Pros and cons of the most popular crypto exchanges

Bitcoins placed next to the Coinbase app on iPhone, illustrating one of the largest providers of Bitcoin, pictured in Cologne, Germany on April 14, 2021.

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The world is home to roughly 600 active cryptocurrency exchanges, according to Forbes, but the results of a new study from GOBankingRates show that crypto traders prefer three exchanges over the rest. Coinbase,, and Robinhood received the best billing from survey respondents.

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Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each platform, as well as an introduction to some other popular and respected exchanges that went unnoticed by the investors who participated in the study.

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base of coins

Coinbase has been the industry leader since its arrival in 2012 and is the largest crypto exchange in the United States to date. With more than 98 million verified users, Coinbase operates in more than 100 countries, employs more than 4,900 people, and has $256 billion in assets on its platform.

The sheer size of Coinbase gives the platform credibility, as does the fact that it is listed on the Nasdaq. When Coinbase became the first publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange in 2021, the moment validated the industry and helped bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.

Its other advantages include:

  • A wide range of cryptocurrencies available to trade
  • An elegant and intuitive interface
  • Easy registration and onboarding
  • The platform rewards users for learning.
  • It is an excellent platform for beginners.

The trade-off for big-name credibility, fast and simple exchanges, and a platform that has its own crypto rewards Visa wallet and card, according to Forbes, is a confusing fee structure that charges users more than many other exchanges. .

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Matt Damon is the first thing you see when you log into, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on how you feel about the Oscar-winning actor turned crypto promoter. Another thing the exchange has going for it is momentum: With over 50 million users trading over 250 cryptocurrencies, it claims to be the fastest growing crypto app in the world.

Here are some of the other advantages of

  • Like Coinbase, it has its own rewards credit card: Visa gives you up to 5% back on all spending.
  • Deposits can earn up to 10% per annum in stablecoins and up to 14.5% in cryptocurrencies.
  • Excellent speed, security and liquidity

The downside is that low-volume traders are hit with higher fees, according to Forbes, and the only way to get around the fees is to trade Cronos, which is’s proprietary stablecoin.

Robin Hood

Robinhood rose to fame as a pioneer in the commission-free investing space and is the main reason why today’s investing can be done for free for just about anyone, and follows the same formula in the crypto space.

As Robinhood is quick to point out, some exchanges charge up to 4% to trade crypto on their platforms; Robinhood charges 0%. On Coinbase and Gemini, a $100 investment would buy you $97.01 worth of crypto; the other $2.99 ​​disappears on exchanges in the form of fees.

With Robinhood, a $100 investment leaves you with $100 in cryptocurrency.

The other advantages of Robinhood include:

  • A wide selection of the most popular cryptocurrencies
  • You can get started for as little as $1.
  • Signing up is quick and simple – you’ll be up and running in minutes.
  • He is working on developing his own wallet.
  • Excellent security and cold storage.

In terms of cons, Robinhood doesn’t have many flaws – after all, the most cited cons of big exchanges are high fees, confusing fees, or a combination of both. However, according to Time’s NextAdvisor, Robinhood has been criticized for making its interface too game-like, which could encourage active trading, and thus volatility, over long-term growth.


Although survey respondents did not rank it among the top three exchanges, Binance.US gets a mention because it is an offshoot of Binance, the global crypto giant that holds the title of the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume. Their $10.42 billion 24-hour trading volume leaves No. 2 and No. 3 FTX and Coinbase in the dust with $1.83 billion and $1.65 billion, respectively.

Binance.US doesn’t have as many coin options as its main exchange, but it does offer over 100 respectable ones and, more importantly, follows the Binance model of charging fees that are almost the lowest in the industry. Setup is quick and security is strong, but it’s not available in all states, according to Forbes, including Texas and New York.


Kraken is the fourth largest exchange in the world behind Binance, FTX, and Coinbase, according to CoinMarketCap.

The platform offers more than 100 cryptocurrencies and has an easy registration process that allows you to start trading in just a few minutes with as little as $10.

While it may not be the best platform for beginners (newbies flock to Coinbase for a reason), experienced traders praise Kraken for its advanced features like margin and futures trading. Its fees are low and its security is world-class – the platform has never been hacked, according to Forbes. It doesn’t have a wallet, disappointing customer support, and it’s not available in all states, but it does offer solid staking rewards.

More GOBankingRates Content

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,037 Americans aged 18 and over from across the country between April 8-9, 2022, asking them eight different questions: (1) Do you invest in cryptocurrencies?; (2) If you don’t invest in cryptocurrencies, why not? (Select all that apply); (3) How long have you invested in cryptocurrencies?; (4) What is your main objective for your cryptocurrency investments?; (5) What percentage of your investments are in crypto?; (6) What cryptocurrencies are you invested in? (Select all that apply); (7) How much have you profited from cryptocurrencies (all times)?; and (8) Which cryptocurrency exchange(s) do you use? (Select all that apply). GOBankingRates used the PureSpectrum survey platform to conduct the survey.

About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was previously one of the youngest nationally syndicated columnists for the nation’s largest newspaper syndicate, Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the largest newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as the style editor for, a financial publication in the heart of New York City’s Wall Street investment community. .

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