Millions of people around the world are interested in trading cryptocurrencies, but new users tend not to know where to do so. With so many cryptocurrency exchanges thriving in today’s markets, new traders can hardly keep up.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to analyze the top 20 cryptocurrency exchanges, ranking them by speed, cost, international accessibility, trading features, user confidence, and more. By the end of this guide, you’ll have strong options for trading crypto, wherever you live, and whatever form of cryptocurrency trading you wish to pursue.
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Best cryptocurrency exchanges for 2020
We’ll first take a look at the best bitcoin exchanges overall, then look at our favourite exchanges for different criteria: fees, reputation, ease of use, etc. By the end of this guide, you’ll have several high quality options for your personal bitcoin trading needs.
1. eToro: Best overall cryptocurrency exchange
- Social trading crypto exchange
- CySEC & FCA regulated
- Over 15+ coins supported
- KYC & verification required
2. Plus500: Trade crypto CFDs on a regulated European broker
Plus500 is one of the most reputable online cryptocurrency trading platforms in the market. Some of the cryptocurrencies it supports include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, etc. All these assets are available for trading 24/7 except for one hour on Sunday between 13:00-14:00 UTC.
It does not charge any commission for crypto trading. This bitcoin exchange relies on the spreads from the trades made.
Similar to eToro, Plus500 is regulated by top-tier regulatory bodies from around the world such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC), among others.
Plus500 makes it very easy for traders like you to trade cryptocurrencies. It provides a free demo account that is available for an unlimited period. The demo account has the same features of the live account and will enable you to practice and test strategies before risking your money.
The maximum leverage for crypto trading is 1:20, and you can start trading with as low as $100. Even though the cryptocurrency market is very volatile, you can minimize the risks by using the various technical tools provided by Plus500 to make better trading decisions. Some of these tools include stop loss, price warning, trailing stop, etc.
Cryptocurrencies supported: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, NEO, Ripple, IOTA, Stellar, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Tron, Monero and Crypt 10 Index
Demo Account: Yes
Educational Material: Yes
Fees: No trading fees, overnight and inactivity fees may apply. No fees or options for withdrawing crypto coins.
Minimum deposit: $100 if made by debit or credit card
Special Features: Multi-language platform with live support
Regulation: British FCA, CySec, ASIC, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Israel Securities Authority (ISA), Listed on the LSE (PLUS)
Payment methods: Debit and credit card, Skrill, PayPal, bank transfers (wire, EU-based SEPA)
- Leveraged crypto trading
- Low spreads, fees and commissions
- Free demo account
- Not suitable for beginners
- CFD trading only - you will not own the physical asset
3. Binance: 150+ cryptocurrencies supported
Binance started in China but was moved to Malta when the Chinese government banned cryptocurrency trading.
It has its proprietary cryptocurrency dubbed as Binance Coin (BNB). In 2017, it initiated an initial coin offering (ICO) of the coin to raise $15 million in funding. You will get discounts if you use the BNB coin to pay trading fees on the exchange site.
Binance does not charge fees when you want to deposit any crypto assets. It offers trading pairs with BTC, ETH and USDT but not fiat currency. So, you will need to use another crypto site to change your fiat currency to crypto to enjoy free deposits on Binance. The base fee for trading crypto assets is 0.1%. However, you can reduce the cost by up to 50% if you use the BNB coin.
This crypto exchange utilizes high levels of safety and security measures with multi-clustered and multi-tier architecture. In addition, it has a matching engine that is capable of executing around 1.4 million trade orders per second. This makes it one of the fastest bitcoin exchange sites in the world. Also, it supports the trading of more than 150 cryptocurrency coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.
The registration process on Binance is simple, and your account can get activated immediately. For you to be granted with a basic trading account, you need to register through your email. On the downside, the basic account has a withdrawal limit of 2 BTC per day.
Cryptocurrencies supported: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, NEO, Ripple, IOTA, Stellar, EOS, Tron, Monero, Cardano, etc.
