Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is still a fairly complex process, especially for new investors just getting their feet wet. The relative difficulty of managing digital assets while securing transferring and storing them has proven to be a major inhibitor of full-scale mass adoption, and many exchanges have simply not done a great job in building their user interfaces.
Adding to the complexity, not all cryptocurrency exchange are available to investors within certain geographies. Due in large part to government regulations and KYC restrictions, investors from the United States and certain Asian countries are restricted from trading activities on select exchanges.
Unfortunately, a fair number of the world’s top exchanges, including OKEx and Huobi, do not welcome investors from the United States. Additionally, many popular mobile wallet-exchange platforms, including eToro and Revolut, are also unavailable to US investors (both platforms are planning on entering the U.S. markets later this year).
Here are the top cryptocurrency exchanges available to U.S. investors, ranked in no particular order:
1Coinbase | Mobile & Desktop | 4 Tradeable Coins
Headquarters: San Fransico, CA
Undoubtedly the most well-known cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Coinbase offers an easy path for investors to get started in crypto with a mobile-first platform and a number of features that work to simplify each step of the process. While Coinbase is limited to only Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash at this time, the company recently announced that Ethereum Classic (ETC) will be added later this year.
Additionally, with the recent acquisition of Paradex, Coinbase aims to expand its offerings to include ERC-20 tokens, which encompass the greater portion of all tradeable altcoins. Coinbase has also built out a number of investment products designed for institutional investors.
2Binance | Desktop | 140+ Tradeable Coins
Arguably the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, Binance offers more than 140 altcoins on its platform. Binance is consistently leading the pack in terms of features and its strict process for adding new coins limits the odds of investors betting on a scam or low-impact project.
3KuCoin | Desktop | 140+ Tradeable Coins
Similar to Binance, KuCoin offers investors exposure to a wide variety of altcoins. However, unlike Binance, KuCoin features a number of smaller coins that are
KuCoin has over 140 altcoins listed on its platform, including Neo (NEO), DragonChain (DRGN), OmiseGO (OMG), Cappasity (CAPP), Civic (CVC), DeepBrainChain (DBC), Qtum (QTUM) and TenX (TENX). The exchange also offers a dedicated Neo market and daily NeoGas payouts for users’ Neo balances.
Additionally, KuCoin recently reinstated a three-tier referral program for new members.
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Two sides of the same coin, Poloniex was recently acquired by the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle. While Circle Invest, Circle’s retail investment platform, is similar to Coinbase in its offerings and mobile platform interface, Poloniex is a full desktop exchange with more than 65 altcoins available for trading.
Also similar to Coinbase, Circle is building out a number of products designed for institutional investors and even recently released its framework for adding new currencies to its platforms.
5Kraken | Desktop | 17 Tradeable Coins
Headquarters: San Fransico, CA
Kraken is a US-based exchange that operates in Canada, the EU, Japan, and the US, and claims to be “the world’s largest bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity.” Kraken is highly-regarded as a top-quality exchange, offering investors a sense of security when trading on its platform.
Kraken has a number of fiat trading pairs, and for the more experienced investors, allows for margin trading.
6Abra | Mobile | 25 Tradeable Coins
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
Abra is a bit more unique than the rest of the exchanges mentioned in this list. For any fiat (e.g., USD, EUR, PHP) or cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin (e.g., ETH, XRP) that Abra supports, the platform provides users with exposure to that currency via smart contracts on Bitcoin or Litecoin. While users aren’t able to hold the actual currencies, the coin-pegged smart contracts enable Abra users to enjoy a wider range of coin offerings in a sleek mobile interface. This works to drastically reduce the complexity of buying and selling altcoins, ideal for the passive or long-term investor.
Abra recently announced that it will be adding 5 new altcoins to its platform: NEO (NEO), Verge (XVG), Monero (XMR), NEM (XEM) and Lisk (LSK). With the latest additions, Abra now allows its platform users to buy, sell, hold and invest in 25 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies.
These exchanges include nearly ever notable currency that an investor would want to trade. While each has its pros and cons, all of these exchanges offer secure, simple and feature-rich trading experiences. While this list is certainly not all-encompassing, it does represent a good starting point for any U.S. investors looking to jump on the digital currency bandwagon.
Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.