The Most Popular Bitcoin Exchanges

When a newcomer chooses a cryptocurrency exchange, it’s not just about ranking them by volume, fees, trading tools, accessibility, and features. Most of today’s exchanges focus on certain types of clients based on their payment methods, experience, location, anonymity requirements, while few are considered broad enough for the average user. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges for newcomers.


Created to be one of the most trusted exchanges, Coinbase is one of the top places to trade Bitcoin. It’s regulated as a United States financial institution and all deposits of $250,000 or less are FDIC-insured. Coinbase is compliant with the EU’s financial regulations, and as such, it’s backed by investment funds, banks, and other mainstream investors around the world.

Because it’s one of the world’s most trusted exchanges, Coinbase is popular among new Bitcoin investors, and its simple design reflects its focus on that client base. This exchange trades in just a few cryptocurrencies and is limited to those living in Europe, North America, and Oceania. Here at, our reach is much broader.

Coinbase has a great history as far as security is concerned, with just two percent of customers’ funds being held online at any time. Along with its insurance coverage, this makes the exchange a safe option for those looking to get into the cryptocurrency market.


Founded by a software developer named Changpeng Zhao who previously built systems for Bloomberg’s Tradebook and the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Binance is another great option for beginners. Though it was first located in China, that country’s crackdown on cryptocurrency trading caused the exchange to relocate to Japan. However, when the FCA issued a stern warning, Binance then moved to Malta.

Binance is a popular spot for coin-to-coin trading with some of the largest trading volumes and the highest numbers of coin pairs in the sector. It has recently added numerous new features, and many now use it for derivatives and margin trading.

In the recent past, new traders needed to use Bitfinex or Bitmex to do so, but now they can do it all in one place. Binance doesn’t handle fiat currency; it’s based solely on cryptocurrency. Therefore, the base exchange unit isn’t the US dollar, but Bitcoin itself. With low withdrawal and trade fees, Binance is another popular choice among novice traders.

Back in 2017, Binance held the industry’s top trading volume due to its wide selection of available crypto assets. At the beginning of 2020, in efforts to sustain that growth, [1~Binance implemented margin trading for BTC, ETH, ETH XRP, TRX, and BNB. The exchange has made some surprising acquisitions over the past few years, including CoinMarketCap and Trust Wallet.

Though it’s relatively new to the cryptocurrency scene, is making its mark among new traders. Founded by trading firm Alameda Research, it’s come out with some innovative new products, such as:

  • Leveraged tokens. These ERC-20 ethereum-based tokens represent a 3x long or short on underlying cryptocurrencies.
  • Indexes. These groups of coins represent certain indexes and are tradeable on perpetual contracts as mentioned below.
  • Perpetual contracts. Until fairly recently, perp contracts could only be obtained on Bitmex, but has started offering them on smaller coins such as ETC and BNB.
  • Presidential 2020. This election future allows traders to long or short their preferred candidate.
  • also has TRX, BCH, ETH, and BTC spot markets, but its primary focus is on derivatives. Though it has a lot of cool features, we believe is easier for new users to understand.

This fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange offers several advanced features, but it’s still easy enough for a beginner to use successfully. Experienced investors who are just getting into crypto often use the exchange for the sort of trading activity they’ve previously done with traditional platforms and securities.

For verified accounts, bank transfers are free; for unverified MasterCard or VISA accounts, there’s a small fee. is popular for its low trade fees. Many users are drawn to for its advanced trading features, which aren’t available on some other exchanges. has a limited number of cryptocurrency offerings, but most major coins are covered, including Bitcoin. It also facilitates fiat-to-coin pairings, while most exchanges don’t.


This peer-to-peer exchange makes it easy to switch between Bitcoin and fiat currency. It serves as an intermediary between parties who dictate a trade’s volume, pricing, and method. With LocalBitcoins, users can perform personal transfers while avoiding the taxes and regulations found on traditional exchanges.

