Summary: In Europe, premier cryptocurrency exchanges are acknowledged for their stringent compliance with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and local financial authorities. By adhering to robust regulatory frameworks and being evaluated by independent financial bodies, these platforms guarantee unparalleled safety and security for European investors and their holdings.

Our team has identified the top 5 digital currency trading platforms in Europe, all of which feature intuitive user interfaces, a wide range of assets, and competitive fee schedules.

  1. eToro - Best Overall Exchange in Europe
  2. Kraken - Best for Asset Security & Transparency
  3. Bybit - Best Derivatives Trading Platform
  4. Bitpanda - Best Multi-Asset Investing Platform
  5. OKX - Best for DeFi & NFT Products
Table of Contents

Best Crypto Exchanges Europe

Exploring the cryptocurrency world often feels like a maze. Our experienced team has thoroughly evaluated the leading exchanges to bring you the top 5 options tailored for European investors. We conducted a series of reviews for each platform, focusing on their unique advantages and highlighting areas that could be refined. Here's a guide to the 5 best digital asset exchanges suitable in Europe.

‍1. eToro

eToro, headquartered in Cyprus, boasts a user base of over 30 million people worldwide, a significant portion of which is from Europe. The platform is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, ensuring a high level of compliance and security. It is known for its social trading feature, which allows users to mimic the trades of successful investors. This feature made it a favorite among beginners looking to learn from seasoned traders.

In terms of asset offerings, eToro provides a wide range of cryptocurrencies, from mainstream options like Bitcoin and Ethereum to emerging altcoins. The platform also offers other financial instruments like stocks, ETFs, commodities and more. With its user-friendly interface, diverse asset offerings, and innovative features, it’s the most comprehensive exchange in Europe.

  • Minimum Deposit: €50 for first time deposit.
  • Supported Assets: 3,000+ Cryptocurrency, Stocks, ETFs, Indices, Forex & Commodities.
  • Regulation: Regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
  • Fees: Costs include 1% for buying or selling a cryptocurrency, conversion fees for EUR to USD, as all trades are made in US Dollars, and a $5 withdrawal fee to bank accounts. There are no monthly or maintenance charges on the exchange.
eToro - Best Overall Exchange in Europe.
eToro - Best Overall Exchange in Europe.

2. Kraken

Kraken is an American trading platform has a strong presence in Europe and is regulated by the FCA & OAM. With over 10 million users, Kraken is renowned for its robust security measures, including cold storage solutions and mandatory two-factor authentication for all accounts. The platform also offers a unique feature called Kraken Security Labs, which is dedicated to improving the overall security of the crypto ecosystem.

It provides more than 200 cryptocurrencies for trading and is one of the few exchanges that offer futures trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. It also has a transparent fee structure, with rates as low as 0.16% for high-volume traders. The platform's commitment to security and transparency makes it a top choice for investors concerned with asset protection.

  • Minimum Deposit: €20 for first time deposit.
  • Supported Assets: 200+ Cryptocurrency.
  • Regulation: Maintains a VASP licensed and is overseen by the OAM.
  • Fees: Costs include a 0.26% fee for spot trading and the maker/taker rebate is 0.02%/0.05%.
Kraken - Best for Asset Security & Transparency.
Kraken - Best for Asset Security & Transparency.

3. Bybit

Bybit, based in Singapore, specializes in derivatives trading and has rapidly gained popularity in Europe. With a user base exceeding 18 million, the platform offers perpetual contracts for major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, and XRP with up to 100x leverage, allowing traders to maximize their potential returns. It is known for its high liquidity and low latency, with an order-matching speed of 50,000 TPS (transactions per second).

Advanced charting tools, including TradingView integration, and a customizable interface make it a preferred choice for traders interested in derivatives. Bybit also offers a mobile app, allowing for trading on the go, making it the go-to platform for derivatives trading in Europe. It also provides staking, lending, and borrowing services on hundreds of cryptocurrencies.

  • Minimum Deposit: €10 for first-time deposit.
  • Supported Assets: 890+ Cryptocurrency.
  • Regulation: Registered with VASP.
  • Fees: Costs include a 0.1% fee for spot trading, 0.01% fee for maker orders, and 0.06% for taker orders on futures markets. Deposits and withdrawals in Euros are completely free of charge.
Bybit - Best Derivatives Trading‍ Platform.
Bybit - Best Derivatives Trading Platform.

4. Bitpanda

Bitpanda is an Austrian exchange that serves over 4 million users and is regulated by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA). The platform offers a wide range of assets, not just limited to cryptocurrencies but also stocks, ETFs, and precious metals like gold and silver. It is unique in offering an automated portfolio management service called Bitpanda Savings, which allows users to set up recurring buys for their preferred assets.

