Nutty

Best crypto exchanges (UK)

All the best crypto exchanges – for beginners to experienced investors.

Best crypto exchanges UK

Best crypto exchanges

If you're new to crypto, here's the best crypto exchanges to get started:

Coinbase logo
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Easy to use

Coinbase is very well established, trustworthy and by far the most popular crypto exchange across the world.

Visit Coinbase¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

eToro logo
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Best overall

eToro is an awesome, easy to use trading platform with a great community, and pros to copy and learn from.

Visit eToro¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more.

Compare all crypto exchanges

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.

Best crypto exchanges (UK)

Best crypto exchanges for beginners

To help you decide, we’ve put together the average rating from Google, Apple, Trustpilot and Nuts About Money.

Coinjar logo
Avg. customer rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Easiest
Visit CoinJar¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

CoinJar

is ideal for beginners, it’s user-friendly, and has great customer support.
More info
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Pros

• User-friendly
• Well established UK company
• Add and withdraw Pounds (GBP) quicky
• Great mobile app
• Has an advanced exchange
• Good range of coins
• Pre-made crypto bundles (groups of coins)
• Business accounts
• Great customer support

Cons

• Limited range of coins (60)

• No crypto wallet (to store your own coins)

CoinJar is a great option to get started with crypto (and for those more advanced).

It’s very well established (since 2013), and has over 600,00 customers worldwide – and one of the best rated for customer support (Trustpilot).

It’s user-friendly, and the mobile app is great.

You can deposit and withdraw Pounds (GBP) quickly and seamlessly too – and buy and sell very quickly, either in a few taps, or set pending orders on their advanced exchange for regular trading (and low fees).

Note: customers in the UK are required (in accordance with local legislation) to complete an appropriateness assessment to show they understand the risks associated with what crypto/investment they are about to buy and enabling CoinJar to categorise them as an investor. New customers are also required under local regulations to wait 24-hours as a “cooling off” period (from account creation), before their account is active (i.e. to deposit, trade, withdraw etc.).

CoinJar is FCA registered, meaning it’s allowed to verify identities and provide crypto and local currency transactions.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £10

eToro logo
Avg. customer rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Best overall
Visit eToro¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

eToro

is easy to use and super popular. Great for beginners to advanced traders.
More info
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Pros

• Great for beginners and advanced investors

• Easy to use

• Great range of coins

• Great community of investors

• Social investing (copy trading)

• Offers a wallet to secure your crypto

• Great mobile app

• Great customer service

• Demo account

• Can also invest in stocks and shares

Cons

• Have to trade in Dollars (USD)

eToro is an awesome investment platform. It’s easy to use, low cost overall, and has a good range of crypto investment options (coins).

If you want to, there’s a great community of investors to get involved in, and talk about and share investments. You can even copy the pros!

There’s also a wallet to safely store your crypto (and send and receive coins outside of eToro).

Alongside crypto trading, eToro offers regular stock trading, and CFDs (Contract For Differences), where you can trade with leverage (borrowed money), and both price directions (so trade the price going down as well as up).

The mobile app is great too (as is the website version).

Highly recommended for beginners all the way to advanced traders.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: $100

eToro review
Uphold logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Easy to use
Visit Uphold¹

Capital at risk.

Uphold

is easy to use, with a great mobile app to manage your crypto.
More info
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Pros

• Super easy to use
• Great mobile app
• Safe and secure (and transparent)
• Good range of cryptoassets
• Stake your crypto
• Business account
• Buy and hold local currencies
• Low currency conversion fees
• Debit card (with 4% cashback)

Cons

• Crypto fees are on the higher side
• Not suited for frequent traders

Uphold is one the easiest crypto exchanges to use to buy and hold crypto – it’s perfect for beginners and those who aren’t frequent traders.

It’s super popular around the world and regarded as one of the safest out there, with full transparency over funds.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: medium - high

Minimum deposit: £1

Uphold review
Coinbase logo
Avg. customer rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
Easy to use
Visit Coinbase¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Coinbase

is well established, super popular and very easy to use.
More info
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Pros

• Super easy to use
• One of the best places to learn about crypto
• Great mobile app
• Advanced exchange with lower fees
• Most trustworthy crypto exchange
• Great customer support

Cons

• Fees are on the high side

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.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: medium - high

Minimum deposit: £1

Coinbase review
Kraken logo
Avg. customer rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
Low cost
Visit Kraken¹

Capital at risk.

