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Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2022

Last updated 26th Sep 2022
Disclosure

Investing in cryptocurrencies is an easy process when using a premium crypto exchange. Cryptocurrency exchanges offer the tools to make informed decisions when buying coins like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin. The best crypto exchanges have low fees, coin variety, and a straightforward trading interface.

Today we’ll showcase our top picks for the best cryptocurrency exchanges in 2022. Also, we’ll discuss their best key features, how to get started, along with their pros and cons.

Best Exchanges to Buy Cryptocurrencies in 2022

Choosing a crypto platform that’s a perfect fit can be a long and tedious task. We’ve compiled a list of top, beginner-friendly platforms to help you get started easily.

1
eToro
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More than 3,000 assets, including currencies, stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, indices and commodities
Buy crypto, or trade cryptocurrencies via CFDs
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Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges Compared

CoinBase

CoinBase is perhaps the best choice for beginners due to its user-friendly design. Their platform has an educational section that goes over how to buy cryptocurrencies, new developments in the market, and in-depth tutorials. Also, CoinBase Earn lets investors receive free coins for answering simple questions revolving around the crypto space.

Furthermore, the trading platform is amazing and straightforward to use. Investors have multiple trade types that let them receive better prices when buying crypto. Also, CoinBase provides staking opportunities for various coins, allowing clients to earn interest on their holdings.

Key Features

  • CoinBase has advanced charting and trading tools.

  • Recently CoinCase has changed its fee structure that matches the pro version of their platform.

  • CoinBase protects all their clients' funds up to $250,000 using FDIC insurance.

Pros

CoinBase now has ultra-low fees
Excellent security
CoinBase Earn lets users receive free tokens

Cons

Customer support is slow
Limited variety of cryptocurrencies

How to Get Started

  • Step 1: Open the official CoinBase website and click the sign-up button.

  • Step 2: Provide your email address and generate a strong password. Then open the verification email that you’ll receive in your inbox.

  • Step 3: Verify your identity by completing the KYC process, which will lift any restrictions on your account.

  • Step 4: Deposit funds into the account and open the trading interface.

  • Step 5: Select the coin you want to purchase and input the amount.

  • Step 6: Click “buy”, and the order will execute. Afterward, you can look at your CoinBase wallet to see the newly acquired coins.

Binance

Binance provides a great service for traders with different skill levels. They have several trading interfaces designed for various investment activities like converting coins, margin trading, and lending crypto. Also, Binance has multiple staking options that can be locked or unlocked, depending on your strategy.

Binance has a great selection of cryptocurrencies that range from low to high market caps. Furthermore, the crypto exchange has created a utility token called BNB. The coin is a payment method for fees and reduces all costs by 25%.

Key Features

  • Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, with over 28.6 million users.

  • The platform supports a huge selection of coins.

  • Binance is regulated in multiple jurisdictions.

Pros

Binance provides multiple staking options
Holding the BNB token reduces fees by 25%
Binance has several trading interfaces

Cons

Customer support is terrible
High fees for margin trading

How to Get Started

  • Step 1: Open Binance and complete the sign-up process.

  • Step 2: Verify your identity and provide proof of address to lift account restrictions.

  • Step 3: Then deposit funds into the account and select one of the trading platforms.

  • Step 4: Select the coin you want to acquire with the relevant trading pair.

  • Step 5: In the required section, write the amount you want to purchase.

  • Step 6: Review the order and hit the “buy” button.

KuCoin

KuCoin is known as “The People’s Exchange” because of the excellent service they deliver. The crypto exchange is based in Singapore but has expanded to multiple nations worldwide. In fact, they claim 1 in 4 investors use their platform to buy coins. In addition, KuCoin has one of the best fee structures amongst exchanges, making it desirable for most investors. Like Binance, the native KuCoin Token (KCS) reduces trading fees by 25%.

Moreover, the platform features over 500 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and withdraw. So those looking for a wide selection of assets may appreciate the vase selection KuCoin provides. Also, the platform has amazing protection, and clients can improve their security by enabling 2-step authentication.

Key Features

  • KuCoin offers a wide selection of cryptocurrencies.

  • KuCoin is the 5th largest exchange in the world.

  • KuCoin has a comprehensive support center that helps clients with common questions regarding the platform.

Pros

Excellent investment options
Great fee structure
Holding the native KuCoin token reduces costs on the platform by 25%

Cons

Not licensed to operate in the United States
KuCoin does not offer 24/7 live chat

How to Get Started

  • Step 1: Start the registration process on the official KuCoin website.

  • Step 2: Write your email address and create a strong password. Then agree with the terms of service and click next.

