With the unstoppable rise in the price of Bitcoin, the rest of altcoins following in its footsteps, the growing institutional interest in the industry, and the recent IPO of Coinbase, it’s normal that more and more people want to ride the wave started by Satoshi Nakamoto more than ten years ago.
However, the sudden rises and falls in the price of cryptocurrencies, as well as the cyberattacks and scams that some exchanges have suffered in the past, are factors that still intimidate many people.
Even with all this, along with the technical advances the industry has experienced in terms of security, ease of use, and even regulation, makes it more and more attractive to carry out buying and selling operations using crypto exchanges.
As I understand our needs and fears, I decided to make this list of the best places to buy bitcoin and altcoins with the peace of mind that a serious and quality platform can offer you.
Coinbase started in 2012 by selling bitcoin directly to its users, but it added new services over time. The exchange has had an unstoppable growth and is now one of the largest and strongest platforms within the US, with a base of 30 million users. The platform is also easy to use and is available in many countries, yet many people complain about its terrible customer support.
Click on the link to get $10 of free bitcoin when you sign up with Coinbase.
Coinbase is available in more than 100 countries.
Although Coinbase fees are among the most competitive on the market, it’s difficult to set a fixed amount for them, as they vary based on some factors:
- A basic flat fee – 1.49% standard buys | 3.99% CC buys (these fees may vary)
Ease of use
Coinbase’s interface is made to attract someone who is new or at a beginner level to the world of cryptocurrencies, something that’s evident by its easy to understand and user-friendly design.
The platform offers an online wallet in which it keeps 2% of users’ funds, and the rest is stored in an offline wallet. Private keys are owned by the company.
There is a high percentage of complaints from dissatisfied users on the internet on this factor.
Only basic online help and FAQ on the use of the platform.
Coinbase offers you the possibility to participate in staking activities to earn some rewards on your cryptos. They also provide FDIC insurance on your crypto of up to USD $250,000 per customer who have their crypto stored online on their platform.
2. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro is Coinbase’s professional platform for more experienced cryptocurrency users. It’s a version of Coinbase with a richer interface with advanced options, ideal for experienced crypto traders who want to obtain a higher return on their crypto investments.
They offer a smaller amount of cryptocurrencies to trade compared to other platforms, yet we can highlight their incredibly low fees and variety of security options.
Coinbase Pro offers its service in more than 100 countries, including the US.
The exchange has never suffered direct cyberattacks, although in the past it suffered from some flash crashes from which it managed to recover.
The platform offers security features such as 2-factor authentication (2FA), SSL encryption, and fund insurance for up to $250K.
Coinbase users who want to use Coinbase Pro don’t need to pass additional verification procedures.
Fees vary from 0% to 0.5% in a maker-taker scheme and according to the volume of your transactions.
You qualify as a maker if you place an order that immediately matches an order previously placed in the order book.
On the other hand, you qualify as a taker if you place an order that only partially qualifies with another.
Although this variable scheme is confusing for many people, its advantage is that it considerably reduces the fees for transactions.
Ease of use
The exchange is focused on expert users.
The same as with Coinbase.
Yes, but it doesn’t stand out for being neither the fastest nor the most attentive.
Only basic online help and FAQ on the use of the platform.
Same as Coinbase, you have the possibility to participate in staking activities to earn some rewards on your cryptos. You can also earn referral commissions.
With only four years of existence, Binance has quickly become one of the largest exchanges in the world with more than 200 cryptos available in a large number of countries worldwide. They offer a wide variety of deposit and withdrawal options, super-competitive fees, the capacity to process 1.4 million transactions per second and an interface suitable for all types of users,. These are just some of the reasons for their stunning growth.
The platform is available in a large number of countries, including the United States – through Binance.us
Binance has suffered a hack in the past, but the company has responded seriously to its users at all times. This significantly increases confidence in the company.
The platform also complies with the security standards for these type of services such as 2FA, a multi-tier system architecture, and cold storage.
One of the lowest in the market, just 0.1% for each transaction.
Ease of use
The exchange’s interface is of medium complexity, which makes it suitable for both novice and veteran users.
Binance is primarily an exchange and it only works as a wallet for certain investment options.
Although it doesn’t stand out for being the best in the world, the support team responds. Communication is done via online tickets and email.
There is only basic online help about using the platform.
Binance offers several options on which the user can obtain additional profits, such as staking, savings, loans, and smart pooling, among others. Some of the ways to earn additional profit may not be Islamically permissible depending on how the crypto is classified.
Gemini is an exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, famous Bitcoin millionaires. This exchange is characterized by its accessibility and ease of use. Although its fees are a little higher than those of other exchanges, the platform makes up for it with a system rich in options for advanced trading, a variety of cryptocurrencies (33 different cryptos), and many advanced security options.
The exchange supports about 50 countries, including the US. Its philosophy is reaching as many users as possible.
