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10 Best UK Crypto Exchanges for 2024 – Tried & Tested

Are you searching for the best UK crypto exchanges to use for trading in 2024? Whether you’re just dipping your toes into digital assets or a seasoned trader, finding the right platform to suit your needs is paramount. With many options available, it can take time to discern which one aligns with your requirements. 

I have been trading crypto for the last 5 years, have personally used each of these exchanges, and have given my honest opinion on what I like about them and what I don’t.

This guide transcends the usual data compilations, amalgamating my hands-on industry know-how, use experiences, and thorough investigative efforts. I have undertaken the detailed groundwork so that you can confidently navigate the cryptocurrency exchange landscape. 

Selection Criteria

The United Kingdom plays a central part in the growth of cryptocurrency markets. Here are factors I considered when selecting the top crypto exchanges in the UK.

Assessing Cryptocurrency Diversity

The range of cryptocurrencies offered plays a vital role. With user preferences varying widely, premier exchanges accommodate a spectrum of interests. Many assets allow traders to discover new investment opportunities and expand their investments. Listing top-tier cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), was a primary requirement.

Reviewing Regulatory Adherence

The exchanges had to comply with the UK’s financial regulations, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies. Such regulations protect user funds while ensuring exchange integrity; the exact specifics of the rules vary across countries. Compliance fosters trust with users and provides enhanced protection. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the platforms in the UK.

Evaluating Fee Transparency

I cannot overstate the impact of fees on trading profitability, particularly for active traders. My examination of the exchanges’ fee structures was thorough, covering trading, withdrawal, and deposit fees. Some platforms also impose minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts. It was imperative to find exchanges that offer straightforward and detailed fee information, eliminating surprise costs.

Ensuring Robust Security Measures

Security stands as the paramount concern. Exchanges have served as hotspots for bad actors allured by the vast amounts of money that move across the exchanges. A loophole in the system is a big payday for criminals. Due to the concern, the exchanges had to provide extra layers of security such as multi-layer authentication, cold storage, and data encryption techniques. My analysis focused on each platform’s dedication to protecting its users’ financial assets and personal data.

Analyzing User Interface Design

A smooth trading experience depends on an exchange’s interface design. My evaluation considered the interface’s simplicity, ease of navigation, and the availability of customization. The goal was to ensure that novices and seasoned traders found the interface conducive to their trading activities.

Checking for Mobile Application Availability

The necessity for dedicated mobile applications in today’s mobile-centric world was also a key consideration. My assessment looked into the availability of apps for both iOS and Android platforms, recognizing that mobile applications offer traders the flexibility to manage their investments on the go.

Factors to Consider While Choosing the Best UK Crypto Exchanges

  1. Security: Security is non-negotiable. The exchange should have a track record of ensuring security and quick resolution of any security bugs. Bug bounties are also essential to help seal any loopholes that could otherwise affect the exchange significantly.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Exchanges without operating licenses approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) cannot operate in the country. Engaging with such platforms puts funds at risk. The exchanges also risk putting themselves in regulatory problems.
  3. Transaction fees: Exchanges charge multiple types of fees. These include withdrawal fees, trading, and deposit fees/ commissions. A good exchange should have a transparent fee schedule with lower fees to minimize the impact on your net return.
  4. Ease of Use:  A user-friendly interface is essential for efficient trading, especially for beginners. Check if the platform is accessible via different devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  5. Available cryptocurrencies: Millions are in the blockchain space today. The exchange should have listed high market cap cryptocurrencies, or else they should have credibility.
  6. Liquidity: Low liquidity means you cannot make large-volume trades due to slippage. A low volume of trades on an exchange often indicates little liquidity.
  7. Customer Support: 24/7 customer support should be available owing to the always active crypto economy. Customer service should be savvy and capable of resolving disputes quickly.
  8. Payment Methods: Choose an exchange that supports modes of payment available to you. Popular methods include bank transfers, e-wallets, and credit/ debit cards. Also, check on the deposit and withdrawal limits.
  9. Educational Resources: A  good exchange with educational resources and trading guides should be beginner-friendly. The user interface should also be intuitive and easy to navigate.
  10. Reputation and Reviews: Check online reviews, forums, and other traders’ feedback. Feedback sentiment helps you gauge the exchange’s reputation among its users.

