These days, anywhere you go, you’ll come across the terms cryptocurrency exchanges in the crypto world.
The idea of a decentralized cryptocurrency has grown so rapidly that most people all over the world have failed to gather anything about it. Most people who are not part of the cryptocurrency trading spectrum are clueless when it comes to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchange.
It can seem a little overwhelming, but it’s quite a simple concept. You can get the gist about it and learn about the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the time it’ll take you to go through this article.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are a means to allow people to exchange their cryptocurrencies for other types of currencies. These can be traditional currencies like USD or other cryptocurrencies (usually from the Bitcoin and Ethereum).
There are different types of platforms when it comes to exchanges. There are trading platforms, which offer a platform to the buyers and sellers for their trade, and charge a fee from both parties.
Direct exchanges do not involve a fee. They require you to specify your exact need, and once another person’s need matches yours, then you both are brought in contact.
The final form of exchanges are Cryptocurrency brokers, where you buy or sell cryptocurrencies directly to the broker at a fixed price.
Important Things to Know
When you learn more about cryptocurrencies and their decentralized and digital nature, you feel keen to invest and trade in them. Doing so will require you to use a cryptocurrency exchange at some point.
Before you start using an exchange, you should do your homework and see if it is a service that’s good.
A few important things to check are:
- Brand Value / Reputation
Before you start using a service that involves you to part with your money consistently, you want to ensure that it’s a worthy service and is well backed and trusted by customers. The same goes for cryptocurrency exchanges. Finding out about the reputation of an exchange is simple. Just go through the reviews people and trusted organizations have given about the exchange. You can ask / read questions on forums like Reddit or Quora for up to date sentiment and news like hacks.
- Exchange Rate / Volume
Before you start using an exchange, always check the rate that other exchanges offer. You will definitely find a contrast in the rates in different exchanges, so it’s wise to choose one that you find best. Volume is also important as if there is not much volume traded, your buy and sell orders will have difficulty in executing. You’ll find in general the more volume an exchange has, the slightly more the price is for that specific currency.
- User Fee
There are a variety of fees that exchanges can charge you. You should find out just what types of fees will your exchange charge you (sometimes based on the volume or amount you trade). There may be deposit, withdrawal, as well as transaction fees, so do proper research and understand things properly.
- Payment Methods Supported
Using an exchange will require you to deposit funds in your account on the exchange service. If the exchange does not support a wide range of payment methods, then it’s pretty restricting. It might be the case that your preferred mode of payment is not covered (credit card / bank wire transfer) , and you might have to setup an account on a different payment service to use the exchange. This shouldn’t be the case; as good exchanges will always support a large number of payment options.
Our Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2017
Now that you have a basic understanding about cryptocurrency exchanges and how to choose a good one, it’s time to see which are the best exchanges presently.
Almost 3 years at the time of writing, Bittrex has been our most trusted and largest crypto currency exchanges with no security compromises to date. They have a large number of trading pairs available and offer good security and prompt customer services for their users. We recommend using Bittrex as an exchange from our experience.
All trades have a 0.25% commission – See here
Pros: Trustworthy and Great Volume – Recommended
Cons: ID Verification Required for over 3 BTC Daily withdrawls
Coinbase is one of the most popular trading platform and broker service currently. It has a large customer base because it makes using, storing, and buying cryptocurrencies quite easy. It is one of the few exchanges that is popular globally and easy for beginners to use. You can buy Bitcoins, Litecoin, and Ether from Coinbase as of now. This can be done ether through the digital wallet on the platform, or through the GDAX account. GDAX is currently available only in USA, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. The currency you can exchange digital money for depends on where you are located, and using GDAX is a little complicated for beginners. But on the whole, Coinbase is one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges.
Base rate of 4% for all transactions with credit card / 1.49% on normal buy and sell – See here
Pros: Great place to start out especially buying bitcoin with your credit/debit card
Cons: Expensive – Fee’s are quite high and can be slow with customer response
Cex.io is another exchange that is good for beginners due to its ease of usage. It allows you to trade your cryptocurrency with fiat money. If you wish to buy Bitcoins or other cyrptocurrencies supported, you can easily do so with Cex.io’s broker service. The exchange rates are quite similar to the market rate, so you don’t lose money. It’s supported all over the world, so your location isn’t an issue. Depositing money in the wallet, though, can be a little expensive with their deposit fee. Their verification process, too, is a little cumbersome to go through.
Transaction fee is based on your 30-day trade volume for all pairs, starting at 0.2% – See here
Pros: Fast, Reliable and a good place to start out trading crypto currencies
Cons: No fiat options and limited payment options
Kraken is arguably the most popular exchange in the world. It is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, and is partners with the world’s first cryptocurrency bank. You can use Kraken to buy or sell Bitcoins, or a variety of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Monero, Zcash, Litecoin, Augur REP tokens, etc. Trading is allowed in Euros, USD, Pound Sterling, CAD, and Japanese Yen. Although Kraken is a little technical for first-time users, it offers a lot of features, charges really low transaction fees, offers good exchange rates, and is well backed by customers all over the world.
Fees are charged on a per-trade basis – Starting at 0.16% for BTC/USD – See here
Pros: Very liquid in fiat and so trading in and out of crypto’s is easy
Cons: Slightly above market rates if looking to buy crypto’s at competitive prices
Cryptocurrency exchanges are gaining more traction with each day as more people educate themselves about cryptocurrencies and begin investing and trading in them.
There are new services popping up every other day to allow for more cryptocurrency trading. If you want to to start trading crypto currencies, you should make sure you do your due diligence and find out about an exchange and compare it with others before sending your coins/fiat to them.