The crypto market has been growing exponentially for the past few years, both in the USA and in the rest of the world, which is why finding the right cryptocurrency exchange can be an arduous task for novices and experienced traders alike.
In the USA, where there’s a long list of available exchanges, it’s even harder to choose the right one. First, you have to check the number of supported currencies, trading pairs, and fees on the exchange. Then, you need to make sure that the company invests in high-tech security methods and has a responsive support team before joining.
Based on these factors, we’ve created a list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the USA with a detailed review of each one of them. But first, take a look at our comparison table below.
|Website||Overall Rating||Location & Currency||Available Cryptocurrencies||Fees||Our Review||Visit Site|
|United States||1.49-3.99%||Coinbase Review||Visit Site|
|United States||0.26%||Kraken Review||Visit Site|
|UK||Depends on trade volume||CEX.io Review||Visit Site|
|Luxembourg||0.5%||Bitstamp Review||Visit Site|
|United States||1%||Gemini Review||Visit Site|
|Czech Republic||0.25%||Changelly Review||Visit Site|
|China||0.1%||Binance Review||Visit Site|
|United States||0.5%||Bittrex Review||Visit Site|
|Slovakia||6%||Coinmama Review||Visit Site|
|Global||1%||Localbitcoins Review||Visit Site|
We hope our list of exchanges in the United States helps you when choosing which exchange to use.
If you need some more information about each exchange we’ve done a more detailed breakdown below. We also have individual review pages for each exchange if you want to research further into each one. For more detail on our rating process, click here.
Leonard – Crypto Head
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the USA: Reviews 2020
Coinbase is definitely our most recommended crypto exchange in the USA and one that caters to the needs of newbies and professional traders alike. Starting out as a wallet service in 2012, before evolving into a crypto exchange, Coinbase has served more than 30 million customers worldwide. What makes this exchange so reliable is that for Coinbase to decide to support a new cryptocurrency, that coin needs to be approved by the platform’s Digital Asset Framework first. The evaluation is based on metrics like market capitalization, velocity, customer demand, etc. Moreover, users buy the supported cryptocurrencies directly from Coinbase and not from other users, turning the platform into high liquidity brokerage.
Being American based means they accept payments in USD and, once you pass their KYC verification check, you can go to Settings > Linked Accounts on your Coinbase account, and choose a payment method from the suggested: debit card for small investments, wire transfer for large investments, or bank account for both. Coinbase excels in protecting customers’ money by having insurance policy cover the funds that are stored online (2%). The remaining 98% are safely kept in cold storage. The platform has an easily navigable, beginner-friendly interface, as well as advanced trading options. Don’t hesitate to join one of the best exchanges in the USA for spotless trading experience.
The key to Kraken’s longevity is its impressive top-notch security system, owing to its founder’s background in cybersecurity. Here, you not only have to pass the customary two-factor authentication to access your account, but you also need a special Kraken “Master Key” for restricted account actions, and a Global Settings Lock as the last line of defense from unknown-party changes. Thanks to such an effort, Kraken has never been successfully attacked by hackers.
The clutter-free dashboard filled with colorful illustrations and a soothing color palette hints at the impeccable user experience you’re in for at Kraken. You’re immediately asked about your level of expertise and based on that, you’re redirected to an informative page optimized according to your level. This American based exchange is a favorite among experienced traders and institutional investors interested in margin trading (up to 5x leverage), OTC trading, futures, and automated trading. Despite negative reviews in the past, recent improvements in managing customer queries have brought a shower of praises for Kraken for its support team’s responsiveness and knowledge.
CEX.io is a UK based crypto exchange, popular in the USA because it’s a licensed exchange with high liquidity that’s currently available across 31 US States. The platform allows you to deposit both fiat and cryptocurrencies which is something that not many exchanges offer. CEX.io offers cross-platform trading and margin trading with up to 10x leverage, but we don’t suggest these trading options to beginners as they require extensive knowledge of the market. The main disadvantage is that CEX.io charges high fees for the services.
Recently, CEX.io has begun promoting staking, i.e. holding on to your coins and keeping them on the platform. This way, your coins do the work for you and increase in amount with monthly rewards by the platform. This still seems risky and untested, so definitely read some reviews if you’re interested. The platform also comes with a completely functional mobile app to manage your orders and trade on the go.
