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How Finder rates crypto trading platforms

Our full methodology explains how we analyze, score and rate crypto platforms on the features that matter most

To help navigate the complicated world of crypto, we've launched a comprehensive review of cryptocurrency exchanges available in the US.

Our goal is to recognize and award exchanges that excel in one of the following categories: Overall, Value, Beginners, Instant Purchases, Altcoins, Extra Features and Advanced Trading.

These awards are then used to inform our "Best for" selections across many of our cryptocurrency guides.

Finder Crypto Trading Platform Awards badge 2023

Quick take

We analyzed more than 1,500 data points across 45 cryptocurrency platforms in the US to find winners in 7 different categories. Approximately 300 hours went into data collection, review and analysis.

Awards are based on quantitative criteria which are weighted and scored for each category.

Award eligibility

A total of 45 cryptocurrency platforms were eligible to be reviewed as part of the awards program.

Platforms must be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to qualify. They also had to pass Finder's internal due diligence process, which is a requirement for all platforms listed on our website.

How do we choose our award winners?

Platforms were scored on a set of criteria chosen by Finder's cryptocurrency experts and data analysts.

Criteria were based on publicly available data. If data was unavailable, we contacted platforms and requested the data. Some platforms declined to provide missing data and received a score of zero for that criterion as a result. The criteria were then weighted differently for each award.

For instance, criteria that related to fees were up-weighted for the "Value" award, while criteria related to advanced trading products received a weighting of zero for that award.

The exchange that scored highest in each award was named the winner, with the exchanges that scored second and third highest each receiving a highly commended award.

What features do we compare?

Awards are based on a comprehensive list of 61 individual criteria that fit into one of the following 7 categories:

  • Payment methods and deposit fees
  • Spot market fees and features
  • Instant buy fees and features
  • Beginner-friendly features
  • Extra features
  • Advanced trading features
  • Customers support and security

Criteria and weightings were chosen by an expert panel of Finder crew, including data analysts and editorial staff. They took into account user experience, industry standards and regulatory requirements.

Each individual criterion received a weighting, which varied depending on the award. Each award has a unique combination of weightings. Customer support and security were considered in all awards.

The weighting of each category for individual awards is outlined below.

Value

This award focuses heavily on fee data. The main focus is the spot market, followed by instant purchase fees. It also considers payment methods as well as the number of coins available.

  • Payment methods and fees – 24%
  • Spot market fees and features – 41%
  • Instant buy fees and features – 26%
  • Customer support and security – 9%
Beginners

This award captures a wide range of factors that all contribute to a beginner-friendly experience for users. In addition to beginner-friendly features, customer service, value for money and access to instant purchase features contributed significantly to this award.

A small number of brands were excluded from this award at the discretion of editorial staff after conducting hands-on research.

  • Payment methods and fees – 19%
  • Spot market fees and features – 6%
  • Instant buy fees and features – 30%
  • Beginner-friendly features – 15%
  • Extra features – 2%
  • Customer support & security – 28%
Instant Purchases

This award highlights exchanges that provide a comprehensive instant purchase experience with an emphasis on value for money.

  • Spot market fees and features – 10%
  • Instant buy fees and features – 79.2%
  • Beginner-friendly features – 5%
  • Customer support and security – 5.8%
Altcoins

This award focuses heavily on the number of coins and tokens available on the exchange, in addition to liquidity and trading pairs.

  • Spot market fees and features – 78%
  • Instant buy fees and features – 16%
  • Customer support and security – 6%
Extra Features

This award spotlights exchanges that offer a broad range of features on top of the standard trading experience, such as earning products, debit cards and NFT markets.

  • Payment methods and fees – 8.4%
  • Spot market fees and features – 13.4%
  • Instant buy fees and features – 7%
  • Beginner-friendly features – 12%
  • Extra features – 31.4%
  • Advanced trading features – 16%
  • Customer support & security – 11.8%
Advanced Trading

This award takes into account advanced trading features such as order types and charting tools as well as regulatory compliance, liquidity and fees.

  • Payment methods and fees – 14%
  • Spot market fees and features – 29%
  • Beginner-friendly features – 5%
  • Advanced trading features – 43.2%
  • Customer support and security – 8.8%

The Overall award was given to the exchange that had the highest average score across each of the 61 criteria.

Does Finder compare all cryptocurrency exchanges?

No. We perform due diligence on exchanges before listing them on our website.

As a result, we purposely choose not to compare some exchanges, as we consider these platforms unsuitable for various reasons.

For example, a platform may be excluded because it is not appropriately registered with local regulators like FinCEN or offers high-risk products without the appropriate licence.

Despite this, our list of exchanges accounts for the bulk of retail use in the US and represents the majority of popular and well-regarded providers.


The Finder editorial team's ratings

Cryptocurrency exchange platforms are not created equal. To help you identify where an exchange shines – or falls flat – Finder's editors objectively assess each platform across a spectrum of performance metrics.

Finder considers 8 key factors in our ratings to get an overall score:

  • Supported cryptocurrencies
  • Fees and costs
  • Transferring money or crypto assets
  • Customer service
  • Ease of use
  • Staking and earning
  • Features
  • Trustworthiness and security

Our ratings are designed to help you assess a cryptocurrency exchange's strengths and weaknesses. The best way to inform your decision is to read Finder's full platform review for an in-depth breakdown of its features.

Our ratings

Finder rates crypto platforms using a system of 1 to 5 stars.

★★★★★ – Excellent
★★★★★ – Good
★★★★★ – Average
★★★★★ – Subpar
★★★★★ – Poor

How do we choose our "Best for" picks"?

Our "best for" picks are displayed at the top of many of our cryptocurrency guides and feature 3-5 "Best for X" categories.

The exchanges are awarded titles using the methodology above and from time to time may also include some "Promoted Picks", which have been chosen from among our commercial partners based on factors that include special features or offers and the commission we receive.

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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