11 Best Crypto Exchanges and Trading Platforms of 2021

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To own or trade in cryptocurrencies, you need a cryptocurrency exchange platform. The crypto market is flooded with many exchanges. Each serves some demands of the crypto market. Even then some exchanges reign supreme, providing users with better services. While investing in crypto, selecting one of the best crypto exchanges that meet your needs will help you thrive in these volatile markets. Let’s get started on 2021’s best cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

Best Centralized Exchanges

The following exchanges are third-party or centralized exchanges. This means they are intermediary companies offering crypto trading services. Users of centralized exchanges do not have full control of their private keys and assets.

Binance

This was launched in 2017. The Binance exchange is the largest worldwide in trading volume. Binance is one of the best crypto exchanges and offers trading for several cryptocurrencies. The exchange offers lower transaction fees for users trading with its native cryptocurrency, BNB. Also, the exchange offers over 100 crypto pairs for trading.

Binance accepts various payment options, including debit or credit cards and SWIFT. Mobile money and Paypal can be used through P2P trading in Binance. The exchange also supports deposits in more than 40 fiat currencies. Binance offers intuitive infographics for traders to assist them to make an even better investment or trade decision. Binance exchange is ideal for both beginners and advanced traders. The steps to register an account, verify self and trade on Binance have been covered in a previous post.

ProsCons
Lower fees compared to most counterpartsFewer trading pairs compared to some international counterparts
Diverse payment gateway, over 40 fiat currencies & futures trading supportedSome regions are not supported
Advanced and detailed analyticsAdvanced for beginners
24/7 customer support 
Web and Mobile Platforms Supported 

START TRADING WITH BINANCE HERE

Coinbase Pro

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. It serves over 40 million users across 100 countries. The San Fransisco-based exchange Coinbase Pro platform is regarded as the best cryptocurrency trading platform for professional traders and institutional investors. The exchange offers top-notch security for users’ crypto assets. Unlike many exchanges, Coinbase Pro is regulated and licensed to operate in many regions, including 40 states in the United States.

ProsCons
Lower fees compared to most counterpartsSpread pricing may cumulatively be high for large transactions
A wide variety of altcoins listedHigh fees for debit transactions
Detailed analytics, charts & indicatorsThe user does not control wallet keys
Secure crypto asset storage (cold storage and 2FA) 
Very high liquidity 
Web and Mobile Platforms Supported 

START TRADING WITH COINBASE PRO HERE

Kraken

It is one of the first cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Launched in 2011, Kraken supports coin and token trading, staking, margin trading, and futures trading. Unlike some counterparts offering flat-rate brokerages, Kraken offers a variable maker-taker fee schedule which is often cheaper. Kraken also secures 95% of assets in offline or cold storage and deploys 2FA for users to access their accounts. With its 10 years of operation in the market, Kraken remains one of the best crypto exchanges.

ProsCons
Multiple coins supported plus margin and futures trading with high liquidityLimited customer support
Low transaction feesCould be complex for beginners
Web and Mobile Platforms Supported 
Secure crypto asset storage 
Pays bi-weekly staking rewards 

START TRADING WITH KRAKEN HERE

Huobi Global

Huobi Global was founded in China in 2013 and is based in Seychelles. It supports over 350 crypto assets with spot and futures trading. Users’ funds are securely stored in dedicated multi-signature cold wallets. The exchange supports web, iOS, and Android platforms for seamless access.

ProsCons
Multiple coins supported plus margin and futures trading with high liquidityLow Withdrawal Limits
24/7 Customer SupportLow Leverage For Margin
Web and Mobile Platforms Supported 
Secure crypto asset storage 
Beginner Friendly 

START TRADING WITH HUOBI GLOBAL HERE

Kucoin

Launched in 2017, KuCoin offers more than 300 different trading pairs and over 75 cryptocurrencies, including less popular coins. Being famous for listing new coins, the exchange is popular with traders enthusiastic about smaller coins. KuCoin is accessible on android, iOS, Mac, and PC and has no limits on deposits and withdrawals.

