Trading cryptocurrency has become popular in recent years with centralized exchanges like Coinbase and Binance leading the way for retail investors. These centralized services custody assets for users to simplify the process. Finding the best cryptocurrency trading platforms requires one to carefully consider one’s personal financial status, goals, and requirements.
Some exchanges like Binance and FTX offer a US-based and Non-US-based version of their services to cater to the United States with somewhat arduous regulatory viewpoints. Other services, such as the US-based Coinbase, offer multiple versions of their platform catering to basic trading and advanced trading.
Quick Intro: Basic Feature Fundamentals
This guide lists several of the most popular centralized cryptocurrency trading platforms. These exchanges allow users to connect bank accounts, and credit cards and even send bank wires to deposit fiat currencies. In all cases, a process known as Know-Your-Customer (KYC) will be required to establish account identity.
Features to look for include the ability to place stop-limit orders, advanced conditional orders, and 2-factor authentication. FTX is a clear standout for advanced order types, Binance and Coinbase are standouts for their diversity of assets, and eToro is noteworthy for its ability to help mirror traders find successful accounts to follow.
Note: The information presented here is for informational purposes only and not intended as financial advice.
Coinbase – Best for API & Experts
Coinbase boasts over 68 million verified users, nearly 2Trillion in yearly traded volume, and services users in over 100+ countries. Coinbase offers a wide range of services including staking, the Coinbase Wallet, and an ever-expanding range of currency pairs to trade. Coinbase features a robust API platform and an advanced trading platform (Pro) as well.
Binance – Best for Beginners
Binance was founded in 2017 and currently has no centralized headquarters. For US-based traders, the Binance US is one of the most reliable cryptocurrency exchange options available. Binance offers advanced trading features, staking services, OTC trading, an API for algorithmic traders, and a vast amount of resources for educating oneself on all things crypto-related.
FTX- Best International Trading
FTX is among the most popular exchanges for trading cryptocurrency at the international level. They have recently begun establishing a US-based service that intends to bring their strong reputation to the US market. FTX offers incredible leveraged trading, the world’s first crypto futures market, reasonable trading fees, and powerful API service for algorithmic trading.
Interactive Brokers – Lowest Fees
Interactive Brokers offers traders access to a wide range of international markets and has recently begun to offer cryptocurrency trading as part of their renowned platform. They are also among the best online trading platforms for non-crypto assets as well. IBKR has been the go-to choice for many algorithmic traders in non-crypto markets for years. Currently, accounts must request permission for access to crypto markets – a process that should only take 24hours per information on IBKR’s website.
Kraken – Best Alt-Coin Trading
Kraken has established itself as a secure, feature-rich, and asset-rich centralized exchange for trading cryptocurrency. They have high trade limits compared to other exchanges, a larger number of currency pairs than other competitors, and trading fees averaging near 0.26%. Kraken offers API access for market data, user data, trading, and even their staking services. US accounts will find some features unavailable.
eToro has been around since 2007—a relative dinosaur in crypto years—having gotten its start supporting FX traders with a best-in-class visual dashboard experience. In 2010, eToro launched OpenBook, the world’s first social trading platform. Today, eToro offers a wide range of trading opportunities, including crypto. Its platform sets itself apart by offering AI-powered trading strategies and guides for beginners.
The cryptocurrency trading platforms here are among the best in the world. However, one should always keep in mind that crypto assets are inherently volatile and thus also likely many of the services that facilitate crypto trading. These platforms are centralized services that custody of one’s coins — a far different service than decentralized exchanges via which users trade assets while maintaining custody of their own private keys.
Services like International Brokers that offer both traditional and digital asset trading are likely to be more reliable but also offer a less diverse selection of asset pairs to trade. There is no one-size-fits-all crypto trading platform and all traders are encouraged to perform their own due diligence with respect to their own financial requirements, security concerns, and local or regional legislative restrictions.