With over 200 cryptocurrency exchanges operating, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. You need only one, and that will probably be the best cryptocurrency exchange for you to carry on with your crypto investing/trading.
In 2017, Bitcoin and other altcoins shot up in value bringing in a lot of money to the cryptomarket. This event also saw the inception of many exchanges located all over the globe. Some exchanges only exist on the web which is more the reason to find the most secure one of them all.
So which one is the best altcoin exchange for 2018?
Well before we reveal the best cryptocurrency exchange, let’s take a look at the top 10 altcoin exchanges, in our opinion, and see how they fare when it comes to usability, customer service and much more.
The top cryptocurrency exchanges we will be discussing are:
If you are running short of time or don’t have the patience to read the entire thing, you can jump to our verdict here.
Remember, most of the above exchanges won’t allow you to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum meaning you can’t use fiat currencies inside. You will only be able to deposit BTC and ETH and then buy altcoins with their BTC and ETH pairs.
If you are in need of some quick Bitcoins and Ethereums or if you are in a country where you can’t get them quickly, then there are a couple of exchanges that could come in handy.
Cex.io is one of the most straightforward exchanges to use when it comes to buying Bitcoin. You can use your credit/debit card to purchase Bitcoin which makes this a favorite for many.
The fees charged are also pretty low compared to other online portals. There is a flat 3.5% + $0.25 fee which is the cheapest for using credit cards to purchase Bitcoin.
Customer verification is pretty quick which means you can get your cryptocurrency instantly without any delay. Right now, you can buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar and ZCash at Cex.io.
Coinmama is one of the best Bitcoin exchanges that allows you to purchase Bitcoins your credit or debit card. The exchange works in many countries, and there are very few countries that are restricted.
This means you can be anywhere in the world and still get your Bitcoins without any issues by just using your credit card. The fee might be on the higher side at 6%.
The verification process is almost instant, and you also get responsive customer service which is a plus. You can acquire Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Cardano and Litecoin from Coinmama.
Now that we have got you some Bitcoins let’s move on to discuss some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges out there.
Note that we discuss the exchanges in no particular order. In the end, we give our verdict for the best cryptocurrency exchange. If you don’t have the time for it, you can read it here.
Binance is one of the most preferred altcoin exchanges in the world at the moment. It is based in China, and there are talks that Binance is going to move its operations to Malta.
Binance has a lot of altcoins, and pretty much all of them can be traded with BTC. Binance also offers ETH, BNB and USDT pairs. BNB is their native cryptocurrency which can be useful for reducing the trading fee.
The sign-up process with Binance is pretty straightforward. There are a few steps, and once it is complete, you can start trading through your account. Right now, registration is open, and you can start your Binance account here.
There are two different ways to trade in Binance.
There is a basic exchange and also an advanced exchange. The basic option is great for beginners while the advanced option comes in a dark mode and displays a bit more detail on the screen. There are more than 140 altcoins listed on Binance which makes it trading heaven.
There is a 0.1% fee for any trade the user performs. This is pretty low when you compare it with some other exchanges. Using BNB to pay the commission can get you a discount of 50% which has been a big motivator for a lot of people to use BNB.
In addition to the web application, Binance also has desktop applications for both Windows and macOS. There are also Android and iOS which are secure and easy to use as well.
Ever since their ICO, Binance has been growing steadily at a brisk pace. Though Binance is new to the crypto space, they have shown that they are capable of excellent customer service and security over time. Highly recommended altcoin exchange.
Bittrex is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange that has been operating since December 2014. It is easily one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges and comes with a clean user interface. It has more than 250 trading pairs that include BTC, ETH and USDT pairings.
There is a flat fee of 0.25% on all the trades. This fee is slightly higher than what exchanges charge. Even with this high fee, there is quite a bit of demand for Bittrex making it the go-to crypto exchange for the people in the US.
Bittrex is a robust exchange when it comes to security. The customers are encouraged to use 2FA for both withdrawals and API usage. Users can’t withdraw significant amounts unless you have enabled 2FA in your account.