Kraken

is well established and trustworthy, low cost and a huge range of coins available.
More info
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Pros

• Low cost
• Huge range of crypto to trade
• Well established, trustworthy and safe
• Great mobile app
• Advanced trading features
• Authorised by the FCA (UK)
• Excellent customer service

Cons

• No staking (earning interest on your crypto)
• Not much else!

Kraken is a well established crypto exchange, and one of the best out there. It’s safe to use, and authorised by the FCA in the UK.

It’s also one of the cheapest out there, it’s very low cost, and has a wide range of coins to trade (or simply buy and hold).

Perfect for beginners all the way to advanced traders, with an easy to use platform for those just getting started and an advanced platform for experienced investors, packed with great trading tools.

The customer service is excellent too.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Kraken review
Bitget logo
Avg. customer rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
Popular
Visit Bitget¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

Bitget

is a great platform for both beginners and those experienced, well established, and very low cost.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Very low cost

• Great for copy trading

• Fast and reliable

• Well established and secure

• Great range of coins

• Good mobile app

• Loads of advanced trading features

• Good place to learn

Cons

• Can be confusing initially for beginners

• Can be slow customer support responses

Bitget is a great crypto exchange, and super popular worldwide.

It offers the full works – from simple crypto purchases, all the way to advanced trading features (such as leverage trading), and is very low cost.

It’s also the largest crypto copy trading platform (where you can copy expert traders).

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Bitget review

Best crypto trading platforms (advanced exchanges)

Bitget logo
Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Popular
Visit Bitget¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

Bitget

is a great platform for both beginners and those experienced, well established, and very low cost.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Very low cost

• Great for copy trading

• Fast and reliable

• Well established and secure

• Great range of coins

• Good mobile app

• Loads of advanced trading features

• Good place to learn

Cons

• Can be confusing initially for beginners

• Can be slow customer support responses

Bitget is a great crypto exchange, and super popular worldwide.

It offers the full works – from simple crypto purchases, all the way to advanced trading features (such as leverage trading), and is very low cost.

It’s also the largest crypto copy trading platform (where you can copy expert traders).

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Bitget review
eToro logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Best overall
Visit eToro¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

eToro

is easy to use and super popular. Great for beginners to advanced traders.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Great for beginners and advanced investors

• Easy to use

• Great range of coins

• Great community of investors

• Social investing (copy trading)

• Offers a wallet to secure your crypto

• Great mobile app

• Great customer service

• Demo account

• Can also invest in stocks and shares

Cons

• Have to trade in Dollars (USD)

eToro is an awesome investment platform. It’s easy to use, low cost overall, and has a good range of crypto investment options (coins).

If you want to, there’s a great community of investors to get involved in, and talk about and share investments. You can even copy the pros!

There’s also a wallet to safely store your crypto (and send and receive coins outside of eToro).

Alongside crypto trading, eToro offers regular stock trading, and CFDs (Contract For Differences), where you can trade with leverage (borrowed money), and both price directions (so trade the price going down as well as up).

The mobile app is great too (as is the website version).

Highly recommended for beginners all the way to advanced traders.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: $100

eToro review
Kraken logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Low cost
Visit Kraken¹

Capital at risk.

Kraken

is well established and trustworthy, low cost and a huge range of coins available.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Low cost
• Huge range of crypto to trade
• Well established, trustworthy and safe
• Great mobile app
• Advanced trading features
• Authorised by the FCA (UK)
• Excellent customer service

Cons

• No staking (earning interest on your crypto)
• Not much else!

Kraken is a well established crypto exchange, and one of the best out there. It’s safe to use, and authorised by the FCA in the UK.

It’s also one of the cheapest out there, it’s very low cost, and has a wide range of coins to trade (or simply buy and hold).

Perfect for beginners all the way to advanced traders, with an easy to use platform for those just getting started and an advanced platform for experienced investors, packed with great trading tools.

The customer service is excellent too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Kraken review
OKX logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Low cost
Visit OKX¹

Capital at risk.

OKX

is one of the cheapest crypto exchanges out there. It’s fast and reliable too.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Low cost
• Huge range of coins
• Trustworthy
• Fast and reliable
• Trading tools for advanced traders
• NFT marketplace
• Wallet to store coins
• Good customer support

Cons

• Advanced platform can be complicated
• No staking (in the UK)

One of the cheapest crypto exchanges out there, great trading volume, and advanced trading features and tools. It’s fast and reliable too – key for advanced traders.

