What Is The Best Crypto Exchange – A Complete Guide

Matthew Stokes
Last updated on September 05, 2022

Best Crypto Exchanges

Choosing which crypto exchange to use is a challenging and often confusing task that prevents many from taking the step of getting into crypto. We know – we’ve been there ourselves. Over the past ten years, many new crypto exchanges have emerged, adding to the complexity of choosing an exchange.

The first thing to know is that not all crypto exchanges are created equal. From the number of assets you can buy to funding methods and the security options available, all the way to staking options and advanced trading features, every crypto exchange is unique. Not only that, but the number of variables that change between each exchange can make it hard to wrap your head around and figure out which one is the best.

To that, add the fact that each one of us has different priorities and different wants from our crypto exchange. Some people care about trading fees, and others put an emphasis on liquidity. For some, leverage is a must-have, while others have never heard of leverage before. Your crypto exchange should serve you and be adapted to your wants and needs. There are enough high-quality exchanges today to find one that fits you instead of compromising or just going for the one with the biggest marketing budget.

This is the main reason why we’ve created MadCrypto, and why we took on the challenge to write some of the most thorough crypto exchange reviews on the internet. We understand that choosing a crypto exchange is a very personal choice and that there is no “one size fits all” solution.

This exchange page will give you an overview of what to expect from each exchange and explain who does what best and why. From here, you can dive deeper into our detailed reviews that cover every single aspect we could think of and find a crypto exchange that works for you.

Short on Time? Here’s a summary of May 2022’s best crypto exchanges

  1. Binance – Best for experienced traders familiar with crypto, cheap fees
  2. Bitvavo – Best for European beginners looking for a reliable and straightforward platform
  3. Coinbase – Best for non-EU beginners, highly supervised, easy to use
  4. eToro – Best if you want to create a diversified portfolio all in one place
  5. Gate.io – Best if you are ready for the full madness of crypto

Best Crypto Exchanges – Full analysis (Updated May 2022)

Binance - The crypto exchange standard with regulatory concerns

Excellent
8.9
Excellent
8.9
Support for more than 400 cryptocurrencies
Support for more than 46 fiat currencies globally
Some of the lowest fees on the market
Feature-packed exchange geared towards experienced and professional traders
24/7 customer support with human support

Binance is arguably the most well-known cryptocurrency exchange on the market, and it’s the one we subconsciously compare to most when we review other exchanges at MadCrypto. You can’t blame us; there isn’t much not to like about Binance. It has one of the widest selections of cryptocurrencies, including its native token, BNB, the fifth largest coin by market cap globally, amongst so many other things.

Being such a prominent exchange makes it a big target for hackers, and it does have a tarnished security reputation, with $40 Million worth of Bitcoin stolen in 2019. But the good news is that Binance immediately took ownership and covered users for any losses and has since upgraded security features. So, when it comes to security, we aren’t too worried about trading with Binance.

Its funding options are really impressive, and your geological location probably won’t be a limiting factor in financing your account with fiat currency or crypto. Taking money off the exchange was also easy, and we never had problems withdrawing. Binance trading fees are excellent, with maker/taker fees capped at 0.1%/0.1%. Fees vary depending on your 30-day trading volume and how much BNB you hold and can be as little as 0.0120%/0.0240%.

One downside is that Binance has had some regulatory hurdles along its journey, most notably in the U.K. and the U.S. and parts of Europe. You can still use Binance in most unregulated places, but many of the advanced that Binance is known for will not be available.

Binance is for experienced and professional traders; there are no two ways about it. There is no clean, shiny, and polished desktop user interface for the novice or intermediate traders that most other exchanges are developed for. Binance has developed a more novice-friendly mobile app, though, Binance Lite, and it comes standard when you download the Binance app. It’s purely for buying and selling crypto and is perfect for beginners interested in crypto trading.

The advanced UI comes in two views: the Binance classic trading view and the Binance advanced trading view. Don’t let the word ‘classic’ fool you: it is still quite advanced, and users that don’t have much trading experience will find it confusing. The advanced view is geared more towards professionals. Trading features include short-selling, margin and leverage trading, futures, staking, and options. Binance also has a Visa debit card and NFT marketplace.

Binance is perfect for experienced and technical traders with its feature-packed exchange and low fees. Novice traders can still find value in Binance with its Binance Lite mobile app but might get overwhelmed with its more advanced platforms.

Get in to read our full 2022 Binance Review.

Bitvavo – The Perfect Companion for The Start of Your Crypto Journey

Good
8
Good
8
Highly regulated: Registered with the Dutch Central Bank and Dutch Association of Bitcoin Companies
Support for more than 150 cryptocurrencies
Very beginner friendly with some of the cheapest fees in Europe
No history of any security breaches
Pleasant customer service

If you live in Europe and you’ve invested in cryptocurrency before, chances are you would’ve heard about Bitvavo at some point on your crypto crusades. Bitvavo is one of the fastest-growing crypto exchanges in Europe, with a goal to become the biggest. It is highly regulated with a comprehensive list of security features and the rare achievement of having no security breaches to its name.

With support for more than 150 cryptocurrencies, including the top 10 and many lesser-known and rare coins, you won’t fall short of finding some good investment opportunities and maybe that chance of finding the next 10x or 100x coin.

Bitvavo supports 7 different funding and payment methods, including SEPA, which is free, and lets you fund your account from anywhere in Europe with a daily limit of €1.000.000. With no deposit fees and a very generous daily limit, Bitvavo is the perfect exchange for a beginner looking to deposit small amounts or the serious trader looking to buy large and hold.

The fees are excellent and some of the cheapest we’ve come across in Europe, with the maximum trading fee capped at 0.25%. Bitvavo’s platform and user interface are clean and beginner-friendly, making buying and selling cryptocurrency very simple. Bitvavo’s mobile app also compliments the ease of buying crypto, but that’s all you’ll really be able to do with it.

