The Best Bitcoin Exchanges
Last Updated: 10 September 2018
Every time it comes to digging thru to find some of the best bitcoin exchange, it may not be as straightforward as it sounds. Some of you may be wondering why? Well, that is due to the fact that there are plenty sites to choose from and many of them haven’t been around long enough to receive the recognition from the public. Most of you who landed on this page are probably looking for legitimate ways to securely buy bitcoin online. Let’s begin by examining some of the most important aspects.
Let’s begin by reviewing the top bitcoin exchange websites from safety, security and trading features stand points. The next question that comes to mind, is it a trustworthy exchange? Is the data being provided is transparent? I would also suggest to look for the number of available currency pairs to trade and its trading daily volume. The higher volume usually represents better liquidity, tighter spreads and quicker order execution. Some of the more popular / arger scale exchanges usually offer more buying options as well as wider selection of crypto coins.
The passion to bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general led me to develop cryptocurrency arbitrage app and this blog. I always advise to do your own due diligence before investing, but I truly hope the information that I deliver will assist in making a better educated choices. Down below you will find a table displaying best exchanges to buy bitcoin online. If you’re a newbie, I would suggest familiarizing with beginners column.
The exchanges that I picked are secure and trustworthy as well as carry excellent reputation, user rating and higher ranking among its online competitors. Please check out the ranking preference for some of the websites to buy bitcoin with credit card. Take your time evaluating every feature on the best bitcoin exchange mega list. Consider bookmaking this page for easy return access.
Top Online Sources to Buy Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin
How to easily buy cryptocurrency from the exchanges listed above?
The list above displaying top bitcoin exchanges should serve as excellent reference for sources to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. Every website contains a page with detailed instructions on how to proceed. This source of information on buying bitcoin with credit card, paypal, cash, bank swift transfers and more, should be bookmarked and returned at any time. When you complete your bitcoin purchase, it would probably be a good idea to considering storing it off line. Check out the list of available hot and cold wallets for storing coin. When ready to buy or sell cryptocurrency, just transfer your coin from cold wallet to hit (an online exchange). Please keep in mind, as long as the your private keys are secure, your coins are safe and sound.
Which source from the list above should I consider for buying bitcoin?
The answer to the question would not be as straightforward as it may sound. Each one would have its unique benefits over another. Before making any definitive decisions, I would suggest to do your own research before committing. Check out the feedback about buying bitcoin easily that folks are sharing on forums, blogs and popular social media like sources like Reddit. Consider localbitcoins.com as source for making a first time P2P bitcoin purchase. The exchange service is globally known for connecting local buyers and seller. Since you’ll be dealing with local sellers, there is a very high likelihood that the seller will accept your local currency. If your local currency is pounds, euros, australian dollars, yen, canadian dollars, swiss francs, rubles, krona, rupees or lira, finding a local bitcoin seller would be a breeze. The best part is that you can pay with cash by simply arranging a meetup with the seller in neutral location. Alternatively, you may choose to pay with swift transfer via localbitcoins reputable escrow account. Other options may include, buying with PayPal, but most exchanges do not accept it as form of payment, because of the PayPal’s chargeback policy.
Which exchanges are the largest by trading volume?
Some of the largest exchanges by volume are listed on the top of the list. For instance Bitstamp, Bittrex, Bitfinex Gemini are considered the best bitcoin exchanges by rating and user experience.
Should it be called TOP rated or the best cryptocurrency exchange?
I personally consider GDAX and Poloniex my primary choice. Both platforms carry out user friendly interface, quick deposit and withdrawal options, low fees and excellent liquidity. There are many popular cryptocurrency pairs being traded with 99.9% server uptime, which guarantees the platform to be online when you’re ready to make your next trade. For more experienced traders, trading cryptocurrency on leverage could easily triple the profits. Please keep in mind, leverage trading should be approached with extreme caution! As attractive as it might sound, it is extremely or should I say 3x more easier to lose a coin. Arbitrage trading is among popular method to generate extra income when market fluctuates. Cryptocurrency arbitrage refers to buying coins on an online exchange where the price of an altcoin is much lower & simultaneously selling where the price is higher, as result of profiting from a difference in prices. I would also recommend checking out the ranking and marketcaps on coinmarketcap.
