Best crypto exchanges UK

Is the future round the corner? We think so. Here’s how to get started in crypto with the best exchanges, apps and platforms.

Best crypto exchanges UK

Best crypto platforms

We've done the hard work for you. Here’s where to start:

Coinbase logo
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Easy to buy

Coinbase is hugely popular, it’s where almost everyone starts! It’s not the cheapest, but the ease makes up for it.

Visit Coinbase¹

eToro logo
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Easy to trade

An awesome platform that makes it easy to trade (buy and sell) crypto. There's a huge community which makes it social and fun, and even copy their trades! Note: 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

Visit eToro¹

Compare all crypto platforms

Your cryptocurrency platform options

Buy crypto

Buy crypto

Dipping your toes in the water? Buy crypto from an exchange. It’s quick & easy.

Trade crypto

Trade crypto

Want to try your luck trading? It’s becoming hugely popular. It’s hard, but possible to make it big.

Save crypto

Save crypto

In it for the long term? Earn interest on your crypto savings too. It’s a win-win.

Types of crypto exchanges

Crypto managed by experts

Beginner-friendly exchange

These exchanges are a great place to start – they’re super user friendly and help you learn the basics.

Crypto managed by you

Advanced crypto exchange

These exchanges have lots of features designed for regular trading, along with cheaper fees.

Compare crypto exchanges UK

Compare beginner-friendly cryptocurrency exchanges

To help you decide, we’ve put together the average rating from Google, Apple, Trustpilot and ourselves. Our own rating is based on our own research and experience.

Avg. customer rating
4.8 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Best overall
Visit OKX¹
More info
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One of the cheapest crypto exchanges out there, great trading volume, and advanced trading features and tools. It's super popular across the world. Plus, a great NFT marketplace and wallet! What more could you want?! It’s an awesome exchange. 5 stars from us. Here's our OKX review.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Great place to start
Visit eToro¹
More info
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eToro is an awesome trading platform that's super easy to use. Ideal to buy your first crypto – you don't have to be a trader, plus it's commission free. You can also learn more about crypto from their community! Here's our eToro review UK. Note: 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Best overall
Visit Kraken
More info
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Kraken is an established crypto exchange, is really safe, has a wide range of coins and the customer service is excellent. Plus it’s one of the cheapest exchanges around and has advanced trading features for the pros. We love it and highly recommend it. Here's our Kraken review.

Avg. customer rating
3.7 out of 5 stars
Our rating
4 out of 5 stars
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Cheap
Visit FTX¹
More info
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FTX is a great app where you can buy crypto and also earn as much as 8% per year on it too. It's a relatively new app and exchange, but a massive company and trustworthy. There's no fees and easy to use.

Avg. customer rating
3.6 out of 5 stars
Our rating
4 out of 5 stars
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Focus on security
Visit Gemini¹
More info
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Probably the safest place to buy and store your crypto. It’s an established exchange (buy and sell crypto) that focuses on looking after your crypto safely. It’s super easy to use, and great for both beginners and advanced traders. A solid 4 stars from us. Here's our Gemini review.

Avg. customer rating
3.6 out of 5 stars
Our rating
4 out of 5 stars
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Easy to use
Visit Coinbase¹
More info
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Coinbase is the most popular crypto exchange worldwide. It’s the ‘go-to’ place for beginners because it’s super easy to buy and safely store crypto. The advanced platform makes it pretty good for the experienced traders too. The only downside is it’s on the expensive side. Here's our Coinbase review.

Compare advanced cryptocurrency trading platforms

Avg. customer rating
4.8 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Best overall
Visit OKX¹
More info
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One of the cheapest crypto exchanges out there, great trading volume, and advanced trading features and tools. It's super popular across the world. Plus, a great NFT marketplace and wallet! What more could you want?! It’s an awesome exchange. 5 stars from us. Here's our OKX review.

Avg. customer rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Copy the pros
Visit eToro¹
More info
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eToro is an awesome trading platform with great social trading features that makes trading fun. There’s a huge community you can get involved in, learn from and copy their trades! It's commission free too. Perfect for beginners all the way to experienced professionals. Here's our eToro review. Here's our eToro review. Note: 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Popular & low fees
Visit Binance¹
More info
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Binance is a super popular crypto exchange. They have one of the biggest range of coins to trade out there. The fees are good, and it's easy to use.

