Today’s cryptocurrency industry is undeniably on the rise, attracting more participants, even amid a bear market. This surge in interest is entirely understandable, given the mounting evidence that digital assets represent the future of finance.
Many individuals are eager to be part of this innovative movement, driven not necessarily by constant trading but by their belief in the underlying technology’s principles.
If you’ve researched and aligned with these principles, you may consider entering crypto by exchanging fiat currency for digital assets. However, not all cryptocurrency exchanges are equally suited for this purpose.
Therefore, this article will explore the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges in 2023 tailored to your specific needs. Let’s dive in!
What is a Fiat Currency?
Fiat currency is money issued by a government that isn’t backed by physical commodities like gold or silver, but rather, it gets its value from how much of it is available and how much people want it. It’s not like physical items that have inherent value; its value comes from the trust people have in the government that made it.
The word “fiat” comes from Latin and means “let it be done.”
Most of the money we use today, like the U.S. dollar or the euro, is fiat currency. So, when you check your bank account or use a debit or credit card, you’re dealing with fiat money if your currency is something like the euro or the U.S. dollar.
Fiat money isn’t something you can touch or hold for its inherent worth, like a gold coin. Instead, it’s valuable because people agree it has value, and they trust that stores and other people will accept it when they want to buy things or pay debts.
So, in a nutshell, fiat currency:
- Is any money not tied to something valuable like gold.
- Governments declare it must be accepted for payments.
- It’s not linked to a specific standard but has value because of government authority and people’s trust.
What is a Fiat to Crypto Exchange?
Now that you know what a fiat currency is, let’s find out what a fiat-to-crypto exchange is.
In simple terms, a fiat-to-crypto exchange is like a digital marketplace where you can turn regular money, like dollars, euros, or pounds, into cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Cardano. It’s like a bridge between traditional money and digital currencies.
Using a fiat-to-crypto exchange, you can buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies based on the exchange rates and market conditions.
However, why are fiat-to-crypto exchanges used? Do they bring any benefits? Well, here’s why people use these exchanges:
- Versatility – Good exchanges let you use different types of regular money and various ways to put your money in or take it out easily.
- Fees – In general, crypto transactions have lower fees than fiat, so many use these exchanges to buy crypto and send it/make transactions from one account to another at a much lower fee.
- Security – The top exchanges ensure your money and personal information are secure. They use extra passwords, strong encryption, and special offline storage for your money, resulting in actions that regular banks generally do not take to protect your account.
- Partnerships – Some exchanges team up with other companies to offer even better services and more benefits.
How Do Fiat to Crypto Exchanges Work?
Fiat-to-crypto exchanges operate in a manner somewhat similar to brokerage platforms, even though there are some distinctions. Unlike brokerage platforms that connect buyers and sellers, these exchanges directly sell cryptocurrency to users. They acquire cryptocurrency in bulk and securely store it before offering it to customers.
Generally, fiat-to-crypto exchanges work in the following manner:
Users create an account on the exchange platform and (depending on the exchange you choose) verify their account, then deposit fiat currency (wire transfers, direct transfer using credit or debit card, or other method) before making cryptocurrency purchases based on their deposit. After that, users can choose to keep their cryptocurrency within the exchange’s wallet or transfer it to an external wallet (like MetaMask, Ledger, Trust Wallet, etc.) of their preference. Depending on the exchange, users might also be able to trade their purchased cryptocurrency for other digital assets.
Moreover, fiat-to-crypto exchanges can convert your cryptocurrency holdings back into fiat currency. For instance, if you initially bought Cardano or Bitcoin Cash with your debit card, you can use the exchange to transform your ADA or BCH into fiat currency again. Subsequently, you can withdraw these funds to your original payment source.
In a Nutshell – Top Fiat to Crypto Exchanges
In a nutshell, the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges or most popular fiat-to-crypto exchanges are the following:
To select the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges, our team of specialists employed a rigorous methodology. Initially, we identified a comprehensive list of crypto exchanges widely recognized in the industry. We then evaluated these platforms against a set of crucial criteria, such as assessing the fee structure to ensure transparency and competitive pricing, evaluating the user-friendliness of the signup process to measure accessibility, observing the ease of depositing and withdrawing funds to ensure seamless transactions, and examining the efficiency and security of the exchange process when converting fiat currency to cryptocurrencies.
