The Best Crypto Exchanges
in the UK 2021
Making Crypto Simple
The UK has seen an explosion of interest over recent years which is why there are a number of new crypto exchanges popping up. Which means there are lots of cryptocurrency exchanges to choose from.
Over the years we’ve reviewed 100’s of different exchanges all over the world. Below is our summary of findings and our top 10 list for people in the UK.
|Exchange Website||Rating||Currencies||Available Cryptocurrencies||Fees||Our Review||Visit Site|
|5/5||GBP||13+ Cryptocurrencies||0.25%||Coinjar Review||Visit Site|
|4/5||GBP||70+ Cryptocurrencies||3.5%||CEX Review||Visit Site|
|3.5/5||GBP||5 Cryptocurrencies||Varies||Coinburp Review||Visit Site|
|3/5||GBP||2 Cryptocurrencies||Varies||Coinfloor Review||Visit Site|
|3/5||USD||30+ Cryptocurrencies||Varies||Coinbase Review||Visit Site|
|3/5||USD, GBP & EUR||50+ Cryptocurrencies||0.26%||Kraken Review||Visit Site|
|3/5||USD & EUR||7 Cryptocurrencies||6%||Visit Site|
|3/5||USD & EUR||6+ Cryptocurrencies||0.5%||Visit Site|
|2.5/5||USD & Others||190+ Cryptocurrencies||0.5%||Visit Site|
|2.5/5||USD||5+ Cryptocurrencies||1%||Visit Site|
The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the United Kingdom – Reviews 2021
1. CoinJar Exchange
CoinJar was launched in 2013 and registered as a UK limited company the following year. It’s co-founded by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhou and headquartered in London (with offices in Australia too). Our team unanimously agrees that CoinJar is the best exchange for both new and experienced crypto enthusiasts in the UK.
First of all, it’s always better to use a local platform rather than an international one. This way, you’ll be able to avoid conversion fees on your fiat deposits and enjoy customer support in your native language. Similarly, if you’re a beginner, you won’t struggle to find your way around a foreign language interface.
The only reason why some UK traders might opt for a global exchange is CoinJar’s lack of altcoin support. The platform currently supports only the following digital currencies: BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, and XLM. However, DeFi traders will love CoinJar as they can trade ERC-20 tokens such as COMP, LINK, DAI, OMG, USDC, BAT, ZRX, MKR, UNI, and YFI.
Compared to other UK platforms whose fees differ based on the payment method, CoinJar offers a flat fee of 1% on buy and sell orders. You can buy crypto with debit/credit card, cash, bank transfer, or trade crypto against crypto. As far as trading fees go, CoinJar charges 0.15% for makers and 0.2% for takers.
2. CEX Exchange
CEX.io is definitely the best cryptocurrency exchange in the UK! It was founded in 2013 in London, as the first cloud mining provider and owner of GHash.io, a large Bitcoin mining pool. Two years later, the company turned into a crypto exchange.
CEX.io supports over ten different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, Stellar, Tron, BitTorrent, MetaHash, and ZCash. As a fiat to crypto exchange, it allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies by depositing GBP. For advanced traders, the platform offers options for cross-platform and 10x margin trading.
CEX.io values security above all and complies with AML/KYC policies as part of the UK’s regulatory framework. This authorizes the exchange to monitor user transactions and report any suspicious or illegal activity. In such cases, the user is requested to provide additional information to prove the authenticity of his/her transactions, or otherwise, his/her account will be suspended or terminated.
The only problem with CEX.io is that its fees are quite misleading. The platform uses current market fees for makers and takers but adds a 7% service fee to the coin market price that’s not mentioned but only calculated at the end.
3. Coinburp Exchange
Launched quite recently, in 2019, CoinBurp is a London-based crypto exchange that has caught the UK (and soon the world!) by storm. Peter Wood and Bipin Bhanderi are the brains behind the platform, crypto experts who have both worked on another crypto project, BitBroker, prior to CoinBurp.
Their main incentive to create their own exchange was to challenge the belief that crypto trading is for technophiles only. They decided they were going to design a user-friendly and clutter-free platform that would appeal to both novices and experts.
At the moment, the platform is still in the process of adding new cryptocurrencies to its list, so for now, you can choose one of the following: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and EOS. The great thing about CoinBurp is that it charges zero commission on crypto deposits and has some very competitive trading fees.
