What are the best cryptocurrency exchanges available in the UK?
In 2021, there are loads of cryptocurrency exchanges that UK residents can use – but they’re not all that great.
In this quick list, I’ll cover the best cryptocurrency exchanges where you can buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without getting ripped off.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the UK
Binance is one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges that’s available to UK residents in 2021.
Established in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, it quickly went from obscurity to the most popular and well-recommended cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
Binance recently reported that it had more than 15 million users around the world. According to CoinMarketCap and Messari, it is also the cryptocurrency exchange that has the largest trading volume. Nowhere else even comes close.
Unfortunately, you can’t currently deposit GBP into Binance with a UK bank transfer. You can still deposit GBP using a credit or debit card, but the fees it charges are higher (1.8%).
Although it’s less convenient, it’s likely going to work out cheaper to:
- Deposit GBP using a UK bank transfer on a cryptocurrency exchange that supports it.
- Buy a cryptocurrency – like Bitcoin (BTC) or Tether (USDT) – using that GBP.
- Transfer that cryptocurrency over to Binance.
- Buy the cryptocurrency you’re really after with that cryptocurrency.
Binance currently has 20 GBP trading pairs available to UK residents:
Although there aren’t many GBP trading pairs, you could exchange it for a cryptocurrency that has more trading pairs available – like Bitcoin (BTC) or Tether (USDT).
You’ll pay a maximum of 0.1% in fees when you buy or sell any cryptocurrency on Binance. You can get a 25% discount if you pay your fees using BNB (the exchange’s token). You can get further reductions if you’re a high-volume trader or hold BNB on Binance.
Since it was founded, Binance has continued to evolve alongside the crypto-space. It’s no longer just a cryptocurrency exchange.
Check out their website, or my review, to learn more.
2. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro is a great cryptocurrency exchange that’s available in the UK.
Coinbase is a US-based company that was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. In 2021, it remains one of the most well-known and popular places to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
- Has more than 68 million users.
- Available to residents in more than 100 countries.
- More than $462 billion in cryptocurrency trading volume in Q2 2021.
And in the first month of 2021 alone, the Coinbase mobile app has been downloaded about 1.3 million times!
However, Coinbase Pro does have a lower trading volume than Binance (about 5 times less according to Messari).
You’ve been able to deposit GBP into Coinbase Pro using a UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments) for years. The great thing is that it’s free and the money is credited to your Coinbase account just minutes after you’ve sent it. (However, your initial deposit will take longer to credit.)
If you’re a UK resident, you can trade more than 50 cryptocurrencies on Coinbase Pro. This includes many favourites – like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Chainlink (LINK). Compared to Binance, it also has about twice the number of GBP trading pairs.
Coinbase Pro currently has 43 GBP trading pairs available to UK residents:
When you trade on Coinbase Pro, you’ll pay fees of up to 0.5% (regardless of whether you’re a market maker or taker). If you trade more on Coinbase Pro, you will unlock lower fees than this.
You’ll have the option on a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase Pro to submit a market order. This trade is executed immediately and is NOT added to the order book. In this case, you’ll be a “market taker” because you’re buying or selling something at the best available price on the order book.
If you submit a limit order that goes into an exchange’s order book, then you’ll be categorised as a “market maker” because you’re adding liquidity (i.e., more money) to an exchange’s cryptocurrency markets.
On some exchanges, you’ll find that you’re offered lower fees (or none at all) if you’re a market maker.
Coinbase was listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange on the 14th April 2021. At the time of writing, it has a market capitalisation of about $48 billion.
Check out their website, or my review, to find out more.
Kraken is one of the longest-running and best cryptocurrency exchanges available in the UK.
They’ve also the first cryptocurrency exchange that has received a US banking license. This won’t immediately impact UK users, but it’ll be exciting to see where this leads in a year or so.
It has the 5th highest exchange trading volume in the world (according to Messari). It also consistently has some of the highest trading volume available on its EUR trading pairs.
Here’s one example I snapped on CoinMarketCap (click to expand it).
But what about GBP trading pairs?
You’re in luck! Kraken added support for 13 new GBP trading pairs on the 21st January 2021 – and keep adding more all the time.
Kraken currently has 38 GBP pairs available to UK residents:
In total, you can trade more than 50 cryptocurrencies on Kraken. While this isn’t as extensive as what’s available on Binance, it does include many of the largest and most popular cryptocurrencies around.
