In this post, we’ll be going over how to pick an exchange, what are the different ways to get Bitcoin and I’ll list top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world to buy and sell any cryptocurrency.
In our recent Bitcoin trading definitive guide for beginners, we’ve answered most of the questions that come in a newbie’s mind who wants to invest in Bitcoin and altcoins. Once you understand what is Bitcoin and how it works, next step is actually acquiring some XBT and seeing how this all comes to life.
There are loads of Bitcoin trading platforms out there. But, for your information, many cryptocurrency exchanges just scam people. Therefore, it’s very crucial to choose a trustworthy Bitcoin exchange.
Listed top cryptocurrency exchanges will let you buy Bitcoin along with popular alternative coins.
- Important points for beginners
- How to get Bitcoin?
- Things to consider before choosing an exchange
- Best crypto exchanges
- How to keep your coins safe (Most important)
Bitcoin, a digital payment or exchange system called decentralized digital currency invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, is a very trending investment topic across the globe. Everyone wants to invest in Bitcoin to make profit. Many are still in dilemma whether this digital currency is legitimate or not.
It’s indeed that Bitcoin is yet to be approved by some nations but still it is very fascinated digital payment method. Legality of the Bitcoin is yet to be defined.
India does not totally refuse Bitcoin digital currency but it’s some worth considering concerns pertaining to its use for example this currency can be used for terror funding.
Here are some renowned companies that accept Bitcoin as payment:
Private sector companies have started accepting Bitcoin as payment. Here are some worth mentioning companies that accept cryptocurrencies as payment:
- Dish Network
You can find many more companies that accept Bitcoin as payment.
Before I unveil my list of top cryptocurrency exchanges, I firmly suggest you read following points.
Many people start Bitcoin trading without actually knowing its negative side. One should know what can happen to his/her investment if Bitcoin would eventually become obsolete. Let’s take a look on important points that you’d know before investing in Bitcoin:
- Bitcoinand other cryptocurrencies are still experimental digital assets.
- As of this writing, in few countries Bitcoin is recognized by law and legal and in some it’s totally banned. Know more.
- BTC is very volatile.
- It’s not mandatory to buy one bitcoin. You can buy partial Bitcoin say 0.002 BTC or 0.25 BTC or any other amount.
- Bitcoin is subject to market risk which means you may also lose your money (rare chances but still possible), therefore, systematically invest in Bitcoin. Its value may eventually become zero.
- Only invest what you can afford to lose.
- Don’t follow experts’ advise blindly, do you own research.
- Don’t become impatient buyer. There is a large group of whales out there who creates media hypes and pick influencers to influence small investors.
How to get Bitcoin?
First let me clarify, there are basically two ways to acquire BTC: Bitcoin trading and Bitcoin mining. Same rule applies to other coins.
Bitcoin trading is very easy. All you have to do is pick one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, create a Bitcoin wallet address, choose a Bitcoin exchange, complete KYC process, fund your account and buy Bitcoin.
There are numerous cryptocurrency exchanges out there that let you buy, sell and store Bitcoin safely. Beware of fraud Bitcoin exchanges, always choose a genuine cryptocurrency trading platform.
There are two types of exchanges: international exchanges and country based exchanges. You can buy Bitcoin from any of them. To stay safe always buy from a reputed cryptocurrency exchange.
Bitcoin mining is somewhat difficult because you’ll need to buy a Bitcoin miner machine that can help you mine Bitcoin. In mining, you don’t buy bitcoins instead you earn them. Earlier normal computers could be used to mine BTC but now time has changed, latest mining machines have come.
Today, if you would like to start Bitcoin mining, you will need to buy special Bitcoin miner machines like ASIC Miner or high end computer with strong graphic cards.
This method requires initial investment and ready to pay huge electricity bills.
Bitcoin Mining is somewhat tricky than buying Bitcoin. Therefore, it’s advisable that if you’re not a techie and just want to invest your money to get higher returns then choose a Bitcoin trading platform.
Top cryptocurrency exchanges take small fees say 1-2% and these help you buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies.
There are also some other ways of acquiring BTC, we will discuss all those in a separate post.
