New cryptocurrency brokerages are coming to the fore daily and the great demand and interest of crypto enthusiasts creates an equally high supply of such services. In an attempt to differentiate themselves and increase their client base, each brokerage tries to differentiate their offering as well, while each focusses on other aspects. Naturally then, different brokerages come with different strengths and the ensuing challenge is for you to take those strengths into account when attempting to discern which crypto broker best serves and suits your own particular needs, goals, aspirations, expectations and strategies as a crypto buyer or investor.
If you are after the ability to copy the trades of others and not having to wait until you learn enough before you can start your crypto trading journey, then you should choose a cryptocurrency brokerage offering copy trading services, while if you are seeking to invest in particular altcoins which are hard to come by, then you should shop around for brokerages offering the widest possible selection of digital currencies.
Thus, your specific needs as a crypto investor and crypto trader should be at core of your quest for the best crypto broker, which means that the best crypto broker for you is the one which best addresses those specific needs. Below you can consult a list of crypto brokers, which have been hand-picked for different reasons, adequately meeting the needs of different styles when it comes to trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.
The main Advantages and Disadvantages of crypto trading
The trading and investing in cryptocurrencies often carry a considerable degree of risk, as digital currencies are extremely more volatile than other types of tradable assets. Thus, just as you stand to win big you also stand to lose big suddenly and without being able to predict this. When compared to trading in fiat currencies, crypto trading offers lower liquidity and minimal payment options. While these are clear disadvantages, as the usage of cryptos becomes more mainstream and their acceptance as a form of payment become widespread, the advantages for those holding or trading in cryptocurrencies are set to increase as time goes by.
To help you decide whether cryptos are your cup of tea, here’s a snap shot of the main pros and cons of crypto trading:
Advantages of crypto trading
Increased intrusion into one’s privacy is a major concern for those as it is considered an inescapable side-effect of technological advances. However, in the world of digital currencies there is an extremely high level of security of all user identities and all transactions performed. Despite the fact that the transaction themselves are very secure, hacking and other forms of cyber-criminal activity are still very real threats to crypto traders, who are vulnerable to such risks and attacks.
- Low transaction fees
Cryptocurrency transaction fees are generally quite low, in comparison to other transaction types, as in the crypto world there is no need for intermediaries, such as banks and financial institutions, to make a transaction possible. The elimination of intermediaries, lowers the associated costs and thus the fees charged.
One of the distinctive characteristics of cryptos is the absence of a central exchange or authority which oversees the market and transactions. This decentralized nature and the lack of an overarching authority or watchdog to control everything and set the rules is for many one of the biggest advantages of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, since it leaves ample room for freedom, initiative and innovation.
- High potential returns
Several examples from the performance of different digital currencies, such as Bitcoin or more recently Dogecoin, prove that the wise investment in digital currencies is a truly potentially lucrative endeavour that can yield very high returns for crypto investors. As the crypto world is on a constant course of further development and expansion, it is natural to expect that an investment in the right digital currency now, could very well translate into hefty future profits, as cryptos become more consolidated and popular.
Disadvantages of crypto trading
- Lower Acceptance
Though this is rapidly changing, the truth is that still digital currencies are not mainstream enough to be accepted as payment for goods and services in all countries and by all vendors and providers, as fiat currencies are. As more and more establishments begin to accept cryptos as a viable, alternative payments method, so will their public perception improve even further. Recent developments, such as the launching of several crypto debit and credit cards, will also push further into the consolidation of cryptos as a widely accepted, effective alternative to fiat currencies and a means to pay for everyday transactions.
- High Volatility
As already pointed out most if not all digital currencies are extremely volatile and thus carry the risk of leading to great losses. The trading and investing in any asset is risky by default, but with cryptos the inherent risks are even higher. This means that those with an aversion to risk and a low pain threshold, should completely avoid crypto trading. If you do decide to trade crypto, then try to remember never to trade using funds that you can’t afford to lose.
Contrary to what most may believe, cryptos are not tax exempt, since the approach taken by most tax auditors and watchdogs, especially in the developed world, is that virtual currency transactions are like any other transactions in any other form of property and are thus taxable. It would therefore be wise to check with your local tax authority about the specific tax principles applied to digital currency transactions in your country, before starting to invest in crypto.
