If you want to buy and sell digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple – you’ll need to find a top-rated crypto trading platform that meets your needs.
With hundreds of potential options to choose from – knowing which crypto platform to trade with can be challenging.
In this guide, we reveal the best cryptocurrency trading platform of 2021.
In bringing you the best providers, we sought to find platforms that offer low fees and commissions, lots of crypto markets, good customer support, and a safe and secure trading environment.
In This Guide
After reviewing dozens of providers, we narrowed our list of the best crypto trading platforms down to just seven. For a full review of each platform, scroll down!
5 Providers that match your filters
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Securities trading offered through Robinhood Financial LLC, a registered broker-dealer and Member SIPC, and a subsidiary of Robinhood Markets, Inc.
Your money is at risk. The exchange holds an e-money license from the FCA.
Crypto assets are highly volatile, unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection
Most crypto trading platforms in the online space operating in an unregulated manner. As such, finding a trusted provider is no easy feat.
In addition to safety, you also need to look at key metrics surrounding payments, pricing, trading tools, supported markets, and user-friendliness.
To help clear the mist, below you will find a selection of the best crypto trading platforms in the market right now.
If you’re looking for a safe and low-cost crypto trading platform that is suitable for newbies, look no further than eToro. This top-rated provider gives you access to 16 digital currencies. This includes the likes of Bitcoin, Ripple, EOS, Cardano, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more.
Unlike other crypto trading platforms in the space, eToro does not charge any commissions when you buy and sell your chosen digital asset. On the contrary, the provider allows you to trade in a 100% commission-free environment.
There are no ongoing fees either, so you can hold onto your crypto investment for as long as you wish. In addition to buying and selling digital coins outright, eToro also offers a crypto CFD trading facility. This is available to most clients apart from those based in the US and UK.
These CFDs cover almost 100+ crypto-to-fiat (e.g. ETH/USD) and crypto-to-crypto (e.g. BTC/XRP) pairs – all of which you can trade with leverage. Plus, if opting to trade crypto CFDs on eToro, you can even go short. This is handy in the event you think a particular digital currency is overvalued and thus – you wish to profit from this.
Irrespective of whether you buy cryptocurrencies or trade them via CFDs, the minimum stake on eToro is just $25. This is great for those of you that are entering the crypto trading scene for the first time. eToro also stands out for us as it offers automated crypto trading tools.
Firstly, you have CopyPortfolios. These are professionally managed portfolios that give you access to a fully diversified basket of crypto assets. The team will add, remove, and rebalance assets within the CopyPortfolio as and when they feel this is needed. Secondly, eToro also offers a Copy Trading tool.
This allows you to copy a seasoned crypto trader like for like at an amount proportionate to what you invest (minimum $200). When it comes to regulation and safety, eToro does everything by the book. Not only is the platform regulated by the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), and CySEC (Cyprus), but it is also registered with FINRA.
This means that Americans can now use the eToro platform to safely and legally buy cryptocurrencies (but not trade CFDs). When it comes to getting started, eToro accounts usually take less than 10 minutes to open. This is because the provider can verify your ID automatically. You can fund your account with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank transfer.
75% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site
Coinbase is often the first crypto exchange that first-time investors will turn to. This is because the US-based provider is safe, user-friendly, and it supports a good range of payment methods. Coinbase - which is now home to over 35 million customers, supports a great selection of digital currencies that you can buy and sell with ease.
This includes most top-20 cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization - such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, and Litecoin. Coinbase also offers a number of less popular digital currencies, including but not limited to Band, Maker, Graph, and NuCypher.
Opening an account with Coinbase is also straightforward - as just like eToro, the platform is able to verify ID documents quickly. Then, you can deposit funds with a debit card or bank transfer. If opting for the former, you can purchase your chosen cryptocurrency both directly and instantly. Once the transaction is executed, the crypto will be added to your Coinbase account.
Coinbase is also a popular crypto trading platform as it has a great reputation. Launched way back in 2012, the platform offers some of the best security controls in the industry. On top of complying with all relevant anti-money laundering regulations in the US, Coinbase keeps 98% of client funds in secure offline storage.
