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Best crypto exchanges and how to use them

Georgios by Georgios · July 31, 2022

Cryptocurrencies used to have a simple system where users could convert their crypto assets into fiat currency and withdraw them in a few minutes. But rules and regulations from world governments are more strict than ever, making it an unnecessary and long process to withdraw your crypto into fiats. 

What is a crypto exchange

Let’s start from the basics, the stock market is a centralized marketplace for buying and selling financial instruments like stocks, bonds, and commodities. It includes stock exchanges such as NYSE and NASDAQ for trading stocks, as well as commodities exchanges like NYMEX for trading commodities like gold and silver.

To access the stock market, retail investors need a stock broker, which acts as an intermediary, facilitating transactions between investors and the stock market. These licensed institutions provide services like executing trades, offering investment advice, and providing necessary tools and platforms.

A crypto exchange combines features of both the stock market and a stock broker. Firstly, it creates its own markets, such as BTC/USD, which are exclusive to that particular exchange and somewhat independent from the BTC/USD markets of its competitors. Although these markets are independent from each other, a significant price divergence between exchanges markets can create arbitrage opportunities, which will quickly minimize the price gap/difference between the two.

Arbitrage involves taking advantage of price differences between exchanges. For example, if one exchange offers a lower price for a cryptocurrency, traders can buy it from that exchange and sell it on another exchange where the price is higher, profiting from the price difference.

Second, similar to a stock broker, a crypto exchange also provides the infrastructure for trading within its own markets, as well as education sections, advanced charting tools, staking as a service and unique early investment opportunities for projects backed by the exchange.

Due to the decentralized and international nature of cryptocurrencies, exchanges operate with more freedom and autonomy but any serious centralized exchange with a long-term plan, is and has to follow a conservative KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) policy.

What you need to know when choosing an exchange

Choosing an exchange isn’t like rocket science, it’s a fairly simple process as long as you know what your priorities are: Some users may only want to acquire crypto for self-custody while others may be more interested in active day trading, which requires an exchange with higher liquidity and markets or coin pairs.

Regardless of what you are after here are some basic elements to consider when choosing an exchange:

Spread, withdrawal & deposit fees

In order to maximize the amount of crypto you receive, it's crucial to consider the fees involved. Pay attention to the price spread, which represents the difference between the buying (bid) and selling (ask) prices of a cryptocurrency on the exchange. A smaller spread indicates lower trading costs and better liquidity, indicating active participation from buyers and sellers.

Withdrawal fees can be significant, depending on your investment or trading amount. They include on-chain transaction fees, which vary based on the blockchain's congestion, and the exchange's commission for the withdrawal. Checking these fees beforehand is advisable to avoid surprises, especially when dealing with smaller amounts.

While deposit fees are uncommon, they should be considered when starting with a low amount. Bank transfers to exchanges are generally free but may take a day or two to process, potentially impacting the price you receive once funds are credited. Alternatively, using debit/credit cards allows for instant account funding, albeit with a deposit fee of around 2%, subject to currency variations.

KYC (Anonymity)

When choosing an exchange, it's important to consider the trade-off between centralized exchanges and physical shops in terms of commissions. Centralized exchanges typically offer significantly lower commissions, ranging from around 0.1% to 0.2%, making them a cost-effective option for buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

In contrast, physical shops that offer anonymous crypto purchases (in cash up to 1000$) often charge much higher commissions, averaging around 10%.

Decentralized exchanges, that require no KYC, have a very competitive spread and fees compared to the traditional exchanges with KYC, but you still have to find a way of depositing fiat funds (which can only be through centralized exchanges or physical shops / crypto ATM’s).  

While physical shops may provide immediate access to cryptocurrencies, the substantial commission fees can significantly impact the overall transaction cost. On the other hand, centralized exchanges offer competitive commissions, providing a more affordable avenue for crypto trading. Considering your priorities and cost considerations will help you make an informed decision when choosing between centralized exchanges and physical shops.


Reputation plays a crucial role, although it's important to acknowledge that it can be challenging to find an exchange without any faults or instances of ill-intentioned FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) circulating around it. Competitors and disgruntled former customers who may have experienced issues such as blocked accounts or freezes due to suspicious transactions can sometimes spread negative narratives.

However, despite these challenges, it's still valuable to consider the overall reputation of an exchange. Look for exchanges with a track record of reliability, security, and transparency. Research user reviews, industry feedback, and any regulatory compliance records to gain insights into the exchange's credibility. Additionally, consider the exchange's response to past incidents and how they have addressed and resolved customer concerns.