Avg. customer rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Best overall
Visit Kraken Pro
More info
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Kraken is an established crypto exchange, is really safe, has a wide range of coins and the customer service is excellent. Plus it’s one of the cheapest exchanges around and has advanced trading features for the pros. We love it and highly recommend it. Here's our Kraken review.

Avg. customer rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
Our rating
4 out of 5 stars
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Popular
Visit Coinbase Pro¹
More info
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Coinbase is the most popular crypto exchange worldwide. It’s the ‘go-to’ place for beginners because it’s super easy to buy and safely store crypto. The advanced platform makes it pretty good for the experienced traders too. The only downside is it’s on the expensive side. Here's our Coinbase review.

Avg. customer rating
3.2 out of 5 stars
Our rating
4 out of 5 stars
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Cheap
Visit FTX Pro¹
More info
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FTX Pro is fast becoming the biggest exchange out there. It's very popular thanks to it's low fees and ease of use. One of the best.

Compare crypto saving platforms

Avg. customer rating
4.4 out of 5 stars
Our rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Best overall
Visit Nexo¹
More info
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Earn money on your crypto with a great interest rate. You can buy and sell crypto too. It’s an awesome platform overall, trustworthy and great customer service. Here's our Nexo review.

Avg. customer rating
3.7 out of 5 stars
Our rating
4 out of 5 stars
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Easy to use
Visit FTX¹
More info
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FTX is a great app where you can buy crypto and also earn as much as 8% per year on it too. It's a relatively new app and exchange, but a massive company and trustworthy. There's no fees and easy to use.

Best UK crypto exchanges

Ready to invest in crypto? Or perhaps you’ve been through the good times and the bad times already, staying strong and looking for a better exchange. Well, we’ve got everyone covered with the best exchanges whatever your experience might be.

We’ve split crypto exchanges into 2 categories, ‘basic’ exchanges and ‘advanced’ exchanges…

Basic exchanges in the UK, quite simply, let you buy and sell the most popular coins (such as bitcoin and ethereum). All super simple and easy to do, perfect for beginners.

Advanced exchanges can have a huge range of trading options and features, such as stop-loss, limit orders, take-profit orders, order book data and much more, plus lots of coins to trade!

Our criteria for deciding the best UK crypto exchanges

To determine the best crypto exchanges in the UK for beginners and advanced traders, we’ve focused on 7 areas:

  • The crypto exchange experience
  • Trading fees
  • Ease of depositing and withdrawing money
  • Range of cryptocurrencies (coins)
  • The crypto exchange reputation
  • Trading features (such as stop-loss and limit orders)
  • Trading liquidity

There’s lots of crypto exchanges out there, but we only want to recommend the very best crypto exchanges – ones that we share with our friends and family. So whichever one you choose from our recommendations, you can be confident you’ll be using the very best.

There’s also no limit to the number of exchanges you can use, but if you’re a beginner, start slowly!

What are cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin?

It all started with Bitcoin, an ingenious creation from an anonymous developer(s) using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (i.e. not their real name).

The creation, on the surface, was a new currency (money) that you can send and receive over the internet, seems straightforward right?

However, there’s much more to it. It’s a currency that doesn’t require any 3rd party to store money and process transactions, like a bank or credit card/payment processor, such as Visa or Mastercard, which have high fees.

Pay by credit card

You can hold onto your money yourself, without the need for a bank, stored in something called a ‘wallet’, and send it directly to your friends and family, or pay for things directly by using bitcoin. All with effectively zero costs. A simple, yet world-changing invention.

Pay by Bitcoin

Bitcoin is protected from hackers by being decentralised (not in one place - spread across the globe), with thousands of computers working together to determine and confirm if a transaction is legitimate (which makes it super safe). Once the transaction has been approved it’s stored on something called the ‘blockchain’, which is a record (called a ledger), of all the transactions that have ever happened on the network.

Bitcoin compared to traditional banking

This whole process is called ‘mining’. We won’t get too technical, but this process uses a system called ‘proof of work’, and uses cryptography, hence the name cryptocurrency!

And from Bitcoin came more leaps in technology – using the same or similar infrastructure as Bitcoin, but for different purposes. For instance Ethereum, which is a decentralised computer, a ‘world computer’, where computer programs can be stored and run without the need for 3rd parties (banks etc) to make transactions, and will never go offline or be taken down. (by the way, here's how to buy ethereum).

And it’s these programs, called decentralised apps (Dapps), and the companies behind them that launch tokens, or coins, on blockchains like Ethereum, that you can trade (buy and sell) on crypto exchanges, and ultimately speculate (bet) on the future of the project or company. Similar to buying stocks and shares on a stock exchange.