Through this meticulous evaluation process, we ranked and identified the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges, providing users with informed recommendations for their cryptocurrency trading needs.
Now, for a review of each fiat-to-crypto exchange mentioned above, read below our extended explanation to understand why we chose those exchanges in that order.
Best Fiat to Crypto Exchange to Consider in 2023
Based on our research and analysis, the best fiat-to-crypto exchange (and not only in this chapter) in 2023 is Binance.
Binance crypto exchange has emerged as a standout choice for cryptocurrency enthusiasts globally. Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, a well-known entrepreneur, Binance quickly gained traction, becoming one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in just half a year.
While Binance offers a range of trading services, its main focus is on the cryptocurrency market. It excels at crypto-to-crypto trading, allowing users to exchange various cryptocurrencies easily. However, Binance is also a great platform for fiat-to-crypto transactions, incorporating a wide range of supported currencies (which will be discussed later).
What’s impressive is that Binance keeps transaction fees impressively low, making it an appealing option for budget-conscious traders. Moreover, users who pay with Binance’s native cryptocurrency token, BNB, enjoy valuable discounts.
The platform employs robust security measures, ensuring that user assets are well-protected.
In terms of trading volume, Binance consistently leads the pack, making it the preferred choice for those seeking high daily trading volumes. Its reputation as a reliable and trustworthy exchange further cements its position as a leader in the cryptocurrency industry.
Supported Currencies on Binance
From our perspective, Binance is the best fiat-to-crypto exchange because it offers a wide variety of cryptocurrencies that can be bought using a wide variety of fiat money.
However, remember that Binance, being licensed in multiple jurisdictions, enforces a stringent Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification process for all its users.
Currently, Binance accepts over 28 types of fiat currencies, including EUR, USD, JPY, TRY, AUD, PHP, RON, PLN, and more. Compared to the cryptocurrencies you can buy with these fiat currencies, on Binance, you can buy over 385 crypto coins and tokens.
As payment methods on Binance, you can use credit or debit cards, bank transfers, eWallet, or crypto. When it comes to funding your account, bank transfers typically incur a nominal fee of approximately $1, while payments made with a bank card are subject to a fee of approximately 1.80%. Additionally, certain BTC pairs allow for fee-free cryptocurrency trading, whereas other spot transactions carry a fixed fee of 0.1%, irrespective of the transaction amount.
It’s important to note that this information pertains specifically to Binance and not Binance.US. The variety of offerings on Binance.US is more limited, and owing to ongoing platform issues in the United States, we have refrained from delving into further details about it.
Pros of Binance
- Low fees;
- A wide array of trading options and order types;
- High liquidity;
- A wide selection of payment methods and supported currencies;
- Industry-leading security measures;
- 24/7 customer support.
Cons of Binance
- Major regulatory concerns;
- Limited US version;
- The platform may be confusing for beginners.
If you think Binance isn’t the right fit for you, you can choose our second selection, Kraken, another great and one of the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges.
Kraken, headquartered in San Francisco, is a cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates the trading of various cryptocurrencies. Users on this platform have the flexibility to buy or sell cryptocurrencies using a variety of fiat currencies, including U.S. dollars, Canadian dollars, euros, and Japanese yen.
Founded in 2011, Kraken officially commenced its trading operations in 2013. The exchange is under the ownership of Payward Inc., with David Ripley currently serving as the CEO, taking over from co-founder Jesse Powell in 2022.
As of September 12, 2023, Kraken holds the position of the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, boasting a daily trading volume of $682 million, as reported by the exchange aggregator CoinMarketCap.
Kraken’s extensive offerings include support for trading over 200 cryptocurrencies and a vast array of more than 600 cryptocurrency pairs.
Supported Currencies on Kraken
Fiat currencies can be added to or taken out of your Kraken account via bank transfers from various locations internationally (+ credit and debit card), Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
The fiat currencies Kraken accepts at the time of writing this article are USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, CHF, and AUD. The exchange also supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies, with over 240 coins and tokens available.
While certain payment methods, like Swift and RTGS, may involve fees ranging from $1 to $10, Kraken distinguishes itself by offering fee-free deposits for all supported fiat currencies, a perk that significantly enhances the value proposition for users.
