The Ultimate Comparison of Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more. With over 500 exchanges to choose from, picking the right one can be overwhelming. This definitive guide compares the most popular crypto exchanges based on key factors like fees, supported coins, payment methods, security and more.


Cryptocurrency exchanges serve as a marketplace for crypto traders and investors. You can use these platforms to exchange fiat money like USD or EUR for digital currencies, or trade one crypto for another. Some key things that differentiate crypto exchanges include:

  • Fees – The trading fee structure and deposit/withdrawal fees can vary greatly. Some charge a percentage of the trade amount as commission, while others use a flat fee model.
  • Supported Currencies – The number of coins and trading pairs available is also important. Some exchanges only allow Bitcoin trading, while the largest ones may support over 100 different cryptocurrencies.
  • Payment Methods – Ways to fund your account and withdrawal options should also be considered. Exchanges typically support bank transfers, credit/debit cards and some even allow PayPal payments.
  • Security – Measures like two-factor authentication, cold wallet storage and encryption protocols impact an exchange’s overall security.
  • Geography – Where an exchange is located determines which regions and payment methods it supports. This impacts sign up accessibility as well as trading costs.
  • Advanced Trading Features – More technical users may value advanced trading tools like margin trading and derivatives products that some exchanges incorporate.

This comparison guide looks at ten of the biggest and most reputable exchanges which are suitable for users of all experience levels.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Compared

Exchange Location Year Launched Fees Supported Coins Payment Methods
Binance Cayman Islands 2017 0.1% spot trading fee, <0.09% for BNB holders 800+ Bank transfer, cards, P2P trading
Coinbase USA 2012 0.5% spread for buy/sell transactions 100+ Bank transfer, cards Hong Kong 2016* 0-0.4% spot fee, 2.99% for cards 250+ Bank transfer, cards
FTX Bahamas 2019 0.02%-0.07% maker/taker fee 200+ Bank transfer, cards
Gemini USA 2014 0.35%-1.49% convenience fee 60+ Bank transfer, cards, Apple Pay
Kraken USA 2011 0.9%-1.5% + deposit fees 90+ Bank transfer, cards
KuCoin Seychelles 2017 0.1% spot fee, low withdrawal fees 600+ Cards, P2P trading Hong Kong 2013 0.2% spot fee, 10%-20% for futures 1000+ Bank transfer, cards, USDT

Below we dive deeper into what sets each of these top cryptocurrency exchanges apart.


Binance is currently the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, serving over 100 million users globally. It was founded by Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and their servers are based across Asia and Europe.

Some key features include:

  • Over 800 trading pairs available
  • Spot, margin and futures trading offered
  • Very competitive 0.1% spot trading fee, with additional 25% discount when paying fees in BNB
  • Excellent mobile apps for both iOS and Android
  • Supports staking, lending and savings accounts for earning interest on holdings
  • Allows copy trading via Binance Smart Pool
  • ISO 27001 and 27701 security certification
  • Insurance fund protects against negative account balances

Initially Binance didn’t require strict KYC verification, but now full identity check is needed for withdrawals and higher trading limits. Supported payment methods include bank transfers via SWIFT/SEPA/Faster Payments and buying crypto with credit/debit cards (3.5% fee).


  • Industry lowest spot trading fees
  • Most extensive coin support
  • Deep liquidity ensures good prices
  • Hundreds of trading pairs


  • Higher fees for direct card purchases
  • US customers redirected to separate Binance.US site

Overall Binance is still our top recommended exchange for most crypto investors and traders. The trading fee discounts when using BNB makes it cheaper than competitors, while no other exchange matches it for liquidity or supported assets.


As the largest US-based crypto exchange, Coinbase is considered one of the most beginner friendly options. It is a fully regulated company based in San Francisco, serving over 89 million customers.

Some main features:

  • Supports 100+ cryptocurrencies
  • Insured custody wallets protect assets
  • Leading security with 2FA and biometric logins
  • 0.5% spread fee for buy/sell transactions
  • Debit card purchases allowed (2.49% fee)
  • Robust mobile app available (iOS and Android)
  • Educational resources for new users
  • Support for Coinbase Pro advanced trading interface

As a regulated exchange, full identity verification with photo ID is required. SEPA and wire transfers allow for fiat deposits and withdrawals.