In effect, a whole new financial system is being created, one that gives power and control of your money back to you – by keeping your money, yours. Rather than being in the hands of banks and governments…

What’s an altcoin?

Bitcoin is king, they say. But there are many thousands of other coins, each representing a different project, and these are classed as altcoins. They are an ‘alternative coin’ to bitcoin.

What's an altcoin?

The potential of altcoins is huge compared to bitcoin, as their market cap (the value of all the tokens) is far less, and therefore has lots of room to grow in future as the project grows. Bitcoin can be seen as much more established.

And so, often crypto traders will opt for altcoins rather than bitcoin, particularly if they aren’t investing too much money.

A 10 fold return (meaning an increase by 10 times), or higher, on your initial investment is not uncommon. But that doesn’t mean every altcoin will grow in value, most will fail. It’s very much high risk, high reward, so be careful!

Nuts About Money tip: if you are trading, don’t forget to sell and realise some profit along the way!

What’s digital asset or digital currency?

The crypto exchange industry uses a lot of words that all basically mean the same thing! Digital assets or digital currencies, or crypto assets, just means a cryptocurrency or coin, or token. You’ll pick up all the lingo as you begin your trading career, or just spend more time in the crypto world – but basically there’s only cryptocurrencies that exist, not different types of different things that you need to learn about.

What’s fiat currency?

Fiat currencies are local currencies that exist now, so the money you have in your back pocket and bank account! US Dollars (USD) and British Pounds (GBP) are types of fiat currencies.

They’re often called ‘real’ currencies as they’re not digital currencies, and they are paper-based (i.e. bank notes). 

However, you can get a digital token on the blockchain (and so on a crypto exchange too), which represents those currencies (i.e. GBP), so you can effectively hold fiat on the blockchain and trade with it too. These are called stablecoins (more info below).

In future, Governments may issue a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to officially represent their currency on the blockchain,  for their citizens to make payments and benefit from the benefits of crypto technology.

What’s a stablecoin?

A stablecoin is a coin on the blockchain (and UK crypto exchanges), that tracks the value of a local currency (fiat currency), and so never fluctuates in price at all – it is pegged to the value of the real currency.

A popular stablecoin is USDT which is the USD on the blockchain, created by a company called Tether – and simply represents 1 US Dollar.

Stablecoins are often used in crypto trading and on crypto trading platforms to act as a base currency for crypto coins to be measured against. For instance, the trading pair USDT/BTC is hugely popular, which is effectively trading US Dollars and Bitcoin.

What’s a crypto exchange?

A crypto exchange is a place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies – and they’re becoming super popular. Let’s imagine stocks and shares for a minute, which are tiny fractions of ownership of a company, you can’t simply go and buy them from anywhere, you’d need to use a stock broker to buy and sell (trade) on your behalf.

In the olden days (before the internet!), they’d buy and sell stocks face-to-face in places such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and you’d speak to your broker over phone to tell them what to buy, but nowadays stock brokers look like investment platforms, such as a website or an app – you’re probably familiar, and they connect to the stock exchanges to make trades for you.

Well in crypto trading, it’s just the same, you need a place to buy and sell tokens – however, you don’t need a licensed broker to do it for you, result! And, there’s no central exchange, like the London Stock Exchange.

So, companies in the crypto trading space have built their own crypto exchanges where users can trade coins with each other, without the need for a broker. Crypto is breaking ground in more than one way!

It also means a crypto exchange is a lot cheaper in terms of trading fees and account fees vs investment platforms.

So, that’s all they are, they’re a place to buy and sell crypto with other users on the same exchange. And because there’s no central exchange yet (like there is with stocks), it makes a difference which exchange you use – the trading fees are different, and the range of coins and the trading volume (liquidity). 

So, make sure you use one of our best crypto exchanges – we’ve done the hard work for you!

What’s a crypto app?

A crypto app is the same as a crypto exchange – a place to buy and sell cryptocurrency. However, it can also sometimes mean an app on a blockchain (like Ethereum), but normally these are called Dapps, which stands for decentralized app, and they can be anything such as real software products, like games, using the blockchain to power them.

What’s a crypto trading platform?

A crypto platform is exactly the same as a crypto exchange. Although sometimes it means more advanced exchanges that are more suited to traders who want advanced trading tools and features to make them even more cash!

