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In this guide, we have listed 8 of the most popular and trusted crypto exchanges of 2020. Making it super easy for you when you are looking to buy cryptocurrencies.
We have also focused on looking for cryptocurrency exchanges that make it easy to withdraw funds when you want to ‘cash out’.
Based on popularity, trading volume, available payment methods, security, cryptocurrency selections we have concluded that these following 8 exchanges deserve your attention.
The 8 cryptocurrency exchanges that we are going to review are:
This list of some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges has showcased that they all bring something unique to the table. But our focus has always been on bringing value to our readers. So what all these cryptocurrency exchanges have in common is that they meet our quality standards, especially when it comes to:
- Ease of use (UI and UX, desktop + mobile)
- Customer support
- Value for money (fees vs quality)
- Payment options (Fiat deposit + withdrawal, PayPal, credit card and debit card, etc)
Let us explore the top crypto exchanges 2019
1 ) Binance – the most popular cryptocurrency exchange
Binance is right now the leading cryptocurrency exchange if calculated by volume (via Coinmarketcap). And considering they just launched in 2017 it’s been a very impressive ride to take them to the 1st position. So if you are looking to buy crypto then Binance will surely be one of your go-to exchanges.
They have been doing a lot of things right in the fairly short time they’ve been around. And at the forefront of all this is their well known and liked CEO Changpeng Zhao, or CZ.
What we like about Binance is the exchange itself which is very straightforward and somewhat easy to use, depending on your previous experience with trading platforms and crypto. Overall the focus on the UX, provide good updates and communication and they have proven to be secure and safe to use in a somewhat sometimes sketchy crypto market.
Binance is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, with an average daily trading volume of $1 billion dollars (March 2019).
Binance made a name for itself in the crypto community for their quick rise to fame, CZ and its willingness to innovate in the space. Binance in 2018 moved to Malta, a country trying to position itself as the world’s most Blockchain friendly country in the world.
Binance is not the only cryptocurrency exchange doing so, seeing OKEx also making the move in 2018.
Binance officially launched its Fiat gateway earlier in January 2019, called Binance Jersey. Taking their next step to further (Binance announcement) label themselves as one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
There have also been rumors flying around that Binance is going to launch Fiat currency to cryptocurrencies platform in Argentina in the near future (News BTC).
Binance launched its first Fiat to Crypto platform in Uganda actually, the exchange was launched in October 2018 (Cointelegraph).
With the added SAFU fund that reimburses users in the case of crypto hacks, Binance has yet again proved itself to be one of the strongest contenders on this top-list for 2019. We know that Binance will be a strong contender in the years to come.
- Get additional help about using Binance here
- And chat with other Binance users on the Binance Reddit page
- Learn more about trading on Binance here
- And find some of the best Binance alternatives here
Advantages of Binance
- The charismatic leader of this cryptocurrency exchange CZ is a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world that makes the crypto space better
- One of the biggest selections of cryptocurrencies
- Innovator, often being the first to launch new features, new cryptocurrencies, moving to Malta, delisting
- Binance’s SAFU fund is another stroke of Binance’s great user focus
2 ) OKEx – the strongest contender exchange
OKEx is the second biggest cryptocurrency exchange when comparing trade volume (24h). That counts for something, especially as they were founded in 2017. OKEx has its headquarter in Hong Kong, but has recently joined Binance in moving parts of their business to blockchain and tax-friendly Malta. OKEx offers fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading on more than 100 digital currencies.
OKEx like Binance is still a fairly young cryptocurrency exchange but has seen like Binance a huge growth in the past year. Even though like much of the other exchanges have seen a lot of traffic decreasing during the long bear market of 2018.
OKEx announced earlier in 2019 that they were adding Fiat to cryptocurrency trading pairs for the European market. Previously supporting CNY (Chinese Yuan) but now also adding Euro, the Russian Ruble, and the Turkish Lira.
