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7 Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA for Bitcoin (BTC) Trading

19 mins
Updated by Maria Petrova
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Navigating the dynamic world of cryptocurrency trading in the U.S.A. requires a platform that combines security, liquidity, and user-friendly features. This article delves into the seven best crypto exchanges in the U.S.A. for Bitcoin trading, renowned for their low-spread trading, high market liquidity, and transparent fees. 

We’ve handpicked these platforms based on their trading volume, exchange reputation, and the breadth of trading pairs they offer. Each exchange stands out for its commitment to providing tight spreads, efficient order execution, and a seamless user experience. Explore our curated list to find the best crypto exchange in the U.S.A. that aligns with your trading strategies and goals.

Methodology

The best crypto exchanges in the USA

1. Coinbase

Best crypto exchange for beginners
Trading fees
0.00% to 0.60%
Cryptocurrencies
241
Payment method
Bank transfer, card, PayPal
Minimum deposit
$2

2. Uphold

Best platform for multi-asset trading
Trading fees
0.25% to 1.25%
Cryptocurrencies
250+
Payment method
Bank transfer, card
Minimum deposit
$10

3. Kraken

Best exchange for low trading fees
Trading fees
0.00% to 0.26%
Cryptocurrencies
249
Payment method
Bank transfer, card
Minimum deposit
$1

4. eToro

Best platform for copy trading
Trading fees
1% for crypto

Cryptocurrencies
70+
Payment method
Bank transfer, card, PayPal
Minimum deposit
$100

5. iTrustCapital

Best platform for crypto and stocks traders
Trading fees
1% for crypto

Cryptocurrencies
20+
Payment method
IRA, Cash Contribution (ACH)
Minimum deposit
$1,000

6. BYDFi

Best crypto exchange for low fees
Trading fees
0.1% maker
0.3% /taker


Cryptocurrencies
279
Payment method
Bank transfer, card
Minimum deposit
$50

7. Bitget

Best crypto exchange for altcoins
Trading fees
0.10%



Cryptocurrencies
692
Payment method
Card
Minimum deposit
$2

Understanding cryptocurrency exchange operations

Cryptocurrency exchanges are digital platforms that facilitate the buying, selling, and trading of crypto. They operate as intermediaries between buyers and sellers, providing a marketplace where users can exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital currencies or fiat money (such as USD, EUR, etc.). The core functionality of a cryptocurrency exchange involves matching orders from users who want to sell cryptocurrencies with orders from users who want to buy them.

When a user wants to trade, they must first create an account on the exchange and deposit funds (either fiat currency or cryptocurrencies) into their exchange wallet. More experienced traders often opt for pro accounts for crypto trading

Once the account is funded, the user can place buy or sell orders on the exchange. These orders are listed in the exchange’s order book, a real-time ledger that records all pending transactions.

Buy orders specify the amount of cryptocurrency the buyer wants to purchase and the price they are willing to pay. Sell orders specify the amount of cryptocurrency the seller offers and the minimum price they are willing to accept. 

When a buy order matches a sell order in price, the exchange automatically executes the trade, transferring the sold cryptocurrency to the buyer’s wallet and the purchase amount to the seller’s wallet. Exchanges make money by charging fees for their services. These fees can include trading fees (a percentage of the trade amount), withdrawal fees, and deposit fees. 

Some exchanges also offer additional services like margin trading, futures trading, and access to initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token sales, often with their own set of fees. Security is a critical concern for cryptocurrency exchanges, as these platforms are prime targets for hacking and fraud.

Types of crypto exchange 

Cryptocurrency exchanges are broadly categorized into two main types — centralized exchanges (CEXs) and decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

Centralized exchanges (CEXs) are platforms managed by a centralized entity that facilitates the trading of cryptocurrencies. 

They act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers, offering services like fiat-to-crypto transactions, enhanced liquidity, and advanced trading features, such as AI crypto trading bots

CEXs are known for their user-friendly interfaces, customer support, and implementation of strict security measures. However, they require users to trust the platform with their funds and personal information.

Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) operate without a central authority, enabling direct peer-to-peer transactions. DEXs offer a higher degree of privacy and security, as trades are executed directly between users through smart contracts on a blockchain

They promote anonymity and reduce the risk of hacking and centralized control. However, DEXs might have lower liquidity, fewer trading features, deal with slippage issues, and be less user-friendly for newcomers compared to CEXs.

When dealing with a DEX, you will have a unique address for your BTC wallet. According to the Bitcoin blockchain explorer Blockchain.com, over 600,000 unique blockchain addresses are used daily. Note that this doesn’t count the many other wallets created in centralized platforms. 