  • Step 3: KuCoin will send a verification email that you need to open. Afterward, you’ll gain access to your dashboard, where you can trade cryptocurrencies.

  • Step 4: The platform doesn’t require completing a KYC process to withdraw and deposit coins. However, there will be withdrawal restrictions until you verify your identity.

Kraken

Kraken is favored by the crypto community because of the transparent service they provide. Recently they announced that all future audits would be public so investors can verify those real assets back all their coins. The platform itself has a user-friendly interface that makes it convenient to use.

In addition, they host a great selection of coins on their trading platform. Clients have the option to execute stop-loss, market, and limit orders to receive coins at their desired price. Furthermore, Kraken focuses a lot on security and has a dedicated page showcasing how your funds are protected. Also, you can whitelist your crypto addresses and enable 2-step authentication to improve your security further.

Key Features

  • Kraken is open with its community and will make all future audits public.

  • Kraken supports over 90 cryptocurrencies.

  • The in-depth learning section lets complete beginners learn the fundamentals of crypto.

Pros

Kraken has an impressive user interface
Multiple layers of security
Kraken has a trustworthy track record

Cons

Limited variety of coins
$10 minimum trade limit

How to Get Started

  • Step 1: Head over to the Kraken home page and click the sign-up button.

  • Step 2: Provide your email address, and password, and accept the terms of service.

  • Step 3: Next, you’ll receive a verification email from Kraken that you must click.

  • Step 4: After, verify your identity to lift any restrictions associated with the account.

  • Step 5: Now, you can deposit funds into the account and buy cryptocurrency through the trading interface.

eToro

eToro is a cryptocurrency broker that offers derivative products on coins. So, if you don't mind not owning your tokens while investing, eToro is the most user-friendly option among brokers. Their interface is designed perfectly, so it’s easy to find all the features you need.

Furthermore, eToro offers a great range of cryptocurrencies, and the platform often adds new coins to their system. Finally, the buying process is straightforward, making the broker accessible to those less tech-savvy with crypto investing.

Key Features

  • eToro offers derivative products on all supported cryptocurrencies.

  • The platform provides indemnity insurance up to $1 million if the client lives in Europe, the United Kingdom, or Australia.

  • eToro is one of the biggest crypto brokers, with 23.2 million registered users.

Pros

eToro features a user-friendly interface
Excellent customer support
Great selection of cryptocurrencies

Cons

Users won’t own real cryptocurrency with eToro
No deposit option for cryptocurrency

How to Get Started

  • Step 1: Navigate to the homepage of eToro and press the registration button to get started.

  • Step 2: Then eToro will require you to provide your email address and password.

  • Step 3: Accept the terms of service and click next. eToro will send a verification link to your email that you’ll need to click.

  • Step 4: Afterward, you’ll gain access to your dashboard, where you can check out the available coins and manage your account.

  • Step 5: Now, you’ll need to verify your identity by submitting a government-issued document.

  • Step 6: Deposit funds and open the crypto marketplace. Here you can purchase various coins or look at successful portfolios and copy them.

What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Cryptocurrency(crypto) exchanges are digital platforms that primarily allow customers to buy and sell cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

Like an e-commerce marketplace, the exchange allows you to buy cryptocurrency using fiat currencies such as the USD, EUR, and GBP. Other exchanges allow the purchase of cryptos using mainstream coins like Bitcoin or stablecoins like Tether.

Since cryptos are virtual digital assets, a digital wallet is needed for storage. Most exchanges offer crypto wallets that are associated with your exchange account.

How to Get Started With Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Cryptocurrency exchanges follow a similar structure for getting started. You can use these steps as a guideline for signing up and buying cryptocurrency.

Step 1: Choose a cryptocurrency exchange
Step 2: Create an account and verify it
Step 3: Verify your identity
Step 4: Deposit funds
Step 5: Open the trading interface
Step 6: Click "buy"
Step 7: Manage your newly bought assets

What Should I Look for in a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

As an investor, choosing the correct crypto exchange is critical. You have to consider various factors before buying or trading using an exchange.

Payment Method Accepted:

  • Exchanges provide different forms of payment. Common methods include bank transfers, e-wallets, and credit and debit cards. Methods such as gift cards may be hard to find. Find an exchange that provides you with your preferred funding option. You’ll need to link your funding method and deposit fiat currencies to your account.

Availability of Cryptocurrency:

  • There are thousands of cryptos in the market. Apart from Bitcoin, other popular examples include Ethereum, Tether, XRP, Cardano, and Solana. Not all coins are listed on exchanges. First, check whether the coin you wish to buy is available in an exchange.

Geographical Restrictions:

  • Exchanges don’t serve all countries globally. For instance, Coinbase serves about 100 countries. You’ll therefore need to check if the exchange is available in your jurisdiction.

