Here at the Coin Bureau, we spend a lot of time diving into many of the best crypto exchanges and platforms, providing videos and articles for news, reviews, and “how-tos”. After putting years of research into dozens of platforms, we decided it would be helpful to summarize our findings and give our opinion on the best cryptocurrency exchange in different categories to help our community start their search in finding the best crypto exchange for their needs.
We hope this article will provide some valuable insight in helping narrow your search, as sifting through the jungle of the hundreds of different crypto exchanges out there can be a daunting task. Many crypto users will have accounts with multiple different platforms to meet their different needs, and because keeping crypto diversified across different exchanges is often a smart way to go so you don't have all your eggs in one basket.
This article primarily focuses on the most reputable, widely adopted, safest and secure crypto exchanges and is not an exhaustive list as there are hundreds of shady brokers and exchanges out there not worth mentioning. We would never recommend an exchange that we are not confident in or one that we ourselves would not use.
So, without further ado, let’s crack on and look at our best-rated cryptocurrency exchange list.
Disclaimer: This article contains my personal opinions and views based on my findings. I have personally used, reviewed, and/or tested every crypto exchange in this article and actively use many of these platforms as part of my cryptocurrency investing and trading strategy.
Best Crypto Exchanges of 2023
After years of experience in the industry, testing, reviewing, and using dozens of crypto exchanges, our team applied our subject matter knowledge to create a comparative analysis to help our community find a suitable exchange that matches them.
Best Crypto Exchange for Beginners: Kraken, OkCoin, Coinbase
Crypto investing can come with an overwhelming and difficult learning curve that prevents many from entering the market. Fortunately, there are some crypto exchanges out there that pride themselves on being the perfect onramp for new users, and these exchanges could not be easier to use.
Anyone who has used online banking before will have no issues using these exchanges, I find all three of these easier to use than my online bank, and even easier than the website I use to manage my cell phone plan.
Each of these exchanges has a fiat on and off-ramp, meaning you can trade, buy and sell cryptocurrencies and fiat, and even withdraw to your bank account, making these suitable for most beginner users’ crypto needs. They also host multiple other features which you can find in their respective Coinbase, Kraken, and OkCoin reviews.
These 3 exchanges are regulated, highly secure, and available in the US and globally. To break these down a little further, I would say OkCoin is the best in terms of overall beginner-friendliness with the best UI/UX and has the best Earn feature to earn passive income on your crypto.
Kraken is the better choice for those who want to actively trade with very low fees. Kraken also takes our pick for being the most secure crypto exchange in the industry and Certified ranks them #2 behind Crypto.com. They take our top spot for security as they have been around for nearly as long as Bitcoin itself and is one of the few top exchanges to never have been hacked. They also take the top spot for best customer support from my findings and from what I've seen from online reviews and forums. A third-party review that tests the support of all the major exchanges also ranked them top in that category, you can find out more about that in our Kraken review.
Most Secure Crypto Exchange: Kraken, SwissBorg
Even the most feature-packed and lowest-fee crypto exchange means nothing if your funds get swiped from your crypto exchange account from a hack. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency exchanges have become popular targets for hackers, and many of the highest-quality cryptocurrency exchanges have suffered successful hacks that resulted in a loss of user funds.
Neither SwissBorg nor Kraken has ever been hacked, something not many exchanges can claim, and both platforms have robust and impressive security protocols, with Kraken even going as far as providing security advising, testing, and services for other crypto companies through their Kraken Security Labs branch of the business. Kraken seriously knows its stuff when it comes to security, and what makes its track record even more impressive is that they have been around since 2011 without a breach.
While Kraken and Swissborg are often considered the most secure and safest crypto exchanges, the exchanges that have been hacked have since increased their security protocols and many crypto exchanges do have insurance funds in place and have reimbursed customers when they lost funds. Previous hacks shouldn’t necessarily deter you from using other exchanges, but understandably, many users only want to trust the safest crypto exchange that has never been breached, making SwissBorg and Kraken solid choices.
To break these two down further, Kraken is better suited for active traders who need advanced order types and charting capabilities, while SwissBorg is better for long-term hodling and crypto wealth management through their various yield-earning products. Kraken is also better suited for US-based investors and would have to be my #1 pick for the best cryptocurrency exchange in the USA. You can learn more about these exchanges in our dedicated Kraken and SwissBorg reviews.
