One major truth that the global financial industry has come to live with over the last decade is the fact that cryptocurrency is here to stay, for good and unavoidable reasons!
However, that does not mean that the transition from the existing centralized finance to decentralized finance, which accommodates the digital asset ecosystem (DAE), will take place overnight. Instead, both centralized and decentralized finance have their respective roles to play in the modern financial landscape and are more efficient when they coexist.
That said, the crypto market is gaining traction across the globe, with hundreds of millions of people investing heavily in more than 10,000 digital assets every day. So far, cryptocurrencies top the list of the digital assets with the most investment, albeit, other projects such as NFTs, metaverses, DeFi, and so on have also been getting noticeable attention recently.
With this in mind, this article will serve as a guide for investors who may be looking to invest in cryptocurrency. Thus, the next part of this article contains the list of the top 10 exchanges to buy, sell, and trade crypto assets in 2022.
But before we proceed, there are four major factors to consider before making your exchange choices:
What to Consider Before Choosing a Cryptocurrency Exchange
Just like with buying clothes, there are factors to consider such as size, color, design, brand, and maybe what people have to say about the item. In the same manner, when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, it is important to evaluate the following factors.
1. Security: One of the major factors to consider when choosing an exchange is the level of security it offers to all stakeholders, especially traders and investors. While the term security could address various things, the main factors to consider are user privacy, regulations, as well as security against targeted cyber attacks.
Likewise, there are regulatory bodies that ensure that these exchanges stay accountable, and ultimately, do not abscond with users’ investment. Some of the prominent regulatory authorities include the likes of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the US. Being regulated by these regulatory authorities provides a great deal of security assurance for end-users who can freely and peacefully trade across these exchanges.
Some exchanges that are regulated by these regulatory authorities and thereby considered some of the most secure, include Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and so on.
2. Verification (KYC) processes: In addition to security checks, the verification process employed by an exchange is another important aspect to look for. The reason for this stems from the fact that each platform has its own policy, and as you would expect, focuses on specific regions. For instance, if your choice of exchange does not support your country, then you may not be able to validate your identity outside of the accepted regions.
Likewise, some platforms may take days and even weeks to get your account verified, while others may take a couple of minutes depending on the kinds of documents that are requested from a potential customer. Either way, time may be of great importance to you. However, if you are not in a hurry to get started, then this might not be a significant factor to consider.
3. Trading activities: While this point may not be of great concern to beginners, it is something that professional traders or big-time investors take into consideration when choosing an exchange platform. Mind you, trading activities in this context refer to such things as trade volume, as well as the number of coins and fiat options available on an exchange platform.
An exchange’s trading volume provides insight into liquidity value as well as how actively investors participate on the platform. Furthermore, the number of coins that may be traded on the platform, as well as the fiat options that are accepted, indicate how dynamic and flexible the platform can be. In other words, an exchange that provides more token and fiat options tends to be more flexible than one that provides fewer options to end-users.
4. Commission: While the decentralized economy is meant to eliminate the centralized system, it appears this is almost impossible to achieve, as most exchanges (especially those that offer support for fiat currency) still require the input of card payment providers to facilitate fiat transactions.
As such, there is a major differentiation across most exchanges when it comes to deposit/withdrawal fees. In some cases, some exchanges are able to negotiate for card payment providers to accept lower fees from end-users, while in other situations, users may be subject to high commission charges from these entities.
While an exchange’s trading commissions can be as low as 0.10%, as in the case of Binance, they can also be as high as 1.49%, as in the case of Coinbase. With that in mind, the commission might be a significant factor to consider when deciding which exchange to trade on.
Other relatively significant factors that a potential investor may have to consider before choosing an exchange include the platform’s monthly visitors, deposit/withdrawal options, as well as cross-chain compatibility. That said, what are the top 10 cryptocurrency exchange platforms to consider in 2022?
Top 10 Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms to Consider in 2022
Established in 2014 as a British crypto exchange, Exmo is one of the longest standing exchange platforms since cryptocurrency went mainstream about a decade ago. Not only does it offer great exchange services, but the exchange platform is also community-oriented; hence, it offers a variety of services beyond exchange services.
Some prominent offerings on the Exmo exchange include an OTC desk for traders whose trade volume exceeds the $100k mark. Plus, there is VIP service that allows HNI client/holdings to enjoy special condition offers that leverage the platform’s corporate account feature.
