10 Best Crypto Exchanges and Apps of March 2024

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 1, 2024

Ready to invest in crypto? Take advantage of this month's bonuses from the best crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken and PrimeXBT (non-US). 

Looking to get into investing in cryptocurrency? To do so, you first have to find the right crypto trading platform for your needs. You can choose from dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges and brokerages. However, the variety of offerings may make it difficult to choose a specific platform. Each cryptocurrency exchange has its own unique benefits.

What to look for? Investors should consider their specific needs before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange. Factors to consider include advanced trading features, low fees, sign-up bonuses and top-tier security. By evaluating where each platform excels, investors can select an exchange that aligns with their individual requirements. Check out Benzinga's top picks for the best crypto exchanges this year.

Quick Look at the Best Crypto Exchanges and Apps:

Disclosure: eToro supports the following currencies: BTC, ADA, DASH, DOGE, EOS, ETH, LTC, NEO, XLM, XTZ, TRX, ZEC. eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. T&Cs apply. *The bonus is available to Benzinga readers in the US for open states only. Served by eToro USA LLC.

Best Crypto Exchanges and Apps

Choosing the best crypto exchange is crucial for successful cryptocurrency trading. To help you make an informed decision, here's a list of the top-rated exchanges and crypto apps.

1. Best Overall Non-US: PrimeXBT

PrimeXBT offers a wide variety of easy-to-access investments, ranging from crypto to forex and commodities. This makes it easy for new investors to explore a variety of options on a single exchange.

Some highlights of PrimeXBT are its award-winning mobile app, allowing users to trade on the go and the feature that allows users to copy others’ trades, similar to eToro. PrimeXBT has a ton of safety features to ensure the security of your funds and account. Some features include 2FA, manual withdrawal clearance, crypto address whitelisting and cold storage of digital assets.

Lastly, when it comes to withdrawals, PrimeXBT is one of the few exchanges that require a mandatory white-labeling of Bitcoin addresses. This means that user funds cannot be sent to a rogue address in the instance where an account is breached. They manually review all incoming and outgoing transfers to ensure that transactions pass risk scoring and comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

Pros

  • Large range of investment products
  • Up to 1,000x leverage on certain products
  • Covesting allows you to earn passive income

Cons

  • Scale of the platform might overwhelm newer investors
  • Not available in the U.S., Canada, and a handful of other countries

2. Best Overall in the US: Coinbase

  • Coinbase
    Best For:
    Coinbase Learn
    securely through Coinbase's website

    Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts.

Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency broker in the U.S., with over 100 million users, 3,400 employees and $114 billion in safeguarded assets. Coinbase enjoys a renowned reputation for its security measures and regulatory compliance. Its platform allows trading of more than 250 different cryptocurrencies via solid trading tools while ensuring safety standards are exceeded.

Coinbase provides free crypto to its customers through various means. When you sign up for an account, you can spin a free reward wheel which can yield up to $200 worth of Bitcoin or USD. The Coinbase Learn program also gives users small amounts of crypto for reading about tokens and taking short quizzes. Coinbase also offers staking, allowing users to earn up to 10% APY.

Pros

  • Large user base
  • More than 250 cryptocurrencies to choose from
  • Free rewards are available in a variety of ways

Cons

  • Platform has been hacked in the past

3. Best for Active Traders: BYDFI

Investors that get started with BYDFI, can trade crypto on a streamlined platform that’s right for you. You gain access to 400 spot crypto trading pairs and 100+ derivative products that include leveraged tokens and instruments that work for beginners and advanced traders. 

You can choose between the classic and advanced account types, access advanced charting options, copy trading, “mystery box” rewards that come with random tokens and much more. You even get a welcome bonus when you sign up.

Competitive fees and a simplified dashboard make it possible to grow your portfolio, learn about trading crypto and generate returns that match your strategy.