Bitstamp is another crypto exchange veteran that goes back to 2011. Originally from Slovenia, the platform was relocated to Luxembourg in 2016 and has remained there ever since. It used to be primarily focused on the European market, being the first nationally licensed crypto exchange, but now offers its services globally. Bitstamp has a US subsidiary that was granted a virtual currency license from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in 2019. This makes it even more attractive to US customers who see the exchange as both reliable and convenient, as they’re allowed to buy and trade cryptocurrencies with USD.
If you just want to trade cryptocurrencies, you’ll only be asked to provide your full name, email address, and country of residence. However, if you want to link your account to a bank account or a credit/debit card, then you’ll need to verify your identity with a government-issued ID. Bitstamp hasn’t been immune to hacker attacks, and in 2015 these hackers managed to get away with more than 19,000 BTC that were taken from the users’ accounts. The company proved its team can handle such a blow and together they have improved the platform’s security methods to avoid such security breaches in the future.
Gemini is a NY-based crypto exchange that became famous through its founders, Cameron and Tyler, known as the Winklevoss twins (hence ‘Gemini’). These were the guys who in 2008 accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for Facebook. The matter was taken to court and the brothers went home with a $65 million legal settlement. Just enough to invest in the crypto market and launch their own crypto exchange Gemini in 2015.
Being an American exchange, all US dollar accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Gemini is a licensed and regulated exchange, that adheres to the DFS rules and regulations, which adds to its status as one of the top crypto exchanges in the USA. However, it has received some negative criticism for frequently going offline during busy times. This isn’t done intentionally as a marketing strategy to prevent users from benefiting from high liquidity. On the contrary, these outages are most likely the result of overloaded servers and Gemini has dealt with them promptly and effectively.
Another European exchange on our list, this time with headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, Changelly is one of the less common (but highly reliable!) decentralized crypto exchanges in the industry. One of the great things about it is that it doesn’t have any geographic restrictions and supports a great variety of cryptocurrencies, from the most prominent ones, all the way to the lesser-known tokens. Although traders can use any fiat currency to their liking, the platform will automatically convert them into USD or EUR.
To start trading, just sign up with your email address without providing any extra information about yourself. Changelly has partnered with other leading crypto platforms in search of the optimal coin market price that comes with an extra-low service fee. The commission and processing fees for credit or debit card purchases are on the higher end of the scale so try to avoid them as much as possible. Another slight drawback is that Changelly sets limits for the first few crypto purchases, but these get lifted off in less than a month.
Binance was launched more recently, in 2017, and has unfortunately encountered a number of regulatory issues ever since. The company changed its headquarters from China to Japan, before finally settling down on the island of Malta. Malta is known as the first country to offer any formal framework for crypto regulation, called the Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act. Binance used to be available to US citizens until September 2019 when succumbing to the pressure made by US financial regulators, it was forced to open a separate American trading platform under the name Binance.us.
The exchange has its own native token, the Binance token (BNB), which comes in handy when you’re paying for transaction fees as Binance gives you the option to spend your BNBs and cut the fees in half. But the best feature that Binance has up its sleeve is their Secure Asset Fund for Users, or SAFU for short, which basically functions as a money vault to which Binance appropriates 10% of its trading fees and saves them for future incidents. When the platform was hacked in May 2019, they were able to reimburse the damage done to their customers from the money stored in the SAFU. Clever, right?
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Bittrex is a well known American crypto exchange. It was founded by a team of security engineers that used to work for big corporate names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Blackberry, before getting involved in the crypto industry with their own exchange. Although Bittrex is suitable for beginners, experienced traders can leverage its features to the fullest, especially if they’re interested in stop-loss, GTC, and instant buy or sell orders. The platform is also praised by customers for the great variety of charting tools.
Bittrex used to be crypto to crypto exchange only, but as of June 2019, the exchange allows USD deposits for both personal and corporate accounts that have completed a KYC check. Traders are encouraged to use Bittrex’s digital wallet for any currency in their possession. Plus, the platform has some of the best trading fees in the industry.
9. CoinMama Exchange
- Website: www.coinmama.com
- Country: Slovakia
- Currency: USD, EUR, GBP, CAD & AUD
- Fees: 6%
- Available Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, BitcoinCash, Litecoin, Cardano, Qtum
Coinmama is a bit different from other crypto exchanges because it only gives you the option to buy cryptocurrencies and not sell or trade them on the platform. This makes Coinmama a buy-only outlet or a broker. It’s based in Israel and has managed to win the global market, including the USA, by pioneering the option to pay with credit and debit cards when purchasing cryptocurrencies. Users buy coins directly from Coinmama and the platform immediately sends them to the users’ digital wallets. However, you should know that Coinmama doesn’t provide one itself, so we recommend browsing online for a wallet that suits your needs.
