13 Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Sites in 2018 – You MUST See!
Are you looking for the best cryptocurrency exchange sites? I have tried personally more than 10 cryptocurrency exchanges and I have invested in cryptocurrencies since 2015.
I decided to create you a very comprehensive analysis of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms to provide you the best information. I am going to present you 13 different sites and give you a word of warning of sites that you shouldn't use.
I have written comprehensive +1,500-word reviews of each of these sites and uploaded videos on YouTube as well to provide you even more information. I am 100% sure that you will find what you are looking for here.
Without further ado, let me show you the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms!
13 Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms - Quick Summary
(Exchanges are not in an order from the best to the worst.)
What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
Cryptocurrency exchange is a place where you can buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies with other people. On some exchanges you can buy cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies like euro, dollar or pound while other support trading solely for cryptocurrencies.
Technically, cryptocurrency exchanges also serve as banks because you can store money there as well. However, it contains some risks that I will explain you in the end of this article.
The price of the cryptocurrency on each exchange is defined on based on the demand and supply. If people are, for example, willing to sell a Bitcoin for $10,000 per each coin, then the price is $10,000.
On bigger exchanges the price is usually better prices so that's one reason to go there. In addition, the fees tend to be smallest in the biggest exchanges as well.
Coinbase is probably the most famous and certainly one of the most influential cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. One (but not the only one) of the reasons for Coinbase's success is their referral program.
Everybody who joins Coinbase through a referral link gets immediately a $10 sign up bonus for the first $100 deposit. In addition, the person who invited you to Coinbase, gets also free $10.
You can also get a $10 bonus through my link. At the same time you support my blog because I get a $1o bonus for inviting you to Coinbase.
I have invited around 15 friends to Coinbase. I and my friends, all of us, had positive experiences of Coinbase. I haven't heard of anything negative when I have discussed about Coinbase with my friends.
The only downside are relatively high fees. However, I don't mind paying a little bit extra if I know that the service is reliable.
Pros & Cons of Coinbase
- More than $50 billion exchanged and +10M customers served on Coinbase (April 2018).
- They provide a $10 sign up bonus for all new users.
- You can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash by using your credit card.
- Coinbase allows trading with fiat currencies (euro, dollar, pound, etc.).
- Coinbase is very secure and trusted crypto exchange.
- Extremely easy-to-use platform (most cryptocurrency investors start out with Coinbase).
- Fees on Coinbase are relatively high.
In this video, I show how you can get a free $10 bonus after joining Coinbase:
Binance is a real success story. They suddenly became the biggest crypto exchange in the world. Nobody would have expected such a fast rise from a new Chinese company. Nowadays they are considered as one of the most reliable and strongest players in the crypto world.
The Binance CEO has been active on media, he has been on the cover of the Forbes magazine and he has given numerous interviews.
One of the great benefits of Binance is that it's very easy to get started on their platform. You don't need to send them passports, bank statements or other documents for the verification. The same applies to Kucoin which is the next one that I am going to show you.
Pros & Cons of Binance
- The biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by the trading volume (High liquidity).
- They support trading for numerous different cryptocurrencies.
- The company is very transparent. The CEO offers interviews regularly.
- Lowest fees in the industry (only 0,05% per trade).
- The company is still relatively new even though it's the biggest crypto exchange in the world.
Have a look at my Binance review/tutorial below:
Changelly exchange gets its name from two words: Change Instantly.
That's also the idea on what kind of experience Changelly wants to provide for you as their user. They provide you an opportunity to exchange almost any crytpocurrencies instantly.
Changelly has a reputation as one of the easiest and the beginner-friendliest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the whole industry. You can buy more then 60 different cryptocurrencies easily by using your credit card.
I don't know any other exchange where you would have currently similar features like on Changelly even though I have tried numerous different exchanges.
Pros & Cons of Changelly
- They support trading for tens of different cryptocurrencies.
- You can buy numerous cryptocurrencies easily using your credit card.
- Changelly is a beginner-friendly and easy-to-use exchange.
- Fees on Changelly are higher than on Binance.
My Changelly Video Review on YouTube:
Gate.io is another cryptocurrency exchange that supports trading for numerous cryptocurrencies with low fees.
I started on Gate.io after Lympo ICO. Back then Lympo wasn't available on almost any other exchanges so I needed to create an account on Gate.io. I wanted to sell some of my earnings that I made by participating the ICO.
