2018 Best Bitcoin exchange Review and Comparison

This page aggregates the most reputable Bitcoin exchanges around today and compares them according to important buying factors. The list below is a general summary and more detailed reviews can be found at the bottom of the page.

  • compare exchanges

  • Is this exchange a trading platform, a broker or a marketplace.Exchange type
  • How respected is this exchange in the Bitcoin communityReputation
  • How does the exchange rate compare to other exchange rates availableExchange rate
  • How much fees does the exchange charge?Fees
  • What are the available payment methods to buy Bitcoins from this exchangePayment methods
  • Time to Bitcoin - How long does it take a new user to receive his coins. Calculated in this is deposit time, transaction time and withdrawal time.TTB
  • Does the exchange require to go through a verification processNeeds Verification?
  • How many countries does the exchange support worldwideSupported countries
  • Overall rating
  • CoinMama

  • coinmama
  • Broker
  • yes
  • no
  • Credit card fees - 5% per deposit. WU and MoneyGram varies.yes
  • Credit/Debit, WU, MoneyGram
  • New users can receive their Bitcoins within hoursyesyes
  • For purchases under $150Yes
  • Worldwide
  • 92%
  • Read review
  • CEX.io

  • 247exchange
  • Trading Platform
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
  • Wire, Credit/Debit, AstroPay
  • New users can receive their Bitcoins within hoursyesyes
  • Yes
  • Worldwide
  • 90%
  • Read review
  • Bitstamp

  • bitstamp
  • Trading Platform
  • yesyes
  • yesyes
  • Transaction fee varies between 0.1%-0.25%, withdrawal fees are charged as wellyesyes
  • Wire, Ripple, AstroPay, Credit Debit
  • Due to limited payment methods it can take several days to get your Bitcoinsno
  • Yes
  • Worldwide
  • 88%
  • Read review
  • Bitfinex

  • bitfinex
  • Trading Platform
  • yes
  • yesyes
  • yes
  • Wire transfer
  • Due to limited payment methods it can take several days to get your Bitcoinsyes
  • Yes
  • Non US only
  • 88%
  • Read review
  • LocalBitcoins

  • Local Bitcoins
  • Buy and sell directly to individuals (like ebay)p2p exchange
  • no
  • no
  • yes
  • Wire, PayPal, Credit, Debit, Skrill and more
  • Transaction depends on availability of sellerno
  • Some sellers require verificationDepends
  • Worldwide
  • 83%
  • Read review
  • Kraken

  • kraken
  • Trading Platform
  • yes
  • yes
  • Transaction fees vary between 0.12% - 0.2%. Minimal deposit feesyes
  • Wire
  • Due to limited payment methods it can take several days to get your Bitcoinsno
  • Yes
  • Worldwide
  • 83%
  • Read review
  • HitBTC

  • hitbtc
  • Trading Platform
  • This exchange is relatively new and hasn't gain enough reputation yet.no
  • The exchange rate in this exchange is significantly higher than the averageno
  • Flat deposit/withdrawal fee (except SEPA). 0.1% Transaction feeyes
  • Wire
  • Due to limited payment methods it can take several days to get your Bitcoinsno
  • Yes
  • Worldwide
  • 80%
  • Read review
  • 247Exchange

  • 247exchange
  • Broker
  • yes
  • no
  • 0.2% transaction fee, 0.5% withdrawal fee, deposit fee varies between payment methodsyes
  • Wire, Credit/Debit, Cash
  • New users can receive their Bitcoins within 48 hoursyes
  • Yes
  • Majority of users come from US, but other countries supported as wellWorldwide
  • 84%
  • Read review
  • Luno

  • luno
  • Trading Platform
  • yes
  • yes
  • 0.2%-1%, flat withdrawal fee, depending on currencyyes
  • Bank transfer, GIRO, FAST, EFT
  • yes
  • Yes
  • Indonesia, Malasıya, Nigeria, Singapore, South AfricaVaries
  • 84%
  • Read review
  • BitBay

