Summary: As the demand for cryptocurrency futures trading intensifies, it becomes increasingly important for investors to identify the best platforms to trade. This strategy enables investors to capitalize on cryptocurrency price swings, profiting from both rises and falls. However, navigating the extensive selection of cryptocurrency futures platforms can be daunting.

In this analysis, we spotlight the top 5 cryptocurrency futures trading platforms. Our evaluation focuses on crucial metrics like security, transaction fees, market liquidity, and user experience. Here's a quick look at the best platforms we've examined:

  1. Bybit Futures - Best Overall for Futures Trading
  2. Binance - Best for Institutional Investors
  3. Phemex - Best for Altcoin Pairs
  4. OKX - Best for Advanced Order Types
  5. DYDX - Best Decentralized Futures Platform
Best Crypto Futures Exchange - Bybit
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Table of Contents

Best Crypto Futures Exchanges

Our experts have developed a unique ranking methodology for the leading cryptocurrency futures platforms worldwide. This evaluation considers a variety of factors such as compliance with international trading regulations, cybersecurity measures, transparency norms (including outcomes of independent audits), transaction fees, trading options, supported crypto futures contracts, and additional features.

1. Bybit

Bybit has emerged as the fastest-growing platform for crypto futures trading. It offers more than 400 coins for trading, without requiring KYC or ID verification from its customers. Bybit is among the few exchanges that permit traders to speculate with up to 100x leverage on all the crypto assets available on their reliable and time-tested platform.

They are regarded as the best futures exchange for digital assets due to their deep liquidity and minimal fee structure, beginning at 0.05% for Taker Orders and 0.01% for Maker Orders. Since the recent insolvency of FTX, Bybit has become the preferred destination for traders. For additional details, you can refer to our comprehensive Bybit Review.

Bybit Futures.
Bybit Futures.

2. Binance Futures

Binance is widely recognized as a leading global platform for both Bitcoin futures trading and crypto futures trading. The platform supports trading of various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Aptos, Solana, and hundreds of other assets, against Tether (USDT) with up to 125x leverage. Traders from all around the world can easily create a Binance Futures account within minutes and benefit from the best Bitcoin and crypto futures trading platform available on any exchange.

In addition to its extensive range of features, Binance also provides its users with high levels of security and liquidity, making it an ideal choice for institutional investors and retail traders alike. For more information, you can read our comprehensive Binance Review.


3. Phemex

Phemex is a new derivatives platform that has grown to over 5 million users since being launched in 2019. Their exchange offers deep liquidity on over 150 crypto pairs with up to 100x leverage on their secure and highly performant centralized trading platform. Phemex is widely regarded for its low fees, tight spreads and feature-rich exchange that includes staking, spot trading, options and more.

Another advantage of Phemex is that they do not require verification or KYC to register and trade. This means you can sign up with an email address and password and deposit stablecoins or other digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum to start trading. For a deeper dive, read our extended Phemex Review.

Phemex Futures.
Phemex Futures.

4. OKX

Securing its position as the fourth top-rated global crypto futures platform, OKX shines brightly due to its significant daily volume across futures and spot markets alike. Designed to fulfill the distinct needs of worldwide crypto futures traders, OKX prides itself on a robust portfolio of over 150 crypto derivatives contracts and 400 spot markets, streamlining buy, sell, and trade processes with appealing fees starting at 0.1% for both maker and taker orders.

OKX differentiates itself with a suite of services tailored for the crypto futures market, including Crypto Staking, Futures Trading, an NFT Marketplace, and its unique blockchain, OKC Chain, optimized for the bustling decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Recognizing the diverse requirements of its global user base, it integrates a multitude of deposit methods, including international bank transfers, globally recognized payment systems, and universally accepted debit and credit cards. Read our OKX Review for a deeper dive.

OKX BTC Futures
OKX BTC Futures.


Rounding off our list at number 5 is DYDX. A decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, DYDX operates on the Ethereum blockchain, providing an array of financial products and services. These include margin trading, lending, borrowing, and trading of various crypto assets. Notably, it ensures a transparent, secure, and user-friendly platform underpinned by a decentralized governance model.

Users collaboratively steer the platform's direction and growth. DYDX's utilization of smart contracts and blockchain technology guarantees transactional security, transparency, and resistance to tampering. With the deepest liquidity for top crypto pairs like BTC, ETH, AVAX, NEAR, LUNA, ONE, and more, DYDX cements its position on our list. For a more detailed look, please refer to our comprehensive DYDX Review.

DYDX DEX Futures.
DYDX DEX Futures.

Is Crypto Futures Trading Legal?

In most countries, trading crypto futures is usually legal, mirroring the treatment of regular cryptocurrency trading. The specific legality and regulation of crypto futures, however, may differ based on jurisdiction. In the U.S., crypto futures trading is legal and falls under the regulatory purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which deems crypto assets as commodities, thus claiming jurisdiction over futures and other derivatives of these assets.

Despite the U.S. legal status and CFTC regulation, other countries might have distinct regulations and restrictions. Hence, it's recommended to review your specific country's laws and regulations before participating in any crypto trading activities, including crypto futures trading.

How to Trade Crypto Futures

Navigating the terrain of crypto futures and derivatives trading can be simplified with the array of user-friendly, highly liquid centralized trading platforms available today. If you're dipping your toes into futures trading for the first time, here's an easy-to-follow, four-step guide to kickstart your journey – with no Know Your Customer (KYC) process or verification required:

  1. Create Account: Sign up to Bybit (5% off fees) with an email address & password only.
  2. Deposit Funds: Deposit funds to the Bybit platform via Bank Transfer, Credit Card/Debit Card or a Crypto Deposit (e.g BTC, ETH, USDT or USDC).
  3. Find Markets: Find the Crypto derivatives or futures market you want to trade on the Bybit platform (e.g BTC/USD or ETH/USD).
  4. Execute Trade: Input the amount of USD you want to Long or Short and input your leverage (25x), then execute your trade.
Bybit Futures Platform
Bybit: Best-in-Class Futures Exchange.

What are the Fees?

When it comes to trading futures and derivatives contracts, the fee structure is notably different from that of standard spot trading seen on traditional exchanges such as Coinbase or Kraken. Here, we highlight the common costs associated with cryptocurrency futures trading.

  1. Trading Fees: Analogous to spot trading, Bitcoin Futures contracts generally levy a commission fee on every buy or sell transaction.
  2. Funding Fees: For certain Bitcoin Futures contracts, you may encounter funding fees. These apply when you maintain an open contract over a specified period.
  3. Extension Fees: If you opt to extend a Bitcoin Futures contract beyond its closing date, extension fees come into play.
  4. Leverage Fees: Engaging in margin trading with Bitcoin involves borrowing funds to leverage your trades. This borrowed capital usually incurs interest, which forms the leverage fees.

By familiarizing yourself with these fees, you can strategically navigate the cryptocurrency futures landscape and optimize your trading decisions for maximum profitability.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the surge in demand for cryptocurrency futures trading necessitates a careful selection of the right platform to enhance profitability and risk management. Our in-depth analysis of the top 5 platforms - Bybit, Binance, Phemex, OKX, and DYDX - took into consideration key metrics like security, transaction fees, market liquidity, and user experience.

While each of these platforms offers unique advantages, Bybit stood out as the overall best for futures trading due to its deep liquidity, minimal fee structure, and user-friendly interface. However, the suitability of each platform ultimately depends on the individual trader's needs and objectives. As the cryptocurrency futures market continues to evolve, it remains crucial for traders to stay informed about the legal status, fees, and trading mechanisms associated with this burgeoning investment avenue.