- Illegal purposes
Though this is gradually fading away, especially since Know Your Customer compliance is a must for brokerages nowadays, cryptocurrencies were for a long time associated with illicit uses, and where the preferred means of transaction for illegal activities, such as money laundering, drug trafficking and others. This tarnish still remains and pushes many law abiding away from cryptos, though as they become mainstream such abuses are less common, especially since anonymity is no longer possible for most crypto transactions through established channels.
Cryptocurrencies may have been around for a few years now, but their boom is a relatively newer trend and as cryptocurrency trading is still not as widespread as other forms of trading on traditional assets, perhaps interested investors may not be aware that they have to main options available in order to trade cryptos, namely to do so through a cryptocurrency exchange or via a cryptocurrency brokerage. To help you gain a better understanding and discern which method is better suited for your own particular circumstances and needs, let us look at the main differences between these two crypto trading options.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges vs Cryptocurrency Brokers
Cryptocurrency exchanges work in a similar manner as a stock exchange works, i.e. they provide a venue where buyers and sellers trade a particular cryptocurrency based on its current market price. Usually in such transactions, the crypto exchange assumes the role of the middleman and charges a fee for each transaction facilitated. Cryptocurrency exchanges may be used to exchange between different cryptocurrencies or for exchanging fiat currencies for cryptos, such as Bitcoin . Cryptocurrency exchanges are often used by independent, small scale crypto traders, but they seem to be less preferable when the transactions pertain to larger amounts and higher volumes.
For bigger trades, most traders prefer a cryptocurrency broker, since though a brokerage account the funds of clients are traded through a dealer network and not through a centralized exchange. By bringing together independent sellers and buyers, the entire process becomes more convenient and flexible, while the settlement period of a trade performed via a brokerage, is usually faster than when the trade is performed via an exchange.
To be able to effectively and accurately compare between the two options, let us examine more closely their main common aspects and explore their offering side by side:
Sign up and Verification
The sign up and verification process with a cryptocurrency exchange is easy and straightforward and traders are usually only required to provide and confirm their email address, as well as create a password. When the signing up process is completed, you will also need to provide proof of identity for verification purposes, so that you will be able to deposit and withdraw funds to and from your account. The usual response times of crypto exchanges to such verification requests range from a few hours to a few days.
Signing up with a cryptocurrency broker can be an equally easy process, however once you open an account you must verify it in order to be able to deposit funds and start trading. Depending on the AML and KYC requirements applied by watchdogs in the jurisdiction the brokerage is regulated, you may be asked to provide further details and proof. This being said, verification is often completed must faster on a brokerage rather than an exchange and it usually only takes a few minutes. Once verified, your account may be immediately funded and you can easily start trading at once.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Depositing fiat money to a cryptocurrency exchange is often a tedious process, while on some cryptocurrencies it may not be possible at all and you must first buy crypto and deposit those coins in your account to be able to trade further. Moreover, you are usually called to pay fees and commissions with each deposit. Similarly, the withdrawal of funds from an exchange into fiat currencies is time consuming and not straightforward as you will need to use an e-wallet and then convert the funds through an online exchange, which would again require the payment of commissions. Another alternative would be to withdraw funds directly into a bank account, but this may also prove problematic as many banks refuse to accept funds from crypto exchanges due to restrictions and concerns about the origin of the funds.
When using a cryptocurrency broker instead, then the deposit process is much easier, since clients are given many ways through which to make a deposit, such as debit cards, credit cards and e-wallets, while it is possible to make deposits in a number of fiat currencies. What makes brokerages more attractive is the fact that they usually charge lower fees for withdrawals than what crypto exchanges tend to do.
The actual trading
The actual trading process on a crypto exchange is simple, since you only need to choose the crypto asset you wish to trade on, open the trade and monitor the price chart. On the crypto exchange you can place buy orders, sell orders and stop limit orders, though its overall features are somewhat limited.
On the other hand, those choosing to trade on a cryptocurrency broker platform have at their disposal a wide array of features and tools that enhance the trading experience, allow the more effective application of strategies and the more accurate calculation of risks. Moreover, cryptocurrency brokerages usually offer tight spreads and are thus very popular with those engaging in cryptocurrency margin trading.
