Big guide to the world’s largest crypto exchanges – here is all you need to know

Oct 27, 2019

A crypto exchange is an online trading platform where people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. In general, crypto exchanges can be divided into two different categories.

  1. Those who support trading in both cryptocurrency and fiat money, which is a common name for the currencies we use regularly today, such as the euro and the dollar.
  2. Those who only support trading with cryptocurrencies.

The security of our cryptocurrencies is important and therefore I prefer those crypto exchanges that offer good functionality, are user-friendly and secure.

Here are my opinions and reviews of some of the largest crypto exchanges in the world.

Coinbase

Interface for crypto exchange Coinbase.

Interface for crypto exchange Coinbase. Image source: Coinbase

  • Founded: 2012
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California (USA)
  • Number of users: More than 30 million

Coinbase is a recognized crypto exchange that has existed since 2012 and is generally considered to have high security, making it a good alternative for trading cryptocurrencies.

How do you deposit money on Coinbase?

  • Bank transfer (SEPA) in euro from your bank account to Coinbase
  • Credit/debit card such as Visa and Mastercard
  • Deposit with the cryptocurrencies that the crypto exchange offers for trading

How do you withdraw money from Coinbase?

  • Bank transfer (SEPA) from Coinbase to your bank account
  • SWIFT is also available and works globally but entails fees
  • Cryptocurrency withdrawals

What cryptocurrencies can you buy at Coinbase?

Bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin, bitcoin cash, eos, stellar, ethereum classic, zcash, augor, dai, usd coin.

Fees

Standard for buy/sell: 1.49 percent
Direct buy with debit card: 3.99 percent
Bank transfer (SEPA) for deposit/withdrawal: Free / €0.15

Usability

Coinbase offers great functionality without making it complicated for the user. They also have a great app for Iphone and Android which makes it easy to carry out and keep track of one’s trades even when you are away from a computer.

Conclusion

Since Coinbase has long been proven to be sustainable in both quality and security, it is a safe choice of crypto exchange. The relatively easy-to-use interface in bright colors makes it easier for users who want to step into the crypto world and easily start buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase also has a high trading volume, which facilitates the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. What is keeping the grade down for me is the relatively high fees.

Kraken

Interface for the crypto exchange Kraken.

Interface for the crypto exchange Kraken. Image source: Kraken

  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California (USA)
  • Number of users: More than four million

Kraken was founded in 2011 and is today one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world. They have a wide range of cryptocurrencies and a wide range of fiat money (euro, yen, usd, pounds and more). Kraken also collaborates with the world’s first crypto bank, Fidor Bank in Germany.

How do you deposit money on Kraken?

  • Bank transfer (SEPA) in euro from your bank account to Kraken
  • Deposit with cryptocurrencies

How do you withdraw money from Kraken?

  • Bank transfer (SEPA) in euro from Kraken to your bank account
  • Cryptocurrency withdrawals

What cryptocurrencies can you buy at Kraken?

Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin SV, cardano, dash, dogecoin, eos, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, monero, xrp, tether, zcash, and many more.

Fees

Just like Coinbase, Kraken charges a small fee of €0.09 when withdrawing to your EU bank account.

Kraken applies a varying model of cryptocurrency trading fees depending on your trading volume of buys and sales per month.

For example, if you have a monthly trading volume of between $0 and $50,000, the fee is 0.16 percent for sales and 0.26 percent for buys.

However, if you have a monthly trading volume of between $100,000 and $250,000, the fee is 0.12 percent for sales and 0.22 percent for buys.

Usability

Kraken’s interface is not user-friendly and is better suited for experienced investors. What matters is that Kraken offers a large selection of cryptocurrencies to trade combined with fiat money, making it an attractive crypto exchange for users who want to easily buy many different cryptocurrencies.

