Where can I buy and trade bitcoin?

With so much news about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies lately, a lot of you may be asking yourselves “where can I buy bitcoin?” and trade this new digital asset class. This may vary depending on where you are located and what coins you want to buy. In this post I’m going to provide an overview on the largest crypto exchanges and compare and contrast them so you can decide which is the best fit for you.

One final piece of advice from us here at Crypto is Coming: Be sure to use google authenticator for 2 factor authentication as an added layer of security when using ANY of these platform. If you buy bitcoin through one of these companies, make sure to go to our wallets guide to find out the best  way to store your bitcoin safely.

ExchangeReputationSupported
Countries
Ease
of Use
Available
Currency
Payment
Methods
Visit Site
Coinbase exchangeVery GoodUS +32
countries
Very EasyBTC, ETH, LTC
(More coins
coming 2018)
Bank transfer, credit card, Visit Coinbase
Bitfinex exchangeAverageNon US OnlyAdvancedBTC, XRP, ETH,
LTC,+60 more
CryptocurrencyVisit Bitfinex
Kraken ExchangeVery GoodWorldwideEasyBTC, XRP, ETH,
XLM,+40 more
Bank transfer, CryptocurrencyVisit Kraken
Bittrex exchange Very GoodWorldwideAdvancedNEO, ETH, LTC,
XRP,+100s more
CryptocurrencyVisit Bittrex
Binance exchangeStill newWorldwideAdvancedZEC, ETH, LINK,
XLM,+100s more
CryptocurrencyVisit Binance
Ploniex exchangeAverageWorldwideAdvancedXRP, LTC, XMR,
OMG,+100s more
CryptocurrencyVisit Ploniex
CEX.IO Very GoodWorldwideVery EasyBTC, ETH, BCH
DASH, ZEC,
+15 more
Credit card and bank transfersVisit Cex.io
GoodWorldwideVery EasyBTCBank transfer, credit card or bitcoinVisit Xapo
Bitmex GoodWorldwideExpertBTCCryptocurrencyVisit Bitmex
GoodWorldwideEasyBTC, ETH, NEO, LTC, BCH, +100s moreCryptocurrencyVisit Bitmex

Coinbase (Gdax)

Based in San Francisco, California, Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States in terms of users. Backed by silicon valley VC, and with a valuation of $1.6 billion, Coinbase has become the go-to platform for new customers looking to buy Bitcoin for the very first time. Recently they’ve added as many as 100k users per day. Coinbase offers a easy use platform for buying and selling Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin via bank deposit or credit/debit card (with associated fees). Among exchanges Gdax offers real time trading (and lower fees). Interface is one of the best, but it has been known to go offline in times of extremely high volume, so take that into consideration when using the platform.

While Coinbase is currently limited in terms of the currencies that it has listed, the company has vowed to add more coins in the coming year. Support tickets may take a while to receive a response depending on the urgency as they are growing faster than they anticipated. Visit Coinbase

Bitfinex

Based in the United States, Bitfinex is the largest crypto currency exchange in the world in terms of volume. Bitfnex offers trading for Bitcoin, as well as many of the largest and most well know alt-coins. Along with traditional spot trading, they also have margin trading, allowing users to trade with more capital than what they have in their account. The interface is one of the best in the industry although not exactly beginner friendly. Bitfnex allows crypto deposits for coins they support as well as wire transfers over a certain amount. They’ve recently come into question regarding their use of Tethers (USDT), a token backed by USD which facilitates that deposits on the platform, and have mentioned that a formal audit is on the way. Make sure to monitor this story in the coming weeks and months as it should shed light on the internal processes of the company. Visit Bitfinex

Kraken

Based in San Francisco, California, Kraken is the largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of euro volume and liquidity. The exchange also has trading for Bitcoin in Canadian dollars, US dollars, British pounds and Japanese yen making it a great option for users wanting to buy bitcoin internationally. Kraken was the first Bitcoin exchange to have trading price and volume displayed on the Bloomberg Terminal. It was also first to pass a cryptographically verifiable proof-of-reserves audit. The platforms supports BTC as well as many large and mid market cap alt-coins. Kraken also allows margin trading and deposits via bank wire or BTC and other cryptos. The interface is possibly the worst among the large exchanges with a trading engine that constantly freezes and requires users to refresh the page. Take this into consideration when trading on this platform. Visit Kraken

Bittrex

Based in the United States, Bittrex is the 2nd largest alt-coin exchange in the world in terms of volume (just recently surpassed by Binance). It has hundreds of currencies and tokens available for trading and has become the most trusted alt-coin exchange by crypto traders in 2017. Bittrex supports crypto deposits for any currency they have listed and have said they will integrate margin trading soon. Bittrex support is generally more responsive than other sites, but still not up to most users’s expectations. The interface is very good, minimalistic, easy to use and has a pretty good trading engine. Although the site has recently experienced some loading issues with the extreme growth the crypto space is experiencing, this has not affected them too much. Visit Bittrex