Coinamama has three levels of account verification tied with a purchasing limit. If your plan is to trade lower sums then you can use any kind of ID to sign up for an account and this gives you the right to a daily limit of $5,000. This is great for people who are careful about giving away their personal information. Coinmama has its shortcomings too, such as the brokerage fees which amount to 6% sometimes. This becomes way too expensive once you add the 5% fee for a credit or debit card purchase.
LocalBitcoins is the second decentralized crypto exchange on our list of best crypto exchanges in the USA. It functions on the basis of connecting buyers and sellers, as an escrow, and allowing them to complete peer to peer transactions among themselves. The platform uses the user’s location to pair him with another user nearby, i.e. it matches them with a local trader, hence the name LocalBitcoins. A user can be trusted based on his/her reputation rank and public history records where you can check the activity and past transactions linked to that account. The platform is considering to add a mandatory KYC check but, for now, you don’t have to do it unless asked by your potential buyer or seller.
The convenience of the exchange lies in the flexibility of the traders as they accept all kinds of payment methods. If you can’t find an exchange where you can purchase bitcoins with the payment method of your choice, LocalBitcoins might be the right place for that. A word of advice though, it’s always better to opt for cash deposits or wire transfers as they tend to have better exchange rates.
Reviewing the Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA: Why We Do It!
The crypto market is known for being highly volatile, with startling spikes and dips which leave the crypto industry shrouded in speculations and uncertainty. Today, the price of a given cryptocurrency might be flying pretty high on the money ladder, only to be hitting rock bottom in less than a week.
At Crypto Head, we know how important it is to find a suitable platform before trading with or investing in a riskier asset. But we also know how much you can gain on the crypto market if you only keep in mind the tips we’ve shared with you.
Our mission is to make this process easier and less stressful, plus, to help you avoid the frauds and scams of the crypto community, which is why we always conduct thorough research before writing these guides.
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.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges – What They Are, and How to Find the Best One for Yourself
It might come as a surprise to some of you, but it has been eleven years since Bitcoin, the first digital coin, was launched in January 2009. Bitcoin tested the waters and showed that the world, although not completely ready, was more than eager to transform the traditional payment system.
In the midst of the ‘cryptocurrency craze’, there was a need for proper trading platforms for the modern crypto investor. This is when the cryptocurrency exchanges made their debut. It was now possible for traders to buy, sell, trade, transfer, and convert currencies faster and cheaper.
If all this is new to you, and you’re just about to make your first crypto investment, you’ll definitely need a fiat-to-crypto exchange to purchase digital coins using regular fiat currencies, i.e. US dollars for example. Once you get hold of your first cryptos, it’s easy to switch to a crypto-to-crypto exchange as they usually support a greater variety of trading pairs.
Another thing we’ll look into is the difference between a centralized or traditional exchange, and a decentralized or peer to peer exchange.
Centralized exchanges, like Coinbase and Kraken for example, stand for whole company businesses that buy and sell cryptocurrencies. They are called traditional because they were created first and they keep customers’ funds in much the same way as traditional financial institutions do.
Traditional exchanges take the role of intermediaries and escrow services. Just as customers trust banks to keep their money safe in their bank accounts, so do users trust centralized exchanges to store their digital coins and complete their transactions.
The advantages of using such platforms include enjoying some of the best rates in the industry and the promise of high liquidity. When you join one of these platforms, you become a member of their trading network, making it easier for you to find a buyer or a seller.
Moreover, depending on the country’s regulations, centralized exchanges need to have a proper license to do their work, and comply with the established financial laws. They also need to protect themselves from hacker attacks and other fraudulent activities which is why they ask you to verify your identity with a government-issued ID. Some of them set daily limits for the first couple of transactions too.
Another stumbling block might be the lack of variety when it comes to payment methods. Usually, centralized exchanges prefer bank transfers for fiat conversions which can take longer than paying with credit or debit cards.
However, as a result of these regulations, it’s highly unlikely for a centralized exchange to experience a serious security breach. At least not the more popular ones, which have earned their status and trust among customers for investing in high-tech security methods such as offline wallets, lock settings, and IP whitelists.
