Top 10 Crypto Exchanges Ranked by Ease of Use

Published: May 9, 2024 | Last Updated: May 8, 2024

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

In this review, I have ranked the top 10 crypto exchanges based on my own experience with using and researching them. 

If you are new to crypto you will inevitably end up using more than one exchange.

This guide will make it easy for you to choose which one to start with.

I will then show you which other exchanges you are likely to open an account with in the future. 

My experience: I started buying cryptocurrencies in 2017. Back then I decided to open an account with Coinbase and Kraken. I soon realized they didn’t offer some of the newer coins so I started using Binance.

Soon after that, I found that Binance was being too conservative with listing new tokens so I chose to open an account with MEXC, Gate.io, and KuCoin.

Nowadays I use multiple exchanges and crypto wallets to manage my assets. This does not mean I’m rich. It just means I feel confident in moving stuff about in order to seize an opportunity when I think I see one. This is what will happen to you if you continue to study this site (see my Elemental crypto course for more).

In this review, I will highlight the pros and cons of using the exchange. I will post a table comparing trading fees and deposit and withdrawal fees at the end. 

Top 10 crypto exchanges at a glance

  1. Coinbase: a publicly traded company and household brand. 
  2. Kraken: best choice for those who care about security
  3. Binance: for those who live outside the US and seek coin variety
  4. MEXC for new coins and tokens that are not on Binance yet
  5. Robinhood to manage crypto and stocks in one place
  6. Crypto.com for a prepaid card 
  7. Uniswap for Ethereum-based tokens that are not listed on centralized exchanges yet
  8. Chainge Finance for any token under the sun
  9. Bybit
  10. Kucoin

Let take a close look at why I chose these exchanges for my top 10 list. 

1. Coinbase

Most people who don’t know much about crypto have heard of Coinbase. It’s one of the earliest crypto exchanges and is now a publicly traded company in the United States. 

Why I like Coinbase

#1. I feel my crypto is safe

They store the majority of their funds in cold storage and offer two-factor authentication and Vaults. 

Coinbase Vaults allow you to send your funds to cold storage and to set a time delay on withdrawals. The minimum time delay is 48 hours. 

This means that should anyone manage to hack into your account and try to withdraw your crypto they will have to wait a couple of days during which time you will be notified. 

There is only one other exchange that offers such a feature which is why Coinbase is at the top of my list. 

#2. Variety of Coins

With over 250 coins to choose from Coinbase has a decent coin selection and covers all major cryptocurrencies.

#3. User-friendly interface

The mobile app and website are easy to use. Experienced traders can toggle Coinbase Advanced which gives them trading charts and direct access to the order book. 

This means fees are cheaper and you can place advanced order types such as limit orders, stop-loss orders, and the like. See how to set a limit order on the Coinbase app for more.

Tip: Using Coinbase Advanced is not as scary as you think and is worth the money as the fees can be up to 5 times cheaper. 

Coinbase also offers a digital wallet called Coinbase Wallet which integrates well with the Coinbase exchange and which you can use to hook up to decentralized exchanges. Read What is the difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Wallet for more context.

Where Coinbase could improve

  • Coinbase is conservative in listing new coins so you need to use another exchange to find these
  • I have not been able to verify my identity because their system does not recognize Greek characters. Their live chat didn’t allow me a way to speak to a human so my problem was never resolved. 

2. Kraken

When friends ask me which exchange to use I usually tell them to go with Kraken. 

Why I recommend Kraken as one of the best crypto exchanges

#1. Security

Kraken is renowned for its security. It has never been hacked.

Like with Coinbase Kraken allows you to set a time delay on withdrawals. 

In addition, you can set up 3 separate two-factor authentication codes: 

  • one of logging in,
  • one for trading
  • and one for changing your security settings

#2. User interface

Kraken has two mobile apps and a website. The standard Kraken app is leaner but charges higher prices whereas Kraken Pro is aimed at professional traders and offers lower fees. 

Kraken Pro also offers margin trading on specific crypto assets but this is best avoided. See What is leverage in crypto for more

Again the trick here is to use Kraken Pro from the get-go. 

Just don’t be intimidated by the graphs and overall busy look of the app. 

Having said that Kraken Pro has a much cleaner user interface compared to the Asian exchanges such as Binance, Kucoin, and MEXC. 

Like Coinbase, Kraken has released a software wallet that you can use to store your funds. The difference with storing your funds in a wallet is that you still have access to those funds if the exchange goes bust. See What is a crypto address and What is a bitcoin and how does it work to understand this topic better. 