Pros

  • Works well for both beginners and advanced traders
  • Hundreds of crypto pairs
  • Derivatives that you can use to expand your portfolio and seize on market movement

Cons

  • Mystery box rewards may not contain the sorts of tokens you might prefer

4. Best for Sign-Up Bonuses: eToro

  • eToro
    Best For:
    Demo Accounts
    securely through eToro's website

    Cryptocurrency is offered by eToro USA LLC (“the MSB”) (NMLS: 1769299) and is not FDIC or SIPC insured. Investing involves risk

    Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more

Looking for a big bonus to add to your crypto investments? eToro is currently offering $10 reward to the first 20,000 invited participants who met the promo criteria. To qualify, sign up for an eToro account, deposit at least $100 and complete a crypto trade worth $100 or more. The $10 reward will be automatically credited to your account balance.

Another important feature on eToro is called CopyTrader, which allows you to view and copy the trades of others on the platform. While you should always do your own research before investing in crypto, CopyTrader is a useful feature for new investors. Apart from directly copying trades, it can allow beginners to see others’ trades and begin to understand what people look for in trading opportunities. However, it is important to note that even professional traders face a run of bad luck, so keep that in mind when copy trading.

Pros

  • Robust signup bonuses
  • Quality investing information
  • Low minimums

Cons

  • Copy trading is not a fool-proof investment plan

5. Best for Variety: Uphold

Uphold is the best cryptocurrency exchange for traders looking to trade a variety of different assets, especially for U.S. users. It supports more than 250 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, XRP, Dogecoin and more. Uphold also offers a staking service, allowing users to earn up to 13% APY on their tokens. It offers trading of other assets, such as national currencies and precious metals. Fees on Uphold aren't the lowest in the market, but they are close to it. New users can earn a $50 bonus for completing a few activities.

Pros

  • Access to hundreds of cryptocurrencies
  • Invest in other types of assets, as well
  • Relatively low fees

Cons

  • Mobile app may not serve all investors very well

6. Best for Businesses Wanting Exposure to Cryptocurrency: ICONOMI

ICONOMI is a unique crypto site that helps businesses individually enter the crypto sector. For example, when you visit the site, you’re posed with a simple question: do you want to trade crypto and automate your portfolio, or do you want to copy the strategy of a professional? This choice allows businesses to consider their goals and overall strategy for integrating crypto into their business.

The site offers a variety of strategies and features for all types of businesses and levels of exposure to crypto. From there, all you need to do is fund your account and get to work on your portfolio.

You can also earn money by sharing your strategy with other users. Several bonuses and benefits are available, such as referral bonuses and business accounts. The business accounts are specifically designed for business use, such as company trading or financial advising.

ICONOMI's powerful platform allows for information to flow freely through information sharing and a learning section, as well as clear pricing. Opening an account is free, and you can start trading right away.

Pros

  • Quick access to the crypto market through a free account
  • Educational resources

Cons

  • Better for those working as planners or managers

7. Best for All-in-one Capabilities: Exodus Wallet

Exodus Wallet is known as one of the top software wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges globally. With Exodus, you can manage and exchange 300+ different cryptocurrencies in just your web browser. Exodus makes it easy to convert fiat currency into a variety of cryptocurrencies. You can use Apple Pay or a credit/debit card in addition to a traditional bank account to fund your account. Unlike many other crypto wallets and exchanges, Exodus supports multiple blockchains so there is no need to swap between wallets to buy coins like BNB or SOL. 

Pros

  • Easy way to protect your crypto holdings
  • Easy to attach payment options to the account
  • Access to well over 200 tokens

Cons

  • As a crypto wallet first, functionality could seem limited

8. Best for Broad Range of Crypto Assets: Paybis

Paybis is a global crypto platform, offering service in nine languages and allowing for the use of 60 global currencies. You can buy with existing crypto or by depositing your choice of fiat currency. Regulated by FinTRAC and available to investors in 180 countries, you can have peace of mind that the platform will be secure, accessible and easy to use. While the number of tokens is somewhat limited, the ability to access from most countries and currencies is certainly a useful benefit for those outside of the U.S.