Things to consider before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange
Currently, you can buy Bitcoin from any crypto trading platform including international but if you get too many options, you get confused. A simple Google search ‘top cryptocurrency exchanges’ will show you hundreds of results which makes choosing a trustworthy exchange a very hectic task.
How would you know which cryptocurrency exchange is legitimate?
Don’t worry I am going to take you through some tips that you’d consider before picking up an Bitcoin exchange.
This little but worth doing homework would keep you safe from troubles that many newbie crypto investors face.
1. Supported countries
There are only a few international exchanges that accept customers from all around the world. Therefore, make sure exchange you’re choosing lets you buy, sell and store coins easily. There are some exchanges out there which let customers store bitcoins in some countries but don’t let them exchange their coins for cash.
For example Coinbase, an international Bitcoin exchange and one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, lets Indians store supported cryptocurrencies but buying and selling is not available for them.
Different exchanges have different fees structure. Always choose one who charges reasonable fees and provides hassle-free services.
Basically, a crypto exchange charges three kinds of fees: deposit fees, transaction fees, and withdrawal fees. Fees may vary from 1 percent to more or less, depending on the exchange.
3. Supported coins and tokens
There are some exchanges who only provide Bitcoin trading platform and some let you trade Bitcoin alternative cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the like too. If you’ve a plan to invest in other coins too then make sure exchange you’re choosing supports coins you’re willing to invest in.
4. Payment Method
It’s very important to know how can you add money to your wallet account to buy BTC and how can you transfer the same to your bank once you sell them.
Payment methods differ across exchanges. Some exchanges accept deposits by bank wire transfer, some only use crypto-to-crypto trading (exchanging one coin for another), some allow Paypal payments and some let you buy Bitcoin with credit card and debit card.
Most people prefer buying Bitcoin with Paypal or credit card because these mediums provide payment protection but I don’t recommend either.
Because exchanges usually charge more fees for these methods than bank transfer or crypto-to-crypto methods.
I personally suggest you buying using bank wire transfer or use crypto-to-crypto trading (but don’t make payment until you get your coins or don’t pay without using an escrow service), if you already own a cryptocurrency.
If your exchange allows cash deposits then you can also thing of it.
Security is the most important factor that we cannot ignore at all. Cryptocurrency exchanges including top ones remain vulnerable to hacks all the time, no matter how large or small exchange is. Make sure your exchange uses secure protocol ‘HTTPS’ to make your communication with its servers encrypted.
In addition, it should also provide two-step authentication for secure logins and transactions. These are the basic requirements and you cannot consider an exchange safe without them.
Tip: Security is paramount therefore refrain from an exchange who doesn’t provide ‘HTTPS’ and two-factor authentication.
6. Website/app interface and user experience
Its services should be accessible easily. Whether you’re a professional or a first time buyer, you should seek intuitive web/app interface and good user experience. You should be able place buy and sell orders easily and quickly.
Read customer reviews to find out how well your cryptocurrency exchange is.
7. Buying and selling limits
Buying and selling limits vary between platforms for example most exchanges let you buy or sell up to 20 bitcoins in a day. Before picking up your crypto platform, make sure it’s within your buying and selling limits.
8. Customer service
It’s very crucial to know what is the response time of an exchange’s customer service. If you got stuck somewhere then it’d be there to solve your issues and queries ASAP.
I know some exchanges who take long time to respond to customer queries. Avoid using a platform who doesn’t offer good customer service.
Apart from that, try to know how long has exchange been in business.
Now you’re educated and ready to buy your first coin.
Above mentioned points will help you choose a best cryptocurrency exchange to buy your first Bitcoin or altcoin. For your help, I’m listing best crypto trading platforms in the world; trusted and used by millions.
Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges
- Coinbase – One of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, worldwide trusted platform to trade prominent digital currencies.
- Binance – A reputed exchange and creator of Binance Coin. One the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges by trade volume.
- LocalBitcoins – A best peer-to-peer trading platform to buy and sell bitcoins at your own price.
- Kraken – One place to buy, sell, trade and learn about digital assets.
- Bitstamp – A secure place to trade popular coins with lowest possible fees.
- Bittrex – Secure, reliable and advanced cryptocurrency trading platform.
