A Guide to the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are consistently hitting the headlines in the financial sector. If you have not already decided to jump on the bandwagon or if you are contemplating getting involved in the modern era of cryptocurrencies, then you are in the right place.
Our website offers comprehensive guides to multiple exchanges and review of over 1000 cryptocurrencies helping you understand how cryptocurrencies are shaking the wires on the financial grapevine.
We leave no stone unturned giving those that are absolute beginners to digital currencies as well as advanced cryptocurrency gurus a complete overview of how digital currencies work, what is available, what is trending, and which exchanges and wallets are out there.
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What We Offer
If you have been searching for a website that offers up to the minute information and trustworthy overviews of the blockchain industry, then our guides to the best cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, latest news, and cryptocurrency overviews are arguably some of the most accurate on the world wide web today.
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What are cryptocurrencies Exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges a.k.a. digital currency exchanges (DCE) come in all shapes and sizes. Plus, each one has its own reputation, which we fully review here on our website. Each exchange offers its own payment system, tools to track cryptocurrency fluctuations as well as other features that include:
- Exchanging Cryptocurrencies
- Margin Trading
- Lending for margin trading
Some exchanges allow you to exchange fiat currencies for the purchase of cryptocurrencies; while, others will only accept payment in cryptocurrency. Your cryptocurrency can then be exchanged for another cryptocurrency using the DCE. In the latter case whereby, the exchange does not accept fiat currency, you will need to fund your account via a cryptocurrency wallet and transfer money out of the exchange to your wallet.
Exchanges can be:
- A physical land-based company
- An online company
- Land-based and online company
Exchanges can either derive from the creators of digital currencies. On the other hand, the majority of Cryptocurrency Exchanges are independent of the creators that just allow those involved in the buying, selling, and exchanging of cryptocurrency to use the exchange to facilitate these activities.
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How we rate cryptocurrencies exchanges
We use several deciding factors to rate a DEC. We break down every cryptocurrency exchange that we review into sections, and then we test and review each area. This helps us come to an eventual overall rating of the DVE in question.
You may notice that no one size fits all in our reviews. We try to cover each section using the same subsection on every review, so you can easily browse each review and get to the exact point of information that most interests you. Nonetheless, you will see some reviews have unique or different sections added to the review simply because what they have to offer is exclusive to their exchange.
Take Binance for example and check out their exchange tools. They offer their own BNB coins, which is something not many exchanges offer, and so when we review sites like these, we add new sections in to give you all the information you need to know about this uniquely designed DCE’s BNB offering.
There are also companies such as Poloniex that offer trading, exchange services and a special lending feature. We would then add in a section about the Poloniex lending facility, which is a feature you rarely see on any DCE, not to mention the fact that not many exchanges offer both margin trading as well as cryptocurrency exchanges all under one roof.
- Trust is the most important factor
As with any online marketplace, there are bound to be positive and negative reviews and comments about each DCE. Some are just reviews, and of course, some are unjust reviews. We aim to expose the rouge digital currency exchanges; such as Bitconnect where their Ponzi scheme crashed the value of their currency because they used an unsustainable business model.
On the contrary, the large majority of exchanges are honest companies that use risk management, high tech technology and directors that are experts within the financial industry. They understand how to diversify their own portfolio as well as provide a user-friendly interface that helps their members trade and exchange cryptocurrencies effortlessly.
To gain an overall trust rating we the following important variables that help us give you an in-depth investigation of what each DCE has to offer by testing:
- Overview of DCE
- User-friendly exchange tools
- User-friendly margin trading facilities
- Number of cryptocurrencies available
- Mobile Apps
- How to register
- The security in place
- Help and support (Customer services)
- Restricted Countries
- Pros and cons of using the exchange
Let’s have a look at each of the sections mentioned in the list above and the information we aim to provide you with each one of our reviews:
- Overview of Digital Currency Exchange
The overview just tells you about the company or DCE that you will be dealing with. Most of the information in this section will be a historical overview of the DCE, where it is based, whether the company has registered with any financial regulatory boards. Other information will be based on how the DCE was formed and how many years they have been active.