Conclusion

Kraken is also an established crypto exchange with a history that shows stability and security, making it a safe choice of crypto exchange. But it is best suited to more experienced investors and does not offer user-friendliness that I expect from an established crypto exchange.

Bitstamp

Interface for the crypto exchange Bitstamp.

Interface for the crypto exchange Bitstamp. Image source: Bitstamp

  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: Luxembourg
  • Number of users: More than four million

Bitstamp is a crypto exchange based in Luxembourg which was launched in 2011. It is a well-recognized crypto exchange that offers trading in euro and US dollars for buying cryptocurrencies.

How do you deposit money on Bitstamp?

  • Bank transfer (SEPA) in euro from your bank account to Bitstamp (free within the EU)
  • Credit/debit card such as Visa and Mastercard
  • Deposit with the cryptocurrencies that the crypto exchange offers for trading

How do you withdraw money from Bitstamp?

  • Bank transfer (SEPA) in euro from Bitstamp to your bank account
  • Cryptocurrency withdrawals

What cryptocurrencies can you buy at Bitstamp?

Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum, xrp.

Bitstamp has chosen to target some of the major cryptocurrencies and offers lower costs if the trading volumes are high.

Fees

Just like Kraken, Bitstamp also charges a fee when you withdraw to your bank account in the EU.

Buy/sell standard: 0.25 percent
Direct buy with debit card: 5 percent
Bank transfer (SEPA) for deposit/withdrawal: Free / €3

Bitstamp also applies varying fees depending on how your trading volume has been over the past 30 days.

For example, if you have a monthly trading volume of between $0 and $10,000, the fee is 0.50 percent.

If, on the other hand, you have a monthly trading volume of between $10,001 and $20,000, the fee is instead 0.25 percent.

For even larger volumes, the fee is reduced further.

Usability

Bitstamp offers a clear interface similar to Binance’s advanced view, but I find it easier to use Bitstamp’s interface.

One thing that influences its use is, of course, the limited number of cryptocurrencies and fiat money that Bitstamp offers. It certainly gives a clearer picture when you trade, but also limits the offer of the number of cryptocurrencies that are available for trading.

Bitstamp also offers a great app for IOS (Iphone and Ipad) as well as for Android.

Conclusion

Bitstamp belongs to the category of crypto exchanges that have a long history and proven high security. With high liquidity, Bitstamp is a good choice of crypto exchange for buying cryptocurrencies with fiat money.

A plus is that the exchange is relatively easy to use in combination with a good app for mobile devices. What might be negative is the limited number of cryptocurrencies in which they offer trading.

Binance

Interface for the crypto exchange Binance.

Interface for the crypto exchange Binance. Image source: Binance

  • Founded: 2017
  • Headquarters: Malta
  • Number of users: More than 10 million users worldwide

Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange but does not offer the opportunity to deposit or withdraw fiat money such as the euro. Binance also has its own cryptocurrency called binance coin. It gives you a discount on fees if you own it during trading.

How do you deposit money on Binance?

  • Deposit only with cryptocurrencies

Binance profiles itself as a crypto exchange, which also means that they only handle cryptocurrencies. Deposits on Binance are thus made by transferring a cryptocurrency to Binance. This is often done from another crypto exchange such as Coinbase where you can buy cryptocurrencies with fiat money.

How do you withdraw money from Binance?

  • Withdraw only with cryptocurrencies

As Binance only supports the deposit of capital through cryptocurrencies, the same applies when withdrawals are made. You can make a withdraw with a large number of cryptocurrencies to another crypto exchange or to a crypto wallet.

What cryptocurrencies can you buy at Binance?

Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin gold, ethereum, ethereum classic, eos, dash, litecoin, neo, gas, zcash, xrp, stellar, and many more.

Fees

The general trading fee is 0.1 percent of your buy or sell order.

If you own binance coin in your Binance account, by default, trade fees are paid with your binance coin. By paying trading fees with binance coin, Binance gives you a 25 percent discount, which means 0.075 percent of your buy or sale order.

