Crypto Exchanges and Brokers 2021

Traders are spoilt for choice when it comes to crypto exchanges and brokers. But the vast selection on offer often means investors are left with a difficult decision. In this review, we unpack the factors every trader should consider in their comparison. Plus, we list the best cryptocurrency brokers in 2021 across the globe, covering those in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. Check out the table below for the top-ranked cryptocurrency exchanges.

Crypto Brokers

Trade the major Cryptos against USD, EUR, GBP and AUD. All traded with tight spreads. No virtual wallet required, just a trading account.
Coinbase offers access to almost 4000 digital coins. It the easiest place to buy, sell, and manage your cryptocurrency portfolio
This post contains affiliate links, and this website will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking the links.
Buy and sell an extensive list of leading and emerging crypto coins at Binance.
eToro lead the way in Crypto trading. The lowest spreads (from 1% for BTC), their own wallet service and the largest number of Cryptos to trade. FCA Regulated.
Trade on dozens of cryptocurrency coins.
Coinmama aim to make entering the crypto market as easy as possible, offering BTC,ETH,LTC,ADA,BCH and XTZ
BitMex offer the largest liquidity Crypto trading anywhere. Contracts from $1. Compliant with global AML guidance, the platform offers cutting edge crypto exchange and hedging.
Rockfort Markets are an Auckland based, New Zealand regulated broker, offering CFD trading and a range of cryptos against the USD through its MT4 accounts.
Pocket Option supports five cryptocurrency options assets spanning major tokens and cross pairs.
Paxful offers buying and selling of the world's leading cryptocurrencies.
Kraken is a top crypto trading exchange offering the largest altcoins by market cap.
Trade over 50 crypto pairs on an extensive list of popular and emerging digital currencies.
Webull offers trading on popular cryptos such as Bitcoin against the US Dollar.
Trade a handful of the top cryptos at Quotex.
IB Boast a huge market share of global trading. With a minimum deposit of $10,000 however, they remain an option for larger traders only.
Zulutrade work with a range of brokers that deliver trading on a huge range of cryptos - See each brand for specifics
Show All Brokers ⇩

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens where transactions are recorded on a ledger, known as a blockchain. Their popularity has soared in recent years due to the decentralised nature of the technology that underpins them. All records are verified by the network of users as opposed to a central authority, such as a bank or government. This means they’re considered more democratic than traditional financial services since they are owned and managed by people, rather than organisations.

Bitcoin (BTC) led the way as the first cryptocurrency to soar in price. The first bull run was in 2017 when its value rocketed from less than $1,000 to nearly $20,000. The trend began again in 2020, with BTC reaching over $60,000. It is this volatility that has captured the attention of traders looking to profit from the dramatic price changes. Other popular tokens include Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot and Litecoin, which are offered by many of the top crypto platforms based in London, Melbourne and beyond.

best crypto brokers in India and New York

How To Compare Crypto Brokers

There is a range of factors to consider when selecting the best cryptocurrency broker or an online exchange. There are some minor differences between the two, but increasingly, traditional exchanges are now offering brokerage services, such as leverage and futures. We’ve listed the top things to look out for below.

Tokens

The largest crypto coin brokers offer a wide selection of tokens. Traders should look for brokers that support the top coins by market capitalisation, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and Dogecoin. Depending on your strategy, you may also be interested in up and coming altcoins. These may be undervalued currently, but arguably offer increased profit potential vs well-known coins.

The crypto brokers with the most coins tend to be swap-only platforms, such as SushiSwap and Uniswap. These are truly decentralised exchanges where platform users can recommend listings, meaning new tokens will be available to swap all the time. But while the extensive asset list is great for the diversification of portfolios, traders should also note the downsides. There have been examples of ‘copy coins’ that imitate existing tokens with high value. Plus, deposit methods are restricted to crypto coins only. No fiat currency is exchanged through these platforms at all.

