Before learning what are the best crypto exchanges in 2023 we have to understand crypto exchange a little better. A crypto exchange is an online marketplace where crypto and bought and sold. Crypto exchanges are the most convenient platforms for trading or investing in crypto assets. Crypto exchanges not only facilitate the trading of crypto coins or tokens, but they also often provide crypto wallets for safeguarding crypto. In addition, major crypto exchanges provide different crypto-related products and services like crypto derivatives, crypto ETFs, dApps, DeFi, and NFT marketplaces. This complete crypto exchange guide for beginners answers all your queries regarding crypto exchanges, their types, and the best crypto exchanges in 2023.
- 1. What is a Crypto Exchange?
- 2. Best Crypto Exchanges Overall in 2023
- 3. The Importance of Choosing the Best Crypto Exchange
- 4. Crypto Exchange vs Crypto Wallet
- 5. Types of Crypto Exchanges - Centralized, Decentralized, and Hybrid
- 6. Custodial vs. Non-Custodial Crypto Exchanges
- 7. Factors to Look for While Selecting a Crypto Exchange
- 8. Top 5 Centralized Crypto Exchanges in 2023
- 9. Top 5 Decentralized Crypto Exchanges in 2023
- 10. Top Crypto Exchanges With the Lowest Fees
- 11. Crypto Exchanges Offering The Highest Number of Cryptos
- 12. Final words
13. Crypto exchanges - FAQs
- 13.1 ❓How did we come up with the lists of the top crypto exchanges in 2023?
- 13.2 ❓Should I create accounts with multiple exchanges?
- 13.3 ❓Should I use a centralized or a decentralized exchange?
- 13.4 ❓Why does the regulatory status of a crypto platform matter?
- 13.5 ❓Why should I consider the type of crypto wallet used by a crypto exchange?
1. What is a Crypto Exchange?
Cryptocurrencies are no more just a complex technological innovation understood by only a few. In little more than one decade, crypto currencies have grown to be a more than trillion-dollar asset class. There are now thousands of crypto coins and tokens, with millions of investors buying and selling them every day.
According to recent numbers, there are more than 9,000 active cryptocurrencies with a total market value of about $1.25 trillion. Also, there are about 420 million crypto users worldwide. This means we need hassle-free mechanisms for buying and selling crypto.
Crypto exchanges play the role of facilitating crypto trades by bringing crypto buyers and sellers together. Even though there are different ways of buying crypto assets, crypto exchanges are the most convenient method for this. You can use leading crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, or Kraken to buy and sell a variety of crypto coins like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), or Litecoin (LTC).
A crypto exchange earns money from different sources like transaction fees, withdrawal fees, or listing fees. In recent years, high growth in crypto trading volume because of increasing interest in crypto has made crypto exchange a highly profitable business. This is why hundreds of new crypto exchanges have entered the industry. According to a recent estimate, there are about 1,500 crypto exchanges. However, recent events like the failure of the FTX crypto exchange show why we need to stick to the best crypto platforms to protect our funds and crypto.
2. Best Crypto Exchanges Overall in 2023
Let’s now find out the best crypto exchanges overall after considering a large number of factors like ease of use, number of assets and trading options, security, wallets, fees & commission, and customer support. Here is the list of the 5 best crypto exchanges in the market in December 2023.
Bybit, in our opinion, is by far one of the best crypto exchanges. While they offer more than 270 assets, and give the best service for more than 15 million customers, they still are providing a great 24/7 customer support section, being available for traders from 160 different countries.
KuCoin provides 860+ crypto exchanges, which is higher than leading exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. One of the mottos of KuCoin is to ‘facilitate the global free flow of digital value’.
It serves over 20 million customers around the globe. KuCoin is known for its sophisticated technology and excellent trading platforms. Also, many trading assets and options make it a preferred choice for beginners as well as pro traders. However, one major disadvantage of KuCoin is the past instances of security breaches and hacking.