I quickly realized that Gate.io was a great cryptocurrency exchange. Their platform was user-friendly and I was able to exchange my LYM tokens easily. I deposited LYM tokens to Gate.io, exchanged them into BTC and withdrew my BTC away from Gate.io. That was simple and fast.
Since then I have noticed that many other people have also had positive experiences of Gate.io and that's why I can recommend it to you as well.
Pros & Cons of Gate.io
- Gate.io supports trading for hundreds of cryptocurrencies (Even for smaller ones like LYM).
- Their platform is easy-to-use. I got started without watching a single tutorial.
- It is a fast-growing and a reliable exchange.
- Fees are a bit higher than on Binance even though they are still competitive on Gate.io.
My Changelly Video Review on YouTube:
Cryptopia is probably one of the most controversial cryptocurrency exchanges on this list. It's based in New Zealand and founded in 2014.
The biggest benefits of Cryptopia is that they provide trading for hundreds of different cryptocurrencies.
I have personally bought Luxcoin on their exchange which isn't available on bigger exchanges like Binance. I never had any problems with Cryptopia but I must admit that I have read a few negative reviews on the Internet.
Pros & Cons of Cryptopia:
- Competitive fees
- Provides trading for hundreds of different cryptocurrencies (even the rare ones like Luxcoin)
- Easy-to-use platform
- New Zealand based company
- Additional features like a forum and a marketplace
- Not very big exchange (lower liquidity than on bigger exchanges)
- Lots of negative reviews on the Internet
- Withdrawal fees are a bit higher compared to cheap exchanges
My Cryptopia Video Review:
Coinmama is quite similar cryptocurrency exchange compared to Coinbase and Gemini. They provide trading and buying for Bitcoin and Ethereum but not for other cryptocurrencies. In addition, it seems to be targeted mainly to the US audience who want just an easy way to get started with cryptocurrencies.
In the other words, if you are looking for an opportunity to make big gains with small cap coins, Coinmama isn't enough for you. You can of course buy Bitcoin on Coinmama and transfer it to another exchange where small cap coins are available.
Surprisingly, Coinmama is one of the oldest exchanges in our list because it has been founded already back in 2013. Coinmama is also recommended by some big cryptocurrency influencers who have even more than 100k subscribers on YouTube.
Pros & Cons of Coinmama
- Coinmama is available in 188 countries.
- The company has operated already more than 5 years since 2013.
- Competitive fees (even though for credit card purchases they are a bit higher).
- Recommended by big cryptocurrency influencers.
- It doesn't support other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin and Ethereum.
My Coinmama Video Review on YouTube:
If Binance was a success story, so was Kucoin as well. It grew extremely fast and has quickly become one of the leading exchanges in the cryptocurrency world. Their exchange works in a similar way like Binance and it is also owned by Chinese people.
I started on Kucoin when I wanted to buy more rare alt coins that weren't yet available on the biggest exchanges like Binance. I quickly found out that Kucoin was much better than I had expected.
Pros & Cons of Kucoin
- Their platform and business model is very similar to Binance.
- Kucoin has several promotions regularly and they try to grow aggressively.
- Support trading for a huge number of cryptocurrencies.
- Easy-to-use and beginner-friendly.
- Slightly higher fees than on Binance.
- They don't have a referral program anymore. I think this will affect its success partially. Companies that concentrate on their affiliate programs tend to grow faster.
Take a look at my Kucoin Video Review below:
When I started with cryptocurrencies in 2015, my friend introduced me to Coinbase and Kraken. I continued using Kraken a lot and for a long time I held almost all of my crypto funds there.
I need to admit afterwards that it wasn't wise to hold everything in an exchange but I hadn't studied things in detail back then. Now I have allocated my funds into numerous places and to a hardware wallet to minimize the risk.
Once in 2016 I forgot my password to Kraken and I panicked, "Have I lost all my funds now? Is there any way to recover them?" If I would have been holding my funds in a bad cryptocurrency exchange like Poloniex, I would have probably lost all the money that I had there (and we are not talking about cents.)
Fortunately, Kraken support provided me a way to get my funds back again.
At some stages, Kraken exchange was extremely slow and it took like 15 minutes to just to make a single trade. However, they had a huge update in January 2018 which fixed the problems. Since then their website has worked well and I can also recommend it to you.
Pros & Cons of Kraken
- The biggest Bitcoin-Euro-Bitcoin crypto exchange.
- Responsive support team that has answered all my questions over the years.
- They support also trading with fiat currencies (euro, dollar).
- Their website and platform was significantly improved at the beginning of 2018.
