There were a lot of controversies surrounding the crypto industry in its earlier days. Many seasoned investors were skeptical about investing in digital assets due to security concerns and the unpredictable nature of the market. Since then, blockchain technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, and today more and more individuals are considering crypto coins for building a sustainable income source. As such, for a newcomer, it is important to know about the best trading platforms.
What to consider before trading crypto?
You ought to keep in mind that the crypto market is highly volatile and mostly unregulated. Sometimes, your funds are not protected by insurance, and the price of assets can shift drastically. Before investing for the first time, you should conduct thorough research and understand the risks involved. Do not conduct deals based on gut feeling alone, as it can lead to disastrous consequences.
How do cryptocurrency markets work?
Unlike traditional investments, there is no central authority for cryptocurrency markets. Being decentralized, they operate across a vast computer network. You can buy and sell the assets via crypto exchanges and stash them in wallets for safekeeping. Transfers take place between two wallets, and the transactions are not confirmed until the mining process is complete. This process involves the verification and inclusion of the transaction in the blockchain.
What are crypto trading platforms?
These platforms allow individuals to exchange one coin for another. They also let you exchange a digital asset for fiat currency. While carrying out the transactions, you typically need to pay a small fee for using the platform. Some of these platforms let you conduct deals directly with another peer by tallying the prices with other orders. Then there are brokerages that have fixed prices for all coins.
How do the crypto trading platforms work?
When you register on a platform, it lets you buy and sell different crypto coins. While some systems let you carry out trades using fiat currencies, others only support crypto-to-crypto transactions. The most reputed services are likely to offer a wide range of assets. With a few platforms, you cannot shift your holdings to a personal wallet.
What are the types of crypto trading platforms?
Knowing about the different types of platforms available on the market will help you better understand the crypto environment. There are crypto trading funds where you can avoid directly investing in assets. Here, there are experienced merchants who carry out the deals on your behalf.
Crypto exchanges are similar to stock exchanges, where you can conduct trades in exchange for a fee. You can also find direct trading platforms that allow for P2P deals to take place by matching prices. Finally, there are brokerages that let you deal in coins according to their own prices.
How to fund your account on crypto platforms?
Once you have opened an account on a crypto trading platform, you need to transfer money into it in order to purchase coins. Most systems allow you to transfer money online from your bank account. This means you have the two accounts. Some platforms may require you to wait for a certain period of time before you can buy the assets.
How can crypto platforms help you?
One of the most obvious benefits of these platforms is crypto trading. By making prudent decisions, you can earn huge gains. With time, you can establish a steady passive income source. Many of these systems have extensive knowledge sections where a newcomer can learn more about crypto trading. When you deal with huge amounts of fiat currencies, there are tax restrictions you need to worry about, but this is not the case with crypto coins.
Things to consider before choosing a crypto trading platform
The foremost thing to consider is the safety of your assets. In case you plan to make a huge deposit, you should make sure the platform has the necessary safety measures to keep your assets safe. Find out about the security features available on a platform before signing up.
Decide which asset you wish to put your money into, then choose a platform that supports it. You should also make sure the transaction fees are not too high.
Are crypto trading platforms risky?
Hackers are known for targeting cryptocurrency platforms, and there have been several instances of exchanges losing money due to cyber attacks. In case someone gets to know your password, they can access your account and steal your funds. While there is always a risk with these trading platforms, most of them have multiple layers of security that make it difficult for others to access your funds.
Best crypto trading platforms’ list
eToro is trustworthy because:
This cryptocurrency trading platform supports popular coins like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Stellar. There are more than 20 million individuals using this platform right now. The minimum trade size for crypto is only $10, which makes eToro suitable for newcomers. You can also convert one coin into another.
eToro has its own wallet where you can safely stash your coins. It has an excellent mobile app that allows you to trade on the go. It has a simple user interface that novice traders can easily work with, but that does not mean it lacks some of the advanced features desired by experienced professionals.
This platform stores your untouched fiat funds in custodial accounts insured by FDIC. The maximum insurance amount is $250,000. It stores most of your coins in a cold storage facility that hackers cannot easily access.
One of the best features of this platform is social trading. This allows you to check the portfolios, trading statistics, and risk scores of other merchants. You can copy their trades into your own account, with the minimum and maximum investment amounts being $200 and $2,000,000, respectively.
