Once you’ve made your decision to invest in cryptocurrency you will probably face the same problem as lots of new investors: Where do I buy and sell my cryptocurrencies ?
It’s hard to gauge which is the best exchange to use as there are many with different offerings and risks. As exchanges are largely unregulated in most jurisdictions, it’s up to your risk appetite when deciding which is the best to use. The aim of this article is to help guide you in finding the best exchanges in 2018.
Some tips before we start. When embarking on the adventure of cryptocurrency, it is important to take precautions and follow best practice. We recommend the following:
If you are new to crypto, you can begin by reading this article we wrote about how to get started.
This is a BIG one. Invest only what you can afford to lose! Many like to blame cryptocurrency for their losses but in fact it was the lack of risk assessment and greed which get most new investors in a pickle. Don’t be that guy.
Determine your strategy. Are you long term investing ? Are you considering quitting your day job and being a crypto day trader? They are vastly different strategies that will massively effect how you read and react to the market so choose wisely and stick to your strategy.
Security should always be at the forefront of your mind. Exchanges should only be considered as an environment in which you trade crypto, not hold crypto. While exchanges for ease of use provide a wallet for you to trade from, it’s mostly for functionality than security. What’s the point of putting in the work only to have it taken from under you. Take security seriously.
Coinbase is one of the well known used cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe and the United States. It was the most downloaded application in the United States at the end of last year.It’s unique as it acts more of a broker for traders and is responsible for finding sellers and buyers, taking a foreign exchange commission and doing an arbitration.
It’s use is simple, which is a strong point for novice users. Nevertheless, the foreign exchange commissions are quite high and for each transaction they will charge customers between 1.49% and 3.99% depending on whether you used your credit card or bank transfer. Only four currencies are available, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), LiteCoin (LTC) and recently BitCoin Cash (BCH). Also note that the mobile client is effective which is a further addition for those who want to trade for on the go.
- Simple and quick registration
- Very accessible thanks to good user design
- Mobile App available
- Supply of the account by credit card, in addition to the bank transfer.
- Good liquidity.
- Only 4 currencies available but there will be new cryptocurrency integrations in 2018
- High foreign exchange fees
- When trade volume is high, the deposit and withdrawal of your funds can be delayed.
- Registration for a new account can also be subject to significant waiting times.
(Bitspark Co-founder Maxine Ryan was recently put on IBTimes “One’s to Watch in 2018” with CoinBase CEO, Brian Armstrong. Read about it here!
Kraken is a relatively well known exchange in Europe and the United States that allows to buy, sell and trade a dozen crypto-currencies, including the most popular ones such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, LiteCoin, but also some less popular currencies but with high potential.. Registration requires passing verification steps set as Tiers 1, 2 and 3. Each with its own forms that can be lengthy. The wait for your account to be verified can also take several days to several weeks so keep that in mind. A benefit once you are verified is that they can credit your account by transferring crypto-currencies or with a simple bank transfer giving you the freedom of fiat or crypto deposits.
Note that the exchange has experienced customer onboarding issues since the rise of cryptocurrency which makes it a little annoying to use at times especially when executing orders. Fortunately, the "Trade" interface is well done and makes it convenient for tracking cryptocurrencies and placing orders. You can easily switch from cryptocurrency to fiat currency (JPY, EUR, GBP and USD) markets straight from the trade interface.
Among the negatives, the mobile app is very basic however it serves its purpose for on mobile trading. For larger trades one would use the desktop function anyway. What’s a plus is that the commission is particularly low compared to the competition between 0.16% to 0.25% which means more profit for the trader.
We’ve put Bittrex and Binance together as they are quite similar as exchanges. Both offer crypto only deposits and withdrawals which means after trading you would need to exchange it for fiat at another exchange through a wallet transfer. They are popular as they hold a wealth of cryptocurrencies outside of the most popular ones which traders are interested in and as its crypto only, its deposits and withdrawals are quick and cheap.
On the downside these platforms do not offer currency-fiat. Instead they offer fiat pegged crypto such as USDTether which is infamous for its own reasons.
Both for ease of use are also are on par with one another. However that being said, have a think about if crypto or fiat deposits are most important to you.
BitShares is a decentralized asset trading platform that allows you to place orders and to trade by taking advantage of several advantages:
- Orders are executed without delay.
- A lot of assets are available through its pegged cryptocurrency mechanism: For example, the euro is represented by the bitEUR, the dollar by the bitUSD, the bitcoin by the bit BTC, these assets having exactly the same value as the original currency. Users can add assets to the platform themselves as long as they hold the collateral to support it.
- The BitShares platform is one of the fastest exchanges and can process a large number of transactions at one time.
- BitShares charges the lower transaction costs than traditional trading platforms.
- It also trades Bitspark’s ZEPH token. Take a look here.
So there you have it. The top five exchanges to buy and sell Cryptocurrency in 2018. The list ranges from exchanges which support fiat deposit and withdrawals, crypto exchanges and decentralised ones all of which have their own advantages. Let us know in the comments below if you think there are some exchanges worth mentioning or some upcoming exchanges in 2018 that will be big! Happy trading!
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