Check out CoinMarketCap Alexandria's latest list of the best centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges in 2022.
With crypto exchanges buying up primetime commercial spots in the Superbowl to Formula One, it’s no surprise that competition between these companies is at a high. These days, crypto exchanges offer more than just spot trading — there are derivatives trading, staking, lending, NFT marketplaces and many more.
Finding the best crypto exchange depends on personal preferences and needs. Centralized and decentralized platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Some may cater more to novice or advanced users, although most will offer a balanced experience. The main difference between centralized (CEXes) and decentralized exchanges (DEXes) is the custody of funds — in CEXes, the funds are held by the exchange and they essentially issue IOUs for users to trade, whereas, in DEXes, funds are stored in the wallet whose private keys are controlled by the owner of the wallet. However, CEXes may offer deeper liquidity and capital efficiency for trading pairs. CEXes also vet projects before listing them, although the standard of requirement differs across exchanges, which may prevent potential rug pulls.
With that said, let’s deep into which are the best crypto exchanges in 2022, centralized and decentralized.
It is tough to avoid the name Binance in the cryptocurrency industry today. The company doesn’t advertise as FTX or Crypto.com do, yet it has established itself as a home to both novice and advanced crypto users. Moreover, Binance has the lowest fees of the popular trading platforms at 0.1%. That is a meagre fee, which contributes to the overall volume generated by this exchange. Check out our beginner’s guide on how to use Binance.
Users can use ACH and bank wire transfers without a processing fee, although there is still a commission to consider. Depositing funds through Visa and Mastercard is possible in select regions but — like Coinbase — introduces a very high fee (currently over 4%). Again, using convenient payment options like credit and debit cards is very expensive, warranting the exploration of more affordable payment methods. Read more in our beginner’s guide to trading futures on Binance and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading on Binance.
The upside is how Binance is home to hundreds of cryptocurrencies, creating many trading opportunities. So anyone serious about creating a diversified crypto portfolio may want to give Binance a try. On the other hand, the platform has a native NFT marketplace and various tools to help crypto users earn money from their portfolios, including staking and lending. Find out how to stake and save on Binance, and how to get a crypto loan.
It is safe to say novice users may want to give Coinbase a try. The exchange is purposefully built to bring millions of people into the cryptocurrency fold. Moreover, it has a broad international reach, making it one of the better-known trading platforms worldwide. With over 75 million clients to date, the company has noted tremendous success in recent years. Check out our beginner’s guide on how to use Coinbase.
For those looking to dip their toes in cryptocurrency, Coinbase supports credit and debit card payments. Keep in mind that there is a 3.99% fee on these transactions, as payment cards are traditionally costly for merchants. However, cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase will pass that fee to their customers, as there is a price to pay for convenience.
Fees for depositing funds through ACH or other bank transfers remain relatively high at 1.49%. Coinbase is a more expensive crypto exchange to use and offers a limited selection of cryptocurrencies, although it is also one of the more trusted brands in the industry today. The company maintains top-tier security and stores most of its clients’ funds in cold storage. The overall fees are high, but users receive peace of mind and access to over 100 of the top cryptocurrencies in exchange.
Another company growing its reach through mainstream advertising is Crypto.com. The platform supports many cryptocurrencies at low fees and supports various convenient payment methods. It is a viable cryptocurrency exchange for beginners and experienced traders, even if the various features, bells and whistles might be overwhelming at first. Take the time to look at everything closely, and the options will become a lot clearer very quickly.
Crypto.com provides access to dozens of cryptocurrencies like other platforms on this list. However, users may want to consider the relatively high deposit and withdrawal thresholds. For example, the minimum threshold for bank transfers is 500 USDC, which is rather steep. Furthermore, while trading fees for crypto.com are low and range from 0.4% to 0.19% for a large account, the spread between trading pairs is not as low as other exchanges.
However, users gain access to a prepaid debit card, staking support, yield farming and NFT investing. Users looking for a broader entry into the cryptocurrency world can benefit from these extra options, although Crypto.com can treat newcomers well.
