If you are considering getting your hands on some Bitcoin, then looking into Bitcoin exchanges are a must. Bitcoin exchanges are websites that offer you different ways to purchase Bitcoin. Whether it be through credit card payment, gift cards, or even cash, there are many ways that are offered.To make Bitcoin exchanges a bit easier to understand, think of the exchange as the New York Stock Exchange. Although they aren’t the same, they are similar in the sense that you are trading money for an asset. Instead of getting stocks in return for your money, you are getting a certain amount of Bitcoin proportionate to the amount it is worth when you purchase it.
What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A crypto exchange is a place where you exchange a certain cryptocurrency for a different crypto coin. The most common cryptocurrency exchange occurs with Bitcoin being the main coin being traded for other coins. Crypto exchange sites are a bit quicker to use compared to fiat (USD, EUR, etc) to Bitcoin exchanges as you do not need to use a bank, ATM or other payment methods where it takes a day (or up to 5 days) to complete the transaction.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind when using a crypto exchange. There are fees that you must deal with when transferring Bitcoins from wherever you bought it to the crypto exchange site. Due to the surge of transaction fees, it will be costly if you are transferring small amounts.
Known for being the oldest Bitcoin brokers in the industry, this Israel based broker is an exchange site you can purchase Bitcoins from with a credit card from close to anywhere in the world. If you want a safe, secured transaction to purchase Bitcoins, Coinmama is a great alternative.
As it is one of the largest, this means it is widely trusted and you won’t have an issue with being defrauded by the site. This also means that Coinbase invests heavily in their security, allowing you to feel safe with keeping Bitcoins inside your virtual wallet at Coinbase.
This is one of the fastest-growing trading platforms for Bitcoin and various altcoins. This platform has been able to attract users from around the world because of its fast, reliable, and easy service to trade Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and many other cryptocurrencies.
Bithoven is one of the latest entrants in the cryptocurrency domain. Despite being an exchange platform in its nascent stage, it has managed to impress experts and users alike. It features one of the most advanced algorithms which significantly reduces the loading time of the page and provides traders with the best returns.
If you are looking for low fees alongside 99.999% availability whenever you need it, then CEX.IO might be the exchange for you. Although this exchange isn’t available in a lot of locations, if you are in a location where service is available, you’ll be able to benefit from this exchange.
This exchange is the first to receive a charter from the NY State Department of Financial Services and operates in all 50 states of the US. itBit is popular for not having a set limit on how many Bitcoins you can buy and for having low rates
If you are looking for a Bitcoin exchange that can also help you purchase other crypto coins as well, then Changelly might be the best bitcoin trading platform for you. Changelly is a unique exchange that is both a Bitcoin and altcoin exchange. As there aren’t many exchanges that offer the features that Changelly comes with, it is one to strongly consider.
This broker exchange is one of the simplest ways to purchase and sell bitcoins and other altcoins, mainly Litecoin and Ethereum. There is an option to buy the cryptocurrencies using the fiat currency Euro. The transactions can be made either through a credit card or via Bank Transfer.
How to Choose the Best Bitcoin Exchange
As there are many different types of exchange sites available with different kinds of features available, it is important to look at what type of features are offered at the site you are interested in. Some features include filtering (peer-to-peer exchanges), different payment methods, and built-in crypto exchange (to avoid fees).
This is the most important factor to look out for as if the security of the site is low, your coins can get stolen out of your wallet at any time. To avoid this issue, the best way is to get a hardware wallet, but since this guide is about Bitcoin exchanges, it won’t be covered here. To check the security of the exchange, research how the coins are encrypted and what the company does to ensure your coins stay safe.
3) Transaction Fees
Some sites offer Bitcoins for sale for extremely low rates while some sites offer extremely high rates to profit from those that aren’t experienced with purchasing Bitcoin. Most of the sites we will be reviewing below have decent rates, but for peer-to-peer exchanges, the rates will be a bit higher. PayPal payment methods also come with higher transaction rates due to higher risks.
4) Exchange Reputation
This is one of the most important factors that you have to consider when you are looking for an exchange to conduct your transactions on. The one that you go with should have an excellent reputation, and while there are always going to be some negative reviews, you have to check for the weightage of the negative and the positive ones.
Another thing that you should check out is that the good exchanges always have a high trading volume. This is directly proportional to the speed of the trades. Higher trading volumes mean that there are some traders looking for digital assets.
5) Payment Options
A good exchange would have a variety of payment options. Another thing that most of the exchanges pride themselves on is the security of the payment options. Usually, a normal exchange would accept payment in the form of bitcoins rather than any fiat currency.
A very good exchange, on the other hand, will have options for fiat currency as well as both the bitcoin and other altcoins as well. There are some which make use of the wallets like PayPal, Skrill, etc.
Using these wallets makes it easy for the users to conduct the transactions since the wallets are usually directly linked to their bank accounts and they do not have to enter their account information on the trading exchanges.
This protects their information since only their wallet ID is shared in the database of the exchange. Payment options that involve direct transfer of the cryptocurrencies in the exchange wallets is even more secure since they are based on the blockchain technology.
6) Security of the Exchange
Since it is a matter of the finances, security is one of the most important things that have to be considered when you are selecting the exchange that you want to conduct your business on.
There is a public history of all the exchanges that have been hacked over the years and you should avoid the ones with similar security issues. Also, avoid the exchanges that have been hacked in the past. This is because there is a pattern which is almost always repeated.
An exchange that has been hacked once can be hacked again. This can be avoided if the developers of the exchange upgrade the security of the platform completely. Go for the exchanges that have advanced security measures like two-factor authentication.
Usually, when you have logged into an exchange from one IP address, you don’t need to log in time and again each time you wish to access your account. However, if the IP address changes, you will need to log in again.
Below are our bitcoin exchange reviews of the top few exchange sites that we love. We recommend that you use the ones on our list because using our recommendations are a lot safer than going blind and using some random exchange that you found online. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.