11 Best Crypto Exchanges in 2022 - In-depth reviews
Too busy for full read? Here’s the BEST Cryptocurrency Exchange for 2022
Binance allows users to easily trade crypto-to-crypto in over 500+ different cryptocurrencies and virtual assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Cardano (ADA) and many more.
When Bitcoin made its first appearance in 2009, people expressed various opinions around it. Some would view it as a new asset and some others as a risky opportunity.
So many years later, not only Bitcoin is still present, but so many other crypto coins have come into existence. While crypto coins gained more credibility as time went by, people started recognizing a new means of investment, different from stocks and other traditional assets.
Since people became interested, a new demand was born for a place where one could buy and sell cryptocurrency, exchange cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency and exchange a crypto coin back into fiat currency in order to withdraw the potential gains.
Today, there are lots of cryptocurrency exchanges, both centralized and decentralized. Since the crypto exchange market out there is large enough, this article is going to save you some time and assist you into choosing the right exchange for your specific needs.
We are going to present some key features of the 11 best crypto exchanges in 2022, analyze some of their pros and cons and make a fair comparison among them.
Short on time? Here’s the summary of May 2022’s BEST Crypto Exchanges
- Binance – Low fees, advanced trading options and order types and a large variety of assets and pairs.
- Paxful – A peer to peer crypto exchange that accepts virtually any payment method.
- Huobi Global – Tier system exchange with very high liquidity and wide selection of coins.
- Cex.io – Regulated and licensed worldwide, the most trustworthy.
- Changelly – Can be accessed from every country in the world and requires no KYC verification.
- Bitmart – Best choice for altcoins, containing a thousand unique coins.
The Best Crypto Exchanges – Full Analysis (Updated May 2022)
Our dedicated team of experienced crpyto traders and blockchain enthusiasts conducted various tests on dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges over the years to find out which ones are the best in terms of security, trading fees, ease of use and number of available currencies.
All these features are brought down in our in-depth review and we picked 11 best exchanges for you to choose from.
1. Binance - Advanced trading options and order types
Binance was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao. It is the first exchange that comes to mind when talking about crypto exchanges. Every newcomer who wants to get into trading, will stumble upon Binance. Don’t let that fool you though, since Binance is used by many experienced traders as well.
Binance is arguably one of the largest exchanges with thousands of trades taking place in a daily basis. It also offers an option for buying and selling NFTs and it has its own learning platform.
Trading fees in Binance are dependent on the payment method one uses and the type of transaction one makes. But generally, Binance currently offers the lowest fees in the market. Accepted payment methods are debit and credit cards and wire transfers. Binance doesn’t currently support electronic banks such as Paypal or Payoneer.
To open an account with Binance, you will have to visit their website and follow the respective steps. Keep in mind that you will have to go through a verification process which includes you uploading some documents and get involved into a facial verification via your computer camera.
Although Binance is a huge crypto exchange, there are countries that are placing it under investigation or are limiting its services. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Binance scores 2 out of 5 stars in Trustpilot reviews but at the same time it remains a dominant exchange in the market.
2. Paxful - Convenient set up to start trading
Paxful is a peer to peer trading platform, which means it allows users to come in and get involved in trading with each other. The platform is exceptionally convenient for users to get in and make a trade because it accepts a wide array of payment methods. Bank transfers, credit cards, Paypal, gift cards and many many more.
On the downside of that, since this is a peer to peer platform, you have to be careful because you may potentially come across some bad intentioned scammers. P2P platforms usually incorporate an escrow system, which is designed to protect the users’ payment and if things go wrong, the user is refunded. But you can never be too careful.
Paxful offers its own affiliate program and rewards you for bringing people on the platform. If you bring a person on the platform and they make a transaction, you will be able to get a revenue out of it.
To buy on Paxful, you have to visit the platform and search for the coin you need. You will see a list of sellers that are offering that coin and you will be able to compare their prices and what payment method each one of them accepts. You will need to contact the seller and follow the on-site instructions to complete the transaction. You can also join the platform as a seller, if you have any crypto you want to sell.
3. Huobi Global - Offers deep liquidity in major trading pairs
Huobi was founded in 2013 in China and since then has become one of the largest crypto exchanges in Asia. Huobi offers a large amount of crypto coins to trade as well as other options such as crypto staking and lending, which can be useful to investors aiming for long term gains.
Huobi features a tier system for its users. Users can collect XP in the platform, just like they would collect in a game. The collected XP depends on a number of factors such as trading volume and total account holdings. Using those experience points, a user can upgrade his account. Each tier offers unique capabilities and lifts a number of limitations.
This exchange offers deep liquidity, which means it’s relatively easy to convert crypto assets into fiat currency. That’s definitely a good thing. Huobi offers both a web platform and a mobile app for the users to trade on the go. Fees in Huobi may vary from user to user and they are affected by factors such as the user’s tier.
Huobi is considered a quite secure exchange since it saves its users’ assets in cold wallets. However, the platform’s popularity has dropped due to the fact that Huobi failed to meet regulatory requirements and synchronize with some countries’ laws. A fact that raised suspicion against the platform and forced authorities to investigate it.