Comparison of UK Crypto Exchanges

There is a thriving crypto market in the UK with a selection of top-notch crypto exchange options, though some big exchanges do not operate in the UK (Such as ByBit and Gate.io). 

Here is a snapshot of the best UK crypto exchanges that UK residents can use:

Trading FeesDeposit MethodAvailable CryptocurrenciesMobile App
BitstampTiered on 30-day trading volume. From 0% to 0.40%Apple Pay, Google Pay, SEPA, ACH, Faster Payments, Instant payments, international wire, cryptocurrency.90+ cryptocurrenciesiOS and Android
Uphold0.25% fee for stablecoins, 1.4 – 1.6% for BTC and ETH, and 1.9% – 2.5% for Altcoins.Bank transfer (FPS, SEPA), credit/debit card, Apple Pay, and various payment methods depending on your location260+ cryptocurrencies iOS and Android
Revolut0.12% monthly custody fee. Plans: Standard- free, Plus 3.99 euro, Premium- 9.99 euro, Metal – 15.99 euro, Ultra- 45 euro per month.Bank transfer, credit/debit card, and other local payment options130+ cryptocurrencies, iOS and Android
CoinJarTiered fee structure based on 30-day, with fees ranging from 0.02% to 0.10% trading volume.Bank transfer, Google, Apple Pay, SEPA, PayID, or Osko.50+ cryptocurrenciesiOS and Android, 
CoinbaseTiered based on 30-day trading volume. From 0.0% to 0.6%. ACH, wire transfer, SEPA, SWIFT, cryptocurrency.150+ listed cryptocurrenciesiOS and Android
Crypto.comFees are tiered based on 30-day trending volume: from 0.05% to 0.075%Crypto.com wallet, external wallets250+ cryptocurrencies.iOS and Android
GeminiFrom £0.75 to £2.25, 1.49% for amounts above £150.ACH, wire transfer, Paypal70+ cryptocurrenciesiOS and Android
PaybisA flat fee – a $2 minimum service fee.Bank transfer, credit/debit card, Skrill, Giropay, and ACH Transfer150+ crypto and fiat currenciesiOS and Android
eToro1% fee for buying and selling crypto. 2% deposit fee.  PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, online banking, Visa, Mastercard, eToro money.80+ Cryptocurrencies listediOS and Android
MEXC0% spot fees, 0% futures maker fee, and 0.01% futures taker fee.Credit/ debit card, P2P trading, global bank transfer, Simplex, Banxa, Mercuryo.2,000+ cryptocurrencies listed.Windows, Android, and iOS.

These trading platforms provide a variety of choices, such as bank transfers and margin trading, to cater to the diverse needs and levels of expertise among traders.

Notable mentions also include:

  • CoinCorner: a user-friendly platform that makes Bitcoin purchasing straightforward for crypto beginners
  • Kraken Pro is a robust and feature-rich platform offering competitive fees and extensive educational resources for advanced traders.

These platforms showcase the extensive variety found in the UK’s crypto market, serving as a platform for various trading techniques and levels of experience among crypto traders.

Top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK

1. Coinbase

Great for: Beginners and Easy On-Ramp

Coinbase trading interface

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies150+ listed cryptocurrencies
Trading FeesTiered based on 30-day trading volume. From 0.0% to 0.6%. 
Deposit MethodsACH, wire transfer, SEPA, SWIFT, cryptocurrency
Withdrawal MethodsACH, wire transfer, SEPA, SWIFT, cryptocurrency
Security FeaturesEncryption, annual audits, 2FA, multi-approval withdrawals,
User InterfaceIntuitive and a user-friendly interface suitable for both beginners and experienced users
Mobile AppiOS and Android

Pros:

  • Simple account setup
  • Easy to use
  • Buy and sell with fiat currency
  • No monthly fees
  • Staking rewards

Cons:

  • High fees for low-volume traders
  • Desn’t have a large selection of coins
  • Limited selection of cryptocurrencies
  • No crypto-crypto trading pairs

Features:

  • Staking
  • Debit and Credit Card payments
  • NFT platform

Here is my take, if it’s your first time buying and selling crypto, Coinbase is user-friendly and makes your first purchase easy. Like most other exchanges, you can buy crypto using a credit or debit card without depositing funds onto the exchange account first. You can also use PayPal as a payment method. 

The verification step does not require downloading their app; you can complete the process on your browser. 

