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These days there are a huge amount of cryptocurrency exchanges, so which one should you be using?
In the UK we have a few great options available, so no need to feel left out when compared to the US or Asia!
Based on our reviews, we’ve created a comparison table below to make it easier for you when considering your options.
Our rating is based on factors such as ease of use, fees, trading features and support.
|Website||Overall Rating||Location & Currency||Available Cryptocurrencies||Fees||Our Review||Visit Site|
|UK || ||0.1%||Binance Review||Visit Site|
|UK || ||Depends on trade volume||CEX.io Review||Visit Site|
|UK || ||Depends on transaction||Coinburp Review||Visit Site|
|UK || ||Depends on trade volume||Coinfloor Review||Visit Site|
|United States || ||4%||Coinbase Review||Visit Site|
|United States || ||0.26%||Kraken Review||Visit Site|
|Czech Republic || ||0.25%||Changelly Review||Visit Site|
|United States || ||0.5%||Bittrex Review||Visit Site|
|Luxembourg || ||0.5%||Bitstamp Review||Visit Site|
We hope this detailed list has helped clarify which we believe are the preferred exchanges to use in the United Kingdom.
Our suggestion would be to pick one exchange which works for you and stick with it, it will make your life much easier. The alternative would be keeping cryptocurrencies on different exchanges which is hard to keep track of.
If you still aren’t sure which UK cryptocurrency exchange will work best for you, see our below detailed breakdowns for our recommended exchanges to help you make a more informed decision. Find out more information on our rating process.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the UK: Reviews 2020
Binance is the biggest exchange globally, they have recently started “Binance JE” which is their trading company that operates in the United Kingdom. The service is the exact same as you’d expect, very low fees, excellent support, a huge range of cryptocurrencies and fast transactions. Their exchange rates are excellent and they have a number of options to fund your account such as bank transfer, wire transfer or credit card.
Binance is hands down the best exchange in the UK for beginners as well as advanced traders. The user interface can take a little getting used to but once you get the hang of it you’ll be in good hands. Binance has become the most popular exchange in the world for good reason, it provides an excellent platform that is easy to use with the lowest fees in the industry. They also have an android and iOS app if you are interested in using it on your mobile.
The platform has a local UK support team so they’ll be there when you need them.
CEX is a good exchange for people in the UK with their HQ being based in the UK, it allows for some great benefits like faster payments and being able to pay with GBP. They’re also one of the few exchange where you can use Visa or Mastercard to deposit.
As for supported cryptocurrencies, you’re looking at 10+ coins. At the time of writing these are BTC, ETH, BCH, BTG, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, ZEC, MCH, BTT, and TRX.
And finally, aside from their support being very good, they even have an app that allows for trading on the go!
While Coinburp doesn’t support a lot of coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum , Litecoin, EOS, and Bitcoin Cash), their strength lies in the simplicity and speed of the system. Just like CEX.io, they also use UK Faster Payments Service (FPS), which means you can deposit fiat instantly from your bank account. The downside is that there are no other payment options available. Coinburp really caters to the easy-in, easy-out market, with extremely low fees overall, and a very user-friendly platform.
They’ve got all the required checks when it comes to regulations and laws in the UK, so security is on point (always good to know).
In short, you won’t doing any advanced trading on Coinburp just yet, but it’s well setup for those just wanting to get some of the most common coins.
Coinfloor is one of the UK’s oldest and most experienced exchanges. And while everything seems to be spot on, from support, to security, decent fee structure, etc… Their target are not the beginners that want to dip their toes in the industry. People that trade with Coinfloor do so because the have the money, and need a more personal touch to investing and trading cryptocurrencies. They also only support BTC, ETH, and BCH.
So maybe not the best bitcoin exchange to start with if you’re wanting to start small, but if you ever want to go big and need a more refined approach, they’ve got everything covered.
Coinbase/Coinbase Pro is the largest foreign exchange. It’s well-known across the world. And while the platform works fine, their fees are just on the edge of affordable and they’ve had some bad press over the years.
That being said, it all works as it should, and they have every possible payment method available to cater to its’ international client-base. As for supported cryptocurrencies, they have over 15 coins at the moment, so you should find what you need if you decide to go with them.
We recommend reading our Coinbase review and do your own research before making a decision.