There was an issue with customer service where people experienced random freezing of accounts. Though this affected less than 0.1% of the accounts, it still was a problem. They are slowly resolving this issue, but the problem continues to persist.
Signing up with Bittrex is pretty easy. By providing your name, date of birth, email id and phone number, you can quickly start trading with a basic account. With a basic account, you can withdraw up to 3BTC equivalent per day.
However, if you want higher tier access, you will have to give more details in order to get verified. When you have a verified advanced account, you can withdraw up to 100BTC per day.
Kraken is a San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange that was founded in 2011. It is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges when it comes to Euro volume and liquidity.
On Kraken, you will be able to buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies. The fiat currencies that Kraken supports are
- Euros (EUR)
- US Dollars (USD)
- Japenese Yen (JPY)
- Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- British Pounds (GBP)
SEPA, SWIFT and wire transfers can be used for both deposits and withdrawals in Kraken. In most cases, deposits and withdrawals can take from 1 to 5 business days. Based on customer feedback, on average, you should see the funds in about a day.
There is a small fee for bank transfers while it is free to deposit your cryptocurrencies. Inside Kraken, you can trade 18 cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin (XBT)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Dash (DASH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- EOS (EOS)
- Dogecoin (XDG)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Monero (XMR)
- Augur (REP)
- Tether (USDT)
- Gnosis (GNO)
- Iconomi (ICN)
- Melon (MLN)
The trading process in Kraken is straightforward. There are a wide number of crypto pairings which gives you a lot of options to work with.
What’s the fee structure in Kraken like? The fee for the trade can vary from 0.1% to 0.26% depending on the tier of your account. The higher your account tier is, the lower the fee.
The sign-up process with Kraken is easy. You get a basic tier which is very useable. Though verification for higher levels can take up some time, if your primary fiat is Euro, it is worth it.
Bitfinex is a Hong Kong-based exchange that was launched in 2012. It is easily one of the most popular and largest cryptocurrency exchanges out there. When it comes to trading volume, Bitfinex is one of the top exchanges in the world.
For beginners, Bitfinex is not that easy to operate. This is mainly because of the overwhelming user interface. If you are new to trading, you should limit yourself to a simple limit, market and stop orders. There are advanced options like stop-limit, trailing stop and fill or kill orders as well.
The exchange also gives you the option to do margin trading as well.
You can trade your coins with USD, BTC and ETH pairings. The cryptocurrencies you can trade here are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Monero, Dash, OmiseGo, Eidoo, EOS, Ripple, Bitcoin Gold, IOTA, Santiment, Bcash, NEO, ETP, QTUM, and Aventus.
Update: They recently added support for twelve more coins namely Aion, IOSToken, Request Network, BnkToTheFuture Token, Raiden Network, Loopring, Cofound.it, SingularityNET, WAX, MedicalChain, ODEM, and DAI.
The fee on the platform ranges from 0% to 0.2%. Depending on the amount traded, the maker and taker fees are decided (look at the table below).
You can deposit for cryptocurrencies for free. But if you want to deposit fiat via bank transfer, then there is a fee of 0.1% which can vary from currency to currency.
Bitfinex is one of the hardest exchanges to get into. You can sign up with your details and ID. It can take up to 20 business days for approval which makes this not so suitable for newcomers. Furthermore, Bitfinex has informed users that their accounts will be functional only after they deposit $10,000 worth of cryptocurrencies.
KuCoin is a Hong Kong-based altcoin exchange that has gained traction in recent times. It has a solid team who are well known in the blockchain world.
KuCoin gives the user five trading pairs in BTC, ETH, NEO, USDT, and KCS. KCS is KuCoin’s native currency whose benefits are discussed later.
KuCoin supports more than hundred altcoins which are great for newcomers. You can also find a lot of ICO coins listed in KuCoin. If you are looking for low market cap coins, this is one place to find them.
The trading platform on KuCoin is simple and easy to use. To perform each trade, you will have to use 2FA (recommended), though you can turn it off if you find it excessive. You can just enter the price of the coin and the amount you want to place your order.