Remember that Kraken also has KYC policies like any other of the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges.
Pros of Kraken
- Secure exchange with proof of reserves;
- Supports numerous funding options;
- High trading volume.
Cons of Kraken
- Not available in all US states;
- Relatively few fiat currencies are accepted.
Coinbase, established in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, has grown into one of the largest platforms for fiat-to-crypto transactions.
Coinbase is known for being a completely regulated exchange, ensuring a dependable and trustworthy experience for its users.
With a workforce of over 4,500 people worldwide, Coinbase crypto exchange offers access to a wide range of unique cryptocurrencies and serves users in more than 100 countries. The platform handles a substantial trading volume, approximately $145 billion quarterly, and supports interactions with 13,000 financial institutions.
Coinbase simplifies the crypto journey with two trading tools and a dedicated crypto wallet service, making it user-friendly for newcomers entering the world of digital currencies. Moreover, Coinbase encourages learning about cryptocurrencies by offering courses that reward users with crypto.
Notably, the Coinbase crypto exchange has generated strong partnerships with various organizations, including Visa, enabling users to spend their cryptocurrencies using a Coinbase Visa debit card. This partnership adds convenience, allowing people to use digital assets for everyday transactions, bridging the gap between the crypto industry and real-life spending.
If you find a regulated crypto exchange that has a user-friendly interface and usability for beginners, Coinbase can be the best fiat-to-crypto exchange for you.
Supported Currencies on Coinbase
Related to payment methods, you can add money to your Coinbase account and purchase cryptocurrencies using Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards, SEPA transfers, PayPal (available only in some countries), Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Currently, Coinbase accepts three major fiat currencies: USD, EUR, and GBP. The exchange also provides access to a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, offering more than 240 coins and tokens, roughly on par with Kraken’s offerings.
It’s important to note that Coinbase is a licensed cryptocurrency exchange, which means users must complete KYC verification before buying cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies.
While transactions on Coinbase come with a fixed fee of 0.60% for takers and 0.40% for makers, the platform states that other types of purchases may incur variable fees determined by factors such as your location, payment method, order size, and current market conditions.
Pros of Coinbase
- Great and easy-to-use interface;
- One of the most reliable fiat-to-crypto exchanges;
- Low minimum deposit requirements.
Cons of Coinbase
- Higher fees than some competitors;
- Poor customer service.
ByBit is a crypto trading platform that’s worth checking out. It’s based in Singapore and specializes in cryptocurrency derivatives.
The co-founder of ByBit, Ben Zhou, saw the potential in crypto trading and started the platform in 2018. Before becoming ByBit’s CEO, Zhou worked at XM, a forex brokerage firm, where he was the general manager for Greater China.
Zhou brought together a team of experts in investment banking, fintech, blockchain, and forex, with experience at well-known companies like Alibaba, Tencent, and Morgan Stanley. They worked together to create this platform.
On ByBit crypto exchange, you can do two main things: open long positions or open short positions. Plus, you have the option to use leverage, which means you can trade with borrowed money that’s more than what’s in your wallet, even if you don’t actually own the assets you’re trading.
Clearly, given that the platform is in this top ranking as one of the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges, it’s evident that you can buy cryptocurrency with fiat on it. However, please note that ByBit is not accessible to US citizens, as the platform primarily targets other continents.
Supported Currencies on ByBit
ByBit stands out for its wide range of assets, offering more than 442 different crypto coins and tokens. This makes ByBit an excellent choice for trading diverse digital assets.
Additionally, it supports 16 fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB, making it convenient for investors worldwide.
When it comes to payment methods, ByBit mainly favors bank transfers, which may require users who prefer e-wallets to use another platform like Binance. However, ByBit allows instant purchases using a bank card, even with higher spread fees.
In terms of fees, there are no deposit fees, but withdrawal fees vary depending on the currency and chosen payment method. To ensure stability, there are limits on the amount you can deposit or withdraw at once.
If you prefer to make fee-free fiat-to-crypto (or vice versa) withdrawals, ByBit offers a P2P trading option. This allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies for fiat directly with other traders, providing a cost-effective way to move your funds.
Pros of ByBit
- Up to 100x leverage on crypto;
- Wide range of digital assets and supported fiat currencies;
- Relatively low trading fees.
