Observer Content Studio is a unit of Observer’s branded content department. Observer’s editorial staff is not involved in the creation of this content. Observer and/or sponsor may collect a portion of sales if you purchase products through these links.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained traction in the global market as the go-to digital currency for futures trading and have cemented a place for themselves in the collective capitalistic imagination over the past few years. But knowing about them and trading them are two different things.
Getting into trading and investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can feel like diving into the deep end of the pool with no idea how to swim. There are stories constantly floating around about scams and how people have had money stolen when they believed they were investing in a new cryptocurrency. While a few scams and thieves still float around the dark side of the web, those incidents have been greatly reduced as cryptocurrencies have stepped to the forefront for 2021.
Bitcoin (BTC) and others like Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Gemini, Poloniex, OKEx, Litecoin (LTC), and Kraken is based on a type of technology called blockchain that keeps it safe from anyone looking to hack into it or steal the money therein. While most cryptocurrencies are accessible anywhere in the world, certain exchanges aren’t permitted to operate in states like New York.
Your first concern when you start to trade and invest in a crypto is the safety and security of your trades and investments. No matter how frequently you are looking to trade or whether you just want a currency that’s easy to use, we’ve gathered up some of the best crypto exchanges that give you exactly what you want.
Our list will go over different Bitcoin exchanges and their derivatives that work for certain traders as well as those that work for any exchange or any investor. We’ve also gathered up some hints and tips for investing in cryptocurrency well no matter your position or your overall ability, and some tips on buying the best bitcoin wallets. Before long you’ll be able to trade cryptocurrencies through a user-friendly system with low fees and easy authentication.
Let’s get to the good stuff!
Best Crypto Exchange: Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges for 2021
Our top pick as the best overall cryptocurrency exchange in 2021.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase has been a staple of the cryptocurrency scene since its inception. It’s a fully regulated and licensed best cryptocurrency exchange and operates legally in over 40 US states and territories.
Coinbase has kept its nose out of trouble when it comes to fraudulent coins and shady exchanges that have tended to plague the industry and other exchanges. No matter your level of expertise, Coinbase is an easy to use exchange so you can invest without needing an advanced mathematics degree.
While anyone can easily use and benefit from Coinbase they also offer a wide range of features that are directed at investors and traders. They offer insured custodial wallets to store investments in case the security on part of the company fails. The custodial accounts are easy for new users to dip their toes into the
Once you’ve learned the ropes with Coinbase you can upgrade to the free Coinbase Pro! There’s a cheaper fee structure with the Pro version that gives you more options for charts and indicators that help track your investment. The Coinbase Pro version of the app offers features for more advanced users that make it a great place to invest in your preferred cryptocurrency.
- Several altcoin choices
- Simple user interface
- High liquidity
- Very safe and secure (two-factor authentication)
- No withdrawal fees
- High trading fees and transaction fees when not on the Pro version
- User doesn’t control wallet keys
For the best cryptocurrency exchange in 2021, go with Coinbase. When you open an account with Coinbase and deposit $100, you receive between $5 to $10 as a bonus!
Bitcoin is probably the most well-known cryptocurrency in the world but there are dozens and hundreds of other types of coins that are a solid investment. Binance allows you to invest in these other altcoins so you can make money without competing with millions of other buyers.
Offering 600 different trading pairs between different cryptocurrencies with a few offerings of fiat/crypto pairs, Binance is on the top of the global exchange space doing a larger portion of crypto trading each day. While this exchange doesn’t allow for USD deposits you can purchase a set amount of cryptocurrencies with different payment methods including a credit card or debit card or through EUR or GBP purchases.
While Coinbase only offers 22 different cryptos, disclaimer, Binance offers investors over 150 different altcoins to choose from. If you’re interested in investing in something different and having a whole different set of altcoins to work with, Binance is one of the best choices. They also give you some more advanced charts for advanced traders and exchange rates so you can accurately track your investments or easily buy Bitcoin.
- Lower feeds when compared to other exchanges
- Wide range of altcoins
- Advanced charting
- Designed with advanced users in mind
- Fewer trading pairs
- Some US states are not supported by Binance
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were originally designed to be open and offer free access to the unit of the account. Other banking accounts like a checking or savings account are tied to the geographic location while Bitcoin can be accessed anywhere in the world without the need for identification.
While the decentralized and easily accessible nature of digital assets like Bitcoin may leave it open to criminal activity, it offers access to anyone who may live in a place with a less-developed banking system. To properly offer access to Bitcoin, you need a decentralized exchange like Bisq. By partnering together, Bisq and Bitcoin offer a solution to people who may not live in a place that has a centralized financial infrastructure or may not have an ID.
Bisq is downloadable software and offers peer-to-peer decentralized Bitcoin and crypto exchange that has no central point of failure. Through the use of Bisq, no one but the user touches or controls the user’s funds. While centralized exchanges like Coinbase don’t allow the user to control the private keys, Bisq puts total control on the user for all of the GDAX, ACH, ETC, XRP, CEX, and BNB exchanges. Since Coinbase holds the keys, they can also seize your funds if they deem your account activity suspicious. Bisq doesn’t hold the keys so they’ll never seize your funds.
