Binance is undeniably the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily users, coins listed, and trading volume. However, investors and traders have started to seek out Binance alternatives for a number of valid reasons.
One primary reason, especially for U.S. customers, is that Binance.com does not support customers from the United States. Instead, they must settle for Binance.us, a U.S. subsidiary that offers fewer coin selections and services that do not come anywhere close to what is available on the global Binance platform.
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Aside from the above reason for seeking out Binance alternatives, here are some disadvantages that existing and prospective Binance users must consider.
- Complicated User Interface: In our Binance review, we noted that the exchange platform is complex and difficult to navigate, especially for someone getting started with cryptocurrency. First-time users might struggle to get through the otherwise simple process of buying crypto, while even experienced traders might find it difficult to locate some functionalities in the Binance interface.
- Slow Customer Support: Binance has many users and thus far has failed to scale its customer service team. Especially during periods of peak market performance, users report waiting several hours to have their request answered, even via the exchange’s LiveChat service.
Loosely Regulated: Despite being a prominent figure in the crypto space, Binance’s exchange platform is not regulated in a popular jurisdiction.
Hence, the reason why the exchange can list more coins and offer certain services that Binance competitors can’t, without mandating customers to go through a user verification process in some instances. If you are a fan of playing by regulatory rules, then Binance may not be the best option for you.
Breached Security: In May 2019, Binance suffered a security breach and lost $40 million worth of customer funds to the attack. This caused the platform to pause deposits and withdrawals for over a week. Although Binance subsequently refunded users from its self-managed insurance fund, the security breach was a big dent in its reputation.
In view of some of the disadvantages considered so far, here are some Binance alternatives that customers could consider.
5 Alternatives to Binance
CEX.io is one of the industry's oldest crypto exchanges, having launched in 2013. The platform is officially registered in the UK and holds a money business license with the U.S. Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
CEX.io boasts over four million registered users and offers basic and advanced trading functionalities for cryptocurrency investors.
- Instant purchases with credit and debit cards.
- Spot trading for supported coins with limit and market order types.
- EUR, GBP, and USD fiat pairs.
- Margin trading.
- Staking for supported Proof-of-Stake (PoS) coins.
- Crypto-backed loans.
- CEX.io is a fully regulatory compliant exchange operator.
- The platform offers a minimalistic interface ideal for everyday investors.
- The CEX.io mobile app is available on Android and iOS, allowing users to buy and sell crypto on the go.
- CEX.io boasts fairly reliable customer service with quick response times.
- Users can deposit fiat via a range of payment methods.
- CEX.io uses advanced security features and has no history of security breaches.
- CEX.io supports few cryptocurrencies and trading pairs compared to Binance.
- The platform does not provide sophisticated tools for professional traders.
- CEX.io fees are also slightly more expensive compared to competitors.
Payment Methods: Debit, Credit Cards, Bank Transfer (SWIFT, SEPA, ACH), Cryptocurrencies.
KuCoin brands itself as the “people’s exchange,” and launched in September 2017, a few months after Binance. The exchange is arguably the best Binance alternative for anyone looking for a platform offering similar features to Binance.
For instance, both platforms offer a native token to give traders access to lower fees (KCS and BNB, respectively). Additionally, they support both spot and derivatives crypto trading with sufficient liquidity.
- Instant purchase with Credit and Debit Card
- Spot and derivatives trading.
- Trading bots for automated trading.
- Crypto Lending for Interest.
- Staking for PoS coins.
- Spotlight on investing in new crypto projects.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange.
- KuCoin offers nearly all the same features as Binance and thus is a great alternative.
- KuCoin has a more responsive customer service team.
- While not the easiest-to-use interface, KuCoin is easier to navigate.
- KuCoin also offers a mobile app for on-the-go traders.
- The identity verification process is easy to complete and is not mandatory for certain crypto deposits and withdrawal limits.
- Kucoin offers tools for advanced and professional traders, including the use of trading bots.
- KuCoin suffered a large-scale security breach in 2020, although the platform subsequently recovered 84% of the roughly $280 million stolen by hackers and covered user losses.
- KuCoin does not support KYC for U.S. customers but lets them trade within the free account limits.
- KuCoin is loosely regulated and registered in Seychelles.
Payment Methods: Debit and Credit Cards, Apple Bank, Bank Transfer (SEPA), cryptocurrencies.
Since Binance caters to the needs of professional traders, Bitfinex is another great alternative to Binance. Bitfinex is based in Hong Kong and has been around since 2012. Despite starting as a peer-to-peer exchange, Bitfinex has grown into one of the world’s largest spot and derivatives cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume.
- Demo trading
- Spot and Margin Trading
- Advanced Order types.
- Framework for event-driven automated trading.
- Derivatives products.
- Margin Funding to earn interest.
- Staking for selected PoS Coins.
- Crypto-backed loans
- New token sales.
- Bitcoin Lightning Network Integration
- Bitfinex provides sophisticated tools for experienced and professional traders.