Cons of ByBit
- Not available for US citizens;
- Limited payment methods for the majority of fiat currencies.
Now, let’s talk about eToro, which didn’t make it in this ranking due to its fees not being the lowest. Nevertheless, it’s a platform that deserves recognition.
eToro is a user-friendly and straightforward brokerage and social trading platform that caters to crypto enthusiasts, regardless of their trading experience. You can choose from over 80 cryptocurrencies on eToro and start trading easily and securely.
When it comes to security, eToro takes it seriously. They incorporate multiple layers of security features, including 2FA (2-factor authentication) verification, cold storage for your assets, FDIC-insured USD balances, multi-signature capabilities, private keys, and a KYC (Know Your Customer) process.
Besides its innovative approach, eToro has become well-known and attractive because of its strong advertising efforts, especially in Europe, where it focuses most of its attention. Some of the world’s most famous figures, like the famous actor Alec Baldwin, have endorsed the platform. This has solidified eToro’s position as a top investment platform in the market.
It’s worth noting that eToro’s user base has grown significantly since its inception. As of the third quarter of 2022, it reached 31 million users. These numbers underscore eToro’s popularity and the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies and trading.
Supported Currencies on eToro
As of the time of writing, eToro allows you to convert your traditional currency into more than 80 different cryptocurrencies, including the most well-known ones.
You can add money to your eToro account using various payment methods, such as credit or debit cards, a bank transfer, e-wallets (like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller), eToro Money, Trustly Online Banking, or Klarna/Sofort.
To buy cryptocurrencies on eToro, you must go through a KYC (Know Your Customer) process, a standard security procedure.
Regarding fees, eToro charges a conversion fee when you deposit funds or withdraw funds in a currency that’s not USD. Since eToro primarily operates in USD, there are no fees when you deposit or withdraw in USD. However, if you deposit in any of their supported currencies (like EUR, GBP, AUD, RMB, THB, IDR, MYR, VND, PHP, SEK, DKK, NOK, PLN, CZK, PEN, MXN, QAR, BHD, OMR, AED, or SGD), they will charge a fee to convert your funds into USD.
Pros of eToro
- Great user interface for beginners;
- Well-established in the market with backing from multiple top-tier regulators;
- Not involved in significant controversies;
- It supports multiple payment methods than other exchanges.
Cons of eToro
- Relatively high fees compared with other exchanges;
- Relatively fewer crypto assets are available than competitors.
KuCoin is a crypto exchange established in 2017 and located in Seychelles. KuCoin has grown to become one of the largest exchanges globally, serving more than 20 million users.
KuCoin allows users to buy, sell, and trade a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. In addition to standard trading options, investors can engage in margin trading, futures trading, and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading, KuCoin being recognized as one of the best peer-to-peer exchanges. Furthermore, KuCoin allows users to lend or stake their cryptocurrencies, allowing them to earn rewards on the platform.
It’s important to note that while individuals from the United States can create KuCoin accounts, their access to certain features is restricted due to KuCoin not having the necessary licenses to operate in the United States. This means there may be risks associated with signing up, such as potential challenges in withdrawing your crypto assets in the event of regulatory actions by U.S. authorities. KuCoin has also faced regulatory issues in countries like The Netherlands and Canada.
KuCoin users can easily navigate through various features on the platform, including viewing available markets, purchasing cryptocurrencies, trading, lending crypto, and more. The exchange supports four types of orders: market, limit, stop-limit, and stop-market.
Supported Currencies on KuCoin
Related to supported currencies, KuCoin crypto exchange is quite versatile, as it offers support for a remarkable 734 crypto coins and tokens at the time of writing that can be purchased using more than 48 different fiat currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR, AED, HUF, and CAD.
Because KuCoin serves crypto traders worldwide, it provides various payment methods, such as bank transfers, credit and debit cards, Cash App, Zelle, Skrill, etc. Moreover, KuCoin collaborates with third-party services like Simplex to expand its payment methods for international investors.
When speaking about KuCoin fees, it’s important to note that while KuCoin itself doesn’t charge extra fees for deposits, the third-party services it partners with typically impose fees ranging from 1.5% to 4%. Therefore, carefully considering your choice of payment service provider is crucial when using KuCoin.
Pros of KuCoin
- It supports a lot of payment methods and digital assets;
- Relatively low fees;
- Advanced trading options, like margin trading, P2P trading, and others.
