So you’re finally jumping on board and getting some bitcoin, it’s about time! We talk to noobs every day, and we know what you’re looking for – simple instructions for making your first BTC purchase, easy navigation, and a safe place to keep your funds. The exchanges listed below are ideal for first-time investors, and here’s why…

1
Overall best exchange for beginners
No complicated jargon or moving parts — just the simplest aspects of spot trading and Bitcoin purchasing in a basic user interface.
2
Huge, stable, and simple to use.
Get paid to learn about cryptocurrency, and trade without using a complicated interface or exchange platform.
3
It’s a two horse race where this is #3.
As easy as big exchanges get. Not nearly as easy to navigate as Gem or Coinbase, but better than everyone else.

Ranking methodology – How we decided which exchanges to consider

  • An easy on-ramp for purchasing crypto
  • Simple portfolio and trading interfaces
  • Great mobile app for on-the-go trading
  • Good selection of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs

Our Top-Ranked Exchanges for Beginners

1st
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Gemini

U.S. welcome
Highly secure, regulated & great for safe, user-friendly trading.
48 Trading Pairs

Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss twins (remember the guys who came up with the concept of Facebook?), offers the most legitimate, regulated, and protected crypto experience ever. If you are worried about the inherent risks of the crypto market and the capabilities of cybercriminals, Gemini is the place for you. Not only has it never been hacked, but it also ensures your investments in case of theft. 

Gemini is very popular, easy to use, and well-designed for new investors. If you’ve been to some of the more complicated exchanges, don’t worry – Gemini isn’t like those. They also have apps for both iOS and Android, and they’re incredibly easy to use. A new user can go from zero to owning Bitcoin in just a few minutes. Seriously.

The Gemini platform offers about 40 cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express as easy deposit methods (debit too). Bank and wire transfers are also available.

Gemini is available to US and non-US residents located in more than 50 countries, including the UK, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, India, South Korea, Nigeria, South Africa, and many more.

Quick Look

  • Fees are higher than some other exchanges, but it’s a great place to learn without fear
  • A cool debit card that offers up to 8% cashback
  • A simple mobile exchange experience
  • Fast & easy Bitcoin purchases
  • 40+ cryptocurrencies offered
  • Visa, MasterCard, American Express credit & debit cards accepted
  • Fully regulated, audited, and insured – essentially the safest exchange in the entire crypto industry
  • Compliant with banking and security laws – the platform has never been hacked
  • Easiest to use mobile crypto app, even easier than Coinbase and Crypto.com, with no complicated jargon or moving parts, just the simplest aspects of spot trading and Bitcoin purchasing in a basic user interface
2nd
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Coinbase

U.S. welcome
Supports 30+ fiat currencies, well-trusted, earn free crypto.
19 Trading Pairs

Coinbase is more of a broker than a crypto exchange, but as a beginner, that plays to your advantage. With 45 million customers coming to their platform to purchase crypto, Coinbase has become one of the two best Bitcoin exchanges for beginners. However, it’s not just the best Bitcoin exchange; it’s also the best place to buy 50 other cryptocurrencies too! 

Quick Look

  • The world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange
  • Payment and deposits methods vary from country to country
  • Around 50 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and trade
  • Mobile app and mobile wallet 
  • The simplest user experience of any exchange
  • Get paid to learn about cryptocurrency
  • Coin staking and interest available on held crypto
  • Debit cards accepted
  • Cryptocurrency trading without using a complicated interface or exchange platform

What makes Coinbase so suitable for beginners? Let’s start from the beginning. If you don’t know about something, you need to learn. What incentivizes you to learn? For some, knowledge is the pursuit, and for others, a financial reward might do the trick. Behold ‘Coinbase Earn’: their educational platform that pays you in crypto to learn about crypto and blockchains. We tried it out a while back, and they paid us some Chainlink (LINK) for watching a couple of videos and answering some easy multiple-choice questions. LINK has tripled in price since then. 

So, armed with knowledge and some crypto, beginners now have two things to help them start. They can also download a mobile app that is even easier to use than the web version and makes the user experience more streamlined. What beginners often like about Coinbase is that there are no moving charts, candlesticks, or streams of data — what you see is what you get. 

Most beginners will be happy to see bank deposits and debit cards listed as a payment method, with a handful of countries permitted to use credit cards. 

Tip: Exchanges targeted at pros and high-volume traders offer the lowest fees, and exchanges that target the most inexperienced traders will place the highest fees upon them. That’s just the way it is.

To summarize:

If you’re an American newbie looking for a place to buy crypto and even start crypto trading, it’s splitting hairs between Gemini and Coinbase. In terms of fees, their system is quite similar, placing fixed fees rather than percentages on small transactions before having a 1.49% flat rate on purchases over $200. 

Did you try Coinbase already but found it wasn’t quite what you were searching for? Check out our seven best crypto alternatives to Coinbase and find the best Bitcoin exchange for you.