Bitcoin exchange is a crypto-marketplace where people buy and sell Bitcoins using various currencies, such as Dollars, Pounds and Euro etc. We can either use traditional currencies to exchange Bitcoin or other alternative cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum. The platforms in which Bitcoin is exchanged serve as middleman for those trading the cryptocurrency.
To trade Bitcoin, you need to first be in possession of it, and in order for you to be in possession of it, you need to buy it. So, your first step to trading the Bitcoin currency is to purchase it. Worth knowing, these platforms through which Bitcoins is traded charge transaction fees, just like in stock. The fee ranges from 0 to 1% of a transaction (depending on the platform).
To begin trading Bitcoin on any of the exchanges, you need to first have an account – that is the first and foremost step you need to take – create and verify your account on any of the exchanges. Don’t forget that Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies are all digital currencies, hence, Bitcoin is not a physical object that you can touch, hold or put in your physical wallet. Everything regarding Bitcoin is done or carried out digitally – through the use of phones, gadgets, computers etc.
The only way you can store your Bitcoin is through Bitcoin wallet, and to get a Bitcoin wallet, you must create an account with any of the exchanges or Bitcoin trading platforms. Or you can download and install the PC file on your PC and generate a wallet for yourself.
Important things to note before choosing a Bitcoin exchange
Before jumping into picking a Bitcoin exchange platform, these are the important things you should pay attention to. This is somewhat similar to the issues and potential pitfalls in picking the right financial firm to do your banking – or creating an online brokerage account. Unlike stock trading and banks, Bitcoin is unregulated by most countries. Although, it’s just a matter of time, as the popularity poll keeps increasing things keep changing.
It is also a good thing to look at the types of virtual coins which an exchange supports. Currently, there are approximately about 4,000 cryptocurrencies, and new ones are being added every now and then, so it’s best you find out which currency you would like to trade in, and then match the exchange that is into those. Take for example, Ethereum mining has currently become very popular, but not all Bitcoin exchanges support this type of cryptocurrency.
Language barrier in Bitcoin exchange
Another thing that can hinder you as a Bitcoin trader is language barrier. It is best that you take your time to find out which country is hosting the Bitcoin exchange. Some of the Bitcoin exchanges are in less regulated countries – which means you’re likely to face additional problems if something should go wrong. Such can include, international long distance costs, time differences, and language barriers. To sum up what I’m trying to emphasize here, it is better you pick a Bitcoin exchange that speaks your language – or that is based on your native language.
Also, pay attention to the fees levied on traders. Remember, these exchanges’ main purpose is to make money just like you, hence, some are likely to charge a bit higher than the others – so it is best that you take your time to find the one with the lowest costs in order to minimize your spending and maximize your profits.
Now, remember, Bitcoin is money – hence you’ll need an exchange with high security measures in order for you to be on a safer side. For example, would you use a bank that doesn’t have a vault and store its money on the counter? I guess your answer is as good as mine, hell NO! So, take your time to look for a Bitcoin exchange which has robust security measures (very important).
These are some of the features you should look out for in terms of security – SMS or email alert, two-factor authentication, wallet monitoring, and encrypted emails. It is also advisable to choose a Bitcoin exchange with a smartphone app (that is not poorly implemented) – this helps for easy accessibility.
Also, look for a Bitcoin exchange with a high number of trading pairs, and liquidity. In other words, one that is doing a good volume of trading.
Now that you’ve known the things to look out for as you begin the journey of picking the right exchange for trading, let’s go ahead and list some of the best exchanges in the crypto markets.
Coinbase is a US-based exchange founded in 2012. This Bitcoin exchange supports over 32 countries, and it exchanges Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency, such as Litecoin and Ethereum. Coinbase is the largest exchange of all other exchanges. The platform claims up to $20 billion in currency exchange. GDAX – the Global Digital Asset Exchange, was created by Coinbase in 2014. It is a platform basically designed for professionals with high volumes of trading.
This Bitcoin exchange offers an offline storage, insurance protection for currencies stored on its servers, and a mobile wallet (to make accessibility easy). The exchange supports various fiat currencies, such as the US Dollars, British Pounds, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Singapore Dollars, and Euros.
CoinBase has a 1% flat fee for every purchase, but cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals are carried out without any fee. The platform also features a user-friendly interface which is quite felicitous for newbies.
2. Gemini Exchange – gemini.com
Gemini is also a US-based Bitcoin exchange. It was founded by Winklevoss twins. The platform is based in New York – and is available to all the 45 US states. It is also available to major countries, such as Singapore, United Kingdom (UK), Hong Kong and South Korea.
The only fiat money that the platform supports is the US dollars, and it’s only opened for Bitcoin and Ethereum trading. Gemini charges a very low flat rate of 0.25% for trades – to both the buyer and seller, and it does not charge deposit or withdrawal fees.
Another cool thing about Gemini is that it is regulated by New York’s Department of Financial Services. It is a New York state limited liability trust company. And its nearness to the Wall Street financial markets allows the company to create an easy path for both individual and institutional investors – attracting investments to newer crypto currency.
