The Five Best US Crypto Exchanges

The craze for trading crypto is spreading like wildfire, and with that, so is the demand for better cryptocurrency exchanges. But choosing the right crypto trading platform is not an easy task, especially if you’re just starting out. There are many factors to consider before starting your journey on trading crypto, factors like fees, security, available coins for trading, etc. However, what’s even more important to consider if you’re a US resident is if the exchange is legal in your state, as not all exchanges are legal in all US states.

The following are the 5 Best US Crypto Exchanges. In this article, we’ll go over each of them in-depth, what they offer, how secure they are, state restrictions, and much more:

 

Binance

Started in 2017 in China, Binance is now the largest crypto exchange in the world. It has since shifted its headquarters on the island of Malta in the European Union. In 2019, Binance launched their US version of the platform called Binance US in San Francisco. Apart from these seven states – Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Vermont, it’s available in all 43 states in the US.

Binance provides its users with two versions – basic and advanced, both not ideal for beginners in crypto trading. It currently offers 50+ coins to trade, including the major ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, along with EOS, Zcash, Dash, Ripple, LiteCoin, NEO, and many more. Apart from that, they have their own coin called the Binance Coin.

Binance offers some of the lowest fees compared to other exchanges in the market. It charges an average of only 0.01% on each trade. As for withdrawal fees, they may vary depending on the cryptocurrency you’re withdrawing.

Binance also recently launched a Tax Reporting Tool that allows its users to keep track of all their transactions and tax liabilities.

When it comes to security, Binance is one of the most, if not the most, trusted exchanges in the world. It offers 2-Factor Authentication and asset funds as insurance. Unless you verify your identity on the platform, they have put limitations on the transaction amounts. So, you have to verify yourself before making large transactions.

The only drawback of Binance is its customer support. Binance’s customer support is somewhat outdated, as it doesn’t offer any live chat or phone calls and only accepts tickets and responds via email. Plus, many users have complained that the customer support is very slow in their response and resolution time.

 

Pros

Well-established and most trusted exchange.
Offers a wide variety of coins for trading.
Offers some of the lowest fees compared to other exchanges.
Offers great security.

Cons

It’s prohibited in 7 US states.
It’s not an ideal platform for beginners.
Customer support is outdated and slow.

 

Gemini

Started in 2015 in New York, Gemini was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, well-known for their legal disputes with Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook. Although Gemini might not still be legal in many countries, it’s legal in every state in the US.

Gemini is one of the very few cryptocurrency exchange platforms that are great for beginners as well as for experienced traders. It offers 40+ coins for trading, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polygon, Chainlink, LiteCoin, Dogecoin, and many more. Apart from their main product, the exchange platforms, they also have Gemini Pay, Gemini Wallet, Gemini Earn, and much more.

As for fee rates, Gemini charges 0.5% on every trade, though it can vary. Plus, you have to pay a standard fee of 1.49% for trading one crypto for another. Trading Bitcoin for Ethereum, for example. As for buying and selling crypto, it may vary depending on the cryptocurrency you’re trading. The platform also doesn’t charge you any deposit or withdrawal fee. However, even though Gemini offers some pretty good rates, there are better ones out there. Besides, there are many limitations on transaction amounts and the number of transactions you can make, which may push away regular traders who trade in high volumes.

In terms of tax support, Gemini only provides its users with the required forms and federal/state reporting for digital assets on its platform. So, you have to keep records of all your transactions and possible tax liabilities by yourself, which can be quite a hassle. Bitcoin.Tax solves this problem by helping you calculate your taxes and produce the data and correct forms you need to report your taxes. Bitcoin.Tax is the only crypto tax software that you’ll ever need.

Gemini’s multi-layered security measures makes it one of the most secured exchanges out there. Gemini keeps most of your assets offline in cold storage – one of the safest ways to hold crypto.

 

Pros

It’s legal in all the states in the US.
Suitable for beginners and veterans as well.
Offers 40+ coins for beginners.
Offers some of the best security measures.

Cons

Not the best fee rates.
A lot of limitations on transactions.
Not ideal for those who trade regularly and in high volumes.

 

Coinbase

Started in 2012, Coinbase was founded by Brian Armstrong and ‎Fred Ehrsam. Finance might be the largest exchange in the world, but in the United States, Coinbase is the leading exchange platform, and it’s legal in every state except one – Hawaii.