Things to consider when searching for the most secure cryptocurrency exchange
Indeed this is the favorite question on the list. When examining trustworthiness of a bitcoin exchange, its important to understand that even the most popular and highest rated exchange could turn dark overnight. However, when dealing with larger volume exchanges like Bitfinex or Binance, the odds of it stealing your coun are slim to none. Instead, I would do my due diligence, especially when dealing with less popular exchanges like Livecoin or Coingate.
Some of the best bitcoin exchanges in year of a yellow dog (2018):
Known as one of the 1st CFD providers to offer cryptocurrency. With an extremely user friendly interface, it became very popular among beginners looking to invest in cryptocurrency.Pros
- Excellent liquidity provides an opportunity to easily enter and exit the trade.
- It is being regulated by FCA & CySEC.
- Leverage trading is also available, decreasing the capital while increasing the risk.
- Caution is advised when using leverage.
- Fewer coins available for trading.
- The underlying asset does not belong to you.
Coinbase delivers a very user friendly interface for purchasing cryptocurrency with credit card, debit card or bank account. It is an insured online crypto wallet registered in the United States.
There are currently over 30 million users worldwide are using coinbase for buying bitcoin. Over 75,000 merchants, as well as 15000 developer apps partnered up with coinbase. The platform is popular in Europe as well as United States. Check out my comprehensive review on Coinbase review.Pros
- User friendly interface; secure protocol, considered among some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, has over 200 million page views per month.
- Online wallet offers insurance for its users.
- Verification process may take longer than usual.
On of the first Chinese cryptocurrency exchange open its doors to public in July 2017. Considering its fairly young age, however it has proven itself many times over to be our trusted partner and reliable cryptocurrency exchange service provider.Pros
- Low transactions, withdrawals and deposit fees.
- Offers a large variety of coins including some of the rare coins.
- Very high liquidity delivers efficient opportunities for rapid entries and exits.
- Chinese government banning crypto trading raised questions in regards to Binance’s future ability to continue smooth business operation despite the current situation.
Bittrex has earned its fair place is among the royal cryptocurrency exchanges. Many years of hard and dedicated work had brought the exchange to the spot light. I invite you to check out my in-depth analysis review of Bittrex.Pros
- Lots of trading pairs.
- Considered one of the most visited cryptocurrency exchange with over 150M monthly page views.
- A trusted and reputable platform.
- Tight spreads, deep volumes.
- New account registration temporarily disabled. Having hard time keeping up with competitors like Poloniex and Coinbase.
- Heavy & unnecessary screening requirements.
A very popular global peer to peer exchange. It is by far one of the most reputable bitcoin exchange websites. It has been around almost since the inception of the bitcoin. It's a marketplace designed for connecting buyers and sellers around the world. The exchange is known for its reputable escrow service, where sellers places a bitcoin in a designated account owned by Localbitcoins. As soon the the receipt of the funds is confirmed, the bitcoin is being released to the buyer. The transactions that involve reputable escrow account leave no room for fraudsters.Pros
- An awesome way to meet new people.
- Zero room for fraud.
- No verification required.
- Popular world wide.
- Longer transaction timing.
- Some degree of risks is involved if paying in person with fiat.
While CEX accepts wide variety of fiat like euros, British pounds, US dollars, Russian Rubles, its reputation is among the strongest. The company is known for its transparent approach in many aspects of the business. CEX support team is very friendly and on point. Some of the first level support agents are even competent to provide tech related answers. I had a few questions I regards to their API, the support team had the issue resolved within just several hours.
CEX is indeed an excellent trading platform for beginners. I invite you to read my comprehensive CEX review to get more insights about fees and verification process.Pros
- Easy bank (swift) transfer & credit card / debit card deposits.
- Extremely easy user interface & an excellent trading choice for newbies.
- Transparent corporate politics.
- Litecoin was recently unlisted
Kraken is know to perform extremely well through SEPA. It has relatively straightforward verification process. Due to current backlog, new applicants should expect to wait anywhere from four to six weeks before getting verified. In comparison to to Bitstamp and other reputable exchanges, Kraken has proven itself to be the sansai of the crypto market and security. I've written a thorough review of Kraken, while touching upon some of the most important areas of the business.Pros
- Low rates, quick trade execution and fair deposit and withdrawal fees.
- Popular in Europe as well as North America.
