Centralised Crypto Exchanges

By now, most of what's on our list here will most certainly ring a bell to you. Or better yet, you may even find yourself using some of them.


Centralised crypto exchanges are considered one of the most important vehicles for transacting. They are controlled and acted by a company and functions as a third-party between a buyer and a seller. Because of this, they are known to be reliable.


Examples of this include:

  1. Binance

  2. Bitfinex

  3. BitMEX

  4. Bitstamp

  5. Bittrex

  6. CEX.IO

  7. Coinbase

  8. Coinbase Pro

  9. eToro & eToroX

  10. FTX

  11. Gemini

  12. Kraken

  13. KuCoin

 

Binance






  • Founded in China in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao

  • Attracted 6 million customers in the first 6 months to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange less than half a year after launching

  • Now registered in Malta and the Cayman Islands due to China’s cryptocurrency regulations

  • 360+ cryptocurrencies

  • 1250+ trading pairs

  • 0.1% maker and taker fee for beginners, which will drop once monthly trading volumes exceed a certain limit

  • Credit and debit cards are both accepted

  • Bank transfers are quick, both for deposits and withdrawals

  • Offers a P2P marketplace to trade with other users and make use of payment platforms like PayPal, Transferwise, and Revolut

  • Dominates the cryptocurrency market

 

Bitfinex




  • One of the oldest and most visited crypto exchanges, offering a high quality trading service since December 2012

  • Registered in crypto-friendly Hong Kong

  • The fifth-biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world

  • 130+ coins and 300+ cryptocurrencies

  • EUR, GBP, USD, and JPY (Japanese Yen) are all compatible with the platform, with fiat wallets offered, though minimum deposits are high

  • Trading fees start at 0.1% for makers and 0.2% for takers, though these can be discount by paying fees with the LEO token

  • Credit cards can be used to purchase cryptocurrency directly, with a $25 minimum order amount and high variable fees

  • Offers a Paper Trading Sub-Account, which is really a demo account, and allows beginners to practice trading before they deposit real money

  • The sign-up process is easy and streamlined

  • Suitable for beginners and experienced user

 

BitMEX




  • Founded by British cryptocurrency enthusiasts and developers in 2014 but now based in the Seychelles

  • Advanced trading platform for high-risk traders who want to make use of the 100x leverage

  • Maker fees are 0.025% and taker fees are 0.075%, incredibly low for this space

  • No debit or credit card functionality, instead, users must deposit compatible cryptocurrencies from another wallet

  • Only 10 cryptocurrencies to choose from

 

Bitstamp






  • One of Europe’s oldest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, founded in Slovenia in 2011, but having since relocated to Luxembourg

  • Never been hacked and boasts excellent security

  • Trading fees start at 0.5% for makers and takers

  • Feels more comfortable to older users and those from a financial background

  • Compatible with USD, EUR, and GBP for deposits and withdrawals

  • Debit and credit card purchases charged at 5%

  • Deposits on the Faster Payments network are free, though withdrawals cost £2

  • 25+ cryptocurrencies and 80+ market pairs

  • Great place to off-ramp crypto, with a simple customer selling experience

 

Bittrex






  • Founded in 2014 by a team of cybersecurity engineers from Amazon and Microsoft, Bittrex was the first crypto exchange to be transparent about their management team

  • Huge selection of altcoins, with more than 360 coins and over 730 trading pairs

  • Trading fees are 0.35% for makers and takers, which is on the higher side, but great discounts are available for higher volume traders

  • Debit and credit cards accepted, with low fees at just 3% for users in 125 different countries

  • High quality mobile app

 

CEX.IO





  • British cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO may be small but it is mighty, growing sustainably since its launch in 2013

  • Very low debit and credit card fees at just 2.99%, however, GBP deposits are discounted to 1.49%, the lowest in the industry

  • 80+ cryptocurrencies and 180+ trading pairs

  • One of the best places to sell your cryptocurrency back to GBP and send it to your bank account

  • More than 4m registered accounts

  • Recently opened an office in the US

  • Suitable for beginners in the UK

 

Coinbase




  • Founded in 2012 in the US, going through the famous Y Combinator accelerator programme

  • The favourite choice of first-time investors in the cryptocurrency world, with over 56m verified users

  • Crypto-to-crypto trades are expensive, at 2.0%

  • Credit cards can be used to deposit fiat currency or purchase cryptocurrency, at a charge of 3.99%

  • Debit card fees are 1.49% for purchases or deposits worth more than $200

  • Coinbase Earn is an educational platform that pays users in crypto to learn about exciting and innovative projects. It’s as simple as answering multiple-choice questions

  • The easiest platform in crypto to use, with a simple sign up process and quick ID verification syste

 

Coinbase Pro




  • The sister platform of Coinbase, the Coinbase Pro exchange was launched in 2018

  • Coinbase acquired GDAX, a very popular crypto-only exchange at the time, and rebranded it into Coinbase Pro, allowing users to access their Coinbase funds within the trading platform

  • In 2021 it has maintained the third-highest daily trading volumes and liquidity in the world

  • Coinbase Pro has never been hacked

  • Trading fees start at 0.5% for both makers and takers, but the fees are reduced depending on how much cryptocurrency is traded in a 30-day window

  • SWIFT deposits are free but cost £1 per withdrawal to your bank account

  • No credit or debit card purchases permitted, however...