Unique BTC addresses: Blockchain.com
Unique BTC addresses: Blockchain.com

Each type of exchange offers unique advantages and considerations, catering to different user preferences regarding security, privacy, ease of use, and regulatory compliance.

Potential risks associated with crypto exchanges

Using cryptocurrency exchanges, whether centralized (CEXs) or decentralized (DEXs), involves various risks. Understanding these risks is crucial for users to make informed decisions and take appropriate measures to mitigate them. Here’s a breakdown of the key risks involved in using crypto exchanges:

Security vulnerabilities

  • Hacking and theft: Exchanges can be prime targets for hackers. Successful attacks may lead to the loss of users’ funds stored on the platform. Even with advanced security measures, no exchange is entirely immune to breaches.
  • Phishing attacks: Users may fall victim to phishing scams, where fraudulent websites or communications mimic legitimate exchanges to steal login credentials and funds.

Operational risks

  • Technical failures: Glitches, downtime, or technical malfunctions can affect an exchange’s ability to execute orders, leading to potential losses, especially in volatile market conditions.
  • Liquidity issues: Some exchanges, particularly smaller or newer ones, may suffer from low liquidity, making it difficult to execute large orders without impacting the market price significantly.
  • Regulatory changes: The evolving regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies can affect exchanges’ operations, potentially leading to sudden restrictions or the closure of services in certain jurisdictions.
  • Legal actions: Exchanges facing legal challenges or regulatory scrutiny may halt operations or freeze assets, impacting users’ ability to access their funds.

Market risks

  • Price volatility: The crypto market is known for its high volatility. Rapid price movements can lead to significant losses, especially for leveraged positions.
  • Market manipulation: Some exchanges may have less stringent measures to prevent market manipulation, exposing users to pump-and-dump schemes and other manipulative practices.

Counterparty risks

  • Trust and custody: On CEXs, users’ funds are typically held by the exchange, creating a risk if the exchange becomes insolvent or acts maliciously.
  • Smart contract vulnerabilities: On DEXs, trades are executed through smart contracts. Bugs or vulnerabilities in smart contract code can lead to the loss of funds.

Personal security risks

  • Loss of access: Losing access to your account due to forgotten passwords, lost two-factor authentication devices, or death without sharing access information can result in the permanent loss of funds.
  • Privacy concerns: Personal information provided to CEXs might be exposed in the event of a data breach, leading to privacy issues and potential identity theft.

Strategies to avoid these risks

To mitigate these risks, users should:

  • Use exchanges with strong security measures and a good track record.
  • Enable two-factor authentication and use hardware wallets for storing cryptocurrencies.
  • Stay informed about regulatory changes in their jurisdiction.
  • Be cautious with market orders on platforms with low liquidity.
  • Regularly withdraw funds not needed for trading to a secure wallet.
  • Educate themselves on the signs of market manipulation and phishing attempts.

Understanding crypto exchange fees

Crypto exchange fees are charges that platforms impose for services, such as trading, withdrawing, and depositing cryptocurrencies. These fees vary across different exchanges and are crucial for users to understand before engaging in crypto transactions. Here are the crypto exchange fees any beginner should be aware of: 

Trading fees

  • Maker and taker fees: Most exchanges differentiate between “maker” orders that provide liquidity to the market by creating a new order on the book and “taker” orders that remove liquidity by matching with an existing order. Makers typically pay lower fees than takers.
  • Percentage-based fees. Many exchanges charge a percentage of the trade amount. This fee can decrease as a user’s trading volume increases over a specified period.

Withdrawal and deposit fees

  • Withdrawal fees: When you withdraw cryptocurrencies to an external wallet, the exchange may charge a fee. This fee often reflects the network fee required to process the transaction on the blockchain and can vary by cryptocurrency.
  • Deposit fees: Depositing funds into an exchange can also incur fees, especially for fiat deposits through methods like bank transfers or credit cards. Some exchanges offer free deposits for cryptocurrencies.

Other fees

  • Conversion fees: Exchanging one cryptocurrency for another directly on the platform may involve conversion fees in addition to trading fees.
  • Network fees: Separate from the exchange’s withdrawal fees, network fees are paid to blockchain miners or validators to process transactions. These fees fluctuate based on network congestion.

