Want to jump straight to the answer? The best Binance alternatives are Gemini, Coinbase, and Robinhood.
Getting approved for a Binance account can take weeks or months, which sounds like years in the crypto space.
Whether you are looking for a US-based exchange or one that will approve your account faster, we have what you need. Below is a list of the best Binance alternatives.
What is cryptocurrency exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is similar to the fiat exchanges you see at the airport when visiting another country. They stack large amounts of multiple currencies and provide users with the ability to swap between them for a small fee.
There are two main types of cryptocurrency exchanges: centralized and decentralized.
Centralized exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Gemini offer more services but they should be trusted.
Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are based on the blockchain and are therefore decentralized. The most popular DEX on the Ethereum blockchain is called Uniswap. Liquidity on Uniswap is provided by other users who are known as liquidity providers, who earn trading fees rather than an individual company.
Decentralized exchanges require trust in open source smart contracts rather than human bankers, which is their main selling point.
What makes Binance unique?
Binance is known for its huge variety of trading pairs, including cryptocurrencies that most other exchanges consider to be too speculative for their investors.
Binance also differentiates itself from competitors with its own smart contract blockchain, the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
While the Ethereum network currently has more than 5,000 active nodes securing the network, the Binance Smart Chain is secured by only 21 validators. While this is great for scalability, it is also very bad for security.
Despite its shortcomings, BSC consumed much of the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem in early 2021, as more and more users were pricing in Ethereum’s gas fees.
Pro tip: As Ethereum scales through Layer 2 and sidechain solutions, you can expect to see a lot of value coming back into the Ethereum ecosystem.
Why Binance Might Not Be Right for You
While Binance is technically not available to US clients, Binance operates a feature-limited arm for US clients, Binance.US. Binance.US offers access to much fewer cryptocurrencies and requires Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance to create an account.
General Complaint: Unreliable
Binance is a centralized exchange operated by Changpeng Zhao, more commonly known as CZ. Binance has struggled to find a home, moving its headquarters multiple times only to be ousted by every government trying to prosecute.
Binance does more volume than any other crypto exchange in the world. It is also under investigation by the IRS and the Department of Justice as of May 2021.
As mentioned earlier, centralized exchanges require the company to be trusted. For many, Binance has yet to earn their trust. These users usually choose US-based or decentralized exchanges instead.
What to look for in a cryptocurrency exchange
When choosing a centralized cryptocurrency exchange to turn your cryptocurrency on and off, you want one that you trust.
In general, your best bet is to choose a well-vetted US-based exchange like Coinbase, Gemini, or Robinhood. A publicly traded exchange is an added bonus as they are likely to take extra security measures for the benefit of their shareholders.
Best Alternatives to Binance
Consider these good alternatives:
1. Coinbase Pro
For a more experienced user who is accustomed to spot deals and lower fees, Coinbase Pro is the way to go.
Coinbase offers two retail investor platforms: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Coinbase is geared towards beginners and has one of the best user experiences of any crypto app on the market.
Coinbase Pro is more limited when it comes to user experience but features more trading pairs and much lower fees than its Coinbase counterpart. The best part is that Coinbase Pro is completely free and uses the same login.
Coinbase also offers free transfers of off-chain assets from the Pro app to the regular app, so if you want to take advantage of the lower fees on the Pro and UX of the regular app, you can do so for free.
The Gemini Exchange is based in New York City and was created by the Winklevoss Twins. Gemini features a solid list of altcoins and has a user-friendly user experience for beginners.
Gemini also features a staking platform that allows its users to earn passive income by laying their coin idle.
The Gemini is a solid choice for beginners and even intermediate users who are just looking for a Fiat slope.
Dogecoin buying and selling
Robinhood is a brokerage for both stocks and cryptocurrencies, which makes it a great choice for investors who want to invest in a wide range of assets. The platform currently offers 7 cryptocurrencies, which is lower than the dedicated cryptocurrency exchanges. However, Robinhood supports major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, which makes it a good choice for investors looking to buy an established digital asset with a large market capitalization.
The brokerage stands out for the fee-free trading platform. Most cryptocurrency platforms will charge you for every purchase and sale you make with them, while with Robinhood it’s all free. The platform is also integrating a crypto wallet feature that will make sending and receiving cryptocurrency on Robinhood easy.
*Other fees may apply.
Voyager is based in the US and offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies on its mobile app. Similar to Robinhood, Voyager offers $0 commissions on all crypto orders, making it an excellent choice for traders and accumulators.
Voyager also allows its users to send their assets off the platform to other crypto wallets and DeFi protocols.
Unfortunately, Voyager doesn’t have a desktop platform yet, so you’ll be limited to mobile trading, which might not be a huge deal for some.
Is switching exchanges worth it?
If you are currently a Binance user or someone looking to open an account with Binance, there are plenty of reasons to look elsewhere.
Fortunately, there are many great Binance alternatives out there, and you can still have a Binance account alongside them. There is no reason not to open multiple accounts to take advantage of each account’s unique features and offers.
If you decide to open an exchange account, always make sure you do your research on insurance and insurance policies. It is also highly recommended to purchase a cryptocurrency wallet such as Ledger Nano X to secure especially large amounts of money.
Benzinga has developed a specific methodology for classifying cryptocurrency exchange instruments. We prioritize platforms based on offers, pricing, promotions, customer service, mobile applications, user experience, benefits and security. For a comprehensive analysis of our methodology, please visit our cryptocurrency methodology page.