BTSE is recognized as one of the world's favorite cryptocurrency exchange, renowned for offering straightforward, secure, and exceptionally efficient cryptocurrency trading solutions. Their range of products and services is meticulously tailored to meet the needs of both individual users and institutional clients, solidifying their position as the premier platform for all cryptocurrency-related activities. Especially with our referral code BTSE, the brand's offer is something that everyone who is interested in crypto should try.
Being the largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance is immensely popular and offers many crypto assets. Binance has relatively low trading fees, best-in-class customer support, and a variety of trading options. However, one of the major concerns with Binance is the ongoing regulatory concerns in certain jurisdictions like the US.
Coinbase is a US-based crypto exchange that is popular for its ease of use, intuitive trading platforms, and customer-friendliness. Coinbase provides a high level of security and excellent customer support. It also offers a variety of payment methods to suit all types of traders. However, Coinbase’s trading fees are relatively high compared to Binance.
OKX is a Seychelles-based centralized crypto exchange serving millions of users around the world. OKX offers 330+ crypto assets, which include leading crypto currencies like BTC, ETH, and BNB as well as many new altcoins. OKX offers a number of trading options like spot and margin trading, crypto futures and options, and perpetual swaps. OKX has its native currency, OKB.
It also provides a hot wallet for crypto storage and a dedicated NFT marketplace. OKX offers various promotional offers like a joining bonus or zero-trading fee for a limited period for new users. But, there is a drawback - OKX is not available for US-based customers. It also has limited liquidity for certain crypto coins.
Established in 2012, Bitfinex is one of the pioneers in the field of crypto trading. It supports 175+ cryptocurrencies. Bitfinex offers high liquidity, and it’s especially suitable for institutional and professional traders. Using Bitfinex, traders can avail a variety of trading options like spot trading, margin trading, crypto derivatives, crypto lending, and crypto staking. In addition, Bitfinex often comes with excellent promotional offers for new users.
One of the drawbacks of Bitfinex is that it’s not very suitable for new users for its advanced trading features and complexities. In addition, Bitfinex’s services are not available in the US. So, if you are living in the US, you cannot trade crypto using Bitfinex.
3. The Importance of Choosing the Best Crypto Exchange
FTX was one of the largest crypto exchanges until it imploded in November 2022. Millions of crypto investors lost a total of billions of dollars in this episode. What it teaches us all is the importance of picking the right crypto exchange that provides a hassle-free crypto trading experience without compromising on security, transparency, and corporate governance. To cut a long story short, we need the best crypto exchange to:
- ensure the safety and security of our funds and crypto currencies
- have a convenient and smooth trading experience
- get access to many crypto assets and trading options (like margin trading, crypto derivates, ETFs, and NFTs)
- minimize fees, commissions, and other costs
- settle transactions fast and without errors
- get access to superior trading technologies and platforms
- protect the privacy and ensure data security
- Easily deposit and withdraw funds and crypto
- get trading assistance (like copy trading), educational materials, and market insights
This crypto exchange guide has been developed after hundreds of hours of research and study to come up with the best crypto exchanges in different categories. It will help you pick the right one based on your trading goals and strategies. Furthermore, we have prepared additional articles, reviews, and offers for you, like the list of crypto with the biggest potential. Investing in crypto with the biggest potential this year can generate a substantial return as the crypto market rebounds.
4. Crypto Exchange vs Crypto Wallet
Many crypto beginners get confused between crypto exchanges and crypto wallets. Firstly, these are two separate things. A crypto exchange is a platform that facilitates buying or selling crypto. A crypto wallet, on the other hand, is a storage facility for the safekeeping of cryptos. So, after buying cryptos from an exchange, you can use a crypto wallet to store them.
There are two types of crypto wallets - hot wallets and cold wallets. Hot wallets are convenient, but they involve higher risk as they are connected to the Internet. Cold wallets are a little less convenient - but, they are much safer as cold wallets are based on hardware devices. To know more about crypto wallets, read our guide on how to safely store your crypto.