Kraken was founded in 2011 making it one of the oldest exchanges currently on the market. And while it has had some bad press over the years, it seems it’s not a bad option for the UK, you just have to do a SEPA payment. Once you’re in, the platform is pretty advanced, and the features extensive, they even have futures section (although trading on futures comes with even more risk).
As for supported coins, they’ve got 15+ cryptocurrencies for you to trade with.
Combine that with one-on-one support for more advanced traders, an over-the-counter service, and very reasonable fees… they’re not bad.
Changelly is a European exchange, while it’s not as well known it’s starting to gain popularity. They support a good variety of Cryptocurrencies and their exchange is reliable. Traders can use any fiat currency but it will always convert it to EUR or USD, which might not be ideal for UK residents.
Bittrex is a very well known exchange based in the US, it was founded by an excellent team of security engineers from some of the largest companies in the world. Bittrex is fairly good for beginners but it lacks on a number of features which other exchanges provide. It also unfortunately only offers USD deposits so it’s not the greatest choice in the UK.
Bitstamp is a really old exchange, having founded in 2011 predominantly focused on the Europe market. In recent years it’s start focusing more on the US market but it’s still preferred by some UK users. It’s also worth noting that the platform suffered a security breach in 2015 losing 19,000 BTC.
Disclaimer: Digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are volatile and can involve a lot of risk. Their prices and performance is very unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consult a financial advisor or obtain your own advice independent of this site before relying and acting on the information provided.
Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin Exchanges
Features to Look for When Choosing a UK Exchange
Now that you know the two main types of exchanges you will encounter, you next need to know what to look for when picking a specific exchange. Here are some factors that you should definitely keep in mind when comparing different types of exchanges you might want to use.
- Speed: Depending on your situation, you might have different needs in terms of speedy transactions. Read up on the exchange’s policy on how long it takes to complete a transaction before you sign up for anything.
- Risk: Before signing up for a cryptocurrency exchange, check out what measures they take to secure the platform.
- Prices: What sort of markup over the spot price does the currency charge? This could result in you losing a lot of money if you’re not careful, so look for the best rates possible if you’re trying to be cost effective in your exchanges.
- Location: Where is your exchange located? This might play a factor, especially in certain exchanges that require you to be in a specific geographic area.
- History and Reviews: Looking up the history and reviews of a cryptocurrency exchange is a good way to find out how reliable it is. Have they been involved in any scandals in the past? Do they generally get high ratings and glowing reviews from satisfied users? These are a good guide to help you decide if it is the right cryptocurrency for you.
- Coins: From Bitcoin, to Ripple, Ethereum, and everything in between. Check which coins the exchange supports.
The Best Bitcoin Exchanges
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency that the world has heard of and the first one to become popular outside crypto circles and enter into mainstream usage. The growing interest in Bitcoin prompted the emergence of digital marketplaces across the world where traders could buy, sell, or trade these coins with fiat currencies (and later on other cryptos).
By now, there are thousands of Bitcoin exchanges, offering all sorts of trading options, but this accessibility and convenience make it harder to pick the right one. We advise traders to look for a simple clutter-free platform, that instead of investing in altcoin support and advanced tools and features, focuses on facilitating quick and cheap Bitcoin transactions.
For UK traders, Binance is one of the best options available on the market right now. The Chinese exchange with headquarters in Malta has recently launched Binance JE, a trading company that focuses on the European and UK crypto market. The best thing about this market expansion is the added support for GBP and EUR payments.
If you prefer using a UK-based Bitcoin exchange, CEX.io is a reliable platform that lets you pay in GBP and make deposits via Visa or Mastercard. The fact that it’s located in the UK guarantees high responsiveness and fast trade execution.
The Best Altcoin Exchanges
More and more traders turn to altcoins these days, mostly because they like speculating on the price of these volatile coins and making small investments. Trading altcoins, however, is never risk-free as these coins have low liquidity and market cap which makes them susceptible to “pump and dump” schemes.
As long as you’re careful and have a well-thought-out strategy, you have nothing to worry about. The next step is finding a reliable altcoin exchange that has large trading volumes and liquidity so that it can withstand potential altcoin flash crashes.
