Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Everybody is going nuts about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency buzz. The NFT art auctions (which mostly use Ethereum tokens) became a new trend in 2021. Cryptocurrencies are more and more included in our everyday life. There is a wide range of platforms that offer us to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum instantly. How to choose the right one and get the coins right into your wallet? We’ve made a list of the best exchanges that are corresponding to your needs. Choose wisely!
What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform or website that allows customers to trade, buy or sell cryptocurrencies for another asset, either fiat or crypto.
The exchanges can be centralized or decentralized. Centralized crypto exchanges act as a third-party between buyer and seller. The transactions within such a platform are operated and controlled by the founders of the project. Such an example can be the Binance exchange platform, which allows fiat payments but requires KYC/AML procedures. Besides, the private keys are stored on the exchange, which is quite a wrong decision considering privacy.
Decentralized exchanges allow customers to process transactions without intermediaries or third parties. Such platforms are non-custodial, which means that they do not store your private keys on their servers. It doesn’t require any personal information, as well as does not require a KYC process. However, decentralized exchanges have no fiat options, and the speed of transactions might be lower.
How to Choose a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
Before starting any exchange or trade, we will present you with some points to consider before entering the crypto market. Think about it as a warning and recommendation.
- Check the reputation of the platform. Find out all about the experience of other users in the corresponding communities. You may find such info in Telegram channels, Reddit, Twitter, and BitcoinTalk forum.
- Available payment methods. If the platform works with fiat currencies, get the information about possible means of payment. Some of the exchanges work with payment gateways like Advcash, others – with bank cards and transfers. For example, on Changelly, you can make an instant Litecoin purchase with Apple Pay.
- Verification process. Most of the centralized exchanges allow you to swap and trade cryptos only after completing the KYC/AML process. This kind of verification requires you to provide your personal information, document photos, and a selfie. At this point, we can go back to the reputation issue – do not provide your ID and personal info to scammers (so check all about the hacks and insecurities before starting using the platform).
- Trading fees. Every exchange has its unique fee-related information on the corresponding page. Remember, there are several kinds of fees, and all of them are different – maker, taker, withdrawal, deposit, and network fees.
- Legislation. Check if you are allowed to process any cryptocurrency operations in your country. Some of the governments prohibit any trading or storing crypto assets.
Where to Buy and Exchange Cryptocurrencies?
There are many types of exchanges that vary with their type, fees, purpose, ease of use, and more. We’ve chosen the best in their category.
Best Instant Exchange – Changelly
Being on the crypto market since 2015, Changelly already has more than two million customers that exchange and buy cryptocurrency with fiat every day. Changelly provides its crypto purchase users with multiple payment options such as Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, and a bank transfer. There are more than 160 cryptocurrencies, and the platform lists a new altcoin almost every week.
- Pros: user-friendly, 160+ coins, variety of payment options
- Cons: fees might be overpriced
Best Centralized Exchange – Binance
One of the most popular and oldest crypto exchanges offers its users a smooth trading process and a lot of trading tools. Binance is famous for its high trading volumes and low fees. There is an extensive selection of cryptocurrencies as well as a whole spectrum of fiat currencies. Besides, Binance uses many withdrawal and deposit options depending on your location, which makes it really convenient to use all over the world. The crypto exchange has its own internal BNB token, which gives a discount to fees and other activities.
- Pros: a user-friendly, wide variety of coins, low fees
- Cons: requires KYC procedure, centralized
Best Decentralized Exchange – Uniswap
Uniswap was created in 2018, a year before the DeFi hype. The exchange is based on the Ethereum blockchain and proceeds all the operations with the help of smart contracts, which makes the platform an automated market maker. The open-sourced architecture allows listing any ERC-20 tokens for free by creating a corresponding liquidity pool. Users can exchange ERC-20 tokens with Ethereum and stablecoins, as well as lend tokens and get fees from other users’ transactions. There is no order book or any centralized party, so the platform is censorship-resistant.
- Pros: anonymous and decentralized, many ERC-20 tokens, no KYC
- Cons: might be slow and expensive since the fee price depends on Ethereum’s gas, no fiat currencies.
Best Peer-to-Peer Exchange (P2P) – LocalBitcoins
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange with customers all over the world. The platform allows you to meet people in person for Bitcoin exchange. There are many payment options from PayPal to Dwolla. The service holds a 1% commission for each deal from the seller. Each trader has a reputation rank and publicly posted the latest activity – so you can rely on them.
- Pros: no ID requested, instant transfers, low fees.
- Cons: no OTC-trading; the seller defines a price.