Despite recent setbacks, cryptocurrencies remain a popular new asset class for investors. Bitcoin beats TikTok, Apple, and the NFL in top Google searches in 2022, nearly topping the list of “restaurants near me.”
According to the latest statistics from Debthammer, there are more than 20,000 cryptocurrency projects worldwide, and there are now about 295 million crypto users in total, 20% of which are based in the United States.
If you are interested in buying cryptocurrencies, you need to open an account with a cryptocurrency exchange. With around 500 examples to choose from, Forbes advisors combed through the leading players to determine the best cryptocurrency exchanges for new and existing investors.
The Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform 2022
BitZelex – very good platform to enter the crypto market (buying/trading), very simple and easy to understand. Whether you are a new or more advanced user of the crypto trading market – consider using the BitZelex platform – this platform is very friendly, easy to use and understand, and offers most crypto assets for new crypto traders/investors.
Gemini Trust Company, LLC is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to buy, sell and store digital assets. It was founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Currently, it operates in the US, Canada, UK, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.
KuCoin is a secure cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easier to buy, sell, and store BTC, ETH, KCS, SHIB, DOGE, Gari, and more.
Coinbase Global, Inc., branded Coinbase, is a U.S.-listed company that operates a cryptocurrency exchange. Coinbase is a distributed company; all employees operate through remote work, and the company has no physical headquarters.
Crypto.com’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrencies. Through the Crypto.com mobile app and exchange, you can buy over 250 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Solana (SOL) and more. Purchase with a credit card, debit card, cryptocurrency or fiat bank transfer. Our ecosystem includes financial services, payment solutions, world-class trading platforms and decentralized financial products.
What is a cryptocurrency exchange and how does it work?
A cryptocurrency exchange is a marketplace where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin. Cryptocurrency exchanges work very similarly to other trading platforms you may be familiar with. They provide you with an account where you can create different order types to buy, sell and speculate in the cryptocurrency market.
Some cryptocurrency exchanges support advanced trading features such as margin accounts and futures trading, although these are less common for U.S. users. Others have features like crypto mortgages or crypto loans that allow you to earn interest on your crypto holdings. The best exchanges offer educational products to keep you up to date on all cryptocurrencies.
We conducted an in-depth evaluation of the features and options offered by nearly 25 cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto trading apps, and brokerage platforms that offer crypto trading options.
The transaction fee reflected by each broker or cryptocurrency exchange is the transaction fee for the minimum volume, using the most basic version of the platform.
These data involve 10 key variables to assess the quality of each platform:
- Basic trading functions. Key metrics include the number of tradable cryptocurrencies, the number of fiat currencies accepted, the overall liquidity of the exchange and transaction fees.
- Advanced trading features. We looked at the availability of complex transaction features, such as advanced order types and volume discounts for frequent transactions.
- Margin trading. An assessment of margin trading rates (if applicable).
- Platform Availability. While some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges can be found everywhere, some other countries and U.S. states have vastly different levels of access to different features.
- customer service. Types of customer support available.
- Educational Resources. We evaluated the educational content offered by each platform.
- Crypto Rewards Credit Card. Some platforms offer crypto rewards credit cards.
- Safety and storage. Available storage options, types of security and insurance, and an assessment of each exchange for any large-scale hacks during its lifetime.
- Staking and Rewards. Some platforms allow users to stake selected cryptocurrencies and earn interest.
- Crypto lending. Some cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to lend out their cryptocurrencies.
These ten variables benchmark the features and options of the cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers we surveyed.
For each ranking, a weighted sum of all or some of these key factors is calculated to reward each brokerage firm or exchange its overall ranking. Margin trading, platform lending and advanced trading are not considered when choosing the best cryptocurrency exchanges for beginners.
Different Types of Crypto Exchanges
Broadly speaking, there are two categories of cryptocurrency exchanges: centralized exchanges and decentralized exchanges. Each category has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Centralized Crypto Exchange (CEX) is managed by one organization. Centralized exchanges allow users to easily start cryptocurrency trading by converting their fiat currencies, such as USD, directly into cryptocurrencies. The vast majority of crypto transactions take place on centralized exchanges.
Some crypto enthusiasts oppose centralized exchanges because they go against the decentralized spirit of cryptocurrencies. To make matters worse, in the eyes of some crypto users, companies or organizations may require users to follow know-your-customer (KYC) rules. These require each user to reveal their identity, just like you would when applying for a bank account, to combat money laundering and fraud.
There is another problem with centralized exchanges: hacking. With CEX, the exchange holds the cryptocurrencies traded on its platform — at least in the short term, while the trade is taking place — increasing the risk of a hacker stealing the asset.
To address this risk, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have stepped up security in recent years. Among other strategies, they now store most of their client assets offline and buy insurance policies to cover crypto losses in the event of a hack.
If you like the convenience of a centralized exchange, you can reduce your risk by moving your cryptocurrencies to separate OTC hot or cold wallets.
Decentralized crypto exchanges (DEXs) assign responsibility for facilitating and verifying crypto transactions. Anyone willing to join the DEX network can verify transactions, just like how cryptocurrency blockchains work. This could help improve accountability and transparency, and ensure that the exchange can continue to operate regardless of the state of the company that created it.
The problem is that decentralized exchanges are much less user-friendly, not only from an interface point of view, but also in terms of currency conversion. For example, decentralized exchanges do not always allow users to deposit U.S. dollars and exchange them for cryptocurrencies. This means that you either have to already own the cryptocurrency or use a centralized exchange to acquire it and then use it on the DEX.
You may also engage in direct peer-to-peer transactions. This means that it may take you longer to find people who want to buy what you are selling, and if liquidity is low, you may have to accept price concessions to quickly buy or sell cryptocurrency in small batches.
Global cryptocurrency exchange
Nearly 600 cryptocurrency exchanges around the world invite investors to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets. But cost, quality and safety vary widely. Forbes Digital Assets ranks the top 60 global cryptocurrency exchanges with a focus on compliance.