Gemini excels in this regard. Its system is quite robust in terms of security options as they adhere to a security philosophy of:
- Defend against external threats
- Protect against human error
- Guard against misuse from insider access
In addition to that, the exchange offers insurance that covers losses from hacks, and most of the funds are kept in cold storage.
The fees vary between 0.5% and 3.99%, depending on the interface you use (beginner or advanced).
Ease of use
It’s an exchange suitable for all types of users as it offers two interfaces: one for beginners (direct trading) and the other for expert users (advanced charting, order tracking and block trading).
The exchange offers an online custodial wallet – insured against losses – that you can use for your day-to-day operations. It also has its corresponding mobile app.
This aspect is a bit above average, since it’s quite responsive and it’s possible to contact them by email, phone, and tickets. It also offers a lot of online help with solutions to common questions.
Another noteworthy aspect, since the platform offers an extensive knowledge base through:
- Quick knowledge guides
- Crypto glossaries
5. CEX IO
CEX.io is a well-established exchange with more than 7 years of operation behind it and a very good reputation. The exchange is established in the UK and offers a brokerage service and a trading platform, but also places a high priority on security. Although CEX.io doesn’t offer a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, it makes up for this failure with several attractive investment options that have made it a favorite of many people.
CEX.io has a global presence, although there are restrictions for certain forms of payment in some countries.
The company complies with the regulations in all the countries in which it’s available. The platform requires several levels of KYC verification for new users, has a robust monitoring system and other additional security options (cold storage, 2fA, PCI DSS, etc.).
The fees are variable according to the type of operation:
- Card deposits: $2.99
- Withdrawals: from 0.3% to $25, depending on the withdrawal method.
- Trading: they vary according to your position (taker or maker), from 0.00% to 0.25%.
Ease of use
CEX.io offers a friendly interface for any type of user, and it’s possible to use it as a brokerage or as a direct trading platform.
CEX.io is not an online wallet service, but it stores most funds in cold storage for security reasons.
It’s possible to contact support through live chat, social media and phone. The service is available 24/7 and works quite well.
The platform has a blog and a YouTube channel with information about the operation of the exchange and cryptocurrencies in general.
Staking on the platform is possible.
Coinmama is a trusted and veteran platform in the industry that’s ideal for those who want to buy cryptocurrencies without complications and without the fear of losing their investment due to security problems. This is because when you buy or sell cryptocurrencies through Coinmama, you’re working directly with the company behind the exchange, without intermediaries. This offers additional advantages that other exchanges don’t offer.
Coinmama is currently available in almost 200 countries, including the US – although not in all states.
Coinmama is a well-established and reputable platform in the industry since 2013.
The exchange doesn’t store any type of financial information, nor the funds of its users on the platform. This feature reduces the number of vulnerable points to the risks of external attacks or scams.
The fees on the platform are usually somewhat lower than on other sites, and are generally presented as follows:
- Purchases: 3.90%
- Sales: 0.90%
- D/C card transactions: 5%
Ease of use
Coinmama works well for all types of user, but it’s especially suitable for beginners or those who want simplicity and speed in their operations.
The platform doesn’t offer a wallet service, so you must have an external wallet to withdraw your funds.
The company offers one of the best customer services in the sector, available 24/7 and with attention via email, phone, social media and chat bot.
Coinmama offers a complete and accessible compilation of tutorials and online help about the operation of the exchange, but also about cryptocurrencies in general.
Coinmama has a tiered benefits program for all its users that offers significant discounts on fees.
Kraken – If you already have some experience with other cryptocurrency exchanges and want to go to a more advanced and sophisticated level with an exchange that offers:
- A large number of options for your trading operations
- More options to increase the profitability of your money
- And a very high level of security
Then Kraken is for you.
Kraken has a global reach and only about ten countries are not supported by the platform. It’s also available for US residents.
The platform also stands out for offering a wide variety of advanced security options. It keeps its servers in constant custody and stores 99% of funds offline.
Kraken has a variable maker-taker fee scheme (ranging from 0% to 0.26%) based on the volume of transactions during a certain period.
Users of the Instant Buy feature pay a 3.75% fee.
Ease of use
As we said at the beginning, Kraken is more suitable for advanced and experienced users in the world of crypto trading.
Kraken works solely as an exchange and trading service.
It’s available 24/7, 365 days a year through live chat, so the attention you receive is usually quite fast.
Kraken offers a good number of options for users to educate themselves mainly on advanced and specific topics about the assets of their interest through:
- Online crypto guides
- Video lessons
Kraken also offers staking in case you wish to earn returns for persistently keeping your funds on the platform.
As more people enter the market and buy cryptocurrency, we can see even more scammers seeking to steal their money. It becomes even more important that you are able to purchase crypto in a safe way. Whether you are a beginner to buying crypto or an experienced crypto trader, I highly recommend only purchasing crypto from reputable platforms.
Some of our scholars such as, Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, who hold the view that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are halal, recommend only purchasing cryptocurrencies from reputable and regulated crypto exchanges.
And in the end, Allah knows best.