Binance UK was banned last year – yet, the dot com version still works a bit for us. How about the other exchanges? PayPal doesn’t even let you take coins off its exchange. Meanwhile, some grow wealth fast and offer good security – still the UK market gets pretty messy. It's tricky to know what the actual best crypto exchange deal is.
That’s where Hosting Data comes in. It’s what we do – we see clearly through the data, with you, the everyday user, in mind. So let’s review top crypto exchanges.
Table of Contents:
- Best Crypto Exchanges for Beginners
- 1. eToro
- 2. Uphold
- 3. Binance
- 4. Coinbase
- 5. Gemini
- 6. Kraken
- 7. KuCoin
- 8. Crypto.com
- 9. Huobi
- 10. OKX
- Buying Guide
Cup of tea to the ready. Ah... ☕
Best Crypto Exchange for Beginners
Considering a crypto exchange? When crunching your Trading Data, take time to know your strategy and use good financial common sense.
But the only way to start is to dive in.
|Service Provider||Rating||Sign up|
|*1. eToro||★★★★★||Open Account|
|2. Uphold||★★★★★||Open Account|
|3. Binance||★★★★★||Open Account|
|4. Coinbase||★★★★★||Open Account|
|5. Gemini||★★★★★||Open Account|
|6. Kraken||★★★★★||Open Account|
|7. KuCoin||★★★★★||Open Account|
|8. Crypto.com||★★★★★||Open Account|
|9. Huobi||★★★★★||Open Account|
|10. OKX||★★★★★||Open Account|
*eToro disclaimer: Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.
1. eToro Review - The Best Overall: More Than Just Cryptocurrency
eToro is far more than just a cryptocurrency exchange. They have a really great exchange, but they’ve grown into something far more detailed than just cryptocurrency. However, that will always be their roots and it remains a popular part of what they have to offer.
Their exchange has close to 100 cryptocurrencies, in addition to stocks, indices, commodities, fiat currencies, ETFs, and more.
This crypto exchange platform is known for their low and affordable fees. Crypto trades do have fees, but they are a flat 1% fee every time. This way you know exactly what to expect and there’s no guessing game or trying to figure out the fee tiers. You can make deposits and withdrawals with absolutely no fees involved.
eToro is compatible with a variety of payment methods. You can use the traditional debit or credit card and bank transfers, but they also offer things like eToro Money, Skrill, Neteller, Trustly, and other similar payment methods too. They have really great customer support that is available 24/7 through multiple different contact methods.
This platform has been around for more than 10 years now. They’ve changed some through the years, but most of their changes have brought them to an overall better place along the way. They’ve created an integrated app that lets you do anything all in one place, which is very convenient and useful.
One of the top things eToro is known for is the ability to copy trade, or social trade. You can review examples of real trades made by successful users and then you can copy that trade if you want to. It’s a pretty neat option.
2. Uphold Review - One of The Top Choices for a Crypto Exchange in The UK
Uphold is one of the top choices for a crypto exchange in the UK.
As an FCA-regulated exchange, they have security and simplicity for you to access and trade a wide variety of cryptocurrencies.
They have a lot of great features and multiple payment method choices too. Uphold provides users access to more than 250 cryptocurrencies. You can buy, sell, and even stake your holdings on this exchange. The deposits you make can be instant and they are always cheap. Payment methods include bank transfers, credit card, and multiple other selections as well.
Uphold stands out in one specific area. They have reserves that are audited and you can find proof of those audits. This tells you that they truly mean business and they place themselves in a protected and longstanding position. Your cryptocurrencies are in their custody on the exchange, but you can get up close and personal to how they keep those assets safe and back them on a 1:1 ratio too. It’s all about transparency.
Asset choices are not tied to only crypto. That is the majority of this exchange, but you can also access a few shares, precious metals, and even fiat currencies if you wish to. Their customer support is available 24/7 through multiple means, giving customers convenient support any time that they need it.
The fees are reasonable. Deposits are free, unless you use a card. The fee tied to cards is right around 2.5%, which isn’t as high as some. You can avoid the fees by using other methods. The crypto trading fees vary depending on the spread and the crypto, but they hover close to 1% on most trades, give or take a little.
3. Binance Review - One of The Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges in The World
Binance is one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and it’s a great choice in the UK too. Binance did go through an FCA investigation awhile back that hurt their reputation, but they have bounced back and cooperated with the regulatory authorities.
