What is a crypto exchange ?
An exchange is a platform or an application that facilitates the exchange of cryptos. You can deposit fiat currency (dollar, euro, yen, etc.) there and exchange it for crypto (BTC, ETH, BNB, etc.) and then grow your crypto investments through trading, for example. Crypto exchanges therefore serve as intermediaries between buyers and sellers of crypto-assets.
These are didactic platforms that satisfy several investment styles, between those who prefer to keep their assets (long-term investment, holders) and those who will seek to generate rapid capital gains (short-term investment).
Exchanges are remunerated through exchange fees applied to each transaction. As a general rule, these costs do not exceed 1%.
Exchanges can be centralized (CEX) such as Binance or Crypto.com or decentralized (DEX).
What are the differences between a crypto exchange and a broker ?
Where the broker will serve as an intermediary between you and the cryptocurrency market, a crypto exchange platform will allow you to directly access the cryptocurrency market in order to carry out your crypto purchases, your trades and other actions with your coins.
The notable differences then revolve around 4 principles :
- Security : Brokers are known to be more secure than exchanges. Not that the exchanges risk being hacked, far from it, but the brokers are still regulated by the financial authorities in force in their country.
- Options : You will have more options with exchanges that offer real trading interfaces. You are in control of your decisions and, of course, of your results. Exchanges generally list many more cryptocurrencies than brokers. However, the latter are diversified and offer other investment products than cryptocurrencies such as shares and ETFs. This can be interesting for those who wish to diversify
- Your level of experience : Going through a broker can be more reassuring for beginners. Starting to invest in cryptocurrencies via exchange platforms is a bit like being let loose in the jungle (virtual, but just as exotic). It is less complicated to invest with a broker and very easy to automatically imitate the strategies of good investors (on eToro for example with Copy Trading)
- Additional services : Brokers generally offer a more complete and personalized customer service to answer your questions, and small bonuses that can be useful to you: financial market analysis, help in investment choices, etc.
As you will have understood, brokers will appeal much more to beginners who want to learn about investing in crypto. As for the exchanges, they are intended more for more experienced investors in search of freedom of action.
Our opinion on trading platforms
Exchanges are a great option for those who want to own and trade cryptocurrency. The wide choice offered by crypto exchanges will allow you to have a rich and varied portfolio.
If you are familiar with the world of trading and cryptocurrencies, go directly to an exchange; you will have greater freedom of action and you will be more comfortable.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner and you like to be supervised, the broker will be more suitable. You will be able to take advantage of the more developed customer service to ask your questions and obtain appropriate assistance.
Generally speaking, if you want cryptocurrency hold or earn strategies and don’t want to bother with trading (while keeping up with what’s new in the market) the cryptocurrency exchange is an excellent choice.
The best crypto exchanges
So that you can direct you directly to the appropriate platform, we have compiled a ranking of the most popular crypto exchanges for you.
Here is the list of the main exchanges in 2023 :
Binance is the leading cryptocurrency exchange. Its name comes from Binary + Finance. It is the most reliable platform and has 15 million active users with an average trading volume of 2 billion euros. The Hong Kong company has experienced strong growth since its acquisition in 2019 of CoinMarketCap, the benchmark cryptocurrency site.
Binance has its own token, the BNB, which has the 5th largest capitalization in the cryptocurrency market with nearly 33 billion euros.
Why should you choose Binance as your exchange ?
Quite simply because it is a very complete platform with more than 150 cryptocurrencies available. Your Binance dashboard is clear on your spread, earnings, strategy, and you have a dedicated space for trading cryptocurrency pairs.
In addition, Binance allows you to invest in a wide range of financial products. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) products, staking and earning programs to earn passive income. With all this, it is no wonder that this crypto exchange platform has become a reference.
Bybit is a fairly recent exchange in the ecosystem. It stands out thanks to its launchpad. Through this feature, Bybit allows new projects to see the light of day and investors to invest in projects with strong potential.
Beyond this feature, Bybit offers easy and intuitive access to dozens of crypto markets. The trading platform is also advanced in terms of trading features, notably by offering a trading bot and a new copy trading service !
An exchange to follow closely !
Bitget is the exchange par excellence that combines trading and cryptocurrencies. In the majority of cases, it is the brokers who offer trading functionalities to their users. With the advantages and disadvantages that we know about them.
The Bitget exchange platform has decided to reconcile the two by offering a trading-oriented solution with a real crypto exchange.
In particular, you can use their copy trading functionality, trade in spot and even in futures !
Zengo helps bridge the gap between brokers and exchanges by making access to cryptocurrencies very easy. Its interface is very easy to learn and allows anyone to invest without pressure. This platform has great ergonomics and may also be suitable for budding investors.
Crypto.com stands out by offering not only a very easy-to-use interface, but also good monitoring of the performance of crypto-assets (and your portfolio). But that’s not all : it has very advantageous Visa cards for users who have their token : the Chronos.
By using Chronos, you can enjoy benefits such as 3% cashback on Spotify or Netflix and many other bonuses. Those who like to use their cryptocurrency as a means of payment will love Crypto.com !
Kraken has a crypto exchange platform with many features for crypto enthusiasts and trading experts. With Kraken you can open several types of accounts depending on your needs and your investor profile.
Why choose Kraken as an exchange ?
Kraken offers very attractive exchange fees ranging from 0 to 0.26% per trade. If you live in the United States, you will be able to use Kraken without any problem, which is not necessarily the case for Binance or other platforms.
KuCoin is a major crypto-asset exchange.
You will have the possibility to buy, sell and stake cryptos in addition to expert options (futures, long, short…) KuCoin users can also lend their cryptocurrency to earn rewards, such as an interest rate in a bank . KuCoin fees also remain very attractive. Enthusiasts appreciate KuCoin for the versatility of its offering. Indeed, the famous exchange platform offers many little-known coins that are generally not listed as their colleagues.