As the popularity of cryptocurrency has exploded in recent years, so too has the number of platforms anyone can use to buy and trade the currency.
There are roughly 600 crypto exchanges globally and they all invite people to trade bitcoin, ethereum and other digital assets. They have different costs, safety features and benefits.
Here are 10 crypto exchanges that have proven to be the most reliable for investors.
Coinbase is one of the few publicly traded crypto platform companies in the U.S. The company does not charge users if they’re transferring crypto from one Coinbase account to another. However, the platform does charge a fee for buying, selling or converting crypto. The fee amount changes depending on “selected payment method, the size of the order and market conditions,” according to Coinbase’s website.
Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, has more than 73 million registered and verified users. More than 6 million users make at least one transaction monthly.
Among the pluses, your cryptocurrency is insured in the event the platform is hacked. On the downside, fees on Coinbase can be higher fees than other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange platform and is based in Pakistan. The company does not charge users for depositing crypto into a Binance account. The company charges a 0.1 percent fee for anyone buying or selling crypto if the person doesn’t have a Binance account. Withdrawing crypto from Binance also has a fee but that amount changes day to day, according to Binance’s website.
There are an estimated 28.5 million-plus Binance users.
Among the pluses, Binance uses a two-factor authentication verification and it offers Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured United States dollars balances for Binance.US. On the downside, only 43 states can use Binance.US, excluding Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Texas, Vermont, Idaho, and Louisiana, according to Investopedia.
Based in Singapore, Crypto.com exploded on the scene last year when it bought the naming rights to the former Staples Center in Los Angeles. The platform gives investors access to more than 200 different cryptocurrencies.
Crypto.com’s fee is 0.4 percent if a user is buying or selling up to $25,000. The fee drops down to 0.1 percent if the crypto transaction in question is worth $2 million or more.
Crypto.com is continuing to work on account security after announcing a hack in January that cost users $30 million worth of digital currency.
It has more than 10 million users.
Among its pluses, it offers a debit Visa card with cash back rewards, has low fees, and it’s easy to convert money. Downsides include complaints that its difficult to navigate and has poor customer service.
Bisq is slightly different from most crypto exchanges. It’s not owned by a company. It’s a free, downloadable software that anyone can use to buy and trade crypto back and forth between two people. Bisq allows for trading bitcoin, ether, a few other cryptocurrencies and the BSQ token. The transaction fee is 1 percent for bitcoin and .4 percent for BSQ.
Bisq hit 70,000 trades all-time in August 2020.
For crypto traditionalists who believe in the ideology of decentralization and want complete anonymity in the trading process, this is a good fit. But Bisq is not a fit for most other cryptocurrency investors, according to The Motley Fool.
Among the plus of Bisq are: instant approval, there are no geographic restrictions, and because of its decentralization you are in control. On the downsides, there is a higher potential for fraud.
BlockFi is a combination of digital bank and crypto exchange platform. Based in New Jersey, the private company offers loans and credit cards backed by cryptocurrency. The company does not charge a fee for crypto transactions. However, the company isn’t available in Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and West Virginia. In other states — including Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi and North Dakota — BlockFi can only trade eight cryptocurrencies.
BlockFi has more than 500,000 retail accounts and was valued at more than $4 billion in November 2021, Bloomberg reported.
One of the pluses for BlockFi is it offers crypto-backed loans and crypto rewards credit cards. On the downside, it is restricted in some states and withdrawal fees apply based on the cryptocurrency type.
Robinhood is perhaps the most well-known app-based platform for stock market investing. Robinhood doesn’t charge for crypto trading but it only offers access to seven cryptocurrencies. About 7 million Robinhood users had some of their personal contact information exposed during a data breach in November. The company said at the time that no Social Security, bank account or debit card numbers were exposed.
One of the biggest pluses is that Robinhood has no account minimum. On the downside, if you hit a snag the platform offers limited customer support.
Gemini is a crypto exchange platform based in New York and founded by the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler of Facebook fame. The pair sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, claiming he stole their ConnectU idea to create Facebook. Zuckerberg settled with the twins for $65 million.
Like Crypto.com, Gemini’s fees are based on a sliding scale. Its highest fee is .4 percent per transaction for users trading between $0 and $9,999 worth of crypto. The scale ends at .03 percent for buying or selling crypto that’s valued at $500 million or more.
Gemini says its platform is among the safest out there because the company is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
The platform has 13.6 million users.
It’s available in all 50 U.S. states, has hot wallet insurance, and strong security. On the downside, there are only around 100 cryptocurrencies available on the platform.
FTX is a Bahamas-based crypto exchange that gives investors access to six different digital currencies. The three-year-old company received a sprinkle of attention last week when tennis star Naomi Osaka became an equity partner. FTX’s highest fee is .02 percent for transactions worth $0 to $199,999,999. There is no fee if the transaction is worth $25 million or more.
Pros include low withdrawal fees and advanced trading options. On the downside, it has a smaller selection of cryptocurrencies than some competitors.
Kraken is based in California but is one of the largest crypto exchanges in Europe. The platform offers investors 90 different digital assets, according to Kraken’s website. The service isn’t available in New York or Washington state. Kraken’s fees for transactions are between 0 percent and 0.26 percent, depending on the value of the buy/sell. Kraken uses a two-factor authentication process to keep user accounts safe.
Six million people use Kraken, and is considered one of the most trusted exchanges. Among the pros, it offers a large selection of digital assets. The cons include, it is not available in all U.S. states and offers limited options for funding accounts.
eToro is an Israeli financial services company founded in 2007 with an app where users can buy and sell bitcoin, ether, XRP, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies. The platform also gives users a social network feel where investors can chat and swap investment advice. eToro charges a flat 1 percent fee for crypto transactions and has 24-hour customer support for customers.
eToro’s number of users reached a total of 24.8 million registered users at the end of the third quarter of 2021.
Pros include: Offers access to nearly 40 cryptocurrencies and low minimum to fund an account and begin investing. The downside is that the service not available in all states.