The trading of cryptocurrencies inherently carries a higher risk than other forms of trading, not least because crypto trading is still relatively and thus largely unregulated, while cryptos being digital assets are much more vulnerable to online hackers and scammers. In fact, crypto exchanges have often fallen victims of hacking attacks, leading to substantial losses.
Risks are mitigated when trading cryptocurrencies through a regulated broker, as such entities are being strictly audited and thus are certainly not scams, while clients may also complain to the pertinent regulator if they feel that their brokerage has broken any rules. Investor compensation schemes to which crypto brokerages participate, as well as the fact that they keep clients’ funds in separate bank accounts, gives an added sense of safety, security and confidence to crypto traders, when trading via a brokerage.
Which one should you use?
The most important word in the question above is the word you. Since there are really no right or wrong answers, and since the trading of cryptos on an exchange or through a brokerage both come with advantages and disadvantages, the one who should decide what suits you best, is none else but you. Given that cryptos are very volatile and extreme profits as well as extreme losses may occur in no time, it is crucially important that you perform a detailed due diligence and in-depth research before deciding which exchange or broker you will use for your crypto trading needs. Evaluate their offering and pay attention to which of them best matches your own preferences and best serves your crypto trading goals.
The Best Brokers for Crypto Trading in 2021
Truth be told, choosing the best forex brokerage for crypto trading purposes is not an easy and simple endeavor. In fact, with hordes of brokers trying to lure you in with fancy words and big promises of offering the greatest and best crypto trading services around, it is difficult to make out which would truly be the most suitable and appropriate brokerage for your own crypto trading needs. This jungle or ocean is very difficult to successfully navigate, especially if you are new to it all and have no previous experience of trading on other assets and holding a broker trading account.
To help with the complexity and often chaotic nature of the entire endeavor, our team of experts has tested and reviewed a plethora of cryptocurrency brokers, compiling lists of whom we consider to be the best around, after taking into account their offering and characteristics, as well as their reputation and safety for traders. Moreover, our team has also prepared useful insights and tips on cryptocurrency trading, as well as information and advice on the following important aspects of your crypto journey:
How to choose the best cryptocurrency brokers
- How to claim cryptocurrency trading bonuses
- How to pick the best crypto trading platforms
- How to trade cryptocurrencies on mobile
Let us now explore each of these important aspects, further:
Though broker reviews, such as the ones carried out by our team, are a great way to pinpoint which crypto brokers are worth for you to seriously consider, relying on reviews alone is not advisable. You can use reviews to perhaps compile a shortlist of brokerages to look further into. If you choose to go down this lane, ensure that the reviews you consult are conducted by experienced professionals and are based on a rigorous methodology that factors in all the important aspects of a broker’s offering, such as its reputation, educational materials offered, fees charged, whether it is licensed or not and many others.
Besides the reviews however, it is imperative that you pay particular attention to those features which are usually of the greatest importance and significance to each individual trader, such as:
The crypto pairs and CFD options available
It is always preferable to have as many options available to trade on, so look for brokers who offer you the entire range of crypto trading options, i.e. trading cryptos against other cryptos, cryptos against fiat currencies, as well as cryptos against commodities. Moreover, check out if the broker also allows the trading of cryptos as CFDs, while also enabling you to make physical crypto trades too, allowing you to buy and hold a crypto to sell it at a later stage.
The range of different tradable coins
As new cryptocurrencies are being launched continuously, the best brokers for crypto trading should be in a position to offer you a great and extensive variety of such coins to trade on. The list of tradable cryptoassets should not merely include the biggest and most popular coins, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but a great number of other altcoins as well, as usually such newer coins offer many lucrative opportunities.
The variety and accessibility of payment methods
Ideally, your chosen broker for your crypto trading needs should be accepting deposits in BTC and other popular cryptos and also allow crypto withdrawals. Moreover, and especially if you are a novice crypto trader, look out for brokers who also support the more traditional deposit and withdrawal methods, such as credit/debit cards and bank transfers.
The quality of the trading platform
The trading conditions demanded for crypto trading are different than those needed when trading forex, thus you should ensure that the actual trading platform offered by a brokerage is both efficient and user friendly, while being customizable so as to allow you to use all the tools and indicators available to maximize your chances for trading success.