  • bitbay
  • Trading Platform
  • yes
  • yes
  • 0.25%-0.43% trading fees, 2%-5% deposit fees, flat withdrawal feesyes
  • Bank transfer, SEPA, SWIFT
  • yes
  • Yes
  • Worldwide
  • 82%
  • Read review
  • Virwox

  • virwox
  • Trading Platform
  • This exchange has received multiple complaints about customer serviceno
  • The exchange rate in this exchange is extremely higher than the averagenono
  • Due to the fact that you can't buy BTC directly fees can vary up to 10%nono
  • Wire, PayPal, Credit, Debit, Skrill and more
  • New users need to wait 48 hours to receive their first Bitcoinno
  • No
  • Worldwide
  • 70%
  • Read review

New to buying Bitcoin? here’s what you need to know before choosing an exchange:

 

Resource section for the video can be found here


Coinbase Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Highly respected and good reputation, low transaction fees

Cons: Not available worldwide, Support takes time to respond

Summary: Coinbase is probably the most popular company today for buying Bitcoins. It was founded in late 2012 as a part of Y-Combinator and until today has raised more than $106 million in venture capital. Coinbase is considered by many the leading Bitcoin exchange available.

The are two ways you can buy Bitcoins from Coinbase. One is through the Coinbase wallet and the other is through the Coinbase exchange. When you buy Bitcoins through the Coinbase wallet you are basically buying the Bitcoins from Coinbase itself, whereas when you use the exchange you are participating in a trading with other users of the exchange.

Buy Bitcoins on Coinbase Read our Coinabse review

 

CoinMama Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Accept credit cards, Fast transaction time, great user interface.

Cons:  Relatively high exchange rate, limited states within the US.

Summary: Coinmama is a another veteran Bitcoin broker working in the market since 2013. They offer easy ways to buy Bitcoins with credit cards or cash deposits via MoneyGram and Western Union. Coinmama uses Simplex – a credit processor which allows you to buy up to $5000 in one purchase. Coinmama also has relatively high exchange rates due to chargeback issues and the availability of credit and debit cards as payment methods.

Buy Bitcoins on Coinmama Read our Coinmama review

 


CEX.IO Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Reputable company, high buying limits

Cons: Limited countries available, higher exchange rates

Summary: CEX.IO was established in 2013. CEX.IO is a bitcoin trading exchange which accepts credit cards and allows you to trade. On Cex.io You can buy Bitcoins for USD, EUR and RUB.

Buy Bitcoins on Cex.io Read our Cex.io review

 

BitFinex Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Advanced trading features, leverage abilities

Cons: Does not accept fiat deposits, complex interface

Bitfinex is an advanced Bitcoin trading platform that is more suitable for experienced traders. The platform does not accept fiat deposits at the moment which means you’ll need to fund your account with altcoins or Bitcoin.

If you’re an experienced cryptocurrency trader, Bitfinex likely offers everything you need and more. The chief draw is probably the platform’s high Bitcoin and Ethereum liquidity, but its margin funding, leverage, and multiple order types offer a lot of flexibility.

Visit Bitfinex Read our Bitfinex review

Coinhouse Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Reputable company, high buying limits

Cons: Limited to Eurozone countries only, relatively higher exchange rates

Summary: Coinhouse is the “House of Bitcoin” in Paris. You can buy bitcoins directly online by Visa / MasterCard or cash with Neosurf prepaid card available in most European countries.

Buy Bitcoins on Coinhouse     Read our Coinhouse review


BitPanda Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Multiple payment options, relatively low fees

Cons: Fees are hidden inside the exchange rate, EU citiznes only

Overall rating: B

Bitpanda is an Austrian Start-Up Company that was founded in October 2014. The company allows you to buy Bitcoins or Ethereum with a credit card as well as with Wire transfers, Neteller, Skrill, SEPA and more. The company supplies its services to European countries only with a relatively low fee.

If your account is verified the limit is 2,500€ daily (75,000€ monthly) for credit card purchases. For other options, there’s a 10,000€ daily (300,000€ monthly).


Buy Bitcoins on Bitpanda      Read our Bitpanda review

 

Bitstamp Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Highly respected and reliable exchange, low transaction fees.