Other popular crypto assets include derivatives such as CFDs, futures and binary options. Some of the most popular brokers, including Binance and Kraken, now offer these in certain jurisdictions. Many traditional stock brokers are now offering crypto products too. Interactive Brokers provides cryptocurrency futures and options. Plus, they’re introducing token trading products in 2021.

Crypto Platforms

The top 5 biggest crypto brokers all use their own proprietary platforms to exchange tokens. In general, they’re extremely user friendly, making them perfect for beginners. In particular, Binance, eToro and Kraken allow trade execution in just a few clicks.

For crypto CFDs, platforms such as MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and TradingView (all traditionally used for forex), are also popular choices. Note that brokers offering cryptos through these platforms are typically selling derivatives, not the underlying asset. While many traders prefer derivatives, it’s important you understand the instrument you’re purchasing.

Mobile apps are available for many of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing on-the-go execution.

Top crypto brokers in Netherlands and Canada
Kraken Mobile App

Regulation

Regulation of crypto brokers varies globally. Cryptocurrencies are still a new asset in financial services, so many of the top global authorities have not yet determined the scope of their protection.

In most jurisdictions, the exact rules are unclear. In particular, in the US, the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) considers them securities, while the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) regards them as commodities. Even more confusingly, many of the top crypto brokers do not allow US citizens to trade. Binance has its own site, Binance.US, for clients in the USA, offering limited tokens and functionality, while BitMex banned US citizens in 2015.

In the UK, the FCA has been more transparent. Crypto trading is legal and many of the top brokers are regulated. Crypto derivatives are restricted for retail traders due to the volatility of the underlying asset.

In Australia, ASIC regulation is not as restrictive. There are no bans on derivatives, but leverage is capped at 1:2. Crypto brokers must adhere to Anti-Money Laundering guidelines, in line with forex and stock brokers.

Across the rest of the world, the rules vary. In Dubai (UAE), crypto brokers are banned. However, most other countries, such as Singapore, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and India, have no restrictions at the time of writing.

Margin

Some major crypto brokers now offer leverage as part of their services. In line with most global regulations, this is usually capped at 1:2. However, depending on your jurisdiction, this can vary.

Leverage, also known as margin trading, allows traders to borrow cryptocurrency from brokers to increase their position size. Investors essentially multiply the results of their trades by executing positions at 2 or 3 x what their original deposit would allow.

Cryptocurrencies are volatile markets, so investing with leverage is risky. Losses are multiplied as well as profits, so traders should consider whether they can afford to take the risk.

Fees

Fees are a vital component of crypto broker selection, as high costs can eat into profit margins quickly. Commission usually fits into one of two types: a flat fee per trade or a percentage of volumes traded over a 30-day period. Both operate in a tiered structure, becoming cheaper per trade the more that you execute.

Maker Taker fees are applied if your exchange does not provide its own liquidity. In this case, if you’re adding liquidity to the books, the exchange will encourage this by providing a rebate. If you’re taking liquidity from the market, you’ll be charged a fee, just as you would with any purchase.

Other costs include gas charges (a fee for completing a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain for example), account inactivity fees, or deposit and withdrawal charges.

Payment Methods

Leading crypto brokers that accept multiple payment methods will usually permit one or more of the following:

  • Bank wire transfer
  • Credit/debit card
  • Crypto deposits
  • Skrill/Neteller
  • PayPal

Note crypto swap platforms, such as SushiSwap and Uniswap only accept crypto deposits. You’ll need to purchase through a broker beforehand and then move your tokens between platforms.

Security

All good crypto brokers will make security a priority. In the past, there have been some high profile exchange hacks that have caused huge losses to users. In 2014, Mt Gox, an exchange that was handling over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions at its peak, closed its doors and went into liquidation. The company announced over 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen, worth over $460,000. Hackers had been skimming Bitcoins from the exchange for years.

More recently, Bithumb, a South Korean exchange, lost around $30 million in XRP to hackers in 2018. This was shortly followed by a suspected inside job hack that cost a further $13 million.

