Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

This device is too small

If you're on a Galaxy Fold, consider unfolding your phone or viewing it in full screen to best optimize your experience.

Skip to main content

1inch Review: Lowest Rates for Experienced Cryptocurrency Traders, but Lacks U.S. Regulation

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

1inch is a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator, which means it scours the cryptocurrency market to find the best rates and lowest fees for your trades. Unfortunately, it is not licensed to operate in the U.S. Read our full 1inch review to find out if its advanced features and wide range of cryptocurrencies might help you up your crypto trading game.

Ratings Methodology

Our Rating:

Rating image, 3.00 out of 5 stars.
3.00 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

Bottom Line

The lack of U.S. regulation weighs on our rating, even though the exchange is well-regarded and offers the opportunity to secure low fees.

Fees:

Exchange and gas fees vary by trade

Account Minimum:

Varies by trade

Full 1inch review

This cryptocurrency exchange is a good fit for: Non-U.S. residents who are confident using cryptocurrencies and want more.

Pros

  • 1inch finds the best rates
  • No 1inch fees
  • No withdrawal or deposit fees
  • Works with various wallets
  • You can set limit orders
  • Works with various wallets
  • Huge range of cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Not regulated in the U.S.
  • Gas fees can be steep
  • Not suited to new investors
  • Limited fiat options

Top perks

1inch is a non-custodial exchange, which means you'll need a third-party wallet to use its cryptocurrency services. Wallets are places you can store the keys (codes that let you control your crypto) to your coins.

1inch finds the best rates

1inch shops around various exchanges to find the best rates for whatever swap you want to make. Depending on what currency pair you are trading, it may give you better rates than many of the major exchanges. It may also split the swap across more than one exchange if that gives you a better deal.

Plus, if you aren't happy with the prices you see, you can set a limit order. This lets you input the price you want to pay, and the trade will only go through if the currency reaches that rate.

No 1inch fees

When you make a trade with 1inch, you'll pay the fees for the exchange it uses and any transaction costs (gas fees). However, 1inch itself does not add any additional charges.

Since 1inch doesn't keep your assets on its servers, you'll never need to pay fees to withdraw or deposit your crypto.

You can put your crypto to work

Once you've connected your wallet, you can sometimes earn interest by putting your coins into something called a "liquidity pool." These are essentially a way to ensure there's enough currency available when people want to trade. You'll earn a small amount each time someone uses that liquidity pool, and in some cases, you can also earn interest.

Bear in mind that you'll need to pay gas fees when you put money into a liquidity pool, so make sure these don't come to more than you will earn in interest. If you aren't used to cryptocurrencies, it may be more cost-effective to investigate interest-earning options elsewhere.

It works with various wallets

It is simple to use 1inch's exchange. All you do is connect your wallet, and let it do the rest. Depending on what browser you use, 1inch works with the following wallets:

  • 1inch Wallet
  • MetaMask (You can use this to connect to big hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor)
  • WalletConnect
  • Ledger
  • Portis
  • MEW (MyEthereum Wallet)
  • Torus
  • Fortmatic
  • Bitski
  • Authereum
  • Binance Chain Wallet
  • Arkane

Range of cryptocurrencies

You can trade all ERC-20 tokens -- currencies that run on the Ethereum network -- on 1inch.

If the ERC-20 token you want to buy isn't on the list, you can add it. Just be sure to get the details correct, otherwise you could lose your money.

We counted around 400 tokens available on the 1inch exchange, but there are several popular tokens you can't buy. If you are using the Ethereum network, you can only buy synthetic versions of tokens (including Bitcoin) that don't run on Ethereum. As we'll discuss in more detail below, you need a good understanding of how cryptocurrency platforms work to make full use of 1inch.

TIP

Buying your first stocks: Do it the smart way

Once you’ve chosen one of our top-rated brokers, you need to make sure you’re buying the right stocks. We think there’s no better place to start than with Stock Advisor, the flagship stock-picking service of our company, The Motley Fool. You’ll get two new stock picks every month, plus 10 starter stocks and best buys now. Over the past 17 years, Stock Advisor’s average stock pick has seen a 322% return — more than 3x that of the S&P 500! (as of 11/10/2022). Learn more and get started today with a special new member discount.

What could be improved

Not regulated in the U.S.

1inch is not licensed to operate in the United States. This is most likely because its service is anonymous. Most U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges need to collect personal information from their customers to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

While 1inch has been operating for several years and seems to be a legitimate website, you still need to understand the risks. If you use an exchange that is not licensed to operate in your country, you can't seek help from the authorities if it turns out to be a scam or you somehow lose your money. In addition, the service may close down your account if authorities crack down on unauthorized exchanges. You are breaking its terms of service by using it from the U.S.

If you are a U.S. resident, there are a number of excellent licensed cryptocurrency exchanges and it makes sense to use one of these.

