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As more and more people are becoming increasingly interested in trading cryptocurrencies, and with the existence of numerous thriving cryptocurrency exchanges, it is necessary to assist these newcomers in selecting a suitable cryptocurrency exchange. This is the aim of this article. This article is an insightful guide, covering analysis of the top Bitcoin cryptocurrency exchanges in the market presently and is directed to people looking to gain a base knowledge about cryptocurrency exchanges and also for other cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Before we go into the details of the top-ranking cryptocurrency exchanges for trading Bitcoin and altcoins, we need to first understand what a cryptocurrency exchange is. What Is a Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange? A Bitcoin cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where Bitcoins and other altcoins are bought and sold by matching buyers with sellers. Just like every other commodity, the price of Bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. There are Bitcoin exchanges spread across the globe, which provides support to different users across regions. There are numerous functions carried out by crypto exchanges, however, most of them possess varying functions. Some exchanges approve fiat currency-based transactions while others carry out the only cryptocurrency. Some Bitcoin exchanges are supervised by regulatory bodies while others are not. It is worth mentioning though that a good cryptocurrency exchange should allow for supervision from the authorities to ensure that its users’ funds and information are protected. Some exchanges don’t sell Bitcoins at any cryptocurrency for that matter, rather they create a means for their users to make “bets” on price fluctuations of a cryptocurrency. There is a truckload of Bitcoin exchanges to choose from and this guide will make it easier for the reader to make a decision. Questions to Answer Before Choosing a Bitcoin Exchange 1- Is the exchange affordable? When choosing an exchange, you have to look out for the costs of using that platform. If an exchange charges excessive fees per trade and you just happen to be a frequent trader, it means that you will be spending a whole lot on commission fees and this could eat into your profits. You also need to find out how much is charged for overnight fees, withdrawal fees as well as deposit charges. 2- Is the exchange compliant with regulations? You also have to find out if the exchange you plan on adopting governed by regulatory agencies. The reason for this is to ensure that the exchange is obeying the set rules by the authorities thereby protecting you, the user, from negative market occurrences like hacks, market manipulation and so on. Some of this regulatory body include the CySec and the FCA. 3- Do they have responsive customer service? This is a very important aspect of selecting an exchange. You want to make sure that the exchange you’re using has an active customer care service to assist you in times of uncertainty or confusion. 4- Is the exchange highly liquid? You need to find out if your desired exchange has a constant inflow of liquidity so your transactions can be carried out without much delay. In a situation where liquidity is poor, facilitating transactions will be very problematic which could render the trader stranded 5- Is it available for your location? You need to find an exchange that renders services to your locality. Also, you need to make sure that the exchange remains accessible even in an event where they change location. 6- Is the exchange site trustworthy? Be sure to always look out for indications of authenticity and trustworthiness of the exchange website. 7- Are they offering professional trading on your behalf? It should be noted that any crypto exchange platform that is promising to offer you “professional trading services” for a fee or whatever reason, is a sham and as such should be avoided at all costs. Best Bitcoin Sites for 2019 Now that we know what to look out for before choosing an exchange, let us look at a suitable platform with their features, advantages, and disadvantages. In no particular order, listed below is the 2019 best cryptocurrency exchange/site. CryptoRocket CryptoRocket is an offshore brokerage which is owned by CryptoRocket Limited and is registered and situated at St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This platform uses a MetaTrader 4 trading system and it offers a variety of assets ranging from forex to stocks, cryptocurrencies, indices and a hist of other assets for its users to trade on. The cryptocurrency section offers trades on Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, Ethereum, Tron and a lot more. Pros and Cons Pros: It offers a great variety of cryptocurrencies and other assets to choose from. It doesn’t require excessive verification procedures. It has a delightful user-friendly interface. It requires zero fees on deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions. Cons: There are no cryptocurrency wallets available on this platform. It has limited payment options. It currently does not operate in a lot of countries including the United States. Binance Binance is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange previously situated in China, where they subsequently moved to Japan, Taiwan, and finally Malta in search of a more suitable national regulation. