Ready to kick-start your cryptocurrency journey? If yes, chances are you’ve created a checklist of crypto essentials and of course, signing up to an exchange tops the list. Yes, as a newbie in the crypto world, it’s super important to take your time to choose the right cryptocurrency exchange. As you may or may not know, a cryptocurrency exchange is a platform where you can buy or sell cryptocurrencies. So yes, it’s basically the place to buy your first Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency that holds your fancy.
But hey, you should be aware that not every crypto exchange is worth joining. So no, it’s never a good idea to just sign up for whatever exchange that catches your eye. You need to choose the “best” among the rest. If not for anything, doing this will simplify the buying/selling process and even better, cut down the risk of getting burned when you start cryptocurrency trading.
The good news? We’ve done all the hard work and rounded up the top 5 crypto exchanges you won’t be wrong to join in 2018. And of course, at the end of this post, you’ll be able to buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies like a pro.
Topping the list is Coinbase — one of the best, longstanding crypto exchanges on the web. Founded by Fred Ehsram and Brian Armstrong in 2012, Coinbase has proved itself to be one the most rock-solid exchanges you can trust. First off, Coinbase is based in San Francisco but operates in up to 32 countries including Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. In fact, by 2013, Coinbase was recognized as the largest exchange of cryptocurrency in the world! We also think it’s worth mentioning that the platform has served over 12 million customers worldwide and exchanged up to $40 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.
For the most part, Coinbase supports the buying and selling of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. And unlike other exchanges out there, Coinbase allows users to trade their cryptocurrency at a price that’s based on their market value. So of course, users will be able to buy their cryptocurrencies with ease. It’s also good to point out that Coinbase accepts credit cards and users can also process payments via bank transfers.
So what about fees? Well, for the most part, this crypto exchange charge fees which typically range from 1.49% to 3.99%. It’s however important to note that fees usually vary depending on the method of payment. But the good news is, the fees are reasonable either way! To sum it up, Coinbase is as secure as can be. In addition to being based in the US, the crypto exchange has received investments from big players like the NYSE, Bank of Tokyo, BBVA and more. The 2-factor authentication is also a huge plus. All in all, a highly recommended pick for buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies online.
Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the biggest, oldest and most popular players in the field. In fact, they’re recognized as the current world leader in terms of Bitcoin to Euro trading volumes. Essentially, Kraken is based in San Francisco, but amazingly, it holds an international appeal and offers efficient trading opportunities in many fiat currencies. Speaking of which, Kraken is available in the US, Canada, Japan and a number of European nations. What’s more, this crypto exchange provides users with more than 47 market pairs and 7 base currencies. And of course, the most notable currencies the US Dollar, the Canadian Dollar, the Euro, the British Pound and the Japanese Yen.
But perhaps the biggest highlight of Kraken is that users can trade more than 10 different cryptocurrencies. So yes, the platform supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Tether, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, Ethereum Classic and more.
We also think it’s worth mentioning that Kraken has built a good reputation over the years. Speaking of which, the exchange has been able to withstand major hacks — it uses state-of-the-art techniques to secure funds. And impressively, they were also chosen to facilitate payments to the creditors of the bankrupted exchange MtGox. Overall, Kraken is a popular and secure choice for anyone interested in trading cryptocurrencies regardless of their location.
Taking the third place on our ranking is Bitstamp — the world’s “third” largest Bitcoin exchange by volume. First off, Bitstamp has been operation since 2011 and mostly caters to its European and US user base. It’s however important to note that the exchange is available in over 60 countries including Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. So yes, Bitstamp provides cryptocurrency trading solutions to clients across the globe.
For the most part, Bitstamp is a popular choice for crypto enthusiasts looking to purchase established cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. At the time of writing, the exchange has 12 market pairs which are linked to base currencies including the US Dollar and Euro. It’s also noteworthy to mention that this cryptocurrency exchange enjoys a lot of liquidity. In fact, it currently handles more than $700 million worth of cryptocurrency trades per day. And interestingly, Bitstamp gives users the opportunity to enjoy lower fees when it comes to buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies.
All in all, this Luxembourg-based exchange is sure to be your best bet if you’re looking to trade with huge amounts of money. Highly recommended for intermediate and professional crypto traders.
Bitfinex is yet another leading exchange that’s great for intermediate and advanced traders. First off, this platform happens to be one of the big players in terms of daily trading volumes. Yes, as a matter of fact, Bitfinex currently handles up to $2 billion worth of trades a day! Moving forward, the exchange supports fiat deposits and boast a variety cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Z-Cash, Monero and more.
It’s good to point out that Bitfinex is based in Hong Kong and fully available to many other countries. However, you should be aware that the platform is inaccessible to US-based traders. In other words, the company has since suspended trading, deposits and withdrawal services to US-based customers.
In summation, all cryptocurrency deposits on this platform are fee-free but withdrawals are not. Just keep in mind that there are several different charges attached to the supported cryptocurrencies. Overall, Bitfinex is an impressive professional-level crypto exchange that’s totally worth checking out.
Last but not the least is Poloniex — a US-based exchange created for dedicated crypto enthusiasts. In essence, everything here revolves around cryptocurrency; the platform has nothing to do with fiat currency. That said, Poloniex may not be the exchange for those looking to make their first crypto purchase. So yes, you won’t be wrong to look elsewhere if you’re new to the cryptocurrency world. Or if you’re looking to trade, figure out how to transfer some Bitcoins right off the bat.
For the most part, Poloniex is home to over 60 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Z-Cash, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin and a whole lot more. In a nutshell, this exchange is sure to be your best bet if you’re looking to trade a particular token. As with other exchanges on our list, Poloniex goes the extra mile to keep their digital assets safe. In addition to storing customers’ deposits in cold storage offline, Poloniex employs auditing programs that work to ensure everything goes as smoothly as planned. Don’t hesitate to check it out if you find yourself to be a pro trader.
And that’s it! The top 5 crypto exchanges for 2018 and beyond. At this point, it’s all up to you to make your pick and stick to the one that’s sure to work for your needs. As mentioned earlier, all crypto exchanges on our list are excellent — there’s no doubt about that. But you should be aware that it’s never a good idea to leave your cryptocurrency sitting on your favorite platform. In essence, we’ll always recommend transferring your investment to a hardware wallet and rest easy knowing that they’re 100% safe. You can check out our article on top 5 hardware wallets to learn more. And use a cryptocurrency portfolio manager to track all your investments.