We may also provide some additional information that may be of interest. Maybe you would like to know more about the owners or why the owners remain anonymous. How popular the exchange is in terms of traffic to the site and from which countries the traffic comes from.
In addition, we may mention any good or bad press that the company may have picked up since the DCEs inauguration into the digital world of cryptocurrencies as well as how they dealt with problems in the past plus how they plan to or have continuously improved.
- DCE company overview
- Location of DCE
- Popularity in terms of traffic to the site
- Negative and positive press
- User Friendliness of Exchange Tools on Offer
Obviously, the one reason people come to choose a digital currency exchange (DCE) is that they want to swap currencies. That means you may own Bitcoin, but you feel that this cryptocurrency is now losing its long-lasting stability, but you see that Ethereum is potentially going to hike in value.
Naturally, in this scenario, you will want to use an exchange to swap your Bitcoins into Ethereum. You can either leave your new Ethereum in the exchange or withdraw them to a cryptocurrency wallet once you have made the exchange.
We stringently test the tools the DCE provides to facilitate these types of exchanges. We have found a lot of decent DCEs that provide excellent facilities that will allow exchanges to take place almost immediately. We have also found some that seem to lose the transaction, as well as those that will take a little longer for the exchange to be processed.
On top of this, the speed of the site and trades needs to be top notch. That means during peak demand, the servers need to be able to cope and not lag. Sites known to lag are bad news for those that take margin trading very seriously; especially if they are dealing with large sums of currency.
Everyone is different when it comes to the type of exchange they prefer. It could be that the processing time is slow, but the fees are cheaper; while others may want more speedy or instant exchange services. You also need to take into consideration how easy or user-friendly the tools are, which we cover in another section.
- Peak trading performance
- Speed of the exchanges
- Test the tools provided to make exchanges
- Helping you decide what suits you best
- User Friendliness of Trading Tools Offered
If a cryptocurrency exchange is going to attract a decent sized number of members that want to participate in margin trading, then it needs to make sure it provides three main functionalities.
- Accurate market data systems in real time
Cryptocurrencies can often be highly volatile; more so than the stock markets such as FTSE. In a split second any given cryptocurrency can start to appreciate rapidly and at the same time, they can depreciate just as rapidly. As a result, up to the millisecond marker data is important for those that use margin trading as their main weapon to make a profitable income from margin trading.
- Speed of trading transactions
At the same time as having accurate market data, it is also important to have the ability to swiftly trade cryptocurrencies in a split second. Having a quick buy/sell option on the exchange is vital to catch a profitable trade at exactly the right time to be able to profit or reduce losses. Having to wait 5 minutes for a trade to go through just isn’t going to cut it.
- Easy to read market data
Some exchanges have been designed for advanced margin traders and others have been designed so a complete beginner can step in and begin trading with little effort whatsoever. We review the way the market data can be viewed. Most DCEs will allow you to customise a dashboard, give you historical data and trends, and the DCE make this information very easy to read and understand.
- Fees for Trading and Exchanges
Most DCEs have realised that because there are over 100 cryptocurrency exchanges out there to compete with, one the main selling points they will have is the fees the charge. Fees will always depend on the exchange you use.
Each exchange will break fees down into different sections. Some transactions on some DCEs come with no fee at all. Conversely, others will charge a fee for every transaction you make. These are just two small differences that some exchanges may have when you are comparing which exchange suits your style of cryptocurrency portfolio management.
Here are some of the aspects we review so you can build an overall picture of what to expect:
- Withdrawal Fees
- Deposit Fees
- Margin Trade Fees
- Cryptocurrency Exchange Fees
Almost every DCE will charge unique fees according to the cryptocurrency being traded. For instance, most of the time you will be charged for making a Bitcoin exchange or trade, but other cryptocurrencies will come with much lower exchange and trading fees. Another point to consider is that the higher the amount involved in the transaction, the lower the fees become for many exchanges.