LocalBitcoins works by allowing sellers to place ads for a percentage of the proposed trade’s value. Buyers then elect to work with sellers based on those terms. Sellers and buyers are ranked based on prior transactions, and it’s up to the user to decide who’s trustworthy. At, lenders compete to offer users the lowest possible interest rates, making it a viable LocalBitcoins alternative.


One of the world’s most advanced trading platforms, Bitfinex makes crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trades easy. It boasts some of the industry’s highest trading and liquidity volumes, and it’s nearly unrivaled among traders who want to utilize advanced techniques. For a more newbie-friendly alternative, visit

Bitfinex offers everything traders are looking for, including margin trading, advanced order types, and a range of fiat currency and coin pairings. Bitfinex’s low fees are great for high-value trading, with those fees declining as trade values increase. It’s popular in Asia, and it’s gaining traction worldwide.

Unfortunately, Bitfinex’s large volume has made it a prime target for hackers. The exchange has since repaid all client losses and improved its security, making it one of the crypto industry’s top choices.


This crypto-to-crypto exchange is designed with security in mind, which makes it a great option for inexperienced traders. The exchange was designed by an experienced software development team whose members previously worked for Amazon and Microsoft. Most of its clients’ funds are kept in cold storage, making them inaccessible to hackers, and its verification system is quite robust.

Along with its commitment to client security, Bittrex focuses on offering a wide selection of crypto trading pairs. Though it used to have the industry’s highest volumes, others such as are taking over. It may not be the first choice for those trading major coins, but it’s a great alternative for those trading smaller coins.


This is a simple brokerage that offers its users an easy, quick way to purchase crypto using fiat currency without first storing them on a third-party exchange. Coinmama is great for those who just want to buy crypto without hassles, delays, a lengthy registration process, or the risk of outsider attacks.

Typically, users make an initial purchase via Coinmama, and they then transfer the coins from their wallet into a crypto-for-crypto exchange. This exchange charges a relatively high fee, so it’s only recommended for those who value discretion, simplicity and speed above all else.


One of the industry’s largest and oldest exchanges, Kraken has stepped up its game in the recent past. Being one of the industry’s most trusted exchanges, it’s excellent for crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto trades. With a wider selection of pairings than most other exchanges, Kraken is one of the biggest players in the field.

Though is more beginner-friendly, Kraken’s margin trading, futures trading, and OTC tools are great for experienced cryptocurrency traders. Along with low fees and advanced technology, Kraken’s comprehensive security approach and 24/7 support make it one of the best exchanges in the business.

Prime XBT

If you’re looking for a next-gen exchange with advanced fiat-to-crypto trading tools, Prime XBT is a fine choice. With pooled liquidity and high leverage from other exchanges, Prime XBT is a top option among advanced crypto traders who want to capitalize on short-term price fluctuations within the top five coins.

Traders can fund their Prime XBT accounts with Bitcoin or indirectly through fiat and other coins. Its trading fees are among the lowest in the business, and its liquidity comes from its leverage on the top 12 exchanges’ trading volumes.


For a beginning trader who wants to step up to faster and bigger profits, BitMEX is a viable choice. With its derivatives platform that offers up to 100x leverage, BitMEX is near the top.

If your account holds one Bitcoin or $10,000, you’d be able to trade with up to 100 BTC or $1 million. Though we don’t suggest using that much leverage, we do offer safer, saner trading tools at

Despite its risks, leverage also has advantages. BitMEX is an immensely popular platform, so it must be doing something right. It has superb security, the signup process is simple, and users can trade eight different coins both short and long.

Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader seeking huge returns, or you’re in search of a way to free up capital and go short, BitMEX is a great option. It’s slowly losing traction in the derivatives sector because of significant liquidation and increased competition, but it’s still a top player.

In Conclusion

Cryptocurrency trading is a fascinating, innovative way to build wealth and generate income. Though many of the exchanges on this list can generate positive results, we believe that beginners should start with an easy-to-use solution such as that found on With its easy tools and fast deposits, it’s the right choice for a new trader.