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Best Cryptocurrency Selection & Best for Altcoins: KuCoin, Binance, Gate.io
Asset support can be a determining factor when deciding which crypto exchange to sign up for. If the best exchange in the world doesn’t support your favourite asset, then it is of little use to you. Fortunately, there are some exchanges out there with excellent asset support. KuCoin, for example, supports over 600 different crypto assets!
If mass asset support and hunting for rare altcoins is your primary focus, you are going to want to look for exchanges regulated outside of the United States. Regulated US exchanges have quite a few restrictions on what tokens they can list, resulting in fewer assets supported.
KuCoin takes the crown here for best altcoin support, with Binance and Gate.io not far behind. KuCoin is also the best choice for users who want trading bots natively supported on the platform and is great for gamified trading contests and competitions. Binance is equally good for those looking for some fun with trading contests and giveaways.
Personally, of these three, I would opt for slightly fewer tokens and stick with Binance as neither KuCoin nor Gate.io are regulated, and Binance has the most features by far with more robust earn features, a crypto card, and heaps more.
KuCoin’s biggest weakness is that they do not have ways to withdraw fiat to a bank account easily, a function that Binance supports. This means that KuCoin is best used as a secondary crypto exchange along with a primary exchange that supports fiat deposits and withdrawals.
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Best Fiat Support: Binance, Gate.io, KuCoin
Most of the major exchanges will support depositing major fiat currencies like USD, GBP and EUR, but for anyone who does not use those currencies, exchange fees can be a serious pain in the butt and eat away at profits.
It is a good idea to find an exchange that supports your local bank’s currency. Impressively, Binance, Gate.io and KuCoin all support over 50 different fiat currencies for depositing funds, either directly, or via third-party purchase providers. Note that Binance is the only crypto exchange of these three that offers fiat withdrawals to a bank account and a crypto card for spending those crypto profits.
For anyone who uses major currencies like USD, EUR and GBP, most of the major exchanges will have you covered. Be sure to check for exchanges that offer fiat withdrawals such as SwissBorg, Kraken, Coinbase, and Binance and you'll be set.
Best for Active and Experienced Traders: Binance, KuCoin, Bybit
If you are going to be actively trading and looking for advanced trading interfaces along with multiple tradeable markets and trading pairs, some of the more beginner-friendly cryptocurrency exchanges likely aren’t going to cut it. Cryptocurrency trading platforms have matured and evolved, with some exchanges now offering options for margin trading, derivatives/futures trading, spot trading, a huge catalogue of trading pairs, leveraged trading, and more.
Binance even offered tokenized stock trading at one point but had to cease due to regulatory reasons. It is hard to choose a winner here as both KuCoin and Binance are incredibly fee-friendly, offering trading fees so low they are nearly negligible and a whole host of tradeable markets and assets. Bybit fees are fractions of a percentage higher, but they offer better trading competitions and one of the best copy trading platforms in the industry.
For US-based users, I'd recommend checking out Kraken Pro. For those located elsewhere, it really is a toss-up and personal preference. Binance and Bybit are more regulation-friendly and feature a fiat on and offramp. All three platforms offer industry-leading trading and matching engines as well. You’ll need to check out our Binance, Bybit and KuCoin reviews to see which one appeals to what you are looking for in a crypto trading platform.
You may find our Binance vs KuCoin Comparison article helpful in choosing between these two.
👉 Sign up for Binance and receive up to $600 and a 20% trading fee discount for Life!
👉 Sign up for KuCoin and get up to 60% off trading fees for life and a free trading bot!
👉 Sign up for Bybit and enjoy up to a $40,000 bonus and 0% Maker Fees for 30 days!
Best for Multi-Language Support: Binance, Bitfinex, KuCoin
The crypto industry has enough jargon, new phrases, and made-up words making it confusing enough, let alone if you are trying to figure this all out in another language. Good thing there are some cryptocurrency exchanges that offer impressive multi-language support.
Binance, Bitfinex and KuCoin all support dozens of different languages including Russian, simplified mandarin, and many languages for eastern European and smaller Asian-based countries.
Best for Low Fees: Binance, KuCoin, OKX
If you are a frugal and responsible adult who is financially responsible and enjoys saving money, aka, if you’re a total cheapskate like myself, and you always want the lowest fees, then you’ll want to opt for one of these two low-fee crypto exchanges.
Binance, OKX, and KuCoin have the lowest crypto exchange fees by a considerably large margin when compared to exchanges like Coinbase. There is no clear winner of these three as the trading fees for each crypto trading platform are so low and are neck and neck, varying by fractions of a percentage.
