MoonPay is a financial technology company allowing anyone to purchase and sell various cryptocurrencies using their credit cards.
The company, which is headquartered in Miami, Florida, was founded in 2018 by Ivan Soto-Wright and Victor Faramond.
MoonPay sets itself apart from other exchanges and alike by greatly simplifying the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
To that extent, users can acquire digital assets within a few clicks while using convenient payment methods such as their credit cards. As a result, many in the industry refer to MoonPay as the ‘PayPal of crypto.’
Users, in total, can purchase and sell over 80 different cryptocurrencies. Additionally, MoonPay is available in 150+ countries across the globe.
The firm has leveraged its popularity to offer associated services. For example, it provides a concierge service for high-net-worth individuals, which include Justin Bieber or Jimmy Fallon, to manage the crypto as well as NFT buying and selling process.
On the business side, it works together with other exchanges and NFT marketplaces to simplify their payment processes. Therefore, business customers can also accept payments via credit cards and other common means.
MoonPay thus derives the majority of its income from its B2C and B2B crypto payment services, which are monetized via various fees. Over $2 billion worth of crypto has been transacted through its payment gateways thus far.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that MoonPay has managed to attract its 5+ million customers while raising its first round after over two years in operation. The firm is currently valued at $3.4 billion and has raised $642 million across just three rounds of venture capital funding.
Even multiple setbacks, which involved the loss of $1.97 million worth of MIOTA back in February 2021, haven’t derailed the firm’s ascend.
The methodology with which competitors of MoonPay are ranked is based on publicly available data. Information such as revenue, valuations, the number of users or transactions, funding raised, and anything else in between will be considered.
This analysis will mostly be focused on competitors that allow customers to buy and sell cryptos. As a result, competitors from its B2B unit, which involves crypto onramps and a NFT payment service, will be excluded.
Additionally, due to MoonPay’s global footprint, we will take available competitors across the world into account.
It has to be noted that this analysis should not be seen as an endorsement of either service. It is merely a summary of the competition that MoonPay currently faces.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top 7 competitors of MoonPay.
Headquarters: Cayman Islands Founder(s): Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Zi He Year Founded: 2017
Binance, in combination with its separate U.S. entity (dubbed Binance.US), is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. In 2021, the exchange dominated global crypto trading volumes, which totaled $14 trillion, accounting for 67 percent of all trades (~ $9.5 trillion).
Users on Binance can purchase and sell 600+ different currencies, among others the exchange’s native cryptocurrency dubbed Binance Coin (BNB). Over 90 million people are registered on Binance, which excludes the U.S. version.
Binance, in comparison to MoonPay, also offers substantially lower fees. While MoonPay charges anywhere between 1 percent to 4.5 percent, users on Binance can trade on the exchange for as little as 0.10 percent.
This is little surprising given that MoonPay brands itself as a much easier-to-use service. Binance, on the other hand, tries to appeal to more sophisticated crypto traders and offers a variety of other trading options including derivatives (such as futures or leveraged tokens), margin trading, earning interest on existing crypto holdings, the ability to trade NFTs, and many more.
Binance itself was launched after CZ, now one of the most prominent crypto figures, raised $15 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) back in 2017. Recently, the SEC issued a probe into Binance, alleging that the exchange may have failed to register its token as a security with the agency.
This has certainly not been Binance’s first rodeo with regulators. The firm does still not possess formal headquarters after it left its home country of China due to its crackdown on crypto founders. Governments across the globe have been accusing Binance of facilitating money laundering, operating without the necessary permissions, and selling unregulated tokens, among other issues.
MoonPay, on the other hand, tries to work alongside regulators. The service remains particularly selective about the cryptocurrencies it makes available for trade to avoid any legal ramifications.
Headquarters: San Francisco, California Founder(s): Brian Armstrong, Fred Ehrsam Year Founded: 2012
Coinbase is the biggest crypto exchange in the United States and, for that matter, one of the most popular across the globe. It is available in 100+ countries and counts close to 100 million verified users.