Where Bitvavo lacks is its support for more adept traders. The most advanced part of Bitvavo is its advanced user interface with a live order book and charting tools. But that’s about it. Bitvavo supports only 3 order types, and experienced traders won’t be able to do any advanced trading like short-selling, margin, and leverage trading. Bitvavo does have support for staking, but it needs to develop it and offer a lot more before we would show any interest.

All things considered, Bitvavo is an excellent platform for buying and selling crypto. Its goal of bridging the gap between traditional currencies and digital assets is well on its way to being fulfilled, and that requires a mass appeal to beginner crypto traders. Advanced traders can still find value in Bitvavo with its low trading fees, but for advanced features that can offer potentially higher rewards, Bitvavo probably won’t be for you.

Get in to read our full 2022 Bitvavo Review.

Coinbase - Perfect for beginners, easy to use, convenient payment methods

Good
7.7
Good
7.7
Three core trading platforms: Coinbase brokerage platform for retail and beginner traders, Coinbase Pro for more advanced traders, and Coinbase Prime for institutional traders
Access to more than 360 trading pairs and more than 150 cryptocurrencies
Robust security features
Support for both fiat and crypto deposits and withdrawals
Non-custodial wallet service called Coinbase Wallet
Educational resources for beginners and a way to earn rewards for learning about different cryptocurrencies

Coinbase is one of the first names that come to mind when thinking of crypto exchanges. This is partly because it’s a publicly listed company on the U.S. stock exchange, but more so that it’s the biggest crypto exchange by volume in the U.S. and one of the go-to crypto exchanges worldwide. Coinbase caters to the broader retail market as well as the professional and institutional market.

Its primary service, the Coinbase brokerage service, was developed to help beginner traders get their foot in the door to the crypto trading world and supports more than 360 cryptocurrencies. It offers a clean and easy-to-use user interface and makes buying and selling crypto very simple with support for fiat currency funding options like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Withdrawing from Coinbase is easy, too, with the choice of fiat and crypto withdrawals. However, this convenience does come with a price, as the fees associated with buying, selling, and trading are higher than most of the crypto exchanges we’ve reviewed.

Coinbase Pro is a crypto-only exchange that focuses purely on crypto-to-crypto trading with access to more than 150 trading pairs. Although with a hack to its name, Coinbase Pro has thorough and robust security features that make the threat of another breach unlikely. 98% of customers’ assets are stored in offline cold wallets, and U.S. customers are covered by up to $250,000 through Coinbase FDIC insurance. The Coinbase Pro interface is sleek and professional, with advanced charting and features like stop and limit orders. Experienced traders might find the Coinbase Pro features lacking, though, as there is no support for margin and leverage trading and minimal support for staking and rewards.

Additional features from Coinbase include its non-custodial wallet that lets users assign a username to their wallet, which makes the Coinbase Wallet a lot easier and safer to send crypto to and from, similar to how you can send money between PayPal users. An NFT marketplace is in the pipeline, with a rollout in the U.S. expected to be in June 2022.

Everyone’s investment strategy is different and depending on how you want to invest will dictate which Coinbase service is good for you. If you’re just looking to do some spot trading and learn a bit more about crypto, Coinbase is perfect for you. If you want a bit more of an advanced platform to give you that professional feel, Coinbase Pro will have you covered, but the lack of more common advanced features might make you consider another exchange.

Get in to read our full 2022 Coinbase Review.

Gate.io – Many assets, Many features, not easy to use

Very good
8.3
Very good
8.3
Support for more than 600 cryptocurrencies and 1200 trading pairs
Primarily an advanced platform, packed full of advanced features
Low fees
Comprehensive NFT marketplace
Copy-trading function, helping other users maximise their investments from different proven investor strategies

At MadCrypto, we don’t have one specific target market that we focus on. We will review any and all exchanges. Exchanges that are both available and unavailable to the U.S. market. Exchanges that aren’t regulated. Exchanges that are great for adept traders but not for beginners. Gate.io is one of those. Gate.io is an unregulated exchange operating out of the Cayman Islands that is, for the most part, unavailable to users from the U.S., Canada and Japan, and a few other countries.

Gate.io is packed full of features and offers users a mammoth 600 tokens, many you’ve probably never even heard of. Gate.io technically hasn’t had any security breaches, and its security features are a testament to why, with simple features like a separate withdrawal password and blind IP logins. The sign-up process took a bit longer than we would’ve liked due to KYC verifications, but if you’re in no rush and don’t mind sleeping on it, this won’t be a problem for you.

When it comes to funding your account, gate.io falls short on its support for fiat funding. You can fund your account via fiat methods, but you would have to use a third-party service to do so, opening you up to more KYC verifications, admin, and service fees. If you’re funding using a separate crypto wallet, it’s very straightforward. Withdrawals are easy, too, with no fees attached. Its fees for everything else are fantastic. Trading fees are competitive with the likes of Binance, and if you hold its native token, GT, it gets even cheaper depending on the amount you hold.

Gate.io only has advanced platforms. There is no polished and easy-to-use beginner-friendly interface. It has been developed for the pure crypto trader. Users can change the platform from the standard advanced platform to a more scaled-back professional platform with less clutter than news feeds. Advanced features include margin, yield farming, staking, and perpetual contracts. Users can also copy other traders’ investment strategies. It also has an excellent NFT marketplace

You can probably tell we liked gate.io. But it won’t appeal to everyone. How you trade, where you live, and the features that are important to you will determine whether you like it or not. If you’re a beginner, we recommend you steer clear and learn a bit more about crypto on a beginner-friendly exchange like Coinbase before even thinking about gate.io. If you are looking to dive deep into crypto, you’re going to love gate.io.

Get in to read our full 2022 Gate.io Review.

