There’s no particular framework that suits all when it comes to crypto exchanges. We all have personal requirements that make a specific crypto exchange acceptable for us. Today, we’ll take a look at Top 5 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2020 and their key features.
It may be daunting at first to participate in or transact in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. News regarding fraud and and users losing money is regularly seen.
Although this danger is real and several scams have occurred and continue to occur, investing in cryptocurrencies has never been as easy as it is today. In the last few years, so much has progressed that crypto trading has been stable and simple.
While selling and buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, the primary consideration is safety and protection. The following markets are the best for any use case you might have, if you wish to buy and keep long term, want to swap regularly, are involved in confidentiality or secrecy, or merely want ease of use.
As you’ve likely already heard, when it comes to cryptocurrency trading sites, there are benefits and a lot of pitfalls. Some of the deficiencies, though, are just unique to each particular platform.
With that in mind, to locate an exchange that works for you, it’s wise to evaluate based on a variety of criteria. With that in mind, most individuals agree that when considering an exchange, trading fees, a large range of services, and strong customer support are essential considerations.
Please note that we will only be discussing centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. On these exchanges, you do not hold custody over your tokens and are essentially passing over your tokens over to a third party.
If the thought of this scares you, consider looking at decentralized exchanges like Uniswap.
Top 5 Exchange Summary
Best for trading a wide variety of altcoins: Binance
Best for security and compliance: Gemini and Kraken
Best for beginners: Cash App
Best for a balance of beginner and advanced features: Coinbase
Binance is currently the number 1 cryptocurrency exchange in terms of volume. This means that Binance is likely the favorite exchange of many cryptocurrency users. Binance is now among the pioneers of the exchange business, due to its intuitive user interface and numerous trading choices and pairs.
Binance also has an easy to use mobile app that is accessible on iOS and Android. On top of that, to grow their market, they are constantly building new creative services using the Binance Innovation Zone.
The business was launched by an ICO back in 2017. And ever since then, thanks to its special characteristics, it soon soared to prominence.
Changpeng Zhao is Binance’s CEO at the moment. In the crypto-world, he is a well-known figure. This company’s headquarters can be located in Malta.
Some specific features of Binance are the following. First, we have the actual trading platform itself, Binance Exchange. It enables you to acquire and sell cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, and litecoin can be transferred into over 130 altcoins (e.g. XRP, NEO, and Dash), and vice versa.
Binance has an international exchange (Binance Exchange) and a version of the exchange that is accessible by USA users (Binance.us).
The trading site also features both advanced and intermediate trading tools and tools to look at coin movements and perform price research for traders.
In addition, we have the Binance online wallet. Connected to the exchange, Binance also provides its users with an online wallet where they can see their coin balance, as well as coin deposit and withdrawal addresses to allow for the moving of cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Binance Earn, users are able to gain yield from staked tokens on Binance.
Fees: 0.1% on the part of the taker and 0.1% on the part of the manufacturer. On all sides of the exchange, this decreases the trade value to 0.02 percent. Using the native cryptocurrency of Binance, BNB, reduces fees by 25%.
Binance’s Main Features
- Higher rates than most exchanges widely used
- Wide number of trading pairs and cryptocurrencies
- More advanced diagrams
- Tailored for more experienced consumers
- Binance US has less trading pairs than its foreign equivalent, but there are still more than 100 trading pairs
- 13 U.S. states are not supported, including New York, by Binance US
2. Coinbase and Coinbase Pro
Coinbase is the most well known and used cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Coinbase was founded in 2012, not long after Bitcoin’s code was published in 2009, and is a fully controlled and approved exchange of cryptocurrencies. Coinbase already has permits in over 40 states and territories of the United States to run.
Coinbase, the base app, is very similar to Cash App in terms of ease of use. Users can load in USD and immediately convert to BTC, ETH, and more. Coinbase is also usable wherever Bitcoin payments are supported, with “pay with Bitcoin” being an option for many websites such as the Overstock store.
However, Coinbase does not have the same level of integration with retailers as Square’s Cash App.
Coinbase Pro, the sister app to Coinbase, is among the top in volume across cryptocurrency exchanges for advanced users. It provides a UI tailored towards professional traders and features limit buys and other advanced trading features.
In addition, intermidate level crypto traders are able to make use of Coinbase Pro thanks to an easy-to-use UI, dramatically reducing the entry obstacle for investment in cryptocurrencies, which is usually viewed as frustrating and convoluted.
Although hacks and exit scams have infected the crypto-urrency market, Coinbase has generally escaped any controversy. This is likely due to how thoroughly Coinbase vets the coins that it lists on its app. In addition, Coinbase has never been hacked so far. Even Binance, the #1 crypto exchange, has suffered its own hack.