If you take advantage of our deals page, you can lower the trading fees even more for these exchanges with KuCoin coming out as the winner as Guy was able to sweet talk a really sweet deal with their team for the Coin Bureau community. New customers can receive a massive additional 60% fee discount for life!
One thing that should help you decide between these three is that these platforms offer even lower trading fees if you hold an amount of their native platform token. As a platform’s token generally appreciates and depreciates with the strength and adoption of a platform, if you are going to be holding a considerable amount of an exchange token for the perks and discounts, it should be an exchange that you are confident in for its long term success and sustainable business practices.
Here are the trading fees for Binance:
Here are the trading fees for KuCoin:
Of course, there are additional fees for things like deposits and withdrawals, which we cover in more detail in our KuCoin, Binance and OKX reviews. Generally, Binance will be the fee-friendlier option for fiat-to-crypto transactions and vice versa.
Best for NFTs: Crypto.com, OKX, Binance
With NFTs increasing in popularity, many users’ main reason for signing up for exchanges is for access to NFTs. Some crypto exchanges have really upped their NFT game and now provide a way to offer impressive NFT collections and have formed partnerships with some huge artists, athletes, sports clubs, and celebrities for NFT partnership and sponsorship deals.
Binance is the best place to mint, sell, and search for NFTs on the BSC network. The BSC network is an incredibly low-fee and efficient network for NFT minting and trading, and Binance has impressive NFT collections and partnerships with the likes of musician The Weekend and Football Star Ronaldo, among many others.
Crypto.com is fairly new to the world of NFTs but is making a huge entrance in a big way, now boasting one of the fastest-growing networks for NFTs and a well-built NFT platform. Crypto.com has formed some of the biggest partnerships in all of crypto with many sporting clubs, sports leagues, Formula 1, athletes, and the UFC. Crypto.com is the best NFT choice for sports enthusiasts and the Cronos network is also an efficient and low-fee network for NFTs.
OKX has a popular multi-chain NFT marketplace as well, supporting some of the biggest collections like Meebits, CryptoPunks, Mutant and Bored Apes, and more. OKX is also leading the charge in wallet integration and web3 exploration and innovation.
The above mentions also support Ethereum NFTs but there is no clear winner there as the NFT market on Ethereum is now massive and the best place to pick up Ethereum NFTs for you will be based on personal taste.
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👉 Sign up for Binance and receive up to $600 and a 20% trading fee discount for Life!
Best for DeFi, GameFi, NFT and Web3 innovation: OKX
Some cryptocurrency exchanges sort of just sit back and are happy only offering crypto trading, which is fine, they found their niche and are sticking to it.
Other centralized exchanges are incredibly innovative, true trailblazers in exploring the new frontier of blockchain technology. Binance has normally led the pack, usually being the first to market in releasing new features and innovative products, but when it comes to really testing the waters in 2023, the exchange OKX is frontrunning other platforms in exploring Web3 and bridging the gap between CeFi and DeFi, while exploring Web3 innovation.
OKX provides users with a very simple way to access DeFi, DApps, NFTs, and GameFi which is great to see. Through the OKX wallet which acts as a portal to Web3, users can benefit from the power of DeFi protocols such as Compound, Curve, Aave, and more without the complexity of needing to know how to navigate the complex world of decentralized finance.
Through the app, users can also explore GameFi platforms, NFT marketplaces, DEXs, and a world of DApps. The biggest complaint and criticism against Web3 and DeFi adoption has been lack of usability, user-friendliness and intuitiveness, but OKX is making strides in making the whole space come together more seamlessly.
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Best “All-in-One” Crypto Platforms: Binance, Crypto.com, Bybit
Some exchanges specialize in one area, while others offer fully comprehensive platforms to meet just about every crypto user’s needs. Binance and Crypto.com are the leaders here as they do everything from fiat on and off-ramps, being a top-tier crypto trading platform, crypto debit cards, earn features, NFTs, GameFi, provide an easy place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and way more than I can name in this article, but you can find more in our Binance and Crypto.com reviews.
There is no “best” here out of these two as again, it comes down to personal preference, but if you are someone who only wants to deal with one exchange that can do everything crypto-related, then you will want to sign up for one of these exchanges. Here is a look at their robust ecosystems.
Update: We added Bybit to this category as they have had a fantastic year in 2023 and we saw impressive improvements. Bybit is also a fantastic “all-in-one” platform, rivalling the likes of Binance and Crypto.com. They now offer a crypto card as well and a host of products and features. Certified also recently gave the exchange a Triple-A security rating and placed them as a top ten most secure exchange.