We always aim to provide with a brief overview of the fees involved according to the cryptocurrencies being used on the exchange.
- Number of Cryptocurrencies Available
Once you have a solid understanding of how the DCE operated and the exchange as well as trading tools available to you, we give you a very brief overview of the cryptocurrencies available. Now bearing in mind some DCEs have thousands of cryptocurrencies available, we tend to just list the most popular.
You can see that even on this site we have reviewed over 100 cryptocurrencies. Imagine trying to list thousands of them. The best approach for us is to provide you with the number of cryptocurrencies the DCE currently has, then list the most popular and let you research further on the DCEs website directly.
Obviously, for some traders and those that use exchange services, we understand that some of you specialise in Cryptocurrencies that have not yet built a name for themselves.
The chances are we have not listed that currency on the review; however, when you see that the site has hundreds or even thousands of cryptocurrencies, you will then know there is a good chance the digital currency that you want to trade in is most likely going to be available for exchange or trade.
To be absolutely honest, most of the time DCEs are constantly trying to extend the number of digital currencies they offer, and so by the time you read our review, the number could have jumped from 100 to 200 currencies.
- Brief list of the most popular cryptocurrencies
- An overall count of digital currencies on the exchange
- Mobile Apps
Being able to make trades or exchange currencies while on the move is in demand. Most reputable and modern DCEs have developed mobile apps for their website. For the most part, it is only Android or iOS users that can benefit from a DCEs mobile app. Blackberry and Windows users will generally still need to use their mobile web browser.
- List mobile apps available
- How to Register
Once you are familiar with the exchange and trading tools available, the next step is to sign up to the DCE. We look at how easy it is and the credentials you need to be able to sign up for the exchange. In general, most DCEs have a very similar sign-up process; although, some do come with their own unique requirements.
Some DCEs will give you levels of trading depending on the ID that you provide. If you just provide an email address and confirm the email, then you will be given a limit to the value of currencies you can exchange or trade. To increase the limit, you will need to provide further credentials.
Extending the amount you can exchange or trade can include:
- Account creation requirements
- Providing name and address
- Government ID or Passport
- 2 Step verification
- The security in place
Security is one of the utmost important sections that we cover. There are so many DCEs out there and so many positives that sometimes the security of the exchange can be overlooked. Something to bear in mind is when we reviewing security, we are not only looking at how secure the servers are. We also research how secure the exchange’ set up is.
Firstly the connection to servers and the encryption used as well as user account privacy are reviewed. If we see any holes in any of these areas, then we will expose them. Areas such as 2-step authentication, SMS verification, and browser as well as device security are some of the security points that we cover intensely.
On top of this, we look at how well backed up the systems are. Some DCEs use centralised systems, which are not always the safest. We would suggest only using DCEs using centralised systems to transfer from your wallet for exchanges and trades and once you are done to transfer your digital currencies back to a wallet.
We also look at how well backed up the systems being used to store your cryptocurrencies are. Some exchanges use multiple locations for disaster recovery with data centres spread around the world. Others use dedicated encrypted cloud services such as those provided by Amazon.
Finally, as there has been a lot of news regarding some DCEs being hacked and digital currencies stolen. We will point out which DCEs have been hacked in the past, how they dealt with the hack, did they pay back their client base, and what was done to ensure that there is not a repeat incident.
- Encrypted connection and account privacy
- Two Step Authentication, SMS and Device Security
- Disaster Recovery planning
- Potential risks to being hacked
- Help and support (Customer services)
Every DCE should have a reputable customer service department. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is surprising to see that some of the most popular DCEs have some of the worst ticket support around. Then, there are DCEs with bad tools, but excellent customer support.