Cons: Not suited for beginners, limited payment methods, high deposit fees on small amounts of money.

Summary: Bitstamp is the oldest Bitcoin exchange out there today. Founded on 2011 Bitstamp has managed to survive most of the Bitcoin ecosystem’s turmoil without being hacked or shut down, and that’s definitely saying something.

If it wasn’t for it’s non intuitive user interface and lack of convenient payment methods Bitstamp may have been rated #1 in our charts. But unfortunately today I can only recommend Bitstamp for larger purchases of coins where you will definitely need to use a wire transfer and the fees won’t compose such a large amount of the deposited sum.

Buy Bitcoins on Bitstamp Bitstamp review coming soon

 

 

Kraken Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Highly respected and reliable exchange, low transaction fees.

Cons: Not suited for beginners, limited payment methods, high deposit fees on small amounts of money.

Summary: Another Bitcoin exchange veteran, Kraken was also founded in 2011 like Bitstamp and managed to stay alive until today. Kraken is consistently rated as a top Bitcoin exchange by different news outlets and was also the first Bitcoin exchange listed on Bloomberg terminals. Kraken is also trusted by hundreds of  the Tokyo government and the BaFin regulated Fidor Bank.

Kraken is pretty similar  to Bitstamp in its pros and cons and are almost identical when coming to decide which on of them to use.

Buy Bitcoins on Kraken Kraken review coming soon

iGot Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Super low fees, great interface.

Cons: Limited payment options, relatively high exchange rate.

Summary: iGot was founded in 2013 in Australia, it  provides a trading platform  and also merchant payment services for Bitcoin. It has super low fees but also supplies on a limited range of payment methods.

The exchange was also behind the relief campaign for Nepal earthquake victims earlier this year. Having said that, iGot has yet to gain enough reputation as a major player in the Bitcoin exchange market.

 

Buy Bitcoins on igot igot review coming soon

HitBTC Bitcoin exchange review

Pros: Beginner friendly, great buying experience.

Cons: High exchange rate, brand not reputable enough.

Summary: I’ve reviewed HitBTC last year and was pretty pleased with their product. The company seems to have a solid user interface making it pretty easy to buy Bitcoins. Also the platform seems to be very “newbie oriented” and puts an emphasis on security.

Although HitBTC gained considerable traction over the past year since it’s launch, much like iGot it still hasn’t managed to reach the “big leagues” of Bitcoin exchange (i.e. Coinbase, Circle, Bitstamp etc.)

 

Buy Bitcoins on HitBTC Read our HitBTC review

Virwox Bitcoin exchange review

Pros:   A wide variety of payment methods including Paypal and credit cards, no verification required

Cons:  Shady reputation, very high fees when buying with Paypal or a credit cards (due to multiple conversions).

Summary: Virwox is not a Bitcoin exchange per se. It’s actually a Second Life reseller which allow you to exchange SLL (Second Life Linden’s) in to Bitcoins. So why is it listed here? Because currently it’s the only known exchange in which you can buy Bitcoins with PayPal.

The issue with Virwox is that even though it supplies various payment methods many users have complained about their services. Some have even reported that their money was taken with no return. However most of the reviews tend to show that either the purchase of Bitcoins was successful or that the money was refunded.

Buy Bitcoins on Virwox Read our Virwox review

 


247Exchange Bitcoin exchange review

Pros:  Easy user interface, works worldwide and multilingual.

Cons: Buying process is too long (mainly due to verification), the service takes a premium in order to be able to deal with chargeback issues.

Summary: 247Exchange is a veteran player in the Bitcoin ecosystem which allows you to buy Bitcoins with a credit card in a simple and secure manner. Unfortunately their buying process still has a few glitches and the verification process can take quite some time. I recently reviewed the service hands on, you can read about it here.

Buy Bitcoins on 247Exchange Read our 247Exchange review

Bittrex Bitcoin Exchange Review

Pros: Smooth, easy to understand interface, top-notch security, 250+ altcoins

Cons: Slightly high fees, poor customer service, odd account suspensions

Bittrex provides a growing cryptocurrency exchange that suits investors looking for a large altcoin selection. The US company launched in 2014 and is now one of the leading trading platforms.