5. Types of Crypto Exchanges - Centralized, Decentralized, and Hybrid
While all crypto exchanges have the primary function of facilitating crypto trades, they can be of different types depending on the way they function. Before moving on to the rankings of crypto exchanges in different categories, we need to know about different types of crypto exchanges.
Some crypto exchanges are like traditional stockbrokers, which act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers to execute trades. On the other hand, other crypto exchanges allow buyers and sellers to directly engage in trades without any intermediation. Let’s look at these various types of crypto exchanges based on their functionalities.
5.1 Centralized crypto exchanges (CEXs)
In a centralized crypto exchange (CEX), the exchange functions as a central authority acting as an intermediary between crypto buyers and sellers. Here, the exchange supervises all activities within the exchange. In a CEX, traders need to deposit their cryptocurrencies with the exchange to participate in trades and trust the exchange to keep safe custody of the assets. Most prominent crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken are centralized crypto exchanges.
Pros of centralized exchanges:
- They are convenient for users as all activities are managed by the exchange.
- CEXs tend to provide better liquidity.
- CEXs are known for excellent customer support.
- Generally, centralized exchanges have better regulatory assurance compared to decentralized exchanges.
Cons of centralized exchanges:
- CEXs often suffer from security vulnerabilities. Since these exchanges hold users’ funds, CEXs are attractive targets for hackers.
- CEXs have higher transaction fees as the exchange acts as an intermediary.
- A centralized exchange can misuse customers’ funds (as happened in the case of FTX) to invest in risky assets or carry out dubious business practices.
5.2 Decentralized crypto exchanges (DEXs)
In a decentralized crypto exchange, there is no intermediary or central authority controlling transactions or ownership of assets. These exchanges use blockchain technology to enable users to directly transact with each other in a peer-to-peer environment. So, DEXs are more aligned with the central ideas of blockchain and crypto, which are decentralization and peer-to-peer transactions.
In a DEX, transactions are executed using smart contracts. These are algorithm-based contracts executed automatically when certain pre-determined conditions are met. One of the defining features of DEXs is that users don’t need to hand over custody of their crypto to the exchange while participating in trades. Uniswap, DyDx, and PancakeSwap are some examples of decentralized crypto exchanges.
Pros of decentralized exchanges:
- No intermediary or central authority controlling transactions
- Users can have full custody of their assets
- Users are able to transact directly with other users in a P2P environment
- DEXs involve very low transaction fees as there are no intermediaries
Cons of decentralized exchanges:
- Not suitable for beginners because of limited customer support and trading assistance
- There can be liquidity issues that can delay the execution of trades
- Users need to control the security issues themselves while transacting peer-to-peer
- Most DEXs don't support crypto trading using fiat currency. You can use these platforms only to exchange one crypto for another.
You can find more about investing in cryptocurrencies and latest crypto trading bonus codes directly on our website. Learn how to safely store your crypto and what to take into consideration when starting your investment journey - all prepared by our experts at JohnnyBitcoin.
6. Custodial vs. Non-Custodial Crypto Exchanges
We can divide all crypto exchanges into two broad types (custodial and non-custodial) based on the custody of your crypto assets. Custodial exchanges are the exchanges that keep custody of your crypto assets while you trade with them.
On the other hand, non-custodial exchanges allow you to keep complete control over your own crypto. Most centralized exchanges are custodial exchanges, while decentralized exchanges are non-custodial exchanges.
