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The Best Cryptocurrency Exchange 2018 (+7 Bonus Categories )

Story Highlights

  • What will be the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange?
  • High Trading Volume Cryptocurrency Exchange
  • Great for Buying Altcoins
  • For Trading BTC Leveraged
  • Top 3 Cryptocurrency Exchange in North America
  • Quick-Fire way to Buy Cryptocurrency with Credit Card or Debit
  • Countdown to the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange
  • Why Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Die?
  • 29 Worst Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacks of All Time

The single most important word in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is NOT “blockchain”.

It is “Decentralization

Decentralized institutions like markets and language are close to impossible to design and only arose through evolutionary forces.

Only in recent years have economists and computer scientists developed an understanding with the tools necessary to design decentralized orders like Bitcoin – orders that are planned but not controlled by anyone.

In 1971 Richard Nixon suspended the ability to convert US dollars for gold. He publicly said he intended to go back to the gold-standard. We never did. Why trust people and governments when you can trust math and code?

Even so, there is a subtle human tendency to fill the seat of an empty throne, even if we don’t need one with decentralized institutions.

Cryptocurrency can give power back to the people, reduce control & minimize the influence of tech companies, banks and billion dollar corporations.

  • What will be the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange?

An exchange which is decentralized. Right now, 0x (ZRX) is one such open source protocol which makes it easier for developers to build decentralized exchanges.

Is WavesDEX a good example of a Decentralized Exchange? We’ll find out soon enough…

Decentralized exchanges when fully functional, will render bad actors powerless against the cryptocurrency market.

Security expert and founder of McAfee Corporation, John McAfee believes that centralized exchanges will go extinct one day and that decentralized exchanges (DEX) will mark the beginning of the largest economic boom in human history.

credit @https://www.blocknet.co

As of now, all the top exchanges are all centralized. A study by Mistertango suggests that 88% of cryptocurrency exchanges are in favor of regulation for operational certainty and price stability.

High Trading Volume Cryptocurrency Exchange (24hr trading volume – Sept 2018)

Great for Buying Altcoins (after you buy BTC from your local fiat exchange)

Alternatively, you can purchase P2P via LocalBitcoins, or earn them by selling services.

  1. Changelly
  2. Binance: Has its own Native currency called Binance Coin (BNB)
  3. Bittrex
  4. Shapeshift: No longer private, pressured into applying KYC, uses a membership with rewards to sign up
  5. Poloniex
  6. kucoin
  7. Cryptopia Based in NZ and offers over 400 coins for trading!

For Trading BTC Leveraged (including altcoins & futures contracts)

  1. bitfinex
  2. bitMEX: Does not actually spot trade btc; A derivatives market dedicated for Traders rather than retail investors. If you wish to trade btc leveraged (Shorts, futures contracts, Margins up to 100x.)

Top 3 Cryptocurrency Exchange in North America

  1. Gemini: Owned by the Winklevoss Twins – Recently released their own Stablecoin called Gemini Coin
  2. Coinbase: Largest in the North America, boasting over 13 million users and over $20 billion in trading volume. Only available in 32 countries. Extremely easy on the eye interface and has high fees.
  3. Kraken

Quick-Fire way to Buy Cryptocurrency with Credit Card or Debit

  1. Changelly Most crypto-to-crypto exchanges integrates Changelly. (Most Popular)
  2. CoinMama Buying BTC the old-fashioned way
  3. CashApp (buy btc for free!) Only US & UK

Note: This is a Countdown to the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges from the worse to the best. All rankings are as of 3:00 pm EST on September 20, 2018.

And are based on a set of criteria including:

  • Coverage,
  • Ease of use,
  • Number of pairs,
  • Fiat exchange,
  • Fees,
  • Regulation,
  • Influence
  • and Advanced features.

Rankings are subject to change!

Countdown to the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange …

24-hour trading volume $30 million – Check Real Time
Tradeable coins 3 – BTC, ETC, ZEC
Accepts fiat Yes – USD
Fees Maker/taker fees 0%-1%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $10
Short selling No
Margin trading No
  • Coverage: U.S, Canada, U.K, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea
  • Regulation: High
  • Influence: Low

Run by the Winklevoss Twins, Mark Zuckerberg’s arch-rivals, Gemini was launched back in 2014. A safe and licensed exchange with regulatory oversight by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS)

They offer services to retail & institutional investors. Your US dollars are deposited into an FDIC insured bank.