Fees:

  • Exchanges have different economic models, and their fees vary. Fees also depend on your payment option, with bank transfers having cheaper charges. Check the fee schedule on exchanges first so that fees do not suppress your final profits.

Design and Ease of Use:

  • A good exchange will be easy to use and navigate. Core processes such as depositing, buying, and selling should be simple. You’ll need to focus on buying the crypto instead of figuring out how the site works.

Security:

  • The best crypto exchanges focus on security and have a dedicated page to showcase what technologies they use. Moreover, they let users whitelist their crypto addresses so withdrawals can only go through their wallets. Also, 2-step authentication should be available to enable once you create an account.

Reputation:

  • When starting, ensure you sign up to renowned exchanges. You’ll be sure of good services and a proper trading engine that will enable you to trade. Examples of reputable platforms include Coinbase and Binance.

Customer Support:

  • An exchange that offers good customer support will promptly help you where you are stuck.

Regulated Exchanges:

  • Use regulated crypto platforms that operate within the law's guidelines. This will ensure the protection of your funds, assets, and personal details.

Insurance Fund:

  • The best exchanges have an insurance fund that protects clients’ money if it were stolen. Therefore, this feature is essential if you hold a large sum of cryptocurrency.

Investment Opportunities:

  • After buying coins, you’ll want to participate in various investment opportunities to earn interest. The platform should provide staking, liquidity pools, and lending.

Do I Have to Verify My Account on an Exchange?

Yes, you’ll have to verify your account when opening a new one on the exchange. Many jurisdictions and crypto providers have instituted KYC guidelines to verify the details of the customers. This is in line with AML regulations which are applicable globally.

Apart from money laundering, exchanges need to verify IDs to guarantee that their customers are not funding terrorism activities. In most cases, the exchange will ask for your ID (Passport, driving license, nation ID), a selfie of you holding your ID, and proof of address.

Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges Secure?

Crypto exchanges have varying levels of security. Since they operate online, exchanges are susceptible to malicious attacks. It's not recommended to hold more than a small number of cryptocurrencies at a time on an exchange.

Substantial amounts of any cryptocurrency should always be transferred to an external wallet that is safer. Take the following steps to enhance the safety of your account:

  • Activate 2FA

  • Use strong passwords

  • Never reuse passwords from other websites

  • Never access your exchange accounts on public wifi

  • Never share your private keys

  • Use an external crypto wallet

How Fast Are Transactions on Exchanges?

Transactions on exchanges are near-instant, especially for market orders. Once the order is fulfilled, the funds will appear in your account.

Transferring cryptocurrencies from one exchange varies from near-instantaneous to several hours, depending on the blockchain. For instance, You may have to wait more than 10 minutes for a Bitcoin transaction to finalize. However, Ethereum transactions are much faster, taking between 15 seconds to several minutes.

Ways to Buy Cryptocurrencies on the Exchanges

Investors have several ways to purchase cryptocurrency. Below are the most convenient methods to acquire coins through crypto exchanges:

Centralized Payment Methods

Credit and Debit Cards:

  • Bank cards are widely available on all centralized exchanges. Some platforms allow users to buy coins directly with their cards, making it easier for beginners. However, directly buying cryptocurrency with a debit or credit card has higher fees.

Bank Transfer:

  • Using a bank transfer is a secure and fast way to deposit funds into your account. Afterward, you can use the trading interface to purchase coins.

eWallet:

  • Online banking platforms like Neteller and PayPal provide options for buying popular coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Moreover, you can connect your bank card to the eWallet, making it convenient when depositing money to an exchange.

Decentralized Payment Methods

Prepaid Card:

  • Prepaid cards are available to purchase online and at convenience stores. They work like regular bank cards but do not require you to set up an account to use.

Cryptocurrency:

  • Investors can deposit cryptocurrencies to an exchange to purchase coins without revealing their identity. Also, DEXs let you connect your crypto wallet to the platform to exchange tokens.

Crypto ATM:

  • These machines operate like regular ATMs and exchange fiat currency for crypto. They create a paper wallet that you can use to transfer coins to an exchange.

Do Exchanges Charge Fees for Buying and Selling Cryptocurrency?

Yes, exchanges charge fees. You can expect different types of fees, including transfer fees, transaction fees, and spot fees.

Transfer fees are charged when you deposit and withdraw funds from the exchange. These fees vary depending on the exchange. Transaction fees may come as fixed or dynamically tiered depending on the monthly trading activity of an account. On most exchanges, the fees reduce with higher amounts of transactions.