7. Factors to Look for While Selecting a Crypto Exchange
It’s not easy to pick a single crypto exchange among the hundreds of them in the market. This task can be made easy when we have a list of factors to evaluate them. Our experience suggests that the following lists of factors affect the trading experience of crypto users the most:
- Trading fees, commissions, and other transaction costs
- Deposit or withdrawal fees
- Supporting payment methods
- Type of wallet available
- Convenience in depositing and withdrawing funds or crypto
- No. of crypto assets available
- Trading options and markets supported
- Transaction speed
- Type of trading platforms
- Transparency and ease of using the platform
- Customer support
- Safety and Security
- Regulatory status
Now that you have better ideas about crypto exchanges, their types, and the factors to look for while choosing a crypto exchange, we can look at the top crypto exchanges in 2023 in different categories.
8. Top 5 Centralized Crypto Exchanges in 2023
Most crypto exchanges in the market are centralized because of their ease of use and traditional structure. According to our research, these are the top 5 centralized crypto exchanges in July 2023.
Our research suggests Bybit is one of the most efficient crypto exchanges for beginners. It offers 400+ cryptocurrencies. This means you can not only buy major crypto like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH) using Bybit, there are numerous smaller and new coins as well.
- Bybit offers many crypto coins - 400+.
- Bybit offers a welcome bonus, cashback, discounts, and other benefits for new users.
- It provides up to 100X leverage on crypto trading.
- Bybit card helps in seamless conversion and crypto trading
- Bybit is not available for traders from certain jurisdictions like the US
- Trading crypto futures using Bybit is relatively complex and may not be suitable for new users
Read our full review about ByBit and the available ByBit promo code and find out more about one of the top 10 crypto exchanges by 24-h average trading volume. You can earn 20 USDT just after signing up.
Founded in 2013, KuCoin is one of the most experienced crypto exchanges. It offers many crypto coins and trading options.
- KuCoin offers 870 crypto assets for trading, which is higher than most other crypto exchanges.
- It offers an Intuitive and simple design highly suitable for new traders.
- KuCoin offers excellent welcome benefits for new users.
- Using KuCoin, users can avail of fast withdrawals within a few minutes.
- It offers staking services for users to earn interest income from their staked crypto.
- KuCoin KuCard for spending crypto. Users can also earn cashback for spending on this card.
- A major drawback of KuCoin is that it’s not licensed to operate in the US.
- In a major security breach, hackers stole more than $150 million in 2020 from KuCoin.
We have also prepared an in-depth review of KuCoin and prepared a special KuCoin referral code. Using this promo code, you will get a welcome bonus of up to 3,200 USDT. Follow through the links to read our article.
BTSE is accompanied by a collection of financial services that harmoniously complement one another and seamlessly integrate, elevating the overall financial experience. Almost all their funds are being kept in cold storage, while downtime with hot upgrades is near 0.
- 99.9% of funds in kept cold storage
- Near 0 downtime with hot upgrades
- 1 Million+ order requests per second
- Fully self-hosted infrastructure
- A platform that is horizontally scalable
- Withdrawal fees of %0.15
Binance is the largest crypto exchange by trading volume or number of users. Globally, Binance has more than 130 million users. This leading crypto exchange provides numerous crypto coins and trading options. So it suits both beginners and expert traders.
- A large number of crypto coins and tokens. It offers 380+ cryptocurrencies.
- Low trading fees
- A wide variety of trading options (spot trading, margin trading, P2P trading, crypto derivatives, and options) suitable for beginners and professional traders
- Binance offers exciting joining bonuses and benefits for first-time users.
- Binance faces regulatory concerns in certain jurisdictions like the US.
- It doesn't support US dollar deposits.
Coinbase is the 2nd largest crypto exchange with respect to trading volume and the number of users. It’s also a US-based crypto exchange. Coinbase provides excellent trading platforms and best-in-class security.
- 240+ cryptocurrencies available for trading
- High liquidity
- Low minimum funding requirements
- Efficient trading platform and customer support
- Coinbase has a native NFT marketplace
- Coinbase's transaction fees are on the higher side compared to other leading crypto exchanges.
- There are ongoing regulatory issues in the US
Kraken is one of the most efficient crypto exchanges for both beginners and pro-traders. It has highly advanced trading tools.