Coinbase Pro (Coinbase advanced trading platform) is free, has lower fees, and more trading options. If you are switching exchanges, Coinbase has a debit card that lets you spend crypto where Visa is accepted.

Coinbase raised a fuss on the internet when they implemented the quiz requirement as directed by the FCA. Many traders cited difficult questions and long waiting periods to retake the test.

Kraken’s version of the quiz was much simpler, and I was able to figure out the answers. I, therefore approached Coinbase with confidence. But no! I’ve failed it twice so far! I think I’ll have to enlist the help of ChatGPT… Coinbase have potentially shot themselves in the foot by using such complicated language. Or do they have a reason to bamboozle most of their customers?? – Michael Wimpy on an online forum.

Another thing I really like about Coinbase is how easy it is when it comes to calculating your capital gains tax, you can download full transaction reports, and there are some great educational resources to help you.

The only slight drawback with Coinbase is they don’t have a huge selection of coins and many of the newer cryptocurrencies cannot be purchased.

I would say for beginners and first time buyers of crypto this is the best UK crypto exchange to get started with.

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5 

Coinbase Review

2. eToro

Great for: Also Trading Stocks

Best UK crypto exchanges : eToro

Placing a $93.44 BTC market order on eToro

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies80+ Cryptocurrencies listed
Trading Fees1% fee for buying and selling crypto. 2% deposit fee.  
Deposit MethodsPayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Online banking, Visa, Mastercard, eToro money.
Withdrawal MethodsPayPal, Neteller, Skrill, iDEAL, Visa, Mastercard, eToro money.
Security FeaturesAll Funds covered, two factor authentication (2FA), SSL encryption, regular security audits
User InterfaceOptimized for CFD trading, intuitive smart copy trading interface
Mobile AppiOS and Android

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive
  • Funds covered
  • 5000+ trading instruments
  • Demo account

Cons:

  • High trading fee, i.e., for small traders
  • $5 withdrawal fee
  • No crypto-to-crypto trading pairs
  • Limited crypto research materials

Features:

  • Copy trading
  • Savings product
  • Multi-asset platform

I’ve thoroughly tested eToro services, and it’s one of the best trading platforms out there. MEXC follows the conventional KYC sign-up process with a mandatory residence proof requirement. The platform is primarily a contract of difference (CFD) broker. Like the other platforms, it is FCA-regulated, with UK investors entitled to investor protection of up to £85,000 per person. All profits from CFD trading are subject to taxation.

What I liked about the platform is its social trading approach to trading. The platform has a powerful and intuitive copy trading functionality, allowing you to copy a profitable trader based on your risk appetite.

Rating:

  • Trading Tools: 5/5
  • Security: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

3. MEXC

Great for: Lowest trading fees in the market

Crypto trading interface on MEXC

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies2000+ listed cryptocurrencies
Trading Fees0% spot fees, 0% futures maker fee, and 0.01% futures taker fee.
Deposit MethodsCredit/ debit card, P2P trading, global bank transfer, Simplex, Banxa, Mercuryo.
Withdrawal MethodsPrimarily Cryptocurrency withdrawals.
Security FeaturesMultifactor authentication and encryption to protect user accounts and transactions
User InterfaceOptimized for traders interested in derivatives, with an emphasis on futures and perpetual contracts
Mobile AppWindows, iOS, and Android

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive
  • Low Trading fees
  • Demo trading
  • Welcome bonus
  • Global support

Cons:

  • The platform can go offline
  • Limited Fiat support

Features:

  • Launchpad
  • Futures trading
  • Margin trading
  • Copy trading
  • MEXC loans

MEXC follows the conventional KYC sign-up process. No centralized exchange can match the vast number of cryptocurrencies listed on MEXC. I would recommend MEXC to advanced traders due to its rich features. The Kickstarter feature on MEXC allows users to receive airdrops on new tokens. To be eligible, you must hold a minimum of 1000MX worth about $2,850 (at press time) for at least 30 days.

In the UK, however, users face some limitations, particularly in derivatives trading, due to regional regulations.