For convenience, Coinbase charges a spread between 0.5-2% on transactions, slightly higher than most exchanges. But funding via debit cards, PayPal and Apple Pay give it a wider payment options.


  • Easy to use interface ideal for beginners
  • Insured hot wallets protect assets
  • Can earn interest via Coinbase Lending
  • Top security features


  • High deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Above average trading fees
  • Lower coin variety compared to global exchanges

Coinbase stands out as the best crypto exchange for newcomers thanks to an easy to grasp interface. It’s also one of the most trusted platforms where assets are securely stored. firstly launched in 2016 as Monaco before rebranding to and expanding into a wide range of crypto services beyond just the exchange.

Some key aspects:

  • 250+ coins and 400+ pairs traded
  • Spot, futures, margin trading and P2P supported
  • Competitive fee tiers from just 0.4% down to 0%
  • Low cost crypto debit cards to spend holdings
  • Up to 14.5% interest on crypto and stablecoin balances
  • Purchases with bank transfer, credit/debit cards or CRO coin
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices

While the Hong Kong-based exchange offers excellent features for traders and investors, do note there are still some restrictions for US citizens. Identity verification is required before raising trading limits or depositing funds.


  • Excellent variety of coins offered
  • Up to 14.5% interest rates by staking CRO
  • Low trading fees available
  • Great rewards on crypto debit cards


  • Complex fee structure
  • Geo-blocking in some regions
  • US citizens have fewer features

For the combination of competitive trading fees, coin selection, debit card perks and interest earning options, stands out as a top pick.


Despite launching only in 2019, FTX has rapidly grown to become one of the highest volume exchanges, lead by former Wall Street trader Sam Bankman-Fried.

Key features include:

  • 200+ trading pairs with deep liquidity
  • Industry low taker fees from just 0.02%
  • Support for spot, options and futures
  • Up to 8% APY by lending assets
  • Quarterly token burns to raise value
  • Regulated in Antigua and Barbados
  • Responsive 24/7 customer service

Funding options are currently limited to wire transfers and crypto deposits/withdrawals due to its smaller operation size. KYC checks mandatory for accounts dealing over $1000 equivalent.

FTX also operates FTX.US for American customers and FTX Blockfolio app for mobile trading.


  • Advanced trading features like options and derivatives
  • Very low taker and maker fees
  • Innovative founder and exchange model
  • Good staking and yield opportunities


  • More limited payment methods
  • Less coins than largest exchanges
  • Still building reputation

For seasoned cryptocurrency traders, FTX stands out as a rising star exchange thanks to low fees, stellar matching engine and advanced trading features.


Founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins, New York based Gemini is a regulated US exchange aiming to be the “NASDAQ of crypto”.

Some core details:

  • 60+ coins supported
  • 0.35% convenience fee for mobile trades
  • ActiveTrader offers reduced 0.25% taker fee
  • Insured cold storage wallets
  • Auctions allow dealing large blocks OTC
  • Regulation in all operational states
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Allow GUSD stablecoin trading

Gemini is a licensed New York trust company, subject to regular bank exams to ensure full reserves. All supported coins are available against USD pairing. Debit card and Apple Pay support makes funding convenient.


  • Completely regulated exchange
  • Robust cold storage protection
  • Low fees via mobile ActiveTrader
  • Excellent security and compliance


  • Smaller selection of coins
  • Higher general fees than competitors
  • Mostly US centric

For institutional or professional investors focused on transparency and security, Gemini stands out as the most regulated and compliant exchange option.


Operating since 2011, Kraken is one of the longest running exchanges, available to clients globally aside from Washington and New York.

Key attributes:

  • 90+ cryptocurrencies supported
  • Spot and futures trading offered
  • Maker fee 0.16%, Taker fee 0.26%
  • Margin trading up to 5x leverage
  • OTC block trading for large volumes
  • Supports staking assets to earn rewards
  • Pro trading terminal and mobile apps
  • Secured by insurance protection

Kraken has a strong standing security-wise by undergoing regular proof of reserves auditing. Funding methods cover wire transfers, debit/credit card payments and local bank transfers across Americas, Europe and APAC.