- The demo trading feature is ideal for newbies to learn about crypto trading without putting money on the line. This feature is missing on most crypto trading platforms.
- Bitfinex boasts unparalleled liquidity across its trading pairs.
- The exchange is transparent regarding its user-friendly trading fees.
- Bitfinex offers an intuitive mobile app (Android & iOS) with full portfolio management features.
- Users can also expect a faster customer service experience.
- Bitfinex is not ideal for regular investors who just want to buy and hold Bitcoin.
- Bitfinex has a muddy history, having suffered a security breach way back in 2012.
Payment Methods: Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay), Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrencies.
BitStamp is a London-based cryptocurrency exchange and has been around for a decade (launched in 2011). Bitstamp services both retail and institutional clients and offer a healthy selection of coins to trade and invest in.
BitStamp Pro, the professional trading arm of the exchange, is a great Binance alternative. The platform provides a feature-packed trading interface and highly liquid order books.
- Instant Buy with credit and debit cards.
- Professional trading interface.
- EUR, GBP, and USD fiat pairs.
- Nasdaq-grade matching engine.
- Bitcoin Lightning Network integration.
- Bitstamp is fully regulatory compliant and reliable.
- Its high-grade liquidity makes it the go-to-platform for institutional investors.
- The platform also features a minimalistic interface for everyday investors.
- Bitstamp has a 24/7 customer service desk available on both phone and email. The exchange also offers dedicated account managers to high-profile clients.
- The Bitstamp mobile app (available on Android and iOS) is highly intuitive and user-friendly.
- User verification is compulsory to access the platform’s features.
- Only a handful of coins are available to investors.
- Bitstamp suffered a $5 million hack in 2015, a breach later attributed to hackers phishing on employees.
Payment Methods: Credit and Debit Cards, Bank Transfer (SEPA, ACH, Faster Payments), Cryptocurrencies.
Headquartered in Malaysia and reportedly registered in Seychelles, OKEx is another great Binance alternative, offering similar features and services. OKEx prides itself as being used to “traders at every level,” and rightly so.
Although not a picture book description of a retail cryptocurrency exchange, OKEx simplifies most of Binance’s offerings and aims to meet the needs of all kinds of traders and investors. OKEx launched in 2014.
- Basic spot trading
- Margin and derivatives trading
- Crypto-backed loans.
- Brokerage services.
- Crypto Academy for new investors.
- Exclusive new token sales.
- P2P exchange
- Cross-chain bridge to convert blockchain assets.
- OKEx has been around for a long while and thus is relatively reliable.
- The platform offers advanced trading tools and functionalities.
- OKEx is an ideal alternative for traders looking for a simpler interface.
- OKEx provides educational resources for new investors to get up to speed with crypto.
- OKEx has a healthy coin selection including the largest by market cap and some new projects.
- Regular traders can count on the OKEx mobile app to trade on the go.
- The exchange also boasts a faster customer service desk compared to Binance.
- OKEx is loosely regulated and unavailable to U.S. persons
- While OKEx hasn’t been hacked, users have reported mysterious suffering account breaches in the past, resulting in loss of funds.
Payment Methods: Credit and Debit Cards, Cryptocurrency.
How we picked and tested
We made this list of sites like Binance in no particular order. Hence, readers should not assume that the ranking necessarily means that one exchange is better than the other. Instead, these are platforms that offer near-identical services and some better than Binance in some respect.
For picking and testing, we considered the following:
The number of years on the market: Four of the listed exchanges are older, with KuCoin the only one that launched within the same period. Bitstamp is the oldest on the list.
Trading functionalities: Since Binance primarily serves the needs of professional spot and derivatives traders, we handpicked exchanges that offer the same grade of functionalities and tools for trading crypto. Based on our selection, only Bitstamp does not offer derivatives trading of any sort, although the exchange has a professional trading suite.
Customer Service: Prompt customer service is one area where Binance is currently lagging. All the exchanges on this list boast faster response times to customer enquiries. Some even offer phone support, something that isn’t on Binance’s radar.
How to choose the best Binance alternative
Your choice of a replacement will depend on your needs as a trader. The suggested exchanges offer almost the same trading fees and functionalities. With that in mind, you may want to consider other options such as:
- Ease of depositing and withdrawing fiat.
- Regulatory standing
- Security history
- Number of listed assets
- Customer service.
Bitstamp and CEX.io offer multiple fiat deposits and withdrawal gateways and are also fully compliant with local and international regulations. However, they offer fewer coins and trading pairs.
Bitfinex, OKEx, and KuCoin are near Binance identicals in terms of the number of coins listed but are also loosely regulated. The trio also have a history of security breaches despite paying back customers in the aftermath.
Binance is a great cryptocurrency exchange and one of the most widely used in the industry. However, there are some disadvantages that might push users into seeking alternative platforms that offer similar services.
This article listed the best Binance alternatives, revealing their features, pros, cons, and payment methods. We also disclosed how we picked and tested and what to consider when settling for one.
Hopefully, this guide helps you make the right choice of exchange to use alongside Binance or in replacement of it.