Demo Account: Yes
Educational Material: Yes
Fees: 0.1% for all trades but this can reduced by up to 50% if BNB coin will be used
Minimum deposit: None
Special Features: BNB coin reduces the trading fees by 50%
Regulation: Lightly regulated under the still-developing Maltese Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) act
Payment methods: Cryptocurrencies, Debit and credit card, Simplex
- High liquidity and fast platform
- No verification needed to buy crypto
- Average fees of 0.1% on each trade
- Doesn't offer phone support
- Not suitable for complete beginners
4.Coinbase: Offers user-friendly mobile app
- Advanced mobile app
- High liquidity
- User-friendly interface
- Takes some time to reflect deposits
5. Luno: Best for traders from developing countries
- Quick and easy way to trade cryptocurrencies
- Available in developing countries
- Intuitive interface
6. Libertex: Low fee bitcoin & crypto trading platform
Libertex is a bitcoin exchange that is based in Limassol, Cyprus. It is a reputable platform that has received over 30 industry awards. Currently, it boasts of having more than 2.2 million customers from 120 countries.
This bitcoin exchange will give you access to extensive online learning materials.
It is straightforward to open a Libertex account. You can either sign up using your email or Facebook account. As part of its compliance to anti-money laundering regulations, you will be required to submit relevant documents such as your passport or any government issued-ID. The process only takes three days to complete.
The Libertex platform provides a cost-efficient way to trade cryptocurrencies. Some of its supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and more. Unfortunately, it does not offer a crypto wallet like most of its competitors. Nonetheless, it is a good option for crypto leveraged CFD trading.
Libertex works on a commission-based system so the rates vary by trading instrument.
Cryptocurrencies supported: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, etc.
Demo Account: Yes
Educational Material: Limited educational resources
Fees: 0.2% for most cryptocurrency trading operations
Minimum deposit: €/$/£100 or 100 currency units, may vary based on payment method
Special Features: Serves international traders not reached by other platforms or crypto exchanges
Payment methods: SEPA bank transfer, wire transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Sofort, Giropay, Trustly, iDEAL, Przelewy, MB, Rapid, TeleIngreso, Neosurf
- Offers commodities, currencies, stocks, indices and cryptocurrencies
- Has a mobile app
- CySEC regulated platform
- High non-trading fees
What is a bitcoin exchange or cryptocurrency exchange?
What types of bitcoin exchanges are there?
For our purposes, there are basically two types of Bitcoin exchanges: those that accept fiat currency as payment (centralized), and those that do not (decentralized).
Fiat currencies are any government-issued money. US Dollars and British Pounds Sterling are two common examples.
Comparitive analysis of the best cryptocurrency exchanges
Below is a comprehensive table that represents how the top cryptocurrency exchanges are similar and different to each other.
|Crypto Trading Fees||From 0.03%||Spreads vary from 0.56% to 3.28%||0.10%||1.49% to 3.99% on Coinbase, 0.1% to 0.25% on Coinbase Pro||0.25% to 1.00%||0.27% to 2.56%|
|Withdrawals||$5||5 free withdrawals monthly , $10 for subsequent withdrawals||Varies |
depending on the cryptocurrency used
|Free||Free||0.5% for bank transfers |
1% for Neteller
1 EUR for Visa
Free for Skrill
|Regulation||ASIC, FCA, CySEC||ASIC, FCA, CySEC, FMA, MAS, FSCA and ISA||Not regulated||FinCEN||Not regulated||CySEC|
|Number of Cryptos Supported||15+||13||260+||19||3||15+|
|Supported Countries||Accessible worldwide with 12 exceptions||15+ countries||Accessible worldwide with a few exceptions||102 countries including the US||Low||110|
|Customer Support||Live chat |
Web-based ticketing and email
Only available during work hours on weekdays
|Live chat ||Only accessible via web-based ticketing||Automated chatbot |
Plus500 is regulated by top-tier authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Its other regulators include CySEC, Financial Markets Authority (FMA – New Zealand), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA – South Africa) and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA). It is the most highly regulated exchange on this analysis, with eToro coming in second.
You’ll see that eToro is a fully regulated entity in multiple jurisdictions under various top-tier authorities. These include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
Coinbase is registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business. Libertex operates as a regulated platform under the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
Though it operates from Malta, Binance is neither regulated nor officially registered.
Lastly, Luno is not a regulated platform.
Crypto Trading Fees
Binance offers a highly competitive flat trading fee of 0.10%, far below the 0.25% industry average. These are the best rates in this comparative analysis. Traders can get an additional 50% discount if they pay trading fees via its native BNB token.
Crypto trading fees on eToro start from as low as 0.03%, depending on the cryptocurrency in question. This is highly competitive, second only to Binance on this list.
