9 Best Cryptocurrency Brokers and Trading Platforms
The fact that there are over 300 reputable crypto exchanges, and hundreds of cryptocurrency apps, online brokers and OTC venues, may make you think buying cryptocurrency is an easy task. Well, it is just the opposite. Despite the large number and ever-increasing quality of service of cryptocurrency brokers and Bitcoin trading platforms, buying digital assets remains a tricky process.
There are many factors to look for when choosing the crypto broker to go with, which is why we have decided to make your life easier and do the research for you. Here is a list of the nine best cryptocurrency brokers and crypto trading platform providers currently available.
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Gemini is considered a Bitcoin trading venue that flies under the radar as it is neither the most popular nor the most talked about. In the cryptocurrency brokers niche, this can be a mixed blessing. However, with Gemini, it doesn’t make the headlines purely because it is so reliable that it is hard to spot any red flags.
The platform is one of the mainstays in the Bitcoin industry. Since it was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss brothers, it has been an epitome of reliability and transparency.
The cryptocurrency exchange is a great place to buy Bitcoin and it is one of the best crypto portfolio trackers. Although the cryptocurrency broker supports just around 50 digital assets, it also features one of the industry’s most competitive pricing policies.
Buying cryptocurrency on Gemini is as easy as it gets. Gemini is also great for buying penny cryptos. You can use the app to trade once you decided on the best penny cryptocurrency to invest in. The platform supports several payment methods, including debit cards, wire transfers, digital asset transfers, and more. You can find more about the fees here. In a nutshell, deposits and withdrawals are free, except with bank cards, where you will be charged 3.49% of the total purchase amount.
The Bitcoin trading broker interface is visually-appealing and very intuitive, which makes it extremely easy to use. You can trade Bitcoin through the verified mobile app or the web version of the exchange. All trading tools work seamlessly and paired with great customer support, resulting in one of/if not the best trading experience you can find in the world of crypto exchanges.
Another reason why Gemini is a provider you should consider is the fact it complements its cryptocurrency trading business with a variety of additional products and services. These include clearing, a professional trading platform (advanced charting, extra trading pairs, order types, and deeper order book visibility), a wallet solution, Bitcoin custodianship, and an interest-earning program.
With over 43m verified users and more than $455 billion reportedly traded, Coinbase is considered the most popular and widely used among all cryptocurrency exchanges and Bitcoin brokers.
Coinbase was founded in 2012 to ease the process of buying and selling cryptocurrency and turn anyone into a Bitcoin investor.
Back in the days, the best crypto exchange started as a cryptocurrency broker but, over time, significantly expanded its offerings. Today, it is available in over 100 countries and supports trading of over 4,000 cryptocurrencies.
Besides, it brings the cryptocurrency community access to various other features, including a professional cryptocurrency exchange with advanced trading tools, a wallet, a developer API, an interest-earning account, institutional brokerage services, a commerce web platform, custodial services, and many more.
Coinbase is considered the best cryptocurrency trading platform also because of its high-end security features. Many would say that the platform is the most reliable service provider in the crypto market niche. There are several reasons for that.
First, it has over $500 million raised from the world’s leading investors. As you may know, these investors do hefty due diligence and won’t invest in every company out there.
Also, Coinbase adheres to the active U.S. regulations at a federal and state level. Some of the regulatory bodies and laws that the exchange complies with include FinCEN (registered as a Money Services Business within the US), the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot ACT, and more.
Additionally, Coinbase keeps 98% of users’ funds in cold storage (i.e., a hardware wallet), distributed worldwide. It employs 2FA on each account, as well as SSL and AES-256 wallet encryption.
Another main advantage of the fact that the broker is regulated is that the capital within the Coinbase investors’ accounts is insured.
Buying cryptocurrency on Coinbase is an easy and straightforward task. The Bitcoin trading platform is probably the best choice for complete beginners as it supports wire transfers (SEPA included), a debit and a credit card.
