Want to invest in cryptocurrencies but confused on which Cryptocurrency Exchange to go with? This article is a comprehensive guide on the Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges in India in 2021.

This guide can be used by the novice, intermediate as well as the advanced trader. I have started from the very basics of what cryptocurrency is, what cryptocurrency exchanges are and what are the types of cryptocurrency exchanges. If you already are well apprised of the basics, you can skip these.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency (created and transacted digitally) which is secured by cryptography. These are not created and hence controlled by any Central Authority.

  • The cryptography makes it nearly impossible to double spend or counterfeit the digital currency. This means you cannot send the digital currency to more than one person
  • The Cryptocurrency can be sent peer to peer meaning no third party is required to transfer cryptocurrency.

Example: Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, XRP, etc.

What are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

Before we list the top Cryptocurrency Exchanges in India, we should briefly brush up our understanding of a Cryptocurrency Exchange, its types and the various considerations before selecting one.

A cryptocurrency exchange is a digital platform which facilitates the exchange or trade (buy and sell) of cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency for fiat currency or fiat currency for cryptocurrency.

For example, you can buy Bitcoin from your fiat money, or sell Bitcoin to get equivalent value of fiat money or any other cryptocurrency like Ether.

Cryptocurrency Transactions

Types of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Centralized and Decentralized Exchanges

Cryptocurrency Exchanges can be centralized or decentralized. Centralized exchanges are more common and are suggested for the beginners. Although, Decentralized exchanges are gaining traction day by day. These exchanges offer better returns but need some experience prior to usage. Let us see the differences.

Centralized Exchanges

A Centralized Exchange is ‘Centralized’ because they are managed by a third party. The third-party acts as an intermediary between a buyer and a seller. For every successful transaction, they charge a transaction fee. In essence,

  • Centralized Exchanges are managed by third parties.
  • You need to sign-up to these exchanges by sharing your personal information.
  • The trading platform or the third party connects with the buyer and sells cryptocurrency on your behalf. This means at the time of selling you need to put in your cryptocurrencies with the trading platform. Now the trading platform will sign with the Private Key to sell off your cryptocurrency to a buyer which has placed an order. The platform charges a transaction fees.
  • Once a member you get connected to other traders in the exchange.
  • You can also store your cryptocurrencies with these exchanges (although this is highly not recommended. This attracts possible hacks or frauds which may lose all your cryptocurrency assets).

Examples: Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Gemini.

Decentralized Exchanges

A Decentralized Exchange on the contrary has no third party to facilitate the trade. Peer to peer trading happens. Basically,

  • A Decentralized Exchange emulates the Centralized Exchanges, only that no third party is required (almost negligible if any) to facilitate any trade.
  • Buyer is connected directly to the seller
  • You keep your cryptocurrency with yourself, sign the transactions yourself, without any need of the exchange to sign it on your behalf.


Examples: PancakeSwap, Uniswap, BurgerSwap, SushiSwap, Curve Finance, MDEX, MDEX(BSC), etc.
Popular Decentralized Exchanges can be found here by market volume and market share.

Checklist before selecting a Cryptocurrency Exchange

With over hundreds of cryptocurrency exchanges going live, it is a daunting task to select the exchange best suited to your needs. The exchange which can provide you hassle free and scam free experience. As a rule of thumb, do consider the below criteria before selecting a cryptocurrency exchange.

  • Is the Exchange licensed in your country?
    This is the obvious first criteria for you to select a cryptocurrency exchange. ‘Is the Exchange licensed and accessible from my country?’ Do some research on the legality of the exchange in your country, before going with it. It might happen that an exchange such popular is not legal or operative in your country. For example, Binance which is one of the most popular exchange in the world is not operative in countries like Syria, Iran and North Korea.
  • Where is the exchange headquartered?

This is also a very critical criteria for selecting an exchange. There are countries which are anti-crypto and an exchange located in such countries will only give you hassles and challenges.

  • You can use Wikipedia as a reference to check for the legality of cryptocurrencies (bitcoin) in a country.
  • Also type in Google for legality of the exchange of your choice in your country. Example search like “Legality of Exchange Name in Country Name’

  • Security of the exchange

The security of the exchange is of utmost importance.

  • Before selecting an exchange do proper research for any past scams the exchange suffered, user reviews, etc.
  • The exchange should have employed two-factor or multi-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication adds an extra security layer to your account. You are not allowed access to your account by merely entering your username and password (as it happens generally). Rather after you enter your username and password you are asked to provide an additional information like a PIN, answers to secret questions, credit card details, or may be your fingerprints. Use tools like Google Authenticator or Authy for trusted two-factor authentication.
  • Insurance of the funds: Big exchanges like Binance have their customer’s insured by funds. For example, Binance has Secure Asset Funds for Users (SAFU) where it keeps around 10% of their transaction fees received for the safety of its customers. In May 2019, 7000 BTC were hacked from Binance. The SAFU made it possible for Binance to return the losses to its customers.
  • Audit for the exchange: You can also lookout whether the exchange has been recently audited or not. An audit tells the loopholes in the security of the exchange. This helps the exchange to work on these loopholes and eradicate them completely. System and Organizational Control (SOC) audits are the most relevant audits you should look out for the security of the exchanges.
  • Volume and liquidity of the exchange

The volume of trade happening in a crypto exchange is a great indicator for the level of adoption of the exchange by the customers. The more the volume of trade happening, greater is the adoption among customers, greater is the exchange’s liquidity and its ability to fill in orders however small or big at any point of the day.