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the world, as regards volume. Binance offers a wide array of cryptocurrencies available for trade including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and their native coin BNB. Pros and Cons Pros: It doesn’t require excessive verification to trade cryptocurrencies. Just your email will do. It allows cryptocurrency deposits as well as fiat currencies. It offers a great selection of up-to-date cryptocurrencies. Cons: Binance is the most targeted exchange from hackers and phishers. Verification becomes slow when looking for extended limits. Coinbase Coinbase is an American-based fiat-cryptocurrency exchange that accepts US dollars, as well as other specific fiat currencies, in exchange for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Coinbase is a very sort after crypto exchange because of its wide availability and its user-friendly platform. However, Coinbase is among the most costly Bitcoin exchanges to use. This is a result of the impressive level of investor protection they offer their customers. Pros and Cons Pros: In Coinbase, you own the Bitcoin or the crypto asset you’re buying on the exchange. There is no need to make deposits of funds when you want to buy Bitcoin (for instance those who use credit cards). The Coinbase platform has a user-friendly interface and is easy to understand by newbies. Also, on Coinbase, the fees required for credit card transactions are very low. Cons: The trading fees charged by Coinbase are relatively higher compared to those charged by other top cryptocurrency exchanges. The credit card charges are also relatively high compared to other top exchanges. 24Options 24Options is one of the best trading platforms for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This platform gained a great deal of fame when they carried out a market strategy that involved supporting and sponsoring a football giant, Juventus. 24Option trades traditional cryptocurrencies as well as CFDs. The platform, which has an impressive user-friendly interface, also trades other assets including stocks, commodities, and forex. 24Option has indicated interest in exploring Cannabis stocks, which is currently a booming sector in the global markets. Pros and Cons Pros: They accept payment methods from electronic wallets, credit and debit cards, as well as bank transfers. They adhere to regulations set by regulatory authorities (CySec, FCA) which ensures the protection of the user, in this case, you, from unfavorable events in the market. The platform allows a minimum deposit of $100 US dollars, making it favorable for those looking to test the platform with a small amount before fully investing in it. Cons: It has different account levels which are very expensive. It is not operational in many countries around the world, including the United States. Coinmama Coinmama is a cryptocurrency exchange that was created as well as became fully operational in early 2013. This exchange is available globally as it provides services to as many as 188 countries. It became popular in 2017 when it was discovered as one of the exchanges with the fastest purchasing processes in trading Bitcoin and other altcoins using a debit or credit card. Pros and cons Pros: It is readily accessible to a wide range of locations. Credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfer payment methods are accepted by this exchange. Coinmama continuously tries to expand the cryptocurrency pairs it offers. Cons: It is a very expensive exchange platform to use. It restricts users from selling back their cryptocurrencies. Bittrex Bittrex is another major American-based cryptocurrency exchange that enables trades on hundreds of altcoins including Bitcoin. Bittrex used to be the lowest charging exchange in the industry with a fee of 0.25 percent per trade until Binance came into play. However, Bittrex is still one of the best options when it comes to routine buying and selling as well as providing access to several “obscure” altcoins. Pros and Cons Pros: Bittrex has a very strong trading selection, and they consistently provide useful updates to the platform to keep abreast of the ever-increasing advancements in Blockchain technology. It charges decent commission rates for executed transactions. Cons: It is quite expensive for customers who trade frequently. Gemini Gemini exchange was founded by the Winklevoss Twins in October 2015. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss gained their popularity when they sued Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook. Gemini is a very solid crypto exchange that offers cheap fees, advanced order type and a varied selection of altcoin. Gemini is based in New York and is striving to attain the highest level of FinTech licensing that the state can grant. This makes Gemini a sort after platform for both institutional and individual investors to trade Bitcoin and other altcoins. Pros and Cons Pros: Gemini exchange is considered to be affordable for a fiat-inclusive exchange. It offers very trustworthy and secure services. It enables fiat deposits and withdrawals. Gemini is a high volume exchange thereby ensuring that the user transactions/trades can always be carried. Gemini is also easy to use and understand. Cons: There is a limited option for trading altcoins. The platform doesn’t enable mobile support. It doesn’t allow for margin trading. The only fiat currency it accommodates is the US dollar. Bitfinex Bitfinex, founded in 2012, is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges and has its headquarters in Hong Kong. This exchange accounts for a substantial amount of the daily volume of Bitcoin and other altcoins around the globe. Bitfinex offers margin trading and lending across about 263 crypto assets which include crypto-to-crypto pairs and crypto-to-fiat pairs, thanks to its BVI entity. Unfortunately, this exchange is not available to United States citizens. Bitfinex boasts of having one of the strongest user