  • Established long standing company
  • High asset security standards
  • Low maker and taker fees
  • Good variety of advanced trading options


  • Cannot trade using PayPal or similar services
  • Relatively low interest on staked assets

Seasoned traders should shortlist Kraken as an option for low trading fees while still maintaining an excellent security reputation.


KuCoin is often considered the Binance of China. The Hong Kong-based exchange allows crypto access to Chinese investors bypassing regulatory hurdles.

Here are some notable features:

  • 600+ coin trading pairs
  • P2P fiat purchases with no KYC required
  • Spot, margin and futures trading
  • Staking, lending and dual investment products
  • Low fees and fast withdrawals
  • Beginner friendly mobile apps
  • Constant new coin listings and comps

While KuCoin had been hacked for $150 million in 2020, they covered all user losses. KYC checks mandatory for only withdrawals over 5 BTC daily, offering more anonymity for Chinese traders. Cards, PayPal and wire transfers supported.


  • Simple trading interface and purchase options
  • Hundreds of altcoin choices outpacing competitors
  • Low trading fees and margin rates
  • Fast asset withdrawals


  • Historic security breach incident
  • Some fake volume wash trading allegations
  • Geared towards more speculative coins

Overall KuCoin suits traders looking to access smaller cap gems and exotic altcoins before other exchanges list them. launched in 2013 and is often largest exchange for newer cryptocurrency listings.

Main features:

  • Vast selection with 1,000+ coins supported
  • Spot, margin, futures and options trading
  • Quarterly burns to buyback GT token
  • Earn through lending and staking assets
  • P2P trading supports USDT purchases
  • User friendly apps for iOS and Android allows trading right away with only email signup required. KYC needed to unlock higher withdrawal limits. Multiple language options catering towards Asian markets.


  • Leading exchange for altcoin discovery
  • Hundreds of tokens not on competitors
  • Responsive customer service
  • Good staking and yield opportunities
  • Low fees and fast transactions


  • Historically lax KYC requirements
  • Allegations of wash trading volume appeals to traders wanting to find and invest in new and exotic cryptocurrencies before the rest of the market.

Key Exchange Comparison Metrics

Beyond the high level comparison table above, here is a detailed breakdown of how each exchange stacks up across key categories:


Trading fees are one of the most important considerations, although funding rates and withdrawal fees should be assessed as well.

  • Binance – Offers strong overall value with 0.1% spot fee that’s reduced further for BNB holders. Margin fees very competitive.
  • Coinbase – Convenient spreads come at a cost, being higher than dedicated exchanges. Coinbase Pro is cheaper.
  • – Competitive fee tiers that can go as low as 0% for high volume CRO stakers.
  • FTX – A clear leader on trading fees, with both taker and maker fees ranging from just 0.02% to 0.07%.
  • Gemini – ActiveTrader platform offers reduced 0.25% taker fee. Otherwise expensive convenience fees.
  • Kraken – Strong fees for takers at 0.26% and makers at 0.16%. Low withdrawal fees.
  • KuCoin – Basic 0.1% is equal to Binance, while VIP level cuts maker fees to just 0.02%.
  • – Taker fees are average at 0.2%, but withdrawals are very fast and cheap.

Overall Binance, and FTX offer lowest rates for frequent traders. Meanwhile Coinbase and Gemini sacrifice lower fees for better compliance assurances.

Supported Coins

Having a large coin selection expands trading and investment opportunities.

  • Binance – With 800+ trading pairs, no exchange matches Binance for choice.
  • Coinbase – Offers just 100+ of the largest, mainstream cryptocurrencies only.
  • – Broad selection with over 250 coins available for trading.
  • FTX – Focused on bigger cap coins still builds respectable 200+ trading pairs.
  • Gemini – Caters to institutions with around 60 high quality, compliant coins.
  • Kraken – 90+ assets puts Kraken in the middle ground for variety.
  • KuCoin – A frontrunner alongside Binance with over 600 exotic altcoins listed.
  • – Leading exchange for discovery, with over 1,000 coins supported.

KuCoin and impress regarding breadth of altcoin options, while and Binance also score very well for total trading selection too.