Its reputation is built upon a smooth user experience combined with unparalleled security. The interface is simple to understand allowing users to easily expand their portfolios with access to over 250 coins. Bittrex has a crack squad of security experts keeping funds safe. The team currently maintain a clean record in fighting off hacks and attacks.

Buy Bitcoins on Bittrex Read our Bittrex review

Luno Bitcoin Exchange Review

Pros: Good reputation, happy reviews, well-run platform.

Cons: bitcoin only, fluctuating fees, small market cap

Luno enjoys a marvelous reputation with an array of happy users. It doesn’t have a huge trading cap but it performs its duties admirably against the big boys. Despite being in operation since 2013 the Luno team still struggle to secure serious market dominance.

Solely a bitcoin exchange the platform is aiming to become the “most trusted, secure and reliable exchange”. Users can buy, sell and store bitcoin with service including the use of wallet and mobile features. The one downside is the fees, which can be a little tricky to work out for new buyers. Overall, it is a solid well run service.

Buy Bitcoins on Luno Read our Luno review

Indacoin Exchange Review

Pros: Convenient simple way to buy bitcoin

Cons: Extortionate fees, low buy limits

Indacoin has been around since 2014 target customers looking for fast easy bitcoin buys. It functions as a way for you to buy bitcoins with a credit or debit card. Simply fill out a payment form then confirm via a telephone message and voila, you’ll have bitcoin funds.

There are some downsides to transacting in this manner. Fees are astronomical anywhere you make a credit card transaction and none more so than Indacoin. Users really do pay a price for convenience. There are buy limits to be aware of with a maximum of $750. That being said, the service does do what it says in a legitimate manner.

Buy Bitcoins on IndaCoin Read our IndaCoin review

Bitbay Exchange Review

Pros: Decent currency support, Less known to hackers, acceptable fees

Cons: Small market cap, Unknow quantity, still building a reputation.

Bitbay is another interesting cryptocurrency exchange competitor. The Polish outfit services users both domestically and worldwide. The feature-rich trading platform is still fighting to become a well-known name in the industry. But many are not put out by the smaller reputation.

Bitbay provides a nice selection of coins with bitcoin, litecoin, ether, and lisk all available to trade. Fees are acceptable too, although slightly higher than some bigger exchanges. The pros, particularly for Polish users far outweigh the cons. Domestic customers can even get a bitcoin credit card to start transacting regularly.

Buy Bitcoins on BitBay Read our BitBay review

Changelly Exchange Review

Pros: Simplistic crypto exchange, no trading expertise needed, sleek interface

Cons: Fee higher when trading fiat, not completely anonymous

Changelly is a real neat solution to a very real problem. Satoshi gave birth to bitcoin, one global currency. Bitcoin then reproduced and again. Now it has evolved. There are hundreds of global digital currencies which need to be exchanged. Changelly makes it easy and convenient to exchange cryptocurrencies without the need for trading platforms.

For a fee, you can send them a coin and receive another back. Of course, it is effectively making trades for you so you don’t need to understand charts and market trading. The slick interface coupled with a 0.5% fee on all transactions does make it an appealing prospect. However if you trade fiat currencies it seems like that exchange rate is a lot higher. So it is advised only to trade altcoins on Changelly.

Visit Changelly Read our Changelly review

Local Bitcoins Exchange Review

Pros: Transaction flexibility, no buy fee, worldwide user base, public rating system

Cons: 1% sell fee, some suspicious users

Local Bitcoins a clever operation that adds incredible flexibility to buying bitcoins. It brings buyers and sellers together in a marketplace. It is unique in that you can transact in almost any method thinkable including Paypal, wire transfer, Western Union, Webmoney or cash.

You can find some pretty good rates to buy bitcoin through the service with sellers all over the world looking to offload funds. Fees are dependent on which side of the transaction you sit. There is only 1% sell fee and funds are transacted directly to and from a Local Bitcoins wallet.