FTX has become a household brand through crucial partnerships across sports and other industries in recent years, despite it launching only in May 2019. However, it is essential to remember that FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange and supports non-fungible tokens and crypto derivatives products. Users can explore dozens of trading pairs for spot trading, including assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum or DeFi-oriented currencies like Yearn (YFI) and PancakeSwap (CAKE).
Low trading fees are crucial to remaining competitive in the crypto exchange fees. FTX users pay 0.1% for market makers and 0.4% for market takers. However, these rates can be lowered depending on volume discounts and holding the FTT token. Moreover, the exposure to various crypto derivatives — options, swaps and futures — appeals to more advanced users willing to take a few more risks with their portfolios. Check out our guide on what to consider when choosing a derivatives crypto exchange.
Although the name Huobi is mentioned less often than others on this list, it remains a solid cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform. Users can explore hundreds of crypto markets and benefit from the native crypto savings accounts. Once you purchase cryptocurrency, you can keep idle funds in a savings account and earn interest. Unlocking passive revenue streams is always beneficial, especially in the cryptocurrency world. Another core benefit of Huobi is its low trading fees and various convenient payment methods to fund one’s account. The overall 0.2% transaction fee and $100 minimum deposit are on par with industry averages. More experienced users can explore the numerous derivatives markets for some extra exposure without holding the crypto asset in question. Huobi is a powerful trading platform for novice and advanced users.
Decentralized exchanges (DEXes) are autonomous decentralized applications (DApps) that allow cryptocurrency buyers or sellers to trade without having to give up control over their funds to any intermediary or custodian.
In short, the funds are stored in your wallet that is controlled by your private keys, as opposed to CEXes’ custody of your funds. Using smart contracts, DEXes can operate automated order books and process trades without an intermediary, thus making them peer-to-peer and decentralized. Learn more about the different types of DEXes, and how to avoid frontrunners when trading on a DEX.
PancakeSwap has positioned itself as the leading decentralized exchange on the BNB Chain. It is also the platform with the highest daily average trading platform, even if the gap to Uniswap is minimal. What sets PancakeSwap apart is its exposure to over 4,000 currencies, assets and tokens, which is much higher than any centralized or decentralized exchange. Accessing PancakeSwap is straightforward, assuming one knows how to use a Web3 wallet like Metamask. However, the platform only caters to existing crypto holders and does not let users convert fiat money to crypto assets in any capacity. Even so, Pancakeswap remains the go-to place for portfolio diversification through BNB chain assets. Users can also provide liquidity to earn trading fees. Pancakeswap also provides staking and other passive revenue opportunities.
Uniswap is widely considered to be the leading decentralized exchange on the Ethereum network. It provides access to hundreds of assets through its V2 and V3 versions. These different versions affect the fees users pay for swapping between crypto assets, although that may be a bit confusing for novices. Moreover, not all pairs from V2 are accessible on V3 — or do not have sufficient liquidity to facilitate big trades.
Like Pancakeswap, Uniswap does not provide fiat currency support and requires a Web3 wallet to access. Moreover, the Ethereum network is often more expensive to use, affecting users’ transaction fees and potential price slippage. It remains a robust decentralized exchange for experienced users, and its yield farming opportunities remain worthwhile.
The non-custodial dYdX DEX has the highest trading volume of all DEXes on the market today. Like Unsiwap, it operates on the Ethereum blockchain, although it has a few more trading options. Beyond spot trading, users can experiment with perpetual and futures contracts, creating an all-in-one solution for decentralized trading.
While its number of markets remains limited, there is a growing interest in the various trading vehicles dYdX provides. Moreover, its native Layer-2 protocol, powered by Starkware, for cross-margined perpetuals has better scaling than the Ethereum blockchain, enabling more users to explore this option. That layer introduces zero-gas costs, lower trading fees, and reduced minimal trade sizes. Want to dive deeper into which crypto exchange to use? Check out our top 10 crypto exchanges and top 10 decentralized exchanges for 2022.
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