OKEx launched at the end of 2018 a new crypto derivative product, letting its customers speculate on the future value of BTC/USD (Cointelegraph). We are big fans of OKEx and it deserves to be on the list of top-rated crypto exchanges in 2019.
Advantages of OKEx
- An ambitious cryptocurrency exchange that continuously pushes further their development and crypto offerings
- Good trading volume and selection of cryptocurrencies
- Fiat to crypto trading
3 ) KuCoin – the altcoin exchange
KuCoin launched in 2017 and fairly quickly made a name for itself in the crypto world due to its early adoption of certain altcoins and their own coin called Kucoin Shares (KCS) which is a passive income coin, where you as a hodler of KCS gets a percentage of the trading fees from the Kucoin exchange.
Overall Kucoin has proven to be an extremely popular crypto exchange in 2018/2019/2020 and a decent competitor to Binance. Kucoin holds most of the popular coins, but they are also often one of the first to add new altcoins. The customer service has proven to be reliable.
Like other new startup cryptocurrency exchanges, they had their share of problems in their growth period. But today they have to be seen as one of the top exchanges available, with a great selection of coins.
We think KuCoin deserves to be on this list because they have positioned themselves as a unique but also strong contender to Binance. With their revenue based KCS token, added soft staking and a great representation of altcoins.
- Get additional help about using KuCoin here
- And chat with other KuCoin users on the Kucoin Reddit page
Advantages of Kucoin
- Often one of the earliest to add new cryptocurrencies and altcoins has a great selection of coins
- Very interesting passive income model, where KCS holders get a percentage of the trading fees
- Decent customer service that is available through chats and other channels
4 ) Kraken – the oldest and biggest crypto exchange
Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges still around today. They are one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world in euro volume and liquidity.
The U.S exchange was one of the world’s first to have its trading volumes displayed on Bloomberg terminals, and passing a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit.
Kraken investors include Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Hummingbird Ventures, Money Partners Group, and SBI Investment. For more information.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has often been speaking to the public and the crypto community about the risks of keeping their funds on exchanges. This including Kraken themselves.
And it’s great to see honesty and transparency coming out from the CEO of such a large exchange. Witnessing about the unfortunate but common problem that is around in the still unregulated crypto world.
Kraken also very interestingly offered a $100k reward to anyone helping out to locate the missing QuadrigaCX funds (Coindesk). Helping out to solve one of 2019’s biggest crypto mysteries. Find out more about the QuadrigaCX scandal here.
Kraken also has its Fiat on-ramp and off-ramp, meaning you can deposit and withdraw funds to and from your bank. This makes them a highly attractive choice by crypto traders
Kraken for us is definitely one of the more trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges around in the crypto world. They might have seen themselves falling behind the huge rise of exchanges like Binance and OKEx. But we believe that their transparency and work to create a more open and regulated crypto world is the right choice.
And one that will make sure they’re around for years to come.
- Learn more about using Kraken here
Advantages of Kraken
- One of the oldest and most experienced crypto exchanges. Most likely to be around for a while
- Another CEO that has been a voice of reason in the crypto industry, a leader that helps Kraken to become one of the more trustworthy exchanges
- Offers a good variety of trading features, margin trading, good trading volume, and fast exchange, futures trading, etc
- Fiat on-ramp and off-ramp, easily add money to and from your bank and Kraken
5 ) Bit-Z – the professional exchange
Bit-Z is one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges when it comes to trading volume and amount of supported coins, after Binance. Bit-Z founded in 2016 in Hong Kong.
Bit-Z has established branches in 10 countries and regions including Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Tokeninsight, the professional assessment agency, ranks Bit-Z as the fourth in the world.
The Bit-Z team includes top talent from the international digital currency industry, as well as diversified professionals in various fields such as finance, social networking, games, and electric commerce.
Bit-Z is committed to providing the most efficient and secure service for its users.
Bit-Z also provides a lot of industry reports, videos and chats, and more through their Media Research Institute.