Worth knowing, Gemini also accepts ACH transfers for fast access to money for trades. One shortcoming of this great platform is that the interface is not newbie-friendly. In other words, beginner-traders might not find the interface tremendous.
Changelly is another cool Bitcoin exchange. The platform also supports a notable number of other virtual currencies, such as Dash, Bytecoin, Monero, and DigitalNote among others. So, for those mining less popular virtual currencies, Changelly is likely to have them exchanged for you.
Changelly features a popular mining platform – MinerGate, which provides a merged mining pools across Mac, Windows, Linux and Android OS. Changelly users can buy cryptocurrencies with US Dollars or Euros.
Worth knowing, this platform has a very short record as it has only entered the virtual market in 2016. It also charges a friendly fee of 0.5% on every transaction carried out.
Cryptopia is another cool exchange to look out for. It was founded in 2014, and it is basically designed to be a comprehensive platform that focuses more on user-experience. Hence it has an integration of additional services, such as Wallet and marketplace. Cryptopia is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Another cool thing about this platform is that it features a very easy and quick verification process. The initial verification only requires an email address.
This platform also supports a colossal number of cryptocurrencies – approximately 400 – and new ones are being added every now and then. However, it does not support fiat money trading. The platform also has a very friendly trading fee of 0.20% per transaction – which makes it one of the lowest if compared to its competitors.
LocalBitcoins crypto exchange is based on p2p (person to person) transactions – i.e. you can interact directly with the person selling Bitcoin to you. This is a reputed exchange you should look out for. Worth knowing, the platform uses Escrow (dispute resolution is provided).
|It is a good place to meet people||Risks associated with anonymous transactions|
|The platform features PayPal||Process may take longer to conclude transaction|
|No verification is needed||Some bank accounts got suspended after receiving money.|
|It is popular in most countries|
This is another reputed international Bitcoin exchange. The platform accepts US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Russian Rubles, Zcash, Dash and Ethereum. Cex is a very notable exchange within the aforementioned currency regions. The platform is of high standard – no unnecessary adverts or landing pages.
Less I forget, the exchange also features a modern and simple user interface, good security practices, and credit card and bank transfers. Because of its easy accessibility, it is quite newbie-friendly; a good place to start as a beginner.
|Easy to use and newbie-friendly||Litecoin was recently unlisted|
|Features bank transfer and credit card deposits|
|Buying and selling Ethereum is available|
|User know how much they will pay even before signing up|
Kraken is another reputed Bitcoin exchange. The platform is mostly patronized by Europeans and Americans because of the following reasons: they have an easy verification process, they work well through SEPA, and they are pro when it comes to cryptography and security. Early 2017, this exchange repositioned itself as a crypto exchange by adding some new altcoins.
Worth knowing, the interface might not be as impressive as the features. Recently, there have been some complaints from some users about some serious issues concerning the site’s interface.
|Works well for North Americans and Europeans||Site’s interface not visually intuitive|
|Cryptographic communication is featured||Recently disabled some important features – such as stop-loss and other trading features|
|Transaction fees are quite cheap||Page timeout issues, increasing issues with the trading engine and problem with generating new deposit addresses|
Bisq – also known as “Bitsquare” is a decentralized p2p platform with a high security feature. It supports over 60 crypto currencies. Users can buy Bitcoin using an escrow method of payment, trusted third parties and bank transfer.
|Features p2p and decentralized platform||Advanced level of I.T comprehension is needed|
|Trusted escrow system for bank transfers|
|The platform is highly advanced (technologically)|
GDAX is an exchange basically for technical traders. The platform has a good liquidity. Deposits are done in US Dollars and the process is very fast, just like in withdrawals. Worth knowing, this platform is reputed as the best ethereum exchange for serious traders.
|Optimized to be a serious trading platform||It has an high ID processing steps|
|It has an integral part of Coinbase brand|
Bitstamp has a huge presence in Europe, since 2011. The Bitcoin exchange has good volumes for larger trades. It is well received by people using credit cards and SEPA. Bitstamp accepts both US Dollars and Euro deposits. One thing that makes Bitstamp special is that the platform only focuses on being a pure Bitcoin-only exchange.
The transaction fee in this platform is also friendly, and the exchange is built with a robust security system.
|Headquarters located in Luxemberg||Not available outside of USA and EU|
|Good for large transactions, and also easy to use for newbies|
|Card purchases (mastercard and visa) are available in USA and Europe|
This is another cool decentralized exchange you should look out for. It was created in 2016 by developer Zack Coburn. Etherdelta is one of the best places to trade Ethereum ICO tokens without using centralized services or custodial accounts. On this platform, more 325 ERC20 tokens are listed. One cool thing about this platform is that your money is always under control – it uses a standard security system to store currencies.
|Real name, No ID, or registration of any sort is needed||Not too beginners-friendly|
|Funds are extremely safe|
|High-volume ERC20 exchange for trading ICO tokens|