Binance has no deposit fees (except for the transaction fee of the blockchain).

When you withdraw cryptocurrencies from Binance, there are different fees depending on which cryptocurrency you want to withdraw.

Usability

Binance’s interface for trading is relatively easy to use and offers two different views – one adapted for beginners and one adapted for more advanced users.

Interface for the advanced view of Binance.

Interface for the advanced view of Binance. Image source: Binance

As a new user of crypto exchanges, it may be helpful to be guided by their help pages or someone you know to get started. However, the Binance interface is relatively easy to use even for beginners.

Conclusion

Binance has taken the throne when it comes to crypto trading and is today one of the most widely used crypto exchanges in the world. Trading volume and liquidity are crucial points for all crypto exchanges and here Binance is top class.

Binance also has one of the lowest fees when trading with cryptocurrencies. It is less than 0.1 percent if you choose to pay with their own currency binance coin.

What is missing is support for fiat money such as the euro via bank or debit card. However, it is offset by other benefits such as fees and trading volume.

Binance was hacked in early 2019, but acted and handled it well without any users being hit. They have acted in a good way and further increased their security with verifications for withdrawing capital.

What also makes Binance stand out is that they offer trading with over 300 cryptocurrencies and have a very high trading volume.

Bitmex

Interface for the crypto exchange Bitmex.

Interface for the crypto exchange Bitmex. Image source: Bitmex

  • Founded: 2014
  • Headquarters: Hong Kong, China
  • Number of users: Unknown

Bitmex was founded in 2014 and is today a crypto exchange operating worldwide. However, it does not allow US citizens to use the platform.

Bitmex is one of the largest crypto exchanges for bitcoin with a daily trading volume of over 35,000 bitcoin and a trading history of over $34 billion in bitcoin since its inception.

Bitmex also offers leverage and margin trading for advanced cryptocurrency trading.

How do you withdraw money from Bitmex?

  • Deposit only with bitcoin

Bitmex profiles itself as a crypto exchange for bitcoin, which also means that they only handle cryptocurrencies. Deposits on Bitmex is also only possible with the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

How do you withdraw money from Bitmex?

  • Withdraw only with bitcoin

As a pure bitcoin crypto exchange, Bitmex offers both deposit and withdrawal only with bitcoin as the only accepted cryptocurrency.

What cryptocurrencies can you buy at Bitmex?

Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, xrp, cardano, litecoin, eos, tron.

Fees

Bitmex has a relatively advanced fee structure. As these fees vary and also change, you will find the best information on their website.

Usability

Bitmex is for advanced traders who actively buy and sell cryptocurrencies on a daily basis. The first thing you notice after logging in is how different the Bitmex interface looks in comparison to the other crypto exchanges in this article.

Bitmex offers professional trading tools on a leveraged crypto exchange (see below). The interface is built to handle this type of cryptocurrency trading and is adapted to those who are professional traders. This makes Bitmex less easy to use, but at the same time has greater opportunities.

Conclusion

Bitmex belongs to the category of crypto exchanges that are entirely focused on crypto trading with advanced tools. Security is top-notch and the exchange has so far never been hacked according to the available information.

We must keep in mind that most crypto exchanges have been hacked at some point since they started. The crypto exchanges in this article have also been subject to attacks, but have handled them well and therefore are well regarded today.

Bitmex offers leverage trading. This means that you can borrow extra capital for your buy and sale orders. An example is if I place an order to buy bitcoin and I have 0.1 bitcoin available, then I can borrow up to x100 bitcoin, which then gives an order value of 10 bitcoin instead of 0.1 bitcoin. This obviously offers enormous opportunities, but also risks. You can earn x100 on your bet but you can also lose your assets just as quickly.

Bitmex is truly an excellent crypto exchange for the serious cryptocurrency investor.

Mikael Lindbäck,
Founder of Kryptobladet.com

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