- A recent bug in the code had caused the site to remain offline for little over three days.
- Some of the popular features like stop-loss were disabled without notice.
- I’m personally not a big fan of its interface.
The platform is well known for its advanced trading functionality and deep liquidity, making it an excellent choice for advanced as well as newbie traders. Deposits and withdrawals are made in USD and are processed very quickly. Also happens to be the best ethereum exchange for serious players in this space.Pros
- Operates under Coinbase brand.
- Provides deep liquidity and tight spreads.
- Identity verification process is lengthier and more complex.
Xcoins is known for its popular Bitcoin lending service. Traders could easily buy bitcoin with credit card or even PayPal. Due to PayPal’s extreme chargeback policy (where a buyer could easily ask for the funds back, while keeping the bitcoin), accepting PayPal as payment provider for cryptocurrency became dangerous. However, Xcoins made claims about being able to use a loophole. The unique peer to peer model was designed to connect lenders with borrowers. This allowed buyers to purchase bitcoin through a series of secured loan installments. Should you change your mind at any given time, you can easily ask for refund and get your money back promptly. Lenders are welcome to join the platform free of charge.Pros
- Platform provides two-factor authentication for better security.
- An excellent support service.
- Relatively easy verification process.
- Quick bitcoin fulfilment after completing obligation to the lender.
- No minimum loan requirements.
- The website has history of being hacked.
- No advanced trading features available.
Bitstamp has been popular in Europe since the inception days. It had history of switching jurisdictions from Slovenia to the United Kingdom, in attempt to operate under more favorite regulatory environment. The platform welcomes big traders by offering deep liquidity and tighter spreads. Users can easily make deposits with Euro and USD by SEPA and credit cards. Bitstamp has always been on my favorite list, especially since the adoption of many other altcoin pairs. I spent some time writing a report on Bitstamp, touching upon some of the most important areas such as; security of the platform and deposit and withdrawal fee.Pros
- Easily make deposits via major European and US credit cards.
- HQ is in Luxembourg.
- Excellent platform for making larger trades.
- Newbie friendly.
- Accepting registrations only from residents of the EU & US.
Polonex was known to be one of the better cryptocurrency exchange platforms until the competitors like Bittrex came around with a single intention to conquer the market. The company rapidly grew in size and incoming traffic volume. Once the altcoins were introduced, Polonex grew from 30 million visits per month in November 2017, to 60 million users in December 2017. The platform stood out by presenting superior and user friendly interface for both mobile and desktop users. Please keep in mind that Polonex does not accept any direct fiat deposits. The coin must be purchased elsewhere, before it could be transferred to Polonex for trading. I invite you to check out my full analytical review of Poloniex, where I get into detail about the company’s background, fees and margins.Pros
- Up to 4x margin trading is available on some of the altcoins.
- Very friendly user interface both both mobile and desktop users.
- Extremely liquid pool, tight spreads.
- Poor customer support.
- Verification is still required.
- No fiat deposits accepted.
Paxful is powerful and popular platform with estimated monthly traffic of about 2 million visits and most of it is originating from the US. It is the second largest after localbitcoins peer to peer marketplace for buying and selling bitcoin. Paxful has adopted over 150 various payment methods to be used.Pros
- Large variety of convenient payment like Skrill, Webmoney, OKPAY, PayPal, NetTeller, COD and more.
- Peer 2 peer structure.
- An excellent alternative for localbitcoins.
- Fees not as competitive in comparison with localbitcoins.
Gemini is a fully licensed and registered exchange, operating out of New York. The company directly competes with Coinbase. It adopted a super easy withdrawal and deposit system, allowing users to deposit and withdraw funds directly to or from from bank accounts. Gemini doesn’t yet have its business tentacles spread across the entire globe, the jurisdiction it operates in is comparably small. Nevertheless, the space it operates in, delivered a very good feedback about its business practices.Pros
- Auctions available.
- Increased security features.
- Fiat deposits & withdrawals.
- Large volume exchange.
- Easy to use for beginners and experts. Cons
- Only accepts USD transfers.
- No phone support.
- Limited cryptocurrencies (BTC & ETH).