24/7 customer support
Since it is not a centralized market like forex, the crypto market is always open and never closes. Since the market works on a 24/7 basis then, make sure the brokerage offers customer support that also works on the same terms. Especially if you are new to crypto trading, it is important that you have easy access to a reliable team to support, help and guide your trading efforts round the clock, whenever the need arises.
Find out who are our top cryptocurrency brokers
Based on the comprehensive reviews conducted by our resident team of experts, during which the offering of hundreds of crypto brokers was tested, analyzed and rigorously evaluated, ensuring that any conclusions reached were valid, here’s our version of the list of top 3 best brokers for cryptocurrency trading:
The Best Crypto Trading Platforms in 2021
Things we liked: Zero commission policy
Customers support is available 24/7
Up to 500:1 leverage
Low minimum deposit requirement
Things we didn't like: No demo account
TradeOr offers only one payment method – bitcoin
Things we liked: Accepting US Clients Up to 500:1 leverage
Low minimum deposit requirement
Things we didn't like: Absence of a direct telephone number for customer support
Ospreyfx is not a fully licensed and regulated broker
Things we liked: eToro offers commission-free stock and ETF trading in Europe and offers low fees for non-EU clients.
Account opening is fast and seamless.
It has innovative features like social trading that lets you copy others.
Things we didn't like: eToro has unreliable customer service, and its trading platform freezes sometimes.
Education tools are very limited.
Are trading bonuses offered by cryptocurrency brokers?
Offering bonuses is a common practice in the forex industry, provided it is allowed by the watchdog in the jurisdiction the broker is registered to and operates in. For example, such bonuses are not permitted under EU law, and are thus not offered by EU regulated brokers. However, the regular offering of attractive bonuses to new and existing clients is commonplace from brokerages in non-EU jurisdictions.
Examples of such bonuses that you can usually expect to be eligible for, include:
- No-deposit bonuses: This type of bonuses is geared towards new clients, who stand to receive the bonus as an incentive to start trading, without having to make a deposit from their own funds first.
- Deposit bonus: As implied by its name, a deposit bonus is awarded when a client makes a deposit in their crypto brokerage account. Usually, the bonus amount is worth a specific percentage of the amount deposited by the trader. Some brokerages offer this kind of bonus only when you make your first deposit, while others have ongoing promotions and award a percentage as a deposit bonus every time you make a deposit. However, often to be eligible for such a bonus, a specific minimum deposit amount is required.
- Loyalty bonus: This is a type of bonus is offered by many cryptocurrency brokers to reward the loyalty of their existing customers and encourage them to trade more. Thus, the size of loyalty bonuses is usually calculated based on each trader’s actual trading activity.
- Referral bonus: This is the bonus received by existing customers for each person they refer to the brokerage, provided this person proceeds to open and fund a trading account.
What you should be aware is that all trading bonuses offered by brokers are subject to specific terms and conditions, for example having to reach a certain trading volume before you can withdraw any bonus funds, or not being able to withdraw the bonus amounts at all. It is thus important to know exactly what these term and conditions are, from the beginning.
Discover the best crypto trading platforms
Trading crypto via a forex broker is well feasible, however a point to keep in mind is that the needs of crypto trading are different than those of forex trading and thus the setup of the trading platform to be used should be different. For example, the forex industry standard MT4 platform, cannot handle crypto trading unless the broker makes adjustments to the platform’s code. Its newer sibling, the MT5 platform on the other hand, may immediately be used to trade crypto. Moreover, many brokers offer crypto trading via their own proprietary platforms.
The MetaTrader 5 platform can cater to the trading of cryptocurrencies along with the trading of other assets, including fiat currency pairs. Once you open an account with a broker using the MT5 platform, you can easily start trading crypto by selecting Crypto from the list on your Symbols tab on the Market Watch window. The MT5 platform will then automatically add all the crypto-based instruments your broker offers to your tradable assets list.
The obvious advantage of trading crypto on the MT5 platform is that this platform allows you to use the great charting and analytical tools, which are also already available on the MT4 platform. Especially if you have already traded forex using the MT4 platform, you are already familiar with these tools and thus your learning curve will be minimal. Another pro of the MT5 is that it allows you to view all your trading positions at once, which is particularly useful, especially if you have a diverse trading portfolio which includes assets across many classes.