- Transaction fees based on spread
- Both desktop and mobile devices supported
- Large community of traders
- Low minimum amount for crypto
- Ability to mimic the trades of others
- Small number of coins supported
- Not available in all US states
Bitstamp is good because:
Bitstamp is the world’s longest-standing crypto exchange, having started in 2011 when digital currencies were obscure. The company was initially established in Slovenia but now has additional offices. Bitstamp prioritizes ease of use, reliability, and institutional-grade security.
The exchange uses a Nasdaq-built matching engine resulting in dependable uptime, consistent order execution, and fast trading speed. Through the corporation’s proprietary Tradeview platform (with charts powered by TradingView), you can trade 61 of the most popular digital assets.
Except for BTC and ETH markets, the minimum to start trading on Bitstamp is a reasonable $/£/€ 10. Clients can fund using a supported coin, bank wire, or debit/credit card. ACH, Faster Payments, SEPA is also available for US, UK, and EU customers, respectively.
Aside from exchanging, you can also stake Ethereum and Algorand and earn around 5% in yearly interest. Ultimately, Bitstamp keeps its offerings to a bare minimum, making it a better choice for less experienced investors.
- Been in business since 2011
- 24/7 phone and email customer support
- Reasonable account minimum
- Staking rewards
- Supports USD, EUR, and GBP markets
- No live chat customer service
- No wallet provision
- Few coins available compared to other platforms
FTX is excellent because:
FTX has become one of the most prominent crypto exchanges worldwide in close to three years. The exchange’s mission is to provide a platform simple enough for novice users but advanced enough for institutional traders. FTX is presently spearheaded by a talented team who’ve worked at Wall Street quant trading firms and Silicon Valley tech corporations.
The exchange is regulated and headquartered in the Bahamas and, in May 2020, launched FTX.US, a stripped-down version of FTX exclusively for US customers. You can find many advanced crypto trading products with FTX, such as volatility and leveraged tokens, options, futures, and even prediction markets.
The exchange charges 0.2% maker and 0.07% taker fees, which is quite competitive. Holding FTT, FTX’s utility token, provides further discounts in this regard, along with other perks such as staking rewards, airdrops, free ERC20 withdrawals, etc.
For most of their coins (of which more than 300 exist), no deposit and withdrawal fees apply. Aside from staking FTT, you can earn yields from holding Solana, Serum and Raydium tokens on FTX’s platform.
- Regulated entity
- Wide selection of digital currencies
- No minimum deposit
- Numerous fiat markets supported
- Many derivatives trading products
- FTT, SOL, RAY, and SRM staking available
- No live chat or phone customer service
- Doesn’t provide a wallet
OKX is superb because:
OKX (formerly called OKEx) bills itself as the ‘world’s most powerful exchange.’ The Seychelles-based crypto services provider was launched in 2017 as the more sophisticated ‘big brother’ to less advanced and older OKCoin, both of which fall under the OK Group.
OKX is superb for numerous reasons. For starters, it offers a whole range of crypto-related services aside from simply buying and selling coins. You can trade leveraged derivatives on spot, perpetual swaps, futures, and options markets.
OKX provides over 350 different cryptocurrencies totaling about 700 unique pairs. The other impressive quality is the competitive fees at 0.08% maker and 0.10% taker fees, lower than the industry average.
Clients can explore the world of DeFi (decentralized finance) through staking, saving, borrowing/lending, NFTs, mining pools, and other interesting products. Moreover, OKX has its own utility token, OKB, where clients can access special features like trading fee discounts and rewards. Overall, OKX is as advanced as it gets for trading platforms.
- Has some of the broadest coin selection
- Processes billions in daily global trading volume
- Utility token in OKB
- Offers several advanced trading and non-trading products
- Decent trading fees
- In-built wallet
- Less suitable for novice traders
- Not-so-easy to follow fee structure
Prime XBT is reliable because:
This platform lets you access the global crypto market in minutes and deal in the most popular assets. Here, you can build your own advanced strategies with the help of customizable charting software having more than 50 technical indicators. Traders can enjoy deep liquidity and execute trades with the help of a powerful engine that has an average execution speed of less than 7.12ms.
Prime XBT has margin trading functionality. This means you can borrow money from it to enhance the purchasing and selling power of the transaction. Traders only need to deposit a minor percentage of a position’s net value. Since you can deal in positions larger than your capital, you have the opportunity to win more profit.
Before opening an account on this platform, you can get a preview of the live trading interface. Apart from the assets’ prices, the order book also has visual representations that help you see the current trends for different assets.
This platform also has a multi-level referral program where you earn from direct as well as indirect referrals. It offers you 100x leverage where you borrow funds from the exchange to carry out larger trades.