ProsCons
No verification – anonymous tradingLow trading volumes
Wide variety of coins, including newly released cryptocurrenciesDowntime during high traffic
Very low deposit, withdrawal, and trading fees 
Secure crypto asset storage 
Simple and beginner-friendly 

START TRADING WITH KUCOIN HERE

Bithumb

Bithumb exchange was founded in 2014 in South Korea, where it is also based. It has significantly high trading volumes compared to its counterparts. The exchange offers a platform for institutional investors. The exchange has high liquidity to support high transaction volumes, especially from institutional investors. The platform is user-friendly, with multi-language support making it simple to use for the global market. Also, the platform supports over 100 coins and is one of the best cryptocurrency trading platforms. However, the platform restricts fiat currency transactions to South Korean residents only.

ProsCons
Large trading volume with good liquidityFiat currency deposits restricted to South Korean residents
Ideal for both beginners and advanced tradersThe slow verification process for increased limits
A wide variety of coinsExchange previously hacked
Very low fees 
24/7 live chat and phone support 

START TRADING WITH BITHUMB HERE

Crypto.com Exchange

Crypto.com was founded in 2016 and is based in Hong Kong. The exchange offers users access to buy or sell, trade, and earn interest in their cryptocurrencies. The platform also supports over 90 trading pairs and is one of the fastest-growing crypto exchanges. Crypto.com also has one of the best apps amongst other cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

ProsCons
Pays weekly interest on crypto savingsNo customer service number or email
Wide variety of coins35+ coins unavailable to U.S. residents
Multiple payment gateways including Visa cards

START TRADING WITH CRYPTO.COM HERE

Best Decentralized Exchanges

The following are the best decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXes). These are built on blockchain-based decentralized apps (dapps) developed on smart contracts. Users have full control of their private keys and assets.

Uniswap

This is one of the best decentralized cryptocurrency trading platforms. Uniswap accelerates liquidity between traders, meaning users can trade easily on the DEX. Network peers can buy tokens from pools using ETH or other ERC-20 tokens. Liquidity providers to token pools earn reward fees based on their share of the liquidity pool. Uniswap’s code is open-sourced and auditable by third parties, making the DEX even more secure. No personal information is required to set up an account: users only need to connect their wallets using MetaMask and start trading.

ProsCons
No coin listing feesNot widely adopted
Requires no native token
Very low fees 
Privacy and security 

Mdex

Mdex is another top DEX that prices assets according to a pricing algorithm (automated market maker or AMM), instead of order books. The exchange implements a dual-chain DEX model based on the Huobi Eco Chain and Ethereum ecosystem. This feature enables Mdex to support dual mining methods for liquidity and transactions. Like other DEXes, Mdex platform does not require users to give up personal information.

ProsCons
Supports 200+ tokensNot widely adopted
Very low fees 
Privacy and security 
Supports dual mining 

PancakeSwap

PancakeSwap is a DEX that deploys the AMM model in asset pricing. The platform allows traders to provide liquidity by depositing their tokens to liquidity pools and earning tokens when users perform trades in the pools. The exchange also allows traders to earn more yield through farming its governance token (CAKE). PancakeSwap is the best crypto exchange running on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and is BSC’s largest AMM Defi project.

ProsCons
Farming supportedNot widely adopted
Very low fees 
Simplicity and privacy 
Users can win NFTs in lottery 

Sushiswap

This DEX also deploys the Automated Market Maker (AMM) model and integrates revenue sharing and forum-driven tools. Sushiswap supports over 800 trading pairs and tokens. However, despite its low trading fees, Sushiswap’s trading volume is much lower compared to Uniswap. Sushi supports farming using its liquidity pool token (SLP). This earns users more yields and remains one of the best decentralized crypto exchanges.

ProsCons
Farming supportedNot widely adopted
Very low feesLower liquidity compared to Uniswap
Simplicity and privacyLower trading volume compared to Uniswap

Conclusion

Currently, cryptocurrencies are mostly traded in centralized exchanges. However, DEXes are offering simple, private, and secure access to crypto services. Centralized or decentralized, these exchanges have widened access to cryptocurrencies, driving cryptocurrencies into the mainstream finance industry.

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