In 2021, you’re able to deposit GBP into Kraken with a UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments) for free, too.
The fees you’re charged on Kraken depend on whether you’re a market maker or taker. Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, you’ll get discounts if you trade higher volume with them.
But in short? You’ll not pay more than 0.26% in trading fees on Kraken. For more details, you can check out this page for Kraken’s full fee schedule.
Check out their website, or my review, to learn more.
4. Crypto.com Exchange
The Crypto.com Exchange is an up-and-coming cryptocurrency exchange, which is just one piece of the Crypto.com ecosystem that they’re building up.
Crypto.com was originally known as Monaco when it was founded in 2016, but it was rebranded to Crypto.com in 2018. They experienced insane growth in 2020, going from 1 million to over 5 million users in just 12 months. Just a few months later, they then reported that they’d doubled that to 10 million users! Oof!
You can’t deposit fiat currencies like GBP into the Crypto.com Exchange right now – it currently only supports crypto-to-crypto trading pairs (e.g., BTC/USDT). This means you’ll need to exchange your GBP for bitcoin (or another currency) elsewhere.
The Crypto.com Exchange currently supports more than 100 cryptocurrencies – with more being added all the time. The four markets available are: Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and Crypto.com Coin (CRO).
One downside is that the trading volume on the Crypto.com Exchange isn’t as high as elsewhere. At the time of writing, it’s about $3.4 billion (which is about 10% of Binance’s trading volume).
The maximum trading fees you’ll pay on the Crypto.com Exchange are 0.4%. Trading fees are volume-based, which means you’ll pay lower fees as you trade more.
Check out my review to learn more about Crypto.com, or head over to their site.
5. Gemini Exchange
Gemini is a well-established and reputable cryptocurrency exchange that’s now available to UK residents.
It was established in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (i.e., the Winklevoss twins). And although this US-based cryptocurrency exchange has been available for some time in the United States, it’s only been available to UK residents since September 2020.
They’ve recently won a few awards too.
However, the trading volume on Gemini is lower than alternatives like Coinbase Pro and Kraken (about 5-10 times less according to Messari). Given it’s been around nearly as long as both these places, I’m quite surprised by this.
You can deposit GBP into Gemini using a UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments) for free. Just like other cryptocurrency exchanges I’ve mentioned, deposits should be credited within a few hours – but the first one you make could take a little longer.
Unfortunately, UK residents can’t access all the cryptocurrencies available on Gemini ActiveTrader (its exchange interface) to those across the pond in the United States.
However, this does include some of the most popular choices – including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Chainlink (LINK).
As a UK resident, I’m currently only able to trade 8 cryptocurrencies on Gemini ActiveTrader:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Wrapped Filecoin (EFIL)
On a side note, it’s nice to see that you’re able to buy Zcash (ZEC) on Gemini ActiveTrader. That’s because privacy coins like this seem to be slowly becoming harder to buy and sell in the UK.
Gemini ActiveTrader currently has just 2 GBP trading pairs available to the UK residents:
When you trade on Gemini ActiveTrader, you’ll pay up to 0.25% as a market maker or 0.35% as a taker. Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, you’ll be charged lower fees as you trade more on it.
There’s one thing I love about Gemini that I need to mention, too.
Every month, you’ll be given 10 cryptocurrency withdrawal credits. These allow you to make up to 10 withdrawals of any cryptocurrency for absolutely NOTHING each month.
This is just one of the things I like about what Gemini is doing.
Check out their website, or my review, to learn more.
6. CoinJar Exchange
Founded in 2013, CoinJar now serves more than 400,000 users in the UK and Australia.
From 30th September 2021, CoinJar has also been registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a cryptoasset business. There are currently only a handful of other places that have sorted this out in the UK.
CoinJar Exchange provides a feature-rich trading interface (which can be messed around to get it looking just right for you). It also has time enforced order types (like ‘Good til Cancel’ and ‘Maker or Cancel’).
Unlike other places, taker fees across the board (regardless of trading volume) are 0%. You’ll only pay fees when you’re a market maker, but that’s only a maximum of 0.1% – with discounts as you use the exchange more. And if you trade on cryptocurrency or stablecoin markets (e.g., XRP/BTC or BTC/USDC), you’ll pay a maximum of 0.04% fees as a market maker.
CoinJar Exchange currently gives you access to 30 GBP pairs in the UK:
CoinJar provides a simple and quick way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies with GBP.
