The Best US Crypto Exchanges for 2021

The Best US Crypto Exchanges for 2021

The latest available data suggests that out of the world’s more than 43 million active crypto traders, 15.3 million, or more than 35%, are American. It is somewhat obvious that these users explore and leverage the services of the crypto exchanges in the USA to perform their trades. The choice for the best crypto exchange the US has is a tough call to make since the value of an exchange depends on the needs of its customers.

In this article, we help you with the list of the five best US crypto exchanges so that you can make an informed choice on the one that best suits your needs.

Table of Contents

The Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA for 2021

Below, you'll find the top five cryptocurrency exchanges in the USA. Ratings are chosen based on accessibility, trading fees, and much more.

1. Coinbase

When it comes to US-based crypto exchanges, the name of Coinbase shines the brightest among all other cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States.

The services of Coinbase cater to both individuals and businesses. Apart from buying and selling cryptocurrencies, individual consumers can also leverage the Coinbase wallet for storage and the Coinbase card to spend the crypto earnings.

For businesses, Coinbase offers an advanced trading platform with secure custody. Coinbase Assets help list your product on the exchange and promote it to Coinbase customers. With Coinbase Commerce, merchants can start accepting Bitcoin at no extra fees.

As per the latest usage data available, Coinbase has more than 56 million verified users, registering a combined trade volume of $335 billion per quarter. Its service is available in more than a hundred countries, and it operates through an employee base that is more than 1700 strong.

Opening an account in the Coinbase trading platform is easy. You can conveniently create an account if you are more than 18 years of age. It requires a government-issued photo ID, a computer or smartphone connected to the internet, and a valid phone number, connected to the smartphone for receiving text messages from the exchange. It is preferable to have chrome as your browser. Coinbase does not charge a fee to create or maintain your account.

For US customers, Coinbase offers a host of payment methods, including payments via bank account transfer (ACH), wire transfer, debit card, and PayPal. It also supports a wide range of digital currency for trade in the US. The list of supported cryptocurrencies includes 1INCH, Aave, ADA, BCH, BTC, COMP, DASH, ENJ, LINK, and many more.

Coinbase offers its USD wallet and hosted cryptocurrency wallet services free of charge. For buy and sell transactions on digital assets, Coinbase charges a spread of about 0.50%*, which may be higher or lower depending on the volatility of the currency. Coinbase also charges a Coinbase fee, ranging between $0.99* and $2.99*, depending on the transaction amount.

*Rates current as of June 2021

2. Kraken

Kraken is one of the largest and oldest Bitcoin exchanges worldwide, headquartered in San Francisco, California. Kraken allows its users to trade fiat currencies such as USD, CAD, and other crypto-assets such as Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Cardano ADA, Dogecoin, Monero, Polkadot, etc.

Apart from supporting buy and sell trade on cryptocurrencies, Kraken also supports Bitcoin Futures, where you can buy or trade the asset at a later date for a fixed price. It helps you to hedge your price risk and neutralize the impact of price fluctuations.

Kraken also offers access to up-to-the-second pricing data with its crypto indices service. It helps execute trades with improved precision and reduced slippage. Currently, the service is available for Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple-XRP, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

Kraken’s trade engine allows you the scope of margin trading. You can leverage Kraken funds up to 5x to go long or short on chosen trading pairs without having to pay more than 0.02%* in rollover fees. The margin trading services come with a highly professional trading interface, advanced API access, and high margin limits up to $500,000. Kraken OTC desk offers over-the-counter trading to institutions and high net-worth individuals who often feel the need for deeper liquidity and a more private and personalized service.

For transactions in USD, Kraken supports Fedwire, Wire Transfer, SWIFT, Etana Custody, and Silvergate Exchange Network service. To instantly buy, sell, or convert Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies on Kraken.com or via the Kraken app, you need to incur a fee of 0.9%* for any stablecoin and a 1.5%* fee for any other crypto or FX pair. Kraken charges its fees on a per-trade basis.

*Rates current as of June 2021

3. Binance

Using Binance, you can buy crypto assets with your USD funds in minutes. You can pay through SWIFT bank transfer, credit or debit card, bank transfer, and third-party payment options such as Simplex.

Binance offers a wide range of assets that you can buy and sell. The asset list includes BNB, BTC, BUSD, Ether, Tether (USDT), 1INCH, Aave, Cardano Ada, and many more.

All you need to do is create a free account with your email id and mobile number and verify your identity credentials before you start buying crypto-assets.

