Upsides and Downsides of Different Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges became popular with the sudden rise to fame of digital assets led by Bitcoin and Ethereum. Customers can exchange digital assets and fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, and GBP. These highly-regarded facilities brought an entirely new level of modernization that the long-established global financial system failed to accomplish during the past decades.
Necessary Attributes of Virtual Currency Exchanges
Let’s run through some of the attributes you would expect from the best bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.
All coin exchanges charge their clients’ fees for the conversion of traditional to digital tokens and cryptocurrencies into another electronic tender. Compare the rates carefully mainly if you will transfer large amounts between two or more accounts. Credit card payments usually linger around the range of three and four percent while bank transfers typically cost from one up to 1.5 percent.
Many providers impose a cap for maximum deposits at any given time, and the amount of cryptocurrencies customers can buy. For volume transactions, see to it the platform possesses the capability to fund massive amounts since some exchanges limit the total an individual user can withdraw in one day. This scenario can cause issues for business owners who need to spread transactions within several days or even weeks.
Look for facilities that deliver punctually. However, the exchange does not make guarantees because of the Blockchain concept which requires careful verification of all transactions. Confirmation procedures will take longer if the chain gets jammed. Besides, the tedious traditional banking system causes numerous delays, so more consumers choose the credit card option. The PayPal platform takes a minimum of 30 minutes to several days.
You cannot find seamless virtual currencies and exchanges despite all the positive publicity about them. Cyber crooks will make use of all opportunities to steal your assets while dishonest traders try to exploit some payment methods. In this case, entrust your funds to companies that maintain measures on security and privacy of personal information. Find out if you must confirm your identity, address, and phone numbers.
From one point of view, consumers do not like the idea of revealing their IDs to the exchange, but this procedure ensures an additional level of protection. Prominent companies utilize the two-factor verification along with an effective method of identity proof that can deter hackers and con artists from breaching users’ accounts.
Determine the integrity and background of the service provider mainly from online reviews. Avoid an exchange with negative reviews. Check for regulation. Non-regulation does not mean the company lacks repute but government oversight provides some form of credibility. Finally, check out the customer support mechanism of exchanges specifically business telephone numbers or email addresses for inquiries as well as the number of years the platform operated.
Forms of Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Trading platforms refer to websites that hook up buyers with sellers and charge fees for each consummated transaction.
Brokers also mean sites that people can visit to purchase digital currencies at prices fixed by these agents. You can compare these intermediaries to traditional FOREX or Fiat currency dealers.
- Direct Trading platforms facilitate person to person transactions.
- Traders can engage in an exchange of tender without fixed prices but set their charges for all deals.
The Best Alternatives to Coinbase
Coinbase still maintains its status as one of the most prominent Bitcoin exchanges offering more advantages for buyers. However, the company adopted specific practices of mainstream banks which include exorbitant fees that started to turn a lot of existing clients. Coinbase incorporated some aspects of its enterprise with conventional banking laws reminiscent of the rigid global financial systems. For example, the company asks for plenty of financial information from consumers who decide to open accounts.
Sign Up To Coinbase and get $10 worth of Bitcoin
*When you buy or sell at least $100 or more within 180 days of registration.
The United States government gave its permission to Coinbase. This approval also opened the floodgates for constant monitoring of clients’ accounts and froze or closed many of them. Some of the principal reasons for closure include using the BTC for online gaming and gambling, paying for adult escort services, and reselling the coins. Coinbase sells BTC, ETH, and Litecoin as well as sustain instant purchases of cryptocurrencies utilizing MasterCard and Visa credit or debit cards.
This facility services only 32 countries although executives claim to spread out operations to 168 other nations. Coinbase, valued at more than US$1 billion, rose to prominence as a result of its supposedly open, decentralized, and infinite features. Ironically, it seems restrictions of where to buy Bitcoin contributes to the difficulty encountered by customers. Now, you can compare the exchange to the traditional bank because of the excessive fees and limited convenience.
Other Crypto / Bitcoin Exchanges to Consider
Best Alternative – BINANCE.com
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange that is probably one of the biggest when it comes to Altcoins. It still has a strong focus for the Chinese market and other Chinese coins, but is fast becoming the number one choice for US / UK and European crypto altcoin investors.
The platform has a basic and advanced settings which caters perfectly for the newbie trader and the seasoned pro. It supports English and Chinese users. Binance even has its own coin / token (BNB). This was created during the ICO event to fund the development of the Binance exchange.
You can trade all the major coins, just like Coinbase but with even more trading pair options. You can trade BTC, ETH, LTC, BNB, XVG, NEO, TRX and many many more. Trading fee is 0.1%
Overall this exchange is user-friendly, trustworthy and is growing in popularity daily.
