20 Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Reviews 2018

A Complete Guide for Beginners

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you’ve been hearing a lot about cryptocurrencies and you feel it’s finally time to jump on the bandwagon and see what the fuss is all about.

Am I right to assume that you’re a beginner?

If you are, then I’m going to start this article with a quick intro to cryptocurrencies in general. However, if you already know all that, feel free to move on to the next part.

Still here?

Okay… so what’s a cryptocurrency exchange?

Basically, a cryptocurrency exchange platform is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a site where you can buy or sell various cryptocurrencies. In some sites, you can do it with your regular fiat currency, and in some sites, you can only do it with other cryptocurrencies. In addition to that, there are a bunch of other variations on this that we’ll get into in the next parts.

Cryptocurrency trading started taking off in the earlier half of this decade. However, since then they have become quite a big thing. So much so that there are way too many platforms to choose from now.

In this article, I’ll list out the 20 Best Bitcoin Exchange Platforms so you can decide which ones suit your need best.

PART 1: Types of Exchange

Before we jump into the intros to the various best bitcoin exchange platforms, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of exchanges. There are three primary types of exchange platforms available:

  1. Trading Platforms: These sites connect buyers and sellers to each other and they extract a fee from each of the transactions made.
  2. Direct Trading Platforms: These are peer-to-peer exchange platforms where buyers and sellers from across the globe can meet, interact with each other, negotiate, and trade. These don’t work based on the market price as sellers determine their own rates. However, they can be pretty risky, especially for beginners, who run the risk of being scammed.
  3. Cryptocurrency Broker Platforms: These are similar to foreign exchange dealers. Basically, you enter the site and buy cryptocurrencies at a rate that has been established by the brokers.

PART 2: What to Look out for Before Joining an Exchange

In the next part, I will give you what you want. I’ll list out and give an intro to the best bitcoin exchange platforms in the market.

However, before I do that, I’m going to give you a detailed rundown of the factors you need to consider when you’re joining an exchange. Not all platforms are the same, and what’s good for one person might not be good for the other.

Factors To Look Out For:

Public ViewFee StructureAccepted Payment MethodsVerificationLocational RestrictionsExchange Rate

PART 3: Comparative Table of the 20 Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms

In this part of the article, I’ve created a comparative table of the 20 best cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the market. After you read the intros to all the platforms, you can come back to this chart to help narrow down your options and see which of these platforms suits all your needs.

ExchangeReviewsFeesCryptocurrencies SupportedPayment MethodsSecurityReputationPurchase
Coinbase
Coinbase
Coinbase Review3.75%Bitcoin, Ethereum, and LitecoinCredit Card + Bank TransferGreatGreatBuy
Binance
Binance
Binance Review0.1%Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, etc.CryptocurrenciesGreatGreatBuy
LocalBitcoins
LocalBitcoins
LocalBitcoins Review1.0%Depends on sellers.Cash + Bank Transfer + PayPalGoodGoodBuy
Paxful
Paxful
Paxful Review0% from buyer, 1% from sellerDepends on sellers.PayPal + Debit Card + Skrill + Gift CardsGoodGoodBuy
Poloniex
Poloniex
Poloniex Review0.15% maker fee and 0.25% taker feeBitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, etc.CryptocurrenciesGreatGoodBuy
HitBTC
HitBTC
HitBTC Review0.10% to 0.25%150+ cryptocurrencies.CryptocurrenciesOkayJust so soBuy
bitpanda
BitPanda
BitPanda Review1.0% to 4.0%Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin.Card + Bank Transfer + Skrill + NetellerGoodGreatBuy
CEX.IO
CEX.IO
CEX.IO Review0.5% to 2.0%Bitcoins, Ethereum, and Dash.Card + Bank TransferGreatGreatBuy
Coinmama
Coinmama
Coinmama Review6.0%Bitcoins, and Ethereum.Card + Bank TransferGoodGoodBuy
bitmex
BitMEX
BitMEX Review0.0750% taker feeBitcoin, Binary, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Qtum, Monero, Ripple, Tezos, and Zcash.CryptocurrenciesGoodGreatBuy
XCoins
XCoins
XCoins ReviewDepends on lenderBitcoins.Credit Card + PayPalOkayOkayBuy
bitbond
Bitbond
Bitbond Review1.0% to 2.5%Bitcoins.Credit Card + Bank TransferGoodGreatBuy
KuCoin
KuCoin
KuCoin Review0.1%80+ cryptocurrencies.CryptocurrenciesGreatOkayBuy
Gemini
Gemini
Gemini ReviewDetermined by Gross trading volumeBitcoin, and Ethereum.Bank TransferGreatGoodBuy
GDAX
GDAX
GDAX Review0.10% to 0.25%Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.Bank Transfer + Credit Cards + SEPA + Skrill + Wire TransferGreatGoodBuy
Kraken
Kraken
Kraken Review0% to 0.25%Bitcoin, Ether, Ether Classic, Gnosis, Litecoin, Augur, Melon, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Monero, Dash, Stellar, Zcash, Iconomi, and Dogecoin.Bank Transfer + AltcoinsGreatGreatBuy
Bittrex
Bittrex
Bittrex Review0.25%Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, NEO, OmiseGO, Dash, Zcash, Siacoin, and Nexium.CryptocurrenciesGreatGoodBuy
Bitstamp
Bitstamp
Bitstamp Review0.05%Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.Card + Bank TransferGreatGreatBuy
Bitfinex
Bitfinex
Bitfinex Review0% to 0.2%Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, EOS, OmiseGO, Iota, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Ripple, Santiment, and Monero.Bank TransferGoodGreatBuy
Changelly
Changelly
Changelly Review0.5%80+ cryptocurrencies.Cryptocurrencies + Credit CardJust so soJust so soBuy