- Coinmama – Fastest growing Bitcoin exchange with altcoins support.
- Changelly – Trade 150+ coins using this platform and get coins at best possible price.
- Reasonable fees
- Secure wallet
- High buying and selling limits
- High liquidity
- Good customer service
- Large customer base
- Buying and selling is not available in some countries
Available in 102 countries, Coinbase is a digital currency platform where buyers and sellers can use Bitcoin for financial settlements. This company is one of the top international Bitcoin and altcoin trading platforms. The company is founded in 2012 and operates from Francisco, California.
Apart from Bitcoin, you’ve other digital payment options like Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, to invest in.
Its 30 million plus customers have exchanged over 150 billion worth of cryptocurrencies on its trading platform. It’s indeed a best place to buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies.
Exchange also has come up with a great initiative, insurance policy. Its insurance policy covers its users if exchange suffers a breach of its online storage.
You’ll need to provide your email address and address details to start trading on Coinbase.
Reasonable fees, secure wallet, good customer service, and large customer base are some convincing reasons to use this platform.
- Largest exchange by trading volume
- Good customer ratings
- Secure wallet
- Suffered a massive hack
Trusted by millions, Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of trading volume, 1,400,000+ transactions per second. This global crypto trading platform supports more than 100 cryptocurrencies.
You can use this platform to buy, sell and trade listed cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin.
Exchange has also a coin after its name, Binance Coin (BNB). With $46 million market cap, the coin has become one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies.
After completing your KYC (Know Your Customer) process, you will be able to place orders. This is a best platform for day trading.
- Best peer-to-peer exchange
- Positive customer reviews
- Escrow service to protect buyers and sellers
- Simple web interface
- Only Bitcoin trading is available
LocalBitcoins is world’s largest peer-to-peer exchange. It’s a P2P trading platform which connects buyers and sellers directly. Like other exchanges, to get started with LocalBitcoins you will need provide your email ID and address details.
They have a very simple and easy-to-use platform to purchase Bitcoin. The exchange has been in business for over 7 years and has very good customer reviews.
As of now, you can trade Bitcoins only. I’ve been using this trading platform since 2014 and I think it’s one of the best peer-to-peer exchange.
It lets buyer and seller connect with each other to discuss further details even you can negotiate with seller.
Its escrow service protects both parties and ensures buyer receives his BTC and seller receives his payment.
- Best place for day traders
- Lucrative trading fee
- Reliable and trusted exchange
- Elegant web/app interface
- Sometimes deposits take more than 5 days
Kraken, a US based cryptocurrency exchange, has been in business since 2011. Kraken named one of the best places for cryptocurrency trading. You can exchange your fiat currency for listed cryptocurrencies.
This platform is a best place to buy, sell, trade and even learn about cryptocurrencies. Whether you’re an advanced trader or just a beginner, this exchange is suitable for you.
Its has best user-friendly and easy-to-use interface.
It rigorous security standards help you buy, sell and trade coins securely and if you wish you can store the same using this platform.
The exchange is capable of executing your buy and sell orders at your selected prices so you can earn maximum profits in day trading.
Kraken trading fees varies from 0.10 percent to 0.26 percent, depending on trade volume.
For day traders, Kraken is a good option.
- Low fees
- First grade security
- Cash out directly to your bank account
- Simple interface
- 24/7 service and dedicated premium support
- Sometimes deposits take more than 5 days
Bitstamp is a one-stop-shop for crypto trading. Its proven track record is more than sufficient to convince someone to use this platform. You can trade popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum, using this platform.
Its trading platform is available for individuals as well as institutional clients.
You will need to register and verify your Bitstamp account before buying Bitcoin or alternative coins.
Exchange lets you use your credit card, bank transfer or other worldwide deposit methods to fund your account.
After selling your coins, you will be able to withdraw funds directly to your bank account.
- Secure platform
- Custom-built trading engine
- Fast deposits and withdrawals
- 24/7 service and dedicated support
- Users face issues in account verification
Founded in 2014, Bittrex is an international crypto exchange that provides secure and reliable platform for digital assets trading. Bittrex is headquartered in Washington.
