This Bitcoin and crypto exchange review isn’t going to be what you’re expecting.
We aren’t going to list some “average” sites then present to you a glowing, five-star endorsement at the bottom, like most sites do.
You would then be encouraged to follow an affiliate link, so the site could make some cash off of you.
We. Don’t. Do. That.
What you will find below are honest reviews of the troubled crypto broker and exchange market, where it is virtually impossible to find a safe, private exchange to do business with.
Below we list the worst to the best Bitcoin exchanges, in order, starting with the worst…
PRO & CON: Ability to purchase large amounts of Bitcoins with cash or credit, but with great risk.
While Coinbase is a popular USA site for buying Bitcoins, they have also been accused of stealing millions of dollars from their customers. You will find tens of thousands of negative reviews for them all over the internet, and you may lose all of your money if you use them as a service. They are known to steal Bitcoins and share personal info of their users with third-parties without your consent. They are considered one of the worst companies in the United States.
PRO & CON: Easy-to-use broker with many coins and fast withdrawals, but no ability to buy Bitcoins.
Binance is another popular exchange, but unlike Coinbase and others, you are not able to directly buy Bitcoins with cash, bank or credit card. The site is exclusively for trading only. We’ve included them on our list because they are so popular, and often confused with a site that offers Bitcoin purchases. They are also known to lock out their customers. Once you get locked out you will never get your money back. It is very difficult to work through their system to reset your password, username or phone. The exchange itself is fairly user-friendly and offers some nice perks, and many crypto coins to trade.
PRO & CON: Popular around the world, but low buy thresholds and high fees.
Coinmama is a decent site for buying small amounts of Bitcoins. You will find that using a credit card does not work often. Their limits are low and overall the experience is frustrating, but reasonably safe. Their fees are high and while their reviews are decent, there are some negative ones as well.
PRO & CON: It’s regulated, but too gimmicky for our tastes with little upside.
This “overrated” site has gained a lot of popularity recently, but it is nothing more than a glorified place to buy and sell coins. No real upside make this a low priority for our team to invest in. Furthermore, the site is not available in most of the world, or in many US states, and follows typical strict “KYC” or “know your customer” guidelines which require you to hand over almost all of your personal data the government. Signing up is slow and may take at least a week to get “approved” to use the site.
PRO & CON: Well-established and regulated exchange, but poor customer service with respect to re-setting your account.
Gemini is a regulated USA broker that is safe, with good customer service. You can also purchase a large of amount of Bitcoins through your bank and other methods. It has good reviews overall, but their two-factor authentication system is broken. If you use your phone or change your phone number, you will never be able to access your funds again. Like most USA-based exchanges, it requires you to hand over all of your personal data to the government.
As you can see, most Bitcoin brokers are nothing but trouble, risky, unsafe or or suffer from negative customer reviews.
Of course, there are other brokers, too, like BitStamp, Bitfinex (see why this huge exchange can’t be trusted), Kraken, Cryptopia, Hitbtc, KuCoin, and many others, but they all have been embroiled in scandals. We don’t recommend any of them.
In truth, using any of these brokers or exchanges above is not so much an issue if you already have Bitcoins; moving the coins in and out of these sites is not too big of a problem, as most of the sites issue deposits and withdrawals via cryptocurrency quite quickly and safely. The problem lies in purchasing new Bitcoins, this is where many people run into frustration.
For those who do not have Bitcoins already, they will face an uphill battle of slow deposit times, limited deposit options, limited deposit amounts initially, and giving up all of their personal data!
You may be wondering by now, “Well, what do you recommend?”
In truth, if we had no choice at all and we were buying a very small amount of crypto coins, we would probably resort to using Gemini if we were in the USA. Coinmama is also an option.
But for large and small purchases, using LocalBitcoins.com is probably your best option. This way you work directly with a seller, much like using Ebay or Craigslist, and you bypass the nosy exchanges, which often want all of your personal data (which they will then re-sell and share with the government without your permission).
Unfortunately, LocalBitcoins recently implemented a “KYC” policy requiring upload of your Driver’s License or Passport. For this reason, we have lowered their star rating from four to three.
If you search through LocalBitcoins.com long enough, you should be able to find a seller who suits your needs. Please note, however, that you must use your due diligence and be aware of scammers, as these customers have noted. ONLY work with trusted sellers who have a multitude of exceptional reviews! These same principles apply for Ebay and Craigslist.
You can also buy Bitcoins with cash, gift cards, gold, silver and many other mediums. You may end up paying high fees to work with a top-rated seller, but we believe this is an equitable trade-off to quickly receive your coins and avoid giving up all of your personal data. You can deposit coins you buy in a safe wallet like Electrum. Once your coins are in your Electrum wallet, you can spend them or keep them safe forever.
That’s why we are giving LocalBitcoins.com a three out of five star rating…
Here is a helpful video on how to use their website:
Was this the answer you were looking for?
We’re guessing it probably wasn’t.
The fact is, the crypto world is collapsing because of government regulation on one side of it violating our privacy, and corruption on the other side of it. There are very few good options for making money with cryptos, buying Bitcoins or trading cryptos. However, we do recommend finding a way to purchase and hold Bitcoins. This should be your priority — to buy, and hold, Bitcoins — much like you might buy and hold gold or silver.
It’s better to have Bitcoins than none at all, as the upside for potential price increases remains high. This is true, as well, for some of the top crypto coins (listed on our right sidebar). If you can add a few of them to your portfolio this is recommended, but this can also carry the risk of keeping those coins on an exchange. If you can use cold storage for coins other than Bitcoin, you should do so.
Here’s what you want to look for in an exchange or site for buying and selling:
- High integrity.
- Good reviews (use TrustPilot for consumer reviews from people just like you).
- Accepts many payment methods.
- Allows large bank transfers.
- If possible, does not require “KYC” documents / personal data.
That’s what we look for, and how we rate the sites above. Finding all of that in one exchange — or even some of it — is impossible at this point. We hope to report in the future with better news.
And, as always, we do not share any financial relationship with any of the sites mentioned above, we do not post ads or affiliate links. This is not true for most “review” sites.
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Thanks for reading!
Let’s Beat The System Together,