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How to Find the Best US Crypto Exchange
The best cryptocurrency trading platform for you will depend on several factors, including the type of exchange you prefer, the kind of cryptocurrencies you are looking to buy or sell, and your level of expertise.
One of the most important aspects when comparing the best crypto exchanges.
Using a secure exchange is extremely important.
Choose the best US crypto exchange based on your unique needs.
What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where users can buy and sell digital currency and other assets. Most cryptocurrencies traded on an exchange are decentralized networks that are based on powerful blockchain technology.
They are not managed by any central authority which renders them virtually immune to manipulation or government interference.
Blockchain technology ensures the integrity of transactional data and forms the building blocks for cryptocurrencies. It is essentially a ledger managed by a network of computers.
Important: Investing in cryptocurrencies is very risky and speculative, and markets can be volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions.
Benefits of Using a Cryptocurrency Exchange
How Crypto Exchanges Work
A cryptocurrency exchange offers a platform where users can buy and sell crypto assets. If you want to buy crypto, you have to use a crypto exchange and there are three types of crypto exchanges available:
- Centralized Exchange (CEX)
- Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)
- Hybrid Exchanges
There are also other platforms where you can buy and sell cryptos, such as peer-to-peer platforms and investing apps.
With crypto exchanges, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC), dogecoin (DOGE), and ether (ETH), using a fiat currency like USD or EUR, or trade one crypto for another.
Getting Started with Crypto Exchanges
Crypto investing can be overwhelming for new traders and it can prevent many people from entering the market.
Fortunately, there are some crypto exchanges out there that are perfectly aligned for new users and they are very easy to use with almost no learning curve.
For beginner traders, we recommend Coinbase and Kraken.
Each of these exchanges offer you the ability to buy, sell, and trade digital assets and fiat. You can even withdraw to your bank account, making it easy for beginners to use. These exchanges has a multitude of other features that are perfect for beginners.
These exchanges are very secure, regulated, and available in the U.S. as well as globally.
There is another platform, OkCoin, that is very user-friendly and worth noting. It has a very user-friendly UI/UX and offers a great Earn feature to earn passively on your crypto assets.
Secure Crypto Exchanges
Security is very important, even if you use a feature-packed low-fee crypto platform. If your funds aren't secure, there's no use in using the platform.
Unfortunately, cryptocurrency exchanges have become popular targets for hackers, and many of the top cryptocurrency exchanges have suffered successful hacks that resulted in a loss of user funds.
Of our top crypto exchanges, only two have never been hacked successfully. FTX and Kraken both have very good security protocols. Kraken provides security advising and testing services for other crypto companies, so they are on top of things when it comes to protecting customers' funds.
While Kraken and FTX are among the most secure crypto platforms available, the exchanges that have been hacked in the past have since increased their security protocols. Many of them now have insurance in place to reimburse customers if they've lost funds.
Either way, previous breaches should not discourage you from using the top crypto exchanges to trade crypto. But some people still choose to use exchanges that have never been breached, making Kraken and FTX among the favorites.
Centralized vs Decentralized Exchanges
Here are some of the main differences between centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges.
|Centralized Crypto Exchange||Decentralized Crypto Exchange|
|Trading platform||Third-party handles transactions||Peer-to-peer transactions|
|Types of trades||Crypto-to-crypto, fiat-to-crypto, leverage trading||Crypto-to-crypto only|
|Private Keys||Exchange holds custody of the private keys||The user holds custody of their private keys|
|Security||Risk of hackers and theft||Minimal risk of hackers and theft|
|Ease of use||Easy – similar to working with a bank||Can be complex|
|Fees (Range)||Low (0.025%) to very high(0.4%)||Zero (0%) to high (0.3%) + Gas fees|
|Liquidity||High liquidity||Low liquidity|
Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have a third party that oversees the day-to-day operations and complete the transactions. Some benefits of centralized crypto exchanges include:
- User-friendly – Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges offer a friendly and familiar way of investing and trading in cryptocurrencies.
- Reliable – Offers an extra layer of reliability and security for trading and transactions. This leads to higher levels of trust and comfort among users.
- Use of escrow – Centralized crypto exchanges have middlemen that hold currency until both parties complete their end of the transaction.
A decentralized exchange is a peer-to-peer platform. That is, users buy and sell directly. There is no middleman. The exchange operates on a network of computers and completes transactions via an automated process.
Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency in the world. It uses public-key cryptography to sign and record all transactions over the Bitcoin blockchain.
Here are some of the benefits of decentralized exchanges:
- Privacy - transactions made are not shared with a third party.
- Reduced risk of downtime - there is no central point to hack.
- Security - Users have complete control over their assets at all times.
Looking to buy crypto?
View the top cryptocurrencies with prices updated in real-time, including market cap and trading volumes.
What Are the Best Crypto Exchanges?
The list of best crypto exchanges will vary based on the type of exchange (CEX or DEX), the type of cryptocurrencies you are looking to buy or sell, and the trading features you are looking for.
You can also minimize your risk by spreading your crypto assets across multiple exchanges or moving your crypto to your own secure wallet ('cold' wallet)
However, some exchanges are really well-known and tend to offer the best stability, functionality, and coin supply.