There’s a huge range of coins to trade too, and a wallet to store your crypto safely, and trade even more coins directly through your wallet.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

OKX review
Coinbase logo
Avg. customer rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
Easy to use
Visit Coinbase¹

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Coinbase

is well established, super popular and very easy to use.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Super easy to use
• One of the best places to learn about crypto
• Great mobile app
• Advanced exchange with lower fees
• Most trustworthy crypto exchange
• Great customer support

Cons

• Fees are on the high side

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.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: medium - high

Minimum deposit: £1

Coinbase review
Edward Savage
Personal Finance Editor
Updated
May 20, 2024

Our criteria for deciding the best crypto exchanges in the UK

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!

Note: we’re going to be using the terms cryptocurrency, crypto, coins, crypto assets , digital currencies and tokens – they all mean the same thing, which is the cryptocurrency itself, for instance a bitcoin. Crypto’s confusing isn’t it? A cryptocurrency exchange can also be called a crypto platform.

What’s the best cryptocurrency exchange for beginners?

Cryptocurrency is a big, complicated world – it’s attracted a lot of investors and traders who are experienced in investing and day trading, and as a result, lots of exchanges cater towards those advanced traders (we’ll cover those just below). It can get even more complicated with decentralised exchanges (exchanges on blockchain, covered below too).

That means, it’s pretty complicated for beginners! But don’t fear, there are some great exchanges suited for beginners, where you can simply buy and sell crypto easily and simply, without all the extra features for experienced traders.

Coinbase¹ is a great option for beginners – it’s the easiest place to buy and hold all the major cryptocurrencies (such as bitcoin and ethereum), and the phone app itself is great. Simply deposit funds and click buy crypto.

Overall, eToro¹ is the best option for beginners, it’s easy to use, there’s a good range of coins (crypto), and it provides a great introduction to trading crypto too – as the trading platform is the easiest out there (although you can just buy and hold). Plus, there’s advanced traders you can simply copy, and learn from too. And, the customer service is great.

You can also trade things other than crypto, such as stocks and shares. It’s one of our top investment platforms.

Which are the best cryptocurrency exchanges for advanced traders?

If you already know how to buy and sell crypto, you’re probably looking to make sure you’re using one of the best exchanges out there – with more features and trading options.

eToro¹ is a great option, it’s very easy to use, and a good range of coins. It’s a bit simpler than a lot of advanced crypto exchanges, which can be complicated and intimidating.

For active traders, other great options are Kraken¹ (very low trading fees) and OKX¹. They’ve both got a huge range of coins to trade, and advanced features for traders, such as stop-loss, limit orders, take-profit orders, orderbook data and much more (we’ll explain all these below).

They also allow trading crypto derivatives (things that represent the price of a coin, rather than the coin itself, which opens up a range of new trading strategies such as shorting (speculating the price will go down), and margin trading (trading with more money than you have). Not all crypto exchanges offer this to UK customers.

Coinbase¹ also has an advanced exchange, alongside its simplicity for beginners. The crypto exchange fees are a bit higher than the others, but it’s super trustworthy and one of the longest running exchanges out there.

Coinbase is typically regarded as the safest crypto exchange, but these days, they’re all very safe to use, and have their own safeguarding procedures in place to ensure customer’s money is safe and secure (as long as you use one of our recommendations).

What’s a centralised exchange?

A centralised exchange is a crypto exchange that’s owned and operated by a company, so it’s just like any other company in the world.

For instance in the UK, we have the London Stock Exchange (LSE), to trade stocks, shares and other investments, which is owned and operated by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) – and they control and make decisions, plus receive all the profit the exchange makes.

All of the major crypto exchanges, such as Coinbase¹, are centralised exchanges.

It means your money and crypto needs to be held on the exchange itself, and looked after by the company, rather than in your own crypto wallet (something to hold crypto on a blockchain, giving you full control of your own crypto assets).

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, exchanges are typically safe and secure, but some advanced traders typically don’t trust holding a lot of their money only on an exchange, just in case something happens, such as the company going out of business.

What’s a decentralised exchange?

A decentralised exchange is unique to crypto, and it’s an exchange that is built and runs on top of a blockchain (the technology that crypto is built on, such as the Ethereum blockchain). That means that it runs independently of any company, and not typically owned by a company either.