Interestingly, Coinbase not only competes with MoonPay when it comes to buying and selling crypto, where it enables users to transact in over 150 tokens, but also on the B2B side. Coinbase Commerce, for example, enables merchants to get paid in the world’s ten most popular cryptocurrencies. More than 8,000 merchants are currently part of Coinbase Commerce.
Coinbase itself has raised close to $550 million in funding thus far on top. The company, in April 2021, became the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange to be publicly listed. Coinbase’s strategy has always been to closely work together with regulators, which means that the company can be adamant about the tokens it adds to its ecosystem.
Today, it not only provides traders with a thriving crypto exchange but has developed various products for customers and businesses alike. For example, users can apply for a Coinbase-branded debit card or store various tokens in Coinbase’s native wallet.
On the business side, Coinbase also offers a brokerage platform, custody solutions, financial compliance services, direct access to the Coinbase exchange, and many more.
In 2021, Coinbase generated $6.8 billion in transaction revenue on $1.7 trillion in trading volume. Unfortunately, the looming crypto winter has caught up to the firm as well. Coinbase laid off 1,100 employees, equal to about 18 percent of its workforce, in June 2022.
Headquarters: Mahé, Seychelles Founder(s): Star Xu Year Founded: 2014
OKX, formerly known as OKEx, is an exchange that offers spot, margin, futures, options, perpetual swaps trading, DeFi, lending, and mining services. It is available in 180 countries (excluding the U.S.) and counts 20 million members.
One of the ways with which OKX separates itself from the pack is via OKX Insights, a research division that regularly publishes data on all things crypto. The exchange, furthermore, has an internal leader board that highlights its most successful traders.
OKX similarly offers low trading fees (as low as 0.10 percent) as well as the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies using a bank account, card, or digital wallet.
OKX, back in May 2018, became the largest exchange by trading volume. However, a month later, it forced one of its users to liquidate his Bitcoin holdings after they exceeded the exchange’s insurance fund. Two years later, in October 2020, founder Star Xu was arrested by police in China, which prompted then-OKEx to halt withdrawals.
China’s aversion against crypto is one of the many reasons why OKX is formerly headquartered in the Seychelles islands. Nevertheless, this hasn’t derailed OKX from investing heavily into promoting its platform. Recently, it closed a $20 million sponsorship deal with football club Manchester City.
In 2021, the exchange facilitated 25 billion trades worth $21 trillion. OKX currently supports over 350 cryptocurrencies. This has allowed OKX to remain aggressive during the existing crypto downturn, with the company stating that it aims to increase staff counts by 30 percent to reach 5,000.
Headquarters: Nassau, The Bahamas Founder(s): Sam Bankman-Fried, Gary Wang Year Founded: 2019
Sam Bankman-Fried, who many refer to as SBF, has been in the crypto industry since 2017 when he founded the trading firm Alameda Research. The company took advantage of price differences among existing crypto exchanges to pocket the arbitrage. Within weeks, Alameda was moving $25 million worth of Bitcoin in a day.
However, moving those cryptocurrencies around was an inherently frustrating experience, which prompted SBF and Wang, who the former recruited straight from Google, to launch FTX.
The exchange initially differentiated itself from other offerings by offering advanced financial instruments such as derivatives as well as faster settlement times and lower fees.
And although FTX, much like Binance, is currently located in a tax-friendly jurisdiction and operates a separate U.S. entity (FTX.US), it has quickly grown into one of the world’s biggest exchanges.
The firm is currently valued at $32 billion while accounting for $2 billion in trading volume per day (compared to Binance’s $17 billion). In 2021 alone, it accounted for $719 billion worth of spot trades, up 2400 percent (!) from the year prior. Effectively, more cryptocurrencies are moved on FTX in a single day than there have been throughout MoonPay’s existence.
FTX, furthermore, spends a considerable amount of its revenue on advertising and acquisitions. It, for example, spent $135 million to put its name on the arena of the NBA’s Miami Heat or $210 million to acquire the naming rights of esports team TSM. Additionally, in August 2020, FTX purchased the portfolio tracking app Blockfolio for $150 million.
Users on FTX can trade over 300 different financial assets, which also entails its own FTT token as well as NFTs. Its U.S. exchange, which itself is currently valued at $8 billion, has over 1.2 million users. FTX, unfortunately, does not disclose user numbers for the global and likely more popular exchange.