Buy Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins Read our LocalBitcoins review

GDAX Exchange Review

Pros: Coinbase extension, cheap fees, ether and litecoin support

Cons: no altcoins, ether market crash

GDAX is the sister trading exchange to the world famous Coinbase. It benefits hugely from this close working relationship. Coinbase’s millions of users can use the same account detail to log in directly on GDAX. Once funds are transferred across trading can begin.

The backing of such a huge player makes GDAX one of the most trusted exchanges. Historically, funds have gone missing at least once but the customer support team were able to refund any losses. The exchange supports the big 3, bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin.

Buy Bitcoins on GDAX Read our GDAX review

Gemini Exchange Review

Pros: Public owners, regulated, trustworthy.

Cons: Limited currency support, not yet a market leader.

Gemini is seen as one of the most trustworthy legitimate bitcoin exchanges. Publicly developed by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, it is building an encouraging mark of public support since 2015.

The ‘Winklvii’ are working with regulators to make their product a leader in conforming to banking and legal legislation. Primarily a US-based exchange, it still does not retain the same market cap as the top echelons but worldwide expansion looks set to change this through 2018. Fees are in line with market averages the only downside is minimal currency flexibility. Just bitcoin and ether on offer here.

Buy Bitcoins on Gemini Gemini review coming soon

 

27 Comments

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  4. Which exchange do you suggest: binance, bittrex, gdax, poloniex, or another for cryptocurrency and/or altcoins? Do you get killed with fees? Are these exchanges available to NY state residents (because I heard some are not unless approved)? I’ve also noticed that a few of them like to freeze up at times. Is this a common issue? Thanks for any and all help.

    • Hi Antoine,

      All exchanges have their pros and cons. On the cons side:

      I was recently caught in the Bittrex trap, whereby I couldn’t withdraw until I went through their verification procedures, which failed… Very frustrating and that issue is still ongoing for some people.

      As for Poloniex, I don’t like the fact that their withdrawal limits are fairly high, so your dust gets trapped there.

      Binance is a bit of an unknown quantity to me – they’re pretty new and I have no idea if they’re reliable.

      GDAX I avoid because Coinbase made such a fuss about fees – to the extent of supporting the disastrous NYA – but have done nothing to integrate SegWit, which would greatly reduce fees across the network…

      Bitfinex had some minor hack which saw my funds locked up there for a very stressful week or so. Luckily, this wasn’t their more recent major hack which saw a lot of people lose funds.

      So yeah, no exchange is perfect. Just do your research on them and see which one you think you can put up with… Kraken has slow support and sometimes their front-end crashes but otherwise they haven’t done too annoying. Honestly, it’s a bit of a gamble whichever exchange you use… As always, just use exchanges for trading and store your own coins or fiat – this is much safer all round.

      • Please which other crypto exchange do you recomend apart from bittrex and poloniex that has 200+ altcoin for exchange and is trusty worthy and reliable thanks.

        • Hi Samuel,

          I recommend that you check out the New Zealand exchange, Cryptopia:

          https://www.cryptopia.co.nz/Exchange

          They have a lot of alts, probably over 200 although I haven’t counted. They’re reliable as far as I know… but I don’t really think any exchange is fully reliable. Best to just use them for trading and store your coins yourself, preferably on a hardware wallet!

  5. I am in California. If I use an offshore exchange, will the IRS eventually be able to tax me on capital gains?

    • Hi Larry,

      For the full answer to that question, check out my recent review of Bitfinex:

      https://99bitcoins.com/bittrex-review/

      TL;DR I think Bitfinex is great for traders… BUT, like all exchanges, I’m not willing to fully endorse them as I don’t have an insider’s view of their financial and security situation.

  6. So I am new to bitcoin and have coinbase. I have been playing the free apps and faucets and have earned 300 bucks in the past few months. I just started and buying and have noticed a discrepancy when buying and selling bitcoin. If I buy at let’s say 9500 then coinbase will offer 9400 to 9450 and vice versa when selling. Is this common among all of these exchanges? With the min of 100 dollars in discrepancies and fees I feel I can’t get ahead.

    • Hi Jaime,

      $300 from faucets over a few months is a decent start! I hope it didn’t take up too much of your time.

