The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the UK 2022
The crypto sphere is more than tempting, but many people show a certain amount of reluctance to make the first move. This reluctance arises not only from “the fear of the unknown” but also from the popular opinion that the blockchain world belongs only to tech-savvy professionals. Moreover, most of the advertised crypto trading platforms appear a bit overwhelming at first glance, discouraging total novices.
Is it really that hard to enter the cryptocurrency game?
Well, beginnings are always hard, but with proper guidance, the initial impression of uncertainty can be easily overcome. In terms of crypto, a beginner-friendly exchange can be a lifesaver, and hence, the first step towards a successful crypto experience. Certainly, crypto expertise won’t happen overnight, but once you gain the necessary knowledge and confidence, things will become easier to handle.
We hope to make it a little easier by assessing crypto exchange in the UK. For this very reason, our team has selected the most user-friendly destinations to trade cryptocurrency. Before we set off, let’s go through the general points of what makes a cryptocurrency exchange easy to use.
The Best UK Crypto Exchange: Reviews for [current_date format='Y']
1. Binance Exchange
To put it simply, you can’t go wrong with the crypto-champion Binance. This exchange managed to break all market cap and trading volume records in such a short time after its launch in 2017. Since then, Binance has been successfully conveying the initial idea of a “global form of money to everyone” by providing a broad spectrum of trading options and supported crypto assets.
As a beginner, you certainly won’t go for margin trading or futures trading, and for that very reason, Binance allows you to opt for a basic mode immediately upon landing on the platform. The so-called beginner’s version of Binance delivers all necessary data and tools for convenient trading but in a simplified form. Thus, apart from the regular limit and market orders, you’ll get access to basic market-tracking tools as well as a MACD indicator.
The list of Binance user-friendly advantages seems to be endless. First, Binance provides the most cost-effective trading environment in the industry with a trading fee of only 0.1%, plus an additional 25% discount for trading with their native BNB coin. What’s more, the exchange doesn’t charge for international SWIFT deposits. On the other hand, credit card payments will cost you 1.98% per transaction, but keep in mind that this amount is far below the industry standard of 4-5%.
Second, despite the fact that Binance leans towards crypto-to-crypto trading, there are around 10 different fiat currencies the platform supports including USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, INR, and HKD.
Finally, the Binance support library contains so many resourceful guides and video tutorials that are extensively used, even by traders outside the Binance network.
2. Coinbase Exchange
The US-based company Coinbase Global, Inc delivers two separate platforms—Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The latter satisfies the specific needs of seasoned crypto traders, while the regular Coinbase exchange is claimed to have a more intuitive interface than any other crypto exchange operating on the current crypto market.
Coinbase has been accommodating crypto novices from over 130 countries since 2012. It’s so easily navigated that you can complete a trade within minutes even on your first try. Apart from the clear instructions provided under any section, the exchange provides a range of walkthroughs for the most frequent scenarios over the trading process.
The only part that may take much more time than intended is the identity verification that is mandatory under the strict KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations. At this point, you’ll have to submit a photo of a government-issued document (ID card, passport, or driving license) and wait for approval for some time. In this context, you’ll also need to enable 2FA (two-factor authentication) for your account protection right after registering with the platform.
Like the majority of well-established crypto exchanges, Coinbase has launched a free mobile (available on both iOS and Android), but it’s noteworthy that the app’s first-class design is in line with the functionality of its web platform.
Referring to the trading features, Coinbase offers you a list of around 40 different cryptocurrencies you can trade with. What concerns you as a beginner is that you can easily deposit fiat currency either through a bank transfer or using your debit card (card deposits incur a fixed fee of 3.99%).
3. Kraken Exchange
Kraken is a suitable crypto-destination for all categories of users—from inexperienced enthusiasts to corporate investors. This San Francisco-based exchange was launched in 2013 by Jesse Powell, a recognized name in the field of crypto security. Kraken is perhaps the most trustworthy platform not only in the USA but also across 170+ countries worldwide.
Kraken has never been subject to a cyber attack since it keeps 90% of its funds offline. High reputation results in high liquidity, so with Kraken, you won’t have to worry about unfavourable cash conversions whatsoever. Besides Bitcoin (BTC), Kraken supports trading with around 50 altcoins including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Dai (DAI), Nano (NANO), Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Cardano (ADA), and Stellar (XLM).
You can buy the supported cryptocurrencies in several fiat currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, CHF, and JPY) by linking your Kraken account to your bank account, i.e. via a bank transfer or Swift. Deposits are charged with a fixed rate of 3 GBP where withdrawal costs are determined individually.
Some would say that Kraken’s user interface can appear confusing to absolute beginners due to the relatively big number of sophisticated trading tools. Despite the platform’s tracking system being complex, it’s so neatly structured that it can be mastered in a relatively short time.
