Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges: The Ultimate Research 2018

best cryptocurrency exchanges

With the overwhelming amount of exchange platforms out in the world today, it can be difficult to choose the one that is right for you. The cryptocurrency industry is developing swiftly with more new coins appearing on the market and dozens of new cryptocurrency exchange platforms coming out of the woodwork as well. Right now, there are hundreds of cryptocurrency exchanges available for anyone to choose from, and that can prove to be jarring for anyone who’s trying to find the best exchange from them.

So, we have tried to make life just a bit easier for cryptocurrency traders by conducting research about the existing exchange platforms out there. We also chose the best ones for beginners and experienced day traders, as well as the best decentralized exchange platform overall.

Read this article to learn more about the winners and the reasons we chose them! Also, we are planning to update this article as time goes by.

How We Have Done the Research

A majority of cryptocurrency exchange platforms are too small still in terms of volume traded daily, and thus are not a very good fit for trading yet – if the traded volume is low, chances are that you will have to wait for a long time to get your order filled, which is why we have decided to examine only the exchanges with the highest volume.

[bctt tweet=”The best cryptocurrency exchanges from a list of the 38 ones with the highest traded volume!”]

We have compiled a list of the 38 exchanges – the ones with the highest traded volume according to ExchangeWars and CoinMarketCap, plus a couple of other popular ones.

Keep in mind that we have omitted the exchanges with a focus on a single country (such as BitHumb that focuses solely on South Korea) even if they had a high trading volume. The reason is that we wanted to work with the best universally working exchanges that are available to everyone, so the ones with a narrow regional focus were of no interest to us.

What we took into account

For the exchanges that we included in our list, we have collected the following parameters:

  • Number of coins on the exchange
  • Support of fiat currencies
  • Availability of margin trading
  • Trading tools available
  • Order types
  • Commission rates
  • Whether it has been attacked by hackers in the past
  • Supported countries
  • Withdrawal limits
  • Support of trading with anonymous accounts
  • Decentralization
  • Country of origin
  • Trading volume (high/medium/low)
  • Payment choices (crypto only/wire transfer/debit card, etc)
  • USD vs USDT
  • Trading volume in BTC for past 24 hours (as of 04.04.2018)

From what we have observed, the major differences between the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges are in terms of the number of supported coins, available trading tools and order types, commission rates, and traded volume.

We will be updating the list in the future and hope that it will help you to choose the exchange that satisfies all of your personal requirements.

Meanwhile, it’s time to tell you more about our own editorial picks.

cryptocurrency exchange

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges – 2018

We have based our choices on three criteria that we find the most relevant in regards to each category.

For Beginners

The most important factors for beginning cryptocurrency traders are:

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Stability of the platform and good support
  • Many options for depositing and withdrawing money, both to crypto and to fiat

Based on these criteria we decided that the best crypto exchange for beginners is (drumroll please…) Coinbase‘s GDAX!

CoinbaseIt was founded in 2011 which makes it one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchange platforms out there. It is available in the US, Australia, the UK, Singapore, and some European countries, and it supports the major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Besides that, they are planning to launch the support of ERC20 tokens in the near future. The withdrawal limits on Coinbase are calculated automatically based on the withdrawal method, your account’s age, purchase history, and other factors.

What’s especially relevant for beginners is that Coinbase supports many different payment methods and transfers into fiat, including wire bank transfers and debit card transfers.

Also, Coinbase has a clean and intuitive interface and specially designed mobile applications, which makes it simple to use, even for beginners. To buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase, you have to simply go to the “Buys” page, select the amount you want to buy in either cryptocurrency or in your local currency, then select the wallet you want it to be transferred to as well as the payment method. The procedure is pretty simple overall.

gdaxCoinbase also has basic charts that will help you navigate through the dynamics in the cryptocurrency prices. Keep in mind that Coinbase is just a simplified buy-sell platform and that the actual trading is done on GDAX, their partner platform.

To make an account on Coinbase you just need to register with your email address and phone number, the latter is necessary because the platform uses 2-factor verification. Note, however, that to start trading you will need to verify your account with a valid ID document issued by any one of the Coinbase-supported countries.

[bctt tweet=”The best cryptocurrency exchange for beginners is #GDAX by @Coinbase!”]


cex ioA good alternative to Coinbase for beginners is CEX-IO. This exchange also has a very intuitive interface with basic integrated charts and all the necessary information being just a single click away. CEX-IO supports more countries than Coinbase, and you can trade there without an ID. So if your country is not supported by Coinbase, you can turn to CEX-IO instead. We still prefer Coinbase, though, mostly because it is more popular and stable.

For Day Traders

The major criteria for choosing the best platform for experienced day traders are:

  • Trading volume
  • Number of altcoins available and the variety of available trading tools
  • Low commission rates

Trading volume is especially important for day traders because the speed of transactions is obviously extremely important. Also, as day trading usually deals with altcoins, a good platform for day trading should consist of several altcoins and many pairs.

