2017 made cryptocurrencies a household term. People were asking questions and opening their wallets in an effort to generate financial independence. The concept of investing, albeit largely in cryptocurrencies, became common knowledge. You may have started your journey here, and now you want to know where to go.
While cryptocurrencies can be bought from a variety of sources, most people will elect to do their trading and investing through crypto exchanges. They’re just like stock exchanges, only for crypto coins. The problem you face is finding the right one for you. There are plenty of considerations, from their trading pairs to their trustworthiness. Here are 10 of the best ones around:
For many people, Binance is the best exchange option. It covers numerous altcoins, can let you convert your coins to fiat currency for safe keeping, and most importantly for people looking to make numerous trades, only has a 0.1% transaction fee. It doesn’t matter what you’re trading – it will always only take 0.1%. The reason it can afford to take only that much is due to its initial coin offering, which gave it a strong capital base.
Unfortunately, you cannot directly deposit fiat currency into Binance. For many people starting out, this can be a tremendous hurdle. You’ll need to find Bitcoin or some other coin elsewhere before you can truly make use of Binance’s service.
Bitcoin might be the cryptocurrency poster boy, but it’s far from the only coin you and other traders can invest in. Altcoins like Ripple have shown that they have what it takes not just to provide value and technological advancements, but also to provide valuable opportunities to savvy investors. For people who want to focus entirely on altcoins, ShapeShift is the platform of choice.
There’s also another reason to consider ShapeShift as your exchange, and that’s its decentralized trading process. There’s no need to sign-up, no accounts required. All you need is a crypto wallet and you can trade on this exchange, practically eliminating the barrier to entry.
Kraken stands as one of the bigger names among coin exchanges. While it doesn’t have as much altcoin support as some of its brethren, it brings something important – the ability to deposit fiat currency and use it to trade immediately. Unfortunately, this tremendous benefit is stymied by a poor user interface.
If you plan on using USD, JPY, CAD, or EUR, Kraken might be the exchange for you. It’s great for people who just want everything they need in one place, but can be absolutely daunting to beginners due to its aforementioned interface.
If you want an exchange based in the US for whatever reason, you may want to consider Bittrex. It puts tremendous importance on altcoin support. Even new coins will usually find a home there – in fact, over 190 coins are supported on Bittrex as of 2018. Unfortunately, there’s a downside to all this value, and it’s its transaction fees. It takes 0.25% on all trades, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but can add up if you’re planning to trade a lot. However, access to numerous trading pairs may still make signing up worth it.
For those who want their exchanges in a professional shell, Bitfinex is often a tempting choice. It doesn’t cover a huge number of altcoins, but it treats its customers with immense importance, to the point that it temporarily suspended sign-ups to further improve its current account support – and it shows in its features. It has a tremendous number of order times, from the standard stop limit to trailing stop, as well as margin trading. This platform is fantastic for serious traders who want all the tools necessary to make money.
Unfortunately, Bitfinex was once hacked in 2016. While it has recovered from this breach and has had no problems since, this might be a piece of news that affects your exchange choice.
A Chinese exchange known as “The People’s Exchange,” Kucoin is a platform that supports a huge number of cryptocurrencies, both new and old. It also boasts low transactions fees (0.1%), which can be tremendously tempting for people who want to trade a lot. Kucoin has a solid user interface, one that’s easy to make, and allows trading with a few rare coins. Traders who are looking to trade for NEO should find this a particularly appealing option.
Bithumb has a lot of issues that may make many traders turn away. It doesn’t trade in a lot of altcoins and has a limited number of order types. However, it does something unique going for it – it caters exclusively to Koreans. It accepts the South Korean Won as currency, and offers fiat trade partners for the most loved coins such as Ripple. The UI is simple and easy to use, though it lacks a built-in price history chart, which can turn-off some day traders.
In terms of sheer accessibility, few exchanges can come close to Coinbase. It’s one of the most well-regarded platforms when it comes to trading and investing in cryptocurrencies. It’s fantastic for beginners and great for people who just want to acquire Bitcoin. If you can join it, it’s a great starter exchange.
Unfortunately, most Asia-based traders will have to choose another exchange, as Coinbase is only available in Singapore. It also lacks comprehensive altcoin support and is best for investors looking to stake their claim on the big boys, such as Ethereum and Litecoin.
Poloniex comes with the standard suite of features, from respectable altcoin support to acceptable transaction fees. However, it comes with a little extra in the form of margin trading, which should put smiles on the faces of experienced traders looking for more options in their exchanges. This makes its average altcoin support less of a negative and more of an acceptable trade.
Poloniex’s user interface does not offer too much in-depth information, which can be a turn-off for people who want to make all their decisions on one page. However, it still provides numerous data points that can help people make trade and investment choices.
Transaction fees can keep people from making aggressive trades, especially beginners who are only dipping their toes in the crypto pool. However, for many exchanges, transaction fees are how they make money. It’s how they can keep their engines running, allowing you to continue trading. This is where Cobinhood enters the picture.
Cobinhood’s primary sell is that it has absolutely no transaction fees. For many beginners, that’s enough to give the platform a chance. Unfortunately, it lacks altcoin support. It’s also basically new, which can give people pause.
Cryptocurrency trading is only going to get more complicated and in-depth over time, but that’s no reason to jump into the deep end of the pool. Start with the exchange that’s best for your goals, and work from there. Don’t forget – you’re not committed to a single exchange. Once you’re more comfortable, you can start expanding your portfolio and the number of exchanges you’re active on. It’s going to be difficult, but nothing that gives you lasting wealth is easy.