Headquarters: Mahé, Seychelles Founder(s): Leon Li Year Founded: 2013
Huobi, alongside OKX and KuCoin, once accounted for 90 percent of global Bitcoin trading volume. Unfortunately, the Chinese crackdowns forced the firm, in 2021, to relocate to both Seychelles (incorporation) as well as Singapore (headquarters).
The exchange was, furthermore, forced to close down business divisions such as Huobi Mall, a bitcoin mining pool. Soon after, it shut down the Chinese business altogether. However, Huobi itself hasn’t been without fault, either.
Two years prior, the firm was accused of ‘wash trading,’ which is when someone purchases and sells the same security (in this case cryptocurrencies) within a short timespan. This artificially inflates one’s trading volumes, which makes it seem like a given exchange is more popular than it actually is.
Huobi, despite those issues, has managed to become one of the world’s most diverse and popular exchanges. It has since unveiled its own blockchain (Huobi Chain), cryptocurrency (Huobi Token, or HT), a dollar-backed stablecoin named HUSD, and plenty more.
The company, which currently counts 10 million users, reached annual revenues of HK$610.7 million (~ $78 million) in 2021. Roughly half of that, namely HK$302.6 million, was pure profit. Daily trading volumes for Huobi regularly exceed $1.2 billion.
Nonetheless, the looming crypto winter has certainly affected Huobi as well. In June 2022, Huobi cut 300 jobs, which were equal to about 30 percent of its workforce.
Headquarters: Singapore Founder(s): Kris Marszalek, Rafael Melo, Bobby Bao, Gary Or Year Founded: 2016
Many people have gotten to know Crypto.com due to the firm’s splashy marketing investments. In November 2021, for example, it bought the naming rights to the Staples Center (home to the Los Angeles Lakers, among other teams) for $700 million – now simply known as the Crypto.com Arena.
However, this certainly wasn’t the firm’s first rodeo. It has spent money on Superbowl ads with Lebron James, national TV ads featuring actor Matt Damon, as well as put its banner on events in sports such as the Formula 1 or UFC.
Its willingness to spend goes back all the way to its foundation. Crypto.com actually started as Monaco, which planned to offer a Visa debit card and settle transactions in Monaco’s native currency MCO. It raised $26.7 million in an ICO to get that idea off the ground.
A year later, in July 2018, Monaco announced that it would be renamed into Crypto.com after having acquired the domain from a computer science professor for $12 million.
The company also faced some issues along the way, for example angering its users when it unexpectedly created a new native token dubbed CRO, which holders of MCO were forced to exchange at highly unfavorable rates.
Crypto.com, in spite of those issues, has managed to grow into one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. It now boasts 50 million users (in 90 countries) who all contributed to its stated goal of accelerating “the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.”
Naturally, the company is most famous for its crypto debit card, which people can use to spend in the real world. Additionally, they can earn various cashback rewards for simply paying with the card.
Daily trading volume, in 2021, for the 250+ tokens on the platform was $5.5 billion on average. Lastly, a total of 3,000 people are currently employed by Crypto.com.
Headquarters: Mahé, Seychelles Founder(s): Kent Li Year Founded: 2017
The last Chinese exchange on this list, which was also forced to relocate to the Seychelles islands, is KuCoin. KuCoin got its start through an ICO as well, having raised $27.5 million worth of Bitcoin back in September 2017.
An additional $170 million from two funding rounds has been added to the exchange’s balance sheet ever since. KuCoin offers many of the same (cheap) trading services that the previously mentioned exchanges do including margin trading, crypto lending, the ability to earn yield, and many more.
KuCoin, furthermore, claims the number one altcoin exchange, boasting 700+ coins as well as over $1.2 trillion in accumulated trading volume. It also considers itself to be the largest social trading platform by counting more than 20 million users (across 200 countries) and over one million news feed posts.
Rumors about the firm’s potential bankruptcy emerged back in July 2022 but were quickly shut down. Instead, the firm said that it wants to go on offense and hire 300 more people, adding to the 1,000+ it already employs.