- Kraken offers excellent security measures and it has an outstanding security record.
- Being a US-based crypto exchange, Kraken offers better regulatory assurance.
- It offers a large selection of trading and earning options like margin trading, crypto derivatives, indices trading, OTC trading, and staking.
- It has a highly transparent website providing all terms and information clearly.
- Unlike many leading crypto exchanges, Kraken doesn’t offer any crypto credit card.
- Kraken’s trading fees are a bit high unless you are a Kraken Pro user.
Investing in cryptocurrency has never been easier. Keep reading to find out countless opportunities and start trading today on reputable crypto exchange sites to secure your financial future.
9. Top 5 Decentralized Crypto Exchanges in 2023
Compared to CEXs, DEXs are less common and relatively new. However, with more reliance on decentralized protocols, we now have a number of efficient decentralized exchanges. We conducted detailed research to find out the best-decentralized exchanges in 2023. Below are our final picks.
Uniswap is the leading decentralized crypto trading platform with a total trade volume of $1.4 trillion+. Uniswap allows developers, traders, and liquidity providers to swap cryptocurrencies (exchanging one crypto coin for another). This leading DEX runs through smart contracts developed on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Uniswap is the most popular and trustworthy decentralized crypto exchange.
- It involves low transaction costs and provides easy accessibility to all traders.
- Uniswap offers a large variety of ERC-20 tokens.
- Users can earn additional interest income by joining the Uniswap liquidity pool.
- You need to have ETH to pay for the gas fees (transaction costs paid through Ethereum) for the Uniswap exchange.
- Ethereum gas fees can be very volatile depending on the transaction volume.
9.2 Curve Finance
Curve Finance is one of the most popular decentralized crypto exchanges for stablecoins. It uses an Automated Market Maker (AMM) to match and fulfill orders of buyers and sellers. Curve Finance was officially launched in Jun 2020.
- Curve Finance is a fully decentralized crypto platform. This means crypto remain fully under the custody of the users and not with the exchange.
- Curve finance has its main focus on stablecoins.
- Curve provides high volume and liquidity.
- Users can earn additional interest income through options like yield farming or liquidity pools.
- Swapping crypto using Curve Finance may be a complex process for many beginners.
- There is a limited amount of information on its website.
PancakeSwap is one of the largest DEXs with respect to market share. PancakeSwap is based on an Automated Market Maker (AMM) model in which users trade against a liquidity pool.
- It’s a completely decentralized exchange - this means you don’t need to register or verify KYC to start swapping crypto.
- PancakeSwap offers a number of options like staking and yield farming to earn passive income from crypto.
- PancakeSwap offers one of the lowest trading fees.
- PancakeSwap offers various gambling and games of luck and lotteries, which involve high risks.
- PancakeSwap is based on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), trading on which can be very complex.
dYdX is a non-custodial decentralized crypto exchange platform. This crypto mainly focuses on advanced crypto products like crypto derivatives and crypto perpetual.
- dYdX doesn’t charge any deposit or withdrawal fees.
- dYdX offers an easy and interactive interface suitable for both new traders and experts.
- In dYdX, there is no need for identity verification. So, the users remain anonymous.
- There are a limited number of token pairs.
- On dYdX, you can’t trade crypto using fiat currencies. You can only exchange one crypto for another.
GMX is one of the most popular decentralized spots and perpetual exchanges for cryptocurrencies. Launched in 2021, it has gained immense popularity in a short span of time.
- GMX allows you to exchange top crypto coins like BTC, ETH, and AVAX in a decentralized environment.
- GMX offers high leverage of up to 50X.
- It has a tight spread, which lowers trading costs.
- GMX’s trading platform is simple and intuitive, which suits the needs of new traders.
- Like most DEXs, GMX has a very limited customer support infrastructure.
