/ Guides

Introduction to Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Amongst the number of options we have to trade cryptocurrencies, which exchange is the best to use? We will answer that question by taking a look at some of the most popular exchanges today.

  1. Coinbase/GDAX


Coinbase is probably the first exchange newer users will come across when they initially dive into cryptocurrencies. It has an extremely user-friendly interface, and you can trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin against fiat currencies in 32 countries.

GDAX is owned by the same company as Coinbase, but it is tailored for more advanced traders. Its interface is very similar to a traditional stock or forex trading platform. Coinbase and GDAX both offer the same trading pairs; however, it was revealed that GDAX would be adding new digital assets later in the year.

  1. Gemini


Gemini is a US-based exchange started by the Winklevoss twins. It is the most limited in terms of trading pairs (BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC only) out of all the exchanges on this list. They serve 45 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the U.K. Like Coinbase, Gemini accepts wire transfers of USD so it would be one of the exchanges users can use to convert their fiat into cryptocurrency.

  1. Bittrex


Bittrex is arguably the most popular exchange for altcoins in terms of volume. It has over 200 different altcoins that you can trade against BTC or ETH. Anytime you want to trade a coin other than BTC or ETH, Bittrex would be your likely destination.

  1. Poloniex


Poloniex comes in a close second after Bittrex when it comes to altcoin trading. It has about half the number of pairs Bittrex offers. Users that prefer to not use Bittrex would most likely be using Poloniex to trade altcoins.

  1. Binance


Binance is a newer exchange that has grown exponentially in popularity. It offers over 100 pairs, and seemingly 1 to 2 new coins are being added for trading every day. They definitely want to be in competition with Bittrex and Poloniex. Binance also offers its own token - BNB. You can purchase BNB to hold in your Binance wallet and opt into 50% reduced trading fees when you use your BNB tokens to pay the fees.

  1. Bithumb


Bithumb is a South Korean exchange and is the largest exchange by volume. Its daily volume usually ranges anywhere from $2.5 billion to $4 billion! Bithumb only offers 10 digital assets for trading and users can only trade them against the Korean Won.

  1. Bitfinex


Bitfinex is the second largest exchange by volume and supports over 50 trading pairs. It is definitely not an exchange for newer users as it is quite advanced and difficult to use. Bitfinex tends to draw more advanced users and institutional accounts due to margin trading being an option.

  1. HitBTC


HitBTC is another exchange that has risen in popularity fairly quickly. Although most of its volume comes from BTC and ETH, they do support over 250 altcoins. The only problem with some of the less popular trading pairs is their low volume.

  1. Liqui


Liqui is an exchange that users prefer because it has no ID verification nor does it have withdrawal limits (which other exchanges usually have), so users can jump right in and start trading immediately. It is home to over 150 different crytocurrencies.

  1. EtherDelta


Last but not least, we have EtherDelta, the only decentralized exchange on this list. Decentralized exchanges (DEX) have lately become a popular topic and there should be a flood of new DEXes going live in the near future. EtherDelta is widely popular because it usually is the first exchange you will see any ERC-20 token get listed on. Unfortunately, it is not user friendly at all and there are users who absolutely will not use it due to this fact. We suggest closely following a detailed EtherDelta guide before using the exchange.

We have only listed out what we think are 10 of the most widely used exchanges out of the many out there. Remember to always use two-factor authentication (2FA) when available for additional account security.