Choosing the best crypto exchange and trading platform is critical if you want to successfully grow your cryptocurrency holding long term. From interest bearing accounts, to ease of use, to additional features like debit and credit cards, let me help you navigate the best crypto exchanges in 2022.
You have a lot of crypto exchanges and trading platforms can help you achieve this goal. Everything from professional, real-time trading to simply purchasing Bitcoin to hold long term to speculating in various altcoin alternatives. Today, I rated and review the 8 best crypto exchanges and my personal top 3 picks.
It’s never been easier or more necessary to invest in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s value has risen by 100,000% over the last 10 years (2012-2022). This has resulted in the creation of a number of exchanges and platforms that allow you an on ramp to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways with ease.
Gemini is a well regulated, US based exchange that offers yield accounts, a credit card, pro trading features and top of the line security.
The best mobile app for buying and selling crypto. They offer high monthly yields and a debit card to make purchases with stable coin.
FTX is the best platform for high volume traders and power users. They have the lowest fees around and advanced trading features.
What to look for in an exchange
When looking to purchase cryptocurrency, there are so many different options for crypto exchanges that it may be overwhelming as to what platform to use. Here are some essential questions you need to first consider:
- How secure is the platform? Does it offer 2FA as a way to protect your account?
- Can you easily transfer crypto off the exchange to your own private wallet or another account?
- What about the fees associated with making a buy or sell trade?
- What types of alt coins are available for you to purchase?
- Does the exchange offer an interest bearing account?
- Do you get more traditional trading features like stop losses and buy orders?
So if you’re looking to simply buy some Bitcoin or you want to purchase various alt coins that you think have long term growth potential, these are the exchanges I suggest first checking out.
Let’s get started.
- Gemini – The best exchange overall
- Coinbase – The established, beginner friendly exchange
- Voyager – The best mobile app exchange
- FTX – The best professional exchange
- Kraken – The honest platform
- Binance – The global leader
- Celcius Network – The best lending platform
- Blockfi – Bitcoin credit card and lending platform
- Uniswap – The Defi Protocol
- Best crypto exchanges conclusion
Gemini – The best exchange overall
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange that caters to both expert and amateur investors. Gemini has three different trading platforms – one for beginners (Gemini), one for serious traders (Gemini Active Trader), and one for peer-to-peer trading (Gemini Clearing Portal).
Gemini’s costs are a touch higher than other crypto brokerages, and they vary based on the platform you’re using. For example, buying Bitcoin on Gemini’s Active Trader platform has lower fees than the standard Gemini exchange (but it is more confusing to use).
When it comes to funding you account, the maximum fee is 3.49% for those who use a debit card to make purchases or no fee what so ever if you link your bank account and use an ACH transfer. Furthermore, there is a fee for executing a trade on Gemini. This fee, like most exchanges is based on the amount transacted and includes a maker fee, taker fee and the auction fee which you can view here.
Gemini also has an “earn” program where you can lend out your Bitcoin and various alt coins to earn interest. Gemini currently has their own stable coin (GUSD) that earns a high interest rate, but they do offer competitive rates on other digital assets.
Last, Gemini is releasing a competitive credit card that will pay you back in Bitcoin on specific categories at a rate of 1% to 3%. So if you’re in the market for an alternative cash back credit card you may like what Gemini is offering.
- An easy to use exchange for beginners and my top choice for anyone looking for a Bitcoin on ramp.
- They allow you to lend out your Bitcoin which helps cover the fees associated with purchasing crypto.
- 10 free transfers a month. Most exchanges charge you a network fee, not Gemini.
- The credit card offering is very competitive to other cash back credit cards.
- Multiple business verticals for different needs and experience levels.
- Well regulated in New York state.
- Gemini has higher fees on average compared to other exchanges but in my opinion more than makes up for this with everything else they have to offer.
My crypto on ramp of choice. Well regulated in New York state, a stable coin with high yield and an easy to use secure platform.
Coinbase – The established, beginner friendly exchange
Coinbase is the most well known major bitcoin exchange that makes it simple to acquire, trade, and exchange Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins. Coinbase allows you to quickly buy and sell Bitcoin in the same way that online brokerage services enable you to purchase stock. You can also use Coinbase’s “vault” feature to store your crypto if you don’t want to move it into a wallet you control.
Coinbase overall makes it simple to buy, hold and trade different cryptocurrencies on its online platform or through its mobile app. Add the most popular digital currency pairs to your watch list to keep track of them all in one place.
You may either keep things basic or use Coinbase Pro which is meant for experienced traders. The main difference is Coinbase is more ideal for someone looking to make a one time purchase or to setup a recurring monthly purchase. Coinbase Pro has lower fees and is more designed with a trader in mind.
At the moment, Coinbase supports a variety of notable digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. Coinbase also offers insurance coverage for Bitcoin, Ether, and other digital assets. For cash balances kept with Coinbase (not stable coin), your money is protected up to $250,000 worth of FDIC insurance.