Pros

  • Feature to invest in global currencies mean ease in diversifying portfolio
  • High level of regulation and expansive of offerings to benefit global travelers and businesspeople

Cons

  • Can only sell so many tokens on this site, necessitating coordination among the crypto you spend, save and trade

9. Best for Low Fees: Kraken

If you are looking for an affordable, all-in-one cryptocurrency platform, Kraken may be the best crypto brokerage for you. Not only does Kraken reward its users in several ways, but the platform offers over 200 different cryptocurrencies to invest in. 

Like Uphold, Kraken offers interest-bearing accounts. You can earn up to 26% annual interest on your holdings. With cash (or crypto) rewards available alongside high-interest-bearing accounts, Kraken is a no-brainer for many cryptocurrency investors.

Kraken has some of the lowest fees out of all crypto trading platforms. Fees are less than 0.26% for most transactions and get lower the more you trade. 

Pros

  • Interest-bearing account options
  • Rewards are available
  • Low account minimums

Cons

  • Not available in all U.S. states

10. Best for Beginners: iTrustCapital

iTrustCapital may be the most unique trading platform on this list, as it allows you to trade cryptocurrencies from an Investment Retirement Account (IRA). IRAs have significant tax benefits, particularly as it relates to capital gains taxes. However, you have to hold the assets in the account for some time to see the full benefits of an IRA. So, if you plan on being invested in crypto in the long run, it may be a good idea to use iTrustCapital to manage your digital assets. The platform offers over 35 of the top cryptocurrencies to add to your IRA.

iTrustCapital is also secure –– it uses Coinbase Custody to store digital assets, which holds crypto offline in hardware wallets. In addition, the site has a $320 million insurance policy.

Pros

  • Crypto IRA options
  • High level of security
  • Backed by quality insurance coverage

Cons

  • Fewer cryptocurrencies available compared to most other platforms

What are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

Cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to buy and sell crypto assets. Most exchanges use order books, which allow users to buy and sell crypto at a given price. Cryptocurrency exchanges hold custody of your digital assets, so you can not use the crypto to access decentralized applications (dApps).

A cryptocurrency brokerage, which is comparable to a cryptocurrency exchange, is another option. For a modest fee, users of cryptocurrency brokerages can trade the asset's market price. The supply and demand of investors directly affects the price of cryptocurrency on exchanges. While Coinbase Pro and other exchanges are cryptocurrency exchanges, Robinhood's cryptocurrency section operates as a broker.

How do Crypto Exchanges Work?

Tip for Crypto Traders: Ask yourself, are you a cryptocurrency trader or investor? If you’re a trader, you’ll want to place more value on the fee structure, as you will likely be consistently entering and exiting trades. Conversely, if you’re an investor, fees won’t matter as much. Fees typically are incurred when you buy or sell crypto, so these will matter more if you are actively trading.

Cryptocurrency exchanges work in a similar way to stock exchanges. Investors can place a limit order or a market order, creating depth and liquidity for the order book for the other investors on the exchange.

Buy and sell orders can be placed as market or limit orders. Market orders will automatically buy or sell crypto at the given market price. Limit orders will buy or sell crypto at the price specified by the investor. If the market price does not reach the limit price, then the order will not execute.

Types of Crypto Exchanges

Two main types of cryptocurrency exchanges exist: centralized exchanges and decentralized exchanges (DEXs). Most cryptocurrency exchanges investors use are centralized exchanges, meaning they are run by a central company. Some popular centralized exchanges are Coinbase, Gemini, Binance and eToro. Decentralized exchanges create markets for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Popular options are Uniswap and Sushi Swap.