An exchange with huge customer database of over 700k active users sets its goals to get rid of the technical barriers of some of the traditional platforms, by utilizing an automatic trading intelligence completely integrated with Poloniex, Bittrex and many other lading trading platforms. To put it in simple terms, the Changelly platform operates by allowing users to trade cryptocurrency without necessity for identity verification or registration at the major exchanges through which Changelly operates. The company utilizes exchanges like Bittrex and Poloniex public and private API for data pulling, and order execution purposes. In another words, Changelly operates as broker and charges a commission for its services. The popular platform processes more than 50k BTC per month, while offering instant trade opportunity for over 80+ coins.Pros
- Many altcoins are supported.
- Credit and debit cards are accepted as payment.
- Transaction fees (0.5%) are a bit higher than the market’s average.
- Folks complain about longer withdrawals.
- Very high fees when buying crypto with fiat.
Bisq or Bitsquare is a decentralized peer 2 peer platform. The benefits of decentralization protects the users from losing coin, incase the company’s operators decide to get mobile. There are over 60 cryptocurrencies being traded. The platform accepts deposits via bank transfers, escrow accounts and trusted 3rd party payment processors.Pros
- Even more decentralized than ERC20 token exchange, Etherdelta.
- p2p AND decentralized.
- Trusted escrow system for bank transfers.
- Advanced level of IT comprehension needed.
- The high skill-level barrier to entry results in far lower volumes on Bisq. Therefore not great for large orders.
I wouldn’t recommend this exchange, unless for some reason you can’t get verified with any of the ones listed above. I took sometime writing about an in depth overview of Coinmama.Pros
- Credit card purchases from nearly all countries.
- Fees are higher than most sites.
- Not possible to sell cryptocurrency back to the exchange.
Bitmex is by far one of the leading bitcoin margin trading platforms. Users are welcome to trade cryptocurrency derivatives with huge leverage of up to 100x. Some of the most popular trading pairs are: Yen, Monero, Dash, BTC/USD, Ripple and Ethereum. Bitmex’s corporate structure is in solid hands, because Arthur Hayes is at the steering wheel. A man is an experienced trader, formerly employed by Deutsche Bank. Many years of trading experience, left Arthur with ideas on how to make Bitmex the Rolls Royce of the cryptocurrency trading industry. The platform was being built with intention to deliver superior user experience for the experienced traders. I would advise beginners to choose another platform for trading coin.
- My favorite platform for bitcoin derivatives trading.
- Superior design and pumped interface.
- Huge leverage up to 100x.
- High leverage may turn on inexperienced traders.
BitPanda is a popular platform based out of Austria. Its especially popular in Europe.
Due to wide range of unorthodox, reversible deposit options; like Skrill and credit card, the fees are significantly higher. Like any other, Bitpanda offers a quick ID verification process, as result the company attracts plenty of small scale users.Pros
- Very flexible and diverse deposit options.
- Low credit card deposit fees.
- Newbie friendly platform.
- Fees are not transparent.
- Platform is only available for residents of fewer countries.
The platform has a record of its security being bridged, where of $530 million worth of NEM has been stolen. The victims had filed a lawsuit against Coincheck. The popular exchange is based out of Japan. It offers leverage trading for YEN pairs, as well as spot buy/sell service for other coins. The hacked platform offers a single 1:5 leverage trading account.Pros
- The company abides by Japanese regulations.
- Both spot as well as leveraged trading.
- Deposits could be made in fiat as well as cryptocurrency.
- Deposits via credit card are being offered.
- Trading against JPY only.
- Major security problems.
The exchange supports great variety of altcoins. Plenty of brand new ICO coins are available for trading. It is still unclear if a company abides by country specific regulations.Pros
- Easy navigation.
- Absolutely no withdrawal limits.
- Large variety of altcoins.
- Attentive customer support.
- Lack of regulatory transparency.
THE FAQTrade VS Hold
The question of holding over trading bitcoin still remains the most discussed topic of interest. Trading requires a solid set of skills, knowledge of technical analysis and most importantly partience. Unlike stock trading, crypto market is a lot more volatile and carries a much higher degree of risk. By trading Bitcoin, gains are collected from constant price fluctuations. If trading with CFD brokers, the investment is considered protected, opposed to holding the funds a the exchange like Coinbase. CFD brokers typically charge a spread fee for each trade made. Bottom line, the process of buying bitcoin is considered less complicated through CFD process. This is much like the white glove service.
Buying Bitcoin in US?