What’s a crypto wallet?

A crypto wallet is a place to store your crypto purchases and digital assets (your crypto holdings) – it’s effectively your account on the blockchain. You can store coins, NFTs and anything else on the blockchain in your wallet. It’s different from your crypto exchange account.

You can also use a crypto wallet to trade digital currencies too. You can interact with decentralised apps (Dapps) that are crypto exchanges themselves (decentralised crypto exchanges) – so there’s no actual exchange to register with and store money with. You interact with other users on the blockchain to trade tokens (such as buy and sell ethereum).

What’s web3?

Web3 is intended to mean the next generation of the World Wide Web, which is basically everything that runs on the internet. Web3 is using blockchain technology and decentralisation to create new businesses and technologies.

For instance, a current software company might be running their own servers (in the cloud), which they own completely (current companies are often called web2). Whereas in web3 everything would run on a blockchain, with no need for private servers.

In web3 there’s also a focus on the community (of users), often with companies having a token they can share that the community can own themselves and share in the value of the business (token going up in value and tradeable), rather than shareholders getting all the cash (which happens in web2).

It’s still very early, and we’re excited to see where it goes!

By the way, a crypto exchange is not necessarily web3, it's a web2 company offering crypto services.

Do you pay tax on cryptocurrency?

Unfortunately so. Currently there’s no option to hold cryptocurrencies directly within a Stocks & Shares ISA, which is an investing account where you don’t pay any tax at all.

So, you’ll be liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT), which is a tax on any money that your existing money makes (a capital gain) – or simply a tax on your profits.

The good news is there is an annual allowance of £12,300 before you have to pay this tax (meaning you don’t have to pay any tax on the first £12,300 you make in profit each year). And the tax rate is 20% on anything after this amount.

However, it’s not exclusive to crypto, so your Capital Gains Tax allowance is shared across any investments you have which increase in value, and that you ‘realise’ the increase of by selling. For instance any stocks and shares you might have, that are outside of your Stocks & Shares ISA.

Tax on cryptocurrencies

If you want more information, the Government has a great guide on tax on cryptoassets.

How do you keep your crypto safe?

Exchanges in the UK are a great way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and do have lots of protection in place to look after your money and crypto assets.

For instance, you’ll often be required to use 2 factor authentication (2FA), to login and manage your account. This is where you’ll need to use a separate device, such as your phone, to prove it’s really you.

You’ll often need to use an authenticator app (like Google Authenticator) that generates a random number which only your device knows in order to login. And then you’ll also normally be asked for a verification code from both your email and via SMS (text message) to withdraw money. So it’s very secure.

However, your money or crypto is still somewhere you don’t have full control over. It is not the same as a bank account. Therefore the best place to keep your money is within your own ‘wallet’.

With a wallet, only you have access. It is impossible for someone else to access your wallet without knowing your seed phrase (also known as secret recovery phrase or private key(s)). Which you’ll get when you set up the wallet (so keep it in a safe place, have a backup, and not anywhere online).

This is where the phrase ‘not your keys, not your coins’ comes from – and it’s a good one to remember. If you don’t have control over the private keys of your wallet, you don’t truly own the wallet and therefore the coins.

You can then transfer funds from an exchange to your wallet, and back again, as much as you like, knowing your money is secure. You just use the exchange to make trades.

Now if you’re trading regularly, you might want to keep some money on the exchange, and that’s fine. It’s totally up to you.

If you’re a beginner and just dipping your toes into crypto with a small amount of money, you could keep it all on the exchange too. A wallet might feel a bit complicated, so don’t let it put you off. Just in time, as you get more confident with crypto technology, remember that it’s a good idea to create your own wallet to store your crypto safely.

Is it safe to invest in cryptocurrencies?

It’s completely legal to invest in cryptocurrencies and use exchanges in the UK, don’t worry about that.

However, that doesn’t mean your money is safe in crypto. Prices fluctuate wildly (crypto is volatile), and you may find yourself making a lot of money in a short space of time, or losing a lot of money in a short space of time.

If you can’t handle big swings in price, it might not be for you just yet.

There’s also a lot of scams and projects that fail, meaning you will lose your whole investment. So, you need to be careful what you invest in.

Crypto is a great industry with incredible technology and world-changing companies emerging, but that means a high likelihood of failure too. Bitcoin and Ethereum are very well established, but everything else is not.

You must do your own research on coins and projects, do not buy a coin because someone told you to. And only invest what you can afford to lose – that way if the worst does happen, you can treat it as a learning experience and move onto the next investment.

