Once you own Bitcoin you will undoubtedly be interested in the various other altcoins available and how to go about buying them. So we are going to look through some of the best crypto exchanges.
If you are yet to buy Bitcoin and you are looking for exchanges that allow you to buy Bitcoin or other crypto using Fiat currency such as USD, GBP or EUR then you will need to choose an exchange that acts as an on-ramp to crypto.
You can learn more about that at How to buy Bitcoin.
Most of the sites that allow you to buy Bitcoin with fiat currency only offer Bitcoin and a few other primary coins. This is why we created our Guide to the Best Cryptocurrency Trading Exchanges.
To buy some of the low cap altcoins you will need to send your Bitcoin to an exchange where you can then shop for 100's of different coins and tokens.
Keep in mind though, not all crypto exchanges were born equal, and some are operated by clandestine characters.
Only use tried and tested exchanges that have been verified, and don't just take our word for it, go and do some independent research on YouTube, Google, Reddit and other platforms where the crypto community is active and find out not only what is safe and secure but also what is best for your jurisdiction.
In the West the popular exchanges consist of Binance, Bittrex, GDax and Poloniex to name a few, however, in Asia other powerhouses exist in the space such as Bithumb and CoinOne out of South Korea and BitFlyer out of Japan.
Last but not least is the consideration of the fees. When you buy Litecoin with Bitcoin on an exchange there is a small fee, these can add up and eat away at your profits so it's good to find an exchange with the best fees. At the moment our vote is for Binance as our number one choice who have the lowest fees when you opt to use their BNB coin to pay your trade fees which is as easy as turning on a switch.
So what is the best crypto exchange? Here's my list of my favorites and the reasons for my choices.
The best platform for buying altcoins at the moment, in my opinion, is Binance and has become my exchange of choice for coins that it has listed. It has some coins you can't get on Bittrex and some unique features giving it a real edge.
I like to use a few exchanges and Bittrex and Binance are the two I use most regularly. They have an API and so the tool is used in various other exchange and trading programs.
Binance wins us over at the moment due to the low fees and access to some coins that are not available on many exchanges yet.
Try Binance today here.
Bittrex is one of our favorite platforms for buying alt coins and trading cryptocurrencies because it has a lot of trust from the community. Only features good quality coins and is typically difficult to get listed on. It has a very easy to use graphical user interface and while it can lag a little when busy this is the same for all exchanges.
Try Bittrex Today here.
KuCoin is a relatively new player on the scene but offers a very good platform and is a great way to buy some low market cap alt coins. I originally signed up to buy Oyster Pearl but have since began investing in KuCoin Shares which pay an interesting daily dividend based on the trading on the exchange each day and which coins were traded.
Check out KuCoin here.
Another popular platform that also supports margin trading for cryptocurrencies though we definitely don't recommend that for noobs. Leave that to those who know what they are doing and are willing to take the increased risk involved with margin trading Bitcoin and other altcoins. That said this platform is still a great option for typical swing trading and buying altcoins.
Owned and operated by Coinbase this platform isn't always the easiest for beginners however it does have an advantage. As GDax is part of Coinbase, you can actually load your CoinBase account with fiat currency like USD, EUR or GBP and then trade it on Bittrex for Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum. The reason you would do this? It can reduce your fees to 0% when buying into cryptocurrency from fiat!
Cryptopia.nz is a New Zealand based cryptocurrency trading platform that is user friendly and allows you to buy some of the more obscure and newer coins you may not yet find on Binance or Bittrex. I have an account on this website for that purpose only but have no complaints about the platform and it seems to have carved out it's own niche in the space.
Founded in 2014 Poloniex is another popular crypto exchange with a lot of users, however, I have limited experience using this platform and there has been some bad PR that has put a lot of people off and pushed them toward the other major platforms. As I experiment with this exchange more I will update the breakdown.
EtherDelta is a unique exchange because it is decentralized and powered using ethereum smart contracts. This platform is great if you want to buy new ERC-20 tokens that may not be available elsewhere. As EtherDelta is decentralized coins often list here a lot earlier than other websites.
ShapeShift is an interesting and unique exchange supporting the major primary coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum Monero, Z-Cash, Dash and many more. You can use ShapeShift without creating an account and it is also built into other platforms via their API. For example, you can use ShapeShift from within the Exodus wallet for absolute convenience.
The largest crypto exchange based in the European Union, Bitstamp was founded in 2011 and is one of the earliest bitcoin exchanges and has built up a large user base as a result. Well trsuted and supporting all of the security measures you have come to expect in the cryptocurrency world Bitstamp gets our "stamp" of approval. I know, that was dreadful!
Tips on Picking an Exchange
Here are some factors you should keep in mind when deciding which exchange to use.
- Reputation - One of the best ways to judge whether an exchange is worth trusting is to do some research in the community. Search on Reddit or BitcoinTalk forums or even start your own thread to ask what others think of an exchange. Read articles from multiple independent sources to ensure you can properly trust the exchange in question.
- Fees - It is important to note that nearly all exchanges involve fees on each trade you place, the % these fees vary from exchange to exchange.
- Payment Methods - Not all exchanges accept fiat so most of the time you need to use a different onramp to buy Bitcoin and then send your Bitcoin to the exchange before you can trade. Some exchanges, however, may allow you to add fiat money to your account like in the case of GDAX.
- Geographical Location - The location of the exchange may also have an impact on your decision. Some Asian exchanges aren't very well translated into English or may not be easy to use for a Westerner. Some exchanges may also ban citizens of certain countries.
- GUI - How easy to use is the platform, we advise beginners start with the most user-friendly of the platforms even if it has higher fees. Once you are comfortable you can then progress to using the more advanced platforms.
- Liquidity - It is also important to ensure the exchange you use has a healthy volume, this means there needs to be a lot of buys and sells each day for the currency you intend to trade. This helps ensure there is always a buyer if you need to sell.
Do you think we missed any exchanges from our Best Cryptocurrency Trading Exchanges list? Get in touch with us and let us know, we love hearing community feedback and are always open to suggestions.
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