Anyone with a smartphone or computer can access Bisq and there’s no registration process. Bisq is an ideal choice for anyone looking for total and complete privacy whether from close associates or government oppression.
You can trade several different fiat currencies including United States dollars as well as through Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies. The decentralization and peer-to-peer aspects may mean low trading volumes and slower transactions but the advanced privacy and options are a trade worth making.
- Decentralized platform
- Wide range of different payment options
- Mobile app for any Android and iOS
- Transaction speed can be slow
- Trading volumes may be low
- Not well-designed for active trading
4. Cash App
Cash App is probably best known as a peer-to-peer money transfer system similar to Venmo and Paypal and is widely used throughout the USA. The traditional use of the app is to split food checks, pay rent, or shop online with other retailers. Cash App can also act as a bank account with debit cards and bank transfers that can be used just about anywhere but the Cash App doesn’t stop there and offers features that make it a great place to start with cryptocurrency exchanges
While it’s a great way to send your roommate money for the Thai food they bought, you can also use Cash App to invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency similar to programs like Robinhood. It’s easy for first-time users to figure out and makes it easy to invest in your chosen cryptocurrency.
Once you’ve invested in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and made some serious money, you can withdraw the investments to your wallet or as Bitcoin cash. This allows you to spend the money you made however you wish instead of having to reinvest it to get any use from it. Within the crypto-community, this means you hold the private keys and the coins so any profit goes back to your wallet.
Their customer support system is well managed and you can also use the service to work through margin trading without going through a brokerage or waiting for a wire transfer.
- Peer-to-peer money transfer
- Can withdraw Bitcoin
- Simple user interface for beginners
- Can only invest in Bitcoin
- Withdrawal limit of $2,000 of Bitcoin every 24 hours
Some other cryptocurrency exchanges which didn’t make our list are Bittrex, Coinmama, Bitfinex, Changelly, Cex.io and eToro.
Crypto Exchange 101
There are so many moving pieces when it comes to the most popular cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges. Before you choose your next or first crypto exchange, you’ll want to completely understand what you’re getting yourself into.
This is the most common type of exchange and trading platform and includes exchanges including ones like Coinbase, Binance, and others. These are all private companies that offer platforms capable of trading cryptocurrencies around the world.
Each of these centralized exchanges does require registration and identification which is known as a Know Your Customer rule. If you’re worried about security and safety for yourself or your money, using a centralized account will register you and require your identification.
All of these centralized exchanges tend to have active trading, high volumes, and liquidity. While they move fast, they often fail to be in line with the overarching philosophy of Bitcoin. Each centralized exchange runs on its servers which can make your information vulnerable to attack.
If you’re just starting to dip your toes into crypto trading, these centralized exchanges are the easiest way to get going with the exchanges. They often provide some level of insurance in case their systems fail so your money will be protected.
While the insurance and overarching protection is welcome, the cryptocurrency you purchase is stored within their custodial wallets and not in your wallet that you would own the keys to. Also, insurance is only applicable if the failure is at the fault of the exchange. If anything on your end becomes compromised, the insurance won’t cover the loss.
These types of exchanges are deeply in line with the ideals of Bitcoin. There is no central point of control for these exchanges and instead acts more like a server with pieces spread across the world so that any point of attack won’t sink the entire system. If one piece of the exchange breaks down, the entire system can keep moving forward.
Attacks that happen on decentralized exchanges are futile and rarely make a dent. This keeps your information and money safe and secure.
These decentralized exchanges are not regulated by any central body so no single person or group is running the system. All of the people who participate in decentralized exchanges come and go so even if governments or regulatory bodies were to seek out participants, they’d never be able to catch them.
Anyone trading on these platforms do not have to declare their identity and can use them however they choose. This can lead to some illegal activities happening but with no way to pursue any criminals. The additional safety and security can also cause pockets of illegal activity to crop up as more people use the program.
The best crypto exchange
Whether you’re a serious investor or you’re just starting on your crypto journey, having an exchange that you can trust, is vital. Centralized and decentralized exchanges both have their pros and cons and fit different styles of investment.
If you’re looking to invest in a cryptocurrency on any level, start with a program like Coinbase. While this is a centralized exchange it’s a great way to start with your crypto journey. You can invest and find answers to any questions you may have.
If you want to be sure you protect your identity and still have the widest range of cryptocurrency check out exchanges like Bisq. Your identity will be protected as they’ll never ask you to register your account. You can still move and invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and work with US dollars, unlike other exchanges.
Choosing the best crypto exchange may take a little research and some trial and error. The idea of unhackable currency exchange is why Bitcoin was created. By investing and dealing in Bitcoin with any of the exchanges on our list, you’re sure to make money as well as keep your investment safe from start to finish.
When you choose a quality exchange, you’ll be sure to make plenty of money while keeping all of your information and well-earned dollar bills safe!