Most Passive Income/Staking/Earn options: Binance
If your main goal is earning as much passive income on your hodl stash as possible, then Binance is going to be your go-to. They have, by a substantial margin, the largest earn section and offer more earn products than any of the competition and is one of the reasons they remain the largest and most popular exchange in the world.
Highest Staking APYs: OkCoin
OkCoin doesn’t take a cut of staking income and they leverage many platforms and protocols, sourcing the highest APYs possible for their users without going into any insanely risky DeFi plays that offer unsustainably high APYs.
If you want an easy-to-use platform that offers good APYs on many popular crypto assets, OkCoin is worth checking out and is great for users located in most countries, including the US.
Best for Wealth-Management: SwissBorg
SwissBorg is a little different to the other mentions on the list as they position themselves as more than just an exchange, they are a crypto wealth management platform, ideal for crypto investing. That may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. In fact, I struggled not to put SwissBorg into the “most beginner-friendly” category as well, as it is very simple for new users and is one of the best crypto swap platforms available.
As a part of the wealth management features, SwissBorg offers some unique ways to earn APY on crypto, manage digital wealth, and their Thematics feature offers ways to gain exposure to diversified portfolios of tokens in different categories, providing simple diversified crypto investment exposure in one click.
Using the SwissBorg app is kind of like having your own financial advisor and portfolio manager in a convenient app that fits in your pocket, all without paying extortionate fees for advisors in stuffy business suits. Definitely worth looking into in my opinion
Making exchanges on SwissBorg is also incredibly simple and users know they are getting the best prices as exchange rates are aggregated from multiple leading crypto exchanges to ensure Swissborg users are getting the best crypto swap exchange rates.
Best for Crypto Copy Trading: Bitget
Copy trading has long been popular in traditional finance with platforms like eToro, ZuluTrade, Avatrade and others offering this flagship product. Bitget has done a fantastic job bringing this highly anticipated service to the crypto community, and is one of the clear leaders when it comes to crypto copy trading.
In our Bitget review, I cover the copy trading platform in more detail, but at a high-level glance, here are some of the benefits of utilizing a copy trading platform:
- Beginner traders who are learning the craft can study the trades and learn from more experienced traders while earning an income, almost like an apprentice would learn from an experienced craftsman.
- Experienced traders can benefit from additional income. There are too many assets for one person to trade and more charts than one person can watch, why not share the workload?
- Traders can diversify. If a trader has studied Bitcoin and is an expert in Bitcoin trading, they can focus on that and find a trader who specializes in Ethereum’s habits, trends, and price movements and copy their ETH trades.
- Experienced traders can share their strategies and earn a profit from their followers. As they are trading anyway, why not earn extra income by allowing others to copy you?
- Traders who are just looking for easy hands-off income can just sit back and copy the pros.
Bitget's copy trading platform has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity, thanks to its user-friendly interface and robust user engagement, captivating a substantial base of over 80,000 traders since its inception.
One outstanding feature is the exceptional transparency showcased by the traders, prominently reflected in the Leaderboards section. This section enables users to explore the profiles of the top 500 traders, offering the ability to scrutinize their performance statistics and conveniently filter them based on criteria such as total profit and loss (P&L), copier's P&L, follower count, return on investment (ROI), and assets under management (AUM).
Notably, in 2020, Bitget became the pioneer in launching futures copy trading, accompanied by the highly convenient "One-Click" copy trade feature. This advancement has simplified the implementation of sophisticated futures trading strategies, making it more accessible than ever for newcomers to participate, which is a core reason we rank it #1 in this category. Bitget's copy trading feature allows both novice traders and seasoned individuals seeking diversification to effortlessly replicate the success achieved by Bitget's most accomplished traders.
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Best Decentralized Exchanges:
If you want to avoid KYC and centralized exchanges and dive into the wonderful world of DeFi for swapping tokens, providing liquidity, yield farming and more, then these are my top picks for decentralized exchanges (DEXs) on the major networks:
- Ethereum- Uniswap
- Polygon- QuickSwap
- Avalanche- Trader Joe
- Solana- Serum
- Cronos-VVS Finance
- Cardano- SundaeSwap
- Near-Ref Finance
- Tezos- QuipuSwap
- Algorand- Tinyman
- BSC- PancakeSwap
Reasons to consider a decentralized exchange over centralized exchanges:
- Security: Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) reduce the risk of hacking by eliminating a central point of failure. Users retain control of their private keys, enhancing the security of their assets.
- Privacy: DEXs often require less personal information from users, ensuring privacy. Centralized exchanges require extensive KYC (Know Your Customer) processes, exposing users to potential data breaches.