- Kraken doesn't provide charts, only the numbers for trading which may make it a bit challenging.
- Kraken doesn't have a referral/affiliate program which has been probably holding back their potential growth.
Bitfinex is one of the biggest and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It was founded already 6 years ago back in 2012.
They have had some challenges along the way because there was a huge hack back in 2016. Lots of funds were stolen from Bitfinex. But the company recovered well from the hack and returned all the funds for their users. They didn't return potential losses or profits but all the money that were stolen in dollars.
I tried to get started on Bitfinex at the end of 2017. However, after a half a year later I am still waiting for the verification process to be finished. I have submitted all the documents to their platform and followed all the instructions.
But nothing happens. They say that normally verification takes like 6-8 weeks but for me it has taken already ~6 months.
Another thing that has annoyed small traders is that Bitfinex has often certain limits that you need to deposit at least $10,000 or something similar to get stated.
For those reasons (primarily the fact that you can't get verified and start trading) Bitfinex isn't fully recommended at the moment. It was once one of the best exchanges but, in my opinion, their quality has significantly gone down.
Pros & Cons of Bitfinex
- One of the oldest crypto exchanges
- Big exchange => High liquidity
- Deposits are also possible with fiat currencies (Euro, dollar, etc.)
- Bitfinex was hacked twice
- The verification process seems to take more than 6 months
- Annoying limits for small traders
Take a look at my Bitfinex Video Review below:
Gemini is probably the most well-known for its founders, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
They are the guys who first became famous for suing Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea with Facebook. Afterwards, they have competed in the Olympic games and became even more famous by starting to invest in Bitcoin in the early stages.
Since then they have become Bitcoin billionaires because of the huge price growth of Bitcoin. Many news channels and TV hosts have interviewed them in their shows.
Winklevoss twins have decided to create a Bitcoin exchange where you can buy, sell and exchange Bitcoin and Ethereum. Gemini doesn't yet support other cryptocurrencies.
It seems that the goal of Gemini is to provide an easy way for the US people to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum. The daily trading volume of Gemini is surprisingly good so they can also offer a competitive price.
That being said, Gemini isn't my #1 recommendation because they only provide 2 cryptocurrencies at the moment.
Pros & Cons of Gemini
- Gemini has a good reputation as a reliable cryptocurrency exchange.
- Low trading fee between Bitcoin and Ethereum (0,2%).
- Possible to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum with your credit card.
- Supports trading for only Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Mainly targeted for the US people.
SafeCrypt is one of the most promising cryptocurrency exchanges for the future. Their exchange is "bullet-proof" by nature because of the technology that they use.
I wanted to include this to the list as one of the rising opportunities. It also gives you an idea of cryptocurrency exchanges that provide their own coins/tokens that pay dividends for their holders.
Some other exchanges including Binance and Kucoin have their own cryptocurrency (Binance Coin and Kucoin Shares) that give benefits for token holders. You will earn a certain part of the company's revenue and on Binance you'll pay lower fees by holding BNB.
Kucoin Shares, Binance Coin and many other cryptocurrencies that are provided by exchanges have immensely grown in value. Therefore, early investors have received huge gains. SafeCrypt is still in the early stages but I believe that the early investors will make massive gains by investing in their coin. (Only my opinion, not an official investment advice.)
Pros & Cons of SafeCrypt
- SafeCrypt cryptocurrency has still a huge potential for growth in value because the project is relatively new.
- They aim to solve a massive problem in the cryptocurrency exchange industry which is safety.
- SafeCrypt has a very experienced team in the cryptocurrency space. They are also responsive and constantly answer messages on Telegram.
- The exchange and the project has still some risks because it's in the early stages.
My Changelly Video Review on YouTube:
Believe it or not but LocalBitcoins is almost the oldest company in our list of the best crypto exchanges. It was founded back in 2012 which is more than 6 years ago.
LocalBitcoins is a Finnish company that serves in 248 different countries all over the world. One of my best friends was working for a good while in this company and he said it's probably the best company where he has ever worked.
With LocalBitcoins you can find people who would locally exchange Bitcoins with you. So, you can meet somebody who is living nearby and exchange Bitcoins with him/her. It's something very unique because I haven't found similar features on other exchanges.
It's worth noting that LocalBitcoins has also been ranked among the best exchanges on BestBitcoinExchange.io.
Pros & Cons of LocalBitcoins
- This Finnish company is very reliable and they have been operating since 2012.
- You can trade Bitcoins with local buyers/sellers in real life.