It currently supports two payment methods for UK residents:
- UK Bank Transfer (via Faster Payments): Send GBP over to CoinJar and it’ll usually be credited quickly. You’ll then be charged a fixed 1% fee to buy anything using the funds in your account.
- Credit & Debit Cards: Instantly buy whatever coin you’re after, but with a slightly higher fixed fee of 2%. Compared to many other places, this is still competitive.
On the other hand, CoinJar Exchange is aimed at crypto-enthusiasts, traders, and professionals. It provides access to more than 90 trading pairs, has advanced order types, and lower fees than CoinJar. This makes it ideal if you’re looking to execute more than a couple of trades every week.
CoinJar Exchange is connected directly with CoinJar behind the scenes, so you can move instantly move funds between them.
One drawback of CoinJar Exchange is that it lacks a staking program. However, it seems like it’s something they want to add within the next year.
Launched in 2011 by CEO and founder Nejc Kodric, Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most recognized exchanges in the industry.
Currently headquartered in Luxembourg, Bitstamp supports 39 cryptocurrencies, 109 markets and has an average daily spot volume of over $670,000,000 USD.
Some quick facts about Bitstamp:
- Supports 39 supported cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, and LINK.
- Has 38 GBP trading pairs.
- Trading fees start at 0.50% (for both makers and takers).
Since 2019, Bitstamp has accepted GBP deposits via UK bank transfers and by card payments. You can also deposit EUR using a SEPA bank transfer. All card deposits come with a 5% fee though (which is quite hefty), but it doesn’t cost anything to deposit GBP or EUR via bank transfers.
When it comes to buying and selling cryptocurrency, users have two options:
- An easy-to-use interface with one-click order execution
- A professional-grade cryptocurrency trading exchange.
Trading fees are a bit higher than some alternatives on this list. They start at 0.50% for both market makers and takers. But as with other places, you’ll get reduced fees when you have higher trading volume on Bitstamp.
Bitstamp currently has 38 GBP trading pairs available to UK residents:
One interesting feature available on Bitstamp is access to the Ripple IOU system (which is the mechanism by which the Ripple transfer system operates). To learn more about this service, visit here.
While CEX.io doesn’t have a huge amount of trading volume (ranked 50th by trading volume on CoinMarketCap), it makes up for that with convenient GBP deposit options and a highly-rated user experience (evidenced by their 4.7-star Trustpilot rating).
Here’s what services CEX.io currently offers:
- Instant Buy
- Spot Trading
- Cryptocurrency Staking
- Crypto Savings Accounts
- Crypto Loans
- CFD Trading
- Custody Services (not yet available)
Three main options are available for depositing GBP:
- UK Bank Transfers (via Faster Payments)
- Debit Cards
All card deposits made with a UK-issued card will be charged a fee of 1.49% (instead of the standard 2.99%).
On top of this, all deposits made with a UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments) are free, while Skrill payments come with a 3.99% commission for deposits.
Trading fees on CEX.io are also competitive – starting at 0.25% for takers and 0.16% for makers. Like elsewhere, discounts are available to those who trade over 5 BTC’s worth of volume in a 30-day period.
At the time of writing, CEX.io lists 94 cryptocurrencies, including many of the most popular large-cap coins/tokens like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), and Dogecoin (DOGE). Of these 94 cryptocurrencies, 17 have GBP pairs.
CEX.io currently has 17 GBP pairs available to UK residents:
You can also earn interest on some cryptocurrencies that you’re holding on CEX.io by staking them. Right now, CEX.io offers 9 staking options – all of which carry APRs ranging from 2.6% to over 15%. These rates are always changing, so be sure to check the CEX.io website for the latest figures.
There are currently 11 cryptocurrencies that can be staked on CEX.io:
- Zilliqa (ZIL)
- Free TON (TON)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- MetaHash (MHC)
- Tron (TRX)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Tezos (XTZ)
In conjunction with a staking program, CEX.io also offers a crypto-savings account, featuring both locked and flexible options. Currently, the savings account supports 11 cryptocurrencies.
Both options allow you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings, but here are the differences between them:
- When staking, each token has a minimum amount requirement. This isn’t the case for savings accounts.
- Staking programs payout monthly, whereas savings accounts dole out rewards daily.
- In most cases, coins pledged to a staking network can be unstaked at any time. In contrast, savings accounts come in two forms – locked and unlocked. Locked savings have minimum terms of 30, 60, and 90 days. You cannot access your funds until this term finishes.
To read more about the differences between the two, visit here.
