The Ascent's 2021 Cryptocurrency Exchange and App Awards Winners award banner The Ascent's 2021 Cryptocurrency Exchange and App Awards Winners

Updated June 13, 2022
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Cryptocurrency exchange and apps ratings methodology

Ratings methodology

The Ascent’s cryptocurrency exchange and apps ratings methodology is heavily influenced by real-life use, both from users and through in-house testing. Our ratings models are intended to cut through the noise and focus on a select few critical factors that we think are important for most people.

For cryptocurrency exchanges and apps, the important factors are:

  • Competitiveness of routine fees and trading commissions
  • Cryptocurrency selection
  • Versatility of offerings
  • Availability of a cryptocurrency wallet
  • iOS and Google Play app store ratings
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Gemini Exchange

Best Cryptocurrency Exchange

Gemini Exchange

Gemini has everything you need from a cryptocurrency exchange: Security, a good mix of currencies, an easy-to-use platform, and advanced features for experienced investors. On top of this, it goes the extra mile time and again. For example, in addition to securing third-party insurance for assets on the exchange, Gemini also insures the currency in your wallet. While some exchanges let you stake coins to earn passive income, Gemini Earn pays straightforward interest on almost 30 currencies. And its educational platform, Cryptopedia, has clear and well-illustrated articles that unpack all things crypto.

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Best Cryptocurrency Exchange for Crypto Selection


With over 50 coins available in the U.S., Coinbase's selection stands out. There are thousands of digital currencies out there, but many are extremely small with limited trading volumes. Coinbase supports all the major coins, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, and Bitcoin Cash, as well as some more speculative ones. And its crypto selection isn't the only area where Coinbase shines. The easy-to-use exchange has top-notch security and excellent educational resources. Plus, more experienced traders can get lower fees and additional features with CoinbasePro.

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Gemini Exchange

Best Cryptocurrency Exchange & App for Bitcoin

Gemini Exchange

Bitcoin buyers may be attracted to Gemini for a number of reasons. The U.S.-based exchange makes it a cinch to buy, store, and even spend your Bitcoin. Not only that, but you can also earn interest on your coins. Gemini Pay means you can spend your Bitcoin too. The mobile app lets you pay with Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies at over 30,000 retail stores in the U.S. Perhaps most important of all, Gemini's stringent security means your Bitcoin is both safe and covered by insurance.

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*A complete list of 2021 award winners, from financial apps to brokers, can be found here.

**You can also find more cryptocurrency exchanges to compare by checking out The Ascent's best cryptocurrency exchanges and apps page.

The Ascent's 2021 Cryptocurrency Exchange and App Awards Winners award banner