By taking a balanced approach and conducting thorough research, you can form a more informed judgment about an exchange's reputation, allowing you to make a better decision when choosing the right platform to engage in cryptocurrency trading.

Centralized vs Decentralized

Cryptocurrency exchanges can be either governed by some entities or can be completely decentralized, i.e. governed on the blockchain. A cryptocurrency exchange governed by some entity is called a centralized cryptocurrency exchange (CEX). Whereas, an exchange governed over the blockchain is a decentralized crypto exchange (DEX). Both of these exchanges have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Centralized exchanges


  • The majority of crypto trading happens on centralized exchanges and thus the trading volume is very high

  • They have no lack of liquidity

  • A lot of exchanges allow you to trade using fiat currencies

  • You can use various payment methods like bank transfers, debit/credit cards, etc

  • Various types of trading facilities like margin, futures, etc. are available

  • Transaction speeds are almost instantaneous

  • Most of these exchanges are insured in case of cyber-attacks and thus protect the user’s funds

  • User-friendly interface


  • They are under the control of an entity that can halt, slow down, or put withdrawal limits in some cases such as the LUNA crash recently

  • The governments can ban them anytime, like in China, Russia, etc

  • You will need to complete your KYC and verify it in order to make proper use of these exchanges. 

  • So no anonymity here

  • Prone to cyber attacks, hacks, etc

  • You have to give up control of your private keys

Some of the examples of a centralized crypto exchange are Binance, eToro, Huobi Global. Whereas UniSwap, PancakeSwap, CoinMama, SushiSwap, QuickSwap are some of the most prominent decentralized exchanges. 

Decentralized exchanges


  • They are not under the control of either an entity or the government

  • You are not required to give up your private key to transact on these exchanges

  • A lot of altcoins are only listed on DEXs and not on CEX

  • Since these exist over the blockchain in a distributed manner, the risk of cyber attacks, hacks, etc. is minimal

  • All the transactions are private and anonymous and there is no need for KYC

  • Governments can not ban them or stop them from operating


  • They have a very lackluster interface and are not as user-friendly as CEX’s

  • Need a certain level of expertise in using crypto wallets

  • They only accept cryptocurrencies and not fiat currency

  • Low trading volumes and low liquidity

  • The transactions can be a bit slower than on CEX’s

Top crypto to fiat exchanges

  1. BitStamp (Easiest, No Limits)

  2. Coinbase (Renown, easy to use)

  3. Paypal P2p (Convenience, Trustable)

  4. Kraken (Renown)

  5. Binance (Renown)

  6. (Renown, Convenience)

  7. Kucoin (Renown)

  8. Bybit P2P (Anonymity)

  9. (Simplicity)

  10. UpHold (Variety)

BitStamp (user-friendly + simple) 

Bitstamp is one of the most popular crypto-converting to tools because of its low trading fees, easy-to-use service, and the fact that it's plugged into hundreds of crypto casinos, and crypto focused platforms. Their service proves efficient and cheap to the average user. 

Although there's only a limited amount of tokens available, they cater to a massive audience. Their license means only a few countries do not allow their services. Making it one of the best options for crypto to fiat withdrawals.

Referral Deposit Bonus:$20 in cash (or equivalent in your account currency)
Accepted Currencies
+80 cryptocurrencies, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for EUR, GBP and USD
August 2011
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Crypto Currency staking and lending


For most of us Coinbase was the first entry gate into the crypto world. The Nasdaq listed exchange is a good option for beginners while also offering a complete set of tools for more seasoned traders.

Coinbase started back in 2012 and is now headquartered in the state of Delaware, for obvious reasons. One of its coolest features is the learn to earn section where users automatically earn a small amount of different cryptocurrencies by learning about various projects and answering a small quiz.

The exchange offers a basic mobile app for beginners where they can buy cryptocurrencies almost instantly at the touch of a button and advanced tools for chart analysis and multiple types of orders  to get the best price execution. Additionally users can order a debit card to pay everyday purchases with crypto, buy NFT’s on their dedicated marketplace, borrow money using their portfolio as collateral and stake their crypto for passive returns.