Check out Gemini Twitter

 

 24-hour trading volume $130 million – Check Real Time
 Tradeable coins  14
 Accepts fiat Yes – USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, JPY
Fee Maker/taker 0%-0.36%; Deposit/Withdrawal fees $5-$60
 Short selling Yes
Margin trading Yes, up to 5x on Bitcoin
  • Coverage: Global with exceptions
  • Regulation: High
  • Influence: Medium

Kraken is highly trusted in Japan and by banks throughout Europe since 2011. While it is based in the US, Kraken allows anyone outside the US to trade and buy cryptocurrencies from its platform.

While it supports countries outside the US, USD deposits via wire transfer is only available if you verify your account to Tier 3. It will cost you a lot of money to trade on Kraken if your fiat currency is not one of the major ones accepted.

Security: Cryptography-verified proof of reserve audits determines the total amount of cryptocurrency held by Kraken and not just what they say they say they have.

Check out Kraken Twitter

 

 24-hour trading volume (Pro) $150 million – Check Real Time
 Tradeable coins  5
 Accepts fiat AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
Fee typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $15-$25
 Short selling No
Margin trading No
  • Coverage: 32 countries
  • Regulation: High
  • Influence: High
  • Features:
  1. 🔒 Coinbase Custody lets funds and institutions store their tokens inside Coinbase’s secure vault, responsible for protecting over $20 billion in customer deposits every day.
  2. 🏦 Coinbase Prime is a powerful cryptocurrency trading platform for institutions. It’s drastically similar to GDAX, now known as Coinbase Pro which they publicly spun off in 2016 for more experienced traders.
  3. Earn.com Allows anyone with a LinkedIn network of at least 50 to earn btc answering surveys and gigs

Coinbase is divided into: An Instant exchange platform & a trading platform (Coinbase Pro).

Security: Majority of digital assets are stored offline; covered by insurance and good industry practice.

Check out Coinbase Twitter

 

 24-hour trading volume $300 million – Check Real Time
 Tradeable coins  200+
 Accepts fiat No (you have to buy btc via their partners Changelly)
Fee 0.01% maker rebate, 0.1% taker fee; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $1
 Short selling Yes
Margin trading Yes, 3x
  • Coverage: Global
  • Regulation: Low
  • Influence: Medium

Take advantage of HitBTC’s low fees by first buying btc on Changelly, and then sending it to your HitBTC account. (You do not need to go through the verification process on HitBTC this way)

Then you can start trading over 200+ coins.

If you’re an intermediate to advanced trader, this platform offers you something that you cannot find on most exchange platforms, a rebate system for market makers and an advanced matching algorithm.

Security: Automatic log out, 2-FA, log-in history, cold storage wallets for selected cryptocurrencies

Check out HitBTC Twitter

 

24-hour trade volume $500 million – Check Real Time
Tradeable coins 79
Accepts fiat Yes
Fees Maker/taker fees 0%-0.2%; typical $1000 bitcoin cost: $2
Short selling Yes
Margin trading Yes, up to 3.3x
  • Coverage: Global except US residents
  • Regulation: Low
  • Influence: Medium

Bitfinex and Tether (USDT), the stablecoin shares a close affiliation, where they shared the same CEO in 2016.

Any user including US residents can trade crypto-to-crypto without needing to verify their ID if they first buy btc on Changelly and then deposit into their Bitfinex account, and trade without needing to convert to fiat. (There are of course crypto withdrawal fees)

Take advantage of Bitfinex’s advanced trading features, high liquidity and multitude of Altcoins available on the platform. Professional traders get to delve in margin trading and 10 different types of order so that you can fully gain the upper-hand in a highly competitive market.

Security: Was breached in 2016, with $72 million worth of bitcoin stolen. But Bitfinex successfully compensated its users in less than a year. That shows a lot of commitment on the company’s end.