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Trading Tools: 5/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 5/5
  • Security: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

4. Bitstamp

Great for: Large Volume Trades

Making an Instant BTC trade on Bitstamp

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies90+ cryptocurrencies
Trading FeesTiered on 30-day trading volume. From 0% to 0.40%
Deposit MethodsApple Pay, Google Pay, SEPA, ACH, Faster Payments, Instant payments, international wire, cryptocurrency.
Withdrawal MethodsSEPA, ACH, Faster Payments, Instant payments, international wire, cryptocurrency.
Security FeaturesEncryption, safelisting addresses, offline storage
User InterfaceIntuitive and customizable
Mobile AppiOS and Android

Pros:

  • Extensive variety of cryptocurrencies
  • High liquidity
  • Advanced trading tools
  • No minimum deposit
  • Low trading fees

Cons:

  • Platform can go offline
  • Some staking products are not available in the UK.
  • Limited crypto listings
  • Withdrawal fees

Features: 

  • Lending
  • Staking
  • Savings accounts
  • High rated mobile app

Bitstamp is one of the oldest exchanges regulated in the UK. Account creation on the exchange is straightforward. However, you must upload your identification document and proof of address for KYC verification, unlike other exchanges like Revolut, where verification occurs on a mobile app in real-time.

I liked the platform’s lending and staking features. The functionalities allowed me to earn passive income on my idle digital assets. The exchange also has a ‘Learn’ segment to inform you about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Rating:

  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 3/5
  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 5/5
  • Security: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/ 5

5. Uphold

Great for: Extensive Altcoin Options

Uphold trading interface

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies260+  cryptocurrencies
Trading Fees0.25% for stablecoins, 1.4 – 1.6% for BTC and ETH, and 1.9% – 2.5% for Altcoins.
Deposit MethodsBank transfer (FPS, SEPA), credit/debit card, Apple Pay, and other methods depending on your location.
Withdrawal MethodsBank accounts, crypto wallets, or other Uphold members. Options vary based on your location.
Security Features2FA, encryption, and regular security audits to protect user accounts and funds
User InterfaceUphold offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
Mobile AppiOS and Android.

Pros:

  • Multi-asset platform
  • Simple account setup
  • Global support
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Rewards debit card

Cons:

  • High fees
  • No advanced trading features
  • Variable spread
  • No discount for high volume trades

Features:

  • Metals trading
  • Staking
  • Savings accounts
  • Early access to new cryptocurrencies

Formerly Bitreserve, Uphold has been in the market for a decade. The FCA regulates the platform’s operation in the UK. This regulation requires extra checks before being allowed to trade on the platform. 

When signing up as a UK user, I had to pass two questionnaires to confirm my understanding of crypto topics. After completing the questionnaire, there was a 24-hour ‘cooling-off’ period before they allowed me to purchase crypto. If you fail the questionnaire, you become ineligible to hold an Uphold account.

Here is a quick prep from my experience: 

  • The first questionnaire will test your knowledge and experience with crypto assets. The second categorizes you into one of three types of crypto investors as classified by the FCA.
  • Restricted investor- investors who have not invested more than 10% of their net worth in high-risk investments and do not plan to do so in the next 12 months. High net worth investor- investors with an annual income of +£100.000 or +£250.000 of assets. Certified sophisticated investor – investors certified within the last three years by an authorized firm confirming their knowledge in understanding the risks involved in crypto.
  • When you fail the questionnaire, you are provided with one chance to prove yourself.

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Uphold Exchange Review

6. Revolut

Great for: Unique Banking Integration

Revolut Mobile App interface

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies130+ cryptocurrencies
Trading Fees0.12% monthly custody fee. Plans: Standard- free, Plus 3.99 euro, Premium- 9.99 euro, Metal – 15.99 euro, Ultra- 45 euro per month.
Deposit MethodsBank transfer, credit/debit card, cryptocurrency.
Withdrawal MethodsBank account or other external accounts, cryptocurrency
Security FeaturesEncryption, 2FA, and transaction alerts.
User InterfaceUser-friendly and modern interface with multiple social features.
Mobile AppiOS and Android

Pros:

  • Accessible to inexperienced traders
  • Simple account setup
  • Eligible deposits are protected up to £85k per bank.
  • Staking rewards
  • Built-in budgeting tool

Cons:

  • Subscription plan for more features
  • Custody fees
  • Available in a handful of countries
  • High trading fees
  • Reports of temporary account locks- until you prove the source of funds
  • No crypto withdrawals outside the UK.

Features:

  • Savings account
  • Joint accounts
  • Insurance fund
  • Includes stock and commodity trading

Revolut was originally a digital banking and financial services platform launched in 2015. It later expanded its services to accommodate cryptocurrency trading.