However, this doesn’t mean it is the cheapest one as well. Coinbase charges a 0.5% spread for all cryptocurrency transactions and a separate transaction fee of up to $2.99. Paying with a debit or a credit card incurs further fees of up to 3.99%.
BlockFi was founded in 2017 with the mission to redefine banking. Several years later, we can say that, despite the scale of this enormous goal, BlockFi is on the right track. The solution provider offers a diverse set of services, alongside the crypto trading functionality, including interest-earning accounts and cryptocurrency-backed loans. While the credit lines and the interest-earning product are among the best in the industry, our focus point here is the crypto trading service.
BlockFi lets you buy, sell, or exchange a variety of cryptocurrencies. Such are BTC, ETH, LTC, and PAXG. The platform also features USD-based stablecoins, including USDC, USDT, GUSD, and PAX. The trading process is easy and straightforward, while the trading fees are quite reasonable. The best thing is there are no hidden fees. The price you see for a trade is what you pay with no additional charges. Another great advantage of the Bitcoin trading platform is that there is no minimum deposit requirement, making the solution a great choice even for beginners with limited capital.
BlockFi’s trading solution is also available for mobile devices (iOS and Android are both supported) and gives you the option to set up recurring trades.
The best thing about BlockFi’s trading solution is that it is among the best on the market, even without being the company’s primary focus. The main lines of business of BlockFi are its interest-earning accounts and the crypto-backed loans. Despite that, it has managed to develop an excellent crypto trading product that competes and even outmuscles the best in the industry.
The Bitcoin trading platform’s offering is considered among the best all-in-one crypto solutions. Over the years, it has received support from leading funds and financial institutions like SoFi and Fidelity, a testament to its reliability and business transparency.
On top of that, clients receive interest of as high as 7.5% per year.
Altrady is not your traditional crypto exchange or broker. Designed as an all-in-one cryptocurrency trading software, Altrady allows you to trade on multiple exchanges, track your performance, and improve your strategies over time. Alternatively – a mix between a trading platform and a trading journal.
Altrady supports some of the most popular cryptocurrency brokers and Bitcoin exchanges, including Binance, Huobi, Bittrex, Kraken, Coinbase Pro, OKEx, Poloniex, and more. The platform is suitable for both beginners and experienced Bitcoin trading professionals due to the diversity of supported features. These include advanced trading orders, real-time market data, scaled ladders, market scanners, notifications and alerts, and more.
There are several ways to run the software of the cryptocurrency broker. You can download it for Windows, Mac, and Linux-powered devices or run it into your web browser (Chrome, Safari, and Firefox supported). You can also run Altrady on your smartphone through the dedicated mobile app (Android and iOS) to trade and keep track of your portfolio on-the-go.
Altrady comes with a 14-day free trial period. After that, you will have to choose one of the paid plans. These include Basic (€14.95 per month), Essential (€29.95 per month), and Premium (€44.95 per month). If you choose to pay for a year ahead, you will get a 30% discount.
You might be wondering whether it is worth paying for an Altrady subscription, considering the abundance of free cryptocurrency broker options on the market. Altrady is worth it if you want to focus on becoming a serious long-term Bitcoin trader and build a sustainable trading strategy. The platform can help you improve your risk management tools and adopt advanced trading orders like trailing stop orders, take-profit orders, and more.
iTrustCapital is an alternative investment IRA trading platform, considered by many as the undisputed best in its category for cryptocurrencies. But let’s take a step back and first focus on what exactly is an alternative investment IRA company.
The company is specialized in providing tax-deferred and tax-free retirement account services by capitalizing on alternative assets. Instead of the conventional securities, iTrustCapital brings its clients the opportunity to buy and trade cryptocurrencies and alternative assets like physical gold, for example, in real-time and directly through their retirement accounts. This offering is rarely seen in the investment industry, and many analysts consider it unique due to its flexibility and the way it combines retirement account management and digital assets.
iTrustCapital’s investments are IRS-compliant and allow individuals to legally move money from their retirement accounts into the cryptocurrency market and low costs. Accessing the platform will cost you $29.95 per month. This includes your new IRA’s complete setup, facilitation of transfer, rollover, and contribution to funding the IRA, the necessary IRS and tax reporting, account support, and unlimited storage with institutional custody partners.