The downside is because of this, they can’t support GBP deposits or withdrawals, which limits customers in some ways. However, you can still access a wide variety of crypto, you just will need to determine an alternative payment method.
Binance is at the top of their game in terms of being a popular exchange. They host more than 100 million people around the world and they have astronomically high trading values too. It’s easy to set up a Binance account, although the funding fees for alternative payment methods can get high. Deposit money wisely in order to reduce your fee liabilities.
One of the reasons Binance is so popular is because the exchange provides users access to more than 1,000 tradeable assets. That’s a pretty incredible number when you compare it to the competitors out there. Most of the time, you’re doing good to get more than 200 assets, but they bring you a whopping 1,000+. And did we mention that many of the pairs have a low commission of only .1%?
Binance rewards active traders with lower fees and commissions, so this could be a good spot if you are doing a lot of trading. Their minimum deposit is less than £5, which is also a nice feature. While their total assets available mark more than 1,000, they are not all crypto. That being said, cryptocurrency has more than 500 assets available.
The fees are competitive and it’s nice to be able to access a wide variety of things that are similar to the crypto markets. With so much quick access, it’s no wonder they continue to be a top choice in the industry.
4. Coinbase Review – Very Popular Crypto Exchange
If you believe there is safety in numbers, then Coinbase is second only to Binance and has been used by nearly every trader, regardless of trading level – founded in 2012, it was one of the first ever crypto exchanges, and became publicly listed on the stock exchange in 2021.
This exchange has more than 73 million verified users, which is insane. You’re exposed to over £190B in assets on the platform, with an incredible amount of liquid trading volume.
On the legal side of things, Coinbase has a ton of trading licences under its belt and it’s also regulated as a money services business – available to citizens of over 100 countries.
Funding varies according to what country you are based in. However, for UK traders, you’ll want to use bank transfers (SEPA), which are commission-free (other methods incur ridiculously high fees on most exchanges, including CB).
Coinbase actually has two different account types – the same login and password gives you access to both accounts, once you register you gain access to both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro automatically. If you want exposure to more advanced trading options, definitely choose the Pro version. But what are fees like?
Maker and Taker fees begin from 0.5%, but you’ll get a better rate according to how much you trade inside of a month. Most traders will be within the range of 0.35% to 0.5%. So if you want a massive exchange that is highly regulated, with moderately good fees, then CB is a good option.
As for the number of coins available, they’ve recently expanded the number of crypto available to 100, which should be more than enough for most. And the mobile phone self-custody wallet app is phenomenal, not requiring you to have a Coinbase account. It lets you store up to 500 different types of coins. This is one of the best free mobile-phone crypto wallets.
If you use the exchange, you can also order a Coinbase card, for spending your crypto on-the-go, which costs around a fiver.
5. Gemini Review – Best-Regulated Crypto Exchange
Our next pick was founded by the chaps who had a dispute with Mark Zuckerberg over who came up with the idea of Facebook – but there is no argument in the case of Gemini.
Created by the Winklevoss twins, let’s explore this exchange.
Gemini popped up in 2015, with regulatory compliance being one of its strongest points.
They even booked ads on the New York subway regularly quoting the message “Finally, a fully-regulated place to buy and sell crypto.” Notably, they’re regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services, which most popular crypto exchanges aren’t – which means most crypto can’t be used in New York fully regulated, but Gemini has overcome this obstacle.
This regulatory fitness also means that Gemini is accepted in a large number of countries, over 60, including every single U.S. state and spanning every continent other than Antarctica. Deposit options are wide, including ACH and wire transfers, as well as Apple and Google Play, and debit cards. However, to avoid deposit fees, wire and ACH transfers are free. And the mobile app is incredible.
As for trading fees, Gemini’s default (simplified) trading route should be avoided, charging you 1.49% for any orders of over around £150, plus an extra fee of 0.5%. (Compare this with the 0.06% of FDX – this means it’s 30 times more to use Gemini. But use the Active Trader Gemini platform for more reasonable fees – these are still about six times higher, at 0.35%.
6. Kraken Review – Oldest Trusted Crypto Exchange
Breaking News Alert! The tremendous Kraken ravages the stormy oceans of crypto with its deep access to different coins at terrific rates – Kraken has its tentacles in every.
