These are my favorite exchanges

Crypto exchanges (centralized) are an interesting subject in the community because they are quite necessary, but many investors dread them because you have no control over your assets. There have been numerous cases where an exchange suspended trading and blocked funds, making more and more people shift towards keeping their funds in a wallet. Generally, it’s best to use exchanges to get something and then withdraw the coins.

However, exchanges have a lot of positive aspects that I will go through, so, without further ado, here are my top picks that I’ve been and still am using:

Coinbase or Coinbase Pro

Probably the best thing about Coinbase is that it’s currently a publicly-traded company, which makes it a lot safer than the others. However, this comes at a cost. Coinbase has one of the highest fees out there, but you can easily use Coinbase Pro to get significantly lower fees. I only use the Pro version to do trades. The base version has quite a lot of cool features too:

  1. Learn and earn — read about new crypto projects and answer short quizzes to earn a little. I’ve made over $30 in the last months.
  2. Great withdrawal fees for Bitcoin — I generally buy BTC on Coinbase and then send it wherever I want because the gas fee is really low.
  3. Coinbase card — most people prefer Crypto.com for their Visa Card, which is a great product. However, the Coinbase card gives you 4% cashback if you choose to get in in XLM, which is a lot better than what you can get on Crypto.com without having a massive CRO stake. Moreover, you don’t need to stake anything to reap these benefits. I make almost all my purchases using their card.
  4. Coinbase blog — a great place to study and learn about tech, projects, and important news.

There have been instances where Coinbase was down or when it suspended trading on some assets, but all in all, I am quite satisfied with their products, especially “Learn and earn” and the card. Just make sure to use Pro for your trades.

Binance

This is by far the biggest exchange. I live in Europe so I have no experience with the US version; this story only focuses on binance.com.

I just love the fact that you can do so much on Binance, from extensive trading to staking and participating in Polkadot auctions, there are a lot of products to choose from. These are the ones I like best:

  1. Staking — Binance offers the best staking rates on almost any token/coin out there, sometimes even better than on-chain staking. However, you will need to lock up your funds for periods of up to 120 days.
  2. Launchpad — Here you buy new coins/tokens. By allocating a certain amount of BNB, you get the chance to buy something new at a predetermined sale price. These projects will be then listed on Binance.
  3. The best liquidity — Being the largest crypto exchange, you get the best liquidity, meaning you can trade larger volumes at better spread rates.
  4. Binance Visa Card — Though not as good as the Coinbase one right away, you get better cashback based on how much BNB you hold:

5. Great fees — Binance offers some of the best fees in the industry, based on the total volume of your trades (VIP levels).

Just like Coinbase, there have been times when the exchange was down, or when withdrawals were suspended. Customer service is quite decent, but far from the best in the industry.

All things considered, I use Binance to buy most of my crypto and sometimes stake when I get a great offer, such as 21.2% APY on AVAX, or 18.29% on LUNA.

Nexo

Nexo is not an exchange in the traditional way, it is a crypto lending app, with a built-in exchange. For me, it is the best lending place, as they have great rates (up to 12% APY on stablecoins) and excellent customer service. These are some of the pros:

  1. Awesome rates on stablecoins, BTC and ETH. These are the coins I keep on Nexo to lend; I stake most of the other ones.
  2. A built-in exchange, meaning you can swap your coins without any hassle.
  3. Free withdrawals — You get a couple of free withdrawals every month, which is a great way to save up on gas fees, especially on the Ethereum chain.
  4. Free transfers between Nexo users. You don’t have to pay any gas fees.
  5. Great customer support. My experience has been flawless so far. They reply promptly and help you solve your issues in a matter of hours at most.

Fees are quite high, so I wouldn’t recommend buying something on Nexo, unless you deposit via bank transfer, which is feeless. However, there is a minimum deposit of $1000 at the moment. I generally send XLM to Nexo and swap for the coin I am willing to lend.

Honorable mentions

I only use these in certain scenarios, because each one has some benefits but are worse than the others, in general.

Gate.io

It’s very similar to Binance, but has a much wider range of coins/tokens you can choose from. You can also find some high-earning offers that carry a lot of risk. I mostly use it to buy something that is not listed elsewhere.

Kucoin

There are more listings here as well, but the best part are the bots. You can use them to perform various automated tasks. I sometimes use the dollar cost averaging (DCA) bot, to better average out my buying prices.

Crypto.com

Their card is great if you are willing to stake a higher amount than Coinbase, for example. You get reimbursements for Spotify and Netflix, as well as airport lounge access. Make sure to use the Crypto.com exchange for trading/buying because the fees on the normal app are quite big. They also have a DeFi wallet, where you can stake various assets and use different apps built on their Chronos chain.

Kraken

Just wanted to mention Kraken because of their excellent customer support and very transparent CEO and team. This is one of the most trustable exchanges, in my opinion.

Conclusions

Centralized exchanges are a critical part of the crypto ecosystem, allowing you to buy and trade at great prices. Depending on what you need to do, you should choose one that best suits your needs. For example, if you want to have a great debit card pick Coinbase if you don’t want to hold/stake anything, or Crypto.com if you are willing to invest a little more. If you do more trading, pick something with lower fees, such as Binance. This exchange is also great for staking and finding new products. If you want a broader selection of tokens, go with Gate.io or Kucoin.

Always make sure to remember that these exchanges are centralized, meaning they have control over your assets. If you don’t like that idea, only use them to buy and then send your crypto to a non-custodial wallet.

PS: This story is not financial advice. This is just my opinion and what I use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.