There’s huge opportunity and potential. It all comes down to research and learning experiences.

Are cryptocurrency exchanges regulated in the UK?

No. cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto platforms, crypto apps or any crypto company is not currently regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), who is the organisation responsible for regulating financial services in the UK.

Some companies are registered with the FCA to process money transfers and payments, but not specifically for anything crypto related.

Regulation means they monitor and approve the firm and individuals working there to make sure they are operating to strict standards and processes when it comes to customers' money.

However, this is more of a reflection on the FCA not keeping up with technology, and moving slowly, rather than crypto firms themselves.

The best crypto exchanges we have listed here aim to operate at the same high standards, and protect their customers. They’ll verify users' identities (called KYC or Know Your Customer) and often have insurance in place should anything happen to the platform and customers' money.

However, to be clear, there is no formal protection in place when you use a crypto exchange (even the best crypto exchanges in the UK).

What are the trading fees in crypto?

With more advanced crypto exchanges, such as FTX and Binance, you’ll be charged trading fees when you make a trade, and the trading fee will depend on if you are providing liquidity (maker orders), or taking away liquidity (taker orders). And these fees fall into 2 categories:

Maker fees (maker orders): these are fees when you set a bid for a trade and it is not immediately matched, so you are providing liquidity to the exchange – which means you are letting your order sit on the exchange.

Maker fee

These are often cheaper than taker fees and can be anywhere from 0% to 2% depending on the exchange.

Taker fees (taker orders): these are fees when you make a trade that’s already on the exchange order book (another traders maker order), so it will execute immediately. You are ‘market buying’ and taking liquidity away from the exchange.

Taker fee

On each crypto exchange, these are typically slightly higher than maker fees, and again, anywhere from 0% to 2% depending on the exchange.

Both of these fees vary significantly across exchanges, so do check before you trade, however, we used it as a factor as part of our criteria as it’s super important for regular traders, it can eat into your profits quite a bit!

What is a spread?

A spread on an exchange is the difference between the ‘sell’ price and the ‘buy’ price of a coin. It is a common way for exchanges to make money and acts as a somewhat hidden fee, effectively they are pocketing the difference. This is not exclusive to crypto. All exchanges tend to have a spread, for instance foreign currency exchanges.

So for instance, say the buy price to buy Ethereum is £100.50 per coin, and the sell price is £99.50, the spread is £1 (£100.50 - £99.50 = £1). Effectively you are charged 1% when you make the trade – because if you immediately sold your coin you would have to sell it for £99.50, not £100.50.

Crypto spread fee

The spread varies across crypto exchanges, and FTX Pro¹ typically has the lowest spread.

Advanced trading tools & features

  • Limit order: this is simply a request to buy a coin at a certain price you determine. And the order won’t get triggered (actioned), unless the coin meets that price and there are enough people selling at that price to fulfil your order.
  • Market order: this is where you’d buy the coin at the current price listed on the exchange (called the market), and so your order will execute immediately.
  • Entry price: this is simply the price you paid initially to buy your coins and therefore when you entered your trade.
  • Stop-loss: this is to protect your money if a trade doesn’t work out as expected – it’s an order to sell your coins at a certain price below your entry price, to avoid losing more money than you’d like. You normally set this at a risk level you’re willing to take (so you don’t lose too much money on a trade).
  • Take-profit order: this is where you set an order to sell your coins when the price reaches a certain amount – so you can automatically exit the trade. Meaning you can set and forget your trade.
  • Order book data: this is all the data of everyone on the exchange’s orders to buy and sell coins and their prices, plus the historical trades. When you view a coin on an advanced exchange, you’ll see this data. It’s the volume of orders and their prices.

The best crypto platforms and apps in the UK

Trading cryptocurrencies could change your life, and it has done for many people. But there’s no guarantees!

The more you learn, the better your chances, and the more luck you’ll have. You’ll be able to avoid the bad projects and invest in the good ones. Just remember there’s no get rich quick scheme – even if you do use the best crypto exchange.

Using one of the best crypto exchanges makes it much easier for beginners to get involved in crypto in general and find and invest in good projects.

And the best advanced crypto exchanges help their customers make more profit with awesome trading features and experience, low trading fees, and a much wider range of coins!

Crypto trading is a wild ride, it’s a brand new industry with incredible technology, and opportunities everywhere. Good luck, we’re rooting for you!

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