4. Bittrex Exchange
Bittrex is another crypto exchange that has gained a well-earned reputation on the basis of high-security standards. This Seattle-based exchange has been successfully operating for years (non-US traders have access only to Bittrex Global), but it opened its doors to newcomers in 2021 when it introduced fiat payments as an alternative for buying crypto.
In terms of ease-of-use, the exchange features a complex toolkit, rated as highly insightful according to professional traders, but crypto purchases and sales are designed to be completed as straightforwardly as possible. Furthermore, the offers are arranged into categories such as Favorites, All Markets, BTC pairs, ETH pairs, USDT pairs, EUR pairs, USD pairs, and there is also the Recently Added section where you can stay informed on the new Bittrex products and services.
However, you can’t start trading on Bittrex without full identity verification, but here is another advantage: the exchange uses Jumio, a service that enables automated verification and you can skip the time-consuming process of submitting documents.
When it comes to trading opportunities, Bittrex offers a fascinating number of around 700 trading pairs with a trading fee of 0.25%. Bank deposits are free of charge, but if you use your debit VISA or MasterCard (credit card payments aren’t allowed), be ready to pay a commission of 3%.
5. Gemini Exchange
Established in 2014, Gemini was designed for sophisticated Bitcoin investors and operated exclusively within the US borders. Nonetheless, a few years after launching, the company expanded its services across 50 territories with the largely same target audience.
So, why is Gemini a recommended destination for beginners?
The exchange allows a fast setup and a clean interface, which is essential for new investors. While the fees tend to be a bit higher than some of its direct competitors, the security standards make Gemini one of the most attractive trading platforms.
More specifically, Gemini is the first cryptocurrency exchange licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). The exchange offers FDIC insurance up to $250,000 as well as Gemini Wallet digital insurance. Plus, there is U2F hardware security, two-step verification, and cold storage.
Gemini doesn’t aim at expanding the number of supported cryptocurrencies. In fact, the platform has stayed focused on upgrading Bitcoin trades even though you can find around 30 different altcoins available on the platform. Fiat gates are open to GBP with a debit card or from your bank via CHAPS, Faster Payments, or SWIFT.
6. Coinmama Exchange
Founded back in 2013, Coinmama is also one of the veterans on the crypto scene, running as a brokerage service where you can only buy but not sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The exchange was established in Slovakia and it’s currently governed by New Bit Ventures, Ltd.
The main advantage of Coinmama is its super-easy method for buying cryptocurrency. The one-way model allows instant purchases of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Tezos, and Cardano, which—combined with its user-friendly interface—makes Coinmama a perfect spot for newcomers.
Furthermore, you’ll find a broad spectrum of available payment methods to buy cryptocurrency. Apart from the regular bank transfers, Coinmama supports SEPA, SWIFT, Fedwire, Apple Pay, Faster Payment and, credit/debit cards. On top of this, the Coinmama support centre is open for users’ inquiries 24/7 through email.
However, there are certain limitations on the amount of crypto you can buy on Coinmama. Namely, the purchasing limits depend on your account type, which is defined by the level of verification you have undergone over the process registration. Tier-1 accounts, for example, can buy up to $7,500 worth of crypto per day.
7. CEX.io Exchange
CEX.io is a London-based trading platform, established in 2013 as a Bitcoin mining service. Several years later, CEX.io changed its business strategy due to the global trends in the crypto industry and became a widely recognized marketplace for cryptocurrency trading. CEX.io is equally suitable both for novices and crypto professionals.
As a beginner, you’ll find the CEX.io interface really encouraging. The so-called FOK (fill-or-kill) orders will certainly help you a lot in your first steps as a crypto trader. This order type guarantees either an immediate order execution or cancellation in case it fails to be filled. Furthermore, if the cryptocurrency price drops during the processing time, CEX.io won’t consider the price change when executing the order. This is a very important user-protection factor since the prices of assets fluctuate rapidly in the blockchain industry.
CEX.io supports around 30 different cryptocurrencies that can be traded against other cryptocurrencies but they can be also bought with fiat assets. Fiat deposits on CEX.io are possible in GBP, USD, EUR, and RUB through debit or credit card, ACH, Faster Payments, SEPA. For GBP deposits Skrill is also an option. Finally, the fee system of CEX.io is volume-based and distinguishes between makers and takers. The maker fee starts from 0.16% while the taker fee tends to be slightly higher.
8. eToro Exchange
This Israeli fintech company has been providing brokerage services since 2007. Long before blockchain-based products conquered the digital space, eToro offered multi-asset trading including regular currencies, commodities, CFDs, ETFs, real stocks, and other derivative products. However, thanks to the crypto revolution, eToro managed to gain 3.1 million new users in 2021.
The main reason behind the rapid rise of eToro is the opportunity for social trading allowing new users to observe and follow the trading strategies of experienced traders so that newbies can maximize their results by the so-called mirror trading.
eToro meets all criteria for convenient crypto trading. The exchange platform is quite straightforward allowing you to trade around 15 prevalent cryptocurrencies with ease. At the very beginning, you can initially fund and then top up your eToro balance with 20 different fiat currencies but, in this case, an additional conversion rate is applied unless you deposit USD. There are no regular trading fees, yet all supported cryptocurrencies incur a percentage spread that’s calculated individually.