If you’re confident that what you’re looking for as a trader is in line with what these centralized exchanges have to offer, then just double-check that you meet their requirements as well, carefully review their policies, and you’re good to go!
Peer to Peer Exchanges
The whole point of having cryptocurrencies in the first place was to cut out the middle man between buyers and sellers. This system would ensure they have power over their own money, the option to stay anonymous, and to save on service fees.
Decentralized exchanges try to make this work by allowing users to transact privately between themselves on a peer to peer network. On these platforms, you don’t need to provide an ID to create an account, an email address would be enough. The transactions are faster and you can choose your preferred payment option.
However, some payment forms can be more expensive than others, and the coin price might be inflated as traders use decentralized exchanges to try to make an additional profit. A further drawback is the lack of protection in comparison to traditional exchanges. Here, the agreement is between you and the other individual only. That’s why you should always check that person’s transaction history and feedback.
Having said that, it’s not impossible to find a trust-worthy peer to peer exchange and a responsible trader. Many crypto traders are doing this on a daily basis. Just be cautious and do your research!
How to Know What Type of Exchange to Choose
To put it simply, it really depends on what causes more headaches to you as a trader. There are those who want to trade safely, even at the expense of waiting longer and giving out their personal details, while others prefer the trade to be done in a flash and don’t mind paying extra.
If you’re in a real hurry, our advice is to opt for a peer to peer exchange and choose a more reliable payment method where you won’t get ripped off. In cases where you’re looking to make a large purchase, provided it’s not urgent, go for a traditional exchange where you’re more protected and you’ll get competitive prices.
The selected crypto exchanges that made it to our list are just some of the competitors on the expanding crypto market in the USA, but we chose them based on their performance and trust among customers so far.
If you’re interested in other markets besides the USA, check out our best UK crypto exchanges guide, our best exchanges in Canada guide, or our guide on the best exchanges in Australia. Online reviews and users’ feedback can also be helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, trading and holding Bitcoin is taxed in the USA. The IRS has stated that bitcoin should be treated as an asset or an intangible property, which means that general tax principles applicable to property transactions now apply to virtual currency transactions too.
Bitcoin transactions will be taxed regardless of whether you mined them yourself or bought them from someone, whether you sold them to someone or used them yourself to buy groceries in the supermarket.
You can check the IRS FAQ section for more information.
You can get cryptocurrencies in the USA using crypto exchanges. You should go to their website, create an account, and deposit some funds to start trading them for other coins.
In our opinion, the best site to get cryptocurrencies in the USA is Coinbase. We based our choice on the platform’s outstanding security methods and regulations, its cryptocurrency framework, and the low fees among other criteria. Coinbase is without a doubt the number one exchange in the USA for different traders, and it’s no wonder why many crypto newbies choose exactly this platform as their introduction to the crypto market.
A crypto wallet is a digital wallet that allows you to send, receive, and safely store your digital coins online. Usually, the cryptocurrency or the crypto exchange that you’re using have their own crypto wallets. In case they don’t, you can use a third-party wallet online.
Leaving all your assets on a crypto exchange can be extremely risky, as history shows they’re liable to hacker attacks and malware infections. Crypto exchanges are working on this problem, and most of them now store their customers’ funds in cold storage. However, we advise you to purchase a hardware wallet that stores your private keys offline.
You can read all about the different types of wallets in our crypto wallet guide.
The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, launched in January 2009. Since then, Bitcoin has gained widespread support and growing acceptance as a payment method among companies and retail sellers. The full implications of the blockchain technology it uses are yet to be explored.
The person credited for the invention of cryptocurrencies is an individual (or a group of individuals) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, who in 2008 published the famous white paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. There, he described the first electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof, the blockchain technology that keeps it running, and the first digital coin, Bitcoin.
It’s no secret that cryptocurrency exchanges aren’t one hundred percent safe, and during their early days, it was very common to hear about a new successful hacker attack or yet another security breach. However, things are changing rapidly within the industry and these things are far less common thanks to their high-tech security methods and regulations.
If you’re going to trade on a daily basis, it’s more convenient to keep your funds on the exchange you’re using and avoid the extra fees for transferring your coins from one platform to another. But if you’re more of a hoarder waiting for the right moment to sell or invest, it might be smarter to store your coins on a hardware wallet.