Crypto.com - Well rounded, good app, built for the mainstream

Very good
8.3
Very good
8.3
Competitive fees with new user incentives
Support for more than 200 cryptocurrencies and 290 trading pairs
Rewards Visa card – bridging the gap between your crypto and everyday spend
Crypto.com University – an excellent educational resource for beginners and advanced users
Robust security features
Excellent staking opportunities and other ways to earn rewards

Crypto.com is everywhere. You’ve probably seen them while watching basketball or ice hockey at the Crypto.com Arena in LA or watching Formula One racing and seeing its branding all over the Aston Martin racing team and many of the tracks. Snoop Dogg also famously rolled out his NFT collection on Crypto.com’s NFT marketplace. It hasn’t just got to this position overnight by throwing a bunch of money at sponsorship deals and advertising; it’s been a gradual process since they started trading in 2016. It had one goal: to accelerate the world into cryptocurrency, and they seem to be doing it pretty well.

Crypto.com has 3 primary services: A brokerage platform through its Crypto.com app, an advanced professional exchange through Crypto.com Exchange, and a non-custodial wallet service called Crypto.com DeFi wallet.

The fees are competitive, fiat funding methods are broad, and Crypto.com incentivises new users by offering a standard 30-day new user fee waiver with its app. This is an excellent way for beginners to spend a month learning about crypto trading without racking up a large amount of fees. The Crypto.com University will also help beginners learn most things they need to know about cryptocurrency. Experienced traders can also learn a thing or two with topics around NFTs and the crypto J-curve.

Crypto.com’s security features are plentiful, including 100% cold storage for users’ crypto assets and insurance in the event of any breaches. Some additional features offered by Crypto.com include a rewards Visa card, which lets U.S. users spend their crypto the same way they would spend traditional fiat currency. Crypto.com has also recently unveiled an NFT marketplace with some awesome art from artists like Ari Hersch.

We found Crypto.com to be a well-rounded exchange, with an intuitive interface and essential features for beginners and a decent number of advanced features for experienced traders, including staking, margin and leverage trading, and perpetual contracts. If we had to be critical, though, we found it bizarre that the standard brokerage service is only available as a mobile app, and there is no desktop exchange. The mobile app is also not as beginner-friendly as others we’ve used, as withdrawing fiat currency was trickier than most other exchanges we’ve reviewed. All in all, we were impressed and can recommend it to most traders out there.

Get in to read our full 2022 Crypto.com Review.

FTX – Highly recommended for advanced traders

Very good
8.5
Very good
8.5
Well-known and popular exchange, ranked 2nd biggest by market cap
An extensive list of markets and cryptocurrencies
Support for fiat currency purchases and funding
Cheap trading fees; some of the best on the market
Professional grade features and trading options

Few crypto exchanges can boast explosive growth and popularity in such a short space of time like FTX can. Founded in 2019 by MIT graduates Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang, FTX has gone from just a concept to the 2nd biggest crypto exchange in its short existence. It is available in more than 100 countries worldwide but is prohibited in the U.S. Still; it boasts a userbase of more than 5 million.

Investors have access to more than 200 cryptocurrencies and 400 trading pairs, as well as access to the traditional stock market for a chance to broaden their investment portfolio. FTX fees are hard to beat and some of the cheapest we’ve come across, with maker/taker fees capped at 0.02%/0.07%. This, coupled with its spotless security history, make it an excellent choice for most traders. Fiat currency funding is supported, but withdrawal fees are exorbitant if you wish to withdraw more than once a week.

Using the standard FTX mobile app, beginners or intermediate traders can do some spot trading or buy or sell some crypto without too much confusion. However, we still think there are more beginner-friendly exchanges like Gemini or Crypto.com, both having easy-to-use desktop platforms too. For the most part, FTX is an advanced exchange, with its standard desktop UI and FTX Pro mobile app geared towards experienced and professional traders.

The FTX desktop platform has advanced charting features with more than 100 indicators and 7 order types. Other advanced features include futures, leveraged tokens, perpetual contracts, volatility, prediction, short selling, and staking. For users looking to grow their crypto by staking, it probably won’t find FTX sufficient for their needs as it only has support for 4 staking coins.

Beginners looking for a steppingstone into the crypto world can do so with FTX if they use the mobile app, but we don’t advise they try any of the other advanced features until they properly get to grips with how crypto works and how some of the basic features work. Advanced and experienced traders will absolutely love FTX. It’s cheap, secure, and packed with advanced tools, but it does have high fiat withdrawal fees and poor staking tools.

Get in to read our full 2022 FTX Review.

eToro - Amazing all-in-one platform, but quite expensive and light on crypto

Fair
7.1
Fair
7.1
Well-established with 15 years of operations
Highly regulated in the U.K., Europe, and Australia
No history of any security breaches
Access to both crypto and traditional stock markets
Unique trading features like CopyTrade and CopyPortfolio, helping others piggyback off of potential successful investors' strategies
Social platform with a Twitter-style newsfeed that allows investors to interact with each other while using the investment platform

Few exchanges offer access to the traditional stock market and the rapidly expanding crypto market on one platform. eToro has been offering financial services longer than most other exchanges we’ve reviewed, which brings a well-regulated and highly diverse platform. It is regulated in 6 different jurisdictions worldwide, and this experience and notoriety are features in its own right.

eToro has 3 primary services. It’s standard brokerage and CFD exchange where you can buy and sell stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. eToro Money is a crypto wallet where you can store and swap your crypto for other cryptos. eToroX is its more advanced platform, developed for expert traders and institutions.

eToro is impressive in that it has been offering Bitcoin since 2013 when BTC was still in its infancy. Even with this early inception into the crypto world, it still, unfortunately, supports a mere 52 cryptocurrencies. This could, however, be made sweeter by the fact that they have support for more than 2500 stocks, but since we’re mainly focusing on crypto here, we think a lot more needs to be done before eToro can be deemed a main player in the crypto market.

eToro’s fees are pretty complex and a bit on the expensive side. It uses a spread fee model for buying and trading crypto, with a typical spread on Bitcoin being as much as 0.75%. Other fees include withdrawal, conversion, overnight, and inactivity fees.