Again, our number one recommendation is Binance because it offers more than 1,000 altcoins for the adventurous traders among you. You can trade these tokens with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, or the exchange’s very own token, the Binance Coin (BNB). You can use the platform’s trading tools and in-depth charts and always stay one step ahead of other traders.
Apart from Binance, traders can also try CEX.io and Kraken as they both have a decent variety of altcoins as well. We recommend Kraken to experienced traders who would feel comfortable with the advanced interface and crypto jargon.
The Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Sometimes, looking into the fee schedule of a crypto exchange can help you make a better assessment and decide whether it works with your investment plan or not.
For example, if you’re a retail trader who looks at crypto trading as a hobby, you probably won’t produce large trading volumes all the time. This means that you need an exchange with a lower starting fee as opposed to one that takes into consideration the trading volume to adjust its fees.
Binance has the cheapest option for crypto to crypto trading because its fees start as low as 0.1%! In case you own enough BNB (Binance’s native token), you can use them to pay your fees and get an additional discount. Incredible, right?
Another exchange suitable for UK retail traders is Kraken where the average fee is 0.26%.
If you’re involved in the corporate or institutional market, an exchange like Coinfloor might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Based in the UK, Coinfloor has built a solid reputation among high volume traders for its affordable fees. The fees vary between 0.30% and 0.10% based on your 30-day trading volume. For example, volumes over 500,000 GBP qualify for a 0.20% fee while those over 1 million GBP get a reduced 0.10% fee.
The Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The largest crypto exchange is the one with the largest daily trading volume. The trading volume shows whether an exchange is liquid or not, and whether it’s used by a large number of traders because they’re satisfied with its performance or not.
If you visit the official website of any crypto exchange, you would typically find a box that counts the daily trading volume and website visits. Unfortunately, most of the data is either false or has been manipulated before with wash trading. You shouldn’t find this so surprising as there are platforms that are ready to do anything to gain more customers.
One of the few reliable organizations that still try to combat and filter the spread of fake information, as well as to bring some more frankness to the industry, is the Blockchain Transparency Institute. According to their research, Binance is the largest crypto exchange in the world. The daily trading volume of Binance exceeds $2 billion!
Coinbase is an American brokerage based in San Francisco that’s both suitable for UK traders and belongs to the list of largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a trading volume of almost $150 million on a daily basis.
The Most Popular Cryptocurrency Exchanges
There’s not much difference between the largest and the most popular crypto exchanges. Namely, if a platform demonstrates large trading volumes, it means that it’s popular with traders and they trust it enough to make large investments over and over again. Coinmarketcap has live statistics of which exchanges have the largest trade volumes which is a good place to start.
Therefore, it’s only logical that Binance and Coinbase are both on our list of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. The same estimations coming from the Blockchain Transparency Institute and Similarweb show that we’re not the only ones who think so. These trustworthy sites have found out that Binance and Coinbase have the highest number of website clicks.
As far as UK crypto exchanges are concerned, Coinburp and CEX.io definitely take the crown here. They have been continually praised for their efforts to popularize crypto trading in the UK and make it seem less intimidating for novices. They offer account customization, live market data, and charts for market analysis.
The Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms
Are you more interested in trading cryptocurrencies rather than making a simple buy or sell order? If the answer is yes, then here’s a quick summary of what a fully-fledged trading platform should offer.
First of all, you need a variety of digital assets to make your trading more versatile. You want to choose a platform that offers advanced features such as margin trading, limit and stop offers, over-the-counter (OTC) services, different market charts, customizable portfolio, futures, etc.
Most of these features will be available to you if you create an account with Binance. You’ll get to enjoy margin trading with up to 125x leverage, peer to peer, and OTC trading options.
For traders drawn to futures investments, Kraken offers up to 50x leverage on returns. It has the same OTC option as Binance, with one-on-one service for high volume traders. These traders are eligible to apply for Kraken’s Account Management program and get extra help to make the most cost-effective trading decisions.
Moreover, Kraken is one of the few exchanges that offers a dark pool for Bitcoin purchases. The dark pool functions as your personal order book where you can place buy/sell orders without disclosing your interest to the rest of the network.
The Safest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
One of the biggest challenges for crypto exchanges is dealing with hacker attacks and illegal trading. Investing in sophisticated cybersecurity measures is crucial in the development of any online platform that stores sensitive data and provides financial services.