To open an account with Huobi, you just have to visit their website and follow the steps. Payment methods accepted in the platform include bank transfers and debit or credit card payments.
4. Cex.io - Most trustworthy
Cex.io initially started as a crypto mining service but later shifted and became a crypto exchange. They are pretty serious about being legally covered, since Cex.io is a well regulated platform.
The exchange offers a variety of options including spot and margin trading, staking and lending; making it a good place for both trading and investing. It offers 100 cryptocurrencies, which is a fine number when compared to some exchanges and a medium number when compared to some others. But we have to appreciate the fact that Cex.io takes care of their legal issues and security, proving the platform to be a trustworthy one.
Cex.io offers three different account types and each of them has its own unique features and limitations. Trading fees in the platform are calculated on a daily basis for each user and they depend on the value of a user’s transaction. For example, the maximum trading fee one can pay as a maker is 0.15% and 0.25% as a taker. If the value of your trades raises above 10,000USD, the fees gradually drop. Please keep in mind that deposit and withdrawal fees also apply.
To add funds in Cex.io, you will have to use a bank issued card or a bank transfer. As we already know till now, this platform’s sign up process is similar to the other platforms. You will have to use your e-mail and phone number and complete three stages of verification. Identity, address and one additional verification stage. While signing up, you will be able to choose your account type.
5. Changelly - Wide global access
Changelly is located in Europe and, in particular, in Prague. It has been functioning since 2016 and is equipped with all the necessary tools an exchange should come with. The platform can be accessed from any place in the world and doesn’t impose any geographic limitations. However, the platform functions unregulated in the United States.
It also accepts all different kinds of fiat currencies, which then get converted into Euros or Dollars inside the platform. This is definitely convenient. But on the other side, you can’t exchange cryptos for fiat currency. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll have to work your way around it.
However, you should take a look at their official website first. Changelly imposes some transaction limitations in terms of value. Some pairs may have a minimum amount of transaction around 50 dollars, which may be a disadvantage sometimes.
But that limitation is probably a counterbalance measure to their privacy. Changelly does not get you involved in any identity or address verification, which might be appreciated by people who have privacy concerns or possibly don’t get any electricity or telephone bills on their legal name, making the verification process a real struggle for them.
The platform does not have an in-built wallet. Hence, you have to already own a wallet address that you can use to store your assets. About that, Changelly can be used to trade around 200 cryptocurrencies. Fees are fair when it comes to trading crypto for crypto but they are higher when it comes to buying crypto with fiat currency.
6. Bitmart - Largest amount of cryptocurrency
Bitmart was founded in 2017 in Cayman Islands and it gradually grew to accommodate around 1,000 unique cryptocurrencies. Although that number may feel overwhelming, the platform is friendly towards beginners, offering them simple buy and sell options to get them started. It’s apparent than if one wants to act as a scouter and search for new and upcoming coins, this is the platform to go for.
Bitmart acts both as a web platform and has also developed a mobile app, which is always useful to have. A positive feature of the platform is that it allows users to easily buy cryptos by using their bank issued cards as long as Apple Pay and Paypal.
Fees in the platform follow a tier structure system. Tiers are decided by a user’s trading activity. The good news is that Bitmart will allow you to trade in the platform by making the verification process a bit easier than the other platforms.
Bitmart divides its verification process into two levels. For the first level of verification, you won’t need to provide proof of address documents. However, you will still need to verify your e-mail and phone number. Of course, there are some limits applied to this level and if you want to lift them, you will have to eventually complete the whole verification process. But it wouldn’t hurt to take a look around the platform and gain some experience from it.
7. Crypto.com - Supports advanced order types
Crypto.com is probably the most famous exchange in this list, right after Binance. The exchange allows its users to trade and stake a total of 250 coins. The exchange also functions as an NFT marketplace, allowing the users to buy and sell NFTs. The exchange was founded in 2016 in Hong Kong and now operates in around 90 countries worldwide.
Trading fees are fairly low and the platform features its own coin, which is called CRO. If you hold enough CRO, the platform rewards you with lower trading fees. Crypto.com offers both a web based platform and a mobile app with an intuitive interface. The mobile app is well-equipped with options and one can effectively use it for trading and staking.
As we mentioned, trading fees are fairly low. But not the lowest around. A user can lower their fees if they use the platform more often to make transactions and accumulate or deposit a large amount of assets.
To open an account with crypto.com, you will have to download their mobile app and sign up with your real name, e-mail and phone number. You will have to follow a verification process which includes uploading your ID, taking a selfie and uploading some additional proof of address documents. Then you will have to link a payment method to use to fund your account. Supported payment methods are bank issued cards and bank transfers.
8. Coinmama - Supports advanced order types
Coinmama can be a suitable place for beginners. It doesn’t offer many trading options and the coins included are limited. But at the same time, the platform has been well-established and it offers a fair sense of security. Coinmama verifies its users to minimize the potential risk of scammers joining in and making transactions in the platform.
That being said, Coinmama operates in 188 countries worldwide and it only offers the most established and well-known coins: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Cardano, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple and Tezos. And that’s it. So obviously, if you are looking for something more, this platform is not for you. However, it can serve as a fine starting place and you can build from there.
