Kraken logo Kraken crypto exchange

Kraken

Deposit Methods: Wire transfers

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, BCH, DASH, DOGE, LTC, XLM, EOS, ETC, GNO, ICN, MLN, REP, USDT, XMR, XRP, ZEC, ADA, ATOM, QTUM, XTZ

Kraken boasts some of the lowest trading fees in the industry down to 0% for very large volume players, on top of being one of the highest liquidity and long-standing crypto exchanges in existence. Kraken also offers many great technical trading tools and lets users trade on margin, as well as offering amazing 24/7/365 customer support.

LocalBitcoins logo LocalBitcoins crypto exchange

Local Bitcoins

Deposit Methods: Almost everything

Supported Coins: bitcoin only

LocalBitcoins only allows for bitcoin trading and it is different from most exchanges because you buy and sell with other individuals, making the concept peer-to-peer. Because of this, LocalBitcoins is fast and allows for just about any payment method you can think of in order to trade bitcoin, and still offers escrow protection to ensure both of the traders are safe. The entire process of purchasing bitcoin should only take a few minutes and many countries are supported.

Binance logo Binance crypto exchange

Binance

Deposit Methods: Only crypto

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, and over 100 other altcoins

Widely known as the top crypto exchange in the world, Binance offers a very wide variety of coins aside from just the most popular ones, as well as their own crypto BNB which can be used to pay trading fees. Binance has been criticized for a lack of transparency around security, but still hosts the largest pool of traders and has very low fees.

Prime XBT logo Prime XBT crypto exchange

Prime XBT

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, EOS + other instruments like commodities and indexes

Deposit Methods: Only bitcoin

Prime XBT is a very popular platform with a very easy to use and fast UI that lets users actively trade with up to 100x leverage. Prime XBT not only lets you trade the most popular coins, it also gives you derivatives for assets such as crude oil, S&P 500, gold etc, all able to be used for trading with leverage if you wish.

Changelly logo Changelly crypto exchange

Changelly

Features: Non-custodial, customizable payment widget for websites

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, LTC, USDT, DASH, and over 100 others

Changelly makes it super easy to convert crypto if you already own some, just choose the crypto pair you'd like to exchange, sign in to confirm, send the crypto to the address provided - minutes later you will receive your exchange straight to your personal wallet. Changelly operates as an intermediary between exchanges and users, meaning funds are never held by them, and are able to provide a competitive rate on top of a very low .25% service fee.

Paxful logo Paxful crypto exchange

Paxful

Deposit Methods: Almost everything

Supported Coins: bitcoin only

Paxful has developed one of the biggest platforms in the world for trading bitcoin and bitcoin only, Paxful claims to be the safest peer-to-peer marketplace boasting over 300 different payment methods. Founded in 2015, their platform has millions of users and has given access to financial freedom to many countries throughout the world.

Gemini logo Gemini crypto exchange

Gemini

Deposit Methods: BTC, ETH, and USD via credit/debit cards and bank transfers

Supported Coins: BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, ZEC, OXT, BAT, LINK, DAI

Gemini was started in 2015 by the Winklesvoss twins, boasting one of the largest bitcoin and ether trading platforms by volume, Gemini is one of the few crypto exchanges which allows crypto to fiat payments and insures US dollar accounts via FDIC. As well as having very low fees and free deposits, Gemini exchange is well known for being one of the most secure exchanges, keeping just a small percentage of their coins online and the rest in cold storage. If however you wish to trade many different altcoins, you should know their selection is limited compared to other crypto exchanges.

+ What is a cryptocurrency exchange?

A crypto exchange is a platform that allows users to trade digital assets for other digital assets, or for fiat money with traditional means like credit card or wire transfer. Crypto exchanges come in many varieties and sizes, some may carry hundreds of different coins, and others just bitcoin. All of the crypto exchanges listed here are able to serve customers in the United States.

+ Key points when choosing an exchange

  • Supported countries (the ones listed on this page operate in the USA)
  • Deposit fees, trading fees, and withdrawal fees
  • Deposit methods (not everyone accepts credit and debit cards)
  • Average daily volume for proper liquidity
  • Trading pairs (is your favorite coin listed?)
  • Special features like margin trading or native tokens

+ What is daily volume for a crypto exchange?

Daily volume for a crypto exchange is total value of assets being traded in a 24 hour period, for example if 10 trades happen in a day, each valued at $100, the total daily volume would be $1,000. This metric can be broken down for individual crypto assets as well, giving you insights into where you should trade your favorite pair. Average daily volume is an important metric because it signifies that an exchange has enough liquidity to allow the crypto asset of your choice to be traded and guarantees a fair market value.

+ What kind of orders can I place on a crypto exchange?

Every crypto exchange is different and some may provide more complex trading tools and orders than others, but usually every crypto exchange provides users the ability to place the following orders:

  • Market Orders - Buy or sell orders that execute immediately at whatever the price is currently.
  • Limit Orders - A limit order lets you buy or sell at the specific price you choose, although it is not guaranteed to execute, it does give you more control over what you will be paying.
  • Stop-Loss Orders - Stop loss orders automatically execute a market-sell order if the price of your asset drops below a certain price (if BTC is at $10,000 a stop loss order of -5% would execute a market sell if BTC gets below $9,500). Stop loss orders give you protection and peace of mind in a falling market
  • Trailing Stop Order - This type of order allows you to set a percentage price change that will execute a sell, but it follows the market price as it goes up, allowing you to preserve your gains if the price begins to reverse (If you set a trailing stop of 5% at $10,000 then the sell will execute at $9,500, but if the price climbs to $11,000 then the sell will execute at $10,450).

+ What is Margin Trading?

Margin trading (also called leveraged trading) allows you to borrow money against your current funds, usually with fees involved, in order to increase your potential profits on trading. This form of trading also increases your potential risk because not only can you lose money on your leveraged trade, but you also have to pay back the money that you borrowed, so leverage should only be used if you are very certain that your trade will work. An example of 2:1 leverage would be if you bought $20,000 worth of bitcoin with only $10,000 in your trading account. Some exchanges even allow you to trade all the way up to 100:1 leverage.

+ What is the maker and taker fee?

The maker fees and taker fees are different kinds of fees that you are charged when placing a buy or sell order on a crypto exchange. Taker fees are charged when someone places a market order to buy or sell and it is processed right away, whereas maker fees are limit orders that do not get processed right away because the spot price of the asset has not reached that level yet. Typically maker fees are lower than taker fees because "market makers" (traders who place limit orders) are providing liquidity to the exchange thus preventing too much volatility.