The eToro user interface is fantastic for beginners. It is unique in that it has a social element, where users can post stories on their feed and interact with other users. It is a great way to learn from other investors, and eToro also has a feature called CopyTrade that lets you copy other investors’ proven successful trading strategies. Advanced traders using eToroX have access to 7 different order types, with support for short selling and margin and leverage trading. Staking is also supported, but unfortunately, only 3 cryptocurrencies can be staked.

Your investment strategy will be the main factor in deciding if eToro is the right crypto platform for you. If you want to diversify your portfolio and have access to the traditional stock market as well as the crypto market, eToro will be perfect for you. The social aspect and copy trading features make eToro an excellent choice for beginners, and experienced traders will benefit a lot from eToroX and its advanced features. The limited crypto offering, however, probably won’t appeal to most traders.

Get in to read our full 2022 eToro Review.

Gemini - Highly regulated, easy to use, limited offering

Fair
7.4
Fair
7.4
Highly regulated in the U.S. Available in all 50 states
NFT marketplace with support for fiat purchases
Attractive rewards through Gemini Earn and Gemini Credit Card
Flawless security history with no breaches
Two wallet services with an instant trading feature on its cold wallet service

Gemini, the zodiac symbol of twins, is undoubtedly its namesake because of its founders, twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Gemini isn’t the Winklevoss twins’ first venture. They famously claimed to have been the brainchildren behind the initial concept of Facebook, with Mark Zuckerberg stealing their idea. Having such tech-minded brains behind an exchange can hopefully only mean good things.

If regulation is anything to go by, Gemini has managed to be one of only two crypto exchanges to achieve licensing in all U.S. states, including the coveted New York State Department of Financial Services regulation. It boasts a flawless security history with no breaches to its name, and security features include compulsory two-factor authentication, address whitelisting individual customer insurance of $250,000, and much more.

You might find it lacking in its cryptocurrency offering, only supporting around 80 coins and close to 90 pairs, with 2 of the top 10 crypto coins failing to make the list. This is probably more than sufficient for beginners looking to gain some experience in crypto trading, but adept traders might be put off and find more value from other exchanges.

Gemini has support for fiat funding and withdrawals, with support for 7 of the largest currencies worldwide. Limits on withdrawals are a bit of a downer, though, with minimum limits like $50 for USD and €95 for EUR. Gemini’s fees also aren’t anything to be desired, with convenience and transaction fees coming standard on every purchase. Trading fees are competitive with Coinbase and Crypto.com, but there are still cheaper exchanges out there.

The ease of use and simplicity of its interface could justify these fees because let’s be honest, everyone loves convenience. Gemini has managed to make its primary service, Gemini Exchange, extremely straightforward and enjoyable to use for beginners. Gemini ActiveTrader, its advanced platform, has some advanced features with 8 different order types. It offers decent staking options, but it lacks advanced features like margin and leverage trading.

If you’re into NFTs, we think Gemini’s NFT marketplace might be able to pique your interest. Gemini purchased an already established NFT platform back in 2018 and has integrated it into the Gemini ecosystem. It’s called Nifty Gateway, and users can get involved using fiat currency, which is a welcome feature in a world that is predominately Ethereum-based.

The bottom line, Gemini is a fantastic exchange for beginners, but the fees are a bit on the heavy side. Gemini does cater to the more experienced trader with Gemini ActiveTrader, but your needs will dictate if the features are sufficient.

Get in to read our full 2022 Gemini Review.

Kraken - Exceptionally solid, high liquidity, limited coin offering

Very good
8.1
Very good
8.1
Well established: operating since 2011
Low fees
High levels of liquidity
The user interface is straightforward to use
Flawless security history with no breaches since its inception
24/7 customer support

Ever heard of Kraken? We might find that hard to believe. It’s pretty much part of the furniture in the crypto world and has been operating since 2011 when most people hadn’t even heard the word ‘Bitcoin’ before. It’s a household name and is available in more than 185 countries worldwide, including the U.S. (Excluding New York and Washington) and most of Europe.

For such an old exchange, it’s almost unbelievable that it hasn’t been hacked before, like so many of its competitors. This comes down to its extensive list of security features, including 95% cold storage of user’s funds, two-factor authentication, and one we couldn’t help but chuckle at: Kraken holds competitions challenging hackers to find bugs in its system; prevention is always better than cure!

Kraken only supports 110 coins, which is disappointing considering it has been around for so long. It includes BTC, XRP, USDT, and most other big names. That being said, Kraken has one of the highest liquidity scores out there, including liquidity of over 750 on BTC/USD and ETH/USD pairs. So, a smaller offering, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find such high liquidity elsewhere.

It has two different platforms available on desktop and mobile apps. The standard Kraken platform is targeted toward novice traders and offers a clean and easy-to-use interface to buy and sell crypto. Kraken Pro, its more advanced trading exchange, has a professional-grade interface with advanced charting and a live order book, and you can seamlessly switch between different markets.

Fiat deposits and withdrawals are supported, as well as crypto deposits from external sources. Trading fees are excellent; they are almost 50% less than Coinbase, with maker/taker fees capped at 0.16%/0.26%. It’s also cheaper on credit card purchases and ACH purchases, too.

Kraken Pro has 7 different order types, and users can short sell, margin trade, and participate in staking with attractive rewards. Kraken’s primary service is perfect for beginners and intermediate traders looking to learn more about cryptocurrency and trading. We liked that Kraken has 24/7 live chat and phone support, a very simple and often overlooked feature. Other features in the pipeline include an NFT marketplace and NFT loans.

