Top 5 Bitcoin and Crypto Exchanges

Jul 2, 2020 07:31 AM ET
Top 5 Bitcoin and Crypto Exchanges

Introduction

As the global economy inevitably moves towards a more digitized approach, the introduction of cryptocurrencies has been a major innovation in the world of digital currency, investments, and the payment sector. With attractive properties such as its decentralized nature which makes them almost fraud-proof, the popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has seen immense growth. 

How to choose the best crypto exchange?

Investors can consider a number of factors such as the exchange’s individual trading volume, reputation, level of security provided, and the number of tokens or cryptocurrencies on offer when choosing an exchange. Below, we have compiled a brief list of the best five Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in existence, based on certain parameters. 

coinbase1. Coinbase

About Coinbase: With over 30 million customers spanning across over 100 nations, Coinbase is definitely one of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency exchange landscape.  It was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ihram, back in June 2012. 

Coinbase

Coinbase tradable coins: There are a total of 22 cryptocurrencies at Coinbase. We’ve mentioned some of them below

  • Bitcoin(BTC)

  • Ethereum(ETH)

  • Bitcoin Cash(BTC)

  • XRP(XRP)

  • EOS(EOS)

  • Litecoin(LTC)

  • ChainLink(LINK)

  • Tezos(XTZ)

  • Ethereum Classic(ETC)

  • Stellar Lumens(XLM)

  • Dash(DASH)

Charting: Coinbase Pro provides two main charts to their users: The Price Chart and the Depth Chart. The Price chart indicates the price of the selected cryptocurrency over time. The Depth Chart provides information about current orders for the chosen cryptocurrency.

Special Features: Coinbase basically provides a brokerage service for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. It also has an internal wallet that keeps user funds safe. It is available in desktop as well as on mobile devices. Users can issue a Visa card, linked to the Coinbase account and spend cryptocurrency easily. 

Design and Usability: Coinbase has a very user-friendly and intuitive design, which allows users to directly buy and sell cryptocurrencies at the click of a button. 

Safeness: For the safety of the user’s funds, Coinbase stores them in cold storage and holds less than 2% of the funds online. They also provide an insurance policy against any losses that users might suffer due to a breach of Coinbase’s cybersecurity, physical security, or in the case of employee theft. 

binance2. Binance

About Binance: Originally based out of China, Binance is a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange headed by founder Changpeng Zhao. It exploded onto the cryptocurrency landscape back in 2017 and has grown to be one of the most used cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with a daily trading volume exceeding $1,180,000,000. 

Binance tradable coins: Binance currently offers 195 coins spread across 591 pairs. This         includes, but is not limited to coins such as: 

  • Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin Cash

  • Bitcoin Gold

  • Ethereum

  • EOS

  • Ethereum Classic

  • Dash

  • Litecoin

  • ChainLink

  • NEO

  • Zcash

  • Dash

  • XRP

Charting: Binance offers its own basic charts as well as advanced Tradingview charts and technical analysis tools to its users. Among these, the candlestick chart stands out because of its importance to price prediction. 

Special features, Margin trading, Accessibility: Apart from all the regular features which all reputed exchanges possess, Binance also offers a Trust wallet. This wallet’s design allows it to specifically hold ERC20 and Ethereum based tokens. It also provides Margin Trading, Futures Trading, Cryptocurrency Lending as well as educational resources through a section called “Binance academy”. 

Design and Usability: Binance offers two options to its users when it comes to currency trading: Basic and Advanced. While the basic version of the dashboard offers several charts and graphs for the selected pairs, the advanced version offers tools for more in-depth technical analysis. 

Safeness: Binance has updated its security protocols and has taken the necessary steps to ensure the security of its user’s funds. The protocols were updated following their data breach experienced in 2018. 

Kraken3. Kraken

About Kraken: Operating since 2011, Kraken is a cryptocurrency spot exchange, which offers trading in futures contracts and margins. It is based out of the United States which requires it to comply with American regulations for KYC and AML.

Kraken tradable coins: Kraken currently provides trading for 34 cryptocurrencies across 156 cryptocurrency pairs. This includes, but is not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Cardano, XRP, ChainLink, Monero, Tezos, USD Coin, etc. 

