Best USA Crypto Exchanges in 2024

Best USA Crypto Exchanges in 2024

The expansion of the cryptocurrency industry has brought about the establishment of a multitude of crypto exchanges, each offering a diverse range of assets. These platforms differ in their methods of deposit, available trading pairs, and pricing models. However, the cornerstone of any exchange's value proposition arguably lies in its security measures.

As cryptocurrencies continue to elevate their market valuation, safeguarding assets has never been more crucial. Exchanges have significantly enhanced their security protocols, reflecting the sector's overall growth and maturity.

For those curious about the criteria that distinguish a secure exchange from its peers, and seeking to identify the most secure platforms, this discussion is for you. We aim to highlight the most reliable cryptocurrency exchanges and the key features that contribute to robust security. Ultimately, the most secure exchange not only protects its users but stands out as the preferred choice for the vast majority of crypto enthusiasts. Adding to the original insights, it's important to note that secure exchanges often implement advanced technologies like cold storage for funds, two-factor authentication (2FA) for users, and regular security audits to maintain high safety standards.

blog top

Tips for Choosing a US-Based Crypto Exchange

When selecting a cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, several key factors must be considered to ensure you make an informed decision. These factors include the required level of identification for registration, transaction limits, support for various currencies, and the fees associated with trading.

For traders in the U.S., additional considerations come into play. Beyond evaluating fee structures, security measures, and the methods available for deposits and withdrawals, verifying that an exchange is authorized to operate within your state or region is crucial.

In the process of identifying a crypto exchange that adheres to U.S. legal standards, pay attention to the following areas:

Regulatory Compliance

  • Engaging with exchanges that are compliant with U.S. laws is vital. Non-compliance can lead to situations where traders might lose access to their assets, as was the case for some users of Binance.com in 2019.

Identification Requirements

  • U.S.-friendly exchanges typically require more extensive identification documentation, including proof of address, compared to international platforms.

Transaction Limits

  • Certain exchanges within the United States impose limits on how much cryptocurrency can be bought or sold within a given timeframe.

Supported Trading Pairs

  • Before committing to an exchange, ensure it supports the cryptocurrency pairs you're interested in trading. Notably, some U.S.-based exchanges, like Gemini, offer a narrower selection of cryptocurrencies compared to larger global exchanges.

Security and Past Incidents

  • The cryptocurrency space is frequently targeted by hackers. It's essential to choose an exchange with a robust security history and preventative measures like two-factor authentication (2FA).

Adding to these considerations, it's also beneficial to look into an exchange's customer support quality, the ease of use of its platform, and the community and educational resources it provides. These elements can significantly enhance your trading experience and help you make more informed decisions in the fast-paced crypto market.

COINBASE

Launched in 2012, Coinbase has rapidly evolved into one of the premier platforms for cryptocurrency trading, boasting a user base exceeding 100 million. As a US-regulated exchange, it provides a secure platform for trading more than 250 different cryptocurrencies. However, it's worth noting that Coinbase's fee structure can be on the higher side, particularly with a standard transaction commission of 1.49% on purchases and sales.

For transactions below $200, the platform applies a fixed fee structure, which may result in higher costs for smaller trades. Additionally, using debit/credit cards or PayPal for deposits incurs a 3.99% fee, which, despite including the commission, remains costly. Yet, many traders gravitate towards Coinbase due to its straightforward trading process and robust security measures.

Security at the Forefront

Coinbase is committed to top-notch security, mandating two-factor authentication (2FA) for account access and fund withdrawals. It secures 98% of customer digital assets in cold storage, minimizing the risk of online threats. The exchange is accessible via both web and mobile platforms and offers the opportunity for clients to earn passive income through staking, although this feature is not available to US clients. Notable for offering high Annual Percentage Yields (APYs), staking options like Polkadot and Avalanche provide returns of 14.34% and 8.935%, respectively.

Key Features and Financial Aspects

  • Cryptocurrency Support: Over 250 cryptocurrencies available for trading.
  • Fees: High fees for debit/credit card and PayPal deposits at 3.99%. A commission of 1.49% applies to buy and sell orders.
  • Wallet: Offers a proprietary, non-custodial wallet for enhanced security.
  • Passive Income: Provides staking options to earn interest on cryptocurrencies, though not for US clients.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros:

  • Extensive selection of over 250 cryptocurrencies.
  • Simple fund deposits using debit/credit cards or PayPal.
  • No fees for domestic bank transfers, making it easier for US traders.
  • Opportunity to earn interest on cryptocurrencies through staking.

