One of our community members asked for a recommendation on a versatile exchange which would handle a large number of cryptos, and it is a timely request because I’ve been meaning to summarize my viewpoint on exchanges for 2018.
I’ve not included exchanges that are focused primarily on Asian markets because our group’s demographic is mainly Europe, Australia/NZ, and North America.
While there are a number of new exchanges on the horizon, liquidity is key when selecting an exchange(s) to work with. If the exchange doesn’t have enough clients/volume of activity, then you may not be able to sell a currency when you want to, and so I recommend only the exchanges with the highest volume for that reason.
I always recommend using either SMS or Google Authenticator 2-Factor Authentication to protect all of your activity on any exchange. This links your account to your phone with an added layer of security.
If your strategy is to HODL you cryptocurrency, then best practice is to purchase on the exchange and then move everything to a mobile wallet or cold wallet for long term storage.
Below is a list of my top 4 exchanges listed by size (last 24-hour trading volume) which are worth your consideration.
Bitfinex was the first exchange that I used as a trader and I really like the platform and functionality. You can link your Bitfinex App via API to your online account and trade on your mobile phone for many of the trading pairs (some of the trading pairs are not available on iOS).
Bitfinex charge Maker & Taker fees, as well as fees on Deposits and Withdrawals, view details here.
Recently though I have stopped using Bitfinex because firstly, their trading fees and deposit/withdrawal fees are higher than other more competitive players. More worrying though is the fact that the CEO of Bitfinex is also the CEO of the cryptocurrency USDT and there is some controversy with the SEC in the US over USDT manipulating the market price of Bitcoin. So I’ve moved my trading away from Bitfinex because of the uncertainty surrounding the USDT controversy.
Finally, Bitfinex changed their new investor enrollment policy recently and in order to create an account, you now need minimum USD$10,000, so Bitfinex is no longer an option for every investor.
- 24hour Volume: $2.629bn
- Trading Pairs: 103
- Margin Trading: Yes
- HQ: British Virgin Islands
Binance is a relatively new arrival to the exchange scene but has grown rapidly in recent months because, for a number of months, new customer registrations in some of the more popular exchanges were closed and so Binance had a chance during December and January to grab significant market share.
I made the move to Binance because it listed a few alt-coins that I wanted in my portfolio, and I have no regrets. The Binance platform handles more pairs than any other exchange, the platform itself is super fast, and it has been deployed at over 30 other exchanges, so its tried and tested. It also has an App that you can connect through the API and trade on your mobile device.
Binance also has a referral program which is nice if you have friends who might also trade crypto. In the event you decide to use Binance, you can elect to use our referral link or you can simply go their website and sign up directly at www.binance.com.
Binance charge .1% trading fees unless you own BNB, Binance own token, in which case you can elect to pay 50% of the normal fees in BNB. Binance do not charge deposit fees but they do charge withdrawal fees, view fee details here.
- 24hour Volume: $2.489bn
- Trading Pairs: 254 pairs
- Margin Trading: No
- HQ: China, with regional exchanges opening in Korea (3/18) and Japan (6/18)
Huobi is a global, secure, multi platform exchange which also handles a high number of trading pairs. Headquartered in Singapore, Huobi has been operating since 2013.
Huobi have a VIP program which offers reduced trading fees, liquidity protection and loyalty points if you purchase and hold Huobi Token (HT). HT can also be traded on their platform against Bitcoin and Ethereum on their exchange.
Huobi charge Maker & Taker fees at .2% with VIP discounts ranging from 10-50% off, view fee details here.
- 24hour Volume: $1.379bn
- Trading Pairs: 182 pairs
- Margin Trading: Yes
- HQ: Singapore
Bittrex is another strong contender in terms of geography, size and number of trading pairs. Bittrex charges .25% on all trades.
Unfortunately, new account sign-ups at this time are not possible due to Bittrex platform scaling issues which is unfortunate because Bittrex currently offers the most choice in cryptocurrency trading pairs.
- 24hour Volume: $571Mn
- Trading Pairs: 261 pairs
- Margin Trading: No
- HQ: Las Vegas, USA
All of the above exchanges are comparable in functionality and offering, so I would pick the exchange with the widest range of trading pairs so you have as many options as possible starting off. I currently have active accounts on four different exchanges, but most of my trading happens on Binance because of the sheer number of alt-coins on offer, and I love the interface.