Let’s restart, with a tad less of the theatrics.
Kraken is certainly still kicking up a storm in the crypto world. That’s because they have the longest track-record of any still-active crypto exchange around. They were founded way back into 2011, which is old in crypto years.
The platform itself could do a few upgrades but there’s still a lot to love. It’s indeed beloved by crypto vets everywhere. But why?
Bitcoin was mysteriously unleashed into the world by the equally mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2009 – however, available crypto infrastructure was sparse. Only two years later however, Kraken offered his services. Which makes them legends in this game. Founded by equally legendary Jesse Powell, he is also the person who founded Mt Gox which saw a massive hack where crypto investors ended up homeless on the streets.
On trading fees, Kraken’s ordinary platform has terrible fees at 1.5%. However if you use the Kraken Pro platform, you get maker fees of 0.16% and taker fees of 0.26%. If you use Kraken, we highly recommend that you use the pro service – these really add up each time you buy or sell!
7. KuCoin Review – Most Diverse Best Interest Crypto Exchange
1-in-every-4 crypto currency holders has an account with KuCoin – a crypto exchange that makes even Binance look skimpy on its number of alternative coin offerings.
Indeed, choose from over 500 different exotic coins.
That’s a crazy amount. By comparison, Binance has a bit over 400. While the other exchanges on this guide don’t offer more than 100.
This can be bought by Visa, MasterCard or bank transfer using the P2P marketplace. (The process isn’t the easiest – my recommended way to purchase coins is to convert your fiat money into bitcoin using a very cheap crypto exchange, then send their crypto to KuCoin rather than trying to navigate KC’s payment systems!)
Terms of trading fees, the standard taker and maker fee is 0.1%, matching Binance. This is discounted by 20% if you pay using KuCoin’s native currency.
But there’s more.
KuCoin goes way beyond just providing lots of alt coins. It offers tons of high-impact features – including trading bots that let you automate your strategies. KC offers this entirely for free, with over 4,700,000 bots available. In terms of earning interest in crypto holdings, KC spoils its users with some of these in the high double-figures.
8. Crypto.com Review - Great for Options and Functionality
Crypto.com is one of the oldest crypto exchanges available.
They don’t have quite as many tradable assets as exchanges like Binance, but they still offer quite a bit in terms of options and functionality.
With their long time in the markets, they’ve learned what really works in being an exchange and they provide customers with a wide variety of choices.
This exchange platform is known for their top security features as well as the ability to trade crypto on margin. Margin trading capability is one feature that you don’t often find with crypto trading exchanges and apps because it’s high risk for both the trader and the marginal provider. You do have to be approved in order to trade on limited margin, but it’s still an option there.
Crypto.com has their own native token, which is Cronos. Of course, you have easy access to this token and you can even use it to pay fees or earn rewards and cashback within the platform. Crypto.com is high on the fee scale compared to some of the competitors.
However, if you trade in high volume, you can get kickbacks and reduce your fees quite a bit. If you’re a low volume trader, there may be better options for you.
Crypto.com might seem like a web-based domain because of the name, but they do have a pretty great mobile app. You can access the exchange and trading platform from the mobile app or from a browser. They do incorporate safety measures so you are covered wherever you login.
9. Huobi Review - Great for Rewards
Huobi is a global provider that offers far more than just crypto on a grand scale. However, they have a pretty neat crypto exchange that is most known for the ability to earn interest and returns. Some people like Huobi specifically to set up a passive income, but there are other options for using this exchange too.
Huobi has a unique approach. You deposit funds and assets and Huobi pays you interest in order to lend other people money with those funds. It’s like a savings account, which is one of the features that makes them so popular. The fees that you pay Huobi are fairly limited, equalling out at .20% on any type of crypto trade.
Huobi likes to reward their users with more than just paying them interest. They also give bonuses and points in their rewards hub. You can earn quite a bit from them in these places too. Huobi is a massive platform. Their 24-hour trading volume averages over £2 billion every day, which is astronomical.
On this platform, you can access well over 500 different cryptocurrencies. They do provide you with some security measures and they have risk management in place as well. For the past 9 years, they have been incident free in terms of risk, hacking, or any other threat to their customers.
You can trade from anywhere thanks to their mobile app. You can also access Huobi through API if you prefer, which offers some flexibility for accessibility.