Now that you have a basic understanding of the best bitcoin trading platforms, you’ve probably narrowed down your options. You can go through an intro to the 10 best cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the next part.

PART 4: Intro to the Top 10 Bitcoin Exchange Platforms

Coinbase

coinbase home

Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the market. It’s ideal for beginners as it’s user-friendly and allows you to purchase all the popular cryptocurrencies using a credit/debit card, bank transfer, or online wallet at a moderate fee.

Furthermore, it holds mass public trust and faith as it was one of the first cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the market and now has a dedicated user base of over 30,000,000, along with over 75,000 merchants.

It’s ideally suited for the US or the European markets.

coinbase promo

Pros:

  • Trustworthy.
  • User-friendly and ideal for beginners.
  • Insured online wallet.

Cons:

  • Tedious verification process.
  • Available in only 32 countries.

Read: Coinbase Review 2018

Binance

binanceBinance is a new Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange platform that only supports crypto-to-crypto trading. However, it has one of the widest range of cryptocurrencies available for trading purposes, over 100 in number. Binance also attracts the lowest transaction fees amongst all of its competitors, at just 0.1%. However, due to its complexity and lack of fiat currency acceptability, it’s not suited for beginners who just want to buy cryptocurrencies.

Pros:

  • Widest range of cryptocurrencies supported.
  • Has become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the shortest time.
  • Impressive list of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). These are high-risk high-reward ventures suitable for serious traders.
  • Available globally.
  • Extremely low transaction fee.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t accept fiat currency payments.
  • Not suitable for beginners.

Read: Binance Review 2018

binance promote

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins is a unique cryptocurrency exchange platform in that it’s a peer-to-peer platform. As such, buyers and sellers from across the globe can meet in this platform, strike a deal, and conduct a transaction. The site only acts as a safe escrow account for the reception and release of the cryptocurrencies.

As a P2P platform, LocalBitcoins has the widest compatibility and flexibility in terms of available cryptocurrencies and available payment methods. Basically, anything goes, as long as it’s agreeable to both parties. Furthermore, the trading rates aren’t determined by the market but by the individual sellers.

However, these are also extremely risky, especially for beginners, as there are various shady or duplicitous traders online who can scam you if you’re not careful. The site has various safeguards against these fraudulent practices, but that requires the users to stick very carefully to the site’s guidelines.

localbitcoins sign up

Pros:

  • No geographical restrictions.
  • Wide range of cryptocurrencies available.
  • Wide range of payment methods accepted.
  • Just a 1% transaction fee levied on the sellers, not the buyers.

Cons:

  • Risky for beginners who can be scammed by fraudulent users.

Read: LocalBitcoins Review 2018

Paxful

Paxful is a similar trading platform as LocalBitcoins. It’s also a P2P platform where buyers can meet and strike a trade deal. Even Paxful offers a lot of flexibility in terms of payment methods, accepted currencies, and cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, it doesn’t place any restrictions on the users and it charges no transaction fees from the buyers either.

However, just like LocalBitcoins, Paxful is also susceptible to shady dealers who can scam unassuming users. As such, it’s not recommended for beginners.

paxful home

Pros:

  • Global availability.
  • Flexibility in terms of payment methods.
  • A wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • No transaction fee.

