From Feb to April: Philippines Top 10 Cryptocurrency Exchange

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Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday

  • Binance has been the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines for the last 90 days, according to Google trends, which tracks search interest.
  • Homegrown exchanges Coins.ph and PDAX came in 3rd and 4th places, respectively.

To gather the top 10 most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines, BitPinas utilized Google Trends to keep track of search interest in the country for the last 90 days, starting from February 4 to April 30, 2023. 

Global cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Coinbase topped the ranks, while local exchanges Coins.ph and Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) took the 3rd and 4th spots. Other crypto exchanges on the list include Kraken, OKX, ByBit, Gemini, Bittrex, and Houbi. 

Note: The article only used search interest as an indicator and it does not necessarily mean usage of the said platforms. The article should also not be misconstrued as an investment advice or recommendation.

The article also lists local and international cryptocurrency exchanges. For the list of BSP-licensed crypto exchanges in the Philippines, please check out this article:


Rank 1: BINANCE

Binance

Binance topped the rankings by a huge margin. For the last 90 days, it was actively searched all over the Philippines, with Metro Manila as the top contributor, followed by Central Luzon, Ilocos Region, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and CALABARZON. Currently, Binance is still trying to secure a license in the country by acquiring a local company with the necessary licenses

Binance, one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao.

Service:

It allows users to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. Binance also offers trading features, such as margin trading, futures trading, and options trading.

Platform Fees:

For leveraged token fees, Binance charges a 0.1% trading fee for all trades on its platform, but users can get a discount of up to 25% if they pay with Binance Coin. 

There are also no deposit fees, however, network fees may apply for the specific cryptocurrency being deposited. Binance charges a withdrawal fee that varies depending on the cryptocurrency being withdrawn, and the fee schedule can be found on its website. 

Fees for margin trading, futures trading, and options trading on Binance can also be found on their website and are subject to change.

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Go to the Binance website or download the app and click on the “Register” button.
  • Step 2: Enter your email address and create a password. 
  • Step 3: Agree to Binance’s terms of use and click on the “Register” button.
  • Step 4: Verify your account through email.
  • Step 5: Once verified, complete the identity verification process by submitting a government-issued ID and a selfie.

Rank 2: COINBASE

Coinbase

As compared to Binance, which had a 53-point peak in popularity out of 100, Coinbase scored 11. Surprisingly, for the last 90 days, the search surge for the platform was in Central Visayas, followed by the Davao Region. Metro Manila was only in third place with 48 out of 100. Northern Mindanao and CALABARZON were next with 47 and 36 scores, respectively.  

Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is based in San Francisco. It allows its users to buy, sell, and trade a variety of digital currencies.

Recently, Coinbase requested the intervention of a federal court to urge the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish clearer regulations on cryptocurrency. The appeal comes after nine months of submitting a petition for rulemaking to the regulator, requesting the development and implementation of rules for securities in digital assets.

Service:

Aside from its exchange platform, Coinbase provides various services, such as a cryptocurrency wallet for storage, merchant tools for digital payment acceptance, and an API for developers to create applications on top of the Coinbase platform. Coinbase is recognized for its user-friendly interface, strict security protocols, and adherence to regulatory requirements.

Supported coins: 

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • ZRX (ZRX)
  • USDC (USDC)
  • BAT (BAT)
  • 0x (ZRX)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Augur (REP)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Polygon (MATIC)

For more Coinbase support assets, refer here. 

Platform Fees:

Coinbase charges a flat fee for buying and selling cryptocurrencies on its platform that ranges from 0.50% to 4.50%, depending on the user’s location and payment method. Bank transfers for deposits are free, but debit or credit card deposits may have fees. Withdrawals may be subject to network fees that vary depending on the cryptocurrency and network congestion. 

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Go to the Coinbase website or application and click on the “Sign up” button.
  • Step 2: Fill up the necessary details.
  • Step 3: Choose your country of residence and indicate if you are signing up as an individual or a business.
  • Step 4: Complete the identity verification process by providing a government-issued ID and taking a selfie.
  • Step 5: Add a payment method (bank account or debit card).

Rank 3: COINS.PH

As per the data, the top subregions to search for Coins.ph are mostly from Mindanao, headlined by Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and SOCCSKSARGEN. Metro Manila is just in 10th place with a 49/100 search score.

Coins.ph, established in 2014, is the most well-known crypto exchange brand in the Philippines, with over 16 million users. Coins.ph is fully regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas with a Virtual Asset Service Provider and Electronic Money Issuer licenses. It also recently received accreditation for ISO Security Standards.

Service:

It enables users to easily purchase and sell a variety of cryptocurrencies while also providing access to an extensive range of financial services. 

