The extraordinary power of the digital asset

Cryptocurrency in itself has only been around since 2009. Since its inception, there have been a myriad of new currencies that have surfaced, adding to the long list of currently available options. This has spurred a significant interest in trading crypto as their prices rise and fall dramatically in the market.

In the early days of crypto, the values of the different currencies, in particular bitcoin, were all over the place. Since these are entirely digital assets, there was no direct value to attribute to them. This meant fluctuations in their prices ranged dramatically over the first few years. While there is still potential for large movements in this market, it has settled slightly over the last few years.

The more stable currencies have led to even more traders interested in the market. One of the more popular methods of doing this is through an exchange. In these cases, traders are exchanging one asset for another through the market and holding them for lengths of time to profit on the moving values. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a surge in new exchanges available all over the world.

As the market adapts, so too do the exchanges available to you

 What is a Crypto Exchange?

To review an exchange, you must know how they generally operate

A crypto exchange is a platform that enables you to trade one crypto for another. On most exchanges you can also trade your digital assets for other types of assets like regular fiat currencies.

Fundamentally, it is a simple enough process to understand. You just connect with one of these platforms, enter the currency and amount you have and want to trade and start trading. You are dealing with real people and exchanging real assets with them. You can then exchange the new assets with other people or hold them until their values grows.

These digital currencies act in much the same way as other assets on the market. They are traded at around fair market value, which is affected by a variety of external factors, mainly supply and demand. Since crypto is unique in that it doesn’t have any real-world value, the prices are largely affected by these external factors.

To fund your account on a crypto exchange you require a crypto wallet. This is where you store your owned currencies and can then move them onto the exchange market. You can fill this wallet with any currency that is accepted on the exchange, most often a type of crypto. As a result of this, most top exchanges offer crypto wallets through their own system, helping users protect their balances.

Once you have loaded this amount into the exchange, you place either a buy or sell order onto the system. This is commonly known as an order book. It is where all buy and sell requests will be posted so that other traders can check to see what is happening. It is essentially a service that matches up interested parties. When one side sees a buy or sell order, they want to be a part of, they make the request. Each exchange will operate its market in slightly different ways.

 Factors Affecting the Value of Crypto

Digital assets are not based on a tangible resource and have a volatile value.

Before jumping into the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, it is worth taking the time to look at what factors have the largest effect on the values of crypto. While this list can never be truly exhaustive, there are advantages in understanding more about how these values might change.

  • Limited Supply. One of the largest factors currently affecting cryptocurrency, in particular bitcoin, is a limit on the available supply. This is significant because there is a fixed limit of how many are out right now and how many more can possibly be released. Due to the way crypto is created, the release of more coins becomes increasingly more difficult the closer it gets to the maximum.

For bitcoin, the maximum possible coins that can be mined is 21 million. For any currency this is a low number and is a big reason they are so highly valued. As it reaches this limit, which is getting very close, there will be fluctuations as owners of the currency consider what will happen when there are no more to be put into circulation.

  • Demand. The other side to the supply of crypto is the relative demand for that specific crypto. The more people that want to have and use cryptocurrency, the higher the value will go, if the supply stays the same. While supply is not fixed, there is an end limit and the demand will react to this as the limit gets closer.

Demand for each crypto will vary depending on even more factors like the overall benefits each of them provide and regulations affecting the different currencies. Being aware of the level of interest in these currencies will help predict how much the demand will factor into the overall value.

  • Regulations. Tagging alongside the demand for crypto is the various regulations that have been created for this type of asset. In some regions, there are no regulations at all. This is because they are still relatively new forms of currency and have been less readily adopted by certain institutions. The more regulations that support these assets, the more likely their value will grow because they have more uses.

Other times, regulations can restrict the use of these currencies. This will understandably affect the demand for these assets as they lose some of their real-world value. The integration of crypto will keep changing and growing, which will pull and push the value on the market in different ways.

  • Media. The news and other forms of media will always influence the value of assets on the market. This is because these sources of information are often highly valued and affect the way the general public will react to these assets. This affects the demand and subsequently the value of each crypto. Media is also easy enough to follow and react to, which makes it a popular form of trying to predict these price shifts.

There are even more factors affecting the value of these assets, so keep an eye out for these

 Review of Exchanges

There are many crypto exchanges available currently and it is harder to choose than ever before.Each exchange has similar offerings but with their own unique composition. Understanding what to expect with some of the best ones will allow traders to find those that work best for the way they want to trade.