Offline storage for crypto assets is both secure and safe, but long term you should learn how to self custody your crypto as holding your funds on an exchange will always have risk. In addition, Coinbase has an app for both Android or iOS will keep you informed on market changes and allows you to easily manage your account.
- Well regulated, publicly traded company.
- They offer 2FA for increased protection and keep your crypto secure.
- They also offer a vault for added longer term hodling.
- Coinbase Pro offers more advanced trading features and lower fees.
- Unlike Gemini, Coinbase does not currently offer any interest bearing accounts.
One of the most popular exchanges in the world and still one of the best places to buy Bitcoin or to dollar cost into Bitcoin.
Voyager – The best mobile app exchange
Voyager is a mobile cryptocurrency investment app that connects you to over a dozen crypto exchanges for more than 50 digital currencies, providing up to 9% APY on certain assets. They act more as a broker than an exchange and provide low fees to buy and sell various digital assets. Continue on for my full Voyager cryptocurrency review to see if this platform is suitable for you.
Voyager connects you with over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges to trade more than 50 different currencies as a broker. This means you can construct a diversified crypto portfolio without having to register for numerous exchanges or maintain several accounts. You also can earn interest in kind by holding your digital assets in your Voyager account.
When you buy or sell assets, you pick the currencies you want to acquire or trade, but not which exchange they will come from. You can track the success of each asset in your Voyager account and your entire portfolio using the app.
Voyager is currently only a mobile app and has no desktop version, they also don’t offer free transfers like other exchanges on crypto currencies and instead you have to pay the network fee to move your crypto off Voyager. Last, some crypto currencies can’t be moved off your Voyager account so make sure to double check this as some assets like Polkadot (DOT) earn a high interest, but transfers are permitted.
Finally Voyagers is coming out with a unique debit card for you to use for everyday purchases. If you hold large amounts of USDC (The Coinbase stable coin) you can earn up to 9% APY. With the Voyager debit card you can use your USDC balance directly for purchases.
- The best mobile app for purchasing crypto.
- Earn high yields on stable coin and select digital assets.
- A debit card for making purchases with your stablecoin will soon be coming out.
- Can secure your account with 2FA for enhanced security.
- A public US company.
- Their customer support is slow and takes up to a week to reply to messages.
- They don’t offer free transfers so while they may payout a high interest rate monthly, the transfer fee eats into your earnings slightly.
- Some crypto currencies can’t be moved off Voyager. When looking to buy, if transferring off Voyager is important make sure to check this. Most users though simply buy, hold and sell through Voyager.
A great mobile exchange to buy, hold and sell various digital assets. Earn monthly yields as well.
FTX – The best professional exchange
FTX is an exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried who became the youngest self-made billionaire under 30. FTX allows for purchase of a large selection of digital assets, pro trading features similar to brokerage accounts and the ability to trade between currencies and national currencies as well.
The trade commission rate on FTX.US is among the lowest of exchanges I’ve used. The system will also reimburse crypto withdrawal expenses incurred by other network blockchains (except Ethereum due to their high gas fees).
FTX separates itself as positioning itself as a cryptocurrency exchange “built by traders for traders.” It has several choices that might appeal to a pro user including margin trading and derivatives such as futures.
The cost of trading on FTX is determined by the amount you trade on its platform. Transaction fees for spot purchases of cryptocurrency are lower than with most exchanges. Those who trade less than $100,000 per 30 days will pay a maximum of 0.4 percent. Institutions who trade more than $50 million every month can pay 0% in fees.
- FTX has some of the lowest fees around for buying and selling digital assests.
- The platform provides more advanced features equities traders will be familiar with.
- They are strictly a high volume trading platform and don’t have other features like yield account or credit card.
Kraken – The honest platform
Kraken is a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy and sell assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies like Solana an Mattic. Kraken is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges and supports over 120 different coins for trading with low exchange costs.
It’s a top bitcoin trading platform, featuring spot trading at current market prices and cryptocurrency futures. Kraken is ideal for new and seasoned cryptocurrency investors looking for low transaction fees and a wide range of coins.
What personally stands out for me is the founders honesty with regards to the risks inherent with holding your crypto, particularly Bitcoin (which could very well end up being digital gold or property) off an exchange.
The best place to begin for beginners is with the Kraken core platform. You can quickly buy cryptocurrency from a linked bank account, and the process of selling or switching between currencies in your account is just as simple. It only takes a few seconds to submit an order using a simple form once your account has been set up and you’ve logged in.
Kraken Pro is another offer from Kraken and is similar to Coinbase Pro in that it is an online trading platform that works on desktop or mobile. While all the pro interfaces may be intimidating with their candle charts, it is worth learning if you intend to trade long term.
