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It’s known for its ease of use, but Coinbase’s fees can vary depending on your location and payment method, so make sure the fees work for you before buying.
Kraken is a well known and widely-used cryptocurrency exchange, with a fee schedule designed to help maximise accessibility and liquidity.
For people outside the USA, Binance is also a popular option for low fee cryptocurrency trading.
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.
Beyond this, eToro also offers non-crypto assets so you can trade various stocks and commodities on the same platform as your crypto.
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.
For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have USD$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 decentralised 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. 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 the US and around the world. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each exchange and consider how they align with your trading requirements.
Learn more about the Crypto.com platform in our complete review.
Finder’s methodology for best cryptocurrency exchanges on the US market in terms of speed, ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Learn more about trading cryptocurrencies on eToro USA by reading the full review.
Learn more about Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Read the Zebpay review to find out how to use the app and what to watch out for.
Read our comprehensive review of the eToroX cryptocurrency exchange.
Read our Cointree cryptocurrency exchange review to find out how it works and what you need to know before signing up.
Remitano lets you buy bitcoin and other cryptos in a peer-to-peer marketplace, but is it safe to use? Find out what to expect in our review.
A comprehensive look at the features and fees of the Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange, including how you can sign up for an account.
Learn more about the KuCoin exchange, how it works, what the fees are and how to get started trading.
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