Coinbase also provides holders and merchants with insured custodial wallets for holding their investments. However, this feature only applies to outside factors in terms of insurance. Users who lose money due to poor trading decisions cannot count on insurance.
Fees: Coinbase runs on a flat rate fee structure. It charges from $0.99 too $2.99 depending on the dollar value of the purchase. Coinbase Pro charges fees between 0.00% and 0.50% depending on the size of the trade.
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro’s Main Features
- Extremely simple user interface across the base app and Coinbase Pro.
- Very high liquidity.
- Low fees on Coinbase Pro.
- Limited selection of trading pairs, especially with altcoins.
- High fees on the base app.
- As with all centralized exchanges, users do not control their private keys.
3. Cash App
Just like Venmo, Square’s Cash App is a peer-to-peer money transfer platform. It enables consumers to split groceries, pay a roommate’s deposit, or purchase items at retailers that support Cash App.
Essentially, the Cash App can function like a bank account and consumers can get their own debit cards from the Cash App. This service alone is really handy, but there are also more features in the Cash App.
Cash App is likely the simplest way for friends and family to send and receive Bitcoin. Buying and selling BTC right from your Cash App balance is as simple as a few clicks. In terms of usage, anyone can deposit USD from their bank account and buy BTC directly in their app.
Cash App also provides a debit card that can be used to buy directly at retailers. You will have to sell the Bitcoin you have first and converted it to USD before you can load it into the debit card, however.
Fees: Cash App charges “fluid” fees. The fees vary based on market variability and other factors. Cash App has been known to charge up to 1.76% on bitcoin-USD transactions. Credit card purchases can reach 3% fees.
Cash App’s Main Features
- Cash App is likely the simplest way for anyone to purchase and sell bitcoin.
- Easy peer-to-peer money transfers to friends and families.
- Able to use with many retailers.
- Only Bitcoin is supported.
- High fees, especially when using credit cards.
- Very limited in features other than buying and selling Bitcoin with fiat.
Gemini is a trading site for Bitcoin and Ether (the native currency on the blockchain Ethereum). It was founded back in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins.
Since they sued Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook, the Winklevoss twins soared to fame in 2004. Tyler and Cameron believed that their model for the common social network was stolen by Zuckerberg. They won penalties amounting to $65 million.
Gemini became the first authorized ether exchange worldwide in June 2016, according to the CNBC article. It was revealed in May 2018 that Gemini has become the first accredited Zcash exchange in the world. It presently works in the United States, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.
Gemini started with a dynamic set of private keys and password-protected environments to enable the buying and storing of Bitcoin. To reduce the chance of damage from theft, only a limited fraction of the overall bitcoin on the platform is kept online.
Fees: For any orders above USD 200 in value, you pay 1.99%. This is a relatively high fee.
Gemini’s Main Features
- The website is very simple to grasp.
- Gemini provides a high level of security and regulatory compliance as it is based out of New York state.
- US dollars are insured by the FDIC
- Cryptocurrency pairs are very limited
- Due to heavy compliance, certain features such as deposits and withdrawals take a good amount of processing time
- Once in awhile will go offline due to maintenance
Created in San Francisco, Kraken is an American crypto exchange. It has been around for eons (which means since 2011 in the crypto world).
The exchange offers fiat trading with cryptocurrencies and provides Bloomberg Terminal with price statistics. Kraken is open to citizens in 48 U.S. states and 176 nations as of 2020, and mentions 40 trade-accessible cryptocurrencies. Kraken is known for particularly low fees, though its altcoin selection is lacking compared to some other exchanges.
During the 2014-15 Mt. Gox implosion, Kraken played a part in attempting to retrieve funds lost by holders. Kraken is the 4th biggest crypto-currency platform in the country, according to CoinMarketCap (as of September 2020).
Kraken is known to be a particular secure exchange. As such, Kraken has never been hacked. This was a lesson learned from the Mt. Gox hacking by Jesse Powell and the Kraken squad. Most of Kraken funds are kept in cold wallets.
Each Kraken user must participate in two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication in Kraken is when the account of a customer has two kinds of passwords. The consumer configures the first password and an app such as Google Authenticator or Yubikey produces the second.
Fees: You pay 0.2% or less on all transactions.
Kraken’s Main Features
- Extremely low fees.
- Very high liquidity.
- Strong customer support, which is provided 24/7.
- No credit card purchases for crypto.
- Due to being based in a highly regulated environment, the United States, deposits and withdrawals will take a good amount of time.