Top Crypto Exchanges

Top Crypto Exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges have exploded in popularity in recent years along with the growth of digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. With hundreds to choose from globally, what are some of the top crypto exchanges that tend to be popular with traders and offer competitively low fees? Here’s an overview of some of the major exchanges to consider.


Coinbase is often seen as the benchmark crypto exchange available to United States traders. Launched originally in 2012 as one of the first mainstream crypto onramps, Coinbase has grown to serve over 89 million users worldwide with its easy-to-use interface.

Coinbase charges a spread of about 0.50% for purchases made with a debit card or bank account transfer. For larger traders, Coinbase Pro offers significantly lower fees starting at 0.04% per trade if you make at least $10 million in transactions every 30 days. Overall, fees are very competitive, especially for casual crypto traders focused on the biggest cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.


Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, serving millions of users globally since launching in 2017. Originally founded in China, Binance relocated their headquarters to Malta due to China’s trading restrictions.

Fees on Binance start at a very competitive 0.1% per trade, or can be as low as 0.02% per trade for “VIP” members who use BNB (Binance Coin) to pay their trading fees. For casual traders focused only on a few major trading pairs, it’s hard to beat Binance’s combination of liquidity and low fees. is a fast-growing platform that includes an exchange, NFT marketplace, crypto debit card rewards program, crypto staking, and more. Based out of Singapore but serving many users worldwide, aims to be users’ gateway into crypto with mobile-first products.

All trades on exchange have 0.4% taker fees, which can be further reduced by staking at least $400 USD worth of CRO on the platform. This brings the trading fee down to 0.24%, very reasonable for the security and features offered.


Operating since 2011, Kraken is a popular exchange based in San Francisco and available to US traders. Known for secure banking and trading infrastructure, Kraken lists nearly 100 crypto assets with new tokens added often.

Kraken trading fees start at a very low 0.16% per trade, going down to 0.02% per trade for high-volume traders with millions in monthly volume. Stablecoins like USDT trade against cryptocurrencies with no trading fees. For EUR and USD trading pairs, reasonable spreads and onramps make Kraken a top choice for European and American clientele.


Founded by the famous Winklevoss twins, Gemini Exchange is a popular regulated exchange for United States traders and global users. Security is a major emphasis, using offline cold storage wallets to hold crypto assets along with high-grade encryption.

Available assets are limited compared to other exchanges at just over 70 of the biggest cryptos, with additions coming slowly. However, for trading major pairs like BTC/USD, ETH/USD and stablecoins, the low 0.25% – 0.35% convenience fee and 10 free withdrawals a month make Gemini a solid option for casual investors.

FTX Exchange

FTX Exchange was founded in 2019 and has already grown into one of the largest global exchanges, focused on derivatives trading with leverage but also offering spot trading pairs. Based originally in Hong Kong but now located in the Bahamas due to regulatory issues, FTX serves millions of clients in approved jurisdictions.

Spot trading fees are extremely competitive at 0.02% per trade if paying fees with FTT (FTX Token). Without using FTT, fees are still only 0.07%. Low withdrawal fees and the ability to earn interest by lending crypto also make FTX a popular exchange.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Crypto Exchange

When deciding which platform fits your crypto trading needs, here are some key factors to evaluate:

  • Security – How securely does the exchange manage holdings using cold storage and other protections? Have there been any major security breaches?
  • Trading Fees – Compare the trading fees both per trade and for funding your account with fiat currency. Look for fee discounts for advanced users.
  • Supported Countries – Each exchange has their own regulatory approvals determining which nations and states they can legally operate in.
  • Verification Requirements – More invasive ID verification and processes raise security but reduce user privacy. The right balance depends on your needs.
  • Insurance Protection – Exchanges like Coinbase offer breach insurance to cover lost customer funds up to a limit, an important consideration for large holdings.
  • Ease of Use – Is the trading interface accessible for your level of crypto trading experience?

Evaluating exchanges across these criteria can help match you to the best platform fitting your budget, location, experience level, and trading style. As the crypto industry matures, more options are emerging with competitive pricing.

Getting Started on Top Exchanges

The crypto exchanges listed above are considered trusted leaders in the industry with competitive fees. Here is a quick overview of the process to get started buying your first crypto on a few top platforms:


  1. Visit and sign up to create your account.
  2. Complete identity verification providing personal details including SSN, ID photos, and proof of address.
  3. Deposit fiat currency into your account via bank account, wire transfer, or debit card.
  4. Place buy orders for assets like BTC, ETH or USDC using your deposited funds.


  1. Visit, click Register and provide an email and password.
  2. Verify your account through email confirmation then complete 2FA authentication setup.
  3. Within the Profile > Basic tab, complete ID verification steps.
  4. Fund your account with fiat currency or crypto deposits and start trading.

  1. Download the App and complete email signup then confirm.
  2. Complete profile and ID verification in the app’s Settings.
  3. Deposit currency through bank transfer or credit card to fund trades or crypto purchases.

That’s an overview getting started on some of the top global exchanges! Each offers their own portfolio of digital assets, trading options, account management and mobile app so consider the pros and cons for your needs.

Common Questions about Top Crypto Exchanges

Are lower crypto trading fees always better?

Lower fees allow more trading activity for the same total cost which improves profits. However security and exchange uptime should also be considered depending on holdings and trading frequency. The cheapest exchange with frequent outages can be more “expensive” than paying a bit more in reliable fees.

Which crypto exchanges report to the IRS?

By United States law, all US-based crypto exchanges must report user details and trading activity to the IRS and other tax agencies. Major platforms like Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Robinhood and others comply with information requests from federal authorities.

How do exchanges set cryptocurrency prices?

Exchange crypto prices are primarily based on asset demand from traders. Arbitrage opportunities across platforms tend to equalize prices after factoring in differences like fiat currency trades vs stablecoins, and trading fees. As traders interact directly with each other peer-to-peer across an exchange’s liquidity pool, their buy and sell orders determine up-to-the-minute valuations.

What are some risks to avoid with crypto exchanges?

Be wary of exchanges based internationally with lax identification checks, as fraud risk is higher. Avoid exchanges with no customer support contacts. Use exchanges reporting to regulators in their headquarters country for better accountability and security practices. For large holdings, consider dividing funds across 2-3 reputable platforms to reduce counterparty risk.

In the fast moving world of crypto trading, exchanges battle to offer the best combination of security, tokens, NFTs, features and fees to attract active traders. As outlined above, platforms like Coinbase, Binance,, Kraken, Gemini and FTX stand out across these metrics while managing regulatory compliance.

With Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies poised for growing mainstream adoption, it’s still early days for crypto exchanges and the array of digital currencies and products offered. By evaluating each against your personal priorities, one

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