Overall, we were impressed with Kraken. It might have a small cryptocurrency base, but with such high liquidity, and some advanced tools and features, it’s a fantastic choice for beginners and experienced traders.

Get in to read our full 2022 Kraken Review.

OKX - Strong offering, good support, no fiat withdrawals

Excellent
8.8
Excellent
8.8
More than 300 cryptocurrencies
High-interest staking options
Very user-friendly mobile app
Advanced trading features like margin trading, staking, and perpetual contracts
Online chat tech support that responds promptly

Based out of Seychelles, OKX is a crypto exchange with more than 20 million users in more than 100 countries. Due to regulatory and compliance red tape, OKX does not allow the U.S. to use the service.

Developed with both novice and professional traders in mind, OKX has features to mitigate risks beginners face when starting out in the crypto world. OKX has a demo trading feature that lets beginners trade with “fake” money and carry out some trades in real-time to get a good feel for the exchange. OKX also vets all of its users before they can access advanced features.

We couldn’t find any history of OKX being hacked, and the exchange is packed with security features, including 95% cold wallet storage for users’ funds and Google Authenticator two-factor authentication. OKX also uses anti-phishing codes, ensuring that every email you receive from them is legitimate.

OKX coin offering is impressive, with more than 300 coins available to buy and sell and more than 300 trading pairs. It supports 30 different fiat currencies worldwide for crypto purchases, and users can purchase using a Visa card, a big advantage for beginners. The downside is you can’t fund your account with a bank transfer and hold a fiat balance. OKX also doesn’t let you withdraw fiat currency, meaning you need to transfer crypto to another exchange or wallet and sell it that way, a big risk, and disadvantage for beginners.

OKX uses a maker/taker fee structure for trading, and its fees are excellent, with a cap of 0.08%/0.1%. The platforms are available in desktop and mobile form, with its beginner-friendly platform, OKX Lite, and its professional-grade platform available through the same mobile app. It’s easy to switch to the Lite version, which is a lot less cluttered than the Pro version and would be perfect for beginners to buy and sell crypto. Advanced features include margin and leverage, short selling, and perpetual contracts.

Other great features include staking with attractive returns and lending and borrowing on more than 20 assets.

OKX is fine for beginners with the demo trading feature and simple OKX Lite platform, but with the lack of fiat withdrawals, we think there are safer exchanges out there to start on your crypto journey. With so many advanced trading tools and low fees, OKX should be perfect for most experienced traders.

Get in to read our full 2022 OKX Review.

Bybit - Endless trading features, built for advanced traders

Excellent
8.6
Excellent
8.6
Low trading fees
Professional grade platforms with excellent advanced features
High leverage perpetual contracts
Very secure with no history of any breaches

Bybit is a crypto exchange that came to fruition in 2018. It is based out of Singapore and has swiftly amassed more than 5 million users. It is available in 12 languages, with the development of more in the pipeline. It has a cryptocurrency offering of nearly 200 coins and over 200 pairs. Bybit is not available to U.S. citizens.

Its security is flawless, with no breach history, and security features include cold wallet storage for users’ funds, Google two-factor authentication (2FA), and SMS 2FA. The lack of an anti-phishing code was a minor concern for us, but the other security features should make up for it. Sign-up and verification were easy, and the KYC procedures are a security feature in themselves.

We were disappointed with the lack of support for fiat deposits when funding our account. Fiat currency is supported with the option to purchase crypto with a visa card or third-party service, but you can’t hold a fiat balance on the exchange. Despite this, funding your account with crypto was straightforward, so was withdrawing fiat and crypto from the exchange. Bybit uses a maker/taker fee structure with the entry-level non-VIP rates starting at 0.1%/0.1%

Bybit’s platforms are intuitive and easy to use. It has been developed with the advanced trader and professional in mind, with a trading view similar to any other professional-grade platform. A large integrated chart is available from the home screen, with market details and trading volume easily accessible. Although we don’t think Bybit is the most beginner-friendly exchange, novice traders will still be able to navigate its mobile app with relative ease.

We were impressed with the trading features offered by Bybit. We think advanced traders would be happy with the support for margin and leverage trading, the number of order types available, and the staking features. The most prominent standout feature for us was the 100x leverage offered on ByBit’s USDT perpetual contracts. Bybit also has an NFT marketplace, support for lending and borrowing, and adequate customer support.

To sum up, we think there are better and more beginner-friendly exchanges on the market for novice and intermediate traders. Experienced traders will enjoy the advanced features while using Bybit, with competitive fees and a professional-grade UI.

Get in to read our full 2022 Bybit Review.

Bitpanda - A one stop investment shop for Europeans

Good
7.8
Good
7.8
Secure exchange with no history of security breaches
Access to the traditional stock market and crypto indices
Bitpanda Visa debit card with cash back rewards
European based exchange and only available to European and UK users

There have been some awesome things that have come out of Austria. Mozart springs to mind, Arnold Schwarzenegger is up there, and the great Niki Lauda can’t be forgotten. Does Bitpanda have what it takes to follow in such giant footsteps? Founded in Austria and with offices in 10 European cities, Bitpanda is one of Austria’s fastest-growing fintech companies and offers a well-rounded investment platform with access to the crypto market and the traditional stock market.

We say well-rounded because Bitpanda has support for just under 100 cryptocurrencies, including the top 10, and hundreds of stocks, ETFs, and four metals. One standout feature for us, which Bitpanda claims is a world first, is its crypto indices. It gives users the chance to invest in the world’s top 5, 10, or 25 cryptocurrencies under one umbrella, much like investing in the Nasdaq Composite or S&P500.

Bitpanda boasts a stellar security history, with no breaches to its name. Security features include Two-Factor authentication, cold wallet storage for users’ funds, SSL encryption, and DDOS protection.