Check out Bitfinex Twitter

 

24-hour trade volume $50 million – Check Real Time
Tradeable coins 140+
Accepts fiat Yes, USD Wire re-opened June 2018
Fees All-Flat 0.25%; Withdrawal fees Vary
Short selling No
Margin trading No, but are working on providing in the future
  • Coverage: Global except certain US states
  • Regulation: Low
  • Influence: High

Bittrex is related to it Korean cousin UPbit, a $300 million a-day exchange.

A simple to use exchange that allows you to buy 140+ Altcoins at very low fees.

  1. Unverified account: 1 btc/day or equivalent
  2. Activating a 2-FA security measure will give you a withdrawal cap of 3 btc
  3. Enhanced account: 100 btc/day or equivalent (requires your selfie ID)
Check out Bitfinex Twitter

 

24-hour trade volume $25 million – Check Real Time
Tradeable coins 50+
Accepts fiat No
Fees All-Flat 0.1%; Withdrawal fees Vary
Short selling No
Margin trading No
  • Coverage: Global
  • Regulation: Low
  • Influence: Medium

Need to find a Rare New Altcoin? Most likely it will be listed right here in this exchange.

First, register an account with Kucoin, no ID verification is needed. Then you must buy BTC or ETH from Changelly and deposit your coins into your Kucoin account in order to trade other cryptos on this cryptocurrency exchange.

A large range of trading pairs with highly competitive fees gives you the unfair advantage.

Loyalty Benefits: By holding its Kucoin Shares (KCS), holders of the coin will receive special discounts on trading and dividends as well. (1% discount on trading fees for every 1000 KCS you hold, up to 30%)

Check out Kucoin Twitter

 

24-hour trade volume $5 million – Check Real Time
Tradeable coins 500+
Accepts fiat Yes, only NZD
Fees All-Flat 0.2%; Withdrawal fees Vary
Short selling No
Margin trading No
  • Coverage: Global
  • Regulation: Low
  • Influence: Medium

500+ Altcoins on a cryptocurrency exchange is no laughing matter. Cryptopia is a peer-to-peer exchange meaning you are actually buying directly from a seller. It is not some algorithm, or bot that matches you to the board.

No NZD for deposit? No worries, first, register an account. Then you must buy BTC or ETH from Changelly and deposit your coins into your Cryptopia account in order to trade other cryptos on this cryptocurrency exchange.

Three stages of verification:

  1. Verify email address: Transfer up to $5000/day
  2. Selfie ID and Name: Transfer up to $50,000/day
  3. Proof of residence: Transfer up to $500,000/day

Benefits:

  1. Arbitrage – section allows you to check coin prices on other exchanges so that you can get more value for your Cryptocurrency.
  2. Marketplace – Whats-more, you can also browse & buy various listing by other sellers from gift cards, to electronic devices with your Cryptocurrency.
Check out Cryptopia Twitter

 

Tradeable coins 70+
Accepts fiat Yes, USD & EUR
Fees Trading 5%; Deposit/Withdrawal 1-7.1%
  • Coverage: Global

Changelly is an Instant cryptocurrency exchange. Its robots are integrated into some of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Bittrex and Poloniex.

Many Cryptocurrency wallets like the Trust Wallet also integrates Changelly into their app platform so that their users that instantly buy cryptocurrencies and store it into their wallets without transferring out their crypto.

There are no fix rates with Changelly, given the volatility of cryptocurrencies, this is ideal so that they can give their customers the best rates for their money.

Changelly does not store your crypto on its servers. Contrary to popular believe, this is actually ideal. You will first need to buy your own hardware wallets first.

Ledger Nano S or the Trezor gives you security and peace of mind.

Check out Changelly Twitter

 

24-hour trade volume $1 billion – Check Real Time
Tradeable coins 100+
Accepts fiat No, supports fiat in Malta, Singapore
Fees Trading fee 0.1%; Withdrawal fees Vary
Short selling No
Margin trading Yes, for advanced users
  • Coverage: Global
  • Regulation: Low
  • Influence: Very High

100+ Altcoins on a cryptocurrency exchange with the highest liquidity. Binance is masterminded by CZ, a brilliant high velocity platform developer who designed Binance in such a way that it is capable of handling over 1.4 million transactions per second.

Binance does not accept any fiat for deposit so, first, register an account. Then buy BTC or ETH from Changelly and deposit your coins into your Binance account in order to trade other cryptos on this cryptocurrency exchange.