This might get a bit complicated, so bear with us if you’re new to crypto...

There’s no restrictions on who can use a decentralised exchange, you simply connect with your crypto wallet and ‘swap’ coins for one another, e.g. swapping USDT (a stablecoin of USD, so USD on the blockchain) for BTC (bitcoin), and that’s it, the new coin will appear in your wallet.

Note: swapping USDT for BTC, is called a trading pair, and is often represented as BTC/USDT.

You’ll also typically need to pay a transaction fee (called a gas fee) to make the transaction, which is a fee to make transactions on a blockchain.

You also don't typically need to verify your identity in order to use a decentralised exchange (you typically will with centralised exchanges).

These exchanges aren’t as advanced as centralised exchanges (yet). Most traders will use centralised exchanges for almost all of their crypto trading, and there’s not many features apart from simply swapping tokens. An example of a decentralised exchange is Uniswap.

What’s spot trading and futures trading?

Although it sounds pretty complicated, spot trading is actually simply buying the cryptocurrency directly, and owning it. So, if you bought some bitcoin, held it in your account, and then sold it again later, that’s spot trading.

Futures trading is where it gets a bit more complicated. Instead of buying the crypto asset directly, like spot trading, you instead buy a contract on the crypto exchange, which gives you the option to buy (or sell) at a set price in the future.

With futures, you typically have to buy the asset (crypto) when the contract expires, whereas with options trading, you simply have the option to buy or sell. The contract itself has a value which changes over time depending on the price of the cryptocurrency it’s based on.

In crypto, there’s also something called perpetual contracts, or perpetual futures (perps), and a very popular option to trade crypto. It’s where there isn’t any expiry date – it’s effectively the same as when you buy crypto directly, as the price should follow the ‘spot’ price.

The benefit is, you can trade with margin (borrowed money), also called leverage, so trade more than you actually have in your account. And, you can trade both price directions, so you could trade the price falling instead of rising (called going short, rather than long). They also typically have low fees.

They’re only for experienced traders, and technically called derivatives (of cryptocurrencies), and are banned in the UK for inexperienced traders.

Crypto futures, such as perpetual contracts, are typically only with dedicated crypto exchanges, such as eToro¹.

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, oh, and here's how to buy bitcoin in the UK).

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.

What do you pay Capital Gains Tax on?

The good news is there is an annual allowance of £3,000 before you have to pay this tax (meaning you don’t have to pay any tax on the first £3,000 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 in the UK, 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).

This also means your money is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), where you could be compensated by up to £85,000 should the company go out of business. However, crypto exchanges typically have their own safeguards in place to return money to customers should they go out of business.

What are the trading fees in crypto?

With cryptocurrency trading, well, with most crypto trading platforms that are catered to advanced crypto traders (offering futures), you’ll typically 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!

Note: these are charged when you are both buying and selling crypto.

What is a spread (and spread fee)?

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. Although if they’re using maker/taker fees, then they don’t typically charge a spread on the same crypto asset.

This is not exclusive to crypto. All exchanges tend to have a spread, for instance foreign currency exchanges (forex). And it can be different for different trading pairs (normally smaller for trading pairs with high trading volumes, such as bitcoin).

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 cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Other fees

With many crypto exchanges, you’ll also have high deposit fees if you make debit card purchases – it’s often better to do a bank transfer (wire transfer), which can be instant, and use Open Banking (where it’s all handled for you by simply linking your bank account for a few moments).

There are various other payment methods, and you can even send crypto directly to an exchange for free (normally) if you have some. E.g. sending crypto from one exchange to another, or from your crypto wallets.

There will also be withdrawal fees, from the exchange itself, although not typically very much, and if you withdraw crypto to your crypto wallet, you’ll often also have to pay gas fees (transaction fees), although this can be included in the exchange withdrawal fee itself.

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.

Let's recap the best cryptocurrency exchanges

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

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.

Using 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, and a much wider range of coins!

As a recap, the best crypto exchange for beginners is eToro¹ – it’s easy to use, with a good range of coins – it’s a great introduction to crypto trading. There’s also a wallet to store your crypto holdings yourself (if you want to).

We also recommend eToro for advanced traders in the UK too – but for more advanced features and options (such as margin and futures trading), check out Kraken¹, it’s very low cost too.

Crypto 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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