- Low fees
- 100x leverage provided
- Referral program
- Advanced technical analysis and charting tools
- Staking not available
- Unregulated platform
Coinbase is legitimate because:
Founded in 2012, this is arguably the best cryptocurrency trading platform with a user base of over 56 million individuals. Its daily trading volume is second only to Binance. It has a self-custody wallet, where you can store your coins without worrying about losing your keys. Apart from the popular crypto coins, it also lets you invest in ERC-20 tokens. As such, it is a great option if you wish to diversify your portfolio.
Due to low minimum investment amounts, novice traders will find this platform well-suited to their needs. For the BTC-USD order book, the order must be greater than 0.000016 BTC. You can buy, sell, and manage your coins from anywhere using the mobile app.
Coinbase’s desktop platform lets you view live order books and utilize charting tools to make better trading decisions. This is one of the few places where you can earn money by taking part in quizzes and watching educational videos on different assets.
This platform has its own debit card known as Coinbase Card, and this allows you to spend your coins at merchants that accept Visa. User accounts are protected with two-factor authentication. Coinbase complies with consumer protection laws which require it to verify the identity of each user and maintain a record of past transactions.
- Excellent earning mechanism
- Easy to use for novice traders
- Low minimum amounts
- In-house debit card
- Advanced analysis tools
- Zero control over private keys
- Complex fees structure
Paxful is good because:
This is a relatively new crypto trading platform where buyers and sellers of crypto coins can interact and directly trade among themselves. Here, you can buy Bitcoin for just $10. There is no fee for purchasing BTC on this exchange. You can easily convert cash into BTC using one of the 400 available payment modes.
For security purposes, this platform has anti-money laundering and KYC processes in place. For every deposit and withdrawal operation, Paxful creates a brand new wallet for the trader. This drastically reduces the risk of cyberattacks. User accounts are protected via two-factor authentication and ID verification.
Through the Paxful wallet, you can securely access your funds anywhere and anytime. Even if you happened to lose your device, your funds would be safe as they are stored in the cloud. In the marketplace, you can see the ratings for the buyers and sellers. This platform has a team of experts who investigate the users and assign ratings to them. Until the deal has been concluded, the coins are held in escrow accounts, and this prevents loss of funds.
- Large number of payment modes
- Advanced verification methods
- Excellent affiliate program
- Live chat support
- Unregulated platform
- On-call support not available
iTrustCapital can be trusted because:
This is the best platform to buy cryptocurrency for IRA account holders. Founded in 2018, it lets users trade in crypto coins 24/7 while providing them with the tax benefits of retirement investing. There are multiple ways to add funds to your account. You can transfer your existing IRA account or open a new one.
The trading fee for crypto is fixed at 1%. iTrustCapital has won numerous awards and has a rapidly growing transaction volume. There is no liquidating for cryptocurrency and no additional fees. You can open an account with a starting balance of $2500 and there is no upper limit. It is possible to transfer your existing coin holdings from other companies.
This platform has a partnership with Curv, an institutional custody provider. It has a secure MPC technology that removes the single point of failure of private keys for signing crypto deals. The final signing process occurs in a disconnected node, thus providing clients with an excellent cold storage solution.
iTrustCapital works with Curv and Coinbase Custody to provide insurance for users. These two policies amount to $320 million and $50 million, respectively. The customer service team is quite responsive and you can get in touch with them via phone or live chat.
- Tax-deferred and tax-free investment
- Low trading fees
- Decent collection of education resources
- Regulated by US authorities
- Unregulated platform
- No interest on crypto
Coinsquare is best because:
This is a 100% proprietary platform established in 2014. Apart from regular crypto trading, it also supports over-the-counter trading for large volumes. There are two ways to conduct trades on this platform. You can use QuickTrade to simply select an asset, the amount, the quote, and confirm the transaction. Alternatively, you can use the spot market trading interface to get access to advanced charting and analysis tools.
Coinsquare stores 90% of the users’ assets in cold storage, running multiple distributed and encrypted backups on a daily basis. This system has been DDoS and stress tested. Since 2015, there hasn’t been a single instance of this platform losing funds to hackers. It has a ledger that is managed 2346 times daily to make sure the location of each coin is known.
Coinsquare has in-house mobile applications that you can run on Android and iOS devices. If your account’s net worth is at least $25,000, you get an account director who looks after your portfolio growth. While withdrawing funds, you have the option of paying extra to get your payment processed more quickly. To get more information on your order book, you can use TradingView charts to conduct technical analysis.