Cons of KuCoin
- They don’t have a US operating license
- Low trading volume compared with competitors;
How to Choose the Right Fiat to Crypto Exchange for You
When choosing the perfect fiat-to-crypto exchange, you must focus on the key factors that matter most to you based on your goals. Let’s break down the essentials for someone looking to convert fiat into crypto for long-term investments:
One of the most critical aspects to consider is the fees and exchange charges. Fees play a significant role in how exchanges operate and how they affect your finances. Some platforms offer free fiat deposits and withdrawals, while others may have substantial fees, especially for methods like wire transfers.
Also, trading fees can quickly eat into your potential profits, so pay close attention to them.
2. Supported Assets
Each crypto exchange has its own list of supported crypto assets. It’s crucial to confirm which cryptocurrencies are available before depositing your funds. You don’t want to be stuck on a platform that doesn’t offer the crypto you want to buy.
3. Supported Payment Methods
Access to various payment methods is a must when choosing an exchange. Ideally, look for a platform that supports at least two payment methods for your preferred currency. This helps you avoid the frustration of being unable to deposit funds due to maintenance or other downtimes.
4. Supported Fiat Currencies
If you’re an international investor, check which fiat currencies are native to the platform. This can save you from unexpected fees related to currency conversions, which many banks charge hefty amounts for.
Remember, the proper exchange for you depends on your needs and plans, so consider these factors carefully to make an informed decision.
How to Exchange Fiat to Crypto?
Now that you’re familiar with the top fiat-to-crypto exchanges and have learned how to select the proper fiat-to-crypto exchange for your needs, you might be wondering how to exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrency or vice versa.
Below, we’ll briefly overview this process, using Binance as an example. Please note that the process is quite similar across all the exchanges mentioned. It consists of four simple steps:
Step 1: Create an Account on the Best Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange for Your Needs
First, you must sign up for an account on your chosen fiat-to-crypto exchange. Typically, you’ll find a “Sign Up” button on the exchange’s website. Fill in the required fields with your personal information, including your name, address, and contact details.
Step 2: Verify Your Identity
Next, you’ll need to complete an identity verification process. This usually involves uploading a valid ID, such as your passport or driver’s license, to confirm your identity.
Step 3: Deposit Funds Into Your Account on the Platform
Once your account is successfully opened and verified, you can deposit funds. Navigate to the payment or deposit page of the exchange and select your preferred payment method. Then, transfer the money you wish to use for your cryptocurrency purchase into your exchange account.
Step 4: Purchase Crypto / Sell Crypto
Search for the cryptocurrency you want to buy on the exchange’s platform and initiate the purchase.
If you want to sell, just access your wallet and press the “Sell” button to the right of the cryptocurrency you want to sell. After that, withdrawing fiat currency will be possible for you.
How Much is Fiat to Crypto Conversion Rate?
The conversion rate from fiat to crypto exchanges varies from one platform to another due to their unique fee structures. Typically, these fees range between 0.5% to 2%. However, for specific details on fees associated with each fiat-to-crypto exchange, you can refer to our comprehensive best fiat-to-crypto exchanges article, which provides a detailed breakdown of applicable charges.
Are Fiat-to-Crypto Exchanges Legal?
Yes, fiat-to-crypto exchanges are generally considered legal. However, it’s important to note that they might only be permitted in some jurisdictions. Therefore, reviewing your area’s local regulations and legal requirements before proceeding to a fiat-to-crypto exchange is advisable.
How Long Does It Take to Convert Fiat to Crypto?
Converting fiat to cryptocurrency usually happens quickly, typically within a few seconds to a few minutes. However, it can sometimes take up to four days, depending on the exchange you use and how you choose to pay. For instance, if you use a wire transfer, the money may take around three days to show up in your cryptocurrency account, making the whole process longer.
With all this information at your fingertips, it’s time to take action. Dive into a thorough analysis of each fiat-to-crypto exchange mentioned earlier and select the one that aligns best with your preferences and convictions.
Every exchange discussed here provides solid options for entering the crypto market and building your cryptocurrency portfolio. So, as you embark on this journey, remember to conduct your research diligently before making any investments.
Best of luck, and may your crypto ventures be both rewarding and enlightening!