And these stories are not uncommon. Blockchain technology is still fairly new and many exchanges are small in comparison to the tech giants like Facebook and Google. There is not the same investment in security. But in recent years, the tide has begun to turn. Gemini is now insured against hacks by Aon, one of the largest insurance providers in Europe. And many legitimate exchanges are now regulated by national authorities that require certain customer protections.

The safest crypto brokers will provide 2FA, store customer coins in a cold wallet and will invest heavily in security. Despite this, it is recommended to store tokens in an external wallet with your seed code offline.

Other Functionality

Depending on your requirements, traders may also look for some of the following additional services:

  • Crypto prime brokersCoinbase, BitGo and Genesis Capital offer prime brokerage services to institutional traders.
  • Hosted wallets – Many cryptocurrency platforms now offer hosted wallets, meaning that hardware or non-custodial wallets are not required.
  • Bot services – There are crypto robots available to purchase online that can be tagged onto platforms. While it’s possible to make a profit using bots it’s a service that is plagued by scammers. Traders should be wary of any that claim to provide passive income. Ensure any bots are thoroughly back-tested before investing real funds.
  • OTC crypto brokers – Over The Counter (OTC) services may be preferred by clients who are looking to place large trades filled by a single party. There should be no slippage and no limits on trade size.

Crypto Broker Reviews

Use this table with reviews of crypto platforms to compare all the brokers we have analysed. Note that some of these digital currency brokers may not accept new accounts from your country. If we can determine that a broker would not accept your location, it is marked in grey.