- Fast verification process
- Supports large OTC trades
- Lucrative referral program
- Supports fiat deposits
- Unregulated platform
- A limited number of coins
Voyager is trustworthy because:
This system supports over 70 digital assets and allows for commission-free trading. By holding a minimum monthly balance in your account, you can win lucrative rewards. The reward percentages vary from asset to asset and are subject to change.
Voyager has the smart order routing feature that allows it to connect to over a dozen trusted and secure market makers and exchanges. It identifies market inefficiencies and capitalizes on price disparities to get you a more favorable price for your orders. Part of the savings is kept by the company, while the rest goes to the trader.
Thanks to the instant account funding feature, you can open an account and start trading immediately. The platform supports bank transfers up to $5000 and has a low account minimum of $10. There is no trading fee apart from the spreads. You can run this platform on both Android and iOS devices.
Another great thing about this platform is that it lets you set up recurring purchase orders for individual assets. To fund the orders, you connect an external bank account. It also has an in-built profit/loss calculator that helps users attain more information on their assets.
- Access multiple exchanges using a single account
- More than 70 supported coins
- Commission-free trading
- Automatic purchase orders
- Lengthy verification process
- Self-custodial function not available
BlockFi can be trusted because:
BlockFi lets you buy, sell, and manage a wide variety of assets and store them in a convenient place. If you need extra cash for trading, you don’t need to sell your crypto. You can borrow funds against your assets at rates as low as 4.5%.
With a BlockFi Interest account, you can earn up to 9.5% APY on your crypto holdings. Interest accrues daily and is paid monthly. There is no waiting period, minimum balance, or hidden fees. This platform aggregates liquidity from multiple exchanges to offer seamless trade execution and pricing. After trade execution, you will start earning interest from the next day.
BlockFi also lets you automate your crypto purchases. This way, you can automatically purchase assets on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. With the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card, you can get 1.5% back on BTC purchase.
This is one of the best US-based Bitcoin trading platforms. Its holdings are currently held by Gemini, which is regulated by US financial authorities. Here, you can set up recurring trades to grow your account without active trading.
- No minimum deposits
- Interest earning functionality
- Automatic recurring trades
- Custodial accounts not supported
- Not suitable for novice traders
Coinmama is good because:
This platform is verified by FinCEN, which means there is no chance of fraud. It does not store your coins on the platform, which makes it difficult for hackers to access your funds. Coinmama has a loyalty program where you can get discounts on fees by carrying out transactions more frequently. There are a total of three levels in this program. To remain at a certain level, you must meet a minimum purchase amount over 90 days. This way, you can get up to a 25% discount on fees.
Those trading in high volumes will find this platform well-suited to their needs. Through its VIP program, you can deal with a maximum of $100 million through wire transfer. There is a special team that looks after the transactions, following stringent safety measures to nullify risks. The various payment modes on this platform include VISA, Mastercard, SEPA Bank Transfers, Open Banking, SWIFT Bank Transfers, Apple Pay, and Google Play.
The official website has a crypto calculator where you can check the real-time exchange rates for numerous digital assets. You can browse several bundles available for purchase. Instead of connecting traders to brokerages, Coinmama acts as a purchaser and seller itself. Thus, there is no third party involved in the transactions.
- Discounted fees through the loyalty program
- Bulk purchases available
- Wide range of payment modes
- Fast ID verification
- No in-house wallet
- High trading fees
What are the differences between crypto wallets and exchanges?
The main objective of a wallet is to keep your coins safe. On the other hand, an exchange is a platform where you carry out crypto trades. Wallets are for long-term storage, and they let you access your holdings at any time. At the same time, exchanges let you convert a fiat currency into a digital asset and transfer coins to a wallet.
You may store your assets initially in an exchange, but this is only a short-term solution. Experts recommend transferring coins to a wallet where you would need to secure, back up, and manage your holdings. When you use a wallet, you have full control over what you do with your coins. You have the private keys and password and can transfer assets at your convenience. With an exchange account, there is a limit to how much you can spend at a time.
If you are a newcomer, it would be better to stash your funds in the best crypto trading platform. Many exchanges provide automatic storage, and beginners will find it easy to manage their holdings through them. Even if you lose your password or key for an exchange wallet, you can recover your coins easily. This is not the case with a crypto wallet.
Bottom line: are crypto trading platforms worth it?
The volatile nature of the crypto market offers a lot of lucrative trading opportunities for prudent traders. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up losing a lot of money.
Registering on a reliable platform can make a lot of difference when it comes to your trading outcomes. All of the services mentioned above are reliable and trusted by traders worldwide, but as you can see, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Thus, your choice should be based on your experience level and profit objectives.