      That difference is how Coinbase makes their money, it’s known as the “spread” – the difference between the buying and selling price.

      If you want to buy or sell at the lowest spread possible, then you should trade the actual market. Check out Coinbase’s GDAX or any other high volume exchange, like Kraken, Bitstamp or Bitfinex. The trading interface will be a lot more complex, with price charts, the order book and different order types to consider, but it’s worth learning how it works.

      You should see a much lower spread there, probably more like $10, although the difference does widen during times of high volatility.

  7. Have you heard, used or know anything about Athena investors services…I want to move larger amounts of money and I’m looking for a good exchange service to do so….if not do you have any suggestions

    • Hi David,

      I haven’t, no. They appear to be an American portfolio management firm which doesn’t have anything to do with Bitcoin as far as I can tell. They’re not an exchange service so I don’t think they’ll help you with moving money, they seem to manage investments into the US stock market.

      Check out our Bitcoin exchange review section for help on finding a good exchange:

      https://99bitcoins.com/best-bitcoin-exchanges-comparison-review/

      Note that Coinbase is currently having some “issues” with IRS demanding their client records, so it might be best to avoid them until that’s settled.

  8. Hey, hi…
    I’m just thinking about getting a few proof of stake coins to start playing around with cryptocurrency. Are those exchange only for popular coins or they also support a broad range of altcoins. If not, which one would suit my needs? I’m in Australia btw…
    Thanks heaps (:

    • Hey Fernando,

      The hardest part of getting into cryptocurrency is the stage of converting fiat money into cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is the usual on-ramp into the ecosystem, as it’s by far the most widely supported cryptocurrency. Once you have Bitcoin, it’s really easy to exchange it for any other crypto. Full exchanges like Poloniex or simplified exchanges like Changelly are great for this purpose, and offer a wide variety of altcoins. There’s also a New Zealand full exchange called Cryptopia which offers a lot of alts.

      I think going AUD > BTC > (your preferred PoS altcoin) will be your easiest route.

  9. Hi Can you do a write up on how to create secure paper wallets. Im still no feeling good about keeping my cryptos on exchanges. An article on securing cryptos will be a good guide for some of us. Esspecially the coins that we want to buy and hold.

  10. Hello, I am very much a newbie. I live in Oregon, USA. Can you suggest a good bitcoin company or two for someone who lives where I do? I want to buy like 100 dollars worth as an investment and just see how it does. Then, I will plan further. I also then need to get some kind of virtual wallet to keep them in. I mostly don’t know what I’m doing but am intrigued by the investment potential, the concept, etc. Great article! Thanks!

  11. Hey, how come you think that kraken has a good reputation? If you ever used the platform yourself, you should know, that you can call yourself lucky if an order goes through as expected !
    I have had so many issues with kraken, that I can not list them all. Orders not execting, have to try multiple times to get an order through and even then I might just end up with a tiny portion (0.x) instead of 10 ETH for example.
    And as soon as there is a little bit more price movement, the whole trading website is down an not accessable like on 10,11,12 Nov 2017.

    • Totally agree with Svens comments.
      User experience is terrible on Kraken.
      Sometimes I think they are front running my orders (why they are mysteriously rejected or fail). Often it takes a minute or more to cancel my order.
      I really wonder why they refuse to improve website speed and also get Error 520 whenever activity increases.
      It does have decent volume though which is why I put up with this shit

  12. Hi
    Thanks for the article…
    But I would think it could be better if you include criteria you used to actually review these specific exchanges?

    For example… why Gemini.com is not included/reviewed in this list?
    why Poloniex.com is not in this list?

    Obviously you cannot cover all exchanges out there (and those popping out in future),
    that’s why i said it would be helpful if you could just tell us why/how these specific exchanges were picked?
    and what other exchanges are missing (just to get to the review list) ?

    Thanks in all cases :)

    • Hi Tamer thanks for the feedback. You’re absolutely right, I’m missing a lot of exchanges.
      I’m actually in the process of adding a massive amount of additional exchanges to this review so you should be seeing a more comprehensive list in the coming weeks (including Gemini, Poloniex, etc.)

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