Best Bitcoin exchanges 2019: The Ultimate Guide
Bitcoin exchanges allow for trading of Bitcoin. Here at BlockchainBiome, we analyze some of the best Bitcoin exchanges available and the pros and cons of each one of them.
Bitcoins were the rage not too long ago. Unfortunately, Bitcoin was unable to maintain steady growth and has seen a rapid downfall. If you are looking for the Best Bitcoin exchanges to trade your Bitcoin, or, want to invest in some in the hope that Bitcoin will rise again, you are in the right place. Read on to find out more.
What are Bitcoin exchanges?
A Bitcoin exchange is a business that allows users to trade Bitcoins for other assets, such as conventional flat money or other digital currencies. These exchanges enable the user to trade in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and obtain other currencies or actual money for it.
Digital currency exchange can be of two types:
- Brick-and-mortar A digital currency exchange that exchanges traditional payment methods and digital currencies.
- Purely online A digital currency exchange that exchanges only digital currencies and cryptocurrency completely online.
Some things you might want to consider while choosing Bitcoin exchanges
You might have decided to carry out exchanging of cryptocurrency, but, what exactly do you consider when you choose platforms that carry out these exchanges? Here’s a list of all factors that you might want to look at before zeroing in on the platform or making your own list of best bitcoin exchanges:
Ease of use and Interface
Many bitcoin exchange platforms have several complexities and it would take a beginner, who plans to use these platforms, a considerable amount of time and effort to understand the content and to work around the intricacies. The interface could also be built in a way that could perplex users and make it hard for them to navigate and perform the tasks that they intend to, on the platform. It is, therefore, imperative that the platforms are easy to use and have friendly interfaces so that even novices can obtain utility from them.
Support for Multiple Currencies
Users, who intend on exchanging Bitcoins would prefer to have a plethora of options. It would be bothersome to the users if they are confined to the limited number of options the platform provides. Support for multiple digital currencies and international currency is a must. Fiat currencies, which, are legal tenders whose values are backed by the governments that issued them, should also be supported by the platform.
Security plays an integral role in choosing the best Bitcoin exchanges. It is the responsibility of the platform to ensure that fraudulent transactions do not take place on the platform. The platform needs to take extensive measures to ensure that the users’ data is secure and free from harm. The platform also needs to be able to guarantee the user with a fair degree of certainty that he/she would not be cheated. Two-step verification to access the account and document and details verification are some of the measures that the platforms need to adopt.
Presence in multiple countries
It is important for the user to have the services of the platform available in his/her country. The user must also be able to transact in the currency of his/her country. The user might find it necessary that the platform extends support to his/her country as well.
Popularity and User Reviews
The user should take into consideration the popularity of the platform while taking the decision of choosing platforms. The more popular the bitcoin exchange platform, the more likely it is to be legitimate. The user also might want to take a look at some of the user reviews to see if the platform has had a positive or a negative impact on the users. The users can derive from the experiences of current users and make suitable decisions.
Let me tell you from my experience, customer support really do matter if you are seriously looking for the best bitcoin exchanges. The user might require constant assistance and help with the various aspects of the platform. The customer might need a certain degree of hand-holding, especially if the user is a beginner. Users, therefore, need to search for platforms that provide constant and top quality assistance. Platforms that provide immediate assistance are also favorable.
The user would find it extremely unfavorable to lose a large chunk of his currency while trading through the platforms. Users should look for platforms that take as less as possible. High transactions would hinder the ability of the users to make quick money through these exchanges.
Good Site Performance Irrespective of Traffic
The site should be functional at all times. The amount of traffic and transactions that take place on the network should not affect the servers or the performance of the system. The platform should not develop errors and must be bug-free to enable users to have a smooth and hassle-free experience.
11 Best Bitcoin Exchanges of 2019
Now, let’s take a look at some of the popular & best bitcoin exchanges platforms.
Coinbase is one of the best bitcoin exchanges till now. It does not just deal with Bitcoin, but also, Ethereum and Litecoin. They enable users to buy, send, store and exchange these cryptocurrencies. To buy or sell Bitcoin, Coinbase charges a flat fee of 1% + $0.15 per transaction. However, there is no fee that is charged for sending, receiving or storing Bitcoin.
It is a US based company that has support for over 30 countries. An added advantage of using Coinbase is the insurance protection that the business provides. All currency is protected. Coinbase created GDAX, or, Global Digital Asset Exchange for users who wanted to carry out large amounts of trade. GDAX has since been renamed as Coinbase Pro. The only downside of GDAX is that it is considered to be too technical.
A bit about payment methods and fees –
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- Easy to use
- One of the most renowned Bitcoin buying and selling platform
- Has insurance protection
- Supports multiple currencies
- GDAX is intended for the technical trader
- Not all countries and currencies are supported
Kraken was founded in 2011 and has the largest Bitcoin exchange volume with respect to the currency Euro. It also supports US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Japanese Yen and British Pounds. It even passed a proof of reserves audit and has an auditing system in place that makes the service very reliable. Kraken has a tier system.
The maximum withdrawal limits are as follows:
Tier 1 : Only digital currency, $2,500/day and $20,000/month
Tier 2 : Fiat : $2,000/day and $10,000/month, Cryptocurrency : $5000/day and $50,000/month
Tier 3 : Fiat : $25,000/day and $200,000/month, Cryptocurrency : $50,000/day and $200,000/month
- Low transaction fees
- Professional trading platform
- Flexibility to move to a tier for higher withdrawals
- Poor site performance during high volume of traffic
- Poor customer support
- Not suitable for beginners
Bittrex is a popular name in the cryptocurrency exchange market but that’s cannot be the only reason to be in this list of best bitcoin exchanges, so let’s see what makes it worthy to be here. It provides support to numerous countries and currencies. Bittrex supports more than 180 countries and allows for trading in over 250 digital currencies. Perhaps, its biggest disadvantage is the flat trading fee of 0.25%, which, some may find to be too high.