Gas fees

1inch does not charge its own fees, but it is not free. You need to pay fees for every action you take -- from adding liquidity to trading your crypto.

1inch runs on the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Polygon networks. Each one charges transaction fees -- called gas fees -- to cover the costs involved in processing transactions. That fee changes depending on how busy the network is. If lots of people are trying to use the platform, fees will be much higher.

In recent months, Ethereum gas fees have been particularly high because the network is congested. Earlier this year, gas fees for a single Ethereum transaction were pushing the $30 mark. That's why it could be useful to explore Binance Smart Chain or Polygon. However, you need to be confident moving money from one place to another to make this work effectively.

You can also reduce gas fees by opting to pay them in the Chi Gastoken (CHI), 1inch's own Ethereum-based token designed to cut transaction costs.

Not ideal for new investors

If you are new to cryptocurrencies, the platform is not straightforward. For example, although you can buy a wide range of coins, you might not find the currencies you'd expect. I wanted to swap some Ethereum for Binance coin (BNB), but the only options I had were iBNB or sBNB. Without going into too much detail, these are synthetic coins that are pegged to the price of BNB, but they aren't BNB tokens. This is because it only lists tokens that run on the Ethereum network, which BNB does not.

Trying to put coins into a liquidity pool is also not for the fainthearted. You need to know what you are doing. And given that you have to pay gas fees each time you perform an action on the site, the cost of experimenting can add up.

Limited fiat options

Until recently, you couldn't buy crypto using traditional (fiat) money like U.S. dollars on the 1inch site. However, you can now buy Ethereum with a debit or credit card through a third party (MoonPay). There's a catch though: The processing fees are steep and the rate could be better.

It is great that 1inch offers this option, but you're probably better off buying your cryptocurrency through an exchange that is set up to handle fiat at a lower cost.

Alternatives to consider

If you are buying cryptocurrency for the first time. Coinbase is a great option for anyone who's new to cryptocurrencies. It is a popular exchange with a large range of cryptocurrencies and plenty of educational resources. Be aware that the fees can be slightly higher than you'll find with other exchanges.

If you want a low-fee exchange that's regulated in the U.S. Gemini has an excellent reputation and competitive rates. It has a reputation for security and takes regulation extremely seriously. It was one of the first exchanges to get New York's BitLicense, which many think will be the basis for future crypto regulation in the U.S.

Offer


Rating
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Info Icon Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Commissions
Variable fees (Coinbase), 0%-0.60% (Coinbase Advanced Trade)
$0.99-$2.99 orders < $200, 1.49% for orders at least $200 (default), 0% - 0.40% (Gemini ActiveTrader)
Next Steps

How 1inch works

On the face of it, 1inch is pretty straightforward. You connect your wallet, choose the currencies you want to trade, and it will find the best rate. It is a decentralized exchange aggregator, which means it partners with various other exchanges to find the cheapest deal. It also factors in fees and gas costs.

As we touched on above, 1inch is a non-custodial exchange. This means you'll need your own wallet to be able to use its services. Make sure your wallet is compatible with 1inch before you start.

When you start to dig deeper, 1inch quickly becomes less straightforward. You may need to do more research if you want to use features such as earning interest and adding liquidity.

Fees overview

The only fees you'll need to pay on 1inch are the exchange fees and gas fees for the transactions you make. These vary per trade. 1inch won't charge you for the trade, nor will you pay to deposit or withdraw money.

Cryptocurrency selection

1inch has a huge selection of cryptocurrencies. It offers around 400 ERC-20 standard tokens, which are currencies that are hosted on the Ethereum network. If the ERC-20 token you want to trade isn't there, you can add it.

However, you won't find popular cryptocurrencies that don't run on the Ethereum network such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Binance (BNB). There are synthetic versions of these coins, which track the price but don't necessarily have the same utility.

The other thing that's worth touching on is that many of the advanced features of the site require you to own 1inch's native token: 1inch (1INCH).

Is your cryptocurrency safe with 1inch?

Since none of your cryptocurrency is stored on 1inch, there's no risk of it being stolen from the exchange. The important thing is to make sure your wallet is secure and protected with two-factor authentication and good password security.

While 1inch hasn't been hacked, the site has been cloned. There have been instances of people connecting their wallets to fake 1inch sites. Look for stray letters in the url (such as an 'L' instead of an 'I'). It's also worth bookmarking the correct website and avoiding promo links you see online.

Finally, if you plan to invest in smaller cryptocurrencies, it is important to do your research. Smaller coins carry more risk than established ones, so try to look into the management team, purpose, and potential of the coin before you buy.

1inch is right for you if:

  • You are a non-U.S. resident who wants to find the best cryptocurrency exchange rates
  • You already have a wallet and want to access a wider selection of cryptocurrencies
  • You are confident using cryptocurrencies and want to take your crypto experience to the next level

About the Author