To elevate the security standards, reliable crypto exchanges obtain licenses and register as money businesses with local or international financial regulators based on the markets and countries they provide services for.
Current regulatory frameworks require mandatory KYC checks for every single customer, monitoring and identifying suspicious trading patterns, reporting illegal activity, conducting third-party audits, mandatory two-factor authentication method, etc.
Our candidates for the safest crypto exchange that have shown a satisfying level of security with consistency are Coinburp, Binance, and Coinbase. The three of them apply encryption protocols to sensitive data and keep the funds in air-gapped cold storage.
On top of the regular security methods, Binance has its own Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) to which the exchange allocates 10% of the collected trading fees. By now, you already know that Binance has the highest trading volumes which means that their SAFU reserve vault could cover any unfortunate money losses.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges That Don’t Require ID
As we said in the previous section, KYC checks are mandatory on almost every well-known and respectable exchange.
They’re part of the application form itself and request user details such as full name, physical address, contact information, utility bill or bank statement, and any kind of government-issued ID (passport and driving license included).
However, not all traders approve of this verification method. Many of them condemn it out of ideological reasons because they believe in one of the strongest arguments of early crypto proponents and that’s the need for more privacy in online and cross-border money transactions.
If you belong to this group and privacy is of key importance to you as well, you definitely want to learn about the best platforms that require zero documentation to let you purchase cryptocurrencies – Paxful and LocalBitcoins.
These exchanges only ask for your email address to let you access their trading platform and search for a matching order. They let buyers and sellers find each other and agree on the payment method that works best for them. Some users might ask to see your ID before completing the deal, but it will be up to you to accept or deny their offer.
The only drawback is that you can’t purchase more than 1,000 EUR in one year on LocalBitcoins or $1,500 on Paxful.
Another platform to have in mind if you want to avoid disclosing your identity is Binance. Here, you’re not allowed to surpass their withdrawal limit of 2 BTC per day.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges That Let You Pay With Cash
If you want to purchase cryptocurrency with cash, the first option is to look for a Bitcoin ATM if there happens to be one near you. This can be done on websites like Coin ATM Radar. This comes really handy when you’re traveling and can’t connect to the Internet to use your platform’s mobile app.
If you prefer paying with a credit or debit card, use Coinbase or CEX.io. Unfortunately, card purchases incur the highest fees. Coinbase charges a 3.99% fee on instant buys with a debit card. On CEX.io you can pay via Visa or Mastercard only, with a fee of 3.5% + £0.20.
The option to pay via card is also available on LocalBitcoins and Paxful. You can even arrange to meet with your partner in person and pay for your coins in cash. This is a much riskier option so never agree to meet with that person alone.
If none of this works for you, you can buy a Flexpin or Neosurf prepaid voucher that can be spent on exchanges such as Bitit. Just make sure you’re okay with the 8% service fee that comes with these types of purchases.
The Best Non-Custodial Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Another possible classification of cryptocurrency exchange is into custodial and non-custodial. The former decides to store customer information or even their funds (providing their own digital wallets), the latter provides no such services.
Non-custodial exchanges only act as intermediaries in their customers’ transactions and help facilitate the coin swaps. The customers are assigned the task to find a third-party platform where they can store the private keys to their wallet address or purchase a hardware device that offers an added layer of protection by safeguarding the key offline.
If you don’t feel like you can trust custodial exchanges with your private keys, you can check our guide to finding the best crypto wallet, and join a non-custodial exchange such as Coinmama. The platform has received a green light from the US financial regulator FinCEN on its security compliance.
The Best Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
What’s the difference between centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges?
Centralized or “traditional” exchanges – as they were the first type of crypto exchanges available to traders – are included in the order-making, processing, and finalizing transactions. Most of them offer escrow services and completely or partially cover the insurance for the customers’ funds.
Decentralized or peer to peer exchanges find ways to incorporate blockchain technology and create a decentralized network where customers don’t have to wait for their approval to complete money transactions. The most common solutions are smart contracts or atomic swaps.
Today, it’s still a challenging task to create a 100% decentralized exchange. One such decent option is Bisq, a platform where you can purchase Bitcoin with any fiat currency without providing your ID. Sadly, the long waits and slightly higher expenses can put off a lot of traders.