Binance

Based in China, Binance is a new and up and coming crypto exchange that has recently gained popularity and acceptance among the crypto trading community and actually surpassed Bittrex as the #1 alt-coin exchange in terms of volume. They allow cryptocurrency deposits for any coin or token they have listed and have one of the fastest and most reliable trading engines on the market along with lower fees than their competition. The interface is very good, easy to use and rarely has any lag when loading pages. The support is somewhat lacking compared to other exchanges so it might take a while longer for users to enhance their verifcation on the site for increased withdrawal limits. Binance is currently the number 2 alt coin exchange in terms of volume behind only Bittrex. Visit Binance

Poloniex

A US exchanged based out Delaware, Poloniex was the top alt-coin exchange in the world as recently as March, 2017. They offer alt-coin trading, crypto deposits and have a large variety of currencies and tokens listed on their platform. You cannot buy bitcoin with USD on Poloniex. The interface is pretty good, on par with some of the other sites, but they started having customer support and site connectivity issues earlier this year, prompting the two companies listed above to surpass them in terms of volume and community acceptance. Some of the concerns with Poloniex include withdrawal issues and the trading engine freezing in key moments causing users to lose some trust in the company.Visit Poloniex

XAPO

Xapo is incorporated in Hong Kong , has an office in Palo Alto, California and operates Worldwide. They provide both wallet and exchange services for Bitcoin with USD deposits through bank wire, credit/debit cards, some payment processors as well as BTC deposits.  They have a BTC debit card service and a great mobile app for android and iOS. Xapo places emphasis on security and  actually use a bunker in the swiss alps for storing private keys. Their online interface is simple and easy to use. A great place for new users to buy Bitcoin as well as one of the better online wallets to store Bitcoin. Visit Xapo

Kriptomat 

Kriptomat is a crypto-trading and e-wallet service officially licensed to operate within the EU. The exchange now offers 17 crypto-to-fiat pairs, a welcome feature for those who don’t wish to go through Bitcoin as a “middleman” currency in order to trade cryptocurrencies. With service and support in over 20 languages, the exchange is suitable for users from all over Europe.

The cryptocurrencies currently on offer are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Augur, Gnosis, 0x, OmiseGO, Enjin, Status, SunContract, Metal, Civic, Request Network, FunFair, PropyDash, Litecoin and Loopring. These currencies can all be traded against the Euro and the exchange is open to all 508 million inhabitants of the EU.

CEX.IO

Based out of London, CEX.IO offer exchange services for Bitcoin and Ethereum for users from most countries around the world. Currently they allow deposits via bank transfer and credit/debit cards and are registered with FinCEN which may give users an added sense of security. Their interface is beginner friendly but they do not have many different cryptocurrencies to choose from. CEX.IO may serve as an on-boarding platform from fiat currencies to BTC or ETH where users can initially enter crypto and then transfer over to other exchanges for a wider variety of alt-coins. Customer support is usually fast and done via email as well as extensive FAQ. Fees for the exchange are about industry average. Recommended for new users wanting to buy bitcoin internationally. Visit CEX.IO

Bitmex

Based in Hong-Kong, Bitmex is a real-time, cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform for professional investors. It provides currency futures trading, stock derivatives, and other financial products. Bitmex allows users to deposit in Bitcoin and trade Bitcoin and other large market cap alt-coins with the additional feature of futures trading (speculating on the future value of these assets). It operates in China, Europe, South Korea, and Japan as well as other selected non US countries. The site has a really good but not beginner friendly interface and a great trading engine, but lacks the liquidity when it comes to alt-coins. The advanced functionality of the platform, including futures trading, might scare off some users not accustomed to these types of markets.  Visit Bitmex

 

Kucoin

Based out of Hong Kong and trying to be the hottest cryptocurrency exchange by 2019 Kucoin is the latest hot exchange. Kucoin offers a great user interface and experience, good security through 2FA integration to trading, low trading fees and incentives for trading and holding the native coin Kucoin Share (KCS). You cannot send fiat to Kucoin so to start trading you must deposit one of the following: BTC, ETH, NEO, USDT, or BCH.

Kucoin is available to users worldwide and offers a load of trading pairs such as LTC/BTC, BTC/DASH, BTC/NEO, BTC/ETH, BTC/KCS, BTC/RPX, etc. As of this article Kucoin has a 24 hour volume of 75 million USD and is ranked 25th amongst other exchanges. Visit KUCOIN

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