A cryptocurrency exchange, also known as digital currency exchange, is a platform that facilitates the trading of crypto currencies (aka cryptos) like bitcoin for other assets such as conventional fiat money and other cryptocurrencies. Simply put, a cryptocurrency exchange act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers who want to trade in cryptocurrencies. Such exchanges make money through transaction fees and commissions.
Finding a cryptocurrency exchange in India is not difficult as there are plenty of choices available online. However, deciding which is the best can be tricky. Here we are going to list the top crypto exchanges in India, but first, let’s find out how such an exchange works.
How does a crypto exchange work?
A cryptocurrency exchange is just like any other trading platform that matches buyers and sellers. If you have done stock or forex trading, then you will easily learn how to trade with a cryptocurrency exchange.
Any cryptocurrency exchange works like a normal stock exchange, but unlike traditional exchanges, there are no set trading hours. Top crypto exchanges in India are active 24 hours a day. To make a trade on any exchange, you first need to fund your exchange account, which is commonly known as a wallet. You can fund your wallet either with local currency or any cryptocurrency.
A wallet is a very important part of cryptocurrency trading and you should be careful while choosing them. Here is a detailed guide on best bitcoin wallets in India .
To buy a cryptocurrency, you place a ‘buy’ order on the exchange. Likewise, to sell bitcoin or any other currency you place a ‘sell’ order. All the ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ orders are added to the ‘order book’.
An order book is a list of the amount of cryptocurrency that all the traders want to buy or sell and the prices they are looking for. The best cryptocurrency exchange in India essentially acts as a matchmaking service between the buyer and the seller.
There are both centralized and decentralized exchanges, how these platforms differ and why there’s a difference in pricing among crypto exchanges is explained in this guide, but before that here are our top recommendations.
Top 5 centralized cryptocurrency exchanges in India
Founded in 2012, Coinbase has grown to become one of the most known and used cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. A fully regulated and licensed cryptocurrency exchange in India, it is one of the best options for anyone to trade cryptocurrency in the country.
Coinbase is an extremely easy-to-use exchange that is a relief from all the confusing and convoluted interfaces of shady exchanges. It is the best cryptocurrency exchange in India that offers insured custodial wallets for investors and traders.
Fee: 0.50% for cryptocurrency purchases and sales
Deposits: Wire transfer, UPI, Net banking
Security: AES-256 encrypted, FIPS-140 USB drive copies and paper backups
- A solid choice of altcoins
- Extremely simple user interface
- Excellent security
- Very high liquidity
- High fees
- You don’t have control over wallet keys
Founded in 2017, the Binance exchange strongly focuses on cryptocurrency trading offering you over 100 different trading pairs including fiat-crypto pairs as well. We recommend you to use this cryptocurrency exchange in India if you want to invest in lesser-known altcoins and not bitcoin. It offers you more advanced charting than any other exchange.
Fees: 0.1% for the buyer and 0.1% for the seller
Deposits: Over 19 fiat currencies accepted for SWIFT transfer, selected debit and credit cards also accepted.
Security: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) via SMS and Google Authentication
- Lower fees as compared to other exchanges
- A large variety of cryptocurrency trading pairs
- Advanced charting
- More suitable for advanced users
3.WazirX: Crypto Exchange with Lowest Transaction Fee
A home-grown cryptocurrency exchange in India, WazirX was launched in 2017 and soon became one of the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in India. Its success caught Binance’s attention that acquired WazirX later. If you are looking for a p2p crypto exchange in India that allows you to buy/sell crypto on a global platform, then WazirX is the best platform for you. It has integrated its P2P transaction engine with the Fiat Gateway platform of Binance, allowing you access to over 100 trading pairs of its parent exchange.
Fees: 0% to 0.2% on trading, for buying/selling or withdrawal fee check here
Deposits: Super-fast INR deposits and withdrawals through UPI, IMPS, RTGS, and NEFT.
Security: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), in-app passcode
- Accepts UPI deposits and withdrawals
- Owned by Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volumes
- Instant Deposits & Withdrawals
- Low Withdrawal Fee
- The fee is on the higher side
The oldest cryptocurrency exchange in India, UnoCoin was founded in 2013 and has over a million customers today. This is the best cryptocurrency exchange in India for some advanced functionalities like OTC (Over the Counter) for bulk trades, Systematic Buy Plan (SBP) to buy bitcoin automatically at a fixed amount, and frequency and loan options in INR and USDT (stable Tether).
Fees: 1% fee, reduces to 0.7% with sufficient trading volume
Deposits: Instant INR deposit and withdrawal option
Security: Offline crypto assets storage, AES-256 Encryption, 2-factor authentication
- Reliable and India’s oldest crypto exchange
- OTC & SBP features
- Option to make USDT fixed deposit
- Requires ID verification, not anonymous
A permanent member of the best reliable and trustworthy Indian crypto exchange list, ZebPay is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange that started operation in India in 2015. With over 3 million users, it is one of the largest and top crypto exchanges in India. Its customer base is spread over 130 countries.
Regarded as the top cryptocurrency exchange in India, it promises a low transaction fee and advanced platform security for its Indian users.