There are many places to buy and sell Bitcoin in the US. In fact, the biggest and the most popular Bitcoin exchange websites are located in the United States.
Coinbase is known to be the most popular Bitcoin exchange and the most easiest way to purchase Bitcoin in the United States. The company offers an ‘instant option to buy Bitcoin with credit or debit card.
If you choose to make payments via wire transfer, it may take anywhere up to 5 business. Despite all, coinbase charges a 1.49% bank transfer fee, opposed to 3,99% when paid with credit card.
In my opinion, Coinbase is considered the #1 place to go to for buying and selling Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. It was designed with simplicity and security in mind. Considerably higher fees is he only potential downside. Furthermore, Coinbase accepts payments via PayPal. There are not that many sites accepting PayPal, due its 180 payment reversal policy. Personally, I don’t think PayPal will remain as method of Payment for a very long time
CryptoGo is another very popular exchange made available for US the residents. The crypto exchange targets high end as well as beginner clients from across the globe. Believe it or not, CryptoGo’s customer support service is made to deliver upon its promise. It’s really outstanding and attentive.
For those of you chasing lowest fees, I would recommend LocalBitcoins. The platform was made to connect Bitcoin buyers and sellers via escrow account, ultimately ensuring a smooth fraud free experience. The localbitcoins made its service available in all countries, making it a #1 Bitcoin cash exchange platform.
Lastly, one of the only platforms that can guarantee low on the traditional exchange is either Gemini or Kraken. Gemini is a New York based firm, it is known for guaranteeing lowest trade fees, however its not available in all states. Kraken’s fees are also very generous, though its support isn’t all that friendly.
Please note: The sources mentioned above had been picked to deliver an idea where to buy Bitcoin with fiat. There are plenty of alternatives available where purchasing Bitcoin can be made with other forms of payment.
Some of the largest Bitcoin exchanges by volume?
It appears that OKEX has the largest traded daily volume, however it does change from time to time. The volume fluctuates due to physical exchange relocation from one country to the next, in attempt to avoid government’s over regulations. China is a great example of it. Also the volume is dependent upon certain governmental BANS and long term restrictions, ultimately blocking all user access as result the traded volume drops. (China again). When a company like Binance, temporarily, shuts down for maintenance, all trading stops, ultimately driving the volume down.
The exchange fees.
The fees are surely an unpleasant part of the transaction, however patience and research can help you avoid getting ripped off when buying Bitcoin. The popular Bitsamp exchange drops deposits fees to as low as 0.05% and the trade fees are between 0.25% and 0.1%. SEPA deposits and withdrawals are made without any extra hidden fees.
One other growing exchange by the name of Cryptogo is also taking steps towards minimizing fees. Unlike anywhere else, the commission is already included in the price of the coin. Check out the Kraken’s fee schedule here. Kraken is known for be very conservative on fiat withdrawal fees.
Despite the long transfer periods, the deposit/withdrawal fees at Coinbase are moderate, if the transfer has been made via connected bank account. A fee of 1.49% is charged on every deposit. Fees may vary based on your geographical location. When it comes to rock bottom withdrawal fees, folks from Europe are more fortunate. SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) participants are changed €0.15 per every withdrawal.
The US, Australia and Canada and residents of other parts of the world are not so lucky! The withdrawal fees are significantly noticeable for the users of the countries mentioned above. The most generous fees recorded by the LocalBitcoin users ~ 1%. The transaction fees are typically much lower when dealing on peer to peer basis.
Where is PayPal being accepted
There are a hand few of websites allowing users to buy Bitcoin with PayPal. Coinbase is definitely on the list. Others are:
Looking to for ways to deposit large amounts?
When it comes to depositing large sums, its becoming a wide spread dilemma in many countries. Most exchanges out there would require identity verification prior to accepting your deposits. After intensively researching the market, I came to the conclusion that CryptoGo is by far one of the only cryptocurrency networks would be willing to accept a deposit in the amount over $100,000. This company is known for dealing with higher end investors. Anyone looking to buy Bitcoin in large bulks, should definitely contact CryptoGo’s representative to discuss options. Of course there are others who built the business around high end clients. Cumberland mining is one of these groups, where minimum deposit is $100,000.
Where should I go to buy bitcoin instantly?
There are many exchanges designed for buying bitcoin instantly, however the commissions are comparably higher.