Ratings Methodology for Cryptocurrency Platforms
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges are weighted averages of ratings in the following categories:
Trading and transaction fees.
Number of cryptocurrencies offered.
Crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.
Digital wallet options.
Customer support options.
Data collection and review processNerdWallet reviews 12 companies that provide the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies to U.S. customers.
We collect data from providers and observe provider demonstrations, as necessary. Our process starts by sending detailed questionnaires to providers. The questionnaires are structured to equally elicit both favorable and unfavorable responses. They are not designed or prepared to produce any predetermined results. The questionnaire answers, combined with our specialists’ hands-on research, make up our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance.
The final output produces star ratings from poor (1 star) to excellent (5 stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.
Our writers and editors conduct crypto brokerage reviews on an annual basis. Throughout the year, we maintain contact with providers and update any changes to their offerings.
Factor weightingsThe weighting of each rating factor is based on our team’s assessment of which features are most important to consumers and which ones impact the consumer experience in the most meaningful way. We base much of our evaluation on Bitcoin, since that cryptocurrency has the largest market capitalization of those available through the providers we review.
The review teamThe review team comprises seasoned writers, researchers and editors who cover stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds, exchange-traded funds, alternative investments, socially responsible investing, financial advisors, retirement, and investment strategy. In addition to appearing on NerdWallet, the work of our team members has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, USA Today, Bloomberg News, Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance and other national and regional media outlets. Each writer and editor follows NerdWallet’s strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
The combined expertise of our investing team is infused into our review process to ensure thoughtful evaluation of products and services from the customer perspective. Our writers and editors together have more than 70 years of experience in writing about finance. Their former positions range from Wall Street Journal reporter to senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch.
Minimum tradeThis is the minimum amount a person must spend to buy and sell Bitcoin. If the trade minimum is $5 or less, it earns the highest rating. If the trade minimum is more than $50, it earns the lowest rating.
Trading and transaction feesThis category considers the following, weighted equally:
Number of cryptocurrencies offeredWe consider how many cryptocurrencies each provider offers for trading. If a provider offers 31 or more cryptocurrencies, it earns the highest rating. If it offers four or fewer, it earns the lowest rating.
Crypto-to-crypto trading pairsIf a provider offers 16 or more crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, it earns the highest rating. If a provider offers no crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, it earns the lowest rating.
Digital wallet optionsWe consider whether a provider supports outside crypto wallets to store digital currency. If users can connect their own digital wallets, a provider earns the highest rating. If the provider does not allow this, it earns the lowest rating. Providers that allow transfer of cryptocurrency in-kind to another wallet earn three stars here.
Customer support optionsWe consider the following:
Do you want to provide feedback? Contact us at [email protected].