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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.
It’s important to research a wide range of platforms and compare the pros and cons of each option. The best Bitcoin exchange for you depends on what you’re looking for.
Consider the following factors when comparing crypto exchanges.
For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have ₱20,000 that you want to use to buy Bitcoin.
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 cryptocurrency brokers, trading platforms and other services. Different types of exchange are often more geared towards beginners or experienced users.
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.
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 UK 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.Back to top
The best Bitcoin exchange is cheap, easy and fast, with a wide range of payment options. It doesn’t need to have a wide selection or any advanced trading features. It’s for people who just want to buy Bitcoin. Generally, the most important factor is whether you’re using a local exchange, as this typically means you can pay with the local currency, and enjoy faster, cheaper transactions.
By this measure, the best Bitcoin exchange in the Philippines might be Binance and Crypto.com. Both exchanges offer simple brokerage service, competitive rates and fees, as well a wide selection of cryptocurrencies. Their flexibility and Bitcoin-related features also go above and beyond, setting them apart from other Bitcoin exchanges.
Some of the things that set Crypto.com apart from other Bitcoin exchanges in the Philippines are that it has both a simple brokerage service and a reasonably active trading platform, that it offers a Bitcoin debit card and its wide range of payment options, including cash deposits.
The best altcoin exchange has a wide selection first and foremost, ideally with good liquidity across all pairs. Low fees, extra features, fiat payment options and other extras are nice, but sheer selection is more important.
There are two altcoin exchanges that may be considered to be the best, and between them, you can find hundreds upon hundreds of different coins.
The first is CoinSwitch. It’s actually an aggregator that lets you trade across several different partner exchanges at once. Between those partners, CoinSwitch lets you access about 400 different cryptocurrencies all in one place, with trading fees usually ranging from 0% to 0.5%, although there may be other costs in the spread. If you’re looking for a wide selection and low fees, CoinSwitch could be a good place to start.
KuCoin could be a good place to look second. It offers several hundred cryptocurrencies by itself, and it’s not one of CoinSwitch’s partners, which means you can find things on KuCoin that you won’t find on CoinSwitch. KuCoin’s trading fees are 0.1%, and as a proper exchange, it has some features that CoinSwitch doesn’t, such as margin trading.
The cheapest cryptocurrency exchange isn’t always the one with the lowest trading fees. It’s also important to look for good spreads, to get good exchange rates and to make sure the deposit or withdrawal fees are reasonable.
The cheapest exchange may depend on whether you’re looking for a place to buy cryptocurrency, or if you want to trade cryptocurrencies instead. It can also depend on whether you’re buying Bitcoin, or a more obscure altcoin.
If you want to actively trade cryptocurrencies for each other, or purchase Bitcoin with PHP, Binance could be the cheapest choice. Its trading fees start at 0.1%, with easy avenues to additional discounts. It also offers zero fee deposit and withdrawal options via Xfers, good rates and low fees. Simply by paying fees with BNB, it’s possible to get an easy 25% discount on trading fees. Importantly, it’s also one of the world’s most liquid cryptocurrency exchanges, which can be key to saving money by avoiding slippage.
There are different ways of measuring “largest”, but the most common is trading volume. More volume is good because it can indicate more popular, responsive and liquid exchanges. Unfortunately, you can’t just take the exchange’s word for it or trust exchange volume rankings from sites like CoinMarketCap. Fake volume and wash trading are common in cryptocurrency.
There are some exchanges which, after heavy scrutiny, are believed to show entirely genuine volume though.
The world’s highest real-volume exchange is consistently Binance, according to reports from the Blockchain Transparency Institute, Bitwise and others.
If someone wants to find a reliable and all-around good cryptocurrency exchange without spending too much time sifting through the options, it can be helpful to beeline right for the most popular.
Popularity can be tricky to measure though, and many exchanges don’t disclose their total number of user accounts, and this figure will often be very different to the number of active users.
However, according to Similarweb, the most-visited cryptocurrency exchange website in the world between November 2019 and January 2020 was Coinbase, with over 57 million website visits worldwide. The second most-visited cryptocurrency exchange was Binance, with 53 million visits.
