Cryptocurrencies. One word to rule them all. The term evokes a raft of emotions that range from fear to excitement, and borderline hysteria in some cases.
Crypto trading is almost like responding to the call of the wild. Raw, alluring, and volatile like Nature itself.
But trading needs a dedicated framework, and there are plenty of ways out there to buy and sell your crypto assets.
Crypto exchanges are online digital platforms where people can trade cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, or ‘normal’ (fiat) money. Think of these entities as the equivalent to the currency exchange booths that you see at airports everywhere.
There are a lot of crypto exchange platforms online today, each with their own quirks and caveats. Some allow the user to exchange crypto assets for fiat money, others don’t, some offer custodianship services, etc..
Here’s a list of the 10 top crypto exchanges, in no particular order, and while most exchanges fulfill the basic function of exchanging cryptocurrencies, you are encouraged to exercise your own due diligence and do your research before choosing one over the other.
Top 10 Crypto Exchanges
Binance – This exchange opened its online doors to the public as recently as 2017, and quickly established itself as a market leader through robust management and the clever use of Binance Coin (BNB), a native utility token. Binance’s ICO, launched in July of 2017, saw the company raise an astonishing $15m in capital. As of 2018, Binance had over 10 million registered users.
BitMEX – BitMEX is the result of the collaborative effort of three people, Ben Delo, Samuel Reed, and Arthur Hayes. The platform went online in 2014. As of 2018, BitMEX could boast of a 24-hour trade volume of about $2.55m. BitMEX made crypto history in the UK as Delo would go on to become the youngest self-made billionaire in the UK, at the age of 34.
Kraken – According to Scandinavian folklore, a Kraken is a mythical sea monster that dwells in the waters around Norway and Greenland. Described as a gigantic octopus-like creature, the most likely reality is that sailors from ancient times encountered giant squids (which may indeed grow up to 15 meters), and their imagination and thirst for crafting legendary tales did the rest.
The crypto world is no stranger to tales of woe, of course, and Kraken the crypto exchange has seen its fair share of controversy after suffering DDoS attacks, a longer-than-expected maintenance downtime that spooked investors, and a probe by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Coinbase – Founded back in 2012, Coinbase is one of the longest-operating crypto exchanges. Coinbase is often referred to as ‘beginner friendly’, making it a popular choice among first-time investors.
Coinbase limits its trading to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin with fiat currencies.
Huobi – Huobi started life in China back in 2013, and soon received a number of angel investments and other capital investments. Huobi reached a trading volume of more than 30bn yuan late in 2013, making it the largest digital asset trading platform in China by far.
Huobi moved its operations out of China in 2017 after the country’s blanket ban on bitcoin exchanges and ICOs. The company is now based in Singapore.
Gemini – The brