Trading cryptocurrency has become a streamlined process. We see more Bitcoin exchanges opening up and cryptocurrency is becoming recognized as a long-term investment strategy by just about everyone—there’s no time like the present to begin investing!
The right exchange can make all the difference. The crypto market never closes, which is why you need an exchange that never falters.
We’ve gone through an immense list of crypto exchanges, tested out every single one of them as customers, and found the very best for you to choose from.
From customer service to fee structuring, UI to responsiveness when buying crypto, and everything in between: we did the work, so let’s take a look and help you find the best exchange for your investment needs.
Coinbase offers a little bit of everything, so you’ll always be able to access educational content and information, not worry about security, and maintain a positive and solid experience in every corner of their site and service. They are my #1 recommended choice after researching over 30+ crypto exchanges.
Best Crypto Exchanges
Summary of Best Crypto Platforms of May 22022
Methodology - How We Chose Our Picks
In order to select the best exchanges for this list, we took a look at some of the top companies in the world, some of which you’ll see on this list.
We evaluated customer service ratings, online reviews, and anecdotal information to create our list. Upon that list, we signed up with and traded on each platform to determine fee structuring, customer service, exchange times, funding time frames, and every other aspect you would encounter while engaging with a cryptocurrency platform to devise our opinions.
None of these exchanges have paid for a review—this list is of our own making, and all opinions are our own.
1. Coinbase - Best Overall
Coinbase has the best security, most selection, and overall the fastest transaction times of just about any crypto exchange. While they can’t be the absolute best in everything, they’re surely the top shelf when it comes to just about every financial product you could ever want with cryptocurrency.
2. Binance - World's Largest Exchange
Binance may be the world’s largest exchange, but it doesn’t rely on size and sales volume alone. Binance also has interesting and helpful financial products and tools that help you succeed with your portfolio by putting you in the driver’s seat.
It’s about as easy to use as the world’s largest exchange can be, though newcomers to investing will run into a few problems here and there. Apart from not being able to store your coins within the Binance system (no crypto wallet), it’s a fantastic exchange.
3. Crypto.com - Best Crypto App
Crypto.com sticks to its namesake by offering cryptocurrency products, access to a crypto market, and allowing you to utilize more cryptocurrency products than most other platforms. NFTs aren’t off the table, either.
But there’s a catch: if you run into a problem with their service, customer service is slow and sometimes bad at their job, so it can be difficult.
However, their app is by far the most intuitive one we’ve used, making mobile trading and investing simple as can be.
4. FTX - Best for NFTs
FTX has been on the forefront of digital investments for ages now, starting with stocks and futures and working their way to cryptocurrency. They’re also fantastic for NFTs and have a dedicated marketplace for them.
On top of all that, you also get access to great trading options, fast buy and sell orders to get your money faster, and low withdrawal fees.
It’s not perfect when you realize the global market restrictions for US users, but no platform is.
5. BlockFi - Best Crypto Rewards Card
BlockFi gets a bad rep for being new and inexperienced against giants like Coinbase and Binance, but they’re still figuring things out and are prioritizing their current services in the process.
Their crypto rewards credit card is an excellent way to manage your credit card purchases and crypto at the same time. On top of that, there’s a way to earn interest on your crypto and take out free withdrawals of most of the coins on the platform on a monthly basis.
However, it’s not a beginner-ready platform, so you should only use BlockFi if you already have experience trading crypto or dealing with online exchanges.
6. Voyager - Best for Rewards
Voyager is all about investing and being secure, which is why they offer rewards like nobody else does right now. It’s rare to find any exchange that will actually give you a return on stablecoins, but that’s one of the things that they do.
While Voyager can take a while to get started on, it boasts some incredible features, widespread access, and helps you immediately start earning money on your crypto so you don’t have to wait to see investment returns.
7. eToro - Best Social Platform
Trading isn’t a social media thing, but instead, being able to trade coins with other users is a social aspect of cryptocurrency trading. eToro leads the space in this, and offers excellent benefits to its users for just about everything.
However, the commission-free platform still has a spread fee, and there are still plenty of costs associated with eToro that aren’t clear whether they’re on the crypto side of things, or stocks.
Still, it’s nice to be able to have them all in one place.
8. Gemini - Best Level of Security
Gemini puts security above everything else, which is what we love the most about them. Without proper security, a cryptocurrency exchange is completely worthless.
Gemini leads the front on security, but they also offer products that exceed expectations: they’re not just riding on being secure. With their crypto rewards card and access to a fair number of different coins, the entire platform is comprehensive, if not a bit expensive in terms of fees.
It’s a growing exchange and they’re surely going to be a superpower in the crypto space before long.
9. Kraken - Best International Exchange
Kraken is available in 99% of all areas of the world, which is why it’s revered as the best international exchange. On top of that, they have great fee structuring based on your activity, and are ridiculously easy to use.