That’s not all; the platform, which boasts of an average $100 million (or 2000 BTC) in trade volume per 24 hours, also enables cross-platform trading features for users who are able to take advantage of the API cross-platform trading bot.
Furthermore, unlike most decentralized exchanges, Exmo users have the option to vote for or against projects that can be listed on the exchange. According to its website, “the coin that receives the most votes gets the right to be listed on the Exmo platform.” While this is not a typical feature among exchanges yet, Exmo is perhaps one of the very few top flier platforms to offer its over 500k monthly visitors this feature.
Lastly, Exmo users can receive up to 70% of their trading fee in what the platform describes as a cashback reward. More so, by referring or introducing new users to the platform, they also get a chance to earn an additional 25% of each invited trader’s transaction fees. If you are a pair trader, then this would be a great choice considering that the exchange offers up to 186 currency pairs.
This particular decentralized exchange was set in motion sometime in 2013 with the aim to empower billions of people across the world by upgrading them to a more open, efficient, and inclusive financial system. Notably, the platform boasts average monthly visitors of about 1.5 billion and an average trade volume of $20 million per day.
Commission-wise, Luno charges between 0.3% and 0.10%, depending on the trader’s tier. Compared to the likes of Bitstamp and Coinbase, which charge up to 0.50% and 1.49%, respectively, in trading commission, Luno offers one of the lowest commission rates in the market.
Bitstamp prides itself on its ability to provide its over 2.2 million monthly visitors an easy, fast, and reliable trading platform with 24/7 support, staking, and bank-grade security and insurance. Although it is based in the UK, Bitstamp is available to a global network of users and offers a great user experience.
For an exchange with institutional-grade security, Bitstamp is peculiar among the vast majority of its peers, offering a lot of advanced trading tools including premium access to high liquidity and reliable order execution. The platform also offers its users a wide range of powerful APIs that enables users to customize their own trading interface, automate and deploy algorithmic strategy, as well as connect to the platform’s WebSocket for data streaming.
Commission-wise, Bitstamp charges a trade commission upwards of 0.50%, which can go higher depending on the trade volume. While Bitstamp offers trading pairs for at least 30 crypto assets, it doesn’t support more than three fiats, which may not be a great strategy for global expansion.
Rated 5 of 5 stars on Nerdwallet, Gemini is a finance company that offers expert and tailored insight to help investors make the right financial decisions. Gemini is not only known for its easy-to-navigate user interface, but it also offers some of the best advisory information about crypto investments.
The New York City-based exchange was founded in 2014 and is popular for becoming the first-ever regulated cryptocurrency exchange and custodian back in June 2016. Currently, the platform offers support for up to 70 crypto assets including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
However, Gemini only supports seven types of fiat currencies including USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GPB, SDG, and HKD. Regardless, this is more than twice what’s available on Coinbase (3) despite its massive market.
With over 5.6 million web visitors, Gemini currently boasts an average trade volume of $100 million per day, which is quite significant in the densely saturated market. Lastly, Gemini, like most exchanges, offers bank transfers and charges upward of 0.35% in trading commission.
As one of the oldest exchanges, having launched in 2012, Bitfinex is committed to its mission of giving its over 4.6 million monthly visitors the ultimate cryptocurrency trading experience. Notably, the decentralized exchange provides traders with a suite of advanced trading products including UNUS SED LEO, its native asset, API configuration, Bitfinex Pay, and an affiliate program.
In addition to offering a suite of advanced trading features including charting tools including the Bitfinex terminal, API compatibility, reporting tools and so on, Bitfinex further provides access to peer-to-peer (P2P) financing, the OTC market, as well as margin trading for a wide selection of digital asset and derivative trading.
Bitfinex currently accepts over 140 cryptocurrencies; however, traders only have access to four fiat currencies, making it one of the exchanges with the smallest amount of accepted fiat currencies. As a result, the platform is limited to only a few regions. Commission-wise, Bitfinex charges upward of 0.20% for trading commission, which is subject to increases based on trade volume.
5. Huobi Global
Based in Seychelles, Huobi Global is unarguably the second-largest exchange from Asia, next in line to Binance. The exchange boasts over 9.2 million monthly visitors and accounts for a daily trade volume surpassing $2.8 billion.