My experience with Revolut was different compared to other exchanges. For instance, you must download the Revolut APP from the Google Play Store or Apple Store to sign up; you can’t do it on a PC. Also, the sign-up process for business and personal accounts differs, and they use different apps.

Revolut will provide you with a range of accounts. The standard account is free; other accounts include Plus, Premium, Metal, and Ultra. They differ in aspects like the cost of ATM withdrawals, personalization of debit cards, insurance, interest rates, travel benefits, fees, lounge access, and car hire protection. It offers a whole different experience to the conventional centralised exchanges.

Another factor to consider is that Revolut accounts are electronic money accounts, not bank accounts. Your deposits are not guaranteed under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). 

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

7. CoinJar

Great for: Streamlined and Simple Crypto Trades.

CoinJar trading interface.

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies50+ cryptocurrencies
Trading FeesCoinjar has a tiered fee structure. Fees range from 0.02% to 0.10%, depending on your 30-day trading volume.
Deposit MethodsBank transfer, Google, Apple Pay, SEPA, PayID, or Osko
Withdrawal MethodsBank account, cryptocurrency wallet, or other external accounts
Security FeaturesMulti-level data encryption, and funds secured by BitGO and Fireblocks. 90% of customers’ assets are stored offline.
User InterfaceIntuitive and user-friendly interface suitable for both beginners and experienced users
Mobile AppiOS and Android, 

Pros:

  • Accessible to inexperienced traders
  • Simple account setup
  • No monthly fees
  • Rewards program
  • Low trading fees

Cons:

  • Limited number of listed cryptocurrencies
  • Limited range of cryptocurrencies
  • Limited access outside UK
  • No sign-up deals

Features:

  • Full currency reserves
  • CoinJar Swipe debit card
  • Built-in crypto wallet

Coinjar provides a platform for trading cryptocurrencies with its base in Australia. Signing up on the platform also required me to complete KYC on their mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android Play Store. The process will require you to take a picture of your ID and a selfie. It also further checks your proof of address using verification databases such as the electoral register and credit files. In the case of these check files, you must provide the verification documents.

Coinjar introduced the first full-service cryptocurrency card in the UK. The trading experience on Coinjar was smooth despite a limited number of features and cryptocurrencies. The platform makes up for the shortcoming with zero fees on all Stablecoin-to-Fiat, Stablecoin-to-Stablecoin, Crypto-to-Stablecoin, and Crypto-to-Crypto maker trades.

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 3.5/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

8. Crypto.com

Great for: Diverse Offerings

Crypto.com mobile app

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies250+ cryptocurrencies.
Trading FeesTiered based on 30-day trending volume: from 0.05% to 0.075%
Deposit MethodsCrypto.com wallet, external wallets
Withdrawal MethodsCrypto.com wallet, external wallets
Security FeaturesSOC2 Type 1 Compliance, PCI: DSS 3.2.1 Level 1 compliance, ISO/IEC 27001:2013ISO/IEC 27701:2019, ISO 22301:2019, Singapore Data Protection Trust Mark
User InterfaceUser-friendly and modern interface 
Mobile AppAndroid and iOS

Pros:

  • Low crypto trading fees
  • No monthly fees
  • Easy to use platform
  • Staking rewards

Cons:

  • Fiat deposits are not yet supported
  • Currently, the exchange does not support most EVM chain’s native tokens’ deposits, except for ETH.
  • Crypto withdrawal fees

Features:

  • DeFI crypto wallet
  • Savings
  • Crypto launchpad
  • Visa debit card

Like Coinjar, I had to download the Crypto.com mobile app to facilitate KYC checks during the process to open an account. The platform extended its services to accommodate DeFi users through their web3 wallet. DeFi users have absolute control over their crypto and do not require permissions or usage oversight from Crypto.com.

Another plus for the platform is its wide selection of cryptocurrencies, one of the largest available in the UK. The platform also has an intuitive trading interface and savings features for idle crypto assets. CRO, the platform’s native token, for instance, earned me 12.06% p.a. I would recommend the platform to both beginners and advanced buyers and sellers.