For traders using Luno exchange, crypto trading fees range from 0.25% to 1.00%.
On the other hand, crypto trading on Libertex is charged on commission basis, with rates varying from one asset to another. They range from 0.2684% to 2.5612%.
Crypto trading on Plus500 is charged in spreads ranging from 0.56% to 3.28%.
On Coinbase, cryptocurrency purchase fees on the service range from 1.49% to 3.99%. However, Coinbase Pro users get better rates ranging from 0.1% to 0.25%.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
There are no deposit fees on eToro, Plus500, Binance, Coinbase, Luno and Libertex. Their withdrawal fees and supported payment methods vary.
There are no deposit fees on eToro but withdrawals attract a fee of $5. The minimum deposit amount is $30, apart from the initial deposit, which should be $200. And if you make your deposit via wire transfer the minimum required is $500. There is also a withdrawal minimum of $50.
Deposit and withdrawal options include:
- Credit/debit card
- Bank transfer
When it comes to deposits, the minimum amount acceptable is $100. It does not charge withdrawal fees for the first 5 withdrawals in a month. But subsequent withdrawals attract a $10 fee. Bank transfer withdrawals however have a fixed charge of $6. The minimum withdrawal amount is $50 on PayPal and $100 via credit/debit cards and bank transfer.
Withdrawal and deposit options include:
- Credit/debit card
- Bank transfer
The withdrawal fee on Binance is also competitive, though it varies from one coin to the next. Take a look at some examples:
- BTC – 0.0005 BTC
- BNB – 1 BNB
- ETH – 0.01 ETH
- USDT – 50 USDT
You can deposit funds using MasterCard or Visa credit cards courtesy of a service known as Simplex. Simplex charges 3.5% per transaction. There is no limit on deposits but withdrawal limits will depend on verification status – 2BTC daily for unverified users and 100BTC daily for verified users.
Deposits and withdrawals are free of charge.
You can make deposits via:
- Bank transfer
- Wire transfer
- Debit/credit card
But withdrawals are only accessible via bank transfers and PayPal.
It is possible to make deposits using:
- Wire transfer
There are no withdrawal fees, but users will need to pay network fees for transaction processing. Deposits limits apply, varying according to your verification level. They range from 1,000 EUR to 100,000 EUR monthly.
Its withdrawal fee varies depending on the payment method you want to use but deposits are free.
It supports a wide variety of deposit methods such as:
- Bank deposits
- Wire transfers
- SEPA transfers
Withdrawal methods on the other hand include:
- Wire transfers
The minimum deposit amount is $100 and the maximum is $5,000.
Supported Cryptocurrencies and Liquidity
When it comes to supported cryptocurrencies, Binance offers over 260 cryptocurrencies. In this regard, it is the leading exchange on this analytic review.
Due to the remarkably high trading volumes on Binance, liquidity is also very high, comparable to eToro and Coinbase.
eToro also offers deep liquidity and it supports trading in the following cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
On Plus500, here are the supported cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin Gold
A major highlight is that the liquidity on this exchange is relatively high. Notably, it has the capacity to absorb client orders during periods of low liquidity, taking the other end of the trade to keep things moving.
Currently, it supports 19+ cryptocurrencies including:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- Stellar Lumens
- Basic Attention Token
One of the major highlights of this exchange is its high liquidity, an aspect which places it at par with Binance and eToro. Individuals are allowed a $10,000 maximum withdrawal amount daily, and businesses, $50,000.
At present, the exchange only supports three cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin. In comparison to most of the other exchanges here, Luno’s liquidity is quite low.
On this cryptocurrency exchange, you will find a reasonable range of crypto assets including:
- Bitcoin Gold
- Ethereum Classic
- Bitcoin Cash
Though the liquidity level is not the lowest, it is not as high as on some of the services here including eToro, Coinbase and Binance.
One aspect in which eToro outshines the rest is that it accepts customers from all parts of the world with a few exceptions including North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, etc.
Coinbase has traders located in 102 countries.
Binance is accessible to users all around the world with a few exceptions such as the United States.
Libertex caters to clients in over 110 countries around the globe. It accepts clients from a majority of countries except those with strict regulations.
Plus500 accepts customers from over 15 countries including Australia, UAE, Germany, etc.
