So, you want to know which websites are the top exchanges for you to trade your precious coins? Well, don’t worry, here’s the full guide for you
How To Find The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
Honest And Comprehensive Guide 
Before we dive deep into our top rankings, first we need to know that cryptocurrency exchange is basically a website (or application) where you can trade your cryptocurrencies. From one coin to another or from cryptocurrencies to fiat and vice versa. In 2019 it’s important to know that there are different factors to consider when it comes to finding the right exchange to trade our crypto.
Liquidity remains my most important factor. Reputation, website speed, convenience, security, and decentralization are also important points to consider. You know something? There are divided camps when it comes to decentralization and crypto exchanges. I mean, there are people who believe decentralized exchanges are the future while some others believe centralized exchanges are the only way cryptocurrencies will get a green light in the eyes of big governments (due to their ability to force everyone to verify identity). So, let’s break down each of this factor before I tell you my list of best cryptocurrency exchanges:
Factors to consider when you want to find the best cryptocurrency exchanges for you to trade:
1. Liquidity – Obviously, the biggest factor to consider when you want to try a new exchange is its liquidity. There are only few crypto exchanges with ‘clean’ reputation while many others are considered ‘shady’ because they engage in wash trading activities (Wash trading is a process where the trader buys and sells a token as fast as possible, usually with bots, to inflate volume numbers). Many crypto exchanges try to fake it until they make it and we do not want that. There are many false volume data on Coinmarketcap but personally I trust these two websites whenever I want to check specific exchange’s liquidity: BTI.live and Openmarketcap.com
2. Reputation – this is also an important factor to consider. When you hear some exchanges with terrible history, you simply do not want to continue with them. I am not targeting any specific exchange but I also won’t put their names here until they solve their issues. Good exchanges typically have many genuine supporters on social media, reddit, twitter, and telegram communities
3. Security – This is a tricky topic because even exchanges with really good securities might still get hacked as the smartest hackers always try to hack them and steal cryptocurrencies from them. Any crypto exchange with hot wallets is always vulnerable, but then spot trading requires hot wallets because most people don’t want to wait for manual withdrawal (it takes too much time). Personally, I like crypto exchanges which have proven themselves over time with insurance funds and great security features
4. Fees – Let’s be honest, we want less trading fees as well as less withdrawal fees. When some crypto exchanges charge a lot for ETH or BTC withdrawal, we always hate them. While I do not consider fees as important as security/reputation/liquidity but it’s definitely one factor to consider as well. Especially, when you trade small alts with small market cap
5. Speed, Server Stability, And Convenience – Server stability and speed are very important point for me, more importantly because I trade daily. If one crypto exchange has really bad server speed and stability, it will affect my judgement on that exchange as well. And, of course, convenience of using the trading platform is also an important matter. You don’t want to waste too much time learning all the trading functions.
6. Deposit & Withdrawal Methods – This is an important factor when it comes to fiat on/off ramp. When you want to trade BTC to altcoins and vice versa, this won’t matter a lot because they will always have normal crypto withdrawal methods. Fiat, though, is a tricky topic. Some exchanges accept debit card, credit card, direct bank deposit, even vouchers. Other exchanges have more limited options.
7. Verification and Geo Restrictions – Personally, I never had this kind of scenario. I never had any exchange restricting my access due to my location or my nationality. But, if you are in the US or some other countries, you might experience some geo-restrictions by some exchanges. There are also websites where you cannot use their platform until you finish your KYC/AML verification with them.
8. Decentralization – The spirit of decentralization lives on, even when it comes to our quest in finding top crypto exchange to trade our coins. Problem is, majority of decentralized exchanges have really low liquidity, making it hard for bigger traders to buy/sell specific altcoin without wiping out the order book. This is why I do not consider decentralization as the most important factor but regardless it will be great if we can have a really great decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges with high volume and friendly UI.