While there are some security vulnerabilities that need to be addressed, Kraken is still a safe platform that continues to provide its user base with encrypted transactions and excellently short times on sell orders and funding.
10. CEX.IO - Best Payment Options
CEX.IO has an excellent UI, but it can sometimes feel crowded for newcomers who aren’t used to trading cryptocurrency. On top of that, the fee structuring is solid and easy to understand, and the amount of coins you can access is vast.
Experienced traders will do better on CEX.IO for sure, but if you’re too much of a high-roller, the low liquidity rating might just put the nail in the coffin.
CEX.IO has all the makings of a top-tier crypto exchange, they just need to continue modifying their marketplace to reach those heights.
How to Choose the Best Crypto Exchange
Look at the fees and products that they offer (keep in mind everything is a financial product), and see where it aligns with your interests.
The best crypto exchange for you might not be the best exchange for your friend, since you’ll both have different investment goals.
- Fees: Low fees don’t always mean better service, but if the short-term goal you have in mind is not losing money on your crypto purchases and sales, these are important
- Coins Offered: Are you only interested in Bitcoin, or do you want to invest in Ethereum, Litecoin, and others? Take this into account when you look up services and sign up with an exchange
- On-Platform or Direct-to-Wallet: Are your coins held on the platform/exchange, or do they get transferred directly to your wallet when you aren’t using them? This is important for security purposes
- Security: Is the exchange the victim of a cyber attack, or has it been in the past? While it doesn’t directly mean that it will happen again, it’s good to know about so you can ask representatives what’s been done since the attack to promote safety of your cryptocurrency and private information
Types of Crypto Exchanges
There are three types of cryptocurrency exchanges in total. Each of them operate differently and provide various value to the user.
- Centralized Exchange (CEX): If you wanted to liquidate your crypto into USD, you would have to use a centralized exchange that has a fiat/crypto hybrid model, these are among the most popular forms of crypto exchanges.
- Decentralized Exchange (DEX): A DEX is where peer-to-peer sales happen, so you aren’t selling directly to a platform or company; instead, you sell to another person, but liquidity on these platforms is very difficult.
- Hybrid Exchange: These exchanges are designed to breed the benefits of DEX and CEX platforms, such as heightened security while also being able to liquidate your crypto to your local currency.
A Quick Recap
You have ten excellent crypto exchanges to choose from in 2022, although you should know that not all of them are equal. We cover more on their individual reviews, but security issues, fiat offerings, coin offerings, security, and other aspects should really be looked at before you decide on your forever platform.
Coinbase reigns supreme in all aspects as a centralized exchange, allowing you to buy, sell, and liquidate your money right away.
While we put Coinbase at the top of this list, they definitely have their own ups and downs. Be sure that the exchange you pick suits your needs, and meets your best interest.
Crypto Exchange FAQ's
Typically, you will need your full legal name, your DOB, email address(es), phone number linked to your full legal name, physical address, copy of a utility bill to provide proof of residence, social security number, photo ID of some sort, and sometimes an image of you holding your government ID as well.
That’s a lot of information, which is why some platforms that we didn’t mention on this list (like Changelly) are a really good pick, since you don’t need nearly as much personal information to get set up.
Yes, no crypto exchange is immune to being hacked, regardless of how tight-knit their security is. In truth, a crypto exchange should put more money into their security than anything else, because one hack that actually results in the loss of personal assets, manipulation or the market, or another destructive result of an attack.
Thankfully, white hat hackers have been helping cryptocurrency exchanges as of late and have been rewarded handsomely for it.
You should keep your crypto in a wallet if you plan on trading it in the near future. Cold wallets are great to keep your assets away from potential hacks, but it’s unlikely that one will happen.
Generally, a hacker will need to know your specific private wallet code. Cold storage could take 2-3 days to access your coins again, so the main thing you need to worry about is not being able to take advantage of selling when the prices are hot if you have it locked into a cold storage wallet.
You should always opt to be as safe as possible with your cryptocurrency.
It depends on the exchange and what type it is. Some exchanges are just for peer-to-peer exchanges, so one user will trade their cryptocurrency to another, but no actual government-issued legal tender will be thrown in the mix.
These exchanges require you to pull your crypto to a wallet, and find another way to transfer it to your local currency if you wish to use it.
Crypto exchanges can make money in a multitude of ways. Most commonly, they’re making money from the transfer and exchange fees that you have to pay.
If you turn USD into their coin to be able to trade for other coins, that’s a fee. If you make money from selling your crypto, that’s a fee. The list goes on and on.
Some platforms will offer a pro version or a paid-for version of their site/services to allow you to take advantage of superior reporting and insights. They are generally worth it for the small subscription price.
Coinbase is a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing cryptocurrency.
Best Crypto Platforms Recap