Referral Deposit Bonus:$10 per sign up when using “SUCCESS” as a sign up code
Accepted Currencies
+240 cryptocurrencies, paypal, card or bank transfers for EUR, GBP, USD, CAD and SGB.
May 2012
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Crypto debit card, Crypto borrowing, staking and NFT marketplace

PayPal Crypto

The only way you wouldn't have heard of PayPal is if you were living under a rock. The popular payment is international, relatively cheap, and extremely convenient. Although they've only offered crypto trading in the last year and a bit, the company is reputable, with a market cap of $78,39 Billion. With such a simple system catering to almost every country on earth, why not use it? 

The main unfortunate drawback of Paypal crypto services is that it is only available for US residents and it still remains to be implemented in other countries.

$10 and $5 per referral
Accepted Currencies
BTC, LTC, BCH & ETH, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for USD
1998, (crypto trading since March 2021) and as you'd probably know, one of the most popular payment platforms on Earth
Extreme, but for a trustable and pseudonymous-focused platform
Unauthorized transfer reimbursement of up to $50,000


Kraken is even older than Coinbase, founded in 2011, with headquarters in San Francisco, the exchange has similar features to Coinbase regarding the mobile beginner solution and advanced platform, NFt marketplace and staking.

There is however a feature that differentiates Kraken from the most established competitors: Margin trading, which is only available to non-US citizens, allows traders to leverage their account and to buy on margin, meaning traders can buy significantly more than what their account is worth. This usually is set up by allocating funds from your portfolio as collateral, and buying up to 5x times the value of such an amount. This significantly maximizes profit and losses so it is advisable to start with a demo account to understand how quickly you can lose or multiply your account value.

Yes, Bybit and Bitmex have been the pioneers on crypto margin trading but they also lack the trustwortiness of an established exchange. Furthermore their trading tools are provided “as is'' meaning the user accepts the outcome of any technical problems that might happen: In times of high volatility these platforms has been known to be unresponsive, meaning that your time sensitive orders do not get executed, effectively blowing up your account if you are highly leveraged.

$10 per sign up & $100 deposit
Accepted Currencies
+200 cryptocurrencies, card or bank transfers for EUR, GBP, USD, CAD and AUD
July 2011
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Margin Trading, Crypto borrowing, staking and NFT marketplace


Registering with Binance is a wise choice due to its high liquidity, renowned presence, and strong reputation. As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges globally, Binance offers a vast pool of liquidity, ensuring efficient trading with minimal slippage. With a proven track record and commitment to security, Binance has built a trustworthy reputation in the industry. The exchange's inclusive community, diverse range of cryptocurrencies, and continuous innovation further solidify its position as a top choice for traders and investors.

Trading fee rebates:20 USDT for account verification, 30 USDT  for a $10 crypto deposit and 50 USDT for a trade of at least $10
Accepted Currencies
+380 cryptocurrencies, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for EUR, GBP, USD and 30 other currencies
Established Reputation
July 2017
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Crypto debit card, Crypto Currency staking and lending and Launchpad (early stage investing in crypto projects)

Formerly known as Monaco, slowly became one of the most popular exchanges through their product offerings. It is one of the first exchanges to have shipped crypto cash back debit cards worldwide and the biggest crypto sponsor of sports events such as the UFC, Formula1 and NBA/NHL through the acquisition of the Arena formerly known as Staples Center. currently has over 80 million users worldwide and features a user-friendly mobile app for trading, lending, NFT purchases and portfolio management. Just like any reputable exchange it also has a full site with advanced trading tools for more experienced users that includes margin trading, Futures contracts and bot trading.

A final notable mention is its Dollar Cost Averaging bot which allows users to set up a bot that executes regular purchases of a basket of selected cryptocurrencies with the funds deposited.

Trading fee rebates:$25 for signing up and ordering the ruby steel cashback debit card and staking $350 worth of CRO for 6 months. From $10 to $50 worth of CRO for signing up and staking at least 5000 CRO (around $250)
Accepted Currencies
+600 cryptocurrencies, card or bank transfers for EUR, GBP, USD, CAD, AUD, TRY and BRL
Established Reputation
June 2016
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Cashback debit cards, margin trading, crypto borrowing, staking, bot trading and NFT marketplace


Launched in 2017, the Seychelles headquartered exchange is one of the most complete exchanges rivaling Binance in terms of services and perks offered.

Kucoin stands out in two particular aspects, the first one being the number of countries it services directly and through third party vendors. Most exchanges are only a good option for a small niche of countries but Kucoin accepts 50 fiat currencies thanks to its partnerships and claims to service 200 countries.