Luno specifically targets emerging markets and countries that can’t access services from most other exchanges. These include most European countries as well as Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia.
eToro’s customer support team members are highly responsive and accessible via multiple avenues including:
- Online ticketing system
- Live chat
However, they are only available on weekdays during working hours.
On the other hand, Plus500’s customer support can be reached via:
- Live chat
They are available 24/7 and offer fast and helpful responses.
Coinbase excels in customer support, offering assistance via:
- Automated chatbot
- Traditional mail
Binance’s customer team members are only available via web-based ticketing. There is no live chat or telephone support. They are, however, responsive.
On Libertex, customer support is accessible via multiple forums including:
- Social media
- “Ask a question” form on the website
There is no live chat feature and email support is the most efficient, while their social media platforms are almost inactive.
Lastly, traders on Luno can only access customer support via dedicated email support. Luno’s rating in this aspect is very poor.
Cryptocurrency sites ranked by category
If you’re looking for a specific feature, take a look at the best bitcoin exchanges ranked by category below.
eToro has the most transparent pricing policy and does not involve any hidden fees. The platform does not charge commissions on trades and makes money through spreads. Note that there is a withdrawal fee of $5.
Compared to other platforms, Plus500 offers fair trading fees. The platform does not charge commissions on trades. Instead, you only incur spreads, which is the difference between the buying and selling prices. In most cases, you will pay the spread when opening a position.
Since Binance only offers crypto trading, it does not charge fees for deposits or withdrawals. However, it costs 0.10% for all trades. Nonetheless, you will get a discount of up to 50% on Binance if you use the BNB coin to pay trading fees.
The fee structure on Luno is more complicated than most exchange sites. It is based on fiat currency pairing and 30-day trading volume. However, across all trading pairs, market maker fees are flat zero while for market takers the fees vary from 0.2% to 1%. Also, you will only incur 0.0002BTC for transacting using a crypto wallet.
There are various fees involved when trading cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. First, it charges a spread of around 1.49%. However, the actual spread can be higher or lower due to market fluctuations. On top of the spread, you will also be charged a flat fee for smaller purchases and sales.
Unlike most online brokers, Libertex does not rely on spreads but instead charges commissions on every trade. The commissions depend on the crypto asset that you want to trade. Cryptocurrency commissions are typically around 0.2% only.
There are a number of cryptocurrency exchange with excellent reputations.
Coinbase is where most new crypto traders buy Bitcoin or Ethereum. It’s highly regulated and trustworthy.
Gemini Exchange is a major competitor to Coinbase, and is pursuing more stringent regulation and licensing than any other exchange on the planet.
Binance sells far more cryptocurrencies than any of the other exchanges in this section. It’s not as well regulated, but it has never suffered a major attack.
Coinbase makes signup a breeze, offer mainstream currencies that all kinds of users will understand, and are safely regulated and licensed in many jurisdictions.
Coinbase Pro offers many different order types, complex charting, and fast performance for experienced traders. They also offer a greater array of currencies than the basic Coinbase platform.
Binance offers a similar level of performance, with many more crypto assets on offer.
The best bitcoin site for in-app trading is Coinbase. While there are many high quality platforms available in browser, the selection is fairly limited on mobile. Fortunately, these two offerings earn high marks.
Plus500 is the best cryptocurrency exchange for traders in the UK. Aside from its low spread fees and commissions, it also provides a user-friendly trading platform that has a web-based and mobile version. Moreover, it has 24/7 customer support.
eToro is the best US cryptocurrency exchange and one of the best trading platforms for both beginners and expert traders. It supports several payment methods such as PayPal, wire transfer, credit/debit card, Neteller, WebMoney and Skrill.
Even though it has high spread fees, eToro is still the most secure and one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges that support social trading. Not only that, but eToro also supports several assets such as forex, stocks and commodities and has one of the best stock trading apps. This is definitely something to consider if you will be looking to diversify your portfolio away from cryptocurrency, in which case your best bet will be to use an all-in-one solution like eToro.
Plus500 is the best exchange overall for people in Australia and New Zealand (Find out how to buy Bitcoin in New Zealand). Aside from being licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia, its users also find it easy to deposit and withdraw their funds because it supports PayPal, Skrill, bank transfer and credit/debit cards.
What is the difference between an exchange and a broker?