Funding methods are abundant, with support for many different fiat funding methods and support for crypto deposits from external wallets. Withdrawing funds, fiat and crypto, were simple when using desktop and mobile platforms. Fees for buying and selling crypto were ambiguous, but maker/taker trading fees are up there with some of the cheapest in Europe.

Bitpanda has two different platforms. The Bitpanda brokerage platform is perfect for beginners looking to buy and sell crypto because of its clutter-free and clean interface. But, we think Bitpanda lets its experienced traders down with the lack of advanced features. Bitpanda Pro is its answer to a professional-grade crypto exchange with 6 different order types and advanced graphs and charting, but that’s about it. Users looking to stake or short sell will need to look elsewhere.

Other features include a Bitpanda savings investment account, Bitpanda crypto debit card with cashback rewards, and Bitpanda Plus, an exclusive service for investors with significant capital.

We liked Bitpanda and think beginners will gain a lot of value from its user-friendly platform. It is most certainly one of the better exchanges out there for European users, but the lack of advanced features will see it losing out to some of its competitors like Binance.

Get in to read our full 2022 Bitpanda Review.

Kucoin - Staking paradise, no KYC, no fiat withdrawals

Excellent
8.6
Excellent
8.6
Trading bots – letting users automate their trades
Anonymous trading (with limited features)
Low trading fees
Developed for advanced users, no beginner-friendly platform
Comprehensive funding methods
Attractive staking rewards

KuCoin probably isn’t the first exchange that comes to mind when you think of cryptocurrency. It doesn’t appeal to some of the main target markets like the U.S. because of regulatory red tape, but that doesn’t mean it should be underestimated. It still has over 10million users in more than 200 countries and plans to expand in the future. It is an advanced cryptocurrency exchange with an extensive cryptocurrency and trading pair offering, with more than 600 and 1000, respectively.

Few exchanges these days allow you to trade anonymously. Most require verified identities which is essential for the exchange to ensure no fraudulent activity, a welcome feature for any potential new trader looking for an exchange. But sometimes, for whatever reason, traders seek anonymity. KuCoin lets you spot trade anonymously, but with minimal features and a max daily withdrawal limit of 2 BTC without KYC verification. It’s probably not sufficient for a professional trader but should suffice for most. Transparency is always best, though, and as you go through each layer of KYC verifications, more features become available.

KuCoin has been hacked as recently as September 2020. But, since then, KuCoin has beefed up its security and utilises some effective security features such as multilayer encryption and Google Authenticator multi-factor authentication.

Funding methods are impressive, with support for more than 70 payment methods depending on your location, but when it comes to withdrawals, KuCoin strangely doesn’t support fiat withdrawals. The only way to withdraw any funds from KuCoin is by transferring crypto to a different exchange or external wallet. It’s not a dealbreaker if you make a few trades now and then, but if you’re a day trader looking to multiple withdrawals a day, this extra admin might put you off.

KuCoin trading fees are excellent, with a maximum maker/taker fee capped at 0.1%/0.1%. KuCoin has 4 different order types, and advanced trading features include P2P trading, margin and leverage trading, derivatives, and futures trading. KuCoin also has a great way to earn rewards on your crypto through its KuCoin Earn exchange, a completely separate exchange developed purely for staking, and it offers some pretty tidy returns. You can also automate trades with KuCoin’s trading bots, a feature we haven’t come across before.

If you’re a beginner and want to get some trading experience and learn more about crypto, we don’t recommend KuCoin. It’s far too advanced, and you’ll probably get more confused than anything. For professional and pure crypto traders, KuCoin has more than enough features to fulfill most of your needs.

Get in to read our full 2022 Kucoin Review.

Huobi Global – The Crypto Phoenix Rising From Asia

Very good
8.3
Very good
8.3
No history of any security breaches
348 cryptocurrencies
Excellent customer service
Advanced exchange packed full of advanced trading tools

Huobi probably isn’t the first crypto exchange that pops to mind when you think about which crypto exchange to use for your trading needs, but that could be because its primary target market is predominantly Asian countries.

It’s had a turbulent ride to get to where it is today, with China banning cryptocurrency outright in 2021. However, Huobi is one of the biggest crypto exchanges, boasting more than 10 million users and ranking 7th on CoinMarketCap’s best exchange list.

Huobi supports a large number of assets, offering 348 cryptocurrencies (including the top 10) and 719 trading pairs, and its fees are competitive, with trading fees capped at 0.2% per trade. Its security is flawless, with no history of any breaches. Security features include two-factor authentication, cold wallet storage of users’ funds, and an investor protection fund in the event of a breach.

If you’re a beginner and looking to use Huobi, it’s not really built to onboard new users to crypto. It caters mainly to advanced traders and recently stopped supporting its beginner-friendly trading app. The advanced features are excellent, with 7 order types, margin and leverage trading, coin margined swaps, coin margined futures, USD-T margined contracts, options, brokerage services (OTC), and trading bots.

The Huobi user interface is excellent on both desktop and mobile platforms. It has everything you would expect from a professional-grade UI with advanced charting tools, numerous drawing tools, more than 80 indicators, and a live order book and market trades indicator. Other features on offer from Huobi include a non-custodial wallet service, NFT marketplace, staking, and lending/borrowing services

For experienced traders, Huobi is packed full of advanced features and tools, and we think it would be well suited to most needs and has excellent customer service.

Get in to read our full 2022 Huobi Review.