10. OKX Review - Powerful Crypto Exchange Platform
OKX is considered to be a powerful crypto exchange platform. Their fees are low and you have a lot of really great access. You might recognize OKX as their previous name, which was OKEx. They rebranded in 2022 for simplicity and the change got them a lot of recognition and growth in the crypto markets.
OKX is known for providing their users a lot of great education tools and resources. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, they have materials that you can turn to and they’re pretty great. This detail alone makes them suitable for any level of experience on the crypto platform. They have also never been hacked in their entire history, which is more than you can say for a lot of the exchanges out there.
The exchange focuses heavily on security, which might be a contributing factor to the concept of not being hacked. They hold 95% of their client funds offline in cold storage facilities, making them one of the most secure exchanges in terms of not being as vulnerable in a hacking situation. It’s working well for them and their customers.
OKX has low fees, which are another winning trait of the exchange. Takers and makers have different fees, but both are less than 1%. Taker fees are only .1%, which is practically unheard of in the crypto exchange industry. They offer access to close to 200 cryptocurrencies, giving you a wide variety of assets to work with.
Top Crypto Exchanges - Buying Guide 📚
This section is good for beginners who are still learning how crypto exchanges work. It should also help you to discern between the top crypto exchanges available to use:
What’s a Crypto Exchange?
Crypto exchanges are digital marketplaces that let you buy, hold, or sell cryptocurrency. They also track supply and demand moves of various crypto coins across global markets.
In other words, it’s similar to how a foreign exchange tracks currency pairs or a stock market tracks stocks. You can log in, in order to view pricing data, latest news, charts, educational resources on a specific equity or security - before you transact.
Popular crypto exchanges include Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Shapeshift, OKEx Bitfinex, and Poloniex. Crypto exchanges work similarly to stock brokerage platforms found in traditional financial exchanges.
Over 18,000 coins exist, with a total market cap of almost $2 quadrillion.
Due to the recent rise in popularity of crypto, the availability and number of exchanges has grown somewhat exponentially. CoinMarketCap tracks 460 as of March 2022, with more exchanges emerging on a weekly basis…(it was 311 in December 2021).
Today, Binance is the largest crypto currency exchange in the world, facilitating roughly £22 billion worth of trades each day, with tens of millions of weekly visits and 400+ tradable coins.
This is an immense amount of liquidity. But despite this and other similarities, going from the stock exchange to cryptocurrency exchanges may seem challenging. You need to absorb new terminologies, such as cold vs. hot wallets, and so it’s no wonder that many people feel behind times.
Even if you already have some familiarity, some things are still peculiar to this way of digitally transacting. Indeed, crypto exchanges are partly there to simplify the whole process, making things far easier than it would have been in 2010 or 2005.
How the cryptocurrency exchange formed
The seed of cryptocurrency itself long-existed as a theoretical model, since the early 1980s (David Chaum), far before the first alternative digital currencies entered the public stage. A viable consumer use appeared in the late 2000’s by pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, in a 2008 white paper on the decentralised blockchain.
Then in 2009, Nakamoto offered bitcoin to the public, garnering our enthusiastic crowd of supporters who mined and exchanged the currency. By 2011, there were dozens of similar coins, including Litecoin.
Early exchanges of cryptocurrencies were originally simply the exchange of a few pounds for bitcoin’s or other coins. With increasing adoption, more competition entered into the market. Tokens became a thing and speculation increased.
Crypto exchanges became an important way to track the market; to facilitate consumer speculation and investor speculation of newer more volatile coins, i.e. the trade of coins solely or largely for the sake of making a profit.
The forex market itself arose after a decision to switch to floating exchange rates (think of the flickering numbers that compare one currency versus another, and live charts) towards the middle of the last century, when it became obvious that financial institutions could not provide enough supply of currency that was backed by the gold reserve.
Forex exchange rates are very stable relative to cryptocurrencies. Forex currencies may change in price within a few decimal places. Whereas cryptocurrencies vary much more wildly or substantially, and can appreciate or depreciate by as much as 100% against the pound sterling inside of a day.
CEX vs. DEX Exchanges
There are two main types of crypto exchange:
Centralised exchanges are the most popular. Private firms host these, providing software (normally a platform) and the data needed to purchase, sell, trade, and sometimes hold crypto.
The most popular decentralised platforms around are Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase. When you register on a centralised exchange, you register an account and verify your identity and other personal details, so that the companies can comply with consumer regulations.