Always check the fee schedule on an exchange before engaging their service. Fees may range between 0.1 and 5% depending on the crypto provider, the funding option, and the amount you are spending. Bank transfers represent the cheapest way to purchase crypto because they are free or charged minimal fees.

Are There Fees for Transferring Coins in and Out of Exchanges?

Yes, there are fees when transferring cryptocurrencies. The charges are associated with a specific blockchain and are paid to miners in the blockchain.

Mining fees are incurred when cryptocurrency is transferred from one exchange or wallet to another. They are paid to the miners in a network and are no more than a couple of dollars.

Do I Need a Wallet to Use a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

No, the crypto exchange will usually provide a wallet associated with your account. However, we recommend transferring your assets to an external wallet for substantial amounts of cryptos. This is also prudent for inventors who don’t intend to trade their crypto assets soon.

Exchanges provide a single focus of attack for malicious hackers. If the exchange is hacked, you may lose all your crypto assets, and there may be no one to reimburse you for the losses. External wallets provide more security, especially cold wallets.

What Are the Other Platforms That I Can Use to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency?

Apart from exchanges, you can use crypto brokers, Peer-to-peer marketplaces (P2P), and Contract for Differences (CFDs) trading platforms. Some alternative ways to buy cryptocurrency are:

Crypto ATMs:

  • This method is great for buying coins anonymously since no ID verification is required. They work like regular ATMs but provide exchanges for cryptocurrencies instead.

P2P Platforms:

  • These websites connect buyers and sellers to participate in real-world trading. After contacting each other, both parties agree on a location and time for the exchange.

Brokers:

  • Using a broker to invest in cryptocurrencies is an excellent method for beginners since they have simple steps for acquiring coins. Brokers offer derivative products like CFDs, ETFs, and futures. Common examples of derivative products include margin trading, which allows users to leverage, and futures trading.

Please note that some countries have banned derivative products. This is because they are highly speculative, and crypto's volatility makes it a risky venture. Examples of countries that have banned crypto derivatives include the US and the UK. Check your country’s regulations to check whether crypto derivatives are allowed.

What Is the Difference Between Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Brokers?

New investors may find it confusing to understand the difference between a cryptocurrency exchange and a broker. An exchange offers real assets that users can trade, withdraw, and pay for various services. However, a crypto broker offers derivative products that do not convey ownership of cryptocurrencies. Instead, they let investors speculate on the price of coins at a predetermined price.

What Is a Centralized and Decentralized Exchange?

Centralized Exchange:

  • Centralized exchanges (CEX) are owned by a singular entity that runs the platform. An authority regulates these platforms and issues a license to operate in specific jurisdictions. A centralized exchange works like a stock exchange, connecting investors to participate in various trading activities.

Decentralized Exchange:

  • Decentralized exchanges (DEX) are polar opposites to centralized platforms since no corporation owns them. However, this means they cannot be regulated and rely on the community to ensure their trustworthiness. DEXs require you to connect your crypto wallet to the exchange for trading. Also, decentralized exchanges are built on the blockchain, making them more secure than most centralized options.

Should I Use a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

The best cryptocurrency exchanges provide their users with a great selection of coins, low fees, and multiple investment options. Some of the features that make exchanges good on-ramp platforms for crypto investments include:

  • Integration of different forms of payment

  • You own the underlying crypto asset

  • A variety of cryptocurrencies

  • You can transfer your digital assets to an external wallet

  • Security features such as 2FA

  • Customer support

Consider what aspects are essential for your investment strategy and select a crypto platform that offers the most features. Cryptocurrency exchanges provide a convenient way to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Leading crypto exchanges include Binance, Coinbase, Paybis, and CEX.io.

FAQs

Can I use a cryptocurrency exchange on my mobile phone?
What are the differences between exchanges and brokerage platforms?
Are cryptocurrency exchanges legal?
Are exchanges regulated?
What happens if I accidentally send my crypto to a wrong address?
What happens if an exchange gets hacked or closes down?
Can I access my transaction history on an exchange?
Are there maximum or minimum deposit/withdrawal limits?
Are there maximum or minimum buying limits?
Can I buy all cryptocurrencies on an exchange?
Do I have to pay tax on the coins I buy through an exchange?
What is a cryptocurrency exchange?
Can I buy cryptocurrency anonymously?

Amala Pillai

Amala is custom content and news editor based in London. She is a former financial journalist based in Singapore with 7 years of experience covering a range of business and financial topics. Now she focuses on crypto and macro-economics. She has also covered feature profiles, tech, business politics and ESG— she was the Environment Editor for the Solutions Newspaper, 2016 and worked in an editorial capacity at both News corp (Dow Jones) and JBN. She also has experiece as a content creator and brand editor for various financial institutions and banks.