A large part of a good crypto exchange is the level of security they provide for their clients. This is especially critical in an online environment which the vast majority of these are. How these different exchanges address this is a good indicator of how much they can be trusted and relied upon.

Your environment on the market can be a significant factor in the overall experience and success.

 Coinbase

Coinbase is a very popular exchange. It was founded in 2012, just a few years after the release of Bitcoin. This exchange is primarily based in the United States and operates with all the necessary regulations that keep it certified and trustworthy. They offer two different accounts, a standard one and a pro version.

Coinbase has rather high fees unless you are using their pro account. This pro account also allows for more charting capabilities and even some extensive indicators which track subtle changes in the market. They do offer a range of different cryptos however so there is a good selection available.

Despite the range they do provide, there are other exchanges that offer more variety even than this. The Coinbase system is intuitive to operate so that even new users will be able to navigate their way through with relative ease. There are also insurance policies that are made available to clients to help them protect their crypto wallets.

Overall, this is certainly a comprehensive crypto exchange that provides all the necessary options, especially for new users. With all the bells and whistles included here, you can be confident you are in a good environment for working with crypto.

Coinbase
Cryptocurrencies                                23 types of digital coins.
Commissions and fees All transactions under $ 200 have the following fees:$ 0.99 - for transactions less than $ 10;$ 1.49 - for transactions from $ 10 to $ 25;$ 1.99 - for transactions from $ 25 to $ 50;$ 2.99 - for operations from $ 50 to $ 200.For transactions over $ 200, a fixed interest rate comes into play. Its size depends on the payment method.
Wallet  Free mobile and online. The advantage of this wallet is that transactions can be made off-blockchain.
Payment method Funds can be deposited and withdrawn using a bank card, transfer and a range of payment systems. SEPA transfers are available for EU residents;
Security Two-factor authentication; All website traffic is encrypted using the SSL cryptographic protocol; All wallets keys are protected by AES-256 encryption; Only 2% of her clients' cryptocurrency funds are stored online and they are insured in case of loss;
Mobile application Mobile applications for Android and iOS;

 Binance

This crypto exchange first came into existence in 2017. As a relatively new company, they have still managed to grow their offering considerably. Perhaps the main draw of this exchange is that they have deliberately focussed their offering on a wide range of different cryptocurrencies, including over 150 options. There are even some fiat currency options available, but these are significantly more limited than the crypto present.

Binance has become one of the bigger names in the global exchange arena, with massive volumes being traded every day. Their variety of assets and smaller fees have made them more than competitive around the world. This has led to a significant user base and as a result the company continues to grow and an impressive rate.

Users may make deposits using crypto or the handful of fiat currencies that Binance permits. This is an often-undervalued benefit that serves to grant easier access for users all around the world. Perhaps the only real downside to this exchange is that it has a slightly more complex layout than some others exchanges and is perhaps better suited for those with experience with crypto systems like these.

Binance
Cryptocurrencies 740 different crypto and fiat pairs, including own token BNB;
Commissions and fees                                Binance offers competitive trading fees (commissions): 0.1% on each side of the trade or 0.075% if you are using your Binance tokens (BNB);
Wallet  Trust Wallet mobile application;
Payment method Bank transfer, debit/credit cards, various P2P payment channels;
Security The exchange launched CryptoSafe Alliance (CSA). This initiative will bring together exchanges, blockchain protocols, cybersecurity experts, and regulatory compliance companies. It is the first comprehensive threat monitoring and protection tool in a decentralized data exchange environment.
Mobile application A free app is available Google Play Store or the App Store.

 Kraken

Kraken crypto exchange was first started in 2011. After its relatively early inception, this group quickly rose to become one of the most popular exchanges in the Euro market. They are very highly rated and offer a good mix of altcoins as well as fiat currency options to trade. This range of assets may not be their strongest feature, but they provide other resources to aid in this.

Some of the features that Kraken provides include impressive charting tools and even margin trading. This exchange is again targeted to the more experienced users and their interface can feel complicated to beginners. This is perhaps the exchange you move to when you have understood more about the experience and how to manage these operations.

This is definitely a top of the range exchange, with all the important features to support their more advanced users. One notable downside is that there are not as many payment options available that you can use to make deposits into your account. There are ways around this, but it still serves as an inconvenience to some.