Moreover, to show how much the platform cares about users’ security and fund protection, Coniburp is providing secure banking with Faster Payments Service (FPS). This allows you to link your bank account with your Coniburp account to make direct deposits in GBP, and verify your account in less than 15 minutes.
4. Coinfloor Exchange
Moving on to Coinfloor, the UK’s crypto exchange veteran with a spotless reputation. The exchange was founded back in 2012 when it was much harder to purchase cryptocurrencies in the UK and has helped popularize the use of Bitcoin.
The team of experts is spearheaded by Coinfloor’s CEO, Obi Nwosu, who has a rich background in crypto projects and digital marketplaces, and Teggy Altankhuyag, Co-Director and Head of Finance and Operations.
This is a platform for traders who’re interested in buying or selling Bitcoin. Coinfloor is a fiat to crypto exchange only, so users can purchase BTC using either GBP or EUR.
But why should you choose Coinfloor instead of any other exchange that supports Bitcoin plus many other cryptos? Bitcoin’s volatility seriously affects traders, so with Coinfloor, they can activate the Auto Buy function for automated small BTC purchases, instead of constantly checking the coin’s highs and lows.
Coinfloor’s 1,000 GBP minimum deposit makes this platform slightly more suitable for experts and large businesses. Not every single retail trader is ready to invest so much money at once.
However, if the only reason you’re hesitating is the fear of leaving the money online, be assured that Coinfloor uses top-notch security measures such as Multi-Signature Cold Storage custodian service and secure vaults for customer funds.
5. Coinbase Exchange
Crypto exchanges based in the UK have the advantage of being closer to their UK users and respond to their queries more promptly. However, we decided to include two international exchanges that offer great trading options for UK residents too.
The first such reliable platform is Coinbase, founded in 2012 by two software engineers, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, in San Francisco, California. Coinbase functions as a brokerage where traders can simply buy or sell the cryptos to the platform. The prices are determined based on the current market value.
The exchange supports only those cryptocurrencies that remain in high demand, i.e. Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. Payment options include bank transfers, credit and debit cards, and PayPal. The fees vary depending on the payment method: 1.49% for bank purchases and 3.99% when using credit or debit cards.
The UK customers will be delighted to hear that since October 2019, Coinbase has brought back the option for making bank deposits and withdrawals for UK residents. The reason why they were put on hold is that Coinbase cut its ties with Barclays but partnered with another UK bank, ClearBank, soon after.
6. Kraken Exchange
The last exchange on our list of top five crypto exchanges in the UK is Kraken. The platform was created by Jesse Powell back in 2011 and headquartered in San Francisco.
The platform quickly gathered steam because of Powell’s reputation as a cybersecurity expert and a crypto industry connoisseur. Thanks to his prior experience working on different crypto projects, Powell created a fully-fledged platform, praised for its state-of-the-art security methods.
Users can benefit from features like the two-factor authentication, the Kraken “Master” Key that gives them access to otherwise restricted account options, and the Global Settings Lock that prevents unknown IP addresses from logging into their account.
Kraken supports over 30 cryptocurrencies and allows you to pay for them using the following fiat currencies: GBP, USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, and CHF. If you want to use GBP, the available currencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Tether.
As far as trading fees are concerned, Kraken uses a maker and taker fee schedule that takes into account the size of your trading volume in the last 30 days. For makers, the fees start at 0.16% but can go as low as 0%, whereas takers pay from 0.26% to 0.10%. If you want to try something new, Kraken offers 5x margin trading, conditional closes, and automated trading.
7. Coinmama Exchange
Coinmama is a popular Israeli-based cryptocurrency exchange that caters to the needs of its international clientele, including the UK. It’s currently registered in Slovakia.
The platform offers brokerage services which means that you buy cryptocurrencies directly from Coinmama instead of using the exchange as an intermediary to link you to a seller. On the one hand, this means there will always be enough liquidity to complete your order but on the other, brokerages tend to be more expensive than regular crypto exchanges.