It also requires you to sign up for two-factor authentication. This means you'll need to enter a unique code every time you log in to your account - which you'll acquire from your mobile device. Coinbase gives you the option of setting up a 48-hour time-lock on withdrawals, should you want to add an extra layer of security.
With that said, Coinbase does come with a major flaw - it is one of the most expensive crypto exchanges in the market. For example, you will pay 3.99% to buy cryptocurrencies directly with your debit card. Although bank account deposits are free for most clients, you'll still need to pay a trading commission of 1.49% - which is charged on both buy and sell orders.
Nevertheless, in addition to being able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, this top-rated crypto exchange also offers a trading facility. In what it calls Coinbase Pro, this comes packed with digital currency pairs that you can trade at lower commissions. This starts at 0.50% per slide, which is still expensive, but much more competitive than the 1.49% it charges to buy and sell.
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Your money is at risk.
If you're a crypto day trader - meaning that you actively buy and sell digital currencies with the view of making frequent profits, Binance could be the right platform for you. Although this top-rated crypto trading platform was launched as recently as 2017, it is now home to the most volume. In fact, daily trading volumes on Binance frequently surpass $10 billion.
There are several reasons why this free cryptocurrency trading platform is so popular. Firstly, it is home to a huge number of crypto trading markets which includes hundreds of pairs. This includes major pairs like BTC/USDT and BTC/ETH, but many micro-cap markets, too.
As such, Binance is also a good option if you have your eye on a number of small altcoins that you wish to invest in. Binance also stands out for us as it offers very competitive trading fees. This starts at just 0.10% - meaning that a $1,000 order could cost you $1 in fees.
You can get this commission reduced even further by holding BNB Coins - which is the cryptocurrency native to the Binance platform. Further, Binance offers reduced rates when you trade larger volumes. Most traders on Binance will deposit and withdraw funds in crypto.
However, the platform also offers support for debit/credit card and bank account transfers. This isn't available to all clients though, and fees will vary depending on your location. For example, UK traders will pay a debit/credit card fee of 2%, while Americans pay much more at 4.5%.
Bank transfers, however, are usually free on this top-rated crypto platform, albeit, you'd need to wait a few days for the funds to arrive. Nevertheless, once you have opened an account on Binance - which takes just 30 seconds if you are not planning to use fiat currency, you will have access to an abundance of advanced trading tools.
This includes heaps of order types and in-depth chart reading capabilities. You can also view order book history which is particularly useful for seasoned pros. When it comes to safety, Binance allows you to store your digital currency through its online platform. It also offers a mobile wallet. Or, you can withdraw your coins out to a private wallet of your choosing.
If you decide to keep your coins at Binance, the platform keeps the vast majority of client funds in cold storage. It also offers two-factor authentication and IP/device whitelisting. Perhaps even more impressive is the 'SAFU' feature hosted by Binance. This is a reserve insurance pot to cover clients in the unfortunate event the platform was hacked.
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Coinmama is a good option if you are planning to buy crypto and store your coins in a private wallet for several months or years. This is because, unlike other crypto providers, Coinmama does not allow you to store your coins on the platform.
Instead, you need to enter your wallet address when you make a purchase, and Coinmama will instantly forward the digital currency. In particular, Coinmama is popular with those that wish to buy cryptocurrency with a debit or credit card.
In order to do this, you will need to first upload a copy of your government-issued ID, alongside a selfie. This is to ensure Coinmama remains compliant with anti-money laundering laws. Then, it's just a case of entering your card details and deciding how much you wish to invest.
Coinmama actually hosts 8 different cryptocurrencies - which include Bitcoin, Cardano, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic. Crucially, once you have verified your Coinmama account, making a purchase should take you less than a few minutes. Plus, you can then use Coinmama to sell your coins back to fiat currency.