A sub-type of exchange, the CFD Broker, is different from a normal cryptocurrency exchange in that they don’t sell real Bitcoin. Instead, CFD brokers essentially allow users to bet on the future price of Bitcoin.
CFDs (Contracts For Difference) are a quick way to trade, without having to use Bitcoin wallets or mess with confusing Bitcoin transactions.
It’s also easy to lose money quickly with CFD trading, if you’re not accustomed to it. However, with knowledge and practice, CFD has its place. Just make sure that if you want real Bitcoin that you go with a conventional Bitcoin exchange, and not a CFD broker.
There are hundreds of cryptocurrency platforms operating today. Unfortunately, most of them are not worth trying, and some will put user funds at risk of hacking and fraud losses. Some investors do lose money in cryptocurrency trading scams. To find out more about these products you can read our Bitcoin Loophole reviews.
We hope that the options we’ve presented to you will give you all of the trading functionality you need, without any of the associated risk. As this industry develops, we’ll investigate new exchange sources. For now, the exchanges we’ve recommended here are truly the best in the business.
eToro: Leading Social Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Trade a range of cryptocurrencies
- 0% commission
- Social and copy trading
- eToro crypto wallet
Plus500: Low Cost Crypto CFD Broker
- Tight spreads & no commission
- £/$100 minimum deposit
- Strictly regulated
Cryptocurrency exchange alternatives
If you are looking for an alternative to traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, check out the guides below.
Can I Store My Cryptocurrencies On Exchanges Indefinitely?
This isn't a good idea. Cryptocurrency exchange wallets are meant for the short term storage of funds, such as right after a purchase of Bitcoin has been made. Exchange wallets can technically hold cryptocurrencies indefinitely, but as we're learned from hacking events like Cryptopia and QuadrigaCX, sometimes exchanges lose user funds. Every crypto exchange basically as a target on its back. With so many millions or billions in assets contained on a single platform, thieves will be working as hard as they can to steal the funds contained therein. Buy your coins and quickly move them to a wallet that resides on your computer of mobile device. As an individual, you won't have hackers trying to steal from you, at least with the same effort that the put into robbing exchanges.
Why Don't More Crypto Exchanges Accept Fiat Payments?
Cryptocurrencies are sparsely regulated, so exchanges that only accept crypto>crypto transactions don't put themselves under regulation the same way fiat>crypto exchanges do. For a fiat exchange to survive, they've got to comply with all sorts of federal and state oversight, sometimes in multiple nations. This is costly and time-consuming, and few exchanges want to jump through these hoops. Those that do can be very profitable, but they also take on considerable risk because they have to be transparent to regulatory scrutiny just like banks and other high-level fintech service providers.
Why Do So Many Crypto Exchanges Get Hacked?
There are several reasons why today's cryptocurrency exchanges are vulnerable to hacking. 1) They're centralized. Exchanges basically hold huge piles of digital cash. One hacker breakthrough can result in a massive score. 2) Cryptocurrency exchanges are suffering during the crypto bear market. Some have had to lay off staff, leaving themselves with less expertise to throw into security. 3) Some cryptocurrency exchanges are shady, fly-by-night affairs that don't use industry best practices. They're get-rich-quick schemes. 4) Many cryptocurrency exchanges are practically unregulated, meaning they can conduct themselves in any way they please, without any outside body stepping in to make them behave properly.
Why Do Some Banks Not Allow Credit Card Payments to Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
Banks have to protect their customers' assets and interests. Cryptocurrency is an experimental technology and economic model. Billions of consumer dollars have been lost in crypto investments, and negative monikers like Bubble, Hype and Fad are not far off the mark in certain cases. By preventing customers from using credit to by Bitcoin, banks are preventing certain unwise individuals from going into debt to invest in a highly speculative market that they don't understand. On the other hand, these banks are impinging on client freedoms and access to capital. It's a complicated situation.
What Happens if I Lose My Funds in a Crypto Exchange Hack?
The answer to this question depends entirely upon which exchange you're using. If your Bitcoin is lost in the hack of an unregulated, offshore Bitcoin exchange, you probably aren't going to get your money back. There is simply no regulatory body able to enforce customer protection practices on exchanges like this. However, if you use highly regulated exchanges like Coinbase (which probably won't get hacked anyway), you know that you would get your money back in the event of a hack, because Coinbase complies with many of the same regulations as banks.
A-Z of Bitcoin Exchanges