- Two-factor verification
- A nice user interface that beginners can easily get used to
- Quick account verification
- A large number of currencies
- A large number of countries
- Slow customer support
- Fixed trading fee
- No support for fiat currencies
Binance is a Chinese based currency exchange. Binance was formed after a successful initial coin offering (ICO) and has been largely successful as an exchange platform. The initial coin offering was of its very own cryptocurrency token called BNB. Binance can be downloaded as an application or can be accessed through the browser. It also has support for various languages. However, it does not support fiat trades.
Binance even offers two separate views for carrying out trading. The Casual view is for casual traders and can be easily used by beginners. The Pro view is for professional traders. Binance provides several utilities such as trading tools, charts, and security features.
- Large lists of features that make trading easier and secure
- Different views for different kinds of traders
- A low transaction fee of 0.1%
- Has the capabilities to process 1.4 million transactions per second
- No support for fiat trades
- Delay in the withdrawal of coins
- Threat to user’s privacy since it collects and stores users’ IP addresses
The process of buying and trading Bitcoins on Coinmama is pretty straightforward. The user can buy and trade even the smallest amounts of Bitcoin. Coinmama’s major cryptocurrency is Bitcoin but it also supports Ethereum. It has a large presence and is available in 226 countries.
Coinmama has different levels with different withdrawal limit for each level. The levels are determined based on the user’s verification level.
The withdrawal limits are:
- Level 1 : $10,000 limit
- Level 2 : $50,000 limit
- Level 3: No limit
- Ease of trading
- Can buy even small fractions of Bitcoins
- Has multiple language support
- No middlemen
- Does not allow selling of Bitcoin, only buying
- Customer support is only through email
- Does not have an app equivalent for mobile use
Gemini is also a US-based currency exchange. It deals with only three cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ethereum and ZCash. It was founded by the renowned Winklevoss twins who rose to prominence through their connection with Mark Zuckerberg. It is a regulated service and is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Service (NYSDFS).
The maximum trading fee on Gemini is 1%. Gemini also has a tier-based trading fee. These fees range from 0% to 1%. Gemini allows for both individual and institution accounts and neither of the account types has any withdrawal limits.
- No withdrawal limits
- Multi-type accounts available
- It is well regulated
- Strong reputation
- Privacy risks exist
- Allows only US Dollars
- Present only in a select few countries
Huobi is run by Huobi Global Limited and provides services to over 130 countries. It has a wide range of currencies. Huobi does, however, have withdrawal fees.
The withdrawal fees for various cryptocurrencies are:
Bitcoin Cash: 0.0001
Litecoin : 0.001
- Continuous customer support
- Supports a wide range of currencies
- Provides services to over 130 countries
- Available in all operating systems and as an application
- Has falsified trading volumes previously
- Arduous verification process
Bitstamp is also one of the best bitcoin exchanges you can use. It is largely considered to be a premier marketplace for buying and selling Bitcoins. Bitstamp claims to be the first fully licensed bitcoin exchange in the world. Much like most other platforms, creating an account on Bitstamp is free and easy. It has a great reputation globally and is considered to be a very safe marketplace for trading Bitcoins. It has a staunch customer base that only seems to expand every day.
- Great reputation
- Available throughout the world
- Low transaction fees, generally around 0.1-0.25%
- Enables all forms of transactions
- Difficult for beginners to use
- Limited payment options
- The user interface is not as lucrative as one would like
Bitpanda is one of Europe’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Bitpanda is only available to users in Europe as of now. Bitpanda claims to be extremely fast and reliable. Bitpanda is also said to be completely safe. Its quickness is probably its best feature and selling point. Bitpanda supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ripple (XRP).
- Quick transactions
- Easy for beginners
- Allows for a wide range of transactions
- Several payments option
- Uncertainty over fees
- Only for European users
- Not open source
ShapeShift is one of the fastest growing bitcoin exchange platforms in the world. ShapeShift is available globally and offers web and mobile platforms to the users to carry out trading. It is described as an “instant” cryptocurrency exchange.
ShapeShift supports three types of transactions:
- Bitcoin to Altcoin
- Altcoin to Bitcoin
- Altcoin to Altcoin
- No deposit and withdrawal fees
- Instant transactions
- Has a dedicated support team
- An account is not needed to carry out transactions
- Undisclosed deposit limits
- Only exchange of cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency is possible
- Users cannot trade fiat currencies
Poloniex is one of the most active bitcoin exchange platforms in existence. The activity on the platform is considerably high. It claims to offer high security and great trading features. Perhaps, its most promising feature is its ability to allow users to trade based on margins. There are a lot of security concerns associated with Poloniex. A major security breach once wiped out 12% of the Bitcoin on the platform.
- Allows margin trading
- Has a good selection of cryptocurrencies
- Its security is susceptible and has already been breached
- Slow website
- Customer service is poor
Wrapping up Best Bitcoin Exchanges 2019
There are several other Bitcoin exchanges that are immensely popular too. Here at BlockchainBiome, we have listed some of our picks. The pros and cons of each exchange will help you gain insights on what to choose. All the above cryptocurrency exchanges are safe to choose, so, you can take your pick.
Each exchange has its own limitations and strengths, we have listed them out so that you can understand them and develop an opinion. Decide for yourself the right exchange for you.