Top 5 Crypto Exchanges:
Based on the factors I mentioned above, here is the list of best cryptocurrency exchanges:
1. Binance – Obviously, this is the most famous cryptocurrency exchange with the most liquidity right now. Binance had some controversies and until today it’s not yet verified by BTI (Blockchain Transparency Institute). However, even if some of the trading volume is fake, they are still the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world especially when you want to trade crypto-to-crypto (i.e. BTC to ETH or altcoin-to-altcoin). Binance has some fiat options as well such as Binance.sg and Binance.je though in my opinion there are better options compared to Binance’s fiat on-ramp options
2. Coinbase – Verified directly with BTI and it’s definitely the best fiat on/off ramp with high liquidity in many countries. Also, keep in mind you might want to save some fees by going to Coinbase pro (formerly GDAX) instead of Coinbase if you think the fees are a bit too much on normal Coinbase website. Coinbase is definitely also the second most popular crypto exchange after Binance
3. Kraken – I think the second largest fiat on/off ramp for crypto is Kraken. Its trading volume is usually lower than Coinbase but it has decent volume. I think their euro deposit/withdrawal process is really decent. Everybody knows Kraken and I never had bad experience with them. They also offer margin trading options with USD as base pair (and I really like it, compared to Bitmex where you have to put your money in form of BTC)
4. Liquid.com – Regulated in Japan, Liquid.com also has decent liquidity compared to most other crypto exchanges. Its name is already trusted among many veteran crypto traders. What I like the most from Liquid is its cold wallet feature where they put everything in cold wallet and it makes them much harder to be hacked. That being said, it might be a bit inconvenience for some traders who prefer instant withdrawal.
5. Huobi – I know Huobi might be a bit unpopular as they are known for wash trading activities but even their real volume is still decent enough. I tried to trade BTC to some popular alts here (i.e ETH) and I could see they have decent volume. As long as you are not a super big whale, I think you will be fine trading with Huobi. Again, I know they have bad reputation when it comes to wash trading, but their real liquidity is not that bad compared to many other top cryptocurrency exchanges. Their margin trading offering is also decent.
Gate.io – I rate them somewhere on the 6th or 7th ranking after Huobi. They are verified with BTI and I like their newly-launched token. Their trading UI is also easy to understand for newcomers. If you are into trading EOS or GRIN or BSV, Gate.io might be your favorite exchange.
Upbit – If you live in South Korea, this will be your best option to trade crypto. They have huge volume but unfortunately most of their volumes have KRW (Korean Won) as the base pair. There are better options if you want to trade crypto-to-crypto. Upbit tries to solve this issue by releasing Upbit Global but in my opinion other exchanges are better in this regard.
Gemini – another good alternative for fiat on/off ramp but I don’t put Gemini in my top 5 list because I think there are better options. That being said, it’s a good alternative to trade BTC or ETH or LTC against real fiat (USD).
Bittrex – One of the alternatives when it comes to american citizens. They are reliable and have good reputation as well. However, their altcoin offerings on Bittrex International mostly have low volume.
Poloniex – another decent alternative for some regions. They actually have good volume for BTC against stablecoin pairings (i.e. BTC/USDC).
DDEX – They have low volume but some less-known altcoins have OK liquidity if you plan to trade just few thousands of dollars. I actually think DDEX is one of the best decentralized exchanges when it comes to convenience. You can just use Metamask or Ledger and directly connect your wallet to DDEX. Some other DEXes (like ForkDelta or IDEX) require you to transfer your token to another wallet before you can trade them
Anyway, you might want to learn what is blockchain before we continue
Well, choosing the best exchange is never an easy task. There are plenty of factors to consider and cryptocurrency industry changes very rapidly. What worked in 2017 might not work in 2019. What works now might not work in 2020. However, I do think that majority of the best cryptocurrency exchanges I mentioned above will still be around in years to come as long as they don’t experience any major bad event (for example: hacking attempts, bad customer service when it comes to withdrawal, etc.). Good luck!
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