Tips for minimizing fees

  • Compare exchanges: Fees vary widely among platforms, so compare to find the most favorable rates.
  • Use limit orders: Opting for maker orders can lower trading costs compared to taker orders. Learn more about stop loss vs stop limit orders to increase your trading efficiency. 
  • Leverage fee discounts: Some exchanges offer lower fees for using their native tokens or for users with high monthly trading volumes.
  • Withdraw wisely: Consolidate withdrawals to minimize network and withdrawal fees.

Selecting the right cryptocurrency exchange

Choosing a cryptocurrency exchange is a critical decision for anyone looking to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies. Here are key factors to consider before selecting an exchange that suits your needs:

  • Security measures: Opt for exchanges with robust security features like two-factor authentication (2FA), cold storage for funds, encryption, and regular security audits to protect your assets.
  • Fee structure: Understand the exchange’s fee structure for trading, deposits, and withdrawals. Look for transparent fees that align with your cryptocurrency trading patterns
  • Supported cryptocurrencies: Check the range of supported cryptocurrencies. Whether you’re interested in popular coins or exploring altcoins, ensure the exchange caters to your investment interests.
  • User interface and experience: Choose an exchange with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Ease of use is crucial for both beginners and experienced traders.
  • Liquidity: High liquidity ensures you can execute trades quickly and at desired prices. Check the exchange’s trading volume to gauge its liquidity.
  • Regulatory compliance: Select exchanges that comply with regulatory requirements in your jurisdiction. This compliance indicates a level of reliability and security.
  • Customer support: Good customer service is essential for resolving issues. Look for exchanges with responsive support through multiple channels.
  • Additional features: Consider extra features like margin trading, staking, or earning opportunities if these are important to your trading strategy.

Taking the time to assess these factors will help you choose a cryptocurrency exchange that meets your trading needs and security expectations.

Registering for a cryptocurrency exchange account

Signing up for a cryptocurrency exchange account involves a straightforward process. 

Here’s how to get started:

  • Choose an exchange: Select a cryptocurrency exchange that fits your needs based on security, fees, supported cryptocurrencies, and other factors discussed previously.
  • Visit the exchange’s website or app: Go to the official website or download the exchange’s official app to ensure security.
  • Signup: Look for a “Sign Up” or “Register” button. Click on it to start the registration process.
  • Provide Your Details: Enter your personal information, such as email address, phone number, and a strong password. Some exchanges may ask for additional details upfront or during the verification process.
  • Verify your email or phone number: You’ll likely receive a verification link via email or a code via SMS. Follow the instructions to verify your contact details.
  • Complete identity verification (KYC): Many exchanges require Know Your Customer (KYC) verification for security and regulatory compliance. You’ll need to upload documents like a government-issued ID, passport, or driver’s license, and sometimes a selfie for facial recognition.
  • Secure your account: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for an added layer of security on your account.
  • Deposit funds: Once your account is set up and verified, you can deposit funds using the methods available on the exchange, such as bank transfer, credit card, or cryptocurrency transfer from another wallet.
  • Start trading: With funds in your account, you’re ready to start trading cryptocurrencies.

Each exchange may have slight variations in this process, so follow any additional instructions the exchange provides carefully.

What’s the best crypto exchange in the USA for you?

Navigating the world of cryptocurrency trading requires choosing the right platform that aligns with your trading needs and goals. The best crypto exchanges in the U.S.A. offer low-spread trading, a wide array of trading pairs, and robust crypto market liquidity. These platforms ensure tight spreads, transparent fees, and efficient order execution, crucial for optimizing trading strategies amidst market volatility. 

When selecting a cryptocurrency exchange, prioritize those with a strong reputation, high trading volume, and a user-friendly experience. This approach will help you engage in low-cost trading on popular crypto exchanges, benefiting from real-time spreads and a comprehensive trading fee comparison. Ultimately, the right exchange combines all these features to provide a secure, cost-effective, and seamless trading environment.

Frequently asked questions

Which crypto exchange is best in the U.S.A?

Which crypto is popular in the U.S.A.?

What is the best way to buy crypto in the U.S.?

Which crypto exchange is safest?

How can I get USDT for free?

How to earn free Bitcoin?

Is USDT risk-free?

Are crypto exchanges legal in the U.S.A.?

Top crypto platforms | May 2024

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Iulia Vasile
Iulia Vasile is a seasoned professional in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, working full-time in the field since 2017. With a background in computer engineering, she has the unique ability to write about complicated topics, including DeFi, NFTs, trading, and AI, in a way that is easy to understand. Iulia learned multiple programming languages while completing her Software Engineering degree in Bucharest at Politehnica University. Iulia brings her expertise and personal...
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