Coinbase is a great exchange platform geared towards beginners. It offers 70+ coins, though some of them might not be available in every state. Coins include Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, LiteCoin, and many more.

When it comes to the fee rates of Coinbase, they are way too complicated to explain here. Coinbase has a page dedicated to pricing and fee disclosure that you can check out here to understand its fee structure in-depth. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that Coinbase charges way too high than other mainstream crypto trading platforms out there. However, if you’re using Coinbase Pro, you’ll pay far less fee than Coinbase, but that’s a topic for another time.

Coinbase doesn’t provide any additional tax support other than reporting the IRS Form 1099-MISC.

In terms of security, there are many similarities between Coinbase and Gemini. Just like Gemini, Coinbase also holds 98% of users’ funds in cold storage, which, as we mentioned, is one of the best ways to protect your crypto assets. It also offers 2-step authentication, biometric fingerprint logins, and insurance (but only when Coinbase itself is hacked or compromised. It doesn’t cover losses caused by your own lack of safety).

 

Pros

It’s legal in all states in the US except one.
It’s easy-to-use and ideal for beginners.
Offers a wide variety of coins for trading.
Excellent security measures.

Cons

Fees are relatively higher than other exchanges.

 

Crypto.com

Started in 2012, Crypto.com is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange popular for its incredibly low fees. Unlike the rest of the crypto trading platforms on this list, Crypto.com is only available as a mobile application. It’s legal in all 49 states in the US, with the exception of New York.

Crypto.com’s user interface is not the best out there, and it’s also certainly not ideal for beginners. It offers 100+ coins, but 40 of those coins are not available for buying, selling, or trading in several states. Coins available for trading include Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin, and many more.

As mentioned before, Crypto.com is famous for its low fees, varying between 0.4%-0.20%. Plus, it doesn’t charge you any deposit fee. Crypto.com also offers a program called Crypto Earn, where you can stake your coins and earn up to 12% interest. The longer you stake them for, the more interest you’ll earn.

Crypto.com offers a free tool called Crypto.com Tax that will track all your past transactions and calculate your tax liabilities.

As for security, Crypto.com has pretty standard security measures like 2-factor authentication, biometric login, anti-phishing measures, and much more. Overall, Crypto.com has been proven to be a very secure platform for trading crypto.

However, we can’t say the same for its customer support. Despite providing 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and phone support, users’ biggest criticism for Crypto.com is its customer support. Multiple users on multiple occasions have complained how the customer support is extremely slow and takes days to respond.

 

Pros

Available in all US states, but not New York.
Offers a wide variety of coins for trading.
Probably the best fee rates.
Offers various other programs like Crypto Earn.
Offers great security.

Cons

Not ideal for beginners.
Poor customer support.

 

Kraken

Relaunched in 2013, after initially launching in 2011, Kraken is one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges out there. It’s legal in all US states, except for Washington and New York.

Kraken also offers a separate platform called Instant Buy Platform, which is really convenient for beginners in crypto trading. However, the trade-off for an easy user interface is high fee rates. Nonetheless, the standard Kraken platform offers you to sign up with four user types, starting from “Starters” to “Pro.” You can get verified almost instantly in most user types except for “Pro,” which might take several days. Other than that, it offers 70+ coins for trading.

At an average fee of 0.9%-1.5%, Kraken is relatively cheaper than most of the other crypto exchanges in the market.

Kraken doesn’t provide any tax support. If you’re using Kraken for crypto trading, you must keep detailed track of all records and transactions to report your taxes.

When it comes to safety and security, Kraken is one of the most reputed and trusted platforms in the world. There has never been an incident of an attempt to breach or hack Kraken. Kraken also holds 95% of users’ funds in cold storage. Other than that, it offers standard security measures that all the other crypto exchanges have too.

The only downside of Kraken is its 24/7 customer support, which has received negative criticism in multiple reviews.

 

Pros

It offers a fairly wide variety of coins for trading.
It offers relatively cheaper fee rates.
Highly reputable and secure platform.

Cons

It’s not legal in Washington and New York.
Not ideal for beginners.
User verification might take a little too long.
Poor customer support.

 

Final Thoughts

After going over all five best US crypto exchanges, it’s safe to say that no one trading platform’s ideal for all. We tell you what these exchanges are good and not-so-good for, and you decide what’s best for you. Nonetheless, if you’re choosing an exchange that doesn’t offer any additional tax support, you’ll most likely need a tool that helps you with that, and as we mentioned before, Bitcoin.Tax is just that.