Created in 2013, CEX.IO became the first-ever cloud mining and multi-functional virtual currency exchange with a client base of more than 1 million. This exchange provides a cross-platform application for trading through a website, mobile technology, WebSocket computer communications protocol, and Representational State Transfer (API). It facilitates instant purchases and selling of Bitcoin using an easy bundle interface. The company built a multi-tier account mechanism that novices and experienced traders can use without difficulty. CEX.io also offers international coverage, several payment options, and round the clock technical support with confirmed stability for data protection.
CEX.io plans to add more coins to its stock aside from Bitcoin, Z Cash, and Dash although each currency must pass a stringent check and due diligence before acceptance. The attractive features and offerings of this exchange include the following:
Service Security prevents accidental leakage of clients’ private information to unauthorized parties. Cex.io adopted the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS which enforces an information security benchmark for entities that control credit cards to limit access to fraud. While the corporation’s registration applies to the United Kingdom, it also maintains business status at the United States Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The FinCen gathers and analyzes information related to monetary arrangements for the effective prevention of local and global money-laundering cases, funding of terrorist groups and other financial-related felonies. It only means Cex.io follows the laws of other nations strictly. At the same time, the facility employs two-factor authentication and anti-hacker safeguard. The utilization of multiple signature BTC addresses helps reinforce the security of accounts.
Customers can count on the company’s customer support. To ensure that the company can answer all inquiries, it employs a team of efficient and well-trained customer service specialists working 24/7 all year round. Each member of this group undergoes rigorous training to handle all probable concerns regarding Bitcoin and BTC exchanges. Just recently, CEX.io started offering trading transactions in favor of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, and Dash for legal tenders like USD, RUB, EUR, and GBP.
CEX.io realizes the need for website interface to guarantee a perfect user experience for all its patrons. A Bitcoin exchange must make every effort to make possible flawless navigation utilizing a simple but robust infrastructure.
Changelly operates from Prague. It enables consumer-buyers to convert cryptocurrencies easily and without delays. No untoward incidents have been reported yet about this new player in the market. At the same time, this provider holds on to your funds for a very brief period so users can warn the entire community if the company acted suspiciously. Changelly typically charges a fee of 0.5% for every trade. The provider does not ask for any information from its clients although the rate of exchange may be higher compared to others.
Changelly accepts almost all kinds of cryptocurrencies and receives payouts with these same tokens. You may use credit or debit cards, but the charges can rise significantly. The company imposes high ceiling and sound liquidity so making a trade regardless of size will not become difficult. It only requires the email address of buyers and conversions last from five up to 30 minutes.
This exchange also supplies software widgets or Graphical Unit Interface (GUI) to third parties incorporated into their sites. Thus, users can exchange a digital token to another currency directly from the web page correctly for coin market forecasters, media, bloggers, and Blockchain advocates.
The United States-based Kraken exchange also operates in Japan, the United Kingdom, and European Union member-states. Industry experts call this company the largest BTC exchange worldwide both concerning liquidity and euro volume. Kraken conducts oversight of claims for the Mt. GOX fiasco for US$450 million worth (2014) of lost Bitcoins. Last year, the exchange included trading began to offer ETH Dark Pool Trading which allows discreet orders without disclosing anything to the public.
The Dark Pool of Ether provides strategic alternatives for professional merchants. At the start of 2017, ETH trading volume increased considerably on Kraken’s facility. This kind of trading conceals orders so traders can sell or purchase massive quantities (50 BTC and 2, 500 ETH as a minimum) without other participants knowing their intentions. Kraken added six pairs of dark pool currencies which include ETH for BTC, EUR, USD, CAD, GBP, and JPY.
This service provider provides pricing of BTC to the Bloomberg Terminal, software for PC that the financial data firm offers allowing the financial services sector and other industries to access the Bloomberg Professional enterprise. Through this service, end-users can keep track of and evaluate real-time economic market statistics on the electronic trading system. Said platform supplies news items, price estimates, and messaging across its safe network.
In February, Kraken reduced its support levels and afterward downgraded website as well as Application Programming Interface (API). This year, Kraken experienced numerous performance problems as well as Distributed Denial of Service breaches. In fact, the website became close to ineffective resulting to decline of trading volumes. Last month, the company’s chief executive officer (Jesse Powell) issued a public apology for these occurrences but lauded its security measures.
Even then, Kraken remains a very viable and efficient cryptocurrency platform with multiple helpful features for day traders specifically in Europe. The exchange expanded its portfolio for Altcoin although it may seem daunting to inexperienced investors. Unlike some exchanges such as GDAX and Gemini, Kraken placed its price and order charts on different pages making data analysis inconvenient at certain times.
