For many crypto newbies, the user interface of their first crypto exchange or on-ramp will decide whether they will continue on their crypto journey.
While professional traders may be obsessed with having hundreds of coins to trade and ultra-low fees, the average cryptocurrency user might be better served by a simple ramp that allows them to buy or sell Bitcoin.
Don’t underestimate the value of having a good user interface to start your crypto journey.
Here’s a closer look at some of the best:
US-based Coinbase is the country’s largest exchange and the first exchange ever to become a public company.
Coinbase is widely regarded as one of the easiest to use crypto exchanges in the world with a wide assortment of different cryptocurrencies on tap. The company has relatively high fees, but it might be worth it for those looking to get started quickly with crypto.
- Fees: High fees – with PayPal and debit card users coughing up more – $3.99 for purchases. Its Coinbase Pro iteration features lower fees, with a chart of manufacturer and buyer fees reflecting the standard market rate.
- Security: Although Coinbase has experienced its fair share of security breaches, it remains one of the safest exchanges to trade. It has made security not only the responsibility of users, but also of employees. In addition, the exchange stores 98% of users’ funds in cold storage, insuring them against online vulnerabilities such as hacking.
- Supported countries: Over 100 including the United States
Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2016 that aims to be a “one-stop shop” destination for all things cryptocurrencies.
The Singapore-based exchange supports buying and selling, staking, Visa card rewards, a DeFi suite, NFT trading, and more.
Crypto.com is more complicated than Coinbase, but some users may appreciate the “gamification” aspect of the crypto.com app, which undoubtedly keeps users connected.
- Fees: Crypto.com uses the maker-taker model to charge commissions. You can expect to pay between 0.04% and 0.40% of your transaction if you are a creator. Buyers will shell out between 0.10% and 0.40%.
- Security: The exchange safely compensates for what is lacking in customer service. It is the first cryptocurrency exchange to achieve ISO certification, among other noteworthy security measures.
- Supported countries: 100+, including 49 states
Kraken, based in San Francisco, is a cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2013. The exchange supports 69 cash-to-crypto pairs for trading.
Kraken stands out from the crowd by offering spot transactions on margin trading. The exchange is a great option for beginner traders who want to learn the ropes, with reasonable rates and ease of use.
Kraken is significantly more complicated than Coinbase and Crypto.com but you can turn off the advanced mode to have a relatively simple crypto trading experience.
- Commissions: You can pay anything from 0.0% to 0.26%. How much you pay depends on your trading volume over the last 30 days and the currency pair in question.
- Security: One of the safest trades with 95% of funds in air-gaped offline cold storage.
- Countries: 100+ including the US (but not available in New York and WA)
Moonpay is a payment infrastructure company that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat money. It is different from exchanges, which allow you to trade cryptocurrencies.
At the time of writing, Moonpay says it’s available globally, except for Louisiana, Hawaii, Texas, and New York.
- Fees: 4.5% minimum for credit/debit cards and 1% for bank transfers
- Moonpay data is encrypted using state-of-the-art security protocols
- NFT: Buy NFT with a debit/credit card on NFT Checkout
Onramper is an autonomous access ramp launched in 2020 that aims to bridge the gap between centralized finance and the frictionless future of money. The onramp acts as a “fiat gateway aggregator,” which means it consolidates fiat gateways to make things easier.
Fiat gateways such as Moonpay, Indacoin, Mercuryo, Wyre and Utog can incorporate into Onramper and allow users to exchange fiat for cryptocurrencies in a very simple process.
When you visit onramper.com, there is a section where you can buy cryptocurrencies right away. To get started, create an account with one of the gateway options.
At the moment, Onramper supports 75 cryptocurrencies, including Polkadot and Solana. It also supports 42 fiat currencies. Supported payment methods include credit/debit cards and bank transfers.