The platform supports the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, LINK, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and Stellar.
Buying digital assets through iTrustCapital is subject to a 1% fee. If you compare it with conventional crypto exchanges, it might sound excessively high.
However, the truth is, it is unrivaled in this highly-specific niche, with the fees of its competitors ranging between 10% and 15%. There is also a $2,500 initial minimum deposit requirement and a minimum contribution of $1,000.
Although iTrustCapital might not naturally be the first provider you should consider when it comes to Bitcoin trading, the truth is it is a fantastic choice. As of now, iTrustCapital is used by over 10 million investors. If you want a solution that will allow you to buy cryptocurrency through your retirement account in a legal and tax-efficient way, then iTrustCapital is the best choice out there.
CryptoRocket is for the adrenaline-lovers who want to trade digital assets on leverage. You can start on the platform in just a couple of minutes and take advantage of up to 1:500 leverage.
CryptoRocket allows you to trade over a wide range of cryptocurrency pairs (over 35) with institutional grade liquidity from global institutions and at very tight spreads. It also employs Straight Through Processing (STP) execution, making it a preferred choice for large-scale traders or time-sensitive traders.
Platform users can deposit in several ways, including with Bitcoin, credit or debit card, and a wire transfer with additional ones introduced all the time. CryptoRocket doesn’t charge any deposit or withdrawal fees. Besides, there aren’t any min deposit requirements as well.
Trading professionals would fall in love with CryptoRocket as it allows scalping, automated bots, and hedging techniques.
Beginners, on the other hand, might find this environment a bit more predatory. Despite its name, CryptoRocket also supports over 55 FX pairs, 64 stocks, and 11 indices. The complete list of supported assets is available on their website.
CryptoRocket does a great job in ensuring its users’ peace of mind by maintaining high security standards. Users’ funds are kept in cold storage, while all transactions are conducted through tier-one financial institutions. The platform also supports 2FA and employs a User Behaviour Analysis Security policy. You can learn more about the adopted security features on the website.
The platform is available for Mac and Windows through MetaTrader 4 as a web-based interface. Alternatively, you can use the iOS and Android app to trade on-the-go.
Voyager allows you to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, leading DeFi tokens, many stablecoins, and a wide variety of exotic altcoins.
The app supports advanced trading features, including professional charting, PnL monitoring, a crypto news feed, research, and more.
The platform supports cash and crypto transactions. Trading on Voyager is free of charge. However, withdrawals to external wallets incur a small flat fee that can vary depending on the asset.
Aside from the trading functionalities, Voyager also has an interest-earning product that allows you to earn up to 9.5% APR on over 21 digital assets without any lockups and with no limits. Voyager’s app is available for iOS and Android. It is visually-appealing, very intuitive, and easy-to-navigate. You can open an account in less than 3 minutes.
Voyager is also renowned for its advanced security features. First, as a public company, it maintains complete transparency and business ethics. The entity is licensed, regulated, and periodically audited.
Also, it employs a proprietary advanced fraud protection system designed to prevent cyber threats and hacking attacks. Finally, all cash on CryptoRocket is insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.
At the time of this writing, Voyager is available to U.S. residents, except for New York. However, the company claims that it collaborates with regulators to obtain a BitLicense and operate in New York and internationally. According to Voyager’s site, such a step should materialize throughout 2021, so stay tuned.
If you struggle to trust a cryptocurrency exchange platform for some reason and prefer to buy Bitcoin from one of the well-known online brokers, then eToro is a good choice. The crypto platform is among the easiest to use and allows you to trade Bitcoin and various other assets all from one place. These include stocks, indices and ETFs, forex, commodities, and most importantly – cryptocurrency.
