What makes a good crypto trading platform?
Whether you’re new to cryptocurrency or an experienced trader, choosing a good crypto platform sets the foundation for everything that comes next. But with so many different options to choose from, it’s important to know what kind of trading platform will suit your trading requirements and personal preferences.
A good crypto exchange will be reputable, secure, feature an intuitive user interface, offer low fees, and have high liquidity for the cryptocurrencies of your choice.
In contrast, a bad crypto exchange will have a history of security breaches, poor customer support, negative reviews from past customers, and limited trading options.
Your choice will also be determined by your trading strategy. For example, do you just want to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum on the spot market and hold it long-term? If so, you can do that on most major exchanges.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in crypto-to-crypto swaps or derivatives trading, then you’ll need to find a more advanced platform that offers those capabilities.
Below, you’ll find a list of the main things to consider when choosing an exchange. It’s essential to research all the different options for yourself and see what works best for you
15 Considerations for choosing a crypto trading platform
Before jumping in and buying your first cryptocurrency, you should know what to look for in a trading platform.
Here are 15 of the most important factors:
The first thing you should assess is whether the crypto trading platform supports your location. If the answer is no, it’s a dealbreaker, and you should move on. Every region has its own rules and regulations regarding cryptocurrency, so choose an exchange that abides by local laws.
Keeping your crypto safe should be a top priority. That’s why you should only entrust your assets to a platform with the highest security measures. Otherwise, you could risk losing all of your crypto to hacks or mismanagement.
When it comes to security, ensure that your trading platform utilizes two-factor authentication and has other safety measures in place. Some exchanges offer cold storage vaults or other custodial storage services. In addition, do some digging to see if the platform has suffered from security breaches in the past.
Most exchanges charge a certain amount of fees to buy or sell crypto. Additionally, there may be separate fees for depositing and withdrawing fiat currency to your bank. Check the fee structure to see if it’s compatible with your activity levels.
If you’re planning to hold your crypto for the long term, then it might be worth it to prioritize other factors such as security and user experience over low fees. However, if you plan to trade frequently, fees will add up quickly, and you should look for an exchange that offers lower fees.
4. User Experience
User experience is the most subjective factor on this list, and there’s no single trading platform that suits everyone’s preferences. However, if you don’t enjoy using the platform, then you’ll end up wasting time searching for another exchange in the future. Many platforms offer demo versions of their trading platform without signing up, or have a variety of tutorial videos on YouTube, so take some time to explore the various interfaces.
5. Availability of coins
There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies on the market. If you’re only planning on buying the most popular coins or tokens, then there’s a good chance you’ll find them listed on any platform. However, suppose you’re more interested in digging up undiscovered gems or investing in brand new projects. In that case, you should choose a more robust exchange that offers access to more exotic cryptocurrencies.
Reputation isn’t everything, but it can give you a clue about an exchange’s quality. Read online reviews from other users to see what stands out and what is left to be desired. Several high-profile crypto trading platforms have been hacked or have lost or stolen funds from their users in the past, so do your own research to avoid becoming a victim.
7. KYC & AML requirements
How easy is it to sign up for the trading platform? Some require multiple forms of government-issued identification. Others don’t require any personal info at all. Before joining, check to see if you meet the KYC & AML requirements.
8. Availability of advanced features
Are you new to investing in crypto? Then look for a platform that makes buying and selling easy to understand and doesn’t clutter the interface with a lot of technical information. On the other hand, if you’re more experienced with trading, you should pay closer attention to the variety of order types and the available technical analysis tools.
9. Additional product offerings
Some trading platforms allow you to schedule recurring purchases to fit into your investment strategy or stake your coins for greater returns and rewards on your holdings. Look for the platform that offers the best value. For example, if you want to trade on the go, then choose a platform with a great mobile app.
10. Price spreads
Prices vary across exchanges. In general, cryptocurrencies with larger market caps will be priced similarly. However, smaller altcoins may vary to a greater degree. This can be caused by many factors, including the geographical location of the platform. In addition, if an exchange is suffering from low liquidity, this can lead to significant discrepancies in price.
11. Transaction volume
Higher transaction volumes result in greater exchange liquidity. This is a crucial aspect of any exchange and gives you an advantage in a volatile market. Greater liquidity means your order is more likely to get filled faster at your desired price point.
12. Customer support
If you run into an issue, do you have confidence that the trading platform will help you resolve your problem? Check to see what kind of customer support is offered. Do they provide 24/7 live support, or will you have to wait days or weeks for them to respond by email?
13. Insurance coverage
Some platforms cover a certain amount of customer funds in the case of hacks or employee theft. This can be an attractive feature, especially if you plan to leave large amounts of funds on the exchange. Individual insurance policies will differ from platform to platform, so be sure to read the fine print.