- GMX is a relatively new DEX (it only came in 2021); so, many advanced functions may not be available.
As with all trading platforms, there are some advantages and disadvantages of using them, which should be taken into account before deciding to join them. That is why our experts at JohnnyBitcoin have prepared additional articles, like our guide on how to invest in crypto, where you will discover what are the crucial steps involved in crypto investments.
10. Top Crypto Exchanges With the Lowest Fees
There are different elements of trading costs - like, deposit and withdrawal costs, trading fees, and commissions. The trading fees charged by a crypto exchange are most often the biggest component of your overall trading costs. So, we have collected data regarding the maker's and taker’s costs of the leading crypto exchanges to come up with the top 5 crypto exchanges offering the lowest fee structure in 2023.
|Exchange name||Maker fee||Taker fee|
Different crypto traders have different trading goals and strategies. We understand that some crypto traders are more concerned about their overall trading costs. After all, when trading costs are higher, it eats out a large portion of the profits from crypto trading. And if you have already decided that you want to start with Bitcoin we have prepared a guide on how to buy Bitcoin online.
11. Crypto Exchanges Offering The Highest Number of Cryptos
There are traders who are constantly in search of new coins that have the potential to explode in the short run. So, we have collected data from leading sources to prepare this list of the exchanges offering the highest number of crypto coins:
|Exchange||No. of coins offered|
For many traders, the number of crypto coins offered by the crypto exchange is a dealbreaker. When an exchange is offering numerous crypto, it means we can easily find some unfamiliar or new coins which can offer 50X or 100X returns.
12. Final words
We developed lists of the top crypto exchanges based on the latest available information. However, factors like services offered by a crypto exchange or their fees and commissions can change from time to time based on the sole discretion of these exchanges.
Moreover, selecting a crypto exchange is just half the story. You need to acquire information regarding various aspects of investing in crypto, build a sound investment or trading strategy, and conduct risk management to trade profitably. Lastly, investing in crypto, like investing in any other asset, requires discipline, flexibility, and patience.
Best Crypto Exchanges
Additionally, if you are looking for a crypto space that delivers valuable insights to users through cryptocurrency reports, publications, newsletter and more, then visit https://www.coingecko.com/ - a platform that has it all. CoinGecko was established in 2014 with the mission to democratize the access to crypto data and empower its users with useful insights.
13. Crypto exchanges - FAQs
13.1 ❓How did we come up with the lists of the top crypto exchanges in 2023?
Our lists of the best crypto exchanges in different categories are based on weeks of research and data analysis. We collected and studied various information like fees and commissions, no. of users, trading performance, security status, reputation & regulatory status, ease of use, customer support, and above all feedback from real traders.
13.2 ❓Should I create accounts with multiple exchanges?
You can create accounts with multiple crypto exchanges to get a first-hand experience with these exchanges. Also, opening an account doesn't generally involve any cost (other than your precious time, of course). So, it can be a good idea to compare a number of crypto exchanges before settling for one.
13.3 ❓Should I use a centralized or a decentralized exchange?
Both centralized and decentralized exchanges have their pros and cons. In our opinion, if you are a beginner, centralized exchanges are more suited for you. However, DEXs are better for users who have significant experience in trading crypto and handling crypto wallets safely.
13.4 ❓Why does the regulatory status of a crypto platform matter?
The regulatory status of a crypto exchange is important as it establishes the authenticity and trustworthiness of a crypto platform. Crypto exchanges with questionable regulatory status may face legal hurdles or may be disallowed to function in certain jurisdictions.
13.5 ❓Why should I consider the type of crypto wallet used by a crypto exchange?
Custodial crypto exchanges keep custody of the private keys of users with themselves. These exchanges store these private keys in hot or cold wallets. Since hot wallets are connected to the Internet, they are vulnerable to hacking and theft. Cold wallets are much safer as they store private keys on offline devices, which makes them safer when it comes to storing the best crypto exchanges in 2023.