Top Crypto Exchanges for U.S. Citizens and Residents

smiling smart investor

Key Takeaways

  • In the U.S., which is more restrictive for crypto investors, find the crypto exchange that’s best for your investing style. Coinbase is great for beginners, though Binance.US has the lowest spot trading fees..
  • Regulatory oversight by the SEC and CFTC plays a crucial role in the future of these exchanges. Look for an exchange with a strong history of regulatory compliance; avoid new and unproven exchanges.
  • When selecting an exchange, investors should consider critical factors such as security features, available crypto pairs, fees, ease of use, and customer support.

investors looking at investor data

Crypto exchanges are the heart of the cryptocurrency market. But U.S. investors are at a disadvantage, since the U.S. is one of the most restrictive countries when it comes to crypto.

In our new guide, investors in the U.S. will find a wide range of exchanges that can potentially give them the combination of security, fee structure, and rewards they want when considering their investments. 

While there is not one singular “best cryptocurrency exchange,” there are many excellent U.S. exchanges, each serving a different niche and purpose. Some exchanges are better for experienced traders, while those with a simple interface are better for beginners.

Here’s our guide to the top crypto exchanges for U.S. citizens and residents in 2024.

What Kinds of Exchanges We Look For

As of this writing, cryptocurrency’s market cap is over $2.5 trillion. The growth of this new asset class has prompted governments worldwide to explore ways to regulate it.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission remain the primary regulators overseeing crypto exchanges in the United States.

  • The SEC ensures that crypto exchanges comply with rules and regulations, including registration requirements, anti-fraud measures, and record-keeping obligations. Their charge is to protect investors by keeping securities markets free and fair.
  • Meanwhile, the CFTC has jurisdiction over crypto-based futures, options, and derivative contracts for crypto classified as commodities, like bitcoin. They ensure that the contracts that emerge on these exchanges are transparent, authentic, and secure.

The ongoing regulatory battle between the SEC and the CFTC poses a risk to crypto investors through increased costs (as exchanges pass on the cost of compliance), potential disruptions in asset availability, and reduced market innovation.

For this reason, our editors looked for safe, long-running, and trusted crypto exchanges, where the likelihood of disruptions by the SEC or CFTC are lower.


Coinbase is one of our top-rated US-based crypto exchanges. Its user-friendly interface and relatively affordable fees complement the company's high degree of reliability, security, and customer support.

The company was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ersam in San Francisco, California, U.S. The platform is available in over 100 countries, and nearly $4 trillion worth of cryptocurrency is traded daily across the 150 cryptocurrencies available.

Features and Benefits

  • Know Your Customer: Coinbase requires US citizens to provide a selfie and a valid government-issued ID.
  • Security: Coinbase uses state-of-the-art encryption and security software to hash consumer passwords, auto-enroll 2-factor authentication, and monitor against potential data breaches.
  • Liquidity: Coinbase holds its investors' cryptocurrency 1:1, ensuring customers can safely withdraw funds when needed.
  • Accessibility: Coinbase allows users to store and manage all their crypto, NFTs, and wallets in one place.

Security Measures

  • Coinbase adds 2-step verification to all accounts and hashes consumer passwords using a Bcrypt algorithm so nobody can read or decrypt them. To showcase its commitment to proactive security, Coinbase also employs machine learning models that evaluate crypto transactions and offer traders the option to cancel a transaction if things don’t look right.

Regulatory compliance

  • Coinbase is licensed to operate in nearly every US state and was among the first entities to obtain a BitLicense from the NY Department of Financial Services in 2017.

Fees and costs

  • Coinbase fees start at 0.05% to 0.60% for taker costs and 0% to 0.4% for maker fees, depending on the total USD 30-day trading volume.

Why we like Coinbase

Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the United States because of its compliance, security, and user-friendly interface.

binance usBinance.US

Binance.US is the US-registered arm of Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The separate exchange was launched in response to stricter U.S. regulations than the rest of the world. With 120+ assets on the exchange, Binance.US remains one of the most comprehensive platforms for traders within the US. The exchange was launched in September 2019 and is based in Palo Alto, California.

Features and Benefits

  • Selection: Binance offers over 120 assets on their exchange.
  • Low Fees: Binance has some of the lowest fees in the industry, offering free bitcoin trading on select pairs.
  • Liquidity: Binance is known for its high liquidity, making it easy to process trades.
  • Trading Features: Binance’s platform is known for its ease of use and advanced trading features, such as futures and margin trading.

Security measures

  • Binance offers secure storage facilities for its funds. Most assets are offline in cold wallets, while a small percentage remains in circulation for customer transactions.

Regulatory compliance

  • The CFTC sued Binance in 2023, alleging that the exchange offered unregistered crypto derivatives products in the U.S. In response, Binance agreed to pay nearly $3 billion to settle the lawsuit.
  • As of this writing, the SEC is pursuing a similar but separate action against the exchange.

Fees and costs

  • Crypto deposits are free, though depending on the payment method, there may be fees when you withdraw crypto or deposit USD.
  • Maker fees range from 0% to 0.38%, while taker fees range from 0.0% to 0.57%, depending on the trading pair.
  • Binance.US also deducts 25-35% of service fees from earned staking rewards.

Why we like Binance.US

Binance.US is excellent for pro traders and crypto investors seeking more complex trading tools. However, issues with its parent company, Binance, may prompt users to consider a better-regulated exchange.

