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Updated: Aug 31, 2022, 8:44am
Everyone seems to want cryptocurrency these days. But to get in on the action, you’ll need a crypto exchange where you can buy and sell digital currencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.
To help you pick one, Forbes Advisor UK combed through the leading exchange offerings, and reams of data, to provide you with key information to help you decide which crypto exchange is best for you. All of these, however, come with one caveat: Cryptocurrencies are speculative investments and should only be made if you’re willing to accept the potential risk of losing everything.
Your capital is at risk. Investments can go up and down in value, so you could get back less than you put in. Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK and are not eligible for any form of regulatory consumer protection.

1
eToro
Invest with a crypto brand trusted by millions

Buy and sell 70+ cryptoassets on a secure, easy-to-use platform

1
eToro
On eToro’s Website
0.2% Maker Fee, 0.2% Taker Fee

1,300+

0.2% Maker Fee, 0.2% Taker Fee

1,300+

Founded in late 2017, Gate.io offers a huge number of tradable coins and competitive trading fees. Gate.io offers discounts and benefits to holders of its native token, GateToken, such as early access to initial coin launches.
The exchange is headquartered in the Cayman Islands
Flat 0.9% fee for stablecoins, 1.5% for other cryptos

120+

Flat 0.9% fee for stablecoins, 1.5% for other cryptos

120+

Kraken  is one of the oldest crypto exchanges, founded in 2011, crypto’s Paleolithic era. This platform offers a solid range of coins with very competitive trading fees. It’s also one of the few exchanges to offer margin trading, in addition to a suite of other advanced trading tools like advanced order types and futures trading.
This exchange offers two trading platforms: Kraken and Kraken Pro. The basic Kraken platform doesn’t offer the cheapest fees, although advanced users can get volume discounts and lower their costs by trading on Kraken Pro.
0.1% Maker Fee, 0.1% Taker Fee

600+

0.1% Maker Fee, 0.1% Taker Fee

600+

Another heavy hitter when it comes to the sheer amount of coins available, KuCoin  provides access to a wide library of altcoins at low fees.
The platform is headquartered in Seychelles, with a growing number of users in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
0.1% Maker Fee, 0.1% Taker Fee

600+

0.1% Maker Fee, 0.1% Taker Fee

600+

Binance is one of the biggest names in the market and boasts a considerable number of tradable coins plus low fees. It offers crypto-to-crypto trading and fiat-to-crypto trading with several ways to deposit funds.
Founded in 2017 and registered in the Cayman Islands, Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange in terms of daily trading volume.
0.4% Maker Fee, 0.4% Taker Fee

250+

0.4% Maker Fee, 0.4% Taker Fee

250+

Crypto.com  provides a very good selection of cryptocurrencies, with more than 250 available.
Users can take advantage of Crypto.com’s utility token Cronos (CRO) to pay fees on the platform and earn other benefits.
0.2% Maker Fee, 0.4% Taker Fee

120+

0.2% Maker Fee, 0.4% Taker Fee

120+

Gemini  is well suited for crypto traders of any skill level. The platform is packed to the brim with scores of features, like its unique Gemini Earn program for earning interest on crypto holdings.
1% Flat Fee

150+

1% Flat Fee

150+

Coinbase  offers more than 150 tradable cryptocurrencies, which should satisfy most investors looking to break into the crypto space. The platform stands out for an easy-to-use interface that makes one-time or recurring crypto transactions a snap.
Customers who are interested in features like in-depth technical analysis might consider paying for Coinbase’s Advanced Trade product, which will also be augmented with increased security. Advanced Trade is also replacing some of the features offered by Coinbase Pro, which is being sunsetted in late 2022.
0.50% flat fee

64

0.50% flat fee

64

Luxembourg’s Bitstamp was launched in 2011. With a decent, if not great, number of tradable coins and low, flat fees, the exchange is easy to use and its app is highly rated. For users who want more advanced features, Bitstamp offers Tradeview, an active trading platform.
0.1% Maker Fee, 0.1% Taker Fee

45

0.1% Maker Fee, 0.1% Taker Fee

45

An ambitious newcomer, BitYard launched in 2019. This Singapore-based crypto exchange provides trading services in more than 150 countries.
BitYard is one of the few exchanges that complies with financial industry regulations and holds licenses in Australia, Singapore and the US. Users who are interested in spot trading will enjoy the low trading fees and a decent selection of popular cryptocurrencies.
1% flat fee