Charting: Kraken offers two types of charts to its users when they log in. The charts are based on the currency pair selected. The Spread chart displays the spread between the buy order (highest limit) and the sell order (lowest limit). The Depth chart shows the demand and supply for the currency pair at different price levels. 

Special features,  Margin Trading, and Accessibility: Kraken provides a collection of robust and comprehensive trading features, targeted at both individuals as well as institutions. It offers both pre-defined trigger trades and limit orders. Margin Futures trading is available for US-based customers. 

Design and Usability: Kraken’s design and interface are more catered towards experienced traders rather than beginners. In spite of offering many options, they cannot be considered ideally user-friendly. 

Security: Kraken is widely considered as one of the most secure exchanges in existence. In addition to security features such as a 2FA google authenticator or a YubiKey, Kraken says that it stores about 95% of its deposits in geographically distributed cold storage.

bitmex4. BitMEX

About BitMEX: BitMEX is short for Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, which is a peer to peer cryptocurrency trading platform. It offers leveraged contracts bought and sold in Bitcoin. At BitMEX, traders buy and sell crypto-derivative instruments on margin. 

BitMEX tradable coins: BitMEX offers cryptocurrency futures contracts of the following 7 tokens. These are Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, EOS, Ripple.

Charting: Besides the price and depth charts for each cryptocurrency pair selected, BitMEX offers multiple chart types such as Line, Candles, Area, Heiken Ashi, and Bars. 

Special Features and Margin trading: BitMEX differentiates itself from other cryptocurrency exchanges as it provides leverage trading on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Users can leverage up to 100x to trade cryptocurrencies. 

Design and Usability: BitMEX has a very simple and intuitive design that caters to traders experienced in derivatives and margin trading. BitMEX also provides a test interface where users can mock practice margin trading. 

Security: As it allows deposits and withdrawals of Bitcoin from its exchange, BitMEX has some essential security protocols in place. The system runs on Amazon Web Services. It uses multi-signature addresses. BitMEX uses a kdb+ database and toolset which is also used by major banks. 

OKEx5. OKEx

About OKEx: OKEx is regarded as one of the most accessed cryptocurrencies in the world, offering services to users in over 100 nations. With a daily trading volume exceeding $1.68 million, OKEx offers both crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-fiat trading. It also offers wallet options and futures trading. 

okex

OKEx tradable coins: OKEx has 146 coins and 375 cryptocurrency pairs on offer. The list includes but is not limited to the following coins. 

  • Bitcoin

  • OKB token

  • Ethereum

  • Kyber Network

  • Ethereum Classic

  • Bitcoin Cash 

  • TrueChain

  • Molecular Future

  • Zilliqa

  • LoopRing

  • Bitcoin Diamond

  • TRON

  • HyperDAO

Charting: OKEx provides a chart in spate sections for the Spot market, trading Data, and mark price, within its website. The trading data section contains individual cryptocurrency charts for their Margin lending ratio, Buy/Sell volumes, and USDT C2C premium. 

Special Features and Margin trading: Some of the notable salient features of OKEx include the following: 

  • Crypto- to Crypto trading

  • Spot and margin trading (Spot trading allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies instantly using the funds they have) 

  • Futures Contracts trading

  • Perpetual Swap (this allows traders to buy or sell contracts without an expiry date but which still bets on the future value of the cryptocurrency)

  • Options trading

Design and Usability: OKEx provides a very easy to use interface compared to some of the other exchanges in the list. 

Security: To safeguard against unauthorized data breaches, OKEx implements a distributed storage system. However, it does not provide insurance to their users to cover them in case of any potential losses from hack attacks. OKEx provides both mobile verification and two-factor verification for the safety of accounts. 

The Bottom Line

There are currently more than 300 exchanges in the cryptocurrency landscape. Investors and traders may struggle to choose the appropriate cryptocurrency exchange when faced with a multitude of options. Many of these exchanges are deemed unsafe for funds because of a lack of security or services. Conducting proper research and taking a look at parameters such as trading volume, reputation, security protocols, etc. can help traders and investors make well-informed decisions.


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