There is no fee for depositing your cryptocurrencies in KuCoin. When it comes to trading, there is a fee of 0.1% which is pretty low when compared with the industry average. If you are a holder of KCS, then you can get a discount on the fee. For every 1000 KCS you have, you get a discount of 1% on the fee (this is capped at 30%).
There is also a variable fee when withdrawing your cryptocurrencies to your wallet.
KuCoin, like Binance, offers a fully functional Android and iOS application.
Signing up with KuCoin is a rather simple process. You just fill out the form and activate your account. Once you deposit your cryptos from other wallets, you are good to go.
OKEx is a cryptocurrency exchange that is started by Chinese Bitcoin exchange OKCoin and is registered in Belize. There are talks that they are moving their operation to Malta, just like Binance.
With OKEx, you can trade more than 100 altcoins with USDT, BTC, ETH, and OKB pairings. The user interface is simple and straightforward to use. You can also do futures trading which is not an option in most of the exchanges.
You can start trading even without any verification. But verifying will remove any limits (up to 1000BTC) and also will bring the fee down. The taker fee ranges from 0.05% to 0.2% while the make fee ranges from 0.02% to 0.15%.
You can deposit cryptocurrencies free of any charge. You can deposit fiat currencies through bank transfers, and there is a fee of 0.1% for individual users. Withdrawal of money in USD will also incur a fee of 0.1% with $15 being a minimum fee.
Gate.io is a cryptocurrency exchange that is around since 2017 and allows you to trade some rare cryptos that can only be found here.
The platform is a crypto-to-crypto trading one which means there is no way to deposit fiat in here. There is support for BTC, ETH, USDT and QTUM pairings which can be handy for people who hold a bit of QTUM.
The interface in the Gate.io platform is pretty easy to use. You have features like an order book, trading history, and charting which can be handy when day trading.
How about the fee structure? There is a flat fee of 0.2% for any kind of trading. For depositing cryptos, there is no fee, but the withdrawal of crypto will incur some fee depending on the crypto and also on the amount withdrawn.
In addition to the web interface, Gate.io can also be used on your smartphone through their Android and iOS applications.
How secure is Gate.io?
The exchange utilizes both cold and a hot wallet to store funds. The customer accounts are secured by using 2-factor authentication and a combination of passwords. The “login password” is used in order to log in your Gate.io portal, while the “fund password” is used to access assets and trading. Both the passwords must be unique and should be set by the user using the same IP address.
Cryptopia is a crypto to crypto exchange based in New Zealand and was launched in 2014. It comes with more than 400 cryptocurrencies that you can trade with BTC, ETH and USDT pairings. It is the house of the majority of the cheap coins. If there is an obscure coin you can’t find anywhere, chances are it is here.
In comparison to other exchanges, Cryptopia’s user interface is really not that good. It feels clunky and is slow when performing a trade. Remember that this is a centralized exchange, so be sure to have 2-factor authentication on your account.
The fee structure in Cryptopia is fairly simple. The site charges a flat fee of 0.2% for every trade you make. There are no charges on deposits, but there is a fee for withdrawals which depends on the coin withdrawn. However, the withdrawal fee is flat and is not a percentage of the amount withdrawn.
Registering on Cryptopia is a simple process. Just enter your name and email address, and you are good. This basic account gives you a limit of $5000 for withdrawal. If you can verify your identity with a photo proof, then your limits are raised to $50,000 per day. There is also a third account level which will raise the daily withdrawal limit to $500,000.
Huobi pro is a crypto to crypto exchange that was founded in 2013 in China. It comes with a gorgeous user interface which is very easy to use. Since this is a crypto to crypto altcoin exchange, you will not be able to purchase cryptocurrencies in the markets. However, there is an over-the-counter market for purchasing Bitcoins and other cryptos.
You can deposit your cryptocurrency and carry on with your trading. Verification might be slightly more demanding than other exchanges. Your name must be a perfect match for your bank account. You also have to verify your nationality, mostly, through your passport. If everything is fine, you should have a verified account in your hands.