Kraken logo.Kraken

Kraken is another popular US-based cryptocurrency exchange with over 100 tradable tokens. Kraken prides itself on being a secure platform with industry-leading security that has never suffered from a significant security exploit.

Kraken currently averages $1.2B daily trading volume and serves over 8 million traders and institutional clients globally. By user base and popularity, Kraken is considered one of the major exchanges in the world.

Features and Benefits

  • Accessibility: Kraken is available on the go via a web platform or mobile application.
  • Low Fees: Kraken fees vary by product. However, they are some of the lowest on the market.
  • Advanced Trading Features: Kraken offers advanced trading features for more experienced traders.

Security measures

  • Kraken’s comprehensive security measures have earned them ISO and SOC 2 Type 1 certifications. The team uses advanced cold and hot wallet storage solutions to secure user’s funds.

Regulatory compliance

  • Kraken is currently available to U.S. residents. However, the exchange is not available to New York or Washington residents.

Fees and costs

  • With Kraken, maker fees range from 0.00% to 0.16%, and taker fees range from 0.10% - 0.26%. Their fee structure was built to prioritize active traders.
  • Their Instant Buy service charges a fee of 0.9% for stablecoins and 1.5% for other crypto assets.

Why we like Kraken

Kraken is great for beginners, given its large selection of digital assets and multi-platform accessibility.


Gemini is a centralized exchange based in New York. It’s one of the few platforms available in all 50 U.S. states, though it offers fewer trading pairs than its competitors.

Interestingly, Gemini was co-founded by brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who were infamously known for their lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. The exchange controls nearly $9B in cryptocurrency and offers access to over 80 cryptocurrencies and 21 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

Features and Benefits

  • Regional Accessibility: Gemini is available in all 50 U.S. states.
  • Beginner-Friendly: Gemini’s user interface is easy to use and understand.
  • Low Fees: Gemini has one of the lowest fees on this list, making it a better choice for thrifty traders.

Security measures

  • Gemini was among the first exchanges to receive SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 certification. This exhibits the team’s commitment to building a secure crypto-native platform.

Regulatory compliance

  • The New York State Department of Financial Services regulates Gemini.
  • Gemini was among the first exchanges to receive SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 certification.
  • The exchange also offers FDIC insurance for USD deposits up to $250,000.
  • Gemini may be sued by the SEC over Gemini Earn.

Fees and costs

  • For consumers, Gemini offers trading with a 1.49% transaction fee for orders over $200.
  • ActiveTraders uses a maker-taker fee model with the lowest fees on this list. Depending on your 30-day trading volume, maker fees range from 0.00% to 0.20%, while taker fees range from 0.03% to 0.40%.

Why we like Gemini

Gemini is currently one of the most secure exchanges for U.S. investors. It works closely with regulators to ensure compliance and offers crypto trading in all 50 states. is the most expansive currency exchange on this list, with over 250 digital assets, 100 trading pairs, and 20 fiat currencies available for trading on their platform. The company provides various products covering everything from crypto staking and NFTs to Visa cards and mobile wallets.

Features and Benefits

  • Crypto Payments: offers prepaid Visa cards that can earn users up to 5% cashback, depending on the amount of CRO (their custom token) that users have staked.
  • Earning Interest: allows users to lock up and stake a variety of tokens to earn rewards.
  • Crypto Selection: offers the most comprehensive array of crypto assets on this list.

Security measures

  • offers a multi-factor authentication system to protect its users. Fiat currencies are held in regulated banks.
  • In 2022, was hacked for over $35 million in crypto assets due to a 2FA breach in their system.

Regulatory compliance

  • is available in 49 U.S. states, except New York.

Fees and costs

  • For spot and margin trading, maker and taker fees range from 0.00% to 0.075%.

Why we like is the best option for everyday spending. It’s fantastic for investors looking to integrate cryptocurrency into their day-to-day finances with cashback and staking rewards.

Each of these exchanges holds a respectable amount of the total market volume.

Factors to Consider

  • Security features (e.g., two-factor authentication, cold storage) - crypto exchanges are prime targets for hackers. Exchanges with robust security measures (and a long history of safety) help ensure that your investments are protected.
  • Number of cryptocurrencies available for trading -  when building a robust crypto portfolio, access to a wide range of assets can create more diversity and help reduce risks.
  • Trading fees and transaction costs - Low fees and transaction costs can make your investments more profitable over the long term.
  • User interface and ease of use - A user-friendly interface makes it easier for beginners to navigate the platform and efficiently execute trades. It can help prevent mistakes and save time while enhancing the overall trading experience.
  • Customer support and responsiveness - A history of good customer service reflects a commitment to user satisfaction.
  • Deposit and withdrawal options (e.g., fiat currency support, payment methods) - Flexible payment options make it easier to fund and cash out your account.

Investor’s Takeaway

Out of the leading crypto exchanges, Coinbase is a top option for U.S.-based investors, given its outstanding security record, regulatory compliance, user trust, and easy-to-use platform.

However, other exchanges like Gemini and also offer great features, not least of which is their coverage of all (or nearly all) of the U.S.


You deserve the best crypto investing tips, and when you subscribe to Bitcoin Market Journal, you’ll get them delivered to your inbox.

If you could only pick one crypto investment...

Sign up below to get access to our Blockchain Believers portfolio, with our top-rated crypto pick.

Comments are closed.