Unlike some exchanges that are restricted to certain regions, Huobi Global serves a global network of users and accepts payments in at least 50 fiat currencies; however, it only supports fiat-to-crypto gateways for six fiat currencies: EUR, RUB, UAH, KZT, GBP, and BRL.
In addition, the platform boasts the second-largest coin portfolio after Binance, as it supports over 330 crypto assets.
Furthermore, Huobi Global offers a vast range of services including buy/sell trading, spot trading, derivatives, and a suite of DeFi features including staking, primepool, and crypto loans, to name a few. Lastly, the decentralized exchange charges upward of 0.20% for trading commission, one of the lowest around.
Just like the website says, “Kraken is more than just a trading platform,” as it offers price informational services to integrated platforms like Bloomberg Terminal. Going by its Nerdwallet rating, Kraken conveniently ranks among the top-tier exchanges (with 5-star ratings), and boasts a great user-friendly interface that makes the onboarding process easy both for newbies and pro traders.
However, despite offering tools, products, and informational resources for beginners, the vast majority of offerings are targeted at professional traders. This further implies that people with less experience in trading may not find the platform so appealing for trade purposes.
That aside, Kraken offers a large collection of digital assets with over 69 cryptocurrencies listed on the platform. In addition, it offers support for at least seven fiat currencies, and payment can be made via bank transfer from SWIFT, FED wire, and SEPA. Kraken charges upward of 0.26% in trade commission, a proportion that is considered to be one of the lowest among the top-tier exchanges.
This exchange is arguably the fastest-growing exchange, as it has grown its average monthly website visits to over 23 million despite being around for barely three years. Founded in May 2019, FTX also boasts one of the third-largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world based on 24-hour volume, as it averages over $18 billion in daily trade volume.
Also, in addition to offering an easy-to-navigate user interface, FTX offers its visitors a complete suite of DeFi features such as futures, spot trading, leveraged tokens, and so on.
So far, FTX has built a wide portfolio of cryptocurrencies, as it currently offers support for more than 300 crypto assets. Likewise, it beats the likes of Coinbase and Binance at the top-tier level to host the highest number of fiat currencies pegged at a minimum of 11.
Besides crypto trading, FTX also has a dedicated NFT marketplace where traders can collect, buy, sell, and explore the entire world of digital arts. It has managed to live up to its mantra of being the “go-to-market for crypto derivatives exchange.” More so, by charging a trade commission starting at 0.05%, FTX makes a perfect exchange option for both newbies and pro-traders.
Making it to second place on this list is Coinbase, which was founded in San Francisco in 2012. It is arguably the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US as it boasts average monthly visitors of over 100 million. Currently, it accounts for a quarterly trade volume of $547 billion and a daily trade volume of approximately $5 billion.
Thanks to a clean and easy-to-navigate user interface, Coinbase offers a seamless onboarding process for new users, and more importantly, a seamless trading approach for newbies.
Coinbase is positioned as the easiest platform to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies because it combines both centralized and decentralized capabilities in one place. More so, because it is licensed and protected by US regulatory authorities and FDIC insurance plans, it instils a sense of calmness and trust in its end users, who are spread across over 100 nations worldwide.
The downside to Coinbase, however, is its high trading commission, which starts at 1.49%, and is arguably the highest in the space. Also, while it offers support for more than 75 crypto assets, Coinbase only accepts three fiat currencies. This particular exchange is perfect for those that use multiple exchanges, as you can conveniently trade across all platforms.
As you would expect, Binance remains unshaken at the top, and has maintained this position for several years now. The decentralized exchange was originally founded in China; however, following the Chinese government’s increasing regulations, has moved its HQ to a yet-to-be-disclosed location.
Currently, the exchange offers several trading features including derivatives, staking, liquidity farming, crypto loans, and so on. Also, just like FTX, the exchange platform also allows its users to access a dedicated NFT market where they can mint, collect, and trade digital art collections.
While it has over 250 million monthly visitors, Binance boasts the highest daily trade volume, estimated at $104 billion, accounting for more than half of the overall crypto market daily trade volume put at slightly above $200 billion.
Not only that, but the exchange also supports the most crypto assets, with over 370 crypto tokens and 46 fiat assets supported, respectively. If you ever need to do anything in the DeFi ecosystem, Binance is an excellent place to start, especially because it has the lowest trading commission in the market, starting at just 0.10%.