Bitcoin is again on an uptrend. Are you new to cryptocurrency? Looking to explore other crypto exchanges? Find out what are the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The original version of this article by Bennett Garner was published at


Fiat Exchanges

If you are new to investing in cryptocurrency, you need to convert your fiat currency (i.e. USD, MYR) to crypto. As most exchanges are based on USD, this means depositing USD with an exchange in order to get Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).

Exchanges that accept fiat currencies are called “fiat gateways”. Fiat exchanges deal in USD and are subject to a lot of regulations and reporting requirements from state and federal agencies. Fiat exchanges are more difficult to set up than crypto-to-crypto exchanges. It also means that fiat exchanges usually have limited trading pairs, since those trading pairs are regulated. The top cryptocurrency exchanges for USD deposits are below.


BitFlyer originates from Japan and is one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world especially for Yen denominated trading. They’re not yet licensed globally yet but are operating in a majority of countries.


BitStamp is one of the most reliable exchanges with some of the lowest transaction fees. Based out of Luxembourg, it has been around since 2011. Bitstamp with its European heritage is popular in especially popular among European traders and easy to deposit Euros. is a London-based exchange that’s been in operation since 2013. They’ve received a fairly good reputation over the years for being user-friendly and well-designed. They have faced some complaints on hidden fees which they are working on making it more transparent for users.


Coinbase is one of the most popular and well-known options for USD transactions. Coinbase is headquartered in San Francisco and has been in operation since 2011. They’re generally considered secure and boast over 13 million users. However, their fees are among the highest of any fiat gateway.


CoinMama led the way since its founding in 2013 as the site where you could purchase crypto with a credit or debit card. This makes it super easy to use. Unlike other exchanges, CoinMama is a buy-only marketplace that allows you to immediately transfer funds to other wallets upon purchase. They also have relatively high fees, but the simple experience makes it easy to use.


GDAX is Coinbase’s older brother, run by the same company. GDAX’s interface and functionality attract more advanced investors than Coinbase’s beginner-friendly interface. Many traders who are serious investors gravitate toward GDAX.


Gemini distinguished itself with its customer support that’s well above industry average. It’s a New York-based exchange, founded in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins. They don’t offer many cryptocurrencies and deposits are limited to bank transfers, but Gemini is one of the best exchanges out there for beginners.


Kraken came on the scene around the same time as Coinbase in 2011. It’s also based in San Francisco, so they’re rivals. Users seem highly divided on Kraken with some praising the smooth experience on the platform while others decry its customer service and buggy features.


ExchangeSite TypeBeginner FriendlyMobile AppCompany LocationCompany LaunchBuy MethodsSell MethodsAvailable CryptocurrenciesCommunity TrustSecurityFeesCustomer SupportMalaysia SupportedReview
bitFlyerCryptocurrency ExchangeYesYesJapan2014Bank Wire, CryptocurrencyBank Wire, CryptocurrencyBitcoinGreatGreatLowGoodNoReview
BitstampCryptocurrency ExchangeNoYesLuxembourg, Luxembourg; Slovenia2011Bank Transfer, Credit Card, CryptocurrencyBank Transfer, CryptocurrencyBitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and RippleGreatGoodLowOkayYesReview
CEX.IOCrypto Exchange w Easy Buy/SellYesYesLondon, United Kingdom2013Credit Card, Bank Transfer, CryptoCredit Card, Bank Transfer, CryptoBitcoin, Ethereum, +6GoodGoodHighGoodYesReview
CoinbaseEasy Buy MethodsYesYesSan Francisco, CA, USA2012Credit Card, Bank TransfersBank Transfers, PayPalBitcoin, Ethereum, LitecoinGreatGreatLowGoodNoReview
CoinMamaEasy Buy MethodsYesNoBratislava, Slovakia2013Credit/Debit CardsComing SoonBitcoin, EthereumGoodGoodAbove AverageGoodYesReview
GDAXCryptocurrency ExchangeNoNoSan Francisco, CA, USA2012Bank TransferBank TransferBitcoin, Ethereum, LitecoinGreatGreatVery LowGoodNoReview
GeminiCryptocurrency ExchangeYesNoNew York2015Bank Transfers & WiresBank Transfers & WiresBitcoin, EthereumGreatGreatVery LowGoodNoReview
KrakenCryptocurrency ExchangeNoNoSan Francisco, CA, USA2011Bank Transfer, CryptoBank Transfer, CryptoBitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, +14GreatGoodVery LowOkayYesReview




Crypto-to-Crypto Exchanges

If you want to buy a niche altcoin, you will need to purchase BTC or ETH at a fiat exchange and then transfer those funds to a crypto-to-crypto exchange in order to buy the token you want. Once you’ve traded your crypto for fiat, you’ll want to move your newly acquired funds to an exchange with more options. Fiat exchanges don’t usually carry niche currencies, so in order to get those, you’ll use a crypto-to-crypto exchange. Here are some of the best exchanges:

Binance at a staggering speed has become one of the top crypto exchanges in the world. For good reason, too. It offers a lot of features, trading pairs, security, and liquidity along with low fees. Its Binance Coin also incentivizes trading and lowers fees.


Bittrex has gained a reputation for strictly following US regulations where they are based. Bittrex is a safe, well-established option for trading with good customer support.


Cryptopia is known as an exchange for trading niche or less popular altcoins. They have low fees and good customer support. However, they don’t accept Ethereum and the small nature of the exchange means low volume for trading.


KuCoin is a Hong Kong based crypto exchange. The unique part of their approach is they redistribute the profits from the operation of the exchange through their native currency, KuCoin Shares.

Poloniex was among the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. However, its popularity has waned in the face of new competitors, customer support issues, and problems with withdrawals.


ExchangeSite TypeBeginner FriendlyMobile AppCompany LocationCompany LaunchDeposit MethodsWithdrawal MethodsTrading PairsCommunity TrustSecurityFeesCustomer SupportReview
BinanceCryptocurrency ExchangeYesYesHong Kong, HK, China2017CryptoCrypto50+GreatLowVery lowGoodReview
BittrexCryptocurrency ExchangeNoNoSeattle, WA, USA2014Crypto, Bank Wire if > $10,000Crypto250+GoodGoodVery LowGoodReview
CryptopiaCryptocurrency ExchangeYesNoNew Zealand2014CryptoCrypto200+AverageAverageVery LowAverage
KuCoinCryptocurrency ExchangeYesYesHong Kong, HK, China2013CryptoCrypto100+GoodGoodLowAverageReview
PoloniexCryptocurrency ExchangeNoNoWilmington, DE, USA2014CryptocurrencyCryptocurrency90+Very BadOkayVery LowBadReview



Those are the top cryptocurrency exchanges in 2018. Learn more by reading comprehensive exchange reviews and going through the exchange’s website. Signing up at a exchange’s website is usually quite straightforward. If you are new to crypto investing, be sure to read up on best practices for keeping crypto secure like using two-factor authentication and moving your coins to a private wallet once you have purchased them.