Our cryptocurrency exchange and staking platform rating methodology

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How we rate the best cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto staking platforms

We considered various factors to determine the rankings for the best crypto exchanges and trading platforms and the best crypto staking platforms. These include the number of coins available, tracking fees, withdrawal fees and coins available for staking.

How we choose the best products 

The first step in ranking crypto trading and staking products is identifying the key players in the industry. Our team created a shortlist of the top crypto trading platforms. We then screened that list for the best crypto staking platforms based on the top crypto trading platforms that allow staking.

How many companies we reviewed

We reviewed 20 leading crypto exchanges and trading platforms on various features and profiles.

To better understand each company’s products and services, we researched more than 40 questions per institution. This approach helps us build a picture of each company’s profile and features.

From there, we ranked the crypto exchanges and staking platforms based on various attributes. These include fees, trading features, customer service, education, storage and staking ability.

How we collect data

We execute a manual process for collecting data on ranking products, such as the best crypto exchanges and trading apps and crypto staking platforms.

Our expert team of researchers goes to each product page and gathers every piece of information. We also contact the companies via email or phone as needed.

The data we collect has a life span of three or six months. This means we update and review our data quarterly or semiannually. We also adjust the rankings based on the latest information.

How many hours we spend reviewing

Ranking investment products requires a significant time commitment, with at least 60 hours for research and analysis.

Our review also includes a detailed fact-checking process called the “quality assurance” phase. It can take up to 12 hours and is conducted over multiple stages.

There are typically three stages of QA. The first two stages require about three to four hours each. The final stage of quality assurance usually takes about three to four hours too.

Star rating scoring

The scoring system uses a scale from one to five stars, with five stars representing the top-rated company. This system helps determine and rank the best products.

All other companies are rated in proportion to the highest-rated product. For instance, if a company’s score is 75% of the top score, its rating will be 3.75 stars.


We researched more than 20 crypto platforms to rank the very best.

Our methodology comprised 10 categories. These categories were divided into subcategories. We adjusted the weights based on the product type: best crypto exchanges and trading apps or best crypto staking platforms. 

Coins available

The number of coins available to trade is a crucial consideration when choosing a crypto trading or staking platform. The more coins offered, the higher the company scored.

Trading fees 

Paying minimal fees helps you maximize your returns. Crypto trading and staking platforms generally offer trades of coins for either a maker/taker fee or a flat fee. We therefore captured the cheapest available trades for the lowest tiers that aren’t free or bought through discounts. 

Withdrawal fees and other fees

Crypto brokers and staking platforms may charge fees in addition to trading fees. For example, you may incur a withdrawal fee when you move money out of an account. 

This category consisted of three subcategories:

  • Withdrawal fees for bitcoin.
  • Withdrawal fees for ethereum.
  • Accepts credit cards. 

Additional trading features

Trading features vary among crypto exchanges and staking platforms. Some are better suited to novices, while others appeal to technical traders. This category accounted for the breadth of trading features available. 

It included five subcategories:

  • Limit orders.
  • Stop orders.
  • Stop-limit orders.
  • Futures trading. 
  • Volume discounts.

Customer service

A lot can go wrong online. It’s important to get the help you need when you need it. This category examined several types of customer service. 

It had three subcategories:

  • Chatbot support.
  • Email support.
  • Phone support. 


Cryptocurrency is an ever-evolving space. There seems to be no end to what you can learn. A robust education section can be a major plus. This category looked at the types of educational materials available to users. 

It consisted of the three subcategories:

  • Blogs.
  • Crypto guides.
  • Videos.

Security and storage

Security and crypto storage are of the utmost importance in an industry where losses are often irrevocable. 

This category included four subcategories:

  • Hacks reported.
  • Two-factor authentication to access accounts.
  • Storage.
  • Funds insurance.


Not all crypto users want to stake their coins. But having the option can be nice. This category gave points to companies for offering staking. 

It had four subcategories:

  • Platform allows staking.
  • Staking coins.
  • Staking base yield cardano rewards. 
  • Staking base yield ethereum rewards. 

Allows USD withdrawals/deposits

You may want to convert your fiat currency into crypto or vice versa. This category considers whether the platform allows withdrawals and deposits in U.S. dollars.

Allows margin trading 

This is a binary category that factors in whether the platform allows margin trading. Platforms got a score of 1 for offering margin and 0 for not offering margin. It’s not a feature every user wants.

Best cryptocurrency exchanges and trading apps

We used the following weights to generate an overall score for each crypto exchange and trading app:

  • Security and storage: 16%.
  • Coins available: 15%.
  • Additional trading features: 15%.
  • Staking: 12%.
  • Trading fees: 10%.
  • Customer service: 10%.
  • Education: 10%.
  • Withdrawal fees and other fees: 7.5%.
  • Allows margin trading: 2.5%.
  • Allows USD withdrawals/deposits: 2%.

Each category was weighted based on its relative level of importance to generate an overall score. Security and storage are often considered more essential than customer service. So security and storage account for 16% of the overall score, while customer service accounts for 10%.

Curious about which company topped our list? Check out the best crypto exchanges and trading apps.

Best crypto staking platforms

We used the following weights to generate an overall score for each crypto staking platform:

  • Staking: 20%.
  • Coins available: 15%.
  • Trading fees: 15%.
  • Additional trading features: 10%.
  • Security and storage: 10%.
  • Withdrawal fees and other fees: 7.5%.
  • Customer service: 7.5%.
  • Education: 5%.
  • Allows U.S. withdrawals/deposits: 5%.
  • Allows margin trading: 5%.

We evaluated the crypto staking platform features people care about most. We then weighted these features based on their relative importance to generate a final score. 

What’s most important for a crypto staking platform may differ from what’s most important for a crypto exchange or trading app. So these weights vary from those used to determine the best crypto exchanges and trading apps.

View the best crypto staking platforms to see which one makes sense for you.

USA TODAY Blueprint’s editorial standards

Every article is fact-checked by our writers and editors along with our data team to ensure we have the most accurate and up-to-date information. We use a data-driven methodology based on what investors value most to determine each rating. 

We pride ourselves on our journalistic integrity. Our goal is to empower our readers to make sound financial decisions. Advertisers do not influence our content, opinions or evaluations.