Cons:

  • High deposit fees for purchases made with debit/credit cards at 3.99%.

Despite its fee structure, Coinbase's commitment to security, ease of use, and a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies make it a favored choice among traders seeking a reliable and secure trading environment.

Kraken

Established in 2011 and making its exchange debut in 2013, Kraken has emerged as a significant player in the cryptocurrency trading space. It features a comprehensive selection of over 200 cryptocurrencies for spot trading, ranging from well-known options like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple to others such as Cosmos, Waves, and Polygon. Notably, Kraken enables leveraged trading, allowing traders to amplify their trades by up to 5x across more than 100 markets, with even higher limits available for professional traders.

In-Depth Kraken Evaluation

While not the most cost-effective option on the market, Kraken's fee structure is competitively priced. Spot trading incurs a fee of 0.26% for market takers, which decreases with higher trading volumes. For those engaging in margin trading, Kraken imposes a fee of 0.02% every four hours the position is kept open. When it comes to depositing funds, the use of debit/credit cards attracts a 3.75% fee, though ACH and wire transfers offer a more economical alternative. It's important to note, Kraken does not provide a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet service.

Key Highlights and Financial Details

  • Cryptocurrency Support: Over 200 cryptocurrencies for trading.
  • Fees: Debit/credit card deposits are subject to a 3.75% fee. Spot trading fees start at 0.26%, with margin trading costs averaging 0.02% every four hours.
  • Wallet: Kraken does not offer its own crypto wallet.
  • Leverage: Up to 5x leverage on over 100 trading markets.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros:

  • Premier platform for margin trading with up to 5x leverage.
  • Extensive range of over 200 crypto pairs for trading.
  • Long-standing reputation, established in 2011 and launched in 2013.
  • Provides sophisticated trading tools for experienced investors.

Cons:

  • High fees for debit/credit card deposits at 3.75%.
  • Lack of transparency regarding deposit fees.

Kraken stands out for its robust leveraged trading options, extensive cryptocurrency selection, and advanced trading tools tailored for seasoned investors. Despite its fee structure and the absence of a proprietary wallet, its reputation and comprehensive service offerings solidify its position as a go-to platform for traders looking for depth in their trading strategies.

middle

GEMINI

Launched in 2014, Gemini quickly established itself as a leading crypto exchange in the U.S., placing a strong emphasis on security. It earned the distinction of being the world’s first exchange and custodian to achieve SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 certifications, underscoring its commitment to maintaining high-security standards. Gemini boasts over 13 million active users engaged in buying, selling, and trading an array of more than 70 cryptocurrencies. The platform doesn't stop there; it also offers staking and has ventured into the NFT market, broadening the scope of services for its users.

Despite its security-first approach, Gemini was not immune to the challenges of the crypto market downturn, often referred to as the crypto winter. One notable setback was the sudden halt of the Gemini Earn program, a collaboration with Genesis, which faced disruptions following Genesis's bankruptcy filing. This event marked a significant moment for Gemini, highlighting the risks inherent in the crypto space. Legal proceedings are ongoing, with Gemini actively working to recover and return the funds to its users, demonstrating its commitment to its customer base even in the face of adversity.

Given Gemini's standing in the cryptocurrency exchange landscape, here's a deeper dive into its advantages and disadvantages to provide a more nuanced understanding of the platform:

Pros:

  • Security: As the first SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 certified crypto exchange and custodian, Gemini's security measures are among the best in the industry, providing users with peace of mind.
  • Wide Range of Cryptocurrencies: With over 70 cryptocurrencies available for trading, Gemini caters to a broad spectrum of investor interests, from mainstream to more niche markets.
  • Additional Services: Beyond traditional trading, Gemini offers staking and access to the NFT market, enhancing the user experience with more ways to engage with digital assets.
  • Large User Base: With more than 13 million active users, Gemini boasts a vibrant community and liquidity, making it easier for users to execute trades efficiently.
  • User-Friendly: The platform is designed to be accessible to both beginners and experienced traders, with an intuitive interface and helpful resources.