This echoes findings from the Blockchain Transparency Institute, which reported in December 2018 that Coinbase was the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange.
The best cryptocurrency trading platforms are very liquid, very fast and offer a full range of features such as margin trading with up to 100x leverage, cryptocurrency derivatives such as futures and options, and good integration with third-party trading tools such as cryptocurrency trading bots. Ideally, they will also be well-regulated, popular and have a good reputation.
There are no exchanges which fit all of the above criteria, so the best cryptocurrency trading platform for you may depend on which of these criteria is most important to you. There are a number of options to consider.
Binance offers the highest leverage of any exchange (125x) and a wide selection of crypto derivatives, but it’s been known to experience technical issues.
Kraken only offers up to 5x leverage on a comparatively small range of coins, but it’s got a good reputation and offers both futures and options contracts. eToro allows trading of a wide range of assets beyond cryptocurrency, and has unique features such as Copy Trade, but it’s primarily a CFD platform which means you’re only betting on the prices rather than actually taking possession of the underlying cryptocurrency.
As a general rule of thumb, crypto-to-crypto trading doesn’t always require user verification, and people can do it without ID. Exchanging fiat currency for cryptocurrency typically does require ID.
Many of the exceptions to the rule are peer-to-peer exchanges, such as Paxful, where users can arrange fiat-to-crypto trades directly with each other that don’t always require ID.
However, there are often strict purchase limits and other downsides when using exchanges that don’t require ID.
Read the full guide to buying cryptocurrency with no ID for more information and a list of exchanges that don’t require ID.
There are two main types of exchange that let you pay with cash, or three if you include Bitcoin ATMs.
You can check the map of Bitcoin ATM locations in the Philippines to see if there’s a Bitcoin ATM near you. Alternatively, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges such as Paxful connect traders with sellers who are willing to accept cash.
Most exchanges will claim to be perfectly safe and secure right up until they get hacked, so you can’t just take their word for it. Instead, you can find the safest exchanges by looking at their security history, their security policies and any additional measures they take to protect their exchanges.
Internationally, the safest cryptocurrency exchange might be Gemini. It was founded in 2014, it’s never been hacked, it was one of the world’s first exchanges to get ISO27001 certified and it’s also created its own captive insurance company specifically to ensure coverage for digital assets.
As safe as Gemini is, non-custodial or decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges are arguably even safer. Non-custodial exchanges send funds directly to your personal wallet when you make a purchase, while decentralized exchanges allow direct peer-to-peer cryptocurrency swaps.
In both cases, the exchanges don’t hold user funds, which means there’s no risk of losing your money to an exchange hack.
Non-custodial and decentralized exchanges put you in personal control of your security.
If you have a secure hardware wallet and know how to use it, non-custodial exchanges are arguably as safe as cryptocurrency exchanges can ever get. Decentralized exchanges are theoretically just as safe, but they’re also more experimental so bugs and unforeseen vulnerabilities may pose problems.
Non-custodial cryptocurrency exchanges send your cryptocurrency directly to your personal wallet after you make a purchase. This can be convenient, and it’s also perceived to be safer than entrusting funds to centralized exchanges.
The best non-custodial exchanges are characterized by variety, a wide range of payment options and fast delivery.
Coinmama is a well-known non-custodial exchange. It doesn’t hold your funds or cryptocurrency. Instead, it simply takes payment and then sends cryptocurrency directly to your wallet address as soon as payment is received and your wallet address is confirmed.
All decentralized exchanges (DEXs) struggle to a certain extent with liquidity problems, complex user interfaces and slow trading, and you can expect to find combinations of these issues on any DEX.
No decentralized exchanges are without problems, and the best might depend on which ecosystem you’re trying to access.
The Waves platform is a relatively well-known general-purpose DEX, while more Ethereum-specific DEX protocols include 0x and Kyber Network. Elsewhere, DEXs such as Stellarport offer access to the Stellar Lumens ecosystem, while the Binance DEX serves as a token swap system in the Binance Chain ecosystem.
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