Etoro was founded in 2007 and has become one of the most popular online brokers and trading platforms worldwide. The main reason for that is it was among the first stock trading brokers to offer commission-free investing opportunities. Today, eToro has over 13m users worldwide and is considered the world’s leading social trading platform, where you can apply the popular “copy trading” practice to emulate the strategies of the best cryptocurrency traders.
Etoro supports various cryptocurrencies, including BTC, XRP, BCH, ETH, LTC, and more. Unlike with stocks, however, trading cryptocurrency on eToro doesn’t come entirely free-of-charge. Although the cryptocurrency broker won’t incur any deposit or trading fees, it charges a $5 fee for withdrawals. Besides, eToro also has very high spreads – Bitcoin (0.75%), Ethereum (1.90%), DASH (2.90%), and so on.
Also, bear in mind that, similar to most conventional crypto brokers, eToro is suitable only for speculation (e.g., for trading CFD contracts). You won’t be able to receive and withdraw the cryptocurrencies you buy to an external wallet.
To solve this, in 2019, eToro launched the eToro X platform – a dedicated cryptocurrency exchange. It allows you to buy cryptocurrency with fiat currencies through a variety of payment methods and at reasonable fees. Once you buy the preferred asset, you can withdraw it to the most popular third-party crypto wallets.
Thanks to the combination of both venues, eToro is now offering one of the best and most convenient solutions for newcomers and professionals on the crypto market.
Similar to eToro, Plus500 needs no introduction. It is among the biggest CFD-based futures contracts and forex brokers worldwide. The service provider makes this list because it combines a no-fee policy with diversified product offerings and customer support.
Unlike the rest of the cryptocurrency brokers, which often intentionally miss stating that you can’t withdraw the cryptocurrency traded there (e.g., all you can do is speculate), Plus500 makes this clear from the first screen on its crypto-dedicated page. The information states that Plus500 users can buy and sell cryptocurrency CFDs on the most popular digital assets with up to 1:2 leverage.
On Plus500, you can also trade the specially-designed crypto index called Crypto10. The index tracks the performance of the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the market, giving you exposure to a wide variety of assets and a well-diversified basket. Crypto trading on Plus500 will guarantee competitive spreads, no commission fees, no minimum deposit requirements, good trading experience, and 24/7 customer support access.
One of the critical advantages of Plus500 is the free demo account support. You can open an account and trade with paper money to get familiar with the platform without risking your capital.
Similar to the offerings of other cryptocurrency brokers, Plus500 supports a web interface and dedicated Android and iOS apps. The platform runs smoothly and makes trading a real pleasure. Moreover, Plus500 is one of the highest-rated CFD trading apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrencies
If you still aren’t convinced whether investing in cryptocurrency is the right thing for you, here are some pros and cons to help you make a decision:
Potential for Extreme Profits
With cryptocurrencies, it is no rare occurrence to wake up and see that the value of your assets had skyrocket 50% overnight. For example, for the period 1 January 2020 – 8 January 2021, Bitcoin has exploded 450%. So is the case with Ripple. The asset’s value jumped 120% only during the first month of 2021. The list goes on with assets like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and more.
In terms of the potential to make money, cryptocurrencies are unrivaled in the investment world.
An Ever-Evolving Ecosystem
Bitcoin was created a bit over a decade ago to provide a P2P electronic cash system, but it managed to achieve much more. Since then, the industry has evolved to a state with all types of complementary products and services, including interest-earning accounts, credit lines, payment gateways, crypto banks, crypto ATMs, gaming services, and many more.
Although there is a long way to go until cryptocurrencies reach mainstream adoption, it is hard to single out any stumbling blocks along the road that may prevent it from becoming a viable alternative to the conventional financial system.