The second strong point of Kucoin is the diverse services it offers, aside from spot and derivatives trading, Kucoin offers staking of cryptocurrencies (on exchange and self staking with their non custodial wallet), lending, Defi liquidity providing, a NFT store and even fractional ownership of blue chip NFT’s.

Up to $3200:Up to $100 for Signing Up, up to $300 for KYC verification, up to $400 for the first deposit, up to $1400 for the first trade and $1000 for various tasks
Accepted Currencies
+700 cryptocurrencies, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for EUR, GBP, USD and 50 other fiat currencies through third party vendors
Established Reputation
September 2017
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Crypto debit card, Crypto Currency staking and lending, derivatives, lending, Spotlight (early stage investing in crypto projects) and NFTs

Bybit P2P

Bybit started their service just a few years ago (2018) but quickly became one of the big names in the crypto trading business. They offer quick and efficient service, and almost every new cryptocurrency hopes to list its token on Bybit. 

Their P2P service is one of the more popular options due to its anonymity, no trading fee, and east/safe connection. The main option users opt to take is the "escrow" payment system. Meaning that Bybit plays the middleman. The seller sends their currency to Bybit, and the buyer adds the fiat funds to Bybit. Once both parties make their payments, Bybit automatically distributes the payments. 

From 0 fees, constant promotions and affiliate programs, and almost no controversy surrounding the platform, they are the best P2P service in the business.

$5 sign-up bonus (or equivalent in your account currency)
Accepted Currencies
+390 cryptocurrencies, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for EUR, GBP, USD and 9 other currencies
May 2018
5/5 Email address (KYC required for transactions above $2,000
Debit card & Crypto Currency staking and lending is a very well-known crypto exchange with over 4 million users. They include options for staking, and implementing multiple payment methods and haven't experienced any known mass exploitations showing they're cable of preventing hacks. They were happy to oblige with Proof-of-reserves recently as well showing they handle customer funds correctly. Their website is extremely user-friendly, and they include multiple warnings and systems to ensure you handle your funds correctly for withdrawals.

Staking and Verification bonuses + monthly token specific prizes
Accepted Currencies
+120 cryptocurrencies, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for EUR, GBP & USD
September 2013
1/5 ID photo, Face verification, and Proof of Address
Debit card & Crypto Currency staking and lending


Uphold was not initially created for cryptocurrencies as they're a stock trading platform. But in 2015 they started allowing users to invest into digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Since then they've branched out with over 210 tokens to choose from. 

What makes Uphold great is you can sell your crypto and send it right into the newest stocks or even safer investments like precious metals. Overall their system is trustable and their UI is extremely user-friendly.

$50 worth of Bitcoin for a minimum purchase of $600
Accepted Currencies
+250 cryptocurrencies, credit/debit cards and bank transfers for EUR, GBP & USD
2013, Allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies, invest in stocks, and even precious metals
2/5 They only require the KYC that your country deems necessary
Debit card, Crypto Currency staking & lending and able to receive Brave browser rewards directly in your Uphold account.


Why should I keep funds off exchanges?

It is advisable not to keep funds in an exchange for several reasons. Firstly, exchanges are susceptible to security breaches, and storing funds on an exchange exposes them to potential hacking attempts and theft. Secondly, exchanges may have limited control over their users' funds, as regulatory changes or operational issues could lead to frozen or inaccessible accounts. Additionally, keeping funds in an exchange means relinquishing direct control over private keys, increasing the risk of losing funds if the exchange experiences technical difficulties or becomes insolvent.

Therefore, it is recommended to store funds in secure personal wallets, where individuals have full control over their cryptocurrencies and can ensure their long-term safety.

Is using a crypto to fiat service free?

Depending on the platform you choose, the payments could be free. Most services only request transaction fees and a small withdrawal fee, often equating to less than 0.5% of the total withdrawal. 

Can I anonymously withdraw crypto into my bank?

It's possible to trade your crypto into cash using Peer-to-peer trading platforms. However, anonymous withdrawals can often lead to scams and legal issues. This is why it's always recommended that you use fully regulated trading platforms.

How do you withdraw crypto to fiat?

There are multiple ways to withdraw your crypto into a fiat currency. The most popular option is using a centralized exchange. 

  1. Step 1: Find an exchange that works for you. Coinbase,, and Binance are all great options.

  2. Step 2: Complete your KYC (can take a day or two)

  3. Step 3: Deposit your crypto. 

  4. Step 4: Sell your crypto using Spot trading.

  5. Step 5: Withdraw your fiat into your bank account. 

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