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 4.5/5
  • Customer Support: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5  

9. Gemini

Great for: Having a crypto debit card

Gemini exchange trrading interface

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies70+ cryptocurrencies
Trading FeesFrom £0.75 to £2.25, 1.49% for amounts above £150.
Deposit MethodsACH, wire transfer, Paypal
Withdrawal MethodsACH, wire transfer, SGD fast transfer
Security Features2FA, encryption, SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 compliant, cold wallet storage, ISO 27001, annual penetration testing, cold storage.
User InterfaceA user-friendly and modern interface
Mobile AppiOS and Android

Pros:

  • No monthly fees
  • Intuitive platform
  • Staking rewards
  • Wealth of educational resources

Cons:

  • High trading fees
  • Derivative contracts not available in the UK
  • Limited cryptocurrencies
  • High debit card fees

Features:

  • Staking
  • NFT marketplace
  • Gemini Pay help you pay for purchases in crypto

The platform comprises two sign-up processes, one for individuals and the other for institutions. I liked the platform’s approach to having two trading interfaces, one for beginners and the other for advanced traders. While I didn’t get to test my debit card, they mentioned that you can link your debit card with your account and buy crypto quickly and easily. You can also buy and sell NFTs on the platform.

Not everyone wants to place their trades. Invest in crypto simply by spending with the Gemini Credit Card.

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 3.5/5
  • Customer Support: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5 

10. Paybis

Great for: instant buy/payouts

Paybis trading interface

SpecificationDetails
Available Cryptocurrencies150+ crypto and fiat currencies
Trading FeesA $2 minimum service fee.
Deposit MethodsBank transfer, credit/debit card, Skrill, Giropay, and ACH Transfer.
Withdrawal MethodsCryptocurrency wallet or external accounts
Security FeaturesMultifactor authentication and encryption to protect user accounts and transactions
User InterfaceUser-friendly and straightforward interface
Mobile AppAndroid and iOS.

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive
  • Instant payouts
  • Fast registration
  • Transparent fee system

Cons:

  • No staking/ saving services
  • No complex order types
  • No crypto-crypto trading

Features:

  • Fast security checks
  • Swap functionality
  • Transparent fee system

My experience with Paybis was straightforward; the platform does not have the conventional limit and market orders interface with an intuitive trading interface. The platform is more of a swap function; pay using your card and receive crypto in your wallet. The reverse happens when selling crypto. 

Here is how to trade on the platform:

  • Select the crypto you need to buy.
  • Verify email
  • Verify phone number
  • Enter destination address and payment details
  • Complete KYC

The verification process took me about 5 minutes. Once completed, your cryptocurrency purchase will be processed. I would not recommend the platform to advanced traders; however, it is a great option for beginners to learn their way around the crypto landscape. 

Rating:

  • User-Friendly: 4.5/5
  • Variety of Cryptocurrencies: 4/5
  • Customer Support: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5 

Understanding Cryptocurrency Exchanges: Centralised vs. Decentralised Exchanges

Centralised exchanges (CEXs) and decentralised exchanges (DEXs) are two sides of the same coin. The two have different architectures, but all seek to perform the same function. So why would you pick a CEX over a DEX? Or vice versa.

CEXs are centralised, meaning they have a hierarchical structure where people at the top have absolute control over the platform. The platforms act as intermediaries who ease interaction with the blockchain. They provide a platform where you can sign up, entrust them with your digital assets, and connect you to more market makers and diversification opportunities. Their services come at a cost, which they deduct as transaction fees or commissions. These features make the platforms popular among both beginners and advanced traders. Conversely, security and using your funds by the platform are significant concerns. The platforms are susceptible to hacks and misappropriation of customer funds.

DEXs are decentralized, meaning there are no intermediaries. Transactions occur on-chain, i.e., directly on the blockchain. 

Innovative models allow users to provide liquidity on these platforms in return for incentives. The codes for these platforms are generally in the public domain, encouraging critic and innovative feedback. 

Since the platforms are on-chain, users hold their private keys and sign (approve) transactions directly on their wallets. DEXs prioritize anonymity since they don’t require you to sign in. Instead, you just authorize a transaction to connect your wallet with the platform. 

On the flip side, DEXs are complex platforms. They are suitable for advanced traders who know how blockchain operates and the dynamics of self-custody wallets. 

The platforms are also prone to hacks resulting from vulnerabilities in their code.

The choice between a CEX and a DEX hinges on several factors. These include trading goals, individual preferences, and expertise. Beginners should opt for CEXs. DEXs have a more extensive portfolio of listed cryptocurrencies but can be problematic due to low liquidity. 