Fee: Flat ₹10 fees for all fiat withdrawals, 0% Crypto Deposit Fee, membership fee of 0.0001 BTC for Indian users
Deposits: Instant Deposit, UPI, Net Banking, Bank Transfer
Security: Advanced platform security with proprietary security protocol & platform Omnitrixx
- A modern and intuitive app interface
- Instantly buy and sell
- Coin Storage in Cold Wallets
- Start with as little as INR 100
- Monthly membership fee of 0.0001 BTC or equivalent for Indian users
6.Bisq: Best Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange in India
As mentioned earlier, centralized exchanges don’t follow the philosophy of Bitcoin-a truly anonymous and decentralized currency, but decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges do. While the options in this segment are few, we picked Bisq for its reliability, truly anonymous, and decentralized infrastructure.
Bisq honestly grants you open and free access to trade in altcoins anonymously as long as you are only using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The platform also has options to use banking products like checking or savings accounts for deposits and withdrawals. However, you can use these options only after providing legally provable government-issued identification. The best thing about Bisq is that it can be used as a cryptocurrency exchange in India without any KYC regulations.
Bisq is a downloadable software that acts as a fully decentralized p2p crypto exchange in India. All your data including your cryptos are stored locally on-disk. Like with any other desktop crypto wallet you need to be careful about the security. If your disk gets corrupt you will lose your money. One of the best features of this exchange is that much like bitcoin, Bisq has no central point of failure and cannot be taken down even by most brute attacks. As there is no registration process or KYC (Know Your Customer) rule, you get instant access to Bisq with a computer.. Learn more.
Fee: 0.001 BTC Maker fee and 0.007 BTC Taker fee
Deposits: Western Union, TransferWise, MoneyGram, Advanced Cash
Security: 2-of-2 multi-sig wallets
- Truly decentralized, non-KYC platform
- No Identity Verification
- Mobile app for both Android and iOS
- Transaction speed can be slow
- Not suitable for active trading
Why there is a price difference between cryptocurrency exchanges?
You must understand that the exchanges do not set the prices, rather it is governed by the law of supply and demand. The slight variations in the price across the top crypto exchanges in India are due to their varying commission rates and transaction fees. Sometimes the price difference can be shocking across crypto exchanges, consider these factors to understand why such discrepancy in prices exists.
Liquidity is a key issue for any crypto exchange. To break even and get profitable an exchange has to remain reasonably active. Traders want to deal with exchanges where they can make trades, receive payments and other services, promptly.
If there is a lack of liquidity the orders will be delayed which can be frustrating for traders. Therefore, it is the level of supply and demand of a given cryptocurrency that decides its bid and ask price on an exchange. And this liquidity is different for exchanges and depends on the location of the exchange, government policies and other regulations.
As almost every cryptocurrency has no centralized or regulated pricing system, their trading value is purely based on demand and supply. And this factor can vary for exchanges from time to time, causing the price difference.
Cost of Transaction
Today, many exchanges are operating in the industry and often the traders are involved in inter-exchange transactions. However, such trades come with attached fees, and sometimes these charges can be huge. Such trades put a financial burden on the exchanges and they need to distribute the cost incurred in such a way to remain in business. The most ideal way is to diffuse the costs into the pricing of the products they are offering, i.e., altcoins or bitcoin.
Centralized vs. Decentralized Exchange
All cryptocurrency exchanges can be categorized as either centralized or decentralized.
The centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are most common. These exchanges are private companies that offer platforms to trade altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies that were launched after bitcoin’s financial success). However, to use their services you have to provide registration and identification information, also known as the Know Your Customer (KYC). In doing so you give away your anonymity. Also, such exchanges run their private servers at a central location, making them prone to attacks.
On the plus side, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges in India like WazirX, Coinbase, and ZebPay offer active trading, high volumes, and liquidity. Furthermore, they offer some level of insurance should their systems fail.
Decentralized exchanges follow the Bitcoin philosophy to the book and offer uncontrolled true anonymity. With no central point of control, any attack to bring down a decentralized exchange is virtually unrealistic. Additionally, the decentralized infrastructure of such crypto exchanges makes it impossible to subject them to rules by any regulatory body. Offering complete freedom and anonymity, such exchanges do lack on the performance side and trade volumes too.
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay as they are becoming mainstream with each passing day. If you were not able to capitalize on the booming bitcoin market, you still can make profits trading several other cryptocurrencies. To begin, you need to pick a reliable cryptocurrency exchange in India.
We hope our list of cryptocurrency exchanges in India will help you choose without falling prey to any fraud.
Q. Are all cryptocurrency exchanges in India the same?
No. While all exchanges offer crypto trading, they differ in fee, security, reliability, and payment methods. Also, centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges work differently. Read above for details.
Q. Aren’t cryptocurrency exchanges illegal in India?
People are often confused here that holds them back from profiting from crypto trading. Cryptocurrencies are ‘Unregulated’ not ‘Illegal.’ There’s a difference which is best explained in this Economictimes article
Q. What are the tax implications of crypto trading in India?
As the concept of cryptocurrencies is new to the Indian market, there is yet no taxability of cryptos into the government statute books. However, it doesn’t mean that there are no tax implications of trading cryptocurrency. As the Indian income tax laws have always sought to levy tax on income received irrespective of the form in which it is received, there are various scenarios in which you need to pay tax. For more info checkout this Cleartax.in resource.
Q. Are Indian payment options available?
With the booming number of customers in India, more and more cryptocurrency exchanges in India are including payment methods like UPI, Paytm, and net banking.