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Cheapest Ethereum Exchanges in 2022

Last updated 12th May 2022
Disclosure

Ethereum (ETH) is one of the most popularly traded cryptocurrencies on today’s market; exchanges offer a great interface to trade ETH on due to their cheap fee structure, user-friendliness and wallet compatibility.

But with such a variety of choices out there, it's important to choose the best exchange for your specific needs. That's why we've created this complete guide to help you find the cheapest and best exchange to buy Ethereum with in 2022:

1
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2
Atani
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9
Popular among traders
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3
Coinmama
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4
UpHold
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5
Coinbase
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6
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What is a cryptocurrency exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform and interface that enables its users to buy, sell, trade, and often store, crypto-based assets and financial products. You can access an exchange online, usually via your browser, a desktop application or in some cases using your mobile. You deposit fiat currency into these platforms and then you are able to buy cryptocurrencies with that pool of capital.

Once your assets are secured they then will either go up or down in value depending on how they perform in the market, which are all stored and logged on the exchange’s order book - this is one of the core differences with a broker as the prices are being set by the market itself and not a centralized entity.

Generally, on a cryptocurrency exchange you can perform the same activities as you can with a broker, but in a slightly more direct, and sometimes cheaper, fashion.

What fees are there when buying cryptocurrencies?

Different exchanges have different fee structures, but here are the most important ones to look out for:

  • Maker and Taker Fees: This is the fee an exchange charges you for your transactions; it will be a percentage of your transaction and will always be more for taking liquidity from the exchange.

  • Deposit Fees: Some exchanges will charge you for depositing money to your account - usually there is at least one deposit method that avoids this fee.

  • Withdrawal Fees: Most exchanges will charge you to withdraw your funds.

  • Spreads: Spreads are more commonly found on brokers but some exchanges may have them; it is the difference between the price you pay and the real market price.

What is the difference between cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers?

Exchanges and brokerages are the two most popular ways for people to trade, buy and sell cryptocurrency. They are both a type of interface that connects you to markets but with some stark differences that can affect your trading experience, the fees you pay and the way in which you own your cryptocurrencies.

One of the most significant differences is that a broker is a centralized individual or business making trades on behalf of its users, and an exchange is a mediated arena for users to make trades between themselves via an order book or ledger. This core difference then affects a range of things including:

Broker

  • Controlled by one entity, whether that is a business or even an individual

  • Usually charge commissions for the trades made on their platform

  • Trading via prices set by the broker

  • A more traditional avenue for financial trades

Exchange

  • Still a business, but this time with a smaller degree of control over the trades on the platform

  • Prices are set by the buyers and sellers, with the transactions mediated by the exchange

  • Usually no commission fees, but instead charge maker/taker fees (these charge a fee for removing liquidity from the platform’s pool)

  • Usually offer a better range of cryptocurrencies, but perhaps can be less regulated

What is a centralized and decentralized exchange?

A centralized exchange (CEX) is simply a traditional exchange. It is owned by a company, for example Binance or Coinbase, so there is a good level of trust and security between the exchange and its users. Usually, centralized exchanges will be regulated in some way by financial regulating bodies and can even include insurance packages for its users.

As a result, users inherit this right of personal financial protection but are also obliged to share personal information to adhere to certain financial regulations, for example KYC (Know Your Customer). There is a clear relationship between a user and the parent exchange when looking at the makeup of a centralized exchange.

A decentralized exchange (DEX) on the other hand is an exciting new concept that has grown out of blockchain technology; it offers the same core features as its centralized counterpart (buying, selling and trading cryptocurrency) but instead there is no sense of ownership or control over the exchange. A decentralized exchange utilizes smart contracts to ensure that its trades and business are appropriately respected; it is made up of distributed ledger protocols and applications that result in a trading platform with zero centralized ownership. As a result of this, users may not have to share any personal information with their interface and have the unique opportunity to trade in a completely invisible fashion. Equally, they will receive minimal to no financial protection and very little support to conduct their trades.

