40+ best cryptocurrency exchanges (2019 update) | Finder

Cryptocurrency Exchange Finder

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Where to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrency to get the best rates.

Want to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but don’t know where to start? One of the first things you’ll need to do is find a cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy and sell the digital currency you’re looking for.

There’s a huge range of platforms available, so read on to find out how to compare your options and choose the crypto exchange that’s right for you.

0% fees when you fund your wallet by bank account* or cryptocurrency.

*Bank deposits only available to US and EU customers.

Uphold Digital Money Platform

Buy, send and convert more than 35 currencies at the touch of a button.

Refer a friend to earn US$20:
Get $10 for yourself and $10 for the person you refer.

  • Transfer money globally in seconds
  • Instantly convert between 30+ currencies
  • Hold cryptocurrency and fiat currency in a single wallet
  • Manage your funds in real-time
  • Free transfers between Uphold members
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.

Compare cryptocurrency exchanges

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bank transfer
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
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.
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.
Bank transfer
Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform.
Cointree Cryptocurrency Exchange - Global
Buy and trade 100+ cryptocurrencies on this global cryptocurrency exchange.
Credit card
Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
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.
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Buy coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash with credit card.
Credit card
Debit card
Buy bitcoin through PayPal on one of the oldest virtual currency exchanges in the business.
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
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.
bitFlyer Cryptocurrency Exchange - US
Bank transfer
Credit card
Wire transfer
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.
SatoshiTango Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SatoshiTango is an Argentina-based marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or trade Bitcoins.

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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

What is a cryptocurrency exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where you can buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies.

Some exchanges allow you to trade through fiat currencies, like US dollars, while others allow you to buy crypto using another digital currency like bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH).

There are exchanges designed to suit novice traders new to the world of cryptocurrency, as well as platforms designed for institutions and full-time traders.

Because not every exchange supports every available digital coin and token, you may need to use multiple crypto trading platforms to buy and sell the currencies you want.

The different types of cryptocurrency exchange

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

Centralized vs. decentralized exchanges

If you’re researching peer-to-peer exchanges, you’ll also come across the concept of decentralized crypto exchanges. Many (but not all) peer-to-peer exchanges can also be as decentralized. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are hosted on a network of distributed nodes and allow you to trade cryptocurrency directly with other users. The absence of centralization means there’s no single point of failure for hackers to target, and server downtime is no longer an issue. And because trades are executed using smart contracts, you can trade straight from your wallet. This ensures that you don’t have to transfer any of your coins and tokens onto an exchange, allowing you to retain control of your cryptocurrency at all times.

How to choose a cryptocurrency exchange

With more than 200 exchanges to choose from and more launching all the time, 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. When comparing crypto exchanges, make sure you consider the following factors:

Compare exchanges

How to buy cryptocurrency in the US

So how do cryptocurrency exchanges work? And how exactly can you buy and sell crypto on an exchange? Read on for step-by-step instructions on what you need to do.

Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency

For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have $500 that you want to use to buy bitcoin.
  1. Compare cryptocurrency brokers 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.
  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 number and routing number if sending a bank transfer or your card number and CVV if paying by credit card.
  8. Review the full details of your transaction, including fees and the amount of BTC you’re purchasing.
  9. If you’re happy to proceed, click Buy BTC.
  10. Once the transaction is processed, the BTC is deposited into your exchange wallet. However, some brokers automatically send your purchased BTC to an external wallet address you choose.

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.
  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 to 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 Buy ETH.
  11. Once the transaction is processed, the ETH you purchased is deposited into your exchange wallet.

However, if you’re using a decentralized crypto exchange, the process is a little different. You’ll typically required to link your wallet to your account, but you’ll then you can 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 — 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 to AUD or BTC to 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 is processed, the currency you purchased is deposited into your exchange wallet.

It’s now time to withdraw those funds from your exchange account, but the exact process 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 is 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.