This functions similarly to online stock brokerage services, where a trader funds his or her account with a fiat currency such as the Japanese Yen and then buys crypto using that fiat.
Once the trader gets some crypto, they can store it in a crypto wallet (either in their own personal wallet detached from the exchange, also called ‘cold storage,’ or directly on the exchange). This can be an investment strategy, where a coin is held in order to speculate on price changes in the future.
Benefits include: relatively low-cost, ease of use, accessibility, higher security and lots of liquidity, tools and data, in a user-friendly, convenient platform.
Centralised exchange drawbacks: It’s at odds with the principles of decentralisation, custodial wallets give you less sovereignty over your crypto, and you’re required to provide personally-identifying-information (PII data).
Decentralised exchanges (advanced)
Decentralised exchanges (DEXs) also allow you to buy, trade, sell, and sometimes hold crypto currencies. You’ll also find that many decentralised platforms give you good data and tools for quickly making informed trading decisions.
But the differences run deep. For starters, decentralised exchanges do not exist on a single, core server; instead, as with the blockchain, the exchange is distributed throughout multiple computers so that - if one machine goes down or becomes compromised - others can run independently of the machine.
Decentralised systems make it very hard for exchanges to be hacked, although it’s happened in the past (all of the big exchanges have at some point).
Because there is no central administrator, these exchanges cannot be given to government oversight or regulations (which contrasts with centralised exchanges that have to comply with policies at the global, national, and local legal levels). Depending on your personal position on government regulation for monetary trading, this could be a positive or negative thing.
Because there’s no KYC, some hacking cartels use DEXes as a way to launder stolen money from other exchanges. For instance, 2022 revealed that $1.5 million in ETH stolen from AscendEX was moved by perpetrators to the Uniswap exchange.
What Are Privacy Coins and Are They Legal?
This section will overview how privacy coins work. If you indeed immediately want to fill your crypto wallet with a few completely (as much as is possible) private coins, then you can head back up to the ‘Privacy Coin reviews’ part of this guide.
How do privacy coins work?
Privacy coins are cryptocurrencies that maintain anonymity by masking the movement of money across networks. It’s harder to figure out who transferred what to whom - a good strategy if you don’t want financial overseers spying on your activities.
In essence, it’s the sophisticated privacy capabilities that differentiate privacy coins from others like Bitcoin. The two biggest previously coined names by market capitalisation are Monero and Zcash.
A third big name, Dash, was once privacy-preserving, flying under the name “Darkcoin,” but found the light, so to speak, and changed its marketing in 2015 in order to become a player in the digital payments race. Its CEO Ryan Taylor now publicly advocates for complete transparency of transactions and personally identifying information (PII) data, collected by an additional off-exchange.
Monero remains one of the only privacy coins that has this feature by default. And it cannot be turned off, unlike Zcash. In order to obscure the transactions, Monero uses throwaway “stealth addresses” for each transaction (certain VPNs, like ExpressVPN, use a similar protocol to bypass censorship in states like China).
Meanwhile, “ring signatures” bind authentic transactions to premade “decoy” transactions, in order to further obscure what transaction is real. And, in order to mask the actual amount of Monero that has been said in the transaction, “ringCT” functions are used.
Nevertheless, Zcash is indeed a privacy coin that can be used for hiding transactions, or enabling transparent transactions. When transacting privately with Zcash, this occurs using It’s zero-knowledge proofs model: a form of mathematical cryptography that authenticates the legitimacy of an operation - such as a transaction’s validity - while withholding the publishing of additional (PII) data regarding the transaction, such as amounts or addresses.
What’s the Biggest Crypto Exchange in the World?
By far, Binance (daily volume: just under $15 billion, as of March 11, 2022: Statista). Although Coinbase is a very commonly-used exchange in terms of brand-recognition, it actually ranks in 10th-place ($2.5 billion).
What’s the Safest Cryptocurrency in the World?
Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most stable. By comparison, “altcoins” are smaller and less stable, offering high ROI in bull markets and greater depreciation in bear markets.
How Can I Trade Crypto?
- Sign up. Binance or Coinbase, for example.
- Fund. Options vary by provider.
- Trade. You can exchange GBP-to-crypto or crypto-to-crypto.
- Secure your crypto. Using a crypto wallet vs. the exchange’s storage.