Kraken
Cryptocurrencies                                8 tokens are available for trading;
Commissions and fees Transactions under 50,000 units of a particular currency are subject to a commission of 0.16% for the seller and 0.26% for the buyer;For sums over 50,000 units, commissions are reduced to 0.14% and 0.24% respectively;
Wallet  No crypto wallet is offered on the site;
Payment method Crypto wallets and money transfers via bank transfer. Deposit/withdrawal via bank cards is not available;
Security The exchange offers users two-factor authentication (2FA), PGP encryption, and global settings lock, which prevents any account changes within a certain period of time;
Mobile application Kraken Pro and Kraken Futures trading applications.

 Bittrex

Beginning around the same time as many of the other exchanges, Bittrex was first introduced in 2014. Perhaps the biggest advantage this exchange provides its users is a wide array of different assets to trade with. This allows for some important diversification in your strategies on the market.

Like many of the top crypto exchange options, Bittrex has wallets attached to its system that can be used for safe storage of any currencies. They also have extensive security features and technologically advanced software that will protect these online wallets and the platform itself.

Bittrex
Cryptocurrencies                250+ trading pairs are available;
Commissions and fees           Topping up your euro account   is available via: SEPA credit transfer; international bank transfer; bank card. Fiat             funds withdrawal is possible to a bank account using an international bank transfer, and for euros, a SEPA                        credit transfer is supported. The withdrawal commission depends on the chosen cryptocurrency: in bitcoin, it is            0.0005 BTC, in Ethereum - 0.00600000 ETH. The site has a fixed trading fee of 0.25% of the total value of the                order;
Wallet            No crypto wallet;
Payment method           Bank transfers, credit/debit         cards;
Security           Two-factor authentication (2FA);IP check which requires an email confirmation of entry from a newIP-address;            IP whitelists; Cold storage for 80%-90% assets;
Mobile application           There are two apps for Android and iOS respectively: Bittrex Global and Bittrex.

 Bitmex

Bitmex began in 2014 and quickly grew thanks to its enticing margin trading offers. They do offer both perpetual and futures contracts, with the latter more akin to binary trading than the regular exchange. For futures they also offer leverage which can be both a powerful way to make money fast and a quick way to potentially lose it all. This is perhaps an environment best suited for more experienced users.

Bitmex have good security but their sign-up process is almost too simple. This is a justifiable trade-off between extra convenience and some additional risk. Overall, this crypto exchange has become a popular option, especially for margin trading.

BitMEX
Cryptocurrencies      55 trading pairs;
Commissions and fees      BitMEX does not charge any fees for deposits or withdrawals. When withdrawing BTC, a minimum Bitcoin                           Network commission is applied;Trading commissions for takers are 0.075% of the total order value, while makers           are paid an additional 0.025% for each trade;
Wallet      Crypto BitMEX wallet
Payment method      Apart from cryptocurrencies, BitMEX does not accept any other deposits;
Security      Funds are stored in cold wallets;Two-factor authentication;Registration via SMS notifications;Multi-signature                 wallets for transactions;Email communications are encrypted using PGP encryption;
Mobile application      BitMEX Mobile launched in September 2020.

 Bitfinex

Founded in late 2012, this is one of the earliest crypto exchanges around. A trend setter from the beginning, it is now well-known for the margin trading it offers its users. The leverage they provide here allows for significant investment in the market. Like all margin trading, this can be a risky enterprise but if you trade well it can be highly rewarding.

Bitfinex does not have the most assets to trade on but they do have some fiat currency options that they introduced in 2015 to add some variety to their crypto market. This exchange is also available to users all around the world.

Bitfinex 
Cryptocurrencies Over 140 coins and 300 trading pairs;
Commissions and fees                                No additional payments for deposits and withdrawals in digital coins. When you deposit USD, you will have to pay a commission of 0.1%, but not less than $ 20;Minimum fee for withdrawing fiat money is $ 60;With the minimum currency turnover per month, the trading fee is 0.1% for the maker and 0.2% for the taker;
Wallet Users are offered three wallets to choose from - Exchange Wallet, Margin Wallet, and Financing Wallet;
Payment method Besides cryptocurrencies, bank transfers and withdrawal of money to the card are available to users.
Security Only 0.5% of crypto assets are kept online to support daily transactions. The rest of the coins are kept in cold wallets out of the reach of hackers. For these wallets to become available, manual authorization of several members of the management team is required;
Mobile application Available.

 Localbitcoins

Another early starter in the crypto exchange game, Localbitcoins began as early as 2012. This is a unique exchange service in that rather than focussing on volume trading they operate as a peer-to-peer (P2P) service. This means that, while they operate globally, their users will traditionally have a more local trading experience.