Kraken Pro includes more information on assets, including live charts and a look at open orders. Kraken Pro is a feature that can be used by anybody who has an active Kraken account. Lower fees are for buying and selling are the biggest selling points and you get a more sophisticated interface. Overall you’ll pay less if you execute the same trade on Kraken Pro rather than using the basic interface your Kraken account provides.
- A founder who’s honest about the risks of holding your Bitcoin on an exchange.
- A secure, time tested platform for buying and selling digital assets.
- Earn yield through staking specific crypto currencies.
- A “pro” version with lower fees and more information.
- A Kraken standard account has higher fees than the pro version. You have access to both as a Kraken user.
Binance – The global leader
Binance is a well-known, global cryptocurrency exchange that caters to seasoned investors. It has low trading fees and a massive variety of cryptocurrencies for trade, although its trading possibilities in the United States are more restricted with Binance.com being restricted (Americans have to use Binance.us).
While its low costs may be appealing, the platform has encountered regulatory difficulties and is currently being reviewed by the US regulators which is why they are towards the bottom of this list.
Binance is not particularly beginner-friendly as it provides a broad range of trading features. Depending on your experience and understanding, investors may encounter a steep learning curve with the Binance platform.
With both a desktop and mobile interface that provides traders with a plethora of trading possibilities including numerous market graphs and over 200 cryptocurrencies. Users may also utilize different trading techniques such as futures and options, as well as various order types.
Stop order, limit order, stop-limit order, stop-market order, and trailing stop option are some of the trade orders accessible on Binance. You may choose a variety of trading views such as standard to margin and OTC ones. Although certain features are disabled in the United States version found at Binance.us, including margin trading and several trade orders.
- Over the counter trading.
- Pro level trading options that will be familiar to experienced equity traders.
- A massive selection of crypto currencies to buy and sell.
- Binance.us is much more limited than Binance.com.
- Very advanced platform that is overwhelming for new users.
Celcius Network – The best lending platform
Celsius is a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that specializes in crypto lending, borrowing, and earning. It’s also a cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to purchase ten specific cryptocurrencies as well as the ability to swap currencies. Celsius isn’t for day traders; it’s designed for those who want to lend out their crypto and receive yield on is.
Residents of the United States are welcome to join the platform; but users in certain states like New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Washington state are not allowed to sign up and those with account already in those states are restricted from buying assets.
You should consider signing up to Celcius as a way to make passive income by lending out your crypto currency holdings. CelPay, their in house app has unique features like allowing users to send and receive payments right from their phones. Users who want to convert their funds money directly into Celsius’ native utility token (known as CEL) get discounts on loans and increased return rates when they lend.
Blockfi – Bitcoin credit card and lending platform
Blockfi is a lending platform and exchange and allows you to purchase select crypto currencies and earn a high yield on them. While their offering of potential currencies to buy is not as wide as other exchanges, they do offer competitive interest rates and the ability to swap between coins.
That means you can buy Bitcoin with Brave Browser BAT tokens for example. This is helpful because most exchanges charge a small fee to sell your crypto currency and a small fee to initiate a buy order. With Blockfi, you can earn in other crypto currencies and use them to buy Bitcoin.
Last, they also offer a Bitcoin rewards credit card. Functionally it is a cash back rewards card that gives you 1.5% of cash that is used to buy Bitcoin once a month that is automatically deposited in your account. With this card there is no foreign transaction fee as well.
Uniswap – The Defi Protocol
Uniswap is a large decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. That means there is no support, not centralized governing body. Uniswap makes it simple to exchange crypto currencies without the need for an account with KYC. Uniswap’s liquidity pools may also provide you with interest on your crypto assets. This exchange however, has high costs and is a bit technical to use for a total beginner.
USwap is a type of decentralized exchange called an “automated market maker” (AMM). AMMs utilize smart contracts (programs written on the blockchain) to set prices and conduct trades. Because they’re decentralized, these exchanges don’t have a central governing body that regulates trades. They can provide DeFi-based decentralized financial services since they operate without a central authority.
AMM have the potential to provide crypto trading because of their liquidity pools. A liquidity pool is a collection of cryptocurrency funds secured in a smart contract by contributors. When individuals want to trade cryptocurrencies, they draw on the liquidity pool’s resources.
The liquidity providers (people who have put their crypto into the pool) get a cut of every transaction, in which case USwap takes a small fee. It’s a win-win situation. Because of its liquidity providers, Uniswap is able to provide crypto trading. The exchange’s transaction fees are shared between the liquidity providers, and they get paid in cryptocurrency as a result.
To use Uniswap you have two primary options, to trade or stake crypto. You trade crypto by “swapping” one token for another (hence the name of the protocol) or you can stake your crypto in said liquidity pools to earn yield.
Best crypto exchanges conclusion
So that’s it for my guide on the current best crypto currency exchanges. I personally use and recommend Gemini for most use cases. They have a lot of features and are well regulated and the most trustworthy of the options on the list.