- It has been ranked among the best Bitcoin exchanges for several years.
- Some complaints can be found online so you need to be careful when trading with people locally. Their customer support is working actively to fix all issues.
Bittrex is one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges. However, I haven't personally used it because their waiting times for the verification are often so long.In addition, Binance has lower fees and is superior compared to Bittrex in many other ways as well.
That being said, Bittrex is still a good crypto exchange because their trading fees are only 0,2% per trade and the liquidity is quite good as well.
Now because so many people have been rushing to the cryptocurrency world, the support of Bittrex hasn't always been able to handle the load. That's why they have occasionally closed the registration from new members.
My friend recently got started on Bittrex after a few weeks of waiting. Still, Binance provides lower fees, trading for a bigger number cryptocurrencies, faster verification process and other benefits.
That being said, Bittrex is still a reliable cryptocurrency exchange and they are providing value to the cryptocurrency industry. Their fees are competitive and smaller than on some other exchanges on this list. Bittrex is also the biggest exchange in the world for some individual cryptocurrencies.
Pros & Cons of Bittrex
- Reliable exchange from the US.
- One of the biggest crypto exchange in the world (good liquidity).
- Competitive fees (0,2% in all trades).
- Long verification time.
Below is my Bittrex Video Review on YouTube:
What to Crypto Exchange Should You Avoid?
I know that many people have been trading alt coins on Poloniex. It has been relatively popular but I think it's losing many customers for several reasons.
I have seen numerous negative reviews where people posted their bad experiences with Poloniex. Funds have been frozen or even disappeared in some instances.
In addition, everybody knows that it's pretty much impossible to reach Poloniex support. When I tried to register to Poloniex, I tried to submit my passport and bank statement 3 times but it didn't work.
Then it just gave an error. When I contacted Poloniex support, I didn't get any answer. In the other words, I was unable to register there at all.
Actually, I was happy for that because I knew about their bad reputation. Since then many people have shared their negative experiences with Poloniex under my YouTube video. Some people have been in panic because they have mysteriously lost their money on Poloniex and the support didn't answer.
Here are 5 tips when searching for a great exchange:
- Read customer reviews before starting.
- Try it out with a small amount first.
- Ask opinion from more experienced people. (You can always ask me anything in the comments below and I will be more than happy to help you out.)
- Ask yourself, "How many people are already using this exchange? Has it operated for a long time?"
- What kind of fees do they have? The lower, the better but still reliability is the #1 factor.
A Word of Warning Regarding Cryptocurrency Exchanges!
Even though these exchanges that I've listed above are reliable, you always need to remember that holding your cryptocurrencies in your own wallet is often considered to be safer. Crypto exchanges are like banks so you are giving your money to the bank so they hold them.
If somebody hacks the exchange or the company somehow goes to bankruptcy, your funds are in risk.
On the other hand, there are other risks when holding your funds in a paper- or in a hardware wallet. If you lose your private keys and the hardware wallet, you may be in trouble.
That's why I always recommend that you should allocate your cryptocurrencies in many different places.
I recommend that you should use hardware, mobile and paper wallets.
Andreas Antonopoulus, the most famous person in the cryptocurrency world says that he has never kept his money in an exchange for more than 15 minutes.
That may be a good strategy but you should also think how probable is it that a billion dollar crypto exchange would go down. I think that in sometimes the probability of losing your paper wallet is much bigger. If you think that you don't lose the paper, I recommend getting Trezor hardware wallet like I did.
Conclusion - What Is the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform?
My #1 recommended crypto exchange is Binance because of the following reasons:
- They have the best liquidity because of the huge trading volume.
- Lowest fees (only 0,05%)
- Fast and easy to get started.
- It's a reliable exchange.
Currently you can't buy cryptocurrencies on Binance with euros or dollars but it's very easy to transfer them from another exchange. I have created a simple tutorial for you on my comprehensive Binance review.
If you want to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash or just get some funds to get started on Binance, I recommend starting on Coinbase. They provide you a $10 bonus right away when you deposit your first $100.
In addition, you can buy cryptocurrencies on Coinbase easily buy using your credit card or bank account.
I hope you have found my research of the best cryptocurrencies helpful and valuable. Feel free to share this article on social media to other people as well.
Which crypto exchanges do you use?
What kind of experiences did you have
Let's discuss in the comments below! 🙂
If you have any questions regarding crypto exchanges, cryptocurrencies or making money online in general, ask me below and I'll be happy to help you out.