A good reference for the volume of trade happening in some of the most popular Centralized Exchanges is given here and the most popular Decentralized exchanges is given here.

  • What is the transaction fee of the exchange?

Once you have sifted through a number of exchanges for location, security, volume and liquidity, the last thing you want to check is the fees associated with any transaction in the exchange. A comparative analysis of the fees incurred in different exchanges is given here.

Decentralized Exchanges have the lowest (almost negligible) fees. Centralized Exchanges, since are managed by third parties have transaction fees which depends on the user behaviors.

Top 5 Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges in India

  • Exchange Name: WazirX

Supported Cryptocurrencies: 100+ cryptocurrencies
Pros:

  • Very trusted, controlled by Binance, world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume.
  • You can buy/sell any crypto listed under Binance from the WazirX platform

Cons:

  • Has orderbook, so somewhat hard for new users
  • UI is not beginner friendly

Fees: Low ~0.2% fees
Download or Sign up link: Sign Up
Payment Methods:
Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking
Founded:
2017

  • Exchange Name: CoinDCX

Supported Cryptocurrencies: 200+ Cryptocurrencies
Pros:

  • Easy User Interface
  • Offers trading products like spot, margin, futures and lending
  • Insta feature allows to buy 40 plus cryptocurrencies in a single basket in less than a minute
  • Free deposits and withdrawals of money

Cons:

Relatively new

Fees: Low ~0.1%
Download or Sign up link: Sign Up
Payment Methods:
Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking, Mobikwik
Founded:
2018

Supported Cryptocurrencies: 300 cryptocurrencies and 45000 trading pairs from exchanges like Binance, OKEx, HitBTC, IDEX, and many more
Pros:

  • Offers 45000 trading pairs from exchanges like Binance, OKEx, HitBTC, IDEX, and many more
  • Buy 100+ crypto coins with INR.
  • UI is beginner friendly

Cons:

  • Some users have complained about issues in instant withdrawals
  • CoinSwitch Kuber has hidden charges. The company charges 1-2 percent from the cost of buying cryptocurrency

Fees: No Fee but some hidden charges the company imposes. Whenever you buy the company charges 1-2 percent from the cost of buying cryptocurrency

Download or Sign up link: Sign Up

Payment Methods: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking

Founded: 2020

Supported Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple
Pros:

  • Funded by 45 top investors from 5 countries including leading VCs like Blume Ventures, FundersClub, Mumbai Angels. This makes it a trusted exchange.
  • Offers unique investment plans like Systematic Buy Plan (SBP) to automate bitcoin buying with a fixed amount and frequency, Crypto Baskets for weighted basket orders, Over the Counter (OTC) for bulk trades, loans against your digital assets, fixed deposits of USDT (stable coins) and earn monthly interests

Cons: As per some Google Playstore reviews, there have been issues in the speed of the application
Fees:
~0.7% plus 18% Government levied GST on the transaction fee.
Download or Sign up link:
Download here
Payment Methods:
Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking
Founded:
2013 (oldest cryptocurrency exchange in India)

Pros: Advanced security No fiat deposit and withdrawal fee. No crypto deposit fee

Cons: Charges 0.0001 BTC or equivalent (in fiat) per month for Indian users who do not trade at all in a month. This means if you do not trade at all in a month you will be charged 0.0001 BTC or equivalent.
Fees:

  • Maker: 0.15%
  • Taker: 0.25%
  • Intraday: 0.10%
  • For more detailed information please refer here

Download or Sign up link: Download here
Payment Methods:
Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking
Founded:
Originally started in 2012 with the name BuySell Bitco.in. In 2014 relaunched with the name ZebPay

Decentralized Exchanges in India

We already know that Centralized Exchanges have their own share of risks. We have had catastrophes in the past where the central servers of Centralized Exchanges were hacked resulting in huge losses of crypto assets of clients. Hence comes the idea of Decentralized Exchanges where there is no third-party involvement. Your Private Keys are not held by the Exchange (as is in the case of Centralized Exchanges). Traders directly connect with each other to buy and sell cryptos. The Smart Contract executes the orders, the liquidity pool provides liquidity and the Ethereum network records the transactions. Let us see some popular Decentralized Exchanges in India.

PancakeSwap

  • Runs on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) which gives it a superior speed and much lower transaction fees.
  • The exchange is an automated market maker (“AMM”) that allows two tokens to be exchanged on the Binance Smart Chain.
  • It allows you to exchange tokens, become a liquidity provider and also stake your LP tokens to farm new tokens.
  • The native token CAKE has got lot of utility value which has seen surge over the time.
Dashboard PancakeSwap

Uniswap

  • Runs on the Ethereum Blockchain.
  • It is available for Cloud, iPhone, iPad and Android
  • Used to swap ERC20 tokens.
  • Founded in 2018
Landing Page Uniswap

1Inch Exchange

  • Available for Cloud, iPhone, iPad and Android.
  • A DeFi aggregator which presents you with the trading fees and other info of different DEX in the same dashboard.
  • It allows you to split a single trade transaction across different Decentralized Exchanges (DEX), aimed at helping you to optimize and customize your trade.
  • Founded in 2019

For more Decentralized Exchanges in India please refer to the link here.

Leave a Reply