Usually, the smaller the role of the intermediary the lower the fees will be when choosing which medium to buy Ethereum.

Cheapest ways to pay for cryptocurrencies

Best For Beginners

  • Bank Transfer: Transfer funds directly from a bank account linked with your chosen platform. One of the most expensive ways to deposit funds but very convenient and accessible to beginners.

  • Third Party Payment Methods: Connect your account to some supported platforms and top-up your exchange wallet; some examples are Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Skrill.

  • Credit/Debit Cards: Use your credit/debit card to directly buy Shiba Inu. Can incur some fees but is extremely convenient and you are also susceptible to interest rates when using a credit card.

Intermediate

  • Crypto Transfer: Connect a wallet to your platform that already has crypto funds. By far the cheapest method but can be difficult for beginners.

  • Crypto ATM: Some ATMs are now specially designed for you to buy and sell cryptocurrency and there are a select few where you can buy Ethereum.

Advanced

  • P2P: Person to person exchanges offer great rates as they have no middle man; it's best to think of this as swapping rather than trading (always be cautious when using P2P).

What are the cheapest cryptocurrency exchanges in 2021?

Binance

The biggest and most popular exchange on the market. Binance is now a huge global enterprise that offers its users good levels of comparable security, a high range of assets and some of the cheapest rates on the market today.

Pros and cons of Binance

Pros

A great range of available assets
Robust products and trading tools
Some of the cheapest fees out there

Cons

The interface may be confusing for beginners
Limited service for those in the US

Verdict: Binance is arguably the cheapest exchange on offer to traders right now with extremely competitive maker/taker fees, cheap ways to withdraw and deposit your funds and no spread fee.

Coinbase

Coinbase is close second to Binance and many users prefer it due to its usability and dual function with Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Good for beginners, has a good range of assets and is globally available.

Pros

A great interface for beginners
Educational challenges that can earn you real crypto earnings

Cons

A slightly more limited range of assets than Binance
Higher fees

Verdict: Coinbase does charge a spread fee and also has higher maker/taker fees than other competitors like Binance - but its interface is very user-friendly.

FTX

One of the platforms that has grown through its offering of advanced trading options. FTX offers a good range of more advanced financial products, like margin and derivatives, while also keeping fees fairly low.

Pros

Some of the lowest trading fees
Advanced trading tools/products

Cons

Smaller selection of cryptocurrencies than some competitors
Not much customer support

Verdict: FTX offers one of the cheapest packages offered by any platform but with conditions based upon the amount you’re trading. You can pay little to no maker/taker fees with no deposit fee but you need to be trading with a favorable tier (the FTX fee structure).

Kraken

A platform that has been in the crypto space for a long time and has provided a consistently good service. The Kraken platform, like coinbase, also splits into two separate services called Kraken and Kraken Pro - Kraken Pro has very competitive fees and is for the more experienced trader.

Pros

Great user-friendly interface
Good range of cryptocurrencies

Cons

High fees when using the Kraken service
Lower levels of security than some of the more popular exchanges

Verdict: Kraken offers good maker/taker fees with no spreads - it sits between Binance and Coinbase in terms of these trading fees.

KuCoin

One of the top choices for more experienced traders. KuCoin has a very high range of tradable cryptocurrencies and a good range of advanced trading tools.

Pros

A huge range of available assets
A wide range of advanced trading tools

Cons

Security levels are somewhat lower than some other platforms
KuCoin is not available for those living in the US

Verdict: KuCoin again has some really low fee rates but you need to utilize its level system for fees - similarly to FTX you can get great rates but it may be confusing for beginners, but KuCoin is definitely better for newcomers than FTX.

What to consider when choosing the cheapest Ethereum exchange?

There are numerous factors and features to consider when choosing the cheapest exchange to buy Ethereum. It's important to remember that different countries and regions will have slightly different regulatory environments and this should factor into your decision.