Exchange payment methods

Crypto exchanges accept all sorts of deposit methods, including:

  • PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and other online payment services
  • Cash deposits
  • Cryptocurrency transfers

However, not all exchanges accept all payment options. To make things more complicated, some exchanges might accept one payment method for withdrawals, but not for deposits. Processing times, fees and limits can all vary depending on the payment method you choose, so read the fine print to learn the ins and outs of each payment option. For example, while credit card deposits might be processed quickly, they usually attract high fees. Meanwhile, bank transfer deposits may not attract any fees, but they can take one to two business days to process.

Cryptocurrency exchange fees

Before you buy or sell cryptocurrency on any exchange, you’ll need to be fully aware of any fees that apply. Fees vary between platforms and may include:

  • Deposit fees. Many exchanges don’t charge any fees when you deposit funds into your account, but some do. These fees can vary depending on the payment method you choose and the currency you transfer.
  • Trading fees. Trading fees are typically calculated as a fixed percentage of each transaction amount. Some exchanges charge a flat fee for all transactions, but other platforms offer different fees for market makers — those who add liquidity to the market by placing limit orders — and market takers — those who place market orders that are executed immediately, thereby removing liquidity from the market.
  • Withdrawal fees. When you want to withdraw funds from your exchange wallet, you’ll need to be aware of the fees associated with your transfer. Crypto withdrawals attract a flat fee, for example 0.001 ETH, while fiat currency withdrawals could attract either a flat fee or occasionally a percentage-based fee. Once again, these fees vary based on the currency being transferred and, if you’re withdrawing in fiat currency, the payment method selected.

For more on cryptocurrency exchange fees, check out our in-depth guide.

Cryptocurrency exchanges and digital wallets

When you buy cryptocurrency on an exchange, those digital coins are typically deposited straight into your exchange wallet. If you want to keep your coins in this wallet, you can. However, think twice about using an exchange for long-term storage. The exchange controls the private key to your wallet, so you effectively don’t have total control of your funds. And with exchanges regularly — and sometimes successfully — targeted by hackers, storing bitcoin or any other crypto on an exchange long term is very risky.

A much safer option is to transfer your coins off the exchange and into a secure wallet that lets you control your private key.
Get more information on comparing and choosing a reliable cryptocurrency wallet.

How to avoid a crypto exchange scam

While regulators are gradually implementing laws and guidelines to help protect consumers against fraud, there are still plenty of dodgy exchange operators out there. Falling victim to theft is a major concern for any crypto buyer. So what can you do to protect yourself against scam crypto exchanges? There are several simple steps you can take:

  • Check whether the exchange is registered with SEC . Cryptocurrency exchange operators in the US must be registers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Is it regulated? If you’re considering an overseas exchange, find out where exactly it is headquartered and if it imposes regulatory requirements for digital currency exchanges in that particular country. Does the exchange comply with all relevant laws?
  • Do your research. Don’t get sucked in by marketing gimmicks or the promise of a deal that sounds too good to be true. Take your time to research a platform’s credentials before opening an account and especially before depositing any funds.
  • Recognize the warning signs. Recognize the red flags that indicate an exchange is not entirely legit. For example, if there’s no information about the company behind the exchange or where it is headquartered, proceed with caution. Similarly, if other users report lengthy withdrawal delays or claim the exchange engages in questionable activities, you may be better off steering clear of that platform.
  • Check the address. Whenever you visit an exchange site, check that its address begins with “https” rather than just “http”. This means that all communications between your browser and the exchange are secure and encrypted.
  • Only use established exchanges. Let other people take the risk of trading on new and untested exchanges. You’ll sleep a lot better at night if you know you’re dealing with an established platform with a good reputation.

For more info on how to stay safe when buying and selling cryptocurrency, check out our guide to bitcoin scams.

Next steps: How to get started

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 do your own research. Check out our reviews of 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. This helps you find the best crypto exchange for your needs.

Compare exchanges

Frequently asked questions

A to Z of cryptocurrency exchanges

Read more about some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and P2P lending platforms in one of our comprehensive reviews below.

Images: Shutterstock

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.
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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.


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