Crypto Broker Reviews
Broker Demo Min Dep. MT4 Bonus
101investing Yes $250 Yes No
10TradeFX Yes $200 No Yes
12Trader Yes $500 No No
4xCube Yes $10 Yes No
AAAFx Yes $300 Yes Yes
AAATrade Yes 0 No Yes
ACY Securities Yes $50 Yes No
Admiral Markets Yes $100 Yes No
AdroFX Yes $25 Yes Yes
ADS Securities Yes $100 Yes No
AGEA Yes $1 Yes Yes
Alpari Yes From $/£/€ 5 Yes Yes
Alvexo Yes 500 EUR/USD Yes No
AMarkets Yes $100 Yes Yes
Arum Capital Yes $500 No No
AskoBID No €250 No No
Atiora Yes $1 Yes Yes
AvantGardeFX Yes $500 Yes No
Avatrade Yes $100 Yes No
Axes Yes $100 No No
Axi Yes 0 $/€/£ Yes No
Ayondo Yes £1 Yes No
AZAforex Yes $1 No No
BakerySwap No 0 No Yes
Balancer No $1 No No
BCS Forex Yes $1 Yes Yes
BDSwiss Yes 100 $/€/£ Yes No
Binance No $0 No No
Binarium Yes $5 No No
Binary.com Yes $5 Yes No
BinaryCent Yes $250 No Yes
Bitfinex Yes $10,000 No No
Bithoven Yes $0 No Yes
Bitlocus No $0 No No
BitMex Yes 0.0001 XBT No No
Bitvalex Yes $50 No No
Blackwell Global Yes $250 Yes No
BlockFi Yes $0 No No
BP Prime Yes $5,000 Yes No
Brokereo Yes $250 Yes No
Bybit Yes $0 No No
Capex Yes $100 No Yes
Capital.com Yes £/$/€20 (Varies by payment method) Yes No
Celsius Yes $0 No No
Charles Schwab Yes $1 No No
CityIndex Yes £/$100 Yes Yes
CMSTrader Yes $500 No No
CMTrading Yes $250 Yes No
Coinbase No 0 $/€/£ No Yes
CoinMama Yes €/£/$100 No No
CoinTiger No $1 No No
CrescoFX Yes $1,000 Yes No
Crypto.com No $0 No No
Darwinex Yes $500 Yes No
DeltaStock Yes $100 Yes Yes
DMM FX Yes Undisclosed Yes No
Dsdaq Yes 0.001 BTC/BCH/LTC No Yes
Dukascopy Yes $100 Yes Yes
EagleFX Yes $10 Yes No
Easy Markets Yes €100 Yes No
Eightcap Yes £/€/$100 Yes No
ETFinance Yes $250 Yes No
eToro Yes $200 ($50 in US) No No
ETX Capital Yes £250 Yes No
EuropeFX Yes €200 Yes No
EuroTrader Yes $0 Yes No
EverFX Yes $250 Yes Yes
eXcentral No $250 Yes No
Expert Option Yes 10 $/€ No Yes
EZ Invest Yes $500 Yes No
FBS Yes $1 Yes Yes
FIBO Group Yes $50 Yes No
Finalto Yes $100 Yes Yes
Financial Spreads Yes £250 No No
Finexo Yes $100 Yes No
Finq.com Yes $100 Yes No
Finveo Yes $100 Yes No
Forex.com Yes $100 Yes No
ForexChief Yes $10 Yes Yes
ForexMart Yes 1 EUR/USD Yes Yes
ForexTB Yes $250 Yes No
FortFS Yes $5 Yes Yes
Fortrade Yes $100 Yes No
FP Markets Yes $100 Yes No
FreshForex Yes $10 Yes Yes
FTX No $1 No No
Fulcrum No $0 No No
Fusion Markets Yes $0 Yes No
FXChoice Yes $100 Yes Yes
FXCL Yes $1 Yes No
FXCM Yes £300 Yes No
FXFlat Yes €200 Yes No
FxGlory Yes $1 Yes Yes
FXGM No $200 No No
FxOnUs No $100 Yes Yes
FXOpen Yes $300 Yes Yes
FXPrimus Yes $100 Yes No
FXPro Yes $100 Yes No
FXTrading.com Yes $200 Yes Yes
Gate.io Yes $0 No No
Gemini No $0 No No
Genesis Yes $75,000 No No
GKFX Yes €100 Yes No
Global Prime Yes AUD $200 Yes No
GO Markets Yes $200 Yes Yes
GoStreams Yes $100 Yes No
Grand Capital Yes $10 Yes Yes
HFTrading Yes $250 Yes No
Hodl Hodl No No No No
Hugo's Way Yes $50 Yes No
Huobi Yes $100 No Yes
IC Markets Yes $200 Yes No
ICE FX Yes $30 Yes No
IFC Markets Yes 1 USD / 1 EUR / 100 JPY Yes Yes
IFGM Yes $200 Yes No
iFOREX Yes $100 No No
IMMFX Yes 50 USD Yes Yes
InstaForex Yes €100 to €50000 (Account choice dependent) Yes No
Interactive Brokers Yes $10000 No No
Invest Voyager No $10 No No
Investous Yes $250 Yes No
IQ Option Yes $10 No No
IronFX Yes $100 Yes Yes
ITradeFX Yes $0 No No
JFD Bank Yes $500 Yes No
JP Markets Yes $0 Yes Yes
Just2Trade Yes $100 Yes No
JustForex Yes $1 Yes Yes
Key To Markets Yes $100 Yes No
Kraken Yes 0.0001 XBT No No
Kucoin Yes $0 No Yes
Kyber Network No $0 No No
LegacyFX Yes $500 No No
LH Crypto Yes €10 No No
Libertex Yes €100 Yes No
LidyaTrade Yes $300 No Yes
Lightspeed Trading Yes $10,000 No No