Cons:

  • Impact of Crypto Winter: The abrupt halt of the Gemini Earn product, following Genesis's bankruptcy filing, raised concerns about the platform's resilience to market downturns and the safety of user investments in associated products.
  • Limited Global Reach: While Gemini is a top choice in the U.S., its services and availability may be more limited in other jurisdictions, affecting global users.
  • Fees: Some users find Gemini's fee structure to be higher compared to other exchanges, which could be a deterrent for those looking to maximize their returns on smaller trades.
  • Complexity for New Users: Despite its user-friendly design, the wide range of services and advanced features might overwhelm newcomers to the cryptocurrency space.
  • Staking and NFT Availability: While offering staking and NFTs is a plus, the selection and features may not be as comprehensive as those dedicated platforms specializing in these areas, potentially limiting options for enthusiasts.

Gemini's focus on security and its broad array of services make it a solid choice for users prioritizing safety and variety in their crypto trading experience. However, the challenges faced during the crypto winter and considerations regarding fees and product complexity highlight the importance of weighing both the positives and negatives when choosing a crypto exchange platform.

Why Are Specific Crypto Exchanges Not Accessible to U.S. Residents?

In the United States, the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency exchanges is complex and stringent, posing challenges for traders looking to find platforms that align with their trading objectives.

Exchanges operating within the U.S. come under the regulatory purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which mandates adherence to strict anti-money laundering (AML) protocols, FinCEN regulations, and a multitude of other rules set by various federal agencies. This comprehensive regulatory framework ensures that exchanges operate within the confines of U.S. law, safeguarding the interests of traders and the integrity of the financial system.

In particular, New York State treats cryptocurrency exchanges as money transmission services, requiring them to acquire specific licenses to operate. This licensing requirement underscores the state's commitment to regulating the crypto space and protecting consumers. Furthermore, exchanges that facilitate transactions in crypto assets, deemed securities by U.S. federal securities laws, must navigate additional compliance hurdles to adhere to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.

Adding to these considerations, it's essential for traders and exchanges alike to stay informed about the evolving regulatory landscape, as compliance not only impacts operational capabilities but also determines the breadth of services offered to U.S. customers. The dynamic nature of crypto regulation in the U.S. reflects the government's effort to balance innovation with consumer protection and financial stability.

Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges Legal?

The regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges varies significantly across countries, largely depending on local financial laws and attitudes towards cryptocurrencies.

In the United States, cryptocurrency exchanges are typically categorized as 'money service businesses' and must register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This registration is crucial for ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, which include mandatory identification verification for clients opening accounts.

Over in the United Kingdom, crypto exchanges often register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). While this registration ensures that exchanges perform due diligence on new clients, it's worth noting that crypto assets themselves are not considered regulated financial products in the UK, making FCA registration non-mandatory.

The situation in Australia is somewhat similar, where there's no legal requirement for crypto exchanges to be regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Nonetheless, exchanges must register with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to aid in the prevention of financial crimes.

In Canada, domestic crypto exchanges are required to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC). This registration entails various responsibilities, such as reporting any single cryptocurrency transaction exceeding $10,000. FinTRAC's role also extends to ensuring that exchanges adhere to trading guidelines for retail clients, particularly concerning risk warnings and leverage use.

Crypto exchanges thus navigate a complex regulatory landscape, operating in a gray area in many jurisdictions. Since cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not recognized as legal tender, exchanges often bypass many regulations that apply to traditional stock brokerages. This regulatory ambiguity allows for a wide range of operational freedoms, but it also necessitates a careful approach to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

bottom

Please note that Plisio also offers you:

Create Crypto Invoices in 2 Clicks and Accept Crypto Donations

12 integrations

6 libraries for the most popular programming languages

19 cryptocurrencies and 12 blockchains

Ready to Get Started?

Create an account and start accepting payments – no contracts or KYC required. Or, contact us to design a custom package for your business.

Make first step

Always know what you pay

Integrated per-transaction pricing with no hidden fees

Start your integration

Set up Plisio swiftly in just 10 minutes.