So here is a list of what to consider when choosing the cheapest exchange to buy Ethereum:

  • Fee Charges: There are a range of charges you can be subject to so you need to do your due diligence to get the best deal possible. For example, some of the fees you may face are: commissions, holding fees, deposit/withdrawal fees and bad spreads.

  • Variety of Trading Pairs: While a good exchange may offer a wide range of cryptocurrencies to trade with, it is also important they offer a good range of pairs; more trading pairs with Ethereum will give you the most flexibility possible when trading. As many exchanges will now accept Ethereum it can be a good idea to see which are offering the most options with that particular product to gauge which platform offers the most flexibility to you.

  • Speed: When trading Ethereum you want transaction speeds to be as fast as possible, not only for convenience but also for successful trading. Day traders for example will need speed and efficiency when making transactions to ensure their liquidity is mobile and reactive to the latest market trends.

  • Ease of Use: When you are buying Ethereum you also want transactions to be as simple to make as possible. A confusing interface can consume time and energy from a trader, so simplicity is key, especially for new traders. Popular exchanges Coinbase for example has a friendly interface and good transaction speeds.

  • Trust and Security: Arguably one of the most important elements of trading, your exchange must be trustworthy and have good security measures in place - especially if you’re looking for one with the cheapest rates. Look out for features like 2-factor authentication, loss insurance and KYC regulations to improve your level of protection. Robust security protocols can be a good indicator for a sturdy platform.

  • Cross-device Compatibility: Most platforms now offer services on mobile, web and desktop devices. Not only is this convenient for you, but also it is a sign of a good exchange. For example Binance supports all of these devices.

  • Trading Tools: Platforms now offer a great range of advanced trading and charting tools. Usually, the more advanced the platform the more tools will be available to its users.

  • Payment and Withdrawal Methods: The more payment methods accepted means a greater degree of flexibility for the user. Also, keep an eye on the fees these methods have; some platforms may offer a great range of methods but have high fees.

How to get started with cryptocurrency exchange?

The process of buying a cryptocurrency can be complicated, especially if you are new to the space. Check out this step by step guide for how to buy Ethereum using an exchange:

Step 1: Go to the official exchange website
Step 2: After entering your details, you need to provide ID
Step 3: Once your account has been accepted, you can deposit funds
Step 4: Then, follow the relevant steps

Alternative ways to buy Ethereum

There are a few other ways for you to buy Ethereum other than exchanges. Just make sure to always be vigilant of the mediator you are using to ensure your Ethereum transactions are secure.

  • Brokerage: The most centralized way to sell you cryptocurrency. The broker sets the price for sales and charges a commission for facilitating them.

  • P2P: Person to person exchanges offer great rates as they have no middle man; it's best to think of this as swapping rather than trading.

  • Crypto ATM: Some ATMs are now specially designed for you to buy and sell cryptocurrency and there are a select few where you can buy Ethereum.

  • In Person: Some places allow for person2person trading, and of course you could do this privately with family or friends.

Final thoughts

There are a good range of cheap exchanges to buy Ethereum with so you should choose the platform that best suits your needs. How you interact with your chosen platform and the flexibility it offers will ultimately decide which you choose.

Binaance offers a great all-round service if you are thinking primarily of getting the cheapest rates possible, whereas an exchange like Coinbase is a good place to start for beginners but will sacrifice price for usability.

FAQs

Are cryptocurrency exchanges legal?
Are there maximum or minimum deposit/withdrawal limits?
Do I need a crypto wallet?
Joshua Sherrard-Bewhay

Joshua Sherrard-Bewhay

Josh is a finance and Blockchain technical writer with experience in project design, consultancy and reporting. He is well-versed in white paper design, blog construction and freelance journalism. His academic credentials are in International Relations, Environmental Regulation and International Law. In his spare time he works as a sustainability analyst for a FinTech start-up Oxari and a private English tutor.