Best Crypto Exchanges – Quick Comparison Table

# Of Assets Offered Maker Fees Taker Fees Fiat-crypto trading
Binance 393 0.02% – 0.10% 0.03% – 0.10% Yes
FTX 285 0.0% – 0.02% 0.04% – 0.070% Yes
Coinbase 203 0% – 0.40% 0.05% – 0.60% Yes
eToro 62 1% 1% Yes
Gate.io 1438 0.04% – 0.20% 0.04% – 0.20% No
Kucoin 722 0.01% – 0.10% 0.03% – 0.10% No
Bybit 244 0.03% 0.08% No
Crypto.com 221 0.045 – 0.40% 0.10% – 0.40% Yes
Kraken 195 0% – 0.26% 0% – 0.26% Yes
Bitvavo 178 0.03% – 0.15% 0.04% – 0.25% Yes
OKX 362 0.10% 0.10% Yes
Gemini 102 0.50% 0.50% Yes
Bitpanda
45 0.05% – 0.10% 0.07% – 0.15% Yes
Huobi (Spot rate)
597 0.07% – 0.2% 0.07% – 0.2% Yes

What is a Crypto Exchange?

A crypto exchange in its simplest form is a digital marketplace where users can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies and digital assets. It is similar to a traditional stock exchange, but crypto-assets can be exchanged based on the current market prices instead of stock being traded. Crypto exchanges can also be used to store cryptocurrency and digital assets. Crypto exchanges come in a few different forms, mainly centralised exchanges, decentralised exchanges, and hybrids.

Centralised Exchanges (CEXs)

The most popular kind of exchange, CEXs act as a middleman, and buyers and sellers put their trust in the exchange to carry out trades on their behalf. This takes away some of the stress of investing, and with CEXs, you have other added benefits like higher liquidity, customer support, and ways to earn rewards/interest with your crypto. The downside to CEXs is that they are susceptible to security breaches and hacks, but CEXs have insurance in place should any breaches occur.

Decentralised Exchanges (DEXs)

When cryptocurrency was first conceptualised, its main intention was to create privacy and give economic power to the average person around the globe, cutting out banks or other intermediaries. DEXs are based around this philosophy and do not require a middleman to execute trades or hold funds. It is essentially a peer-to-peer marketplace where buyers and sellers can conduct trades between themselves privately. This makes it harder to hack, but downsides include lower liquidity and a bigger chance of losing funds through user error.

Hybrid Exchanges

Hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges aim to combine the benefits of CEXs and DEXs in one exchange: mainly the liquidity of a CEX with the privacy of a DEX. These are gaining popularity amongst investors, and many believe them to be the future of cryptocurrency trading.

Crypto Exchange Fees Explained

Trading Fees – Maker & Taker

Every crypto exchange has different fees associated with trading cryptocurrency. Trading fees are generally paid on every transaction, whether you are buying or selling.

The most common and cheapest fee structure is a Maker & Taker fee structure. It’s in an exchange’s best interest to add liquidity to their platform, increasing trading and trader volume, ultimately making the exchange more appealing to traders. This is where the maker comes in.

A maker fee is always cheaper than a taker fee because a maker adds liquidity to an exchange’s order book. The only downside about being a maker is that trades may take longer as you need a taker to fill the order. This is where the taker comes in.

As the name suggests, Takers take liquidity away from the exchange by placing an order that is filled almost instantly. For this convenience, taker fees are always slightly higher than maker fees.

Maker & taker fees usually are based on your 30-day trade volume, and the higher your trade volume, the cheaper the fees become. An exchange will always offer you the best fees if you trade large volumes because, as mentioned, you are adding liquidity to their order book, which will attract other traders.

Withdrawal Fees

Withdrawing cryptocurrency isn’t as simple as withdrawing traditional fiat currency. With fiat currency, you can simply take physical cash out from an ATM or a bank, and the bank deducts this from your bank balance. With crypto, there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that most users aren’t privy to.

When you withdraw cryptocurrency, it needs to happen via a blockchain. Each transaction in blockchains incurs transactional fees, which is vital to prevent users from spamming the network. Without getting too technical and confusing you with technical jargon, these fees can fluctuate depending on network traffic, gas fees, and unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) after a crypto withdrawal.

The crypto exchange you use will pay for these fees on your behalf and charge you a fee for doing so. An exchange will charge you different prices for every coin, which depends on how much they get charged for the transaction from the blockchain.

Other Fees

Sometimes, there are other fees you end up paying depending on the exchange you use. These can include deposit fees, lending (margin trading) fees, liquidation fees, and fiat-related fees.

Deposits

Most exchanges don’t charge for deposits, but we’ve reviewed a few that charge per deposit, which can be off-putting. But most of the time, you’ll save on other fees, so it’s vital to gain a holistic view of an exchange’s fees before deciding if it’s best for you or not.

Margin Trading

Some exchanges offer lending in the form of margin and leverage trading. You will typically be charged a percentage-based fee on the amount of crypto you borrow. If your trade goes wrong and the position is liquidated, you might also be charged a liquidation fee.

Fiat Currency

A growing number of exchanges are adding support for fiat funding and purchases. That is, the ability to fund your account or buy crypto with your bank account or debit card. Fees can be issued by the exchange and your bank, so it’s important to understand these before undertaking any deposits, withdrawals, or purchases. Funding your account with a credit card is often more expensive than via bank transfer, so pay attention as these sneaky fees can pile up.

How Do We Rank and Review Crypto Exchanges?

Let’s start at the beginning – all of MadCrypto’s writers are crypto users and traders and have been for years. We’ve seen this industry develop and have traded on exchanges that don’t exist anymore. We’ve been hacked, we’ve had our crypto stolen from exchanges, we’ve lost crypto because of a typo, we’ve lost private keys and recovery seeds… we’ve been through it all – the good and the bad. We are intimately familiar and acutely aware of every conceivable issue, feature, and trading platform. We could not and would not have created this website otherwise.

Our in-depth reviews cover many different aspects and features of a crypto exchange, but for practical purposes, we’ve divided our scores into 6 main categories: Assets, Platform, Fees, Security, Staking, and Trading Features.