Coinmama supports the following tokens: BTC, ETH, ETC, BCH, XRP, LTC, EOS, ADA, XTZ, and QTUM. They accept GBP deposits and allow UK traders to purchase crypto via bank transfer, credit/debit card (as long as it’s a Visa or Mastercard), or using Faster Payments. The advantage of Faster Payments is that there are no payment processing fees. This means that if you pay with your card via FP, you’ll avoid the 5% processing fee on top of the regular 5% service fee for card purchases.
The daily purchasing limit is $5,000 unless you complete a higher identity verification level. Finally, when using Coinmama, users should find a cryptocurrency wallet in advance because this is a non-custodial exchange.
8. Bitstamp Exchange
Bitstamp is one of the oldest European cryptocurrency exchanges. It was co-founded by Nejc Kodrich and Damian Merlak as early as 2011 and located in Slovenia. In 2012, they founded the London-based arm Bitstamp Limited, responsible for their European accounts.
In the wake of Brexit, the platform is moving European (and UK-based) accounts and operations under the wing of Bitstamp Europe SA, a company entity founded in 2016 in Luxembourg. Bitstamp claims that user accounts won’t be affected by the change.
Compared to some other platforms on our list, Bitstamp doesn’t support a whole range of cryptocurrencies. In order to protect itself from unreliable low-cap tokens (and potential scam coins), the exchange offers only Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. Unfortunately, users can’t deposit GBP, only USD or EUR. Available payment methods include bank transfers, credit, and debit cards.
On the other hand, Bitstamp charges relatively low trading fees based on your trading volume (the highest one being 0.50%). On top of that, the platform uses state-of-the-art security measures such as hot and cold wallets, 2FA, withdrawal address whitelist, and Ledger Vault technology as another layer of protection when storing users’ funds.
9. Bittrex Exchange
Another global exchange, this time from the United States, Bittrex has been around offering its services to crypto investors since 2013. The team behind the platform has an impressive background in cybersecurity, working for renowned companies like Blackberry, Amazon, and Microsoft in the past. This experience has come in handy when launching their own platform.
Bittrex offers over 200 cryptocurrencies to its international clientele making sure everyone can buy, sell, or trade his/her target token for the best price possible. Bittrex accepts fiat deposits in GBPS, USD, EUR, and JPY. This is great news for UK customers as they can use their local currency. The trading fees are very reasonable, the highest being 0.2% per trade.
Another reason why we’ve included Bittrex on our list is that the exchange takes great care to keep user funds safely stored and protected. The majority of those funds are stored offline, in cold storage, preventing hackers from accessing these vaults. To top it off, Bittrex has implemented the Know Your Transaction (KYT) feature that’s able to detect suspicious trading behavior and sanction the trader in advance.
10. Gemini Exchange
The last cryptocurrency platform on our list is Gemini, one of the rare crypto exchanges based in New York City. NYC is notorious for its strict regulatory frameworks when it comes to offering cryptocurrency services but the Gemini team has taken it on itself to make its platform comply with NYDFS policies.
Moreover, Gemini has passed the internationally recognized SOC 1 Type 1 and Type 2 security compliance examinations with flying colors.
Apart from being a first-class exchange, you might have heard about Gemini thanks to its founders, the brothers Cameron and Tyler, known as the Winklevoss twins. Their presence in the media in the last couple of years owes much to them having won a lawsuit against Zuckerberg on the premises of him stealing their idea for a social network when creating Facebook. The twins invested the money from the lawsuit into Bitcoin and later on launched their own exchange.
The only drawback if you decide to use Gemini is the lack of altcoin support and the lack of options for card purchases. The only way you can purchase crypto with fiat is via bank or wire transfers.
Learn More About Crypto Exchanges
To be good at crypto trading, you need to be ready to do some serious research and digest a whole lot of information. For traders, especially those new to the market, having so many options seems intimidating. Others are put off by the idiosyncratic terminology.
Our team is here to reassure you that there’s nothing to be apprehensive about. We’re also here to tell you where to start trading.
The best places to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies are, of course, the crypto exchanges. In this guide, we’ll discuss the top five crypto exchanges in the UK, their features, advantages, and disadvantages.
We’ll also talk about the different types of digital coins and the most important things to look for in a platform. Let’s get started!
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that can be used to purchase goods and services. The difference is that they’re intangible and based on cryptography. The underlying technology behind these cryptocurrencies is called blockchain technology and basically refers to the digital ledger where cryptocurrency transactions are stored in chains of data blocks.
