40+ best cryptocurrency exchanges (2019 update) | Finder.com

Cryptocurrency Exchange Finder

Find the best cryptocurrency exchange for beginners, low fees and more.

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You can use a cryptocurrency exchange to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). We’ve compared some popular exchanges by different categories to make it easier to find the best for you.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

In this guide:

Compare 40+ cryptocurrency exchanges you can use in the US

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, XMR, USDT, ETC, QTUM, ZEC, REP, DOGE, GNO, MLN, ATOM, XTZ
Buy, sell and trade a range of digital currencies on this high-liquidity exchange – suitable for beginners right through to advanced traders.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, Kraken offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, INR, ARS, BRL, CAD, CNY. NZD, DKK, HKD, ILS, JPY, KES, CHF, MXN, NOK, PHP, PLN, SGD, SEK, AED
BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, BAT, DASH, BTG, XRP, VOX
Refer a friend to earn US$20 — $10 for you and $10 for the person you refer.
Buy, send and convert more than 35 currencies at the touch of a button.
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: US-based users have been restricted from Binance since June 2019.
Bank transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, ETC, DASH, XRP, LTC, BCH, XLM, NEO, EOS, ADA
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk. 66% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. US users have limited access to some of eToro’s features.

Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, XVG, LTC, ADA, MIOTA, TRX, NEO, DASH, XMR, XEM, VET, ETC, ICX, QTUM, OMG, & 70+ more
Buy and trade 100+ cryptocurrencies on this global cryptocurrency exchange.
Credit card
Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, XLM, ETC, ZEC, ZRX, REP, BAT, LINK, DAI, USDC
Get US$10 in free bitcoin when you buy US$100 or more of any crypto. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cash
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, ETC, BCH, LTC, ADA, QTUM, XRP
Buy coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash with credit card.
Credit card
Debit card
OKPAY
PayPal
Skrill
SOFORT
EUR, USD, CHF, GBP
BTC
Buy bitcoin through PayPal on one of the oldest virtual currency exchanges in the business.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, BTG, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC, XLM, GUSD
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Bank transfer
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, JPY
BTC, ETH, BCH
With options to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins through credit card, wire transfer and more, BitfFyer offers users the choice of paying with cryptocurrency or USD, EUR and JPY.

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HiveEx.com is an over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency platform specializing in high-volume trades.

  • Trade between $50,000 and $100m for a fixed price
  • Tap into HiveEx.com’s global network of high liquidity trading partners
  • Access competitive rates compared to traditional exchange trading
  • Receive your coins in your wallet fast, with same day settlement options
  • As an AUSTRAC registered company, HiveEx.com is fully compliant with industry-standard AML and CTF obligations

Best exchanges for:

BeginnersUSD purchasesLow feesRange of altcoinsTrading

Beginner friendly: Coinbase

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.

  • Offers fiat purchases of a wide range of cryptocurrencies, provides a wallet for customers, has full customer service, is known for its clean and simple interface.
  • Accepts a wide range of currencies and allows credit and debit card payments in addition to bank transfers, so almost anyone can use Coinbase.
  • Designed to make the crypto purchasing experience as easy as possible, with easy-to-follow instructions at every step.

USD purchases: Uphold

Uphold aims to be an all-in-one platform that almost anyone can use.

  • Offers a wide range of deposit options and support for more than 20 different fiat currencies.
  • Free bank deposits (ACH from US bank accounts or SEPA from European bank accounts) for customers in the United States and Europe.
  • You can also fund your account with a credit or debit card.

Low fee: Binance

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 simply pay a flat 0.1% trading fee at most.
  • It’s possible to reduce this even further by taking advantage of the exchange’s native cryptocurrency, Binance Coin (BNB) and simply paying your trading fees with BNB held in your exchange account.
  • There are different trading fee tiers, with lower fees for users who hold enough BNB coins and maintain certain monthly trading volumes.

Residents of the United States cannot use Binance. If you’re in the USA, and are looking for an alternative exchange, you may want to consider Kraken.

Range of altcoins: Kucoin

You’ll find a lot of selection on Kucoin, although the available liquidity for each will vary.

  • Offers hundreds of different coins against both BTC and ETH trading pairs.
  • Has a solid track record of being one of the first exchanges to list exciting new projects.
  • Has a history of listing coins before they appear on more mainstream exchanges.

Trading: eToro

Beyond this, eToro also offers non-crypto assets so you can trade various stocks and commodities on the same platform as your crypto.

  • Can be used by both beginner and advanced traders, and frequent and infrequent traders.
  • Is not available to US citizens who live outside of the US.
  • Has limited API integration compared to some other exchanges, which may limit the use of trading bots, but makes up for it with copy trade features, which includes copy-trading bots.