  • The cross-functionality with Coinbase means you get two excellent services and exchanges in one, with Coinbase Pro being aimed specifically at regular traders

  • It’s advised to open a Coinbase account first, as the same login details will provide access to Coinbase Pro, though this system doesn’t work the other way around

 

eToro & eToroX






  • eToro’s stock trading platform has been in operation since 2007, surviving almost a decade and a half in a highly competitive industry

  • In 2019, they branched out into the cryptocurrency market, introducing eToroX, what they call a ‘Digital Asset Platform’

  • Users who were previously comfortable trading stocks, commodities, and foreign currencies, can now buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies

  • What separates eToro from their competitors is that they only sell the underlying asset, rather than the cryptocurrency itself, meaning you can’t withdraw it to an external wallet. This is frustrating to many traders who want more flexibility

  • Another frustrating feature is that not only must you use eToroX’s wallet, but you will also be charged each time you deposit or withdraw from it

  • 20+ cryptocurrencies and trading pairs

  • Offering the lowest spreads for BTC (0.75%) and waiving credit card fees makes eToroX one of the most attractive places to purchase cryptocurrency, despite the lack of flexibility

  • The CopyTrader feature allows users to see which other traders are performing best and mimic their trading behaviou

 

FTX





  • Founded in 2017 by young crypto-billionaire and market expert Sam Bankman-Fried

  • The platform is built for serious traders who want high-risk opportunities and to take advantage of the 101x leverage on offer

  • Futures, options, and volatility trading, as well as standard spot trading options

  • Trading fees are the lowest in the industry at 0.02% for makers and 0.07% for takers, with the opportunity to discount these by using the FTT coin

 

Gemini




  • Founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins, who used the payout from their famous Facebook case to invest in Bitcoin, making them billionaires!

  • This is the most regulated, legitimate, and trustworthy exchange in the space, however, it requires more data and information than any other

  • Your funds are fully insured in case of hacking or theft, which is yet to happen due to incredible levels of security

  • USD and GBP are compatible for deposits and instant purchases from the brokerage, with fees depending on the size of the purchase

  • 40+ cryptocurrencies and 60+ trading pairs

  • Ideal for beginners who are concerned about security and hackings

  • Friendly to UK customer

 

KuCoin





  • Founded in Singapore in 2013, KuCoin finally launched in 2017 and is now based in Hong Kong, one of the most crypto-friendly places in Asia

  • Sometimes referred to as ‘The People’s Exchange’, KuCoin is recognised as one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges to get listed on, with more than 340 coins on offer

  • Traders can purchase cryptocurrency via credit card, debit card, or bank transfer

  • Trading fees are among the industry’s lowest at 0.1%, however, higher trading volumes and paying fees in their native KCS token can unlock minus fees, in effect, rebates

  • 90% of the trading fees that are collected by KuCoin are redistributed as rewards to the holders of KCS

  • They were the victim of 2020’s biggest hack, with $275m being taken. However, thanks to excellent security protocols, partnerships, and procedures, they recovered around 85% of the funds

  • KuCoin allows KYC-free trading, meaning you don’t need to give any personal details to open an account and make cryptocurrency deposits or withdrawals. KYC checks are required for crypto purchases by card

 

Kraken





  • Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, Kraken has become the fourth most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the world

  • With several million traders and billions passing through the platform each day, Kraken’s decade in business has helped them to form a truly reliable offering

  • Debit and credit cards are permitted with a 3.75% fee, plus a flat transaction charge of €0.25

  • Trading fees start at 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers, though the maker fee can be reduced to 0% with more than $10m in monthly trades

  • Pairs featuring stablecoins, such as USDT, USDC, and DAI, as well as foreign currencies, such as EUR, GBP, and USD, are all charged at 0.2%, for example, BTC/USDT

  • Over 65 cryptocurrencies and 300 trading pairs to choose from

  • Immaculate reputation for security and transparency, having never been hacked and also being the first exchange to share a proof of reserves audit, proving their funds are all protected

  • More cryptocurrencies in the brokerage to buy and sell than the majority of their competitors, however, be warned that some of the spreads for low liquidity coins can be high

  • One of the top picks for beginners based on ease of use and user experience

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