14. Technology and infrastructure
The trading platform you choose should be built with the latest technology. At the core of an exchange is its matching engine. It needs to be robust enough to reliably match orders in times of market volatility and high trading volumes.
15. Deposit and withdrawal limits
Even if you’re planning to hold your crypto for a long time, it’s still worth noting the deposit and withdrawal limits. Most exchanges have a hard cap on the amount of funds you can withdraw or deposit. So if you plan to move large amounts of money, be sure to select an exchange with appropriate limits.
Alternative ways to buy crypto
If you can’t find a trading platform that meets your needs or are seeking an alternative way to buy crypto, you could try using a crypto ATM or a peer-to-peer exchange.
ATMs specifically built for crypto can be a convenient option if there happens to be one nearby. They allow you to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash, debit cards, or credit cards. After the United States, Canada has the second-highest number of crypto ATMs in the world.
However, they’re not the most cost-effective purchasing method. They usually have much higher fees than online exchanges, and they may not offer as many cryptocurrencies as online exchanges.
It’s also possible to buy cryptocurrency directly from other people on peer-to-peer exchanges. The main reason why people use this method is to avoid transaction fees.
However, P2P trading can be extremely risky. Scammers are common in P2P marketplaces and will engage in fraudulent behaviour. If you choose to purchase cryptocurrency this way, proceed with caution.
Top 4 crypto trading platforms for Canadians
There are hundreds of different crypto exchanges out there, but some are better than others. We’ve narrowed down the list to some of the best global options as well as the best crypto platform for Canadian users.
NDAX is a Canadian-based crypto trading platform that offers a world-class trading experience. It allows you to buy or sell cryptocurrency quickly, simply, and securely. NDAX is one of Canada's most advanced crypto platforms and allows for quick and efficient fiat deposits and transfers in CDN dollars from all Canadian banks, credit unions, and financial institutions.
· Instant ID verification
· Canadian banking for same-day deposit and withdrawals
· Advanced trading options with multiple order types
· Wide selection of crypto, including over 25 altcoins
· Institutional-grade crypto security
· 24/7 live customer support
· Zero deposit fees and 0.2% trading fees
· Higher withdrawal fees
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and there are good reasons why it’s so popular. It’s hard to find another globally-supported platform that offers as wide a range of cryptocurrencies, advanced analysis tools, and low trading fees as Binance.
When it comes to Canadian users, Binance is operational in every province except for Ontario.
· High trading volume and liquidity
· Hundreds of different coin and token listings
· Advanced options such as staking and derivatives trading
· Low transaction fees
· No digital wallet
· The interface is extensive but can be confusing for some users
· Regulatory trouble in many countries can make it inaccessible for certain users
· Not available for residents of Ontario
Coinbase is one of the most popular crypto exchanges, especially for U.S. users. One of the best aspects of Coinbase is its two trading platforms: Coinbase for beginners and Coinbase Pro for experienced users.
For Canadians, Coinbase allows you to buy, sell, and convert crypto-to-crypto. However, you are limited to funding your account via PayPal or debit card, and you will be charged high fees of up to 3.99% per spread.
· User-friendly interface
· Popular and trusted by regulators
· Some level of insurance in case of an exchange hack
· Higher than average transaction and payment fees
· Limited advanced options and technical analysis tools
· Only offers basic order types
· Limited customer support
Wealthsimple is a crypto broker that enables Canadian users to buy and sell some of the top cryptocurrencies on the market. However, be aware that it is a broker, not an exchange. As a result, you won’t have access to your own crypto wallet, and you can’t transfer your coins to other platforms or storage solutions. Furthermore, you may be subject to higher price spreads than other exchanges.
· Cold storage insurance coverage
· No account minimums
· User-friendly interface
· No access to your own crypto wallet
· You can’t transfer your crypto to other places
· High price spreads
Best crypto trading platform for Canadians
Canadians who want to buy, sell, trade, or transfer cryptocurrency may find it hard to find a global platform optimized for Canadian bank accounts. NDAX is the solution.
Our trading platform makes it easy, fast, and affordable to deposit and withdraw to most Canadian financial institutions.
NDAX is also a leader in crypto security. Over 95% of NDAX’s crypto assets are held in a Ledger Vault, a multi-signature cold storage solution that provides high security and transparency when managing its clients’ crypto assets.
Overall, NDAX is one of the most trusted trading platforms for crypto trading in Canada. It offers the best security, flexibility, and advanced trading options to make it easy for anyone to get started with crypto.
To begin trading crypto on NDAX, open an account in minutes to get started.