Coins.ph also opened Coins Pro to all of its users late in 2022. It is an order book for crypto trading, wherein when the user buys a cryptocurrency, there is also a user on the seller side of the trade, organized by price level.

Supported coins: 

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ripple (XRP) 
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Apecoin (APE)
  • Axie Infinity Shard (AXS)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Chiliz (CHZ)
  • EnjinCoin (ENJ)
  • Gala (GALA)
  • Kyber Network Crystal v2 (KNC)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • LooksRare(LOOKS)
  • Decentraland (MANA)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • The Sandbox (SAND)
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB)
  • Smooth Love Potion (SLP)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Yield Guild Games (YGG)

Platform Fees:

The fees for buying or selling cryptocurrency on Coins.ph begin at 1.5% depending on the type of transaction and the cryptocurrency being traded.

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Access the Coins.ph website or app. 
  • Step 2: Select your region and click the “Create Account” button.
  • Step 3: Enter a mobile number or email address and create a password.
  • Step 4: For verification, check either SMS or email messages.

Rank 4: PDAX

The top searchers for the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), another homegrown cryptocurrency exchange, are spread out across the entire country, with leading searches from the Cordillera Administrative Region (100), Cagayan Valley (83), Metro Manila (72), Zamboanga Peninsula (61), and Northern Mindanao (60).

PDAX is a digital asset exchange platform that enables users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It was launched in 2018 and is known as one of the digital asset providers to be first regulated by the country’s central bank. 

Service:

The platform offers a range of payment options, including bank transfers, online banking, e-wallets, and a built-in digital wallet where users can securely store their cryptocurrencies.

Last March, it launched PDAX Prime, an exclusive service dedicated to Filipino crypto investors.

The platform offers an over-the-counter (OTC) service to its customers, providing a faster and more competitively priced option for trading tokens.

Supported coins: 

PHP Pairs

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • The Graph (GRT)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Enjin Coin (ENJ)

PHPT Pairs 

  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB)
  • Sushi (SUSHI)
  • BUSD (BUSD)
  • BNB (BNB)

Platform Fees:

PDAX trading fees are based on the type of order placed by its users rather than the transaction volume or account tiers. For taker orders, which are executed immediately at the current market price, a fee of 50 basis points, or 0.5%, is charged. While maker orders, which add liquidity to the market by placing limit orders, are charged a lower fee of 40 basis points, or 0.4%. 

These trading fees are standard across all accounts and trading volumes on PDAX.

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Visit the PDAX website or app and click the “Create Account” button.
  • Step 2: Enter email address, select current location, tick the agree box, and click “Register.”
  • Step 3: Click the confirmation link that will be sent to the email address used to complete registration. 
  • Step 4: Set a password.

Rank 5: KRAKEN

The California-based crypto exchange is most popular in Philippine regions such as Ilocos Region (100), Bicol (89), Region XII (55), Eastern Visayas (47), and Davao Region (47). Metro Manila is in the 10th spot.

Kraken was founded in 2011 by Jesse Powell and is currently available to users in over 190 countries. Last February, the exchange paid a $30 million settlement to the U.S. SEC to settle charges of offering an unregistered sale of securities through its staking-as-a-service program.

Service:

Kraken is known for its advanced trading features, such as margin trading, futures trading, and advanced order types, which make it a popular choice for experienced traders. 

It is also noted as one of the most secure cryptocurrency exchanges, with features such as two-factor authentication, cold storage, and a bug bounty program to incentivize security researchers to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Supported coins: 

The platform supports over 220 cryptocurrencies, including known crypto such as:  

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Sushi (SUSHI)
  • Uniswap (UNI)

Platform Fees:

Kraken charges a fee when an order is executed (matched with another client’s order). The fee ranges from 0% to 0.26% of the total cost (value) of the order and depends on the currency pair being traded, the 30-day trading volume (in USD), and whether the order is a maker or a taker.

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Visit the official Kraken site. Click on the Create Account button in the upper-right corner.
  • Step 2: Enter an email address, a username (this is permanent and cannot be changed), and a password.
  • Step 3: Read and agree with the Terms and Conditions. Then, click the “Create Account” button.
  • Step 4: Check for an activation email containing an activation key.
  • Step 5: The user can either enter the activation key on the account activation form or alternatively, complete the activation by clicking the link in the email.
  • Step 6: Confirm password (complete the captcha if asked) and click the ”Activate Account” button.

Rank 6: Bybit

According to the data, Bybit is most popular in the Western Visayas. It was followed by Metro Manila, Northern Mindanao, Central Visayas, and Central Luzon. Unlike other exchanges that received searches all over the Philippines, searches for Bybit were only active in 10 regions. The other regions are; Davao Region, CALABARZON, Ilocos Region, Bicol, and Region XII.