Although Coinmama offers one of the easiest ways to invest in crypto, we should make it clear that the provider charges handsomely for its services. For example, all cryptocurrency prices that you see on the platform are typically 2% less favorable than the current market rate.
This means that you are indirectly paying a fee of 2%, which is essentially a 'spread' in all but name. Then, Coinmama also charges a trading commission of 3.90% when you buy a cryptocurrency and 0.90% when you sell. If you thought this was bad enough, there are also extortionate fees charged on debit and credit card transactions.
This stands at 5% of the transaction amount. The cheaper option is to transfer funds from your bank account, but again, this will delay the process. Plus, Coinmama charges a £20 fee on bank wire deposits of less than $1,000.
Kraken is a global crypto trading platform that is particularly popular with Europeans. There are several reasons why Kraken is worth considering for your digital currency needs. First and foremost, Kraken allows you to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with fiat money.
Depending on your location, you might be able to deposit funds with a debit card. This will, however, cost you 3.75% + €0.25 in fees. Debit card transactions are direct purchases, so this does include the trading commission.
Alternatively, you can easily fund your Kraken account via bank transfer. In most cases, this is fee-free. Best of all, bank transfer deposits come with a minimum of just $1. In terms of trading fees on the Kraken platform, this starts at just 0.16%. Like most crypto trading platforms in the space, lower fees are available for larger volumes.
When it comes to supported markets, Kraken offers a great range of cryptocurrencies to choose from. Not only does this cover major coins, but heaps of smaller-cap projects. For example, you can trade the likes of Polkadot, OmiseGO, Cosmos, Decentraland, and Curve.
With that being said, perhaps the biggest attraction with Kraken is that it offered leverage financial products. Firstly, you can buy Bitcoin on margin. This is available at up to 1:5 - meaning that a $1,000 Bitcoin purchase would require a deposit of just $200. Kraken also offers Bitcoin futures - which is ideal for those of you looking to trade in a more sophisticated way.
These Bitcoin futures on Kraken permit leverage of up to 1:40. This means that a $40,000 position would require a balance of just $1,000. Finally, although Kraken is arguably more suited to seasoned crypto trading pros, the platform does offer a great selection of educational materials. This includes crypto guides, videos, and even podcasts.
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If you're looking for a US-based crypto trading platform that is both safe and secure, then Gemini could be the best option for you. Although not the most competitive platform in terms of fees, Gemini offers a range of investor protections that ensure you can trade in a safe environment.
For example, all clients of Gemini are required to go through an enhanced identity verification process. All US dollar deposits held at Gemini are covered by the FDIC, which is a major plus-point for Americans. Perhaps most important, Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) as a trust company (Gemini Trust Company, LLC).
On top of offering institutional-grade security, Gemini is able to offer traders significant levels of liquidity. This is why the platform is often the preferred provider for large-scale and institutional investors. When it comes to supported markets, Gemini is home to 20+ cryptocurrencies. These can all be traded against the US dollar.
In terms of fees, Gemini charges 1.49% on all buy and sell orders. If you trade less than $200, you will pay a flat fee. This will depend on the amount you buy or sell, but will work out more than 1.49%. In addition to this, Gemini charges a mark-up of 0.50% above the current rate of the cryptocurrency you are trading.
If you like the sound of Gemini, you'll need to deposit funds via bank transfer. There is no support for debit/credit cards or e-wallets. You can also fund your Gemini account with a cryptocurrency. Finally, we should note that on top of the US, Gemini is also available in the UK, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
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Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.
Luno is a free cryptocurrency trading platform that is often used by newbies entering the market for the first time. In particular, Luno is a great option if you are planning to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies via your mobile device.
This is because the provider offers a fully-fledged app that is available on iOS and Android. The app offers a seamless user experience that isn't hindered by smaller screen sizes. As a newbie-friendly crypto trading platform, Luno allows you to buy digital assets with a debit or credit card.
With that said, this does come with a fee of 3.5%, which is on the steep side. On the other hand, if you are able to deposit funds with crypto, you'll only pay the respective blockchain fee. Either way, once you have funds in your Luno account, you can then trade at a commission of just 0.1%.
