2019 was the year of Stablecoins and Exchanges. The IEO hype that took the market from $125 Billion m.cap (total market capitalization) to $300+ Billion m.cap, not only gave moral boost to exchange owners after the 2018 market crash but also was a major reason for the introduction of new exchanges to the market.
According to a recent report published by tokeninsights ‘2019 Cryptocurrency Spot Exchange Industry Annual Report’, the annual spot exchange trading volume was $13.8 trillion and $3 Trillion in derivatives. Surprisingly, only 40 exchanges account for 82% volume of the whole market – the total number of exchanges in existence is greater than 300.
For a newbie, going around the internet, reading Reddit and other threads, researching through blogs and reports is almost impossible. For this, we have a made a short and no-sense list of exchanges that our community members vouch for (and we also):
Important Notice – The exchanges below are listed on a random basis and should not be taken as ranking.
As the tag suggests – Connecting You To The World, Bitfoliex is a platform that allows its user to exchange, send or receive cryptocurrencies intuitively. It is an exchange platform that manages all the assets of the users.
Unlike the traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitfoliex’s dashboard is very simple and intuitive that allows anyone with zero experience to start trading on the go. After logging in, you will be taken to the Portfolio page where you will be able to interact with your crypto holdings and transact with it. The company has taken a very minimalistic and no-nonsense approach, with the aim to ‘show’ its users only the important information while performing thousands of tasks in the background (in its trading engine).
Note: The exchange currently holds more than 2 Million accounts, with a vast pool of liquidity coming from reputable market makers. The exchange is said to soon start its OTC trading (Over-the-counter) services after appointing custodial agencies – expanding its global reaching and serving institutional clients.
Coinbase is one of the most popular and well-known brokers and trading platforms in the world. The platform makes it easy to buy, store and exchange a number of cryptocurrencies with top-notch security. Users can buy and sell popular digital currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin & Ethereum and keep track of them all in the one place through a digital wallet available on Android & iPhone. The exchange is said to be one of the most trusted cryptocurrency platforms because of its ability to provide Secure storage, Insurance on funds stored and Industry best practices. According to the website, the exchange has served over 30 Million+ customers with trading volume totalling $150 Billion since its initial operations.
The company has Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) subsidiary that operates in the US, Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore.
Regardless of your tech background, Coinbase makes it easy for anyone to buy and store cryptocurrency, and due to the lower fees involved, it’s recommended to use your bank account when making large purchases.
Note: Coinbase is also known to track the spending of Bitcoins by users. Coinbase is said to be quite strict in compliance matters and has shut down the customer accounts due to compliance issues and even minor misdemeanour.
Since its inception, the exchange has been growing exponentially, making it to the top 10 crypto exchanges in the world. Binance has a global exchange that is idle for everyone and has the highest liquidity with over 200+ ALTcoins. Users from the USA can signup for Binance.us , Singapore users can signup for Binance Singapore.
The exchange started as crypto-to-crypto trading just like Bitfoliex and now offers fiat-to-crypto services, allowing anyone to step up their crypto game within some minutes. Traditionally, the fiat-to-crypto services were only offered by Coinbase and couple of other exchanges, and now Binance entering the scene, it has grabbed a lot of market share. The company is based in Hong Kong, with offices located in several other countries such as Japan and China. It is available to all countries.
Note: Binance introduced SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users), which takes 10% of all trading fees the exchanges earns, to give back to the users in the event of a hack. The exchange did have a hack in May 2019 but covered all user funds using the SAFU fund.
Another exchange that is running since the old crypto days is Bitfinex. It is a full-featured spot trading platform for major digital assets & cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, Ripple, NEO, Monero and many more. Bitfinex offers leveraged margin trading through a peer-to-peer funding market, allowing users to securely trade with up to 3.3x leverage.. Based out of Hong Kong and operational since 2014, it offers Android and iOS app too.
Thanks to its Professional trading and charting tools, it has been successful in attracting a lot of professional/technical traders to its platform. The exchange also offers Corporate and Professional Trading accounts.
- Bitfinex is limited in the countries they serve and do not accept US signups.
- Bitfinex was hacked in August 2016 and lost 120,000 BTCs. It happened because attackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in the multi-sig wallet architecture of Bitfinex and BitGo. They have recently upgraded their security architecture, a post which there have been no hacks/attacks on this exchange.
Kraken was founded by Jesse Powell in 2011, and it supports over 17 cryptocurrencies. The exchange supports deposits in USD (FedWire), EUR (SEPA), and CAD(Wire & EFT). Like most other options, if you own cryptocurrency already, they allow for several cryptocurrency assets to be deposited on the exchange.
Kraken also offers a Bitcoin OTC desk for high volume crypto exchanges. Kraken uses a maker-taker fee schedule with volume incentives based on your activity in the past 30 days.
Pros: Good reputation, decent exchange rates, low transaction fees, minimal deposit fees, feature-rich, great user support, secure, supported worldwide.
Cons: Limited payment methods, not suitable for beginners, unintuitive user interface.