LiteForex Investments Yes $50 Yes Yes
LocalBitcoins No 0.0005 BTC No No
LocalCoinSwap No $0 No No
LocalCryptos No $1 No No
Luno No £1 No No
Markets.com Yes $100 Yes No
Mitrade Yes $0 No Yes
Moneta Markets Yes $200 Yes Yes
MultiBank FX Yes $50 Yes Yes
Naga Yes $250 Yes No
Nexo Yes $10 No No
nextmarkets Yes $0 No No
NiceHash Yes €1 No No
NordFX Yes $10 Yes No
NPBFX Yes $10 Yes Yes
Nuo Yes No Yes No
Oanda Yes $0 Yes No
OBR Invest Yes $250 Yes No
OctaFX Yes $100 Yes Yes
OKEx Yes 10 USDT No Yes
Olymp Trade Yes €/$10 No No
OpoForex Yes $100 Yes Yes
Optimus Futures Yes $500 Yes No
OspreyFX Yes $25 Yes No
Pacific Union Yes $50 Yes Yes
PancakeSwap No $1 No No
Passfolio No $1 No No
PaxForex Yes $10 Yes Yes
Paxful No From 0.005 BTC No No
Pepperstone Yes £200 / $200 Yes No
Pionex No $0 No No
Plus500 Yes $100 No No
Pocket Option Yes $50 No Yes
PrimeXBT No 0.001 BTC No No
ProfitiX No $250 No No
Q8 Trade Yes $250 Yes Yes
Quotex Yes $10 No Yes
Remitano No No No No
RoboForex Yes $10 Yes Yes
Rockfort Markets Yes $200 Yes Yes
ROInvesting Yes $250 Yes No
Sage FX Yes $10 Yes Yes
Sheer Markets Yes $200 Yes No
SimpleFX Yes $0 Yes Yes
Skilling.com Yes 100 £/€/$ or 1000 NOK, SEK Yes No
SoFi Invest No $0 No No
Spectre.ai Yes $0 No No
Spreadex No $1 No No
SquaredFinancial Yes $100 Yes No
StormGain Yes 50 USDT No Yes
Superforex Yes $1 Yes No
SushiSwap Yes Variable No No
Switch Markets Yes $50 Yes Yes
Swyftx Yes $30 No No
Tastyworks No $0 No No
TeleTrade Yes 100 EUR/USD Yes No
ThinkMarkets Yes $0 Yes No
Tier1FX Yes $1,000 Yes No
TIO Markets Yes $50 Yes No
TMGM Yes $100 Yes No
TMS Brokers Yes $0 No No
TP Global FX Yes $200 Yes Yes
Trade Republic No $0 No No
Trade.com Yes $100 Yes No
Trader's Way Yes $10 Yes Yes
TradeTime Yes $500 Yes Yes
Tradeview Yes $100 Yes Yes
Trading212 Yes €/£/$1 No No
TrioMarkets Yes $500 Yes Yes
Unidex No $43 No No
Uptos No $250 No No
Videforex Yes $250 No Yes
WazirX No INR 100 No No
Wealthfront Yes $1 No No
Webull Yes $0 No Yes
Weltrade Yes $25 Yes No
XBTFX Yes $5 Yes No
XTB Yes $0 No No
Zero Markets Yes $200 Yes Yes
ZuluTrade Yes $1 to $300 (Broker choice dependent) Yes No

FAQs

How Do Crypto Brokers Work?

Most crypto online brokers offer the opportunity to purchase tokens using fiat currency through pairs such as USD/BTC. Prices are based on the supply and demand of the token, aided by arbitrage traders who help ensure it is kept stable across exchanges.

How Reliable Are Crypto Brokers?

With the rise in the value of cryptocurrencies, there are a number of new crypto platforms in the market. However, not all are equal in terms of service and security. There are reliable crypto brokers out there that prioritise customer service, but traders should do their own research before investing. See our list of top exchanges to get started.

Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges Regulated?

Yes, many of the top global crypto exchanges are regulated. Look for exchanges registered with the FCA, ASIC, CySEC or FINCEN. These are some of the most stringent authorities that prioritise retail client safety.

What Are The Crypto Brokers With The Lowest Fees?

Binance and Kraken have some of the lowest fees in the market. However, it’s important to take your investing strategy into account. Day traders may prefer a different fee structure to those that are looking to hold tokens long-term.

Do Crypto Brokers Offer Leverage?

Yes, there are crypto brokers that offer leveraged trading opportunities. Rates are usually capped at around 2x your deposit amount, however, some exchanges offer 1:5 leverage on certain assets. See our table of top-rated exchanges to get started.