The cryptocurrency industry is edging closer to mainstream adoption, as we see the upward trend in new users continuing to show promise. With a growing demand for access to digital assets, cryptocurrency exchanges continue to pop up on an almost weekly basis, as companies try to grab their piece of the market.
Acting as online brokerage platforms, cryptocurrency exchanges provide the means to buy and sell currencies and tokens, the likes of industry leaders like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). There are a variety of important factors to consider when choosing the right crypto exchange for you, such as the listed currencies, fees, payment options, and the level of security this exchange offers.
In order to make the process easy for first-time crypto users and those who are relatively new to the industry, we have selected the top five exchanges to suit your needs.
Gemini first went online in 2014, led by the Winklevoss twins, who were part of the team that created Facebook, and has since expanded its range of services, as well as seen its userbase grow. The exchange is available to U.S. citizens in 50 states across the country and has become one of the leading platforms for traders.
The company has focused on security above all, which has shown to be fruitful in an industry that is littered with stories of exchanges not ensuring security for customers’ funds—extending to insuring customers’ hot wallets. A highly liquid exchange, with an extensive range of listed currencies.
The exchange has proven to be a great option for new customers, offering a range of support systems and a display that makes navigation seamless. One big downside about the company is the high fees on many popular trading pairs, which would be okay if the company boasted more cryptocurrencies than other major exchanges, but sadly it doesn’t.
A relatively new exchange, first operating in 2017, BitMart offers a broad range of major cryptocurrencies, with many of those currencies offering an earn product. The earn function works in much the same way as other exchanges, except it offers some unique opportunities that are unrivalled elsewhere in the industry.
One of the standout features of the BitMart exchange is the ease to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. Rather than enduring a more complex buy/sell process, users can quickly and easily carry out transactions, which certainly suits the beginner crypto user.
One shadow that has loomed over BitMart since May 2021, when hackers found a vulnerability in the company’s security and carried out a large-scale attack. This was not good for the company’s image and some customers have submitted poor feedback regarding the service.
One of the leading crypto exchanges in the States and one that has gained a great deal of attention in the last year, inking sponsorship deals with major sports organizations like the UFC. But, the reason this exchange is growing is due to the fact it supports over 250 cryptocurrencies, which are backed by a range of products.
Crypto.com offers an excellent earn product, which is available for certain cryptocurrencies, but not all. Though, it does cover the major currencies, which is suited to beginner traders, who are likely to be investing in the more popular coins. Also, the Crypto.com mobile app is first-rate, making it easier to navigate through the exchange and its products.
One aspect of the exchange that did disappoint us was the high trading fees. While it’s unlikely that customers are going to be making a high volume of trades, it’s still not appealing when the fees are considerably lower elsewhere.
A DEX (decentralized exchange) exchange and one that is a great fit for traders with a crypto wallet, who are looking to swap tokens or earn interest through staking. For beginner users who have been storing digital funds in a wallet, this is a great option.
Uniswap has a great user-friendly design, allowing users to seamlessly navigate through the site and offers swaps on ERC-20 tokens. The exchange offers an earn feature on various currencies, without any KYC or registration required to sign up.
One of the downsides to Uniswap is the fact it doesn’t accept fiat money, which is a given as it’s a DEX. However, for many beginners, fiat money is often the only access to the market. On top of that, customers will also encounter relatively high gas fees for transactions, which is something that new crypto users should avoid.
Coinbase is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and it's at the top of the pile in the United States. As such, the exchange is highly liquid. The company offers two unique products, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, which cater to all types of customers from beginners to experts.
On top of that, there are a large number of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs, as many as on any other major exchange. The exchange is easy to navigate and is supported by a unique mobile app, allowing Coinbase users to access the markets on the go. Also, the earn feature gives some of the best percentages earn rates among the top exchange across the major coins.
One thing we should mention is the lack of high-quality customer service, that we should come to expect from top-tier online exchanges. There have been no glaring issues with customer support. But, for such a major company, especially one that is handling millions of dollars, we would like to see them improve this aspect of the service.
eToro is a well-recognised fintech company and social trading broker, offering a hybrid trading experience as users can trade both digital assets and forex. The company first went online in 2007 and has since grown into one of the most popular trading apps around.
The company offers free stock and ETF trading, as well as a range of the most popular cryptocurrencies. It’s easy to open an account and gain access to the markets, which is a great aspect of the platform for beginners. Another great feature is social trading, allowing users to track and copy the actions of other, often more successful traders, which is a great way for novices to enter into trading.
One of the main features of the eToro platform is the fact it has high non-trading fees, which isn’t particularly appealing to beginners. On top of that, users are only allowed to hold on account base currency, which doesn’t allow a lot of flexibility.
For new customers, the most common request is to have access to a range of coins and ensure that their funds are safe. We know that crypto exchanges can be confusing, so we would add that navigation and educational tools are also key factors for newcomers.
As such, although any of the exchanges would suffice, the one that stood out was Coinbase, offering a large number of support cryptocurrencies and expert security to back them. The company is also well-established and offers a great support network for U.S.-based customers.