5 Best CEX Alternatives in 2022 (Sites & Apps Like CEX.io)

Last Updated: September 12, 2022
Here we have picked and reviewed the best companies to exchange cryptocurrencies and the best CEX alternatives in the market.
Best CEX Alternatives
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BEST CRYPTO EXCHANGES

#1 Top Rated
Pionex

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eToro

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#1 Top Rated
Pionex

#1 CRYPTO EXCHANGE
with FREE trading bots
up to
270% APR
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#3 Top Rated
Uphold

buy & sell crypto

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In a hurry?
The best CEX alternative in 2022, as found in our independent testing, is Pionex!


CEX is a popular cryptocurrency exchange platform. It supports 100+ digital tokens and coins, providing you the opportunity to stake your cryptocurrencies any time.

Plus, it’s regulated and compliant with all crypto regulatory laws of the jurisdictions it extends its services to.

As such, CEX is the go-to exchange site for thousands of buyers, traders, and sellers alike. However, CEX has a few features that can be improved.

For example, the site is packed with a range of tools targeting different segments of the crypto market, which can be overwhelming for beginners to navigate. It offers lower liquidity than other platforms too.

If CEX isn’t cutting it for you, you can explore and opt for a different crypto exchange site like CEX, but be sure to consider the pricing and security when researching options.

These popular CEX alternatives for 2022 are a safe bet if you want to switch over to a different exchange platform.

Best CEX Alternatives in 2022

  1. Pionex – 🏆 Winner!
  2. eToro
  3. Uphold
  4. Binance
  5. Coinbase

1. Pionex

Pionex

Pionex is a cryptocurrency exchange platform with a sole focus on automated trading. They achieve this through 16 bots, which are free to access and come built-in to their site.

This CEX alternative is excellent for traders who are getting started or want to learn how to use trading bots effectively. Pionex has arguably the best crypto trading bots of all websites.

The most effective and advantageous bot on Pionex is the Grid Trading Bot. This focuses on buying crypto during dips and selling them at the highest estimated peaks.

Since you’re auto buying and selling, you’re effectively making money at all times, even while you sleep.

Pionex is also a cost-effective CEX alternative. Newcomers often have trouble paying for trading bots up front, and end up shelling out hard-earned dollars on bots that don’t perform as well as predicted.

👉 Get Pionex FREE

With Pionex, you create a free account and gain access to all of their 16 trading bots without forking over a penny.

Once you start trading though, Pionex will charge a measly 0.05% on every trade you make. This tiny sum means you can maximize your profits, especially on newer currencies.

Pionex offers a trading facility for 120+ crypto coins. These include Dogecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Shiba Inu, Litecoin, Polkadot, and Solana.

You can pick bots to either trade these coins or buy them for storing.

Pionex also gets the edge over a site like CEX by being beginner-friendly. Even if you have no experience using trading bots, you can learn quickly using their detailed bot guides and tutorials.

Pionex also offers impressive customer support, and you can reach out to them through the Live Chat option at any time.

An important thing to note is that Pionex doesn’t take fiat deposits, so you only have the option to deposit and trade cryptocurrency through bots, not fiat cash.

To start using Pionex, you may buy crypto from a different exchange like Binance or Coinbase and then transfer it to Pionex, so the bots can run.

Pionex has leverage trading options as well. These are risky, but pay off well if you’re an expert.

You can also trade manually and set limits- the trading is done against USDT (Tether) rates. And as Pionex is a Binance broker, you get deep liquidity from it.

Overall, Pionex is perfect for those who want to try bot trading and are willing to learn with tutorials. You can use Pionex through the iOS and Android apps as well.

2. eToro

eToro

For investors who are searching for an established CEX alternative, eToro is the best bet.

It has a successful track record of over 23 million users, and has provided social trading for 15 years legally in UK, US, Australia, and Europe.

It only offers crypto trading in the U.S, but other countries can benefit from additional brokerage tools. eToro also gives you the option to buy and sell crypto CFDs.