Based on liquidity and trading volume, CMC lists these as the best crypto exchanges:
|Crypto exchange||Liquidity score||Markets||Coins|
Comparing the Best Crypto Exchanges
What we look for when we review the best crypto exchange platforms
Choosing a Crypto Exchange
To pick the best cryptocurrency exchange that meets your needs you need to consider a few factors. Here are some of the things to look at.
Where does the exchange operate?
Before you choose an exchange, make sure it is available in your region. The jurisdiction of an exchange reflects where their target market is, as well as where they are allowed to do business in terms of cryptocurrency regulations.
What is its liquidity?
Exchanges that have a high trading volume tend to be more investable. Look for a crypto exchange with many users or one that trades frequently and holds a large number of assets. Lower trading volumes can also drive up prices.
What types of cryptos are available?
Find out what coins are available to trade. Coins with a higher market cap tend to be traded on most larger exchanges, while lesser-traded coins may only be available on smaller exchanges.
What are the fees?
Crypto exchanges vary significantly in terms of cryptocurrency fees. Make sure you understand the terms find fees before you start trading. Some of the best crypto exchanges, like Binance for example, have their own native token that leads to lower fees. Users will pay in the form of the token (e.g. BNC), instead of the currency pair they are trading.
Is it secure?
Although no crypto exchange is completely secure, look at the ones that have been around the longest, or have the most users. You can typically find out more about an exchange's security policies on their websites.
Popular U.S. Crypto Exchanges for September 2023
- Trade over 80 cryptocurrencies
- Low trading fees
- Buy crypto, easily manage your wallet, and maintain your portfolio
- State-of-the-art storage technology to protect your assets
- The world's leading social trading platform
- A fee of 1% is added to the spread when buying or selling crypto assets on eToro. The fee is included in the price shown when users open or close a position.
- eToro takes the spread
- Users can follow the trades of profitable traders
Why Compare with Financer.com?
Financer.com reviewed the best US crypto exchange platforms on CoinMarketCap based on their trading volume, liquidity, web traffic, availability specifically for customers in the U.S.
We collected multiple data points per exchange to assess popular benefits, like cybersecurity features, the types of cryptocurrencies available, cryptocurrency fees, and user reviews, among others.
At Financer.com we make it easy for you to choose the best U.S. crypto exchange to invest in crypto.
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What is a crypto exchange?
A crypto exchange is a digital marketplace where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, dogecoin, and ether.
How does a cryptocurrency exchange work?
A cryptocurrency exchange is very similar to traditional brokerage platforms where they offer users the ability to create an account and then buy, sell, or speculate on various cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency exchanges can be centralized (CEX) or decentralized (DEX). Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have a third party or middle man who oversees the day-to-day operations and completes the transactions like a bank.
A decentralized exchange is a peer-to-peer platform, in other words, users buy and sell directly with no middleman. These exchanges operate on a network of computers and complete transactions via an automated process. Decentralized exchanges are often a better choice in terms of transparency and accountability.
How to open a crypto exchange account?
To open a crypto change account you need to visit the exchange's website or download the mobile app, if they offer one. Every crypto exchange has its own registration steps although most require you to verify your identity to start buying and selling crypto.
To prevent fraud and money laundering, the U.S. government has introduced certain Know Your Customer regulations. You'll typically need to provide:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Mailing address
How much do you need to buy crypto?
Most crypto exchanges have their own requirements, depending on the type of cryptocurrency you want to buy. Some allow you to buy fractional shares for a few dollars. Be sure to check your chosen exchange's requirements for the specific crypto coin you want to buy.
What is cryptocurrency mining?
Crypto mining can be seen as a way to create new crypto coins. Cryptocurrency mining involves the validation of crypto transactions on the blockchain network, and then adding them to a distributed ledger. One important factor of crypto mining is that it prevents double-spending on the network.
When someone spends cryptocurrency, the ledget must be updated be debiting one account and crediting another. But the challenge in this is that digital platforms are easy to manipulate.This is why Bitcoin's ledger, for example, only allows verified miners to update ledger transactions.
As a reward for miners doing their work, new coins are created. This is a crucial benefit since there is no centralized authority for these distributed ledgers, so the mining process is crucial.
To start mining crypto, you'll need a computer with special software that is designed to solve complex cryptographic equations. You'll typically need a specialized GPU or ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) miner. You'll also need a reliable internet connection and be a member of an online crypto mining pool.
What is altcoins?
Altcoins refer to cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. They are often similar to Bitcoin but have different characteristics. For example, some altcoins offer different capabilities, like low price volatility or smart contracts, or they can use a different way of validating transactions.
How many cryptocurrencies are there?
There are around 5,000 to 7,000 cryptocurrencies in existence if you could them all (failed or not). With a market cap of close to $600 billion, the largest cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum.
Are cryptocurrencies legal?
Cryptocurrencies are legal in the U.S. but are banned in some countries, like China. Whether they are legal or not will depend on each country. Always protect yourself from fraudsters who use cryptocurrencies to get money from investors.
How are cryptocurrencies regulated?
In short, they aren't, apart from blockchain technology. The legal status of cryptocurrencies varies between countries, e.g. countries like Morocco, Algeria, and China prohibit their operation.
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