signup
- Not accessible from every single state in the US
6. Best For Altcoins: Changelly
Changelly, launched in 2013 in Prague, is known for the wide range of cryptocurrencies it allows you to buy. Unlike other crypto exchanges on the market, it doesn’t require any personal information from its users, which makes for a refreshingly privacy-centric cryptocurrency exchange in comparison to many of its competitors.
- Best crypto prices in the market
- Mobile app support
- Exchange over 140 cryptos for low fees
- Excellent customer support in the form of video guides, help center, and email support
- Integrated with many popular wallets and exchanges
- No crypto trading
- The high rate associated with direct fiat currencies using credit or debit card
- Cryptocurrency prices set by Changelly
7. Best For Margin Trading: CEX.IO
If you’re new to the crypto world and you’re looking for the best sites to buy cryptocurrency, CEX.IO could be the best crypto choice for you. It was initially associated with the now-closed cloud mining site GHash.io, which contributed to the early success of CEX.IO. However, in October 2016 – it launched margin trading.
This is one of the easiest crypto exchanges to figure out, which is why it suits beginners so well. It is a reliable platform that can also work for more experienced cryptocurrency traders.
- Good levels of security
- Provides good user experience
- Unlimited withdrawals
- High trading volume
- Mobile app support
- Various payment methods (credit card, debit card, bank transfer)
- Comparatively high fees
- A limited number of currencies supported
- Lacks customer service
8. Best For Purchasing Bitcoin: Paxful
Paxful is a popular peer-to-peer network where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as it does not store cryptocurrency on its own system. The accepted payment options in Paxful are outstanding. You can buy Bitcoin with almost anything, including gift cards and goods and services. Another striking feature is that with Paxful’s help, online merchants can get paid in BTC through a simple process.
- User-friendly interface
- No transaction fees
- Connects buyers and sellers
- More than 300 payment options
- All fiat currencies available
- Two-factor authentication
- Banned in New York
- Anonymity involved and in-person trades
- Does not provide any other cryptocurrency apart from Bitcoin
- Only for buyers and sellers, not traders
9. Best For Investors: Crypto.com
Crypto.com was launched in 2018 and offers the ability to spend cryptocurrencies with a prepaid Visa card. This makes Crypto.com an outstanding choice for the frequent cryptocurrency investor looking to utilize cryptocurrencies.
- Token holders can earn interest on staked investments
- Deposits via bank transfer do not incur any fees
- 20+ different fiat currencies for the purchase of 100+ cryptocurrencies
- Not a good choice for beginners
- Overwhelming for new investors
- Limited access to features
10. Best For Swapping Crypto For Crypto: CoinSwitch
Launched in 2017, CoinSwitch is an exchange aggregator. That is, it doesn’t focus on buying or selling crypto but lets you trade cryptocurrencies through an order book for other cryptos. It finds the best rates across multiple cryptocurrency exchanges so the user can swap and trade cryptocurrencies with the optimum market rate at the time.
- One of the fastest options for swapping cryptocurrencies
- More than 400 cryptocurrencies can be exchanged
- Beginners friendly user interface
- Focuses on crypto-to-crypto exchanges, cannot purchase crypto with fiat
- Pay an exchange fee and network fee for each transaction
- Price slippage may be an issue for less popular coins
The Bottom Line
With nearly 8,000 different cryptocurrencies, the total market capitalization of almost US$600 billion, and a daily volume of over US$100 million, cryptocurrencies have never been bigger, and the growth trend is only going to improve. And, we hope you understand that when choosing your crypto exchange, there isn’t just one answer—it all depends on your personal goals as an investor.