The exchange was founded in March 2018 and is headquartered in Singapore. Last year, Bybit entered the gaming world of web3 through its GameFi platform, Yeeha Games

Recently, it integrated Copper ClearLoop of Copper.co, an institutional digital asset custody and trading solutions provider, allowing users to deploy capital and trade immediately on the platform while maintaining their assets offline. 

Bybit’s “Wallet Control System 3.0” was put into effect in late 2022, to strengthen its risk management controls and oversee the complete life cycle of user behavior and all business situations.

Service:

It is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that enables users to trade a variety of cryptocurrency-based products, including perpetual contracts, futures, and options. 

To help users improve their trading strategies, Bybit also offers a range of educational resources, including trading guides, market analysis, and webinars.

Supported coins: 

ByBit supports over 200 coins, including popular ones like:

  • EOS Token (EOS)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Polkadot Coin (DOT)
  • Polygon Token (MATIC)
  • Cosmos Coin (ATOM)
  • Internet Computer Coin (ICP)
  • Shiba Inu Token (SHIB)
  • APECoin (APE)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Pocket Network Token (POKT)
  • USDD Token (USDD)
  • Uniswap Token (UNI)
  • Synthetix Network Token (SNX)
  • Immutable X Token (IMX)
  • Ethereum Name Service Token (ENS)
  • OpenDAO Token (SOS)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • BitDAO Token (BIT)
  • FTX Token (FTT)
  • WEMIX Token (WEMIX)
  • Binance USD (BUSD)
  • Terra Coin (LUNA)
  • Smooth Love Potion Token (SLP)
  • Green Metaverse Token (GMT)
  • Avalanche Coin (AVAX)

P2P Platform:

  • Tether (USDT)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Ether (ETH)

Platform Fees:

Bybit’s P2P feature allows for feeless transactions between buyers and sellers. However, depending on the payment method utilized, traders may incur transaction fees from their payment provider.

Regardless of whether the user is a maker or taker, non-VIP users are charged a trading fee of 0.1% in the spot market. As traders move up the tier system, they become entitled to lower fee rates.

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Access the Bybit website and register.
  • Step 2: Enter username and password.
  • Step 3: Click the “Create Account” button and complete the puzzle captcha. 
  • Step 4: Verify email by inputting the sent code.

Rank 7: OKX

The search interest for OKX is highest in the SOCCSKSARGEN region. Although not as frequent as the other platforms, it recorded searches from 10 other regions, including Eastern Visayas, Metro Manila, Bicol, Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, Northern Mindanao, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Davao Region, and Western Visayas.

OKeX, or OKX, is a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017 by Star Xu. It is available globally in more than 180 regions.

Service:

OKX offers trading services such as spot, margin, and derivatives markets, with hundreds of tokens and trading pairs available. It also allows users to manage their decentralized assets in one place by connecting to their web3 wallet, as well as buying, selling, and creating NFTs on their marketplace. 

Additionally, OKX enables users to explore top decentralized applications, including DeFi and blockchain gaming dApps, and connect to DeFi with their Web3 wallet via their app or browser extension. Other features include the ability to earn crypto in mining pools, take out crypto collateralized loans, and grow crypto with OKX Earn. Finally, users can connect to the TradingView Platform and trade crypto directly with their charts.

Supported coins: 

The exchange supports hundreds of cryptocurrencies such as:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • BNB Coin (BNB)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • XRP (XRP)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • OKB (OKB)
  • Polygon Token (MATIC)
  • Doge (DOGE)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Polkadot Coin (DOT)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Shiba Inu Token (SHIB)
  • Uniswap Token (UNI)
  • DAI (DAI)
  • Avalanche Coin (AVAX)
  • And more

Platform Fees:

OK’s trading fees are different for regular and VIP users. Regular users are categorized into tiers by their total OKB holdings, whereas VIP users are categorized by 30-day trading volumes and daily asset balances.

For a more in depth explanation, refer here

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Head to the OKX homepage and click “Sign up.”
  • Step 2: Enter the email address.
  • Step 3: Check the email for the six-digit registration verification.
  • Step 4: Enter the verification code.
  • Step 5: Enter a password and confirm.

Rank 8: GEMINI

The search interest for OKX is highest in the SOCCSKSARGEN region. Although not as frequent as the other platforms, it recorded searches from 10 other regions, including Eastern Visayas, Metro Manila, Bicol, Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, Northern Mindanao, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Davao Region, and Western Visayas.

OKeX, or OKX, is a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017 by Star Xu. It is available globally in more than 180 regions.

Service:

OKX offers trading services such as spot, margin, and derivatives markets, with hundreds of tokens and trading pairs available. It also allows users to manage their decentralized assets in one place by connecting to their web3 wallet, as well as buying, selling, and creating NFTs on their marketplace. 