Fees are relatively high. The platform divides its users into tiers and each tier pays its own fee percentage. But in any case, the lowest fee one can pay does not drop under 2.90% on each transaction.
To use Coinmama, you have to visit their website and sign up. The sign up process follows the typical verification process and you will have to provide a picture of yourself as well as some government issued documents.
Finally, Coinmama is a straightforward and simple platform that offers a limited number of coins and it’s mostly suitable for newcomers. It may feel like it’s lacking many options compared to other exchanges but one has to appreciate its simplicity if that’s what they are looking for.
9. Gate.io - Various options for trading and investing
Gate.io offers an impressive amount of trading and investing options. Its platform contains everything you might need to make your move. Staking, lending and all the rest. Plus, it features investment plans you can utilize. The downside of that is that the platform can often feel overwhelming to a beginner and may prove difficult to navigate. In any case, the user will have to take their time to look around the platform and get familiar with it.
Unfortunately, Gate.io does not accept fiat currency. That means you have to own some kind of crypto asset to be able to trade in the platform. If you don’t own any, you will have to use another platform to buy some crypto and then come back to Gate.io to trade it for another crypto asset. The platform itself offers you a way to work around that and buy crypto with your debit or credit card through a third party but that would involve high fees.
The platform offers a wide variety of coins and is the right place for you, if you are on the lookout for some new and upcoming coins and you would like to take a chance with them.
Fees in the platform are a bit complex. The fee a user is charged is dependent on whether the user is buying or selling an asset. But the user can’t know in advance which fee he will be charged with, even if they know they are actually buying or selling. The platform itself will charge you a maker or taker fee, judging whereas you are taking liquidity away from the platform or not.
10. Cake DEFI - Best for long term investing
Cake Defi advertises itself as the platform you can use to put your cryptos to work for you. What you can do in this platform, is place your crypto assets into mining pools and then be rewarded about it. But there are two caveats. Firstly, not all coins can be used for this. You can only use the popular ones such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Your reward is given to you in the form of a DFI token, which is the platform’s local token. The thing is, DFI’s value depends heavily on the exchange’s total performance and, thus, is quite unstable.
The same holds true for staking and lending. You can only use a small selection of coins. The platform offers yet another service, which is called “Freezer”. That service allows you to lock your assets in the Cake Defi ecosystem and potentially earn yourself reduced fees.
Their registration process is similar to the other platforms. You have to sign up with your e-mail and phone number and verify them. Further verification is not required in the beginning and you can access the website but you can’t really take any action until you verify your identity or address.
One downside of Cake Defi is that it’s currently operating under a temporary permit until they get their permanent license. Which nobody can be sure if or when will be released. In addition, high fees will make a trader reconsider if they want to get involved in the platform or not.
11. Bitfinex - Best for margin trading
The exchange has been operating since 2012, which makes Bitfinex one of the oldest crypto exchanges. Despite that fact, Bitfinex has been fined in the past and accused of intentional market manipulation. Naturally, that has caused the exchange to lose some of its credibility.
On the other hand, Bitfinex comes with low fees and is also suitable for both newcomers and experienced traders. The platform charges a 0.10% maker fee and a 0.20% taker fee. Bitfinex also features its own local token which is called LEO. If you hold any of that, you can use it to get further discounted transaction fees. The good news is those same fees apply to all kinds of trades: Crypto to Crypto and crypto to fiat.
Bank issued cards and bank transfers are the only accepted payment methods in the platform. If you want to join Bitfinex, you will have to visit their website or download their app and sign up. Like most of the other crypto exchanges, you will have to provide official verification documents to be able to trade in the exchange.
The platform also contains a peer to peer network which allows users to trade with each other or even lend their crypto assets to other users.
As we have already discussed, fees are attached to various actions such as trading fees and deposit or withdrawal fees and they are affected by a variety of factors. However, Binance would be the crypto exchange with the lowest overall trading fees. Another great option when it comes to low fees, would be Bitfinex.
That would be Bitmart. Bitmart is the crypto exchange which contains the largest amount of unique crypto coins available for trading. The platform contains 1.000 coins. With that number laying there, there is no doubt you can spot some great altcoins and keep an eye for new opportunities.
Most crypto exchanges will subdue you to the KYC verification process and will not allow you to make any trades without completing it. However, the Changelly exchange, which we reviewed in this article, will allow you to trade cryptocurrency without requiring any official documents on your part. The only thing you will need to sign up will be your e-mail.
Investing in cryptos is as risky as investing in stocks would be. Crypto exchanges and cryptos’ value is affected by many factors. World events, trading volumes or even tweets of famous and influential people. Like any other investment, you will have to approach crypto exchanges with a certain amount of caution. You should also do some research on the crypto you are interested in as well as the overall crypto market.
KYC is an acronym for the “Know Your Customer” policy and it refers to the identity verification process that most crypto exchanges will require you to complete. First, it requires you to verify your e-mail address and your phone number. Then, most of the times you have to upload your ID and take a selfie. And lastly, you will have to upload a document that proves you really live in the physical address you claim.