  • Centralized exchanges
    • Owned by a central company
    • Often more efficient and easier to use
    • Faster and cheaper transactions
  • Decentralized exchanges (DEX)
    • Direct ownership through a crypto wallet
    • Code is immutable and uncontrolled by a single entity
    • Access to governance and other DeFi capabilities

Exchanges vs. Wallets

Cryptocurrency exchanges let you easily trade crypto. Since these exchanges hold direct ownership of your funds and assets, security should be an important concern. Over the past several years, there have been numerous hacks of crypto exchanges, so this is a relevant concern to look into. To eliminate this risk, you can use a crypto wallet.

Cryptocurrency wallets exist as either hardware or software wallets. Software wallets are computer programs that securely store your crypto online, and hardware wallets are physical devices that store your crypto offline. Hardware wallets require a physical device to send crypto, so they are inaccessible to online hackers.

If you're looking to get a cryptocurrency wallet, you should consider the security, price (for hardware wallets), tokens and chains offered and capabilities. Benzinga’s choice for the best all-around crypto wallet is the Ledger Nano S Plus. The hardware wallet supports thousands of different cryptocurrencies. With a Ledger hardware wallet, you'll be able to securely store your crypto assets in one place.

How to Choose the Best Crypto Exchange

Keep these things in mind when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange:

  • Consider your goals as an investor or trader. If you plan on frequent trading, prioritize low trading fees. Additionally, if you do not intend to use a crypto wallet and will store your assets on the exchange, focus on security measures.
  • Take into account the financial services offered by the cryptocurrency exchange you wish to use. Certain exchanges solely deal in cryptocurrencies; you cannot use them to buy stocks or commodities. Additionally, not every exchange supports every cryptocurrency, so be sure to find out if the exchange supports the ones you're interested in.
  • Platforms like Kraken and Uphold allow you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings, making them great options for long-term and bullish investors. Certain exchanges also let you trade on margin and use leverage. This practice can allow you to capitalize on price movements but also carries risk. This feature is generally used by more advanced traders. 

Unique Features

Coinbase: Coinbase is a great exchange for beginners. Its interface is simple, and you can easily fund your account by connecting a bank. A unique feature of Coinbase is its crypto conversion feature, allowing you to trade a variety of cryptocurrency pairs. Coinbase also offers one of the easiest and most intuitive mobile apps.

Argent: Argent is unique because it operates as a crypto exchange and wallet. This software wallet is available on the app store and allows you to directly interact with DEXs. Argent is an Ethereum wallet, so it supports ERC-20 tokens.

Uniswap: Uniswap is a DEX that offers many benefits over centralized exchanges. Uniswap is far more secure than centralized exchanges, as it allows you to exchange tokens through a software wallet. You can also earn yield on your assets by locking in your tokens to provide liquidity for the exchange.

eToro: eToro is a great option if you want to learn more about the cryptocurrency markets. It has a unique feature that works similarly to social media, allowing you to see other users’ trades and copy them.

Alternatives to Crypto Exchanges

Finding the best crypto exchange is important. But exchanges aren’t the only way to buy cryptocurrency. For most investors, using a dedicated crypto exchange is better than some of the alternatives for crypto trading. Despite this, cryptocurrency brokerages are another popular option and are similar to crypto exchanges. Some good brokerages you may want to consider are Webull, Coinbase and Robinhood.

Another alternative is to use a Bitcoin ATM. While these are interesting and fun to use, they often charge a 5%-10% premium on Bitcoin’s price and keep the difference. 

Disclosure: ²Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What is the difference between a crypto exchange and a brokerage?

A

Though the two are similar, crypto brokerages act as an intermediary to set the price of crypto assets based on the market price, while crypto exchanges determine the price of cryptocurrencies directly through investors’ supply and demand.

 

Q

Are all the top cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States?

A

Many top crypto exchanges are based in the United States. For example, Coinbase and Gemini are based in the United States but also offer services in a variety of other countries. Other exchanges operate globally because of easier regulation.

 

Q

How do crypto exchanges work?

A

Crypto exchanges are similar to stock brokerages, but they allow users to trade cryptocurrencies. They usually have custody over user funds and allow trading of all kinds of different cryptocurrencies.

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