interfaces among crypto exchanges. Though this exchange was involved in the unaudited growth of Tether and other scandals, Bitfinex has mended its ways by avoiding scandalous activities and by providing a high quality of service to its customers. Pros and Cons Pros: It has a complex yet intuitive trading platform. It has a strong selection of cryptocurrency assets including Bitcoin for its users to choose from. Cons: It doesn’t support mobile use. It is unavailable in the United States. Kraken Kraken is a Canadian-based crypto exchange which has a strong selection of altcoins and offers a wide array of trading options. They also offer margin and leverage trade. Kraken seems to be struggling with advancing with market trends, but it still tries to keep up in one way or the other. Even though Kraken struggles with high trading volume on some days, it still functions as it should. The CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell is advocates the good customer service promised by the platform by being publicly active on social media and responds to inquiries and criticism by customers. Pros and Cons Pros: It provides margin and leverage trading. It has a very strong customer service system. It supports trading of a good selection of crypto assets including Bitcoin. Cons: It has a slow-paced development process. ShapeShift ShapeShift is among an important class of exchanges that instantaneously provides liquidity for crypto-traders without requiring any identification from these traders. ShapeShift has been integrated into a selection of trading wallets for inter-wallet trading. This exchange is concerned about its customers’ convenience and is an exchange that will always be consistent with its services. Pros and Cons: Pros: ShapeShift is a very convenient exchange. It has a strong online presence and is available in popular wallets. Cons: It is costly to utilize. It has liquidity related issues on rare occasions. Changelly Changelly is another exchange that provides instant liquidity for traders on the go. Just like ShapeShift, Changelly’s API brings speedy trading to different wallets as well as other crypto applications. This kind of exchange fills a very important section of the crypto industry. Pros and Cons: Pros: Just like ShapeShift, Changelly is also a very convenient crypto exchange. It is built into popular cryptocurrency applications. Cons: It is equally costly to utilize. It faces occasional liquidity issues. KuCoin KuCoin has been dubbed the Binance clone by some because it offers many of the benefits that come with Binance; discounted fees, cheap trading with proprietary crypto, and it provides a wide selection of assets. Whether this exchange is a Binance copycat or not, it sure provides an excellent trading platform for its users. Pros and Cons Pros: It provides cheap fees to its users. It provides access to a good number of coins as well as “obscure” coins. Cons: It is feared as not adequately regulated. All in all, Binance trumps every other exchange in the aspect of affordability. In Binance, traders are charged a measly 0.10 percent for every by or sell order. This figure is way lower than the industry average. To make it even more unbelievable, Binance offers a 50 percent discount (0.05 percent) for traders using the exchange’s native coin, BNB. Even though other copycat exchanges try to mimic the payment structure of Binance, they never seem to attain better pricing. However, some CFD brokerage like Robinhood offers a zero charge trading fee (0.0 percent), although these companies make their money from spreads and other subtle means. This means that the traders still pay a fee, they just don’t notice it. So What Exactly is a CFD? A CFD (Contracts For Difference) is a category of a cryptocurrency exchange that does not sell any cryptocurrency asset instead, CFD brokerages create a means for users to “bet” on the price of Bitcoin and other altcoins. CFDs are the way to go for traders looking to trade Bitcoin without having to deal with the stress that comes with owning a Bitcoin asset. However, the stakes are higher when it comes to CFDs. It is easier to lose one’s trading capital on a CFD. Only experienced and adept traders are advised to venture into CFD trading. So, if you want to trade the real thing, go with a conventional Bitcoin exchange and not a CFD. Categories of Bitcoin Exchanges There are two distinct categories of Bitcoin exchanges; centralized and decentralized. Simply put, centralized exchanges are exchange platforms that approve the use of fiat currency (US dollars, British Pounds, Japanese Yen) as a means of payment, while decentralized are those that accept only cryptocurrencies as means of payment. Characteristics of Centralized and Decentralized Exchanges Centralized: Centralized exchanges are very compliant with stringent rules and regulations. This exchange also provides a higher level of security to its investors as compared to other exchanges. However, centralized exchanges have a limited range of services that they offer. Decentralized: Unlike centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges offer a wider variety of services to its customers. Also, they don’t adhere to strict rules and regulations proffered by regulatory bodies. However, this feature leaves it open to several fraudulent activities and renders it susceptible to hacks. Final Thought There are a plethora of cryptocurrency platforms in existence today. Some of these platforms should never be explored because they can leave you susceptible to hacks and fraudulent losses. This guide is intended to be an eye-opener for the reader and to help the reader navigate through cryptocurrency exchange selection. Source: https://cryptoevent.io/news