The Assets Score

The most simple aspect of an exchange to evaluate is the number of cryptos an exchange will let you buy and sell and the number of pairs it supports. Here, the more, the merrier. Crypto markets are volatile, and new projects are created all the time; access to assets is what gives you the opportunity to turn a profit. If a coin is trending up, but your exchange doesn’t support it, you can’t profit from it – it’s as simple as that.

The Platform Score

When we evaluate an exchange’s platform, we need to look at all available platforms for us to trade on. This includes the exchange’s website and various advanced and pro interfaces, as well as various mobile apps an exchange has created for its users. The more platforms an exchange offers, the likelier it is that you will find one that works for you, and the higher the score.

Beyond the availability of different platforms, we tested them all to determine how easy and intuitive they are to use. We do not want to inherently penalise platforms for being complex and offering many features, but having a good user experience is key to helping users make the most out of the platform. In a nutshell, the platform score captures the offering and the joy of using the various platforms to trade.

The Fees Score

While evaluating fees, there are a few factors we took into account. The first and most important factor is, of course, the trading fees themselves. Here, a higher score is given to exchanges with low trading fees, while exchanges with higher trading fees receive a lower score.

Beyond trading fees, we also looked at other fees like deposit fees, withdrawal fees, conversion fees, overnight fees, inactivity fees, and so on. Generally speaking, the fewer fees, the better, but that is not all. Transparency is a key factor here, as you never want to be surprised by fees. For this reason, we are also taking into account the fee structure when calculating the fees score. A simpler and easy-to-understand fee structure will tend to score higher than a highly complex one making it hard for users to know how much they’re actually paying.

The Security Score

If you’ve been in and around crypto over the past few years, you know not to take exchange security for granted. The more money flows into crypto, the more sophisticated hackers become in their methods to steal users and exchange funds.

Here, we’ve considered a few factors when calculating the security score. First, we looked at the reputation of the exchange based on past events. Has it even been hacked, and if so, how did the exchange react? A spotless history is rewarded with a higher score, but we do not want to penalise exchanges that have suffered hacks without losing user funds – whether they recovered or reimbursed their users.

We also looked at third-party evaluations of an exchange’s security and the security features offered by the exchanges. Supporting the use of a physical 2FA key grants bonus points, as do extra verification steps when withdrawing crypto – since that is how most funds are stolen from users. Last but not least, insurance programs and account protection programs are viewed favorably when considering the security score since they offer an extra layer of security should your account be compromised.

The Staking Score

For us, staking has become an amazing alternative to generate extra returns on crypto. Of course, you can stake on your own and don’t need exchanges to stake on your behalf, but the convenience factor of a crypto exchange with a solid staking program cannot be understated.

Here, we reviewed the staking mechanism itself, the number of coins in the staking program, and the staking rewards offered by exchanges. The ability to stake many coins on an exchange will reflect positively on its score, as do attractive rewards compared to the competition. How much of the staking rewards an exchange keeps for itself varies greatly, and many users end up having two separate accounts on different exchanges – one for trading and one for staking. Whether you have to lock your coins also matters, even though this flexibility often comes at the cost of lower returns. We find this to be more a matter of individual preference than an objective criterion to judge a staking program by, but we do appreciate exchanges that offer both options.

The Trading Features Score

The trading feature score is geared towards those who want all the bells and whistles an exchange has to offer when it comes to trading. Trading can truly be as complex as you want it to be, and a high trading features score reflects an exchange that will support you in your quest for endless analysis and optimisation. Here, we take into account the different order types offered by an exchange, charting options, the ability to use leverage and margin, and every trading-related feature we could find.

Of course, it also means that this score is less relevant for beginners not looking for advanced features or users simply looking to buy and hold. If you are among those users, we recommend you skip this score and put more weight on the platform score instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re talking trading fees here, maker and taker, to be specific. The OKX crypto exchange tops our list of lowest fees, with maker fees capped at 0.08% and taker fees at 0.1%. However, Binance, Bybit, and Kucoin also have their fees capped at 0.1%, with possible rebates based on volume and on holding a certain asset. If fees are your main concern, all four are solid options for experienced traders.

How would we rate this? It’s a tough one. Most exchanges have very similar security features. We singled out the exchanges that haven’t had any security breaches before, and Kraken stood out as it has been around for longer than all of the others. It’s also constantly improving by putting its defenses up to the test by incentivising hackers to find bugs in its security; that way, it’s always one step ahead of any malicious hacker. However, most exchanges know they are high-value targets and are constantly developing new security features. Coinbase has an account protection scheme, in case you are particularly worried about hackers.

A few popped to mind. But Gemini stands out. Both its desktop platform and mobile apps are foolproof, and everything you need to buy and sell crypto is available from one screen. There is no unnecessary clutter, no need to navigate between countless pages to find what you’re looking for. Buying, selling, and withdrawing made simple.

Other exchanges we found very easy to use include Coinbase and Bitvavo, so give them a try if Gemini’s crypto offering isn’t enough for you.

Gate.io trumps the market, with 762 cryptocurrencies listed as well as 1419 markets. Kucoin and Binance are worth considering as well, as both have very extensive coin offerings.

Binance is our pick for the best staking platform. It has more than 100 coins to stake, with two types of staking available: locked and flexible. Locked generally being 30 days, some allow 10 and 15 days, and flexible, allowing you to withdraw your coin as you choose. We also found OKX to have a strong staking offering with many high-interest options.

Out of all the questions Redditors have about crypto exchanges, the top is among the sign-up and verification process, customer service, and fees. We scoured several subreddits, and eToro was the most recommended exchange. Some other pros users talked about its simple platform and ease for beginners and the security from the exchange being highly regulated. We don’t agree that eToro is the best crypto exchange, as it has a very limited offering that barely qualifies it as such. However, if you’re more interested in a diversified portfolio with a side of crypto, you’ll be very happy with eToro.

Best Crypto Exchanges