The fee structure in Huobi is decent.
There is a standard fee of 0.2% for every kind of trade. There is a fee discount for VIP members. Huobi has five slabs of VIP members. VIP1 gets a fee discount of 10%, VIP2 gets a fee discount of 20% and so on. VIP5, which is the highest VIP slab, receives the maximum fee discount of 50%.
Along with their web interface, there are also apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android as well.
Registering with Huobi is easy, and registration process should not take more than 3 minutes at. Though verification is a pain, the interface and some rare coins make it worth it.
Changelly is a cryptocurrency exchange that was established in 2015. It is a product of MinerGate which is a GUI miner for desktops.
Changelly comes with support for over 90 altcoins, and you can exchange them in a flash. There is also an option to use fiat currency (USD and EUR) to get your desired currency as well.
The best thing about Changelly is that you can create an account using your email and password and that’s it. There is no need for any laborious verification here. The same is true even for crypto purchases with credit cards/bank transfers.
Changelly uses bots to surf the best and busy exchanges in order to get you the right price for your exchange. For completing a typical transaction, it can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the cryptocurrency.
How much fee do they charge?
There is a fee of 0.5% which is a tad higher than your regular crypto exchanges. You also will have to pay the miner’s fee which is taken from your coin balance.
If you want to exchange a coin into some other coin real quick and don’t mind the slightly higher fee, the changelly is the best cryptocurrency exchange there is.
Which is the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange?
Okay. That was the list of 10 altcoin exchanges that work really well today. But the question remains. Which is the best cryptocurrency exchange of all?
The answer to that is not that simple. There are so many aspects that have to take into account before we arrive at a conclusion. Let’s take a look at them.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchange – Availability
Yes, Cex is the easiest way to get your Bitcoins and Ethereums. Though not a part of our 10-member list, Cex deserves to be the winner of this category.
The fact that you can verify yourself in a few minutes and purchase crypto with your credit card easily overrides any features other exchanges provide. Also, the low credit card fee is a plus as well.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchange – Ease of Use
Binance has risen through the ranks through the sheer quality of their exchange. Both the basic and advanced modes give users exactly what they want. The beginners can use the basic mode while the pros can use the advanced exchange.
Also, there is an Android and an iOS application which makes trading on the go possible. When it comes to ease of use, it is going to be hard to beat Binance.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchange – Altcoin Selection
If there is a good altcoin you want to get your hands on, you will find that in Binance. Currently, there are more than 120 altcoins in Binance. The number is only increasing as Binance carefully adds altcoins every month.
With BTC, ETH, BNB, and USDT pairings, you can trade a lot of altcoins which is a dream for any trader.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchange – Overall
We might seem a little biased here, but in reality, whether it is the altcoin selection or user experience or security, Binance comes out on top.
Binance gives you a complete trading experience unlike any exchange out there.
But wait, there is no fiat buying in Binance? That’s true. But Binance is moving to Malta, and once that happens, there is a rumor that we are going to see fiat pairings in Binance which is sure to bring a spike to Binance’s volumes.
So that’s the verdict from us. We truly think that Binance is the best cryptocurrency exchange out there. But you might have a different opinion, and that’s fine.
Before you go, we have some basic rules to tell you.
Rules when using your ‘Best Cryptocurrency Exchange.’
No matter which altcoin exchange you end up using, there are a few things you must follow.
- As the first act, enable 2-factor authentication in your account. If your exchange does not support 2FA, then it is not a good exchange to use.
- Your exchange’s main purpose is to enable trading of coins. It is not a wallet. Do not plan on storing your cryptocurrencies on your exchange. You do not own your private keys there, and if they lose it, you lose it as well. Only keep the coins you want to trade and move the rest to a secure wallet.
- Even if you don’t invest a lot of money in crypto, it is essential to keep it secure. If you have more than $500 in crypto, then get yourself a hardware wallet. Ledger Nano S is the best and least expensive option out there and will help you keep your coins safe.
That’s all we have. If you have something to say, please use the comment section below and let us know. Happy trading!