The famous twins who allegedly one US$1 billion of BTC, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss founded Gemini two years ago. Many people describe Gemini as one of the most-connected enterprises in the virtual currency domain. CBoe Global Markets, the US firm that owns BATS Global Markets, an operator of an international stock exchange in Kansas and Chicago Board Options Exchange in Illinois, partnered with Gemini for its Bitcoin futures ventures.
Developers designed this simple platform essentially to promote confidence among users. Although it contains cutting-edge features, customers can look forward to the fast and effortless experience. Regarding security, it provides the usual functions such as two-factor authentication, a requisite for all financial accounts. Gemini explains to customers’ security precautions transparently.
Gemini supports the US Dollar, Bitcoin, and Ether which indicates the facility’s capacity to build slowly but robustly. The company earned the name, US BTC exchange but its adoption of ETH trading hints at the gradual unveiling of other dominant currencies within the next few years. It opened up to additional countries although Gemini only uses this fiat currency for trading, deposits, and withdrawals. Unlike some other exchanges like Bitfinex, Gemini does not have direct Bitcoin to United States Dollar so customers must opt for Tether (USDT).
USDT stands for the digital asset released on the Blockchain using the Omni Layer protocol. The USD supported USDT units preserved in Tether Limited reserves and redeemed utilizing Tether’s system. You can keep, transmit, and spend the virtual token similar to Bitcoins or other electronic currencies. Users can transact tether wallets powered that Omni Layer powers such as Omni Wallet and Holy Transaction.
WALL OF COINS
The BTYC exchange service known as Wall of Coins promotes the peer to peer market model for trading Bitcoins. It links up merchants and buyers transparently and safely and the first facility to amass funds entirely in cold storage. Although it operates in Sarasota, Florida and focuses on the US market, Wall of Coins now accepts customers from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Poland, Latvia, and the Philippines. It also provides more options for buyers aside from cash deposits.
The facility stores addresses of deposits in a separate protected server which stakeholders believe should be the direction for all virtual currency markets. The creator of Wall of Coins, Genitrust Incorporated takes the lead in promoting the Bitcoin way, Peer to Peer and absolute transparency. The facility’s GPG key and that of the CEO kept in an independent web server sign the deposits’ index.
This GnuPG hybrid (fusion) encryption software utilizes a blend of regular crucial symmetric code for quickness and public key cryptography for the straightforward but reliable exchange of keys. The receiver’s public key converts the session key into a cipher to prevent any illegal access. This particular operation forms part of the Open PGP paradigm and the PGP’s first version. Wall of Coins can guarantee professional client support services making use of toll-free phone numbers, live chats, and email messaging. Customer service representatives reach out to different end-users responding promptly to their concerns and queries.
Coinbase owns the online exchange, GDAX where traders can do business using BTC, ETH, and Litecoin with traditional currencies. Investors who used to trade at Coinbase but find the fees too high can settle instead for GDAX. You can transfer money to this exchange right away for free. Traders only need to pay the maximum rate of 0.25%. The platform’s design underscores valuable elements which include order book, trade history, and pricing chart on only one page next to the order form.
Observers claim Coinbase and GDAX correspond to the two most popular options for selling and purchasing cryptocurrencies. GDAX functions like the age-old foreign exchange (FOREX) and stock exchange institutions where users can put different orders namely, market, limit, margin, and stop. Investors can deposit and withdraw through regular bank transfers or use virtual coins and move funds between their Coinbase and GDAX accounts instantaneously. While Coinbase became noted due to its user-friendly application for newcomers, GDAX bested Coinbase because of lower fees which translate to 25% less than that of Coinbase.
The Bitcoin Automated Teller Machine (ATM) earned the moniker of “perfect option for the unbanked” considering that consumers without a way of accessing reliable banking systems or became disillusioned with the industry can turn to crypto funding. The BTC ATM looks and operates like the ATMs of commercial banks but accepts cash solely for crypto coins. You can always but the electronic tokens even without any credit or debit card.
Nonetheless, some shortcomings in using the ATM to procure Bitcoin or Altcoin include providing ID photos or self-portraits before buying since this can endanger your privacy. The inflated fees that range between three and five percent remain at the most glaring disadvantage. A lot of users point at the Bitcoin ATM as the best alternative to Coinbase for the following reasons:
Familiarity – The bank and Bitcoin ATMs are practically the same when it comes to interface. You put money into the slot and get the BTC in return.
Convenience – The ATM converts cash into Bitcoins with several taps on the machine’s screen which means no rigorous process in getting the tokens.
Speed – Purchasing from Coinbase, Kraken, or GDAX can take one week. Circle insists offering immediate purchases. To avoid the long waiting time, doubts, and technical issues, just go to the BTC Automated Teller Machine.