With this platform you can meet up with other traders and negotiate your exchanges. They provide an escrow account to facilitate these trades and keep strict portfolios on their members. This creates a trusting environment, especially for newer traders that are not yet interested in large volume trading. The exchange rates with Localbitcoins can run a little high compared to other options.

Localbitcoins
Cryptocurrencies                                Bitcoin
Commissions and fees The service does not charge a commission from the buyer. For sellers, there is a set commission of 1% on each sale.
Wallet  Bitcoin wallet
Payment method Bank transfers, banking cards, electronic systems;
Security The security of the transaction is ensured by the escrow method, which has proven to be highly effective;User accounts are protected by two-factor authentication.
Mobile application

 Poloniex

Beginning in 2014, Poloniex has performed well in their role as a crypto exchange. Their offering includes over 100 crypto pairs and a secure environment for users to manage their trading. Fees are also relatively low, with certain factors weighing in on these costs. One such factor is the volume you trade, with greater volumes being rewarded with reduced fees.

They have also split the fee up for makers and takers in the market. A maker creates the position and a taker closes it. Makers have less fees, likely to spur more positions for other users to work with. There are also other features to support users while they navigate the platform, from live chat boxes to data analysis tools.

Poloniex 
Cryptocurrencies                                100+ currency pairs
Commissions and fees All deposits are allowed without any additional charges;The withdrawal fee is fixed, and it depends on the type of the cryptocurrency;Trading commissions are from 0 to 0.25%maker commission is from 0% to 0.15%;taker commission is from 0.1% to 0.25%;The higher is the volume of completed transactions in one month, the lower is the commission for all subsequently completed transactions;
Wallet  Yes;
Payment method Replenishment of an account with a bank card or withdrawal to a card are not available for users of some countries;
Security The administration highly recommends to add two-factor authentication to your account;
Mobile application Available

 Kucoin

Kucoin is a Singapore based exchange that only began in 2017. Relative to many of the top platforms, it is a young company. Still, the creators behind this company certainly do not lack experience in the field of crypto and demonstrate this expertise in their platform. As a result of this it has grown quickly and is now used in several countries around the world.

In terms of security, Kucoin have said they employ systems on par with banks, creating an environment that is protected to the highest level. This is through extensive encryption and multilevel authentication. While this is impressive, it is perhaps still too early in this younger crypto exchange’s career to tell just how safe it all is.

Kucoin 
Cryptocurrencies 200+ coins and 450+ trading pairs;
Commissions and fees                                All deposits are free on the site and there is a fixed fee for withdrawals;KuCoin offers a flat trading commission of 0.10%, which is less than the industry average.
Wallet  Inner site crypto wallet;
Payment method A variety of payment methods supported by P2P fiat services;
Security The exchange offers you the option to set up two-factor authentication by Google Authenticator.
Mobile application Available

They have a range of contact options for their support team and all in a selection of different languages. With companies that have not been around for as long as many of the others, there are some risks still involved. The longer Kucoin goes without any dramatic incident or security breach however, the more trust it will build with traders everywhere.

 Bitpanda

This is an Austrian based exchange that began back in 2014. It was originally named Coinimal but has since changed to Bitpanda. Their entire mission statement is to make crypto trading as easy to do for everyone. They employ an intuitive platform with easy access and navigation. Whatever it is doing seems to be working as they have over a million users currently.

While their main focus is cryptocurrency, Bitpanda also offers trading on certain metals, like silver and gold. They also have several tools and features that make purchasing crypto even easier. This includes a fully automated trading platform. You can trade between crypto and metals, all while safe in the knowledge that these are secured through Switzerland.

Beyond this, Bitpanda has many other offshoots that open up interesting sides of the market to explore. These help with better savings, trading at an increased volume, and even come with their own Bitpanda tokens. Like other inhouse tokens, these can be used for different benefits like reduced fees during operations. The fees for this exchange are relatively small.

Bitpanda 
Cryptocurrencies                                Bitcoin, Ethereum and 30+ digital assets;
Commissions and fees The trading commission of the service depends on the type of currency and the nature of the transaction. When buying bitcoins, you pay 1.49%, when selling - 1.29%;Commission for replenishment and withdrawal is fixed for each coin and is debited from the account;
Wallet  Bitpanda crypto wallet
Payment method You can make a deposit either by bank transfer, credit cards or electronic payment systems;
Security Bitpanda refers to systems that independently manage user wallet keys.Besides, the following security measures are offered:Fund cold storage;Session control. Every login attempt from a new device requires two-factor authentication confirmation;Authentication and validation via email;
Mobile application Yes

 Coinmama

CoinMama is yet another good exchange. Beginning within the golden age of crypto exchanges, in 2013, this company has used its experience to definite advantage. It is important to note that while this is still technically an exchange, there is not really any exchanging available. Instead you are buying and selling cryptocurrencies to and from Coinmama itself.