Additionally, OKX enables users to explore top decentralized applications, including DeFi and blockchain gaming dApps, and connect to DeFi with their Web3 wallet via their app or browser extension. Other features include the ability to earn crypto in mining pools, take out crypto collateralized loans, and grow crypto with OKX Earn. Finally, users can connect to the TradingView Platform and trade crypto directly with their charts.

Supported coins: 

It supports various native coins, stablecoins, SPL tokens, and ERC-20 tokens:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)

Check out other available cryptocurrencies here.

Gemini provides multiple fee structures based on the level of usage and the product used. The fees for trading cryptocurrencies on Gemini’s platform range from 0.35% to 0.5%, depending on the trading volume. For users who trade in high volumes, there are lower fees available. 

Platform Fees:

The platform also charges fees for bank transfers and wire transfers. There are no fees for deposits or withdrawals made in cryptocurrencies. 

For other fee inquiries, refer here. 

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Access Gemini’s website or app. Click “Sign up.”
  • Step 2: Select the country of residence.
  • Step 3: Select the preferred account type.
  • Step 4: Provide details such as name, email, and phone number. Input also a password.
  • Step 5: Verify the sent code, either through email or a phone number. 

Rank 9: Bittrex

Searches for Bittrex were only frequent in four regions. It is most popular in Davao Region, with 100 peak search interest; closely followed by Ilocos Region with a score of 90, CALABARZON only recorded a 17 score, while Metro Manila only had 7. 

Bittrex is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2014. However, as of April 30, 2023, all Bittrex operations in the United States had ceased. 

Service:

It offers over 250 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and trade. In addition to its exchange services, Bittrex offers a variety of other products, including a digital wallet, a payment gateway, and an incubator program for blockchain startups.

It also offers an advanced trading platform, called Bittrex Global, designed for professional traders. This platform offers more advanced trading features, such as advanced charting tools, multiple order types, and customizable user interfaces.

Supported coins: 

Available cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin SV (BSV)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Tether (USDT)

Trading pairs:

  • BTC/ETH
  • BTC/LTC
  • BTC/XRP
  • BTC/BCH
  • BTC/BSV
  • ETH/XRP
  • ETH/LTC
  • ETH/BCH
  • XRP/LTC
  • XRP/BCH
  • XRP/BSV

Platform Fees:

There are fees for both Takers and Makers, with the fees varying depending on the volume of trades. 

For Takers, the fee ranges from 0.75% for trades under $5,000 to 0.05% for trades over $100,000,000. Maker fees start at 0.75% for the lowest-volume bracket and decrease to 0.02% for trades between $10,000,000 and $60,000,000. There are no Maker fees for trades over $60,000,000. 

Note: Bittrex’s fees are subject to change based on market conditions and other factors, and Bittrex may offer promotions or discounts on fees from time to time.

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Open Bittrex’s registration page
  • Step 2: Select the appropriate account type.
  • Step 3: Enter email address and password.
  • Step 4: Click “Create Account” and verify email by clicking the link in the verification email sent.
  • Step 5: Read and understand the Terms of Service; click “Accept Terms.”
  • Step 6: Complete all fields on Basic Profile Info.
  • Step 7: Proceed and complete ID verification.

Rank 10: Huobi

Like Gemini, Huobi was also just frequently searched in two regions: CALABARZON (100) and Metro Manila (70).

The exchange was founded in China in 2013, and since its establishment, Huobi has expanded worldwide with localized exchanges in multiple countries. However, the exchange was linked to an issue regarding unauthorized listings of $Pi on different exchanges.

Service:

Huobi is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows users to trade a variety of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, tokens, and futures contracts. It also offers services such as staking, lending, and mining pools for users to earn additional cryptocurrency rewards. 

Supported coins: 

Huobi supports several cryptocurrencies, some of which are: 

  • Huobi Token (HT)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Axie Infinity (AXS)
  • ApeCoin (APE)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • MANA
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • ChainLink (LINK)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Aptos (APT)
  • Tether USDT(USDT)
  • USDD

Platform Fees:

The exchange’s trading fees vary depending on the user’s VIP level and the type of trading they are conducting. 

The fees for spot trading range from 0.2% for makers and 0.2% for takers for VIP0 level users, to 0.015% for makers and 0.025% for takers for VIP10 level users. Huobi also charges fees for futures trading, with fees ranging from 0.02% for makers and 0.03% for takers for VIP0 level users, to 0.005% for makers and 0.01% for takers for VIP10 level users. 

How to create an account:

  • Step 1: Visit Houbi’s registration page or download the app. Click “Sign Up.”
  • Step 2: Create an account using an email address or a phone number.
  • Step 3: Complete the anti-bot verification.
  • Step 4: Enter the verification code received and set up the password. 

This article is published on BitPinas: From February to April: The Top 10 Most Popular Crypto Exchanges in PH

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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