The big variety of trading tools, such as advanced charts that allow for easily tracking prices and orders, is certainly helpful to any experienced day trader as it allows them diversify and tailor their trading strategies as much as they want.

Low commission rates are also crucial to day traders as they frequently conduct multiple transactions per day.

Based on these criteria we have concluded that the best platform for day trading is Binance!

binanceIt has a very high trading volume that equals to roughly 200,000 BTC per day, making Binance one of the largest platforms in terms of trading volume. Aside from that, it supports the trading of many cryptocurrencies – 298 pairs are available now with all major coins and altcoins available. The commission rate is just 0.1%, which is relatively low, and you can make it even lower if you use Binance tokens, as half of the commission might be paid in tokens. The withdrawal limit on Binance is 2 BTC for unverified accounts and 50 BTC for the verified ones, which is pretty generous.

What’s even better is that it works everywhere except for mainland China.

Binance is quite good in terms of trading tools, advanced charts, and the variety of orders with market, limit, stop-loss, and other popular types of orders available. Also, it has lots of historical information and sophisticated charting tools featured in its interface, but if that is not enough, you can also use Binance Tools – a separate platform that expands on the functionality of Binance by adding such features as displaying potential profits and losses for each transaction you conduct. A special Chrome extension with Pro trading tools for Binance is also an option for those who want to make the most out of this trading platform.

Registering with Binance is pretty straightforward – you just need your email address to start up a new account.

[bctt tweet=”The best platform for day trading is @Binance!”]


bittrexThe closest competitor of Binance is most likely Bittrex. This exchange platform also has support for several altcoins and pairs, as well as advanced trading tools integrated into it (well, probably even more advanced as Bittrex. For instance, it supports Fibonacci while Binance does not). The reason why we still choose Binance over Bittrex is that the latter does not work in the US, the commission on Bittrex is higher than on Binance (0.25% compared to 0.1%), and the trading volume is a bit lower.

Decentralized Exchanges

Before diving in, let us briefly review what decentralized exchanges are. Their major difference from “regular,” centralized exchanges is that decentralized ones are not controlled by a single entity and are run on a distributed public ledger, just like cryptocurrencies. This gives them certain advantages over centralized exchange platforms: they do not collect information about users, their accounts, or transactions and they do not aggregate trade volume, which makes them far less prone to hacker attacks; they can not be easily seized or shut down due to government censorship or other external factors.

Also, decentralized exchanges support ERC20 tokens, which makes them perfect for rolling out new tokens for ICOs. So if you missed a recent ICO, chances are high that you’ll immediately find its tokens on a decentralized exchange.

This all sounds very attractive, but why then are decentralized exchanges less popular than centralized ones? First of all, they are not intended for beginners and are usually more difficult to use, they are less user-friendly, and they have less trading tools and order types. Consequently, as the decentralized exchanges are in their initial stages of development and are not user-friendly, trading volumes on them is relatively low so far.

The major criteria for picking the best decentralized exchange are as follows:

  • Trading volume
  • Order types
  • Variety of trading tools

Based on these criteria, we have picked IDEX as the best decentralized cryptocurrency exchange out there.

IDEXIt has a high (for a decentralized exchange) trading volume of about 5,800 BTC per day, it supports major order types, and a whole variety of trading tools such as advanced charts with support for professional trading indicators like resistance levels on different timeframes, moving averages, Fibonacci retracements and much more that can be visualised or realized through mathematical algorithms. Note that IDEX uses automatic trade matching, order book updates, and does not charge gas fees for limit orders and order cancellations.

As with other decentralized exchanges, the interface of IDEX might be not that user-friendly, but they have launched a series of guides to help out new users, so you consult those if you have problems using the platform. In case you don’t know how to start, here is a great tutorial on setting up a new wallet on IDEX and starting trading.

There are no specific requirements to join IDEX, and the trading is absolutely anonymous.

[bctt tweet=”The best decentralized cryptocurrency exchange out there is #IDEX by @Aurora_dao”]

EtherDeltaAnother popular decentralized exchange is EtherDelta. It also supports ERC20 tokens and has a pretty straightforward compact interface with charts available right on the main page of the platform. To trade there all you need is an Ethereum wallet registered (you can not get one through the platform), from which you will be able to transfer funds to EtherDelta. Fees are also quite low and it supports advanced charting tools. The main reason we still believe IDEX to be better is that EtherDelta currently has a very low trading volume – under 200 BTC a day.

We hope that our quick guide to the best crypto exchanges was helpful to you, whether you are a beginner or an experienced trader looking into the possibilities of new exchange platforms. We will be constantly updating our list of cryptocurrency exchanges and this guide in the future, so stay tuned!

Please feel free to share your opinions with us in the comment section below or on our forums by participating in our 10K Questions Challenge!