Pitching itself as a cryptocurrency exchange that’s “built by traders, for traders”, FTX has gained considerable popularity since it was launched in 2018 by MIT graduate and Wall Street trader Sam Bankman-Fried.
While the website and its services are fully accessible to UK residents, FTX is incorporated in Antigua and Barbados (with its headquarters in The Bahamas). And it’s currently not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
FTX doesn’t currently support any GBP trading pairs.
However, UK residents can still deposit and withdraw GBP via wire transfer. Once this is received, it’ll be converted into a USD stablecoin on FTX.
The only way that you deposit GBP is via a wire transfer, which can take up to two business days to complete. FTX doesn’t charge any deposit fees, but your bank might charge you something to send a wire transfer.
FTX is also known for having some of the lowest trading fees around, which start at 0.02% for makers and 0.07% for takers. Like in other places, high-volume traders will pay reduced fees. You’ll also be able to get reduced trading fees if you hold the platform’s native token FTX).
You can also buy and sell over 100 tokenized stocks and ETFs. This includes Greyscale, AMC, Tesla, Amazon, and more.
Tokenized stocks are a type of digital asset that represent standard stocks on a 1-to-1 basis. For example, a tokenized version of AMC is backed by one AMC stock held by the token issuer.
These tokenized versions are bought and sold on any supporting platform. On top of this, you’re able to buy and sell fractions of a single share.
To learn more about tokenized stocks, visit here.
FTX is easily one of the most technically advanced crypto exchanges around. But it’s heavily geared towards active traders – especially those looking to access futures markets. Because of that, FTX might not be an ideal choice for beginners looking for simple ways to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Bittrex has one of the largest catalogues of listed cryptocurrencies around – with 372 supported cryptocurrencies and over 700 markets to choose from.
Unfortunately, there are no GBP trading pairs. UK residents can also only deposit money using a credit/debit card or ACH bank transfer.
Because of this, it might be more cost-effective to use a different cryptocurrency exchange to buy Bitcoin (BTC) or a stablecoin with GBP, and then transfer that over to Bittrex for trading.
At 0.75% for both makers and takers, Bittrex has noticeably higher trading fees compared to many of the other crypto exchanges on this list. Fees drop to 0.5% if you you trade more than $5,000 (equivalent in local currency) in a 30-day period, but that’s still not great.
One aspect that does stand out about Bittrex is its trading platform – a system they have developed in-house since 2018. Equipped with several advanced trading tools and indicators, the Bittrex trading station is powerful, well-reviewed, and matches up well to those provided in other places.
The bottom line?
Bittrex isn’t the easiest exchange to use for UK residents. Its poor funding options will no doubt turn many potential users away. Still, it’s hard to ignore the large number of cryptocurrencies that it gives you access to – which you might not otherwise be able to get your hands on.
The platform lists more than 200 cryptocurrencies and has an average daily spot volume of just over $100,000,000 USD. This places it comfortably within the top 20 exchanges globally.
There are no fiat trading pairs and you cannot deposit or store fiat currencies in your account.
Even though users can’t hold fiat currency in their account, Poloniex has partnered with a payment processor called Simplex, through which UK residents can buy 16 cryptocurrencies.
However, each card transaction comes with a flat charge of $10 plus a 3.5% transaction fee. This is a lot more expensive compared to alternatives like CoinJar.
Alternatively, you can fund your account by depositing cryptocurrencies into it that you’ve got your hands on elsewhere.
You can currently buy 16 cryptocurrencies through Simplex on Poloniex:
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Travala.com (AVA)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
- Dash (DASH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Paxos Standard (PAX)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Tron (TRX)
- Tether (USDT)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Ripple (XRP)
For spot trading, Poloniex offers a competitive fee structure, which starts at 0.1450% for makers and 0.1550% for takers. Interestingly, anyone that holds TRX in their spot account will receive slightly reduced trading fees.
What’s more, Poloniex operates a Tron-based decentralized exchange called Polonidex; a platform that features 0% trading fees and lists primarily mid to lower-cap alt-coins. To trade on the exchange, users must download TRONLINK and connect it to the Polonidex interface.
TRONLINK is a TRON (TRX) wallet that can be downloaded as an extension on Chrome-based web browsers. This allows you to hold any cryptocurrency built on the TRON ecosystem. In many ways, it functions similar to Metamask.
What Do You Think?
Thanks for checking out this list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK.
Have a question you want to ask? Or want to share your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments section below!