We have been members of every cryptocurrency exchange service that we have reviewed. Our team test customer support on a regular basis to make sure that we are keeping them on their toes.
If the DCE is not looking after us as a company, then we mark down their trust score. We also look out for 24/7 support service, DCEs with quick support chat apps, telephone support, email support as well as social media. Furthermore, it is vital that all DCEs we review have excellent FAQ and self-help sections.
Some DCEs have comprehensive news and blog sections as well as training sections showing you how to trade, exchange and in general training you not only how to use their website, but also how the blockchain works, trading tips, industry news and more.
- 24/7 Support
- Telephone Support
- Email Support
- Chat Apps
- FAW Sections
- Social Media
- Restricted Countries
Not all DCEs restrict other countries from signing up their exchange. Mostly exchanges that accept only cryptocurrencies are not fussy about which country you come from as long as you are bringing cryptocurrency accepted by their DCE to the table.
On the other hand, many of the exchanges that accept fiat currency and fiat currency payment methods or e-wallets as payment may restrict certain countries from being able to sign up to their exchange.
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Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrencies Exchanges
There are many pros and cons to cryptocurrency exchanges. This is the reason we have designed a website that not only keeps track of the blockchain economy but one that also tracks all the pros and cons of using Cryptocurrencies Exchanges.
At the end of every review, we provide a section that will be titled “Why choose **** Exchange?”. We will list the pros and cons of each exchange which are used to come up with a final score out 10 for the DCEs trust score.
This is essentially an overview of all the areas we covered when reviewing the DCEa so you have a place to refresh the good points and the bad points we mentioned in our review. This is especially important if you have shortlisted the exchanges that you feel would suit the style of cryptocurrency user you are.
In the end, you will be able to make a shortlist and quickly start to break down your shortlist until you finally have the DCE that you believe gives you a cryptocurrency complete service offering.
- We compile all areas covered in the review
- In the “Why Choose” section we list all the pros and cons
- This section helps you to quickly review all the important points
- Helps you to break down your shortlist to make a final decision
Banned Crypto Exchange sites:
Cryptsy – was shut down with out paying users.
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FAQS about Cryptocurrency Exchanges or DCE
Here is a quick reference faq section so you can have answers to some of your questions regarding our cryptocurrency review process as well as questions about Digital Currency Exchanges.
A Cryptocurrency E-Wallet is just a place to keep your cryptocurrencies. You can also purchase cryptocurrencies using fiat currency. Once you own the cryptocurrency, in most cases, you will need to sign up to a DCE to be able to convert your purchased cryptocurrency into other cryptocurrencies.
Fiat currencies are those that are bound to gold or government bonds. This means the currency has been declared as legal tender by a government and there is always a third party involved, such as a bank or financial institution when making a transaction. This is very much the opposite to a cryptocurrency.
Not all DCEs accept fiat currencies. As your debit or credit card is usually tied to a fiat currency, that means a DCE that does not accept fiat currency will not allow you to fund the exchange using debit or credit card. You will instead need to sign up to a cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to purchase certain cryptocurrencies. You can then use the wallet to deposit that currency into the DCE. Once you have the currency in the DCE, you can then exchange that currency for other digital currencies
Each review we write about a DCE will let you know which countries are restricted and which ones are not. In general, only DCEs that allow you to buy cryptocurrency using fiat currency restrict certain countries from being able to make these kinds of transactions. If the DCE allows you to make a deposit via cryptocurrencies only, then usually there are no country restrictions. This is a general rule of thumb for the majority of DCEs.
Yes, most modern DCEs have designed apps mainly for iOS and Android users
Most of the time you will be charged a very small percentage for trades and exchanges. When it comes to deposits and withdrawals, in most cases these will be free, but some DCEs will also charge for these types of transactions too. Fees are set to a percentage and there are many factors to consider; such as the type of cryptocurrency, the size of the transaction, and the type of transactions. Fees are usually very low, for example, 0.1% or even as low as 0.001%.