65

1% flat fee

65

eToro, which has been around since 2007, allows users to trade in more than 60 crypto tokens and offers an integrated wallet. The platform is easy to use and offers a range of educational content for beginners and intermediate users.
We performed an in-depth assessment of the features and options offered by nearly 25 cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto trading apps and brokerage platforms that offer crypto trading options.
The trading fees reflected for each brokerage or crypto exchange are the trading fees for the lowest volume of trade, using the most basic version of the platform.
The data addressed the following key variables to assess the quality of each platform:
These variables benchmark features and options across the crypto exchanges and brokerages we surveyed.
For each ranking, the sum of weighted values across all or some of these key factors was calculated to award each brokerage or exchange its overall rank.
Picking the best crypto exchange can be a complicated process.
First and foremost, you’ll want a secure exchange. As crypto has grown more popular and desirable, it’s become an increasingly large target for hackers, and many leading exchanges, including Binance’s international operation and KuCoin, have been hacked recently to the tune of tens of millions.
While exchanges often reimburse those whose coins are stolen through their insurance, you probably don’t want to be in that position to begin with. That’s why it’s important, to minimise your risk, you only invest your money on reputable exchanges.
You can further minimise your risk by spreading your crypto purchases across multiple exchanges or moving your crypto off of an exchange’s default wallet to your own secure “cold” wallet that is not connected to the internet (and therefore much harder to hack), though you’ll need to keep up with your passcode or you could lose access to your crypto forever. But you’ll also need to look out for withdrawal fees when you move crypto off of an exchange. These often vary by coin type.
Also consider the cryptocurrencies available on a given exchange. You might be perfectly OK using a crypto exchange with only one coin if it’s the only coin you want. Conversely, if you’re a crypto-phile, you may want access to all of the more than 600 available on Gate.io.
But sheer availability of coins isn’t sufficient if there are no trades happening. You’ll ideally want to see hundreds of millions of pounds of daily crypto trading happening to ensure you’ll have enough liquidity, so you can easily trade your coins and sterling when you want or need to.
If you’re an advanced crypto trader, you may want to make sure your preferred exchange offers the trading types—like limit orders, which can prevent slippage by setting a hard price—and margin you want. Remember trade types involving the latter are still evolving, so different exchanges’ offerings may vary over time.
If you’re just getting started with buying cryptocurrency, look for an easy-to-use platform with thorough educational resources to help you understand this complex, rapidly developing commodity.
And don’t forget about fees. You may be fine with paying a premium for a simple interface when you’re still learning the ropes, but higher fees eat into your eventual returns. High-frequency traders especially want to lower costs.
Finally, don’t assume that an exchange is available in the UK just because you can access its website.
And remember picking the best crypto exchange can be complicated, and the factors above are some of the key considerations.
A crypto exchange is a marketplace where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ether or Dogecoin.
Crypto exchanges work a lot like brokerage platforms you may be more familiar with. Each offers a portal where you can create different order types to buy, sell and speculate on cryptocurrencies with other users.
Crypto exchanges can be centralised, meaning they are managed by one corporate authority, like a brokerage company that facilitates the security of trades, or decentralised. Decentralised exchanges generally distribute verification powers to anyone willing to join a network and certify transactions, much like cryptocurrency blockchains themselves. This may help increase accountability and transparency as well as ensure an exchange can keep running if something happens to a company running an exchange.
To buy cryptocurrency, you’ll need to create an account with a crypto exchange. You may need to obtain a crypto wallet to hold your cryptocurrency, or your exchange may provide one. Be careful when picking a crypto exchange as some provide wallets that do not let you transfer your coins off of the platform. This may create security risks, for instance if they are hacked. You’d have to sell and rebuy your coins, which might have tax implications.
Once you’ve picked an exchange and a wallet, you’ll be able to buy crypto by transferring money into your account  You may even be able to buy crypto with a credit or debit card, though this may carry additional fees, some of which can get quite high, possibly up to 5% of your transaction. Some crypto exchanges will let you use other cryptocurrencies or their own branded stablecoins to fund transactions.
Exchanges have different requirements, often depending on the type of cryptocurrency you want to buy. You may be able to buy fractional shares of coins for pennies or just a few pounds. Be sure to check your chosen crypto exchange’s requirements for the coin you want to buy.
To open a crypto exchange account, visit the exchange’s website or download its app. Each crypto exchange has its own unique registration process, and with some, you may be able to make an account and buy and sell small amounts of crypto without verifying your identity or submitting much sensitive information. But as the industry has evolved, measures to prevent money laundering and fraud have been introduced. In general, you’ll need to provide:
You may also have to verify your identity by submitting photo identification.
My work has appeared in TheStreet, Mansion Global, CNN, CNN Money, DNAInfo, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, and the New York Daily News. I’m an alumna of the London School of Economics and hold a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Follow or DM me on Twitter at @farranpowell.
Ben is the Retirement and Investing Editor for Forbes Advisor. With two decades of business and finance journalism experience, Ben has covered breaking market news, written on equity markets for Investopedia, and edited personal finance content for Bankrate and LendingTree.

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