Cons:

  • Risky for beginners.

Read: Paxful Review 2018

Poloniex

Poloniex once used to be one of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the market. However, then other services like Bittrex came along and knocked it off the throne. Currently, Poloniex has a user base of 33 million monthly users. It has a very user-friendly design and can be easily used by beginners. However, it’s a crypto-to-crypto platform, and as such it’s not ideal for beginners who want to buy their first bitcoins.

Pros:

  • Margin trading of up to 4 times is available on the popular altcoins.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Registers a large volume of trades on the major altcoins.

Cons:

  • Reports of bad customer support and withdrawal issues.
  • Strict verification process.
  • Doesn’t accept fiat currencies.

HitBTC

HitBTC is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that offers over 150 digital assets and altcoins to trade in. In addition to that, it also accepts fiat currency payments in USD and EUR. The transaction fees is perhaps the lowest in the industry at 0.10% to 0.25%.

However, the only major concern with HitBTC is that it’s not very reliable and there have been a lot of complaints about it online, even though they’re largely unverified ones.

Pros:

  • Extremely low trading fees.
  • Large number of cryptocurrencies available.
  • Global availability.

Cons:

  • Terrible customer support.
  • Bad reputation.

Read: HitBTC Review 2018

BitPanda

BitPanda is the ideal exchange platform for residents of the UK and the EU. Due to its geographical restrictions it has a very limited reach in terms of users. However, it has a sterling reputation. It only supports the major altcoins Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin, and accepts only USD and EUR as fiat currencies.

Pros:

  • Sterling reputation.
  • Ideal for residents of the UK and EU.
  • Wide range of payment methods accepted.

Cons:

  • Limited cryptocurrencies.
  • Narrow geographical availability.

Read: Bitpanda Review 2018

CEX.IO

cex io

CEX.IO is a well-reputed cryptocurrency exchange platform for people residing in the UK or the EU. Even though it’s available in all countries, there are a lot of restrictions on non-EU countries.

In addition to geographical restrictions, it’s also quite restricted in terms of cryptocurrency availability, only accepting Bitcoins, Ethereum, and Dash. And the transactions also attract astronomically high fees at 7%.

However, it’s popular because of one of its most unique features, i.e., the Fill-or-Kill system of orders. As such, you can place an order at a price you prefer and then wait for a seller who is alright with that price and is willing to sell to you. This ensures faster and smoother transactions.

Furthermore, they also have quite a sterling reputation because even though they’re a well-established and old company, they have not been hacked once yet.

Pros:

  • Well reputed.
  • Extremely fast transactions.

Cons:

  • High trading fees of 7%.
  • Geographical restrictions.
  • Only three cryptocurrencies available.

Read: CEX.IO Review 2018

Coinmama

coinmama home

If you’re a complete beginner in the world of cryptocurrencies and don’t mind relatively high transaction fees, then Coinmama is the ideal platform for you. It’s only meant for buying cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies, however the transaction process is extremely simple. You simply create a profile, determine how many Bitcoins or Ethereum you want to buy, check the cost of it, make the payment, and voila! As such, if you want to buy some altcoins, this is a great way to go about it.

Pros:

  • Extremely easy process by which to buy bitcoins.
  • Ideal for beginners.

Cons:

  • Active trading is not possible.
  • High transaction fees of 5.50%.
  • Only Bitcoins and Ethereum available.

Read: Coinmama Review 2018

BitMEX

BitMEX is a Hong Kong based crypto-to-crypto trading platform. It’s extremely popular because it offers the chance of margin trading of up to 100 times on Bitcoins. However, due to the lack of support for fiat currencies, it’s not ideal for people who just want to buy cryptocurrencies. The user-interface is also quite sophisticated, so non-experienced users should stay away from it.

bitmex deal

Pros:

  • Margin trading available.
  • Large number of cryptocurrencies.
  • Global availability.
  • Low transaction fee of 0750% for takers and -0.0250% for makers.

Cons:

  • Fiat currencies not accepted.
  • Not meant for beginners.

Read: BitMEX Review 2018

PART 5: Conclusion

Well, these are all the best bitcoin exchange platforms in the market right now. As you can see, all of them come with their own set of pros and cons. As such, it’s up to you to analyze them, compare them, and decide which ones work best for you.

Whatever you decide to use, please do comment down below and let us know about your experiences!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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