One question we often get asked in our role as advisory and agency to some of the leading cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, traders, investors and organisations, is: which are the best sites to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
These fiat “on and off ramps” as they are sometimes known are numerous and highly competitive, with the landscape being cluttered and confusing to many. The key success factors are complex and include UX, security/trust, fees, currencies accepted, countries covered and transfer methods available.
It can be difficult to know where are the good sites that you can trust, given how many there are out there, so here are our top ten list for May 2019 of the very best fiat on- and off- ramps for anyone in crypto:
- Binance Jersey. The world’s top volume exchange by real trading volume according to a recent report, Binance have been the big success story of the crypto bear market. They get our number 1 spot because of their brilliant fees, great customer service and strong reputation. Until recently Binance didn’t handle any fiat transfers but all that changed with the launch of fiat-accepting spin-off Binance Jersey. This covers the deposit and withdrawal of EUR and GBP so is particularly attractive for those based in UK and Europe (US and Chinese citizens are not permitted). Currently only BTC and ETH are supported, but deposit fees are currently 0%, and withdrawal fees just 0.15% (from a minimum 3 EUR or GBP). Trading fees are currently 50% off at 0.05%. Wire transfers and SEPA transfers are available, and the exchange supports 58 countries around the world. https://www.binance.je
- Changelly. Changelly gets our number 2 spot for a number of reasons. It’s very different to a normal exchange as it is a non-custodial exchange, which means it securely links to lots of other exchanges to secure the best rates. You can purchase BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH and XRP via Visa or Mastercard, then convert into any of 140 different currencies. Fees are capped at 0.5% and you will always have access to the best rates. In addition, the UX is great, there is a Android App and you can also link to your Trezor or Ledger. A worthy number 2, check it out here: https://changelly.com
- Coinbase. In Bronze position in our Top 10 are Coinbase, a top 5 exchange by real trading volume, and one of the giants of the industry, with 20 million customers in 33 countries around the world. Based in the US, when you buy with Coinbase you know you can trust the exchange and the process will be slick, even if the fees are not the lowest. You can buy crypto via Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer and SEPA. If you use our link, you will receive a $10 credit. https://www.coinbase.com
- CEX.io. In the fourth position in our top 10 is Cex.io. We like this exchange as it’s well estabished, being set up in London back in 2013, and now based in Canary Wharf and boasting 700,000 users. You can now buy BTC via Visa or Mastercard in USD, EUR, GBP and RUB. In addition, you can purchase ETH, BCH, BCG, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM and ZEC using USD or EUR. You can also use a SEPA or Bank Transfer to minimise fees. https://cex.io/buysell
- Local Bitcoin. Local Bitcoin is a P2P exchange so is a super private way of purchasing Bitcoins. Founded in Finland in 2012, it now operates in 248 countries. Essentially each trade is done directly with the private seller, either via bank transfer but also cash in person locally. There are many payment methods including credit card, online wallets, gift card codes and Western Union etc. While the rate you get won’t always be the best in market, the fees will be low and you can get Bitcoin very fast. https://localbitcoins.com/
- LakeBTC. This exchange is based in Shanghai and is very popular with the Asian audience. It is one of the four exchanges used to compile CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. What’s great is the wide range of currencies available to purchase including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP, BAC, USD, SEK, EUR, HKD, JPY, GBP, AUD, CAD, SGD, KRW,CHF, ZAR, ARS, BRL,MXN, INR, NZD,IDR, THB, MYR, TRY, PLN, NOK, DKK, CZK, RON, HUF, BGN, HRK, BAM, VEF, ISK, NGN, GHS, KES, XAF, XOF. You can also deposit via a range of different methods including: Bank Wire, Western Union, MoneyGram, Cash,OKPAY,Perfect Money, PayPal, Payza, Skrill, Neteller, Leupay and CHATS. https://www.lakebtc.com/
- Exmo. A smaller but well-established UK exchange, Exmo claims around 1.6m customers. What we were impressed with was the large variety of withdrawal and deposit methods across a range of 8 fiat currencies including USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, TRY, UAH including Visa, Mastercard, SEPA, Wire Transfer, Advcash and Perfect Money. In terms of coins and tokens supported, 87 trading pairs are covered including some quite obscure ones with a 0.2% trading fee. Exmo claim monthly trading volume of 1.5 bn USD. https://exmo.com
- CoinMama. CoinMama have been around since 2013 and what’s great about them is their promise to make buying crypto as fast and easy as possible. So this means you can buy BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, ADA, QTUM and ETC from USD or EUR with any Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card, they aim to verify your identity documents within the hour, and you get instant delivery of a range of different coin to your own wallet. SEPA bank transfer is also supported and the overall UX of the site is great. https://www.coinmama.com/
- Paybis. What we like about Paybis is it’s fantastic trustpilot rating — 9.2 out of 10 from almost 4,000 reviews. This is due to their live 24/7 support. In addition, you can purchase amounts of up to $20,000 per transaction or $50,000 per month. They accept payment from almost EVERY country in the world, including USA, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Currencies included are BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, XRP and NEO and you can buy via credit card or bank transfer. https://paybis.com/
- BitBay. A Polish exchange setup in 2014, BitBay accepts fiat in the form of EUR, USD, GBP and PLN bank transfer. Interestingly it accepts PLN withdrawal from ATM via SMS. The exchange claims to have 800,000 users and 200 employees. They trade in 35 currencies. https://bitbay.net
Hopefully, having read our top 10, you’ll now have a good idea of where to go to change your fiat into crypto, no matter how or where you want to do it.
Remember, in crypto it’s best to never to keep all your eggs in one basket. Keep your crypto somewhere where you control the private keys (ie not on exchanges) and we recommend in the same way you experiment with 2–3 of the above exchanges to make sure you find the right one for your specific needs.
Feedback is a gift, and if we’ve missed out a great exchange, or our write up doesn’t chime with your experience please get in touch and let us know at email@example.com. We’ll be regularly updating this top 10, so do get in touch with your exchange picks.
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NB. While this is a strictly editorial piece, and we have chosen the top 10 links based on our experience, some of the above may contain affiliate links. These links are included as they enable us to continue to plan, research, write and publish this detailed content to our followers and network for free.