The user interface is designed for simplicity, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced investors. With its multi-asset offerings and user-friendly design, Bitpanda is the top choice for diversified investing in Europe. Aside from trading, it offers staking services, a crypto debit card, and a cash-yielding feature.

  • Minimum Deposit: €50 for first-time deposit.
  • Supported Assets: 250+ Cryptocurrency & 3,000+ Stocks, ETFs & Commodities.
  • Regulation: Operates under VASP registrations and has obtained MiFID II, E-Money & PSD II licenses.
  • Fees: Costs include a 1.5% fee for spot trading, deposits vary depending on the method, and weekly storage fees apply varying from 0.0125% - 0.025%.
Bitpanda - Best Multi-Asset Investing Platform.
Bitpanda - Best Multi-Asset Investing Platform.

5. OKX

OKX, headquartered in Malta, has a strong European user base and offers a wide range of DeFi and NFT products. The platform provides access to over 400 trading pairs and is one of the leading exchanges in terms of liquidity for tokens. It has a dedicated section for yield farming and staking, allowing users to earn passive income on their crypto assets.

It also has a bustling NFT marketplace that features a variety of digital collectibles, from art to virtual real estate. The platform also offers unique products like OKX Jumpstart, a token sale platform, and OKXChain, an open-source public chain, making it a hub for innovation in the space. With its focus on emerging sectors like DeFi and NFTs, OKX is the best platform for those looking to explore the cutting edge of crypto investing.

  • Minimum Deposit: €10 for first-time deposit.
  • Supported Assets: 400+ Cryptocurrency.
  • Regulation: Not registered in Europe.
  • Fees: Costs include a 0.3% fee for spot trading, 0.02% fee for maker orders, and 0.05% for taker orders on futures markets. Deposits and withdrawals in Euros vary depending on the payment method.
OKX - Best for DeFi & NFT Products.
OKX - Best for DeFi & NFT Products.

Is Cryptocurrency Regulated in Europe?

Yes, cryptocurrency is regulated in Europe under the oversight of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and national financial authorities of EU member states. These bodies mandate that all virtual asset service providers (VASPs), such as cryptocurrency exchanges and digital wallet services, must register and comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) regulations to operate within the European Union.

For VASPs based in European countries, they can operate across member states through the principle of passporting, which allows businesses regulated in one EU country to function in others without the need for additional licenses. However, for VASPs located outside the EU, establishing a local branch within a member state is essential to meet these regulatory requirements. These guidelines are part of Europe's broader efforts to create a secure environment for cryptocurrency transactions, as outlined in the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and various national regulations.

How to Buy Bitcoin in Europe

For those in Europe looking to invest securely in cryptocurrency, we recommend eToro as a reliable platform. eToro accommodates immediate deposits in EUR through various methods such as bank transfers, SEPA, credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill. The platform supports a diverse range of asset classes, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as well as other financial instruments like stocks, ETFs, and commodities.

To engage in buying, selling, and trading BTC, you can follow this straightforward guide:

  1. Create Account: Sign up with eToro and fulfill the verification requirements. 
  2. Fund Your Account: Choose the 'Deposit Funds' option and transfer money into your account. 
  3. Locate the Asset: Utilize the search function to locate Bitcoin and click the 'Trade' button. 
  4. Invest in BTC: Indicate the sum you wish to invest and press 'Open Trade'.
How to Buy Bitcoin in Europe.
How to Buy Bitcoin in Europe.

European Crypto Tax Requirements

In Europe, the tax implications of cryptocurrency activities have gained attention due to the increasing significance of digital assets. Tax authorities across various EU member states have issued guidelines clarifying the tax obligations for both individuals and businesses involved in cryptocurrency dealings. For individual taxpayers, using cryptocurrency for personal transactions is generally not subject to VAT (Value Added Tax) under EU law.

When trading cryptocurrencies as an individual in Europe, capital gains tax becomes a key consideration. These gains are added to your overall income and are subject to the respective national income tax rates, which can range from 0% to 50%, depending on the country and your income bracket. It's important to note that capital losses can offset capital gains, but these losses are typically not deductible against other forms of income.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, the European cryptocurrency landscape is both diverse and well-regulated, offering various options for both novice and experienced investors. From eToro's comprehensive asset offerings to Kraken's focus on security, Bybit's derivatives trading, Bitpanda's multi-asset investment options, and OKX's emphasis on DeFi and NFTs, there's something for everyone. 

These platforms not only comply with stringent European financial regulations but also offer unique features that cater to a wide range of investment strategies and preferences. Coupled with the clear tax guidelines and robust regulatory frameworks in place, Europe presents a secure and versatile environment for digital asset investment.