If your crypto trading portfolio focuses on ERC-20 tokens, you can check out the decentralized Ox and Airswap protocols.
Exchanges That Deserve An Honourable Mention
There are a number of exchanges that didn’t make our main list such as Bitfinex, Poloniex, Gemini, Okex and Kucoin. We’ve gone into great depth on our individual review pages for these exchanges if you want to view more about them. In this case they weren’t recommended for UK users to start trading, this was for a number of reasons including trading pairs, supported currencies, customer support, transaction fees and many more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our number one recommendation for UK crypto traders is Binance, the world’s largest and most popular crypto exchange. Whether you need a place to buy Bitcoin and other prominent cryptos, or you’re looking for an altcoin trading platform, Binance has it all!
Even though the exchange is originally from Hong Kong but based in Malta, the fact that there’s a new subsidiary called Binance JE that focuses on the European and UK market makes it even more convenient to use the platform. UK users can now make GBP or EUR payments without problems.
Before you start looking for the right crypto exchange, you need to be confident with your investment plan and strategy. Do you need fiat to crypto exchange to make the deposits for your first purchases or are you going to trade cryptos only?
Are you satisfied with choosing from the top five cryptos or do you need a high liquidity platform that supports altcoins too? Does the exchange have the payment method that works for you? Finally, are you okay with disclosing your identity and providing an ID? If not, simply look for decentralized exchanges.
Based on the level of platform and account security, Coinburp, Binance, and Coinbase are the three safest Bitcoin exchanges for UK traders. All three comply with AML and CFT policies and perform KYC checks on their customers (except for Binance where there are additional withdrawal limits for unverified customers). They encrypt sensitive data and store funds in offline cold wallets.
Apart from the well-known security methods such as two-factor authentication and withdrawal address whitelist, Binance has designed a unique feature called Secure Asset Fund for Users, or SAFU for short, funded with 10% of all of Binance trading fees. Similarly to a reserve vault, SAFU can be used to repay customers in case of security breaches.
Binance offers the lowest trading fees on crypto to crypto trades. The fees start at 0.1% which is quite competitive for the industry. And that’s not all! If you own some Binance tokens, you can pay the fee with these coins to get an additional discount. On the other hand, if you’re an institutional trader who’s a major contributor to the exchange’s trading volume, Coinfloor is the right platform for you because it incurs reasonable fees on large trades.
Our team doesn’t recommend investing in particular Cryptocurrencies without doing your own research. In saying that, the most popular Cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum and Ripple.
It seems like Bitcoin doesn’t plan on stepping back in favor of some other cryptocurrency any time soon. The world’s first and most popular digital coin is topping the charts in 2020 as well. Although for most cryptocurrencies mainstream usage remains an unattainable goal, Bitcoin is getting more and more recognition and acceptance across various industries.
Another cryptocurrency that we’ll definitely hear more from is Litecoin, “Bitcoin’s silver”, a digital coin that’s suitable for small transactions and everyday purchases.
Coinbase has never been hacked and hasn’t struggled with a serious security breach either. The key to their success is continually investing and updating their security measures with the newest technology (e.g. applying AES-256 SSL encryption to sensitive data).
Coinbase’s team is very cautious in choosing to support new cryptocurrencies. It has a strict digital coin framework that assesses the performance of crypto candidates. Moreover, users can enhance the security of their account by activating the 2FA method, withdrawal address whitelist, and using Coinbase’s wallet.
The most popular type of cryptocurrency wallet is the digital wallet provided by custodial crypto exchanges or other online platforms. Since cryptocurrencies are intangible virtual money, these wallets actually store the private keys to your wallet address. We recommend using an online digital wallet only temporarily, as they can easily get hacked. If you need someplace to store your key long-term, it’s better to purchase a hardware wallet instead.
At the moment, Binance supports over 1,000 different digital tokens. Starting with the most popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple, all the way to some lesser-known low cap altcoins, Binance satisfies the appetite of each and every trader. Altcoins can be traded with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, or the exchange’s native token BNB.
Traders are often torn between the two largest crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase, as both are reliable and fully-fledged platforms with a range of trading features. If you’re interested in trading crypto to crypto and want to save on trading fees, we recommend using Binance. If you look for fiat to crypto pairs, choose Coinbase instead.