Proprietary crypto trading platforms
Besides the ready-made solution of the MT5 platform, crypto trading may also be done through proprietary platforms developed by some forex brokers, which also support the trading of crypto assets. The vast majority of such proprietary platforms are extremely user friendly and include useful tools which make the trading process more efficient and effective. Moreover, such platforms usually allow you to trade a wide range of different instruments from the same platform and allow you to effectively diversify your portfolio. Additionally, when trading through such a platform you can trade different cryptocurrencies without having to open multiple e-wallets, each for each different crypto asset.
Trading cryptocurrencies on mobile
Trading on the go, from any smart device, at any time of day or night is important for crypto trading as the crypto market is always open. The good news is that all top-notch cryptocurrency brokers offer you the opportunity to trade on your mobile device, since the MT5 as well as all top proprietary platforms, have mobile apps versions that may be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices, meaning you can trade whenever you want, wherever you are.
Crypto Brokers FAQs
What is The difference between a cryptocurrency broker and a crypto exchange
A cryptocurrency broker is a firm that is facilitating the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies at prices set by the broker
where as cryptocurrency exchanges
provides an online platform for buyers and sellers who trade cryptocurrencies with each other based on current market prices and charging fees for their services.
Where can I trade cryptocurrency?
You can either trade cryptocurrencies on a cryptocurrency exchange or through online cryptocurrency brokerages. Since most established online brokerages now offer their users the chance to trade cryptocurrency pairs as CFDs (contracts for difference), many crypto enthusiasts follow this path as it allows them to enjoy the security and confidence of trading through a regulated entity, combined with the freedom and enhanced earning potential of cryptocurrency trading.
Is cryptocurrency trading profitable?
Cryptocurrency trading is definitely profitable, as fortunes have been made already through the trading of cryptos. In fact, the highly lucrative prospects are what draws so many enthusiasts into this type of trading. On the other hand, the extremely high volatility of cryptos as assets, which creates their massive earning potential, also renders them exceptionally risky as investment. Therefore, as likely as it is to earn big though trading crypto, it is equally, if not more, likely to lose big. To mitigate this risk, it is important to apply effective risk management strategies and make sure you closely monitor market trends to be able to accurately predict price swings and act timely and accordingly.
Is cryptocurrency trading legal?
Through still largely unregulated as a field, cryptocurrency trading is in fact legal in most jurisdictions and due to the usage and trading of cryptos rapidly becoming mainstream, authorities across the globe are starting to define their stance towards this phenomenon. However, it is true that in some countries, such as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and others, the purchase, sale, use or holding of virtual currency has been prohibited. As the landscape is constantly changing, it is important for those interested in crypto trading to remain informed of the latest news and developments on cryptos and their trading, and not invest in cryptos unless they are certain that such an activity is considered legal in their own location.
What is the role of a cryptocurrency broker?
A cryptocurrency broker facilitates individual users to trade in cryptocurrencies by providing speculative contracts on the price of each digital currency featured on their tradable assets list. In your trading transactions and as prices shift, you can buy or sell these contracts and not the actual digital currency.
Which are the best cryptocurrency brokers to use?
As there is an abundance of brokerages offering cryptocurrencies trading services, there are plenty of reliable and reputable brokers to choose from when deciding to trade crypto. The best broker depends on your own specific priorities and needs, including which trading style you follow, which strategies you endorse and which coins you are specifically interested in, since you will have to make sure those are indeed included in the prospective broker’s tradable digital assets list.
What is more profitable, crypto or forex trading?
Cryptocurrency trading is consider to be more profitable than forex trading, although it’s not really a matter of profitability but rather liquidity and volatility when it comes to crypto vs forex. Cryptocurrency trading is more volatile which can mean a higher reward with a higher risk.
Is it better to trade crypto or Forex?
Answer depends entirely on your strategies, goals, and needs. Generally speaking, forex trading is more protected and stable, however, crypto trading can promise you larger returns than forex as it is much more volatile which can mean a higher reward with a higher risk.
Is Crypto trading riskier than Forex trading?
Historically, the cryptocurrency market is more unpredictable and volatile. Cryptocurrencies are consider to be very high-risk assets as unexpected changes in the market sentiment lead to sharp and sudden moves in price. Although crypto trading can promise you larger returns than forex trading it is very important that you do have an understanding regarding the risks before you start Crypto trading.