In 1958, five friends attending Canton McKinley High School in Canton, Ohio formed one of the most influential soul groups in history. At first, they called themselves The Mascots, but they would later change their name to The O’Jays.
The O’Jays provided me with the inspiration for this article today. No matter what you do in life, you’ve got to give the people what they want.
Most of my articles here focus on an American audience because it’s where I’m located, but over the past few months, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of comments asking questions about crypto exchanges in Europe.
The problem with cryptocurrency exchanges is that every country has their own regulations for sites to follow. The European Union, the UK, and The United States all have separate rules that an exchange has to follow. If they don’t meet these regulations, they can’t operate.
If you live in Europe, you need a crypto exchange that keeps your money safe, meets the European Union and UK regulations, and that makes it easy to transfer your funds from your online account to your wallet or bank account.
After doing some research and comparing it to my personal experiences with exchanges, I concluded that there are a few that stand out from the rest. Here are the best crypto exchanges for you to check out.
The Best Crypto Exchange for the European Union: Binance
We have to say ‘best for the European Union’ because Binance isn’t an option in the UK yet.
The FCA doesn’t allow derivatives for UK traders, meaning Binance can’t yet offer their services there. Binance has said that they plan on opening up an exchange for the UK, but this will take time as they have to get approval from the FCA and other governing bodies.
For the rest of Europe, though, Binance is the best option available for crypto traders. The first thing that makes Binance stand out from the competition is the safety they provide.
Most people consider Binance to be the safest place to trade cryptocurrency. While you should always transfer your coins to an exchange rather than leaving them in an exchange, if you do end up letting them sit, Binance is the safest option for you.
There’s only been one major breach of Binance, when a hacker managed to get their hands on 40 million USD in coins. In that case, Binance used their reserves to give everyone their money back, which helped solidify their reputation as being a trustworthy exchange.
Binance offers their customers 2-factor authentication and uses industry leading cybersecurity best practices. These practices include the use of multi-signature wallets and cold storage for customer funds.
Access To Coins
They also allow you to trade almost any coin you can think of on their European platform. While most people only think of trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and XRP, the past few months has shown that little coins like Dogecoin can rise in popularity quickly. You need a platform that allows you access to these coins.
When you trade these coins, margins are everything. What really sets Binance apart is their fee structure. Unlike other exchanges, their fees are both straightforward and inexpensive.
Whether you’re a maker or a taker, you’ll pay .1% in fees. When exchanging futures, you’ll only pay .02% for makers and .04% for takers. If you use BNB, you’ll get a 25% discount. This means that you won’t have to worry about trying to figure out how much you have to dish out in fees. With Binance, you save money on every transaction and get to keep more of your coins.
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Best Crypto Exchange For the UK – Kraken
To be honest, this was a tough decision. There were a few options we could put here, but there are two things that set Kraken apart. First, Kraken offers traders with more options than almost any other platform, except for Binance. You can trade 56 currencies on their platform.
Kraken also offers top-notch customer support that’s available 24/7/365. This was an early feature for the exchange and one that helped them grow into one of the largest exchanges by volume globally. When Kraken first started operating in 2011, most people knew little about cryptocurrencies, so the company decided to offer support to help build consumer trust.
Kraken is also a safe place to trade coins. They keep 95% of users’ funds in cold storage, require two-factor authentication, and keep their servers in secure cages with constant surveillance and armed guards. They take the security of their users seriously and have yet to have a major security breach.
The fees you’ll pay on Kraken are both a benefit and a drawback. We say that they’re a drawback because compared to Bitcoin, they’re more complicated and you’ll pay more unless you’re a heavy volume user.
With that said, their fees are still cheaper than many other exchanges. Fees range from 0 to 0.26% depending on what type of service you use. Basic and spot trading fees fall into the previous range, while stablecoin trading fees range from 0 to 0.2%. Dark pool fees range from 0.2 to 0.36%.
If you’re looking for low fees and security in the UK, Kraken is the best option for you.
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Other Options for UK and EU Crypto Exchanges
Remember when we said that it was a close call when we named Kraken the best site for UK crypto traders? There were a few different options that we could have listed there, and in some ways you may find them to be better.
To give you more options so that you can find the best fit for you, here are some other exchanges that were in consideration.
Coinbase is one of the most recognized exchanges in the crypto world, and for the most part they have a good system. The primary reason that they didn’t make our list as the best exchange for the EU is that they have a similar fee schedule to Kraken. They charge larger fees than other exchanges, which can cut into your margins.
They also don’t have the same level of support as Kraken, which put them into second place for our choice of best UK exchanges. Coinbase markets itself as a great exchange for beginners, and because of its simplicity it is. The issue is that when you bill yourself as a great place for people new to trading, your support should be quick and easy.
If you have an issue, Coinbase isn’t as quick to respond as other exchanges, which is a problem if you’re trying to deposit or withdraw money. If you’re a long-term investor and aren’t worried about support or fees, Coinbase might work for you. If you’re looking for an advanced experience, though, Binance and Kraken is best for you.
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eToro is unique in several ways. The first thing to know is that it’s actually an online brokerage that’s used mostly for stocks. They offer 0% commission rates on stock trades and have an easy interface to use for most beginners.
They were also one of the first brokerages to embrace cryptos, and they do everything they can to make it easy for coin buyers.
One cool feature that they have is the ability to copy the investment profile of high performing traders. This allows new traders the opportunity to limit their risks while learning about the markets. These portfolios often include both stocks and crypto coins, so they’ll teach you how to diversify as well.
eToro also has several coins to choose from when investing and trading. All the most popular coins are there, along with many of the smaller coins as well.
The biggest problem with eToro is their fee structure. They charge larger fees than other exchanges. They also have fees that Binance doesn’t have. For example, if you hold funds in your account overnight, you get charged $0.24 for every $1,000 leveraged. There are no fees for non-leveraged money, but the fee doubles for holding these funds over the weekend.
There is also a fee for withdrawals, along with a charge for inactivity. You’ll also pay a spread fee for crypto transactions. These fees add up, and honestly, it’s a little annoying trying to figure out what you have to pay and when. Because of the fees, eToro didn’t rank higher on our list.
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Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment a Little
Remember that when you sign up for an exchange, you aren’t marrying yourself to it. You can always sign up, check out the interface, send a message to support to test their response time, and see if they are right for you.
The most important thing to remember, especially when dealing with a new exchange, is to never keep your coins with them for longer than needed. You should always transfer any coins you have back to your wallet. This helps you protect them from theft and allows you to try out different exchanges.
Personally, I recommend the Ledger Nano X. It’s the wallet I use daily and I’ve never had a problem with it. There are more expensive and “fancier” wallets out there, but none of them provide you with the same bang for your buck. If you’re looking for another option, I’ve got a detailed list of my personal favorite crypto wallets as well.
If you’re already holding coins, I suggest learning about BlockFi & Celsius to earn interest on your coins like me.
The key thing when picking up a wallet or finding a new crypto exchange in Europe is to find one that makes you comfortable. Do you have any other suggestions for us or other readers to check out? Let us know below!