In 2018, Bit-Z began its global strategic layout and has expanded to ten countries and regions around the world; At present, 70% of the Bit-Z traders are distributed overseas, mainly in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, France, Australia, and the United States.
Bit-Z has positioned itself as a very interesting player in the crypto world. Providing both a traditional cryptocurrency exchange and OTC trading.
Bit-Z has been around since 2016 and they today have branches in 10 different countries.
So far they have been able to provide a secure trading environment. With no security breaches or hacks. Their trading platform can handle transactions up to 50,000 per second.
Allowing them to meet the user’s need for fast deposits and withdrawals.
- Learn more about Bit-Z here in their help section
Advantages of Bit-Z
- The platform stability can handle high volumes with their cryptocurrency exchanges
- The global presence and an exchange that has continuously been ranked in the top, with a strong business side with an experienced team running it and platform security.
- Very good selection of cryptocurrencies and easy to use site
Coinbase is perhaps the most well-known cryptocurrency exchange out there. It’s often the initial platform that many new users start with after getting interested in crypto. And that’s because they have done it so extremely well in making it easy for new users to understand and get started.
Coinbase is probably the exchange which most people have used to buy cryptocurrencies.
Their website and UX is well built and they provide users with a wide range of payment methods, such as wire transfer (bank transfer), credit cards and debit card deposits and SEPA payments. Making Coinbase an obvious choice for beginners to experts alike due to their focus on user-friendliness.
With their long support of fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP they have often been used as a gateway in and out of crypto for many people. With quick withdrawals and deposits from and to your bank account in just a few hours. So when you are looking to sell or cash out your cryptocurrencies then Coinbase will be a great choice for you.
Coinbase has been around since 2012, and sure they receive some criticism from time to time, like most companies of that size. But overall they have done so much for crypto, and still, do today. They have easily on-boarded perhaps most newcomers to the crypto world with their easy to use platform.
They have a CEO Brian Armstrong who’s been a great ambassador for all cryptocurrencies, and a helpful promoter of blockchain technology. It’s easy to understand the comparisons when people say that Coinbase wants to position themselves as the Google of the crypto world.
Coinbase also has another exchange for the so-called experts.
Namely Coinbase Pro (previously GDAX), which offers lower fees, more traditional cryptocurrency exchange look and a wider selection of coins.
Learn about the difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro
For what it has to offer (few cryptocurrencies) they do it very well (easy UX – higher fees). Coinbase deserves to be on this list because of its strong focus on user experience and its success in creating a recognisable and successful brand identity.
- Get additional help about using Coinbase here
- And chat with other Coinbase users on the Coinbase Reddit page
Get $10 free when signing up (if you spend $100 USD) – Coinbase
Advantages of Coinbase
- Great UX and easy to use website and exchange
- Option for an easy version and more advanced version (Coinbase Pro)
- One of the more trusted exchanges in the world, more likely that they will be around for a long time
7 ) LocalBitcoins – the people’s cryptocurrency exchange
LocalBitcoins is different from your everyday cryptocurrency exchange, one of the early pioneers in the crypto space LocalBitcoins helped to connect people with each other via their platform.
They’re not an exchange that has cryptos, but they connect buyers and sellers together and they provide you with a wallet option on via their site. They don’t take any fees when buying, selling or when withdrawing (bar standard BTC network fees).
So when you want to buy Bitcoins via LocalBitcoins you go to the ‘Buy’ section where you’ll find local people that wants to sell their Bitcoins to an acceptable price.
Then you get in touch with each other and then you can figure out how to pay for the Bitcoin, cash, bank transfer, Paypal, Swish, etc.
Each user needs to be verified, get a feedback score and you can see the number of trades they’ve made to help you feel safe that it’s a real person, and that they won’t scam you.
LocalBitcoins is a unique ‘exchange’ when comparing to all the other cryptocurrency exchanges flooding the market.