Physical Aspect – To get BTC from the ATM, you require a wallet for storage. Some of these machines even print a paper wallet and transfer your coins to another wallet afterward.
Confidentiality – In using online facilities, the exchange will know right away that you are buying coins. Your bank will find out as well about the purchase. To keep away from any bank checks, get the BTC from the nearest ATM. Besides, using an ATM will require no more than some paper notes and mobile phone number.
ATM promises immediate liquidity since you walk with money, get your coins, and walk away from the place after a few minutes. You need not wait for days or weeks to receive the Bitcoin from a facility like CEX.io.
ShapeShift refers to another recognized digital currency exchange platform operating since 2015. It makes transfers between these electronic assets fast and uncomplicated. This exchange matches the needs of regular consumers of crypto assets. However, first-time customers cannot use this system for fiat currencies but only for moving funds between two cryptocurrencies.
Nonetheless, ShapeShift ensures a very suitable service without the need for creating an account or giving away information such as email addresses. The absences of said requirements make the system ideal for fast as well as anonymous transactions. Some clients expressed their dissatisfaction with the prohibitive fees and loss of money. In spite of such challenges, ShapeShift continues to strive in becoming an integral element of the Blockchain environment. The company’s motivation consists of permitting human beings and apps to use digital currencies minus all the flaws.
Investors who aim to broaden their respective investment portfolios of Altcoins can find this platform stress-free to convert the Altcoin from Litecoin to Z-Cash. For start-up entrepreneurs wishing to participate in an Initial Coin Offering or ICO but need ETH instead of BTC can choose to ShapeShift to replace their funds. The company based in Switzerland offers exchange services for international customers without utilizing fiat notes, banks, or making deposits to other countries. The exchange also provides an Application Programming Interface (API) for users in building custom apps to access and transact in that facility.
Of course, consumers have different opinions although trust stays as the vital factor mainly if users want to deal with more massive amounts of money. Everything becomes more comfortable since the exchange does not ask for account log-in procedures. Nevertheless, insufficient interaction with ShapeShift can make some people doubt the service provider’s credibility. Unfortunately, many negative reviews regarding the platform’s exchange practice saturate the Internet specifically experiences of consumers losing their hard-earned money. Management must be able to answer such issues convincingly.
This lack of security can prove to be damaging such as the infamous 2016 hacking incident when funds amounting to roughly $200,000 vanished without a trace within two weeks. The firm’s chief executive officer, Erik Voorhees explained citing that an unidentified employee betraying the organization and emptied the BTC wallet. Management insisted no funds got lost, but the public remained unimpressed. In short, the company must enforce more stringent security to prevent a repeat of this incident.
Online articles state that Poloniex stands out as the most extensive exchange when you talk about volume with positive liquidity for the majority of Altcoin and Bitcoin cryptocurrency pairs. Nonetheless, many reports surfaced in the past about exchanges dealing only with Altcoins running away with the money of their clients. The critical facilities include Cryptsy and MintPal although both companies do not have the same size and stature compared to Poloniex.
Poloniex formulated auditing programs that scrutinize exchange activities 24 hours daily to report and deter suspicious activities. Experienced users of crypto funds advise amateurs to put a cap on the time for storing their finances in any exchange. Hackers always target Poloniex as well as other facilities posing plenty of hazards to the general public. Companies not often targeted by Hackers include ShapeShift and Changelly.
Parting Words for Users
What do most investors look for in a digital currency exchange?
Make sure that regulators oversee the exchange. In return, these comanies must adhere to all policies imposed by regulatory agencies of different countries. Cryptocurrency platforms must provide superior client support services and respond to inquiries from users immediately. The company must have built a sound track record over the years. To earn the trust of clients, these exchanges must prove to the public their commitment, honesty, and sense of security.
Aside from the prominent cryptocurrencies identified above, you can see a lot more on the worldwide web but finding the best facility may take time. To begin with, most of the online sites have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Yet, your criteria must include security, efficiency, and timely service. Practical individuals will review the features of each provider and existing prices. As of November 15 (2017), the website (https://www.bestbitcoinexchange.io/) listed the top 40 BTC exchanges that may not have been mentioned in this article.
You can try to check it out before making plans for purchasing Bitcoins. For one, secure exchanges boast of very good ratings so this reference will surely come in handy. The site also came up with a ranking order for the exchanges that accept credit and debit card payments.
Users of virtual currencies should spend the time to scrutinize each one looking at the system, history, track record, features, fees, accomplishments, customer reviews, and other vital factors. With so many providers of the same services, this approach can turn out to the only practical method of choosing the best alternative exchange to Coinbase.
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