You'll have access to several chart reading tools, which include integration with TradingView. One of the best features offered by this top-rated crypto trading platform is its savings account. This allows you to deposit crypto and earn up to 4% annually. You will, however, need to lock your coins up for a certain period of time.
The longer you lock the coins away, the more interest you can earn. This is a really innovative feature that allows you to earn income on a cryptocurrency investment that would otherwise be left sitting idle. After all, you'll still benefit if the cryptocurrency in question rises in value, as you'll receive the full principal amount back from Luno once the deposit term expires.
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As per CoinMarketCap, there are now close to 300 crypto trading platforms operating in the online space. Of this figure, more than 120 have facilitated trading volume of more than $100 million in the past 24 hours prior to writing this guide.
As such, the process of choosing a crypto trading platform for your needs can be a daunting task.
The good news is that selecting a provider doesn't have to be challenging if you have a check-list of key metrics in place - such as those surrounding safety, tradable markets, payment, and of course - fees.
Let's explore these core requirements in a bit more detail.
We just mentioned that there are now just under 300 online platforms offering crypto trading and change services. Make no mistake about it - the vast majority of these providers are unregulated and unlicensed.
This is a major problem, as you can never be 100% sure whether or not your money is safe. But, with many of these crypto trading platforms offering industry-leading fees, inexperienced investors are unwittingly drawn in.
As such, we should make it clear that you should never sign up with a crypto trading platform if it does not offer a range of safety nets and account protections.
The best way to gauge this is to check if the crypto trading platform is regulated. In the case of eToro - our top-rated platform, the provider is regulated on three fronts. This includes the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC. The platform is also registered with FINRA, which allows it to legally accept American traders.
Some crypto trading platforms will offer heaps of markets, while others focus on a select few. For example, in the case of Coinmama, the platform only supports 8 digital currencies. At the other end of the scale, eToro supports 16 coins and almost 100 pairs.
When considering your preferred crypto pair, this typically comes in one of two forms - crypto-to-fiat or crypto-to-crypto.
In addition to the above, you might also be interested in digital currency derivatives. For example, the top cryptocurrency trading platforms offer futures and options markets on Bitcoin. These normally come with the added benefit of leverage and short-selling capabilities.
As we have discussed throughout this guide on the best crypto trading platforms of 2021, you will always need to pay a fee of some sort when buying and selling digital currencies online.
This can vary quite wildly, so below we've listed the main fees that you need to explore before choosing a provider.
Before you can start trading crypto, you will need to fund your account. If you don't already have access to some digital coins, you will need to choose a provider that supports fiat currency deposits. It is important to note that even the top cryptocurrency trading platforms charge handsomely for funding your account with a debit or credit card.
Ultimately, when paying such a high fee to deposit funds, you need to make this back in gains to just break even. This is why we would suggest considering eToro if you want to find your account with fiat currency.
The regulated provider charges just 0.5% on debit/credit cards, e-wallet, and bank wire deposits. In fact, if you're based in the US and using a USD payment method, you won't pay any deposit fees at all.
In a similar nature to stock trading platforms, forex trading platforms, and CFD trading platforms - the crypto exchange providers will always charge a commission. Unless you are trading really small amounts, this is usually a variable commission that is multiplied against the value of your trade.
Trading commissions are always charged' per slide', meaning you pay it when you buy a cryptocurrency and again when you sell. As such, the higher the position, the more you will pay.
There is an exception to the trading commission rule, as eToro allows you to buy and sell digital currencies fee-free. This means that you only pay the spread - which is the difference between the bid and ask price of the crypto asset in question.
In addition to commissions and deposit/withdrawals, you also need to consider the following crypto trading platform fees that might come into play.
We find that the best cryptocurrency trading platforms offer heaps of useful features that potentially suit investors of all shapes and sizes.
The 'cryptocurrency robot' scene has grown to new heights in recent years. The main attraction here is that the robot will buy, sell, and trade crypto on your behalf. This is based on a pre-defined algorithm that reacts to specific market conditions.