- Ownership: On a DEX, users have full control over their funds. In centralized exchanges, the exchange controls the funds, and users are at risk if the exchange faces issues.
- Censorship Resistance: DEXs are not controlled by any entity, making them resistant to censorship. Users can trade freely without the risk of interference or restrictions imposed by a central authority.
- Diversity of Tokens: DEXs often list a wider variety of tokens, including newer and less common ones. Centralized exchanges are selective, limiting the diversity of available trading pairs.
- Transparency: With open-source protocols, DEXs offer transparency in transactions. Users can verify transactions on the blockchain, unlike centralized platforms where operations are often opaque.
- Interoperability: DEXs can be more flexible and interoperable with various cryptocurrencies and wallets. Centralized exchanges often have restrictions on supported coins and wallet types.
- Reduced Downtime: Being decentralized, DEXs are less prone to downtime. Centralized exchanges can face outages due to maintenance, technical issues, or cyber-attacks.
- Global Access: DEXs are accessible to anyone, anywhere, without the need for account verification. Centralized exchanges have geographical restrictions and are inaccessible to users in certain regions.
- Cost Efficiency: DEXs often have lower fees than centralized exchanges. The absence of an intermediary or central authority in DEXs eliminates additional costs, making transactions more cost-effective.
Best Crypto Exchanges: Guy's Picks
If you want Guy's take on his choices for the best crypto exchanges in 2023, he has put together this handy video:
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally speaking, the main difference between a cryptocurrency exchange and a broker is that exchanges facilitate peer-to-peer trading, while brokers act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. Brokers often charge fees for their services, which can include markups on the price of the cryptocurrency, trading fees, and other charges.
Cryptocurrency exchanges usually charge fees such as trading fees, and deposit and withdrawal fees, and allow traders to execute trades on their own behalf against other buyers and sellers.
Many of the popular centralized exchanges have mobile apps that can be accessed with the same login credentials. If you sign up with an exchange, it isn’t a bad idea to also have their mobile app in case you need to do some trading or crypto-centric activities on the go.
For non-exchange apps, CoinStats is a great app for keeping an eye on the crypto market, tracking your portfolio, and setting price alerts. Robinhood is very popular for traders who want to trade stocks and crypto, while Cointelegraph has a great app to keep on top of crypto news. Telegram is also a great resource as you can find great crypto channels and Spotify has fantastic crypto podcasts.
Technically, no. You can keep your crypto assets on an exchange, though the vast majority of users in the crypto industry will say that this is not a safe, nor smart way to store your crypto. In 2022, we saw the bankruptcy and collapse of many crypto exchanges, resulting in users losing all the funds they held on these platforms.
There are also the risks of exchange hacks. We always recommend using a self-custodial wallet, you can learn more about the safest ways to store crypto in our Crypto Safety 101 Guide.
Crypto wallets are used for storing cryptocurrency, while an exchange is used for trading cryptocurrencies and performing crypto-centric activities. Many exchanges offer a crypto wallet, which can be custodial or non-custodial if it is a separate app.
Non-custodial means you have full control and responsibility over your crypto and self-store it. The wallet offered on exchanges is commonly custodial, meaning the crypto company is holding onto the crypto on your behalf.
Compiling a list for this article was difficult as there are so many fantastic crypto exchanges out there, all operating at the highest level of competitiveness.
If you are a serious trader or interested in copy trading, I would highly recommend checking out Bybit. US-based users may also find it in their interest to check out Bitget, they are a top favourite as well. Bot traders will likely be impressed by KuCoin and Gate.io.
KuCoin and Gate.io are often credited with being the exchanges with the most coins and crypto assets.
Kraken is often cited as the most secure, as they are the longest-standing exchange that has never been hacked. Kraken’s security is so top-notch that they even have Kraken Security Labs, an arm of their company that offers security services for other crypto companies.
Binance is undoubtedly the #1 crypto exchange by a large margin in terms of trading volume and users, and for offering the widest range of products and services, and is revered for being one of the cheapest crypto exchange options available.
Binance, OKX, and KuCoin are often credited with having the lowest fees. As the trading fees can be lowered by holding the platform token, and depending on a trader’s VIP level or trading volume, these exchanges have trading fees of a mere fraction of a percent.
Different networks have different DeFi exchanges, so it will depend on your blockchain of choice. Uniswap is the undisputed DEX of the Ethereum network. 1 Inch is an interesting DEX aggregator that is worth checking out to make sure you get the lowest fees of any of the decentralized exchanges.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.