The decade until 2020 saw unprecedented growth in the cryptocurrency market. The steep growth curve gave rise to many cryptocurrency exchanges, but at the same time, the number of crypto scams and news of people losing money are on the rise.
If you’re interested in exploring Decentralized Exchanges, please visit our DEX article.
In this article, our consummate crypto traders review the 5 most secure centralized crypto exchanges. The brand in this review offers sufficient liquidity to make quick trades. Let’s start the countdown:
Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange platform, that boasts of over $700 mil in daily volumes. The platform is the brainchild of Changpeng Zhao, a well-known personality in cryptocurrency circles. CZ worked at Blockchain.info and OKCoin before launching Binance in 2017.
Being one of the biggest markets for crypto trading, Binance can offer high liquidity on most altcoins. Binance is also one of the most trusted brands in the industry with a strong support team and robust security infrastructure. The company has also invested in developing trading bots that automate your strategies to the last detail. Binance is technologically quite advanced and new traders will have to go through a steep learning curve. The trading fee is capped at 0.1% flat for all transactions (one of the lowest).
New blockchains go through a strict vetting process that restricts the number of tradable altcoins. Binance uses a third-party to verify accounts, making its account opening process one of the fastest among its competitors. Users are required to go through the usual KYC process including submission of a government-issued ID card and anti-money laundering procedures.
The platform accepts fiat deposits as well as crypto deposits in the form of Bitcoin or Ethereum. Overall, Binance is best suited for spot trading and automated high-frequency trading, with one of the lowest trading fees.
Based out of Zurich, Switzerland, Bittrex Global is renowned for its high security and transparency. The platform was established in 2014 and quickly became one of the largest crypto trading platforms in the world. Originally headquartered in Seattle, its user-based declined drastically in 2018 due to stringent regulations in the US market that affected its trading fees, KYC compliance policy, and altcoin removals.
The company separated its US and global markets, with brand names Bittrex Inc and Bittrex Global. Currently, Bittrex Inc asks for a government-issued ID and a Source of Funds Compliance Form. Bittrex Global is comparatively more relaxed in terms of KYC compliance but you still need a valid ID to create an account with the platform.
The company is still a well-trusted brand in the industry and offers heavy discounts to large volume traders and investors. It also rewards people who bring liquidity to the platform-also known as maker orders. Maker orders in Bittrex are fulfilled at a later date when a corresponding buy-sell order is matched.
Trading fees in Bittrex are evaluated based on your 30-day average and whether it’s a maker or taker order. The fees range between 0.25% for the lowest volume slab and up to 0.08% for high volume taker orders. Depending on the altcoin, the platform also charges extra network transfer fees for deposits and withdrawals. Overall, Bittrex is a bit costly for new traders but extremely easy to use and reliable. The available liquidity is also better than most other platforms.
Bitfinex is a one-stop-shop for trading altcoins. The platform was launched in 2012 and favored for low spread, a high number of tradable altcoins, margin trading, and an automated Peer to Peer lending system that allows members to cross-lend and generate passive income on their sitting altcoins. The complex system operates on state-of-the-art technology that considers individual specifications and market conditions to give altcoin holders the best rate for lending. The technical side of Bitfinex is also quite strong and supports hundreds of chart patterns, indicators, and order types.
However, Bitfinex is not as cheap as often advertised. The average cost of trading (including deposits/withdrawals, account maintenance fees, and altcoin network fees) comes out to one of the highest in the industry. Liquidity can also be an issue with the platform and you may have to wait a while for your orders to get through.
The account verification process is also a big downside of the platform as it takes more than a month and hefty deposits to create a new account with the platform. Account verification is only compulsory for fiat deposits and a select few stable coin deposits. The overall user experience in Bitfinex makes all of these worth the while. Advanced level traders will love this platform for value-added functionality and higher trading flexibility.
Kraken is one of the oldest centralized crypto exchanges that offer different levels of services for every kind of trader/investor. The platform is quite mature and understands the needs of its users very well. Their service spectrum includes 100+ altcoin markets, over the counter trading, market research (Kraken Intelligence and regular podcasts), robust liquidity with depth charts up to 20 price points, futures trading, margin shorting of select cryptos, advanced charting and indicators, custom fee structures, and advanced order types with automated stop losses and good till triggered orders.
The Kraken Trade Engine is also highly customized, offering different margins, rollover fees, and leverage for different levels of traders. Top-level traders at Kraken can enjoy 5 times leverage up to $500000 with just 0.02% rollover fees. With ample liquidity on top altcoins, you can execute trades at your price instead of having to go with market orders. The support ecosystem is also quite strong with voice support available in multiple languages 24*7*365. Overall, Kraken is one of the best trading and investment platforms for altcoins.
Bithumb is a global crypto exchange, based in Seoul, South Korea. The platform is best suited for low volume players who are new to the market. The space created by Bithumb offers medium volatility, a flat trading charge, relaxed KYC norms, fiat deposits, and a workable charting technology. The brand is best described as a mid-tier exchange most suited to gain experience with the market before moving on to something more advanced.
Bithumb has found its niche well in the market with a select range of altcoins that includes Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Swipe, and Cardano. The altcoins are paired with other altcoins but also include pairing with fiats like the dollar, pound, yen, and Won. The exchange rates are favourable and quite pragmatic.
Bithumb also pays interest on deposits that range between 4-6% annually. The transaction commission is pegged at a flat 0.25% for both maker/taker orders with discounts available on coupons. However, the deposit and withdrawal fees are a bit steep, especially if you are using notable altcoins. Users also enjoy value-added services like discounts in different South Korean merchandise brands. We recommend Bithumb as a great learning platform for beginners who are new to the market. The brand has a robust community and support system that can be of great help.