They do provide a decent range of options in terms of assets and payment services. There are also high limits attached to buying bitcoin through credit or debit cards. These high limits come with a cost of comparable fees attached. The platform itself allows for multiple languages as it caters to a large global market.

Coinmama 
Cryptocurrencies The platform sells Bitcoin, Ethereum. Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Qtum, Ripple, Ethereum Classic, Cardano, Tezos and EOS;
Commissions and fees                                The use of credit or debit cards implies a service charge of 5%.Besides, the platform charges 3.90% for buying coins and 0.9% for selling these;
Wallet No;
Payment method Credit/debit cards and bank transfers;It supports SEPA and SWIFT payments;
Security Coinmama is a reputable company with a secure site using Trust Guard and Comodo technologies. Both services have confirmed that 256-bit SSL encryption is actively used on pages containing personal information;
Mobile application Yes

This is another exchange that is great for beginners because of their intuitive interface and global reputation. One downside in this regard is that they require users to have their own crypto wallets. This is not a bad thing, just slightly more inconvenient, especially for new users. Another factor to be wary of is that their available support is somewhat lacking, not providing as hands on help as some others might.

 Paxful

This exchange started in 2015, with headquarters in the United States. The first thing to note about this platform is that it caters to as many countries as it possibly can, mostly in Europe and United States though. Regarding itself as the ‘Uber’ of crypto exchanges, this system has a very basic model. The security is good quality and the respective fees attached to using their services is rather low.

The main feature of Paxful is that it is another P2P exchange. Each trader on their platform develops their own portfolio, with the information about their respective trades. This allows you to check out who you are trading with and make sure they are a reliable candidate.

The most notable downside is that traders only sell bitcoin on this platform. There are many different payment methods and they accept a range of currencies to use for buying bitcoin, but you can only sell bitcoin. There are no fees for buying but there is a fixed charge of 1% for any sales. Even with all the payment services Paxful accept, the more obscure ones will likely see more extensive charges in the form of reduced conversion rates for currencies.

Paxful 
Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Tether
Commissions and fees                                Commissions are applied for crypto selling:0.5% for bank transfers;1% for bank cards and e-payments;3-5% for gift cards;No commission is charged for buying cryptocurrency;Paxful will charge a transfer fee for sending funds to an external wallet.$ 0 - $ 9.99 = 0.0001 BTC $ 10 - $ 19.99 = 0.0002 BTC More than $ 20 = 0.0005 BTC
Wallet The Paxful Wallet App makes it easy to store and manage coins with your mobile cryptocurrency wallet;
Payment method More than 300 ways to buy coins, including bank transfer, credit and debit cards, PayPal, Western Union, and even Amazon, iTunes or Steam gift cards;
Security The security of the system is ensured by two-factor authentication, depositing and the obligatory verification procedure when working with large amounts.
Mobile application Paxful Wallet for Android and iOS.

 Hitbtc

Denmark based HitBTC first came out in 2013. The key focus of this exchange is the sheer number of assets available to its clients. There are reportedly over 800 pairs to trade on. This allows you to trade on some of the most obscure and lesser known crypto options around the world. It is great for diversifying investments and taking advantage of small growths among each of them.

They offer a demo account to test out the platform and several other features to make the market even more exciting. One of the most important features this exchange claims to have extensively worked on is the security of its clients. This is of course a vital part of any trading experience online. They have high liquidity and allow for significant volumes to be traded.

HitBTC only allows you to deposit certain cryptos and does not accept any fiat options for this. However, they do offer an in-built system where you can buy these cryptos for deposit using debit or credit cards. Overall, this is a highly rated exchange for a good reason.

Hitbtc 
Cryptocurrencies 800 currency pairs are being traded on the platform today;
Commissions and fees                                No commissions for deposits and a fixed commission for withdrawals depending on the coin;HitBTC uses a multi-level trading fee calculation system. The more a user trades, the lower his commission will be;
Wallet No crypto wallet;
Payment method The HitBTC exchange can be replenished exclusively with digital currency;
Security The platform provides 2-factor authentication,high-end encryption technology and cold storage of funds;
Mobile application No

There are a lot of good crypto exchanges available online. Hopefully you now know what some of these platforms offer, and which of them might be best for you. 

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