The process works as follows:
Of course, there is every chance that your crypto robot will end up losing you money, so it's best to start off in demo account mode.
If you like the sound of automated crypto trading, we would argue that you are best off using the Copy Trading feature offered by eToro. In doing so, you'll get to choose a successful crypto trader that uses eToro - based on past performance and average monthly return. Then, you can copy the trade like-for-like in a fully transparent and regulated environment.
Everything is proportionate to the amount you invest in the trader. For example, if you invest $500 and the trade risks 20% of their portfolio buying Bitcoin, $100 with of BTC will be added to your portfolio (20% of $500).
This is a much safer option for a number of reasons. Firstly, you will be relying on a proven human trader - so there is no chance of the individual 'malfunctioning' like a robot can.
Secondly, the human trader is fully aware of fundamental news developments, while trading robots rely solely on technicals. Additionally, eToro allows you to invest just $200 into each crypto trader. As such, a $1,000 investment would allow you to diversify across five seasoned pros.
Most first-timers will look to invest in their chosen cryptocurrency on a long-term basis. However, if you see yourself as a day trader or swing trader, it's best to pick a platform that offers sophisticated trading tools. For example, the likes of eToro and Kraken allow you to apply leverage to your crypto trades.
This allows you to boost the value of your position and thus - trade with more than you have in your account. The aforementioned crypto trading platforms allow support short-selling. This allows you to speculate on the value of a cryptocurrency going down - which is ideal during bearish trends.
The best crypto platforms that we reviewed offer an abundance of educational resources. This is really useful for those of you that have little to no experience in the crypto trading scene.
For example, eToro offers trading guides and videos. It also offers podcasts, webinars, and social trading features. Regarding the latter, this allows you to communicate with other eToro traders in a 'Facebook-like' environment. When it comes to research, the best cryptocurrency trading platforms provide you with both fundamental and technical analysis tools.
For example, if you're planning to actively trade - you'll want to choose a provider that offers chart reading tools and indicators. It's also useful if the provider offers market commentary and trading insights.
If you sign up with an unknown crypto trading platform, it's all but certain that liquidity levels will be on the low side. This can be devastating, as you might find it difficult to enter and exit your chosen crypto market.
For those unaware, liquidity refers to the amount of capital that a Bitcoin exchange possesses on a particular pair. If there is lots of liquidity, this means that the platform benefits from large trading volumes.
In turn, you will have access to much tighter spreads, which will reduce your trading costs. And most importantly - when using a crypto trading platform that is home to high liquidity levels, you will always be able to find a buyer when you plan to exit a position.
In our search for the best crypto trading platforms in the market, we came across a number of providers that offered a less than favorable user experience. In some cases, we found it difficult to find our preferred marketplace - as there was a lack of a fully functioning search facility.
We also came across providers that offered an overly complex trading platform - especially when it comes to placing orders. Don't forget, you are going to be risking your hard-earned money, so you'll want to choose a crypto trading platform that makes the investment process seamless and burden-free.
In our view, we found that eToro offers a superb user experience. For example, in order to trade BTC/ETH, you simply need to enter this into the search box. Then, a pop-up box will appear asking for you to enter your trade specifics. If you want to keep to the basics, all you need to enter on eToro is the value of your stake in US dollars and click on the 'Open Trade' button'.
The biggest and most popular crypto trading platforms of 2021 will offer a native mobile app. This usually gives you access to all of the same features and tools as found on the main desktop trading platform.
If your chosen crypto trading platform does offer an app, this will usually be supported for both iOS and Android operating systems.
With that said, you need to check what the mobile trading experience is like - as we also came across apps that were clunky and regularly crashed.
We have discussed payment methods extensively in this guide. After all, if you want to trade crypto online - you will need to add funds to your account. The top cryptocurrency trading platforms support debit/credit cards and even e-wallets like Paypal.
Others will only offer support for bank account deposits. In a lot of cases, you'll find that the platform only supports deposits and withdrawals in the form of crypto. This is usually because the provider does not have the legal remit to accept fiat currency.