The Massive Potential Under The “Cryptocurrency” Surface
If the growth of cryptocurrencies is inspiring, then blockchain’s potential as the underlying technology is even more remarkable. It has already started reshaping industries like medicine, logistics, manufacturing, information security, agriculture, supply chain, and many more. Even governments are opening to the idea of adopting blockchain technology to ensure more transparent and resilient systems.
Going forward, the growth of blockchain will positively affect the world of cryptocurrencies, which will naturally unlock a plethora of opportunities to make money.
A Wide Range of Investment Opportunities
The cryptocurrency niche is diverse and consists of different types of tokens, including platform-specific tokens, utility tokens, security tokens, transactional tokens, governance tokens, and more. Many crypto projects are specialized in addressing different market needs or tackling real-world problems like the unbanked population, identity protection, organizational efficiency, and more. Thanks to that, you can capitalize on various exciting opportunities and aspiring ideas empowered by blockchain technology.
The New Mainstream
Cryptocurrencies are no longer considered exotic assets. Today, they are a part of the mainstream investment universe, alongside stocks, FX, commodities, and the rest of the conventional assets. Many investment banks, funds, and wealth managers are now heavily invested in digital assets, which only comes to show how important cryptocurrencies have become for the global financial system and the crucial players in it.
Volatile assets are a double-edged sword. While they can help you make money, they can also wipe-out your portfolio if you don’t have a proper risk management strategy in place. Take Ripple, for example. For just ten days in December 2020, the asset’s value nose-dived 65%. Even Bitcoin isn’t protected against such slumps. For 20 days in January 2021, the biggest cryptocurrency by market cap lost over 24% of its value.
High Dependence on Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s dominance in the crypto world is estimated at approximately 60%. In other words, even if you invest in niche altcoins, you simply can’t escape the effect fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin will have on your portfolio. Speaking strictly about cryptocurrency portfolios, this means you can never achieve good diversification of your portfolio as it will always be correlated to the dominating asset.
Storing Cryptocurrencies Might Be Complicated for Beginners
Buying cryptocurrencies is just the first step. What is more important is how you store them. The idea of cryptocurrency wallets usually is a bit complicated for newbies, and finding the best medium of storage requires significant research. However, if you feel lost in the whole concept, don’t be quick to give up. Check out our guide about the best ways to store cryptocurrencies to help you make your first steps and find out the best cryptocurrency wallet for your needs.
Plenty of Scam Projects
The exponential growth of the industry was a mixed blessing. Alongside the plethora of aspiring projects, founded with a real purpose, many scammers also entered the field. To be precise, there are over 2,000 scam projects which have ended up on the crypto garbage dump, drawing investors’ funds with them. If you are unfamiliar with the space, make sure to invest only in the leading assets by market cap. Once you get more comfortable, you can start exploring interesting altcoin projects.
Banned in Many Countries Around the World
Although many governments are slowly making progress in legalizing cryptocurrency activities, digital assets are currently either partially or entirely forbidden in many countries worldwide. These include China (banking ban), Russia (banking ban), Canada (banking ban), Vietnam, Pakistan, Colombia, Egypt, and more. Although the list is shrinking, crypto investors should be wary of any potential restrictions targeted at particular cryptocurrencies or the whole asset class.
Best Crypto Broker and Trading Platform Conclusion
Thanks to the evolving of the niche and the ever-increasing competition, over time, only the “fittest” crypto brokers and trading platforms managed to survive. Naturally, this increased the quality of the provided service and paved the way for establishing real winners here to stay long-term. The one benefiting the most from this is the investor.
Today, you can choose from beginner-friendly exchanges, zero-fee platforms, hybrid trading venues, well-renowned brokers, and all types of service providers competing for your money. At the end, whom you will choose depends on your needs and goals. However, with offerings like Plus500, Coinbase, and Gemini, you can easily ensure an all-in-one solution to cover everything you need under a single roof.
Is long-term crypto investing still worht it? Let’s have a look at the best cryptocurrency to invest in this year.