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A crypto exchange platform is a digital marketplace where users can buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies.
These platforms facilitate the exchange of one cryptocurrency for another, the purchase and sale of coins, and the exchange of fiat money into crypto.
To compile this ranking of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, we considered the following factors:
- The security of the exchange
- The total number of cryptocurrencies available
- The modes of crypto investment offered
- The fees charged on the exchange
- Additional offerings such as staking
|Total number of cryptocurrencies
|Physical debit card
What are the best crypto exchanges?
Below our curated list of the best crypto exchange platforms, with details of features and characteristics.
What is the role of cryptocurrency exchanges?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are companies that connect investors with the cryptocurrency market.
They are also responsible for:
- protect their clients’ crypto wallets
- protect the transactions that take place within the platform
- fight crypto scams
- combat money laundering.
This is one of the reasons why cryptocurrency exchanges, in recent times, have begun to require documentation from their users to prove their identity.
Knowing the identity of the person behind the account is important as the exchange, in case of domestic and international investigations, can cooperate with authorities by cross-checking transactions to/from the suspicious account.
In addition, in case of suspicious transactions, it can take action itself by restricting access to the account.
Factors to consider when choosing a crypto exchange
The generally most important factors to consider when choosing a crypto exchange are the fees, the cryptocurrency offering, the investment modes offered, the mobile app, and finally the ability to stay up-to-date with a news section.
The fees charged, both when buying and selling cryptos and when transferring them, must be low.
An equally important factor is the number of cryptocurrencies available and the investment methods offered. Typically, most clients invest in the most popular cryptos, but this does not mean that other clients may be interested in lesser-known altcoins.
Likewise, having a good number of investment modes (derivatives, real cryptos, options, futures, etc.) is definitely a plus, as each investor can decide how to act in the market according to his or her preferences.
Monitoring one’s portfolio is important, which is why exchanges need to offer a mobile crypto platform where users can both monitor the performance of their investments and possibly buy, sell and transfer cryptocurrencies at any time.
In addition, the crypto market is constantly and rapidly evolving. For this reason, the best exchanges should also offer a news service that allows investors to seize opportunities and stay up-to-date.
Is it better to invest in real crypto or crypto CFDs?
Investing in real cryptocurrencies is definitely a better option if you aim to invest for the long term or use cryptos in real life. Conversely, to benefit from short-term volatility, CFDs are the best alternative.
Both of these methods in each case have pros and cons.
Real cryptos can be stored in a crypto wallet, then transferred and converted into other crypto tokens. These transactions cannot be done with cryptocurrencies in CFDs because they are derivative assets.
When investing in a real cryptocurrency, it is necessary to wait before the order is executed. This is because the market in which you are trading is the real market, so the exchange has to find another person willing to sell the cryptocurrency at the price decided by the buyer.
In contrast, the CFD market is virtually instantaneous because the trader is not trading on the cryptocurrency, but on the CFD, or cryptocurrency derivative instrument. Since it is a speculation-based market, it is also much easier for the exchange to manage and match orders.
Another pro of CFD trading is the ability to use leverage. Leverage typically ranges from 1:2 to 1:5 depending on the broker, and allows you to multiply your market exposure.
However, trading CFDs means exposing your investment to swap fees, which are micro-commissions charged every 24 hours (in the case of cryptos) if the position is not closed. This is the main reason why investing in crypto CFDs over the long term is not advisable.
How to open an account on a crypto exchange
To open an account on a cryptocurrency exchange, you need to create login details with an email and password, verify your identity, and deposit a minimum amount of money where required.
Depending on the user’s country of residence, however, exchanges may not apply identity verification (also called KYC procedure).
Identity verification generally involves providing the exchange with a set of documents and/or photographic evidence that allows the exchange to associate the account with certainty with an existing natural person.
Among the evidence to be provided, the exchange might make one or more of the following requests of the customer:
- Provide proof of identity (driver’s license, ID card, passport)
- Provide proof of address (utility bill, bank statement)
- Provide a selfie taken exactly as requested by the exchange
- Provide a video selfie
This verification is necessary because it allows exchanges to protect transactions to/from the customer’s account, as withdrawal or deposit requests will have to go only through the account holder.
Deposit is generally not required to open an account, however some exchanges may require it. Generally, this is never more than $100.
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