#3. Coin selection

You can choose from over 260 digital assets which means all of the major coins and tokens are covered. 

Where Kraken could improve

  • Most new users find the fact that there are two apps confusing. I sometimes think it would be better if Kraken merged the two together. 
  • The coin selection is limited compared to other exchanges such as crypto.com, MEXC, or Binance. 
  • Like Coinbase Kraken charges slightly higher fees than other exchanges with similar trading volume

3. Binance

 Binance is a behemoth of an exchange. It is the largest one. 

What I like about Binance

#1. Coin Selection

I use Binance because it has coins I cannot find on Kraken or Coinbase. With over 400 coins to choose from you have a much wider choice. 

#2. Security measures

  • Like the rest of the exchanges you can set up two-factor authentication and you need to input that plus a code sent to your email address to confirm a transaction. 
  • Binance emails you once a transaction is performed

#3. Features

Binance is the largest exchange because it is feature-rich. Here are some of the things it offers

  • Price alerts
  • Staking
  • Leverage (if you have more than $10K)
  • Very competitive fees (see comparison table at the end)

Where Binance could improve

  • Navigating Binance is like a spaceship. It has a lot of options and flashing products to choose from. From a design esthetic it matches the apps and websites you come across in Asia. If you prefer the more minimalist Western apps you might find Binance is busier in comparison. 
  • In the US you cannot deposit US dollars which means you need to deposit fiat on another exchange, convert it to crypto, and then send that crypto to Binance if you want to use it. 
  • Binance has exited the Canadian market. See the best Canadian crypto exchanges for alternatives. 

4. MEXC

MEXC is a smaller exchange compared to the big three I have mentioned above. I use it to buy coins that are trending on social media but are not yet listed on the major exchanges. 

#1. UI

The user experience on MEXC is very similar to that of Binance. You get a buzzier user interface with all the bells and whistles.

#2. Coin Variety

MEXC offers over 860 coins. It is often the first to list new coins that you only find on decentralized exchanges otherwise. 

#3. KYC

Another thing I liked about MEXC is that you can start buying crypto on the exchange without needing to KYC. They only ask you to KYC when you want to withdraw. 

Where MEXC could improve

  • Every time I open the app there are 3-5 popups with various promotions. It’s annoying to keep pressing the x button to remove them
  • The app is busy. It depends on preferences but I personally prefer leaner interfaces

5. Robinhood

If you live in the United States then you might want to consider using Robinhood. Robinhood is an online brokerage. They are famous for their commission-free trading and they make their money by providing order flow (liquidity) to market makers. 

Why use Robinhood

#1. Manage crypto and non-crypto in one place

Robinhood allows to invest in traditional financial products such as stocks, ETFs, and options as well as 30 crypto coins. The app is popular with Gen Z users who want a simple interface to manage their investment portfolio. You can set up recurring buys and buy stocks and crypto at the click of a button. 

#2. Robinhood Wallet

Robinhood is the only broker that offers a non-custodial crypto wallet. The wallet is a separate app from the Robinhood app but integrates well with it. This means that when you buy crypto on Robinhood you can move it to the Robinhood wallet where you have control of your private keys. It also means you can send your crypto from one place to another. 

What Robinhood could improve

  • Trading stocks is not available outside the US but I was nicely surprised to learn that you can invest in crypto using Robinhood in certain EU jurisdictions
  • They annoyingly don’t say which EU jurisdictions they offer crypto in
  • Limited range of cryptocurrencies

6. Crypto.com 

While I have never used crypto.com I have researched it thoroughly for articles on this site.

Why use Crypto.com

  • Low fees. Compared to Kraken and Coinbase Crypto.com charges lower fees. Check out the table at the bottom of this post. 
  • Prepaid card. The only other exchange that is listed here and offers a debit card is Binance. But Crypto.com promotes the heck out of the card and you get 1% cash back when you use it. You didn’t hear this from me but I know of people who use such cards to avoid declaring taxes. There are many countries where crypto exchanges are not required to report their users’ assets to their internal revenue service.  

7. Uniswap

As you become more involved in crypto you will inevitably learn how to use wallets and connect to decentralized exchanges (DEXs). 

Why use Uniswap

#1. Get in early on new project

Uniswap is the largest DEX where you can trade Ethereum-based tokens.

Ethereum is the largest blockchain after Bitcoin and anyone can use it to build an app on top of it and issue tokens.