This CEX alternative offers a fantastic social trading feature as you can automatically copy the trading patterns of successful traders on the site.

This imitation helps new users earn well while learning the art of crypto trading. Once you’re a seasoned trader, if other people start following your trading strategies, you can earn about 2% of your average account balance annually.

eToro has its own eToro Money crypto wallet that supports 40+ digital currencies.

Through eToro, you can exchange Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum, Solana, Polkadot, Litecoin, Dash, Aave, and everything in between.

You can trade CFDs for dozens of tokens and digital currencies. You can also make USD deposits and do margin trading.

For a site like CEX, the pricing model of eToro can be confusing to new users. There’s a spread fee, which is a charge on a transaction, and it’s the difference between buying and selling prices. 

This broker’s commission is not a direct percentage like Pionex, so there’s a slight learning curve. For example, if a bid/sell price is 1.345 and buy/ask price is 1.348, the difference is of 0.003 or 3 pips. This is the eToro fee.

eToro has a low trading fee, but the currency conversion, withdrawal, and buying costs may incur additional charges.

The charges vary for different jurisdictions.

  • US-based customers pay between 0.75% to 5% spread on cryptos. The lowest 0.75% is for Bitcoin, while Tezos charges are the highest. 
  • There’s a $5 withdrawal fee for countries except the US. Withdrawal is free in the States. However, the $30 minimum for a withdrawal process stays.
  • There’s a currency conversion fee for non-US traders.
  • There’s a $10 inactivity fee for accounts that haven’t been used in a year.
  • To send coins off from eToro to their wallet, you pay a 0.5% fee on the transaction. The maximum is $50. So for transfers worth $10,000 or more, you pay $50 to assets to a secure wallet.

Lastly, for security, eToro is regulated and has a safe storing records of investors. Your funds are mostly held in a cold storage under a cybersecurity firm.

You can set up a two-factor authroization for every login and trade to improve the security.

Opening an account is easy and quick, and you can choose the ideal risk when trading assets. However, you’ll have to go through an ID verification that can take a few days.

For full-time traders and professional crypto investors, you can have a manager to enhance your trading experience and provide instant customer support.

To avail this, you need around $5,000 in equity on the platform.

Overall, if you want a great social trading experience and don’t mind paying a little extra in withdrawal or buying fee, eToro is ideal.

3. Uphold

Uphold

Uphold is a unique experience in the realm of crypto trading. As a CEX alternative, Uphold offers a nice variety of cryptocurrencies to exchange, capping at around 50, along with two carbon credit tokens.

However, it goes a step further- you can exchange U.S. stocks, 27 national currencies, and even 4 precious metals including gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. 

Uphold is geared towards both seasoned traders looking for unique features and beginners.

The site is easy to navigate for beginners if you don’t focus on the advanced trading tools. And as an added bonus, using the Brave browser can get you BAT tokens as a reward.

As for the additional features, Uphold has an AutoPilot mode, where you can automate trades, creating a recurring buy/sell order that runs per your specifications.

Uphold also gives a multi-asset debit card to users, which supports payment using currencies, cryptos, gold, and even equities and shares. 

The fee for Uphold is based on spread, which varies for each cryptocurrency in different countries.

For example, the spread for Bitcoin and Ethereum is 0.8-1.2% in Europe and U.S, but can go up to 1.8% elsewhere.

For metals, a 3% is charged on top of the bid-sell. For equities, it’s a 1% fee. For national/fiat currencies, a 0.2% rate is fixed.

However, purchasing assets and general deposits are free as long as you’re using a bank account or ACH. Purchases with credit cards incur 3.99% fee.

For security, Uphold also keeps currency in cold storage, and offers insurance for money held up during exchange processes on the site.

You’re insured for any loss during breaches too, though the system is already well-protected. There’s a transparency view to check Uphold reserves as well.

To sum up, Uphold is a solid CEX alternative and can provide you a unique trading experience in competitive pricing. The customer support is good too, and your transactions are secure. 