Regulatory Compliance of Crypto Exchanges in the UK

In the UK, crypto exchanges are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees their operations. 

The FCA ensures that financial markets, including those for cryptocurrencies, are fair and transparent. To this end, they require all UK-based cryptocurrency businesses to comply with regulations such as the ‘Travel Rule,’ a part of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 that aims to prevent illegal activities through information sharing.

Under these regulations set forth by the FCA guidance on crypto assets financial promotions (FG23/3) practical from October 2023, regulated exchanges in the UK must adhere to standards related to anti-money laundering (AML), counter-terrorist financing (CTF), and customer care practices – making them safer for consumers. 

Recent changes have impacted certain products like leverage crypto CFDs explicitly offered to retail clients within this market segment. This impact is because brokers or similar entities operating under strict regulation cannot provide said products moving forward.

Track Record of Hacks of UK Exchanges

While the above are the best crypto exchanges in the UK, they are not immune to exploits. Here is a quick record of such occurrences:

Gemini:

  • In June 2022, hackers siphoned IRA clients’ accounts to $36 million before they spotted the attack. IRA Financial was using Gemini’s architecture to secure client crypto assets.
  • Customers received phishing emails after a suspected Gemini data leak that exposed information from 5.7 million users.

Bitstamp: 

  • Bitstamp experienced a significant hack when 19,000 bitcoins (worth $5 million then) were stolen. The hack resulted from a phishing scheme that compromised one of their Bitcoin wallets.
  • A phishing attack in 2022 targeted 6 Bitstamp employees, leading to the theft of about $5 million worth of Bitcoin.

Coinbase:

  • In October 2021, hackers stole funds from about 6,000 customers by capitalizing on a flaw in Coinbase’s account recovery procedure.
  • A white-hat hacker exposed a vulnerability in Coinbase’s trading system. The vulnerability could allow users to send all Coinbase order books to arbitrary prices.

Revolut: 

  • In September 2022, Revolut confirmed a data breach on tens of thousands of customer details. The hackers used social engineering tactics to access the platform’s database.
  • A flaw in their US payment system resulted in a $20 million loss in 2022. The hack came to light when a partner bank raised a flag on holding less cash than expected.

Crypto.com

  • In 2021, a compromise in 2FA resulted in about 6,000 accounts losing $34 million.

While these incidents have occurred, the exchanges have taken proactive measures to address the challenges, including plans to reimburse affected users.

Summary

The UK crypto trading market presents a wide range of options, each with unique qualities and strengths. From Bitstamp’s high liquidity to Uphold’s altcoin variety, MEXC’s low fees, and Crypto.com’s offerings variety, an exchange caters to every trader’s needs. 

Exchanges like eToro, Gemini, Paybis, and Revolut offer secure trading environments and innovative features for enhanced trading experiences.

When selecting an exchange in this ever-evolving crypto market landscape, it is essential to consider factors like security measures, rules imposed by regulatory bodies, costs associated with transactions, varieties of cryptocurrency offered, and user-friendliness ratings from clients. 

Besides, this understanding should extend to centralised versus decentralised platforms, the value placed on safety precautions taken by these mediums, and the structure behind the fee collection process. These considerations equip traders to make informed decisions while navigating UK crypto exchange markets.

Such dynamism will continue shaping a captivating prospectus for investors and vendors, encouraging constant transformation within the industry.

FAQs

What is the easiest way to buy crypto in the UK?

In the UK, online platforms such as Coinbase, eToro, and CoinJar are convenient options for buying cryptocurrency. These crypto exchanges enable direct purchase and sale of digital currencies through devices.

What is the best crypto app for beginners in the UK?

For beginners in the UK, the best crypto apps are eToro and Coinbase. It’s important to remember that investing in cryptocurrency carries high risk.

Is Coinbase legal in the UK?

Coinbase is legal in the UK because it adheres to the regulations set by that country's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Coinbase operates within acceptable guidelines and complies with these guidelines.

Are DEXs illegal in the UK?

Decentralized exchanges are not unlawful in the UK but are regulated for money laundering purposes.

What is the role of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in regulating UK crypto exchanges?

The FCA oversees UK crypto exchanges to uphold integrity, equity, and adherence to regulations to deter unlawful actions.

Disclaimer. We may receive a commission if you click some of the links on this article and make a purchase. It doesn’t affect the price you pay and helps us run the website. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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