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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, CoinJar, Celsius, Kraken all 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.

Crypto Exchange

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. 

*in no particular order

Cup of tea to the ready. Ah... โ˜•


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.


Best Crypto Exchange โ€“ British Reviews

Service ProviderRating
1. Coinbaseโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
2. Geminiโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
3. FTXโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
4. Krakenโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
5. KuCoinโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account


1. Coinbase Review โ€“ The Most 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.

PROS

  • 100 coins available
  • Worldโ€™s second-biggest exchange
  • Top self-custody mobile wallet
  • Immense trading volume

CONS

  • Awful customer support
  • Higher fees than FTX

2. Gemini Review โ€“ Best-Regulated Crypto Exchange

Our second 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.

Weaknesses include less advanced trading capabilities than the likes of FTX. 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%.

PROS

  • Great regulatory fitness
  • Accepted almost everywhere
  • Free wire or ACH transfers
  • Superb mobile app

CONS

  • Six times the fees of FTX
  • Less advanced than FTX

3. FTX Review โ€“ Brightest โ€˜Rising-Starโ€™ Crypto Exchange

Truth is, there’s no simple answer to the question, Where is the best place to buy crypto? For one, we all live in different countries. For instance, Binance isn’t available in Texas, but can be used in other states. (Binance UK isn’t even available at all.)

But each exchange on this list is world-leading...

FTX seems to have exploded from nowhere, to become the third-biggest crypto exchange, according to Coin Market Cap. 

Forged back in 2017, it was originally headquartered in Hong Kong – which should be of some real significant note to index fund and stock investors, who are paying careful attention to the rise of China against the diminishing strength of the US dollar – and has massive venture capitalist and hedge fund backing.

For instance, the first massive funding happened in 2021, which saw $900 million raised and an additional $420 million later in that year according to estimates – which means a dizzying $1.3 billion invested by high net-worth venture capitalist individuals, into this crypto exchange. The list of investors also includes traditional financiers like BlackRock, and even sports “G.O.A.T.” Tom Brady and his wife Gisele who have shares in the exchange.

But how was all of that money spent?

For one, on a ton of sponsorship deals including the game Fortnite, which means FTX now logs more daily visitors than Coinbase. Deposit method supported our bank of Ireland bank transfers, however as with most exchanges there are excessive premium fees for using cards for deposits. Bank transfers are therefore typically recommended with crypto exchanges.

Because trading costs really compound over time, you want them to be as low as possible. However, taker fees at FDX start from only 0.07%. These can be further reduced by stacking multiple fee discounts.. To begin with, hold FTT tokens which gives you an additional fee discount; it’s worth the extra spend on the token to get that additional discount.

Other standout features include Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs), which gives you early access to products, NFT marketplaces, the ability to track tokenized stocks such as Amazon, prediction markets such as “What are the odds of Trump winning the 2024 election?”, and the NFT Quant Zone which lets you automate your trading strategies, so you don’t have to actively trade daily.

PROS

  • Prediction markets
  • Automated trading to save time
  • Massive global backing
  • Taker fees just 0.06% (via our link)
  • IEOs

CONS

  • Support is only by email ticket

4. Kraken Review โ€“ 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%. This is still behind FTX’s rates (which is almost four times cheaper). But if you use Kraken, we highly recommend that you use the pro service – these really add up each time you buy or sell!

PROS

  • Longest track-record of crypto
  • More than 80 different coins available
  • Many exotic crypto forms available
  • Fully licensed in the UK

CONS

  • Higher rates than FTX
  • Platform needs upgrades

5. KuCoin Review โ€“ 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, such as FTX, 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.

PROS

  • 25% have a KC account
  • Earn very high interest on coins
  • 500+ exotic coins
  • Fees match Binance

CONS

  • Bad for U.S. or China based users
  • Direct funding is messy (use crypto-to-crypto instead)

Top Crypto Exchanges - Buying Guide ๐Ÿ“š

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:


Whatโ€™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.

Biggest 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.


Time Chain

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

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.


Decentralized

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.

Monero

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.


FAQs

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?

  1. Sign up. Binance or Coinbase, for example.
  2. Fund. Options vary by provider.
  3. Trade. You can exchange GBP-to-crypto or crypto-to-crypto.
  4. Secure your crypto. Using a crypto wallet vs. the exchange’s storage.