And most of them are fairly similar to each other. Perhaps with slightly different coin selection, but overall same look and feel.
So we wanted to add LocalBitcoins to our list of great crypto exchanges as a breath of fresh air, and its focus on just Bitcoin, and doing it really well.
Advantages of LocalBitcoins
- A unique cryptocurrency exchange where you trade Bitcoins with each other
- You can buy Bitcoin using a range of payment methods that are not available on other exchanges – PayPal, bank transfer, Western Union, etc
- One of the pioneers in the Bitcoin world and that has been around for a long time. This shows there is a level of trust placed in this exchange by Bitcoin traders
8 ) Changelly the lightning-fast crypto exchange
So why is Changelly on this list of great cryptocurrency exchanges? Because we want to make this list of exchanges the best; with a wide selection of exchanges, all offering their unique use cases. So when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges Changelly provides crypto traders with something unique. An opportunity to make instant trades with no delays (between 5-30 mins max)
That makes the appeal and use case of Changelly extremely interesting and useful for most crypto traders. And using Changelly is super easy.
You first select the cryptocurrency that you want, and which cryptocurrency do you have that you want to trade it in for?
- Select the cryptocurrency you want – let’s say ETH (Ether)
- Select the cryptocurrency that you want to trade it in for and the amount – let’s say 0.05 BTC (Bitcoin)
Currently, Changelly has more than 150+ cryptocurrencies available for instant trades. With transparent fees (0.25%) and actually very decent trading rates, Changelly becomes a useful option for the traders and holders that don’t want to complicate stuff and buy cryptos easily.
- Learn more about how Changelly works from their help section here
Advantages of Changelly
- The instant trading features makes it an obvious choice for crypto traders that keep themselves busy
- It’s very easy to use and with a slick UI, which makes it very beginner-friendly
- Great selection of cryptocurrencies can make it your go-to exchange if you don’t want to spend much time hassling using other exchanges
Use our exchange comparison tool to put the cryptocurrency exchanges against each other
Summary of the top crypto exchanges of 2020
When looking for a suitable cryptocurrency exchange you need to take your time and go through your options.
That could be a 5-10 minute Google search on them. What do other reviews say? Any common issues that people have reported?
How’s their customer service department for example? But don’t get scared off completely just because you’ve seen a few bad reviews.
Remember people often like to post about the bad things, and the positives are often not as fun to talk about.
So you will automatically find more negatives than positives.
So how do I decide which cryptocurrency exchange to use?
- These listed exchanges have been vetted and tried by us but also many other crypto users.
- But more often than not the choice depends on which cryptocurrencies they have – meaning do they have X crypto that you want to buy?
- Is there more than one exchange that trades X crypto? Then you can use our guide to select the best one for you
- Go with quality when you can – far too often are there hacks, scams or failed exchanges where people lose their funds due to this – so go for quality when you can
But we have chosen to not include all the world’s cryptocurrency exchanges in our review here and on our site. Because we are aware of all the mishaps, hacks and scandals that have to happen throughout the years.
So we don’t want to recommend an exchange which we haven’t used. Or that doesn’t provide us with enough details about their security methods so that we don’t feel comfortable promoting them.
Another important factor for picking this list has been their support of different payment methods. Such as Fiat gateways, credit and debit card support and easy withdrawals to your bank via wire transfers.
But this list of top crypto exchanges is something we can proudly stand behind.
But you should make up your own mind which might suit you.
Also, we recommend you read our guide on how to protect yourself and your cryptocurrency funds, it’s linked just here below.
It’s also recommended to look at Reddit and other places too if unsure about anything.
Other popular guides:
- The complete guide to staking
- Where to buy Bitcoin
- Where you can spend Bitcoins
- 6 Great Coinbase Alternatives
- Beginners guide to investing in Bitcoin
Per Englund – Founder of Go CryptoWise a cryptocurrency and tech fan that want to see better and smarter products and services that make our lives better and easier