Once you complete your purchase, Binance deposits your crypto directly to your Binance wallet. The Binance Trust Wallet is one of the most private and secure places to buy, store, exchange, and earn cryptos. More than ten million people use the wallet, available on the iOS app store and Google Play Store.

For large-sized crypto OTC block trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Binance offers a dedicated OTC trading service. With Binance OTC, you may get access to many unlisted pairs. The settlement process is free from intermediaries and offers 1-to-1 personalized chat support.

Binance has an elaborate trading fee structure catering to a wide variety of trader categories. Depending on your 30-days trading volume (in BTC) or BNB balance, your maker fees can range between 0.0200%* and 0.1000%*, and your taker fees can range between 0.0400%* and 0.1000%*.

*Rates current as of July 2021

4. Wealthsimple Crypto

With the Wealthsimple crypto application, you can buy and sell up to 14 crypto-assets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and more, 24/7. The app is available for both iOS and Android operating systems. You can sign up on the app in minutes without having to comply with any account minimums. It charges no fees to deposit or withdraw.

To safeguard its customers’ assets, Wealthsimple leverages the custodial service of Gemini Trust Company LLC that has $200 million in cold storage insurance coverage. The only trading fee that Wealthsimple charges on Crypto trades are the 1.5%* to 2%* operations fees per transaction. The exact fee percentage would depend on the bid spread and the ask prices at which buy orders and sell orders execute.

Wealthsimple does not charge any other fee in the form of commission fees, account opening or closing fees, fees on deposits and withdrawals via bank transfer, electronic statements and trade confirmations fees, and fees on inactive accounts. You can start trading with Wealthsimple with as little as $1. You can buy, sell, and hold coins within the app, but the deposits and withdrawals are only possible in CAD or Canadian Dollars.

*Rates current as of June 2021

5. Changelly

Changelly is a fast and secure crypto exchange for you to purchase from a vast range of more than 150 cryptocurrencies. The application is available for download on both the Google Play Store and iOS app store. Changelly has a user base of 2 million customers, and it collaborates with some of the leading names in the crypto industry, including Binance, Trezor, Coinomi, and Exodus.

The trading pairs available for exchange include ETH/BTC, LTC/ETH, USDT/BTC, BTC/XRP, BTC/USDT, LTC/BTC, XRP/BTC, BTC/BSV, and BCH/BTC.

While making an exchange trade, you can readily see the rate you are being charged. You can choose to go with a fixed fee or a floating fee. Once you agree to go with one of these rates, the platform charges you a 0.25%* service fee to execute the trade.

The services of Changelly gain traction for fast transactions at reasonable fees. It offers high exchange limits with 24/7 live chat support.

*Rates current as of June 2021

What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Like exchanges for any other asset class, such as stocks, commodities, derivatives, or indices, a cryptocurrency exchange is where users can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies.

Ideally, the exchange should allow trade against fiat currency as well as cryptocurrency payments. A typical crypto exchange works 24/7.

How Does a Cryptocurrency Exchange Work?

A crypto exchange may work as a direct trading platform where peer-to-peer trading between sellers and buyers takes place. It can also operate in a fashion similar to that of a traditional stock exchange where buyers and sellers base their trade on the current cryptocurrencies’ market price.

The cryptocurrency brokers work as a currency exchange does at a bank or airport where trades happen at a price the broker sets.

Our Final Thoughts

The selection of exchange would finally depend on a customer’s preferences. While it's prudent to judge an exchange by its trading volume and customer base, it is also crucial to pivot the final selection on several other factors such as the exchange’s support for assets and payment methods, availability of customer assistance service, and its fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, most cryptocurrency exchanges are safe with their deployment of user-level protection features such as two-factor authentication, etc. Yet, it is vital to look for the fund-protection insurance features of the exchange. It helps ascertain whether you stand a chance of getting your money back if there is a hack or cyberattack on the exchange, resulting in the theft of funds. The exchanges with cold storage provisions are more effective in keeping your funds secure. Also, check whether the exchange incentivizes ethical hackers through bug bounties.

In the US, a host of regulatory agencies keep a check on the legality of the crypto exchanges, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). To date, a host of exchanges has attained approval as an Alternative Trading System or ATS, and several firms have registered themselves as broker-dealers.

Many different agencies, both at the federal and state levels, regulate the trading of crypto-assets in the United States. Resultantly, a crypto-exchange becomes subject to regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to the extent the exchange permits certain regulated commodities transactions or swaps in crypto-assets. The law of the land requires the exchanges to also register with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and maintain AML compliance programs and follow other U.S. federal AML requirements.

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