I could issue 100Mn Nonsense coins is I wanted and list them on Uniswap.

This means you have to be careful about what you are buying as anyone can list anything and name it whatever they want.

But if you are looking for a way to get in early on new projects then Uniswap is the way to go. 

#2. No KYC

Another reason, for some, is that you don’t need to share any personal information. Decentralized exchanges operate in a grey zone at the time of writing.

Regulatory compliance for knowing your customer and anti-money laundering is not in force on decentralized exchanges.

This may change as the Securities Exchange Commission is already trying to reign in Uniswap and other decentralized exchanges.

It remains to be seen how this will play out. 

If all this is new to you I recommend you read my posts explaining Ethereum and Uniswap. Or just take my course

To use Uniswap you will need to use a wallet.

Things I don’t like about Uniswap

  • You need to learn how to use a wallet 
  • You pay high gas fees if you use Ethereum
  • The user interface takes some getting used to
  • I often have to try transactions more than once for them to go through
  • There is no customer support if you mess things up
  • You can only trade Ethereum and L2 tokens

Tip: each blockchain has its own decentralized exchange. At the time of writing people are investing heavily into Solana meme coins and the most popular decentralized exchange to do this is Raydium.

8. Chainge Finance

Chainge is the new kid on the block but a serious contender in the decentralized finance space. It’s set up by an experienced blockchain builder and issues it own token. 

What I like about Chainge

  • The user experience is unlike any other decentralized DEX and is much more user-friendly
  • You can trade between 1500 cryptocurrencies across 55 chains. 
  • It includes a virtual credit card 
  • Passive income opportunities via liquidity pool staking and more

What Chainge could improve

  • People are complaining of teething pains with their transactions failing. These are counterbalanced by people who are extremely happy with the app. 

9. Bybit

With more than 20 million users Bybit is one of the top crypto exchanges for derivatives and futures trading and leverage. 

Why use Bybit

  • Licensed in Dubai, Cyprus and Kazakhstan
  • Offers more than 600 coins and tokens to choose from
  • Users can fund a debit card with crypto and spend fiat currencies
  • Includes advanced trading features and a derivatives exchange

Cons of using Bybit

  • They offer up to 100x leverage on perps. Both beginners and experienced crypto traders are likely to lose their money this way.
  • They don’t serve US customers

10. Kucoin

Kucoin is an excellent trading platform if you are looking to buy newly listed coins. As with MEXC Kucoin often lists coins that have a smaller market cap. These are riskier but the ones that succeed see very high multiples. 

Why use Kucoin

  • As with MEXC, Kucoin offers spot trading for coins that have a smaller market cap. These are riskier but the ones that succeed see very high multiples. 
  • The platform includes advanced features such as limit orders and stop loss orders
  • 809 Coins to choose from

Where Kucoin could improve

  • Most of Reddit is filled with complaints about traders not being able to close illiquid positions. 
  • The user interface is busy and distracting.

Fees compared

Top 10 Crypto Exchange Fees Compared

Crypto tokens Deposit Withdrawal
Maker fee Taker fee Bank transfer Bank transfer
Kraken 0.25% 0.40% 0.50% $10
Coinbase 0.40% 0.60% 1% 1%
Crypto.com 0.075% 0.075% 0% $1.99
Binance 0.1% (+25% discount if you used BNB to trade) 0.1% (+25% discount if you used BNB to trade) varies by currency but about $1.5 flat fee on average varies by currency but about $1.5 flat fee on average
MEXC 0% 0.10% undisclosed undisclosed
Robinhood 0% 0% 0% 0% for bank transfers
Uniswap - 0.30% - -
Chainge undisclosed undisclosed - -
Bybit 0.10% 0.10% 0% flat fee of $1 for bank trasnfers
Kucoin 0.1% (20% discount if you use their KCS token) 0.1% (20% discount if you use their KCS token) 0% undisclosed

Up next

20 Crucial Factors to Look for in a Cryptocurrency Exchange

what important factors should you consider when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange

Choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange can be mind-bogglingly confusing. There are so many exchanges out there. First of all, there are multiple types from order book exchanges to decentralized ones. Secondly, how do you know which one to trust? Even the large ones seem to implode from time to time. Thirdly, most sites aren’t exactly impartial in their recommendations. You won’t be shocked if I tell you that these websites rank exchanges according to whichever rewards them the most. Not to fret though. In this post I will walk you through 20 objective criteria you can use to choose a crypto exchange and find the one that suits you best.

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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