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Picking the best crypto exchange isn’t a simple gesture. To come to these choices we compared dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges on a variety of factors, including but not limited to user-experience, fees, payment methods and selection of cryptocurrencies.
In our opinion, the best crypto exchanges depend on your situation:
Determining your cryptocurrency exchange needs will help you find the best crypto exchange for you. Don’t be afraid to use multiple exchanges to benefit from their specific perks, as fees are typically only charged when you perform trades.
Bitbuy is an all-Canadian easy-to-use exchange, offering people of all skill levels the chance to buy, sell and trade popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.
When making a deposit on CoinSmart you can use Interac e-Transfers, credit card, debit card, bank drafts and bank wire payments. First-time users will need to go through the verification process, but this only takes a few minutes. Most payments are processed on the same day, while card payments are available in your account instantly. CAD withdrawals can be made directly to your bank account. Meanwhile, CoinSmart has 24/7 customer service with a range of contact methods.
Binance is popular for a reason, but it’s also a crypto-only exchange, meaning you’ll need to buy some cryptocurrency with fiat, and then deposit that onto the exchange before you can start trading on Binance.
You’ll find a lot of selection on Kucoin, although the available liquidity for each will vary.
Warning: The KuCoin domain has reportedly been locked in Singapore, and the company is reportedly facing legal challenges as it goes through a restructuring process.
If you use KuCoin, it may be safest not to leave any cryptocurrency on the exchange longer than necessary.
Bitfinex has one of the most liquid cryptocurrency markets out of all exchanges, allowing you to buy, sell and trade over 120 different coins.
Cryptocurrency is held in digital wallets. Some exchanges will give you your own wallet, which lets you hold cryptocurrency in your exchange account and then transfer it anywhere as desired, while others will require you to have your own wallet at the time of purchase.
However, using an exchange for long-term storage is not recommended. As the exchange controls the private key to your wallet, you don’t have total control of your funds. And with exchanges regularly, and sometimes successfully, targeted by hackers, storing crypto on an exchange long-term is very risky.
With hundreds of exchanges to choose from, how can you find the best cryptocurrency exchange for your needs? The most important thing to do is to research a wide range of platforms and compare the pros and cons of each option.
Consider the following factors when comparing crypto exchanges.
Use our table to quickly compare crypto exchanges on fees, fiat currencies, deposit methods and more. Once you’ve found the right fit for you click Go to site to get started.
For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have CAD$500 that you want to use to buy Bitcoin.
In this scenario, let’s assume that you have 1 BTC that you want to exchange for ETH. Here’s what you need to do if placing a trade on a centralized crypto exchange:
However, if you’re using a decentralized crypto exchange, the process is a little different. You’ll typically be required to link your wallet to your account, but you’ll then be able to trade directly from wallet to wallet, with no requirement to deposit any funds on the exchange.
If you want to sell cryptocurrency on an exchange – let’s say Bitcoin for the purposes of this example – you’ll need to follow these steps:
It’s now time to withdraw those funds from your exchange account, but the exact process you’ll need to follow depends on whether you’ve purchased crypto or fiat currency:
You’ll need to deposit funds on your cryptocurrency exchange. Bitcoin exchanges accept all sorts of deposit methods, including the following:
The payment types accepted will vary between exchanges though, so it’s worth checking to ensure your preferred payment method is supported before signing up.
The term “exchange” can be used to refer to a variety of crypto trading platforms:
Cryptocurrency brokers often offer the simplest and most convenient way to buy cryptocurrency. Buying Bitcoin or any altcoin from a broker is essentially like purchasing from a cryptocurrency shop – the broker buys digital coins or tokens at wholesale rates, adds their own margin on top and then sells the currency on to you.
Brokers offer a quick and straightforward entry into the world of cryptocurrency. Their platforms are designed to be easy to use and you can pay for your crypto purchase with your everyday fiat currency, often even by using a credit or debit card.
The main downside of using a broker is the cost, as you’ll not only need to buy your crypto at a price above the market rate but also pay transaction fees.
Cryptocurrency trading platforms are the most widely used platforms for buying and selling digital currency. They connect crypto buyers with crypto sellers and take a fee for facilitating each transaction. You can use these platforms to exchange cryptos at the current market rate or at a specified limit, while some sites also offer more advanced features like stop-loss orders.
Crypto trading platforms tend to provide access to a more diverse range of currencies than brokers, and often feature charting tools to help you plan your trades. These platforms also tend to offer lower fees and better exchange rates when compared with brokers.
However, it’s not possible to directly exchange one crypto for any other digital currency you want – you’re limited to the trading pairs supported by your chosen platform. Bitcoin and Ether are the most commonly traded currencies and feature in pairs alongside a wide range of altcoins. Crypto trading platforms can also be intimidating and confusing for new users.
These platforms allow direct peer-to-peer trading between people all around the world. The exchange acts as the middleman, with the seller able to set their own price and accepted payment methods.
The main advantage of peer-to-peer exchanges is that they let you quickly and anonymously buy or sell coins with almost any kind of trade or payment method you want. The downside is that you’ll often pay above market prices, and it can also be riskier than other options.
To help offset the risks, some platforms have built-in escrow features and reputation systems to identify reliable and legitimate buyers and sellers.
Not all crypto exchanges are created equal, and not all crypto buyers and sellers have the same trading needs. The best exchange for one person might not necessarily be the right choice for someone else, so it’s essential that you do your own research.
Check out our reviews on a range of leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada and around the world. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each Bitcoin exchange and consider how they align with your trading requirements.
No. The list of currencies available varies widely from one exchange to the next. Some Bitcoin exchanges will only offer Bitcoin or a select few currencies while others support hundreds, but there’s no guarantee that all the cryptos you want to buy and sell will be available on any one platform.
While regulators are gradually implementing laws and guidelines to help protect consumers against fraud, there are still plenty of sketchy exchange operators out there. Falling victim to theft is a major concern for any crypto buyer.
Read our guide to cryptocurrency scams for a checklist to help you avoid falling victim to fake or disreputable exchanges.
You may want to consider using the services of an over-the-counter (OTC) broker in order to avoid slippage. Check out our guide to OTC services for more details.
Yes. Take a look at our cryptocurrency margin trading guide for more information.
You can view 24-hour trading volume for crypto exchanges on sites like CoinMarketCap.
Exchanges in several countries are subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulations. In order to comply with these regulations, exchange operators must gather certain details about their customers – which is why you may be asked to provide proof of ID. This process is typically referred to as “know your customer” or KYC.
A complete review of the AscendEX exchange, covering trading and DeFi features, associated fees, regulation and security. Is AscendEX right for you?
Trade cryptocurrency, derivatives and speculate on stocks with this fully-featured exchange created “by traders, for traders”.
Learn more about easily buying crypto with Wealthsimple Crypto.
Learn more about the CoinSmart cryptocurrency exchange by reading the full review.
Learn more about the Crypto.com platform in our complete review.
Your detailed review of the Paybis cryptocurrency exchange, including supported cryptos, registration, fees and payment methods.
Learn more about the pros and cons of trading on the CoinDeal cryptocurrency exchange.
Learn more about the Deribit exchange for trading cryptocurrency and find out whether it’s right for you.
Kraken is a reputable Bitcoin and altcoin exchange that is designed with the advanced trader in mind.
Read the Zebpay review to find out how to use the app and what to watch out for.
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