Its advanced trading platform ensures that all orders are executed in real-time. It has partnered with many international exchanges to provide you hassle-free way to start crypto trading.
The exchange has incorporated multiple layers of security to safeguard your coins and personal information.
Traders (buyers and sellers) can decide their own prices and exchange finds matching pairs for placed orders and in returns it charges you a small service fees.
Exchange has two different platforms: Bittrex and Bittrex International.
Its two-factor authentication adds extra layer of security to your account. All these things make it one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Secure and reliable platform
- Available in 190 countries
- Quick deposits and withdrawals
- 24/7 customer support
- High spending limits
- Buy with credit card (not recommended, discussed already)
- Limited payment methods
Coinmama cryptocurrency platform is evolving very rapidly. You can use this platform to buy digital currency from anywhere in the world. The platform is trusted by over 1.5 million people across the world.
If you’re looking for an exchange with high spending limits, up-to-date security, and lightening-fast speed then you should give it a chance.
Coinmama is capable of executing your buying and selling orders instantly which is very much essential for day traders.
To get started just create an account and provide the asked details and then you’re good to go.
- 150+ cryptocurrencies to buy
- Available in 190 countries
- Best rates in the market
- 24/7 live support
- High spending limits
- Buy with bank transfer
- Does not offer web wallet to store coins
Since 2015 the exchange is in existence. Changelly offers access to 150+ cryptocurrencies. It does not offer web wallets to customers therefore before buying a coin from this exchange you will need to create a wallet to receive your funds. You can create your free wallet account using any third exchange or software wallet or you can provide your hardware wallet address to receive your coins.
Changelly is neither a trading platform nor a peer-to-peer exchange actually it acts like an mediator between crypto exchanges and users. It helps users get coins at best possible price and at the same time helps affiliated exchanges boost their sales.
It charges a fixed 0.25 percent fees for its services.
Changelly is also a best crypto exchange platform where you can easily exchange your Bitcoin for another coin or vice-versa.
These were some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges that I recommend to new investors. However, you’re free to use above mentioned tips to choose a suitable crypto trading platform, according to your needs.
Things that you should care the most while choosing an exchange are: fees, payment and withdrawal methods, security, customer service, privacy, and coin availability.
How to keep your coins safe?
I add this cryptocurrency safety section to all my knowledge based articles. Why? Because it’s the most important part and we can’t ignore it at all. Bitcoin itself is very safe but still we hear crypto theft cases.
It happens not because of BTC security, it happens just because of cryptocurrnecy owners’ lack of knowledge.
Here most of the new traders/investors make mistakes. When it comes to your cryptocurrency security, don’t trust anyone. Take this matter into your own hands. Choose a right medium to store your coins safely. It’s a very crucial step and you must not ignore it.
It’s true nowadays exchanges use very rigorous security but at the same time we can’t ignore the fact that these still get hacked. Therefore, you cannot choose an exchange to store your coins.
Yes, you can let some coins online for day-to-day spending but letting all your assets online wouldn’t be a wise decision.
There’re two main reasons for not using hot wallets (keeping coins online using a software wallet or exchange):
- First, exchanges are not safe.
- Second, you don’t actually own your coins unless you have their private keys. And most of the exchanges, don’t give privates to their customers.
So, where should you store your coins?
You’d use a paper wallet, software wallet, or hardware wallet to store your coins. If your invest is not that much then you can use paper wallet or software wallet. Otherwise, buy a hardware wallet for your coins safety.
Hardware wallets are small physical devices that can cold store cryptocurrencies safely and securely. These devices cannot be hacked remotely.
Personally, I recommend cryptocurrency hardware wallet if you’ve coins worth of your three months of expenses. After transferring your coins to a hardware wallet, you can rest assured that your coins are safe.
Want to know more about hardware wallets? Then read this post, “Best cryptocurrency hardware wallets“.
Recommended hardware wallets:
That’s all for today. I keep updating this list so you get the best exchanges those offer you security, best price, coins availability, and good customer service.
Remember, your own home work can safe you from many troubles. As you read this article carefully, you would have learned how to pick a best cryptocurrency exchange. I have recommended you top cryptocurrency exchanges to start with; however, you’re free to search for more.