When it comes to security, eToro is fully regulated with all relevant authorities in Europe and the United Kingdom. This means that in case of theft or bankruptcy, you will have certain protection under applicable laws. Plus, digital assets are generally stored in segregated accounts, while deposits are conveyed with SSL technology.
9. Kucoin Exchange
KuCoin is a new-generation exchange that aims to deliver a full package of services to a broader audience. Founded in 2017, KuCoin successfully conveys the founders’ idea of “The People’s Exchange” by providing a user-friendly and inexpensive environment for cryptocurrency trading.
The platform’s interface is described as comprehensive and intuitive even though it has all the advanced trading tools for professional trading. Moreover, KuCoin offers over 200 altcoins and various trading opportunities apart from spot trading. These include OTC services, margin trading, and futures trading. As a beginner, you should start small with spot trading and gradually discover all possibilities you can get on Kucoin.
The fees are fair and transparent, incurring a symbolic trading fee of 0.1%, which is lower than the majority of exchanges we’ve already listed.
Despite all this, KuCoin wasn’t the most beginner-friendly until it enabled fiat payments for crypto purchases. The exchange has drastically changed its crypto-to-crypto-only policy and now accepts fiat deposits in over 50 currencies. Fiat currencies can be transferred through wire transfer, PayPal SEPA, and credit or debit.
10. Changelly Exchange
Changelly belongs to the group of decentralized exchanges (DEXs). DEXs differ in the basic operational method from all cryptocurrency exchanges we’ve listed above as they don’t serve as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. They don’t offer any custodial services and have no control over the purchase-sale process. In fact, that’s the very reason why centralized marketplaces prevail on our list as a more popular solution for beginners.
However, if you want to start your crypto journey with a more independent trading pattern, Changelly is a crypto trading service we would recommend. The platform offers around 150 cryptocurrencies that can be traded with other crypto or bought directly with fiat assets through a bank transfer or credit and debit card. Deposit fees depend on the selected payment options, but trading fees are fixed (0.25%).
Apart from its web platform, Changelly can be also accessed either through its top-notch mobile app or a third-party wallet.
How to look for the best crypto exchanges in the UK
A lot of tiny little details matter when choosing a proper crypto exchange against your personal experience level. If you are about to join the crypto market for the first time, they all come down to the following factors:
- A neat and comprehensible interface where you can buy neatly listed cryptocurrencies in a couple of clicks. At this point, you don’t need deep insight into the market, so avoid cluttered platforms.
- A crypto exchange that allows you to choose between separate modes (basic, intermediate, advanced) adjustable to your knowledge extent.
- A platform that employs all applicable security measures to protect your account and funds. These include local AML (anti-money laundering) and CFL (Combating the Financing of Terrorism) practices. The security factor is essential to all types of users but newcomers are exceptionally vulnerable to cyber scams and identity manipulations.
- A cryptocurrency exchange that enables fiat payments, preferably in your local currency.
- An exchange where the fee structure is transparently listed on their web page. Compare the exchange’s “price list” against the industry standard and avoid scalable fee systems at the very beginning. Calculating trading fees based on the trading volume can be confusing for beginners. Furthermore, some exchanges incur extra charges for deposits, withdrawals, and conversions. Mining or transaction fees, on the other hand, are applied by the blockchain network to all digital currencies, so they have nothing to do with the exchange’s fee policy.
- A cryptocurrency exchange whose customer support team is rated as excellent by its users on the majority of reviews and forums across the net.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What’s the best Bitcoin Exchange for beginners?
Since Bitcoin is the first and leading asset in the industry of trading cryptocurrencies, we can say that all above-listed exchanges provide solid grounds for Bitcoin purchases and sales. Therefore, you can’t go wrong if you choose any of the exchanges we’ve categorized as beginner-friendly. Eventually, you should rely on your own priorities i.e the factors you consider deciding in the process of Bitcoin trading. The personal selection may be based on the user interface, customer support, low fees, or maybe the payment methods the exchange allows for fiat deposits.
Do I need a crypto wallet?
Safe storage of your crypto assets is a precondition for a positive crypto experience. This means that the question of a proper crypto wallet has to be settled before you start trading. Most of the well-established crypto exchanges offer a free digital wallet once you register with their platform. However, this isn’t the best recommended “place” for keeping all your assets in the long run.
Exchanges operate online and despite the strict security standards, you can’t avoid the fact that digital space is exposed to high risk. Instead, you should invest in a hardware crypto wallet that keeps your funds offline. Of course, you don’t have to give up custodial wallets or other types of software crypto wallets (mobile or desktop apps) as they are ultra-convenient for handling your cryptocurrencies. Simply, use software wallets for everyday transactions but don’t fully rely on them when it comes to a large amount of your crypto savings.