Blockchains are peer-to-peer networks that are free from any central authority. As a result, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, pseudonymous, protected, fast, and cheap. They are displayed online on the public blockchain, but only disclose the sender and receiver’s encrypted addresses.
Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency, launched in 2009. Apart from online transactions, these assets are seen as potential stores of value for trading, which is why a lot of traders invest in them to make a profit. (see our guide on how to buy bitcoin in the UK for more information)
Another breakthrough happened in 2011, with the launch of another cryptocurrency called Ethereum. It was shown that blockchain technology can be used for more than just electronic payments. Ethereum, for example, is used as a utility token for building blockchain-based applications like smart contracts and dApps.
This increased the interest in cryptocurrencies even more and brought about an avalanche of new coins and blockchain projects in the last couple of years.
What Are Crypto Exchanges?
Crypto exchanges are online marketplaces where traders register for an account to start buying, selling, or trading cryptocurrencies in the UK.
Beginners are always advised to start trading on fiat to crypto exchanges because these are the platforms that would allow them to buy cryptos using fiat currencies like GBP. Traders who already own digital coins can choose crypto to crypto exchange that typically has more coin options on offer.
Otherwise, the primary distinction is between a centralized (traditional) exchange and a decentralized (peer to peer) crypto exchange.
Centralized exchanges are not that different from traditional financial institutions like banks, because they’re authorized to oversee customers’ transactions, help them make the right deal, and offer escrow services.
Traders who are preoccupied with the security of their funds usually choose centralized exchanges because they go the extra mile to add sophisticated security measures and KYC checks to verify user identity. This, in turn, helps them obtain licenses from financial regulators.
Decentralized exchanges have no central authority in charge of conducting transactions. They’re just digital marketplaces where buyers find sellers and vice versa. You don’t need to provide an ID unless your trading partner asks you to.
The servers of decentralized exchanges are spread on different locations which makes it harder for someone to attack all servers at once and cause any significant damage.
The Final Checklist
All five of the crypto exchanges we listed above are great options for US traders. That’s why we won’t be surprised if you get stuck trying to choose between two or three of them. We hope that our final checklist will put your doubts into perspective:
- When did you start trading? Are you new in the game, or have you been doing this for a while now? The reason why we’re asking you this is that as a beginner, you’ll need an easily-navigable platform with a clutter-free basic design.
- Do you have cryptocurrencies in your possession? If you do, perfect! You can freely choose between a fiat or crypto exchange. If you don’t, we advise you to join a fiat one and purchase your first coins with GBP.
- Do you know which cryptocurrency you’re going to buy and does the exchange support it?
- Are you using an online wallet? If you aren’t, Coinbase, for example, offers one for free to its users.
- Does the exchange incur high trading fees?
- Is your preferred payment method available?
- Do you have to provide an ID and complete a KYC check as part of the registration process? Are you okay with that? If you’re not, join a decentralized exchange.
- Are the security measures satisfactory?
- Are users satisfied with the exchange’s customer support?
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s sum up the qualities of a solid crypto exchange: a decent choice of cryptocurrencies and trading options, a variety of payment methods including credit and debit cards, affordable fees, strong security measures, and a responsive customer support team.
Judging by the average liquidity, trading volume, web traffic, and the number of markets, Coinbase is the biggest crypto exchange out of our top five.
Not surprisingly, the founder of Bitcoin holds the largest number of bitcoins. It has been estimated that Satoshi Nakamoto owns around 1.1 million BTC.
As the number of Bitcoin transactions goes up, the mining difficulty increases even more. Miners need some kind of incentive to continue doing their job which is why they prioritize those transactions that pay higher fees to be processed.
For someone to mine bitcoins, they need to spend a lot of money on computational power. On top of that, Bitcoin is mined with very expensive ASIC miners that not everyone can afford. This is why miners earn a mining reward, i.e. a small number of BTC and Bitcoin transaction fees.
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- ‘9 Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin & Crypto in UK’, Buy Bitcoin Worldwide
- ‘The Best UK Crypto & Bitcoin Exchanges’, BestBitcoinExchange
- ’26 Best places to buy Bitcoin in the UK’, Cryptoradar
- ‘Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform in UK’, FxExplained