Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that has been steadily gaining popularity since its inception in 2009. The bitcoin exchange market has grown as well, with bitcoin now being tradable on over 100 bitcoin exchanges worldwide. In this article, I will feature the five of what I consider the best bitcoin exchanges available today for you to use to buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and digital tokens.
Here are my top picks:
With a bitcoin market cap of over $30 billion, Coinbase is the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. This US-based company allows you to buy bitcoin with a credit card, bank transfer, and other popular payment methods for US dollars or euros. They also support Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin cash.
To buy bitcoin with Coinbase, you will need to create an account by signing up here. If you want a shorter verification process, use this link for $10 free when you purchase or sell at least $100 of a currency.
They are also one of the most secure exchanges on the market today due to their strict verification process. They have passed their AICPA SOC 1 and SOC 2 third party attestations (basically, exernal auditors come in and vigorously validate their security program).
The best part is that Coinbase is available in many countries. Check out their list of services by Country.
Coinbase also offers an app for both Android and iOS devices, making it easy to buy bitcoin on the go.
- User-friendly interface.
- Wide variety of payment methods accepted.
- High liquidity makes buying and selling bitcoin easy.
- Offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.
- Almost 100 different types of crypto currencies.
- Fees are high and confusing, especially when using credit cards or PayPal to purchase bitcoin. But it’s important to note that you will get your bitcoin instantly after purchasing it so the actual fees are much smaller if you buy bitcoin with bank transfer or a digital currency like bitcoin cash.
- Their customer service can be hit or miss.
Coinbase is considered one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. The interface for Coinbase basic service is quick and user-friendly, but the costs can be difficult to track unless you use the more advanced Coinbase Pro version.
Binance is a bitcoin exchange that focuses on the Chinese market and offers bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin trading against the Chinese Yuan (CNY). However, they do have a US based affiliate if you are located in the USA and want to use Binance.
They have built up a large user base in China and offer good liquidity for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They also offer a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
- Low fees when buying bitcoin with CNY or other cryptocurrencies.
- Good liquidity for bitcoin and other large cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin.
- The user interface is not as user-friendly and can be quite complex compared to say Coinbase. They do offer a desktop app which helps make up for this somewhat. Recently, they have been facing some server issues which have caused some outages.
- Their USA options are more limited than for other markets.
- No built in wallet. Others have their own wallet but Binance recommends that you use Trust Wallet
- Some encounters with regulators in countries they operate.
While Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, the ongoing regulatory investigations, and the long list of countries banning or limiting their services are growing cause for concern. Its platform may also be too complicated for new cryptocurrency investors.
However, if you’re an experienced trader who’s eager to explore different tokens and trade options, then Binance is a great option for you. They offer good liquidity, low fees, and a wide variety of altcoins to trade against bitcoin.
Active traders based in the U.S. may find some limited opportunity on Binance.US, but it offers fewer supported cryptocurrencies than the global platform. Make sure to do your due diligence and compare platforms before getting started with Binance.
This exchange offers US-based traders access to some of the world’s most liquid markets; bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Gemini is a New York trust company that operates under the strictest of regulations.
- Licensed trust company regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
- Offers high liquidity for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- Hot wallet insurance
- Fees are higher than other bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase and Binance.
- Higher than normal bitcoin withdrawal fees can be found here. If you purchase bitcoin on Gemini, it’s important to withdraw the cryptocurrency within 24 hours to avoid any bitcoin withdrawal fees from being charged by their system.
- Less currencies to choose from (77) versus the others in our list of best bitcoin exchanges
Those seeking a secure, user-friendly platform to buy, sell, and trade crypto may find what they’re looking for with Gemini. It includes an easy-to-navigate interface and a simple buy/sell form for beginners and professionals will surely enjoy. Advanced traders can benefit from their Active Trader platform, which offers many additional tools such as advanced charting tools and multiple order types.
While Gemini’s fee structure is more complex than what you might see on others in our best bitcoin exchanges, it’s quite transparent about fees, so you will not be surprised by unexpected costs nor experience sticker shock. Whether you’re new to crypto or a experienced trader, Gemini is a worthwhile platform if you’re thinking about investing in or trading cryptocurrency.
As one of the largest Bitcoin traders in the world, Bitfinex is an advanced Bitcoin trading platform with complete order books, margin trading, liquidity, and derivatives.
- One of the largest bitcoin exchanges out there today that offers a lot of liquidity for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP), Cardano (ADA), and Stellar Lumens (XLM). This exchange also has many advanced features that may confuse new bitcoin traders.
- Fees are higher than other bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase and Binance.
- Higher bitcoin withdrawal fees can be found here. If you purchase bitcoin on Bitfinex, it’s important to withdraw the cryptocurrency within 24 hours to avoid any bitcoin withdrawal fees from being charged by their system.
- History of regulatory missteps and fines.
- Not available for those in the USA.
Overall, Bitfinex receives mixed feedback from users and its history of regulatory issues is concerning. If you’re in the United States, you can’t use it anyway and they do verify and block your account (confirmed still in effect as of 2/21/2022), so you’re better off looking at one or our other selections in the best bitcoin exchanges.
Now, if you’re outside of the U.S., you have a decision to make balancing the good platform and low fees with a less than stellar history, including breaches of customer trust.
If you’re concerned about potential security and risks on Bitfinex, you may want to skip it due to its past hacks, fines, and violations. But if you’re willing to accept some risk and strongly secure your accounts on the platform, you might find a good overall experience at Bitfinex.
Kraken is a bitcoin exchange based in Europe, and it offers bitcoin trading against the euro as well as other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR), and many others. They provide advanced order types such as stop-loss orders to help traders protect their bitcoin from sharp price movements during times of high volatility. Kraken is a great bitcoin exchange for those looking to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with high liquidity and advanced order types.
- One of the most liquid bitcoin exchanges with a high volume for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (over 110 currencies available).
- Advanced order types like stop-loss orders to help traders protect their bitcoin from sharp price movements during times of high volatility.
- The user interface is not as user-friendly compared to Coinbase or Gemini.
- Some users report their accounts being hacked with little to no support from Kraken.
- Higher fees for Basic vs Pro accounts.
While Kraken may be European based, it is available in many countries around the world. Check out their list of Kraken’s available locations to see if they offer in your country.
Kraken’s pricing and features make it a solid choice for beginners to experts and crypto investors looking for a new cryptocurrency exchange. Its low fees on Kraken Pro, high rates for staking, and futures markets are all a draw. However, some users report serious account security issues, and it’s not the easiest platform to navigate compared to competitors.
Overall, Kraken is an excellent choice for cryptocurrency trading and investing. As always, make sure you understand all the costs and risks involved and take as many steps as possible to secure your account with two-factor authentication. If you do, you should have an overall safe and pleasant experience trading cryptocurrency Kraken.
Conclusion on the Best Bitcoin Exchanges
The cryptocurrency market is booming and with it comes several exchanges that you can use to buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin. I’ve researched for you and compiled a list of the 5 best bitcoin exchanges by looking at their security features, currency pairs available on each platform, trading volume over 24 hours, and customer support quality. And don’t forget to check out some other articles on this blog’s Cryptocurrency section while you’re here too 🙂