Even without personal ID selfie verification, you can transact and transfer 2btc/day. This allows almost everyone in the world to trade on the platform without much restriction.

Benefits:

  1. BNB Coin – Hodling BNB allows you to deduct 50% of the trading fee to 0.05% in the first year then 25% the second year, etc. For more info, check the Binance website.
  2. Programs – Users get to participate in countless competitions, voting, contests and bug bounty programs
Check out Binance Twitter

You can read more about Binance here:

Why Do Cryptocurrency Exchanges Die? 

  • Failure in banking relationships 1%
  • Financial difficulties 1%
  • Hacked 97%
  • Criminal convictions 1%

With disruptive technology, mass adoption usually comes with all sorts of growing pains — which is why cryptocurrency exchanges are the temporary bridges that can be burned to the ground once the entire world conducts trade in only cryptocurrency itself, or when Bitcoin becomes a Unit of Account.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are getting hacked because it is so easy.

Decentralize exchanges doesn’t come with all the security risks but suffers from scalability issues. Which is why there are plenty of developers working on solving this problem right now.

29 Worst Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacks of All Time

  • June 2011: Mt. Gox ~$8.75 million stolen
  • October 2011: Bitcoin7 ~ $50,000 stolen
  • March 2012: Bitcoinica ~ $228,000 stolen
  • May 2012: Bitcoinica ~ $87,000 stolen
  • July 2012: Bitcoinica ~ $300,000 stolen
  • September 2012: Bitfloow ~ $250,000 stolen
  • May 2013: Vicurex: $160,000 stolen
  • June 2013: PicoStocks: $130,000 stolen
  • November 2013: PicoStocks: $3,000,000 stolen
  • February 2014: Mt. Gox: $460,000,000 stolen
  • March 2014: Cryptorush: $570,000 stolen
  • March 2014: Poloniex: $64,000 stolen
  • July 2014: Cryptsy: $9.5 million stolen
  • August 2014: BTER: $1.65 million stolen
  • October 2014: MintPal: $1.3 million stolen
  • October 2014: KipCoin: $690,000 stolen
  • December 2014: BitPay: $1.8 million stolen
  • ….WHEW……
  • January 2015: 796exchange: $230,000 stolen
  • January 2015: Bitstamp: $5.2 million stolen
  • February 2015: BTER: $1.75 million stolen
  • April 2016: Shapeshift: $230,000 stolen
  • May 2016: Gatecoin: $2.14 million stolen
  • August 2016: Bitfinex: $77 million stolen
  • October 2016: Bitcurex: $1.5 million stolen
  • February 2017: Bitthumb: $1 million stolen
  • April 2017: YouBit: $5.3 million stolen
  • January 2018: Coincheck: $500 million stolen
  • February 2018: Bitgrail: $187 million stolen
  • June 2018: Coinrail: $40 million stolen
  • Just happened Zaif: $60 million stolen

~Source: CoinIQ

Lesson: Never Trust a Cryptocurrency Exchange Ever. No matter how Professional or How much Guarantee they offer you, always be skeptical.

Get a Ledger Nano S or Trezor and transfer your precious coins there.

Meanwhile, a study by Sylvain Ribes finds that over $3 billion dollars worth of faked Cryptocurrency volumes & wash trades were concocted across all major exchanges.

I found ridiculously massive discrepancies between exchanges. Not the kind that can be easily hand-waved away (“oh well, their users must behave differently”), but the kind that can only be explained by some figures being overstated as much as 95%,” explains Ribes’ study.

So unless you understand how trading cryptocurrencies works under the hood, it’s best to just buy and hodl in your hardware wallet.

So which one of these exchanges do you like the best? Also, what cryptocurrency exchange would you like me to list here? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Winson Ng

I Started hearing about bitcoin only in November 2017. As a solo-preneur who has build around the Maverick Philosophy, I found bitcoin to be just the tip of the spear. I watched to see who was getting into it, some of the smartest entrepreneurs who has made their fortunes being the first movers allocated portions of their investment portfolios to Bitcoin. I studied and realized that if it worked, bitcoin was going to be the first global decentralized currency. And that has never existed before. Ever. I was Hooked!

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