4. Binance

Binance

Being one of the most renowned cryptocurrency exchange sites, Binance is a wonderful CEX alternative.

It has a low trading fee, supports 365+ (yes, three-hundred-sixty-five!) cryptocurrencies, and operates globally.

In fact, Binance is the largest digital token exchange based on the volume of transactions and traders alike.

For the cryptocurrencies supported, the total number exceeds 365, and includes all the popular coins, from Ethereum to Cordano.

Although only 65 of them are available in the US- this number is still bigger than most competitors today. 

However, Binance stands out as a because of the enormous variety of trading tools.

You have the options of margin trading (trading assets on a loan from a broker), spot trading (for immediate purchase), and peer-to-peer trading (direct exchange between two users).

You get to pick trading views including classic, margin, and OTC. Binance has helpful guides for these too.

Through Binance, you can set orders for your system. These include market order, stop-market order, limit order, stop-limit order, post-only order, one-cancels-the-other order, and trailing-stop order.

All these orders help make immediate bids and sales. A detailed guide for each order and FAQs can be found on the Binance site.

You can access these tools through their robots website along with real-time charting tools that display moving averages.

Traders can find their portfolios and trading history in a few clicks and view price charts and order books simultaneously.

This is the part that most traders love about Binance- it charges a minimal fee for transactions.

The fee model is less complex than eToro, and follows a maker/taker system, offering you rebates for participating in the market. 

The cost of transactions varies based on your transaction volume and Binance Coin balance. Higher volume trades are charged less.

After trading for months, you can get VIP discounts too. If anyone signs up using your referral links and makes a trade, you get impressive discounts. Binance runs discounts as high as 25% on spot trading frequently.

Binance has average security for a crypto trading platform and follows general security methods like 2-factor authorization and SMS updates.

Unfortunately, their customer support isn’t active enough for a CEX alternative, and customers face issues withdrawing money sometimes.

You can get in touch with customer service via email and Twitter. The sign-up process completes in 3-4 simple steps using the Binance app or site.

To summarize, Binance is trusted and loved by millions of traders globally, offers extensive trading tools, supports all investment-worthy cryptocurrencies, and charges a nominal fee.

The only issues are a lack of some features in the US due to compliance issues, and below-average customer support.

5. Coinbase

Coinbase

Last but certainly not least, Coinbase is another efficient CEX alternative. Not only does it offer trading for 100+ currencies, but you can earn interest on your account balance after hitting the requirements.

Plus, you can earn new currencies with the Coinbase Earn app too.

The main appeal for Coinbase comes from its functionality and ease of use, making it ideal for beginner traders.

You can either go to the website or download the Coinbase app. On the main screen you’ll find your portfolio, and options for buy, sell, and convert- nothing complicated.

If you sign up for Coinbase Pro, you’ll get additional trading types and will be able to set stop and limit orders.

Coinbase doesn’t have a clear pricing or fee page, but you get the transaction cost displayed on the screen when you enter the trading amount.

Typically, it’s more for smaller transactions ($0.99 for $10), but cost-effective for larger trading amounts ($2.99 for $50-200). After $200, you get charged through a calculated percentage instead of a flat fee rate.

Withdrawals to and from wallets and bank accounts take 1.49%, while card transactions take $3.99%. When converting crypto, you’ll pay 2%.

Finally, for security, Coinbase excels with industry-leading security protocols. Nobody can sign up anonymously, and all accounts are approved with a government-issued ID.

98% of all funds are stored in cold storage offline with paper and digital backups. 2-factor authorization is a requirement as well.

Their servers are strongly protected too. Users are recommended to set unique, complex, combination passwords. 

Overall, Coinbase is a great site like CEX that focuses primarily on being user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Their fee is competitive and they give opportunities to earn cryptos as well. However, their customer service isn’t the most efficient and may give you trouble to get a hold of.

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Written by Thomas McGovern

Thomas has over a decade of experience with blockchain and cryptography. He writes regularly for EarthWeb and holds a M.S. in Mathematics.
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