Is it safe to store your cryptocurrency on an exchange?

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.

Learn more about cryptocurrency wallets

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How to choose a cryptocurrency exchange

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.

How to use a cryptocurrency exchange

Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency

For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have USD$500 that you want to use to buy Bitcoin.

  1. Compare cryptocurrency exchanges to find one that offers the right service for you.
  2. Register for an account on the platform, including providing any personal details and proof of ID required.
  3. Navigate your way to the “Buy” screen.
  4. Select Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency you want to buy.
  5. Select your payment currency, which in this case is USD, and specify the amount you want to spend as $500.
  6. Select your payment method, such as a credit card payment or bank transfer.
  7. Enter your payment details, such as your account and routing number if sending a bank transfer or your card number and CVV if paying by debit card.
  8. Review the full details of your transaction, including the fees that will apply and the amount of BTC you are purchasing.
  9. If you’re happy to proceed, click “Buy BTC.”
  10. Once the transaction has been processed, the BTC will be deposited into your exchange wallet. However, please note that some brokers will automatically send your purchased BTC to an external wallet address nominated by you.

Buying cryptocurrency with another digital currency

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:

  1. Compare cryptocurrency trading platforms to find one that offers the right service for you.
  2. Register for an account on the platform, including providing any personal details and proof of ID required.
  3. Log into your account and find the BTC wallet address for your account.
  4. Use this address to transfer the 1 BTC you want to trade from an external wallet.
  5. Navigate to the “Exchange” or “Trading” page.
  6. Search for the currency pair you want to trade, which in this case is BTC/ETH.
  7. In the “Buy” field, choose the type of order you want to place, such as a market order or limit order.
  8. Enter the details of your transaction, such as the amount of BTC you want to spend. If placing a limit order, you’ll need to specify your desired ETH price.
  9. Take a moment to review your transaction, including checking the exchange rate and fees that apply.
  10. Click on “Buy ETH.”
  11. Once the transaction has been processed, the ETH you have purchased will be deposited into your exchange wallet.

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.

Selling cryptocurrency and withdrawing your funds

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:

  1. Log into your account and find the BTC wallet address.
  2. Use this address to transfer the BTC you want to trade from an external wallet.
  3. Navigate to the “Exchange” or “Trading” page.
  4. Search for the currency pair you want to trade, for example BTC/USD or BTC/ETH.
  5. In the “Sell” field, enter the details of your transaction. Depending on the platform you’re using, you may be able to sell at market rate or potentially place a limit order.
  6. Take a moment to review your transaction, including checking the exchange rate and fees that apply.
  7. Click “Sell BTC.”
  8. Once the transaction has been processed, the currency you have purchased will be deposited into your exchange wallet.

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:

  • If you’ve purchased fiat currency, look for the “Withdraw USD” option from your account dashboard. Select your desired payment method, for example bank transfer or PayPal transaction, and enter all the necessary account details so your payment can be processed.
  • If you’ve purchased another cryptocurrency, you’ll need to first set up a secure wallet where you can store your coins. Copy the address of this wallet, log into your exchange account and select the currency you want to transfer. Remember to double check that you’re sending the funds to the correct wallet before submitting the transaction.

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How to pay for your cryptocurrency

You’ll need to deposit funds on your cryptocurrency exchange. Exchanges accept all sorts of deposit methods, including the following:

  • Prepaid cards
  • Cryptocurrency transfers
  • PayID
  • Wire transfers

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.

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The different types of cryptocurrency exchange

The term “exchange” can be used to refer to a variety of crypto trading platforms:

Brokers

  • Best for: Crypto novices, those looking for a quick and easy way to buy cryptocurrency
  • The downsides: Costs more than other options; may not offer as wide a selection of cryptocurrencies

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.

Examples of some well-known cryptocurrency brokers include Coinbase and CoinSpot.

Trading platforms

  • Best for: Buying and selling a wide range of currencies; lower fees
  • The downsides: Intimidating for new users and it may not be possible to directly exchange the currencies you want

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.

Examples of some high volume cryptocurrency trading platforms include Binance and Huobi.

Peer-to-peer exchanges

  • Best for: Anonymity, giving you more control over how you trade
  • The downsides: Prices usually higher than market rates; a certain level of risk involved

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.

Examples of peer-to-peer exchanges include LocalBitcoins and Paxful.

Next steps

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.

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Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

A-Z of cryptocurrency exchanges

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JulianaFebruary 14, 2019

    Why are there so many fake “ bitcoin traders”
    on Instagram? How do you know if someone is real?
    I am looking for someone real to help me invest with quick earnings and reinvestment.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoFebruary 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Juliana,

      Thanks for getting in touch! We have a page to help you read about BITCOIN SCAMS and how to avoid them. Hope this helps and email us back if you have other questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

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