Some crypto trading platforms are home to millions of active traders. While this illustrates that the provider offers a good service, this might not be the case when it comes to customer support. This is because not all trading platforms have the resources to employ a full-time customer service team.
If they don't, then you might find that the only support channel offered is via email. This means that you might need to wait a few days before you get a reply. If top-rated customer support is important to you, eToro offers a live chat facility that can be accessed once you are logged into your account.
If you're itching to start trading crypto from the comfort of your home - but you're not too sure where to start, we are now going to walk you through the end-to-end process with eToro.
By following the guidelines below, you'll have your first crypto trade placed in less than 10-15 minutes!
Visit the eToro website - either online or through your mobile phone, and click on the 'Join Now' button.
Your capital is at risk.
You will now be asked to provide some personal information. This includes your name, country of residence, date of birth, mobile number, and email address.
As a regulated provider, eToro will ask you to upload a copy of your ID and proof of address (utility bill or bank account statement). This is usually validated in less than a couple of minutes.
You will need to meet a minimum deposit of $200 ($50 for US clients) before you can start trading on eToro.
This top-rated crypto trading platform supports the following payment methods:
If you're a US citizen depositing in USD, you won't pay a fee to fund your eToro account. Otherwise, you will pay an FX fee of 0.5%.
eToro supports 16 digital currencies and almost 100 pairs. If you know which pair you wish to trade, search for it before clicking on the 'Trade' button.
If you want to browse what markets are offered by eToro, click on 'Trade Markets', followed by 'Crypto'.
The final stage of the process is to place your first crypto trade!
This is super easy on eToro, as you simply need to enter your stake. As you can see from the image below, we are buying $25 worth of Bitcoin commission-free. This is the minimum on eToro when trading crypto.
Finally, click on the 'Open Trade' button to place your crypto order!
This guide has explained that there are now close to 300 crypto trading platforms in the market - so choosing the right provider for you is crucial. You shouldn't be blinded exclusively by low fees, as there are lots of other important factors that need to be considered. This includes safety, customer support, tradable markets, payments, and more.
In conclusion, we found that eToro is by far the best crypto trading platform in the retail investment market. The provider - which is regulated by three bodies, allows you to trade cryptocurrencies commission-free. The minimum stake is just $25 and the provider allows you to instantly deposit funds with a debit/credit card or e-wallet.
A crypto trading platform operates in the same way as a conventional stock, forex, or CFD platform. That is to say, crypto trading platforms allow you to buy, sell, and trade digital currencies from the comfort of your home.
This depends on whether or not you are planning to use a regulated crypto trading platform (which you should). If you do, your access to leverage will depend on your country of residence. But, if using an unlicensed provider -such as BitMEX, it's now possible to get leverage of up 1:100.
Binance is often viewed as a low-cost trading platform, as it charges just 0.10% in commission. However, you'll pay up to 4.5% to deposit funds with a debit card. A much cheaper option is to use a regulated platform like eToro, which charges no commission on its crypto markets. Plus, debit card deposits will cost you a maximum of 0.5%.
As an American, you should stick with crypto trading platforms that are registered with FINRA. eToro is one such example. The provider is not only commission-free, but you can buy crypto from just $25 upwards.
You can start crypto trading in less than 10-15 minutes when using a regulated platform like eToro. All you need to do is quickly open an account, upload your ID, and make an instant deposit with your debit/credit card or e-wallet. Then, you can start trading crypto straightaway!
There are hundreds of crypto trading platforms in the online space - most of which are unregulated. We strongly suggest sticking with a regulated platform like eToro - which is licensed by the FCA, CYSEC, and ASIC (and registered with FIRNA in the US).
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies that you can trade online. With that said, the two most liquid crypto pairs are BTC/USD and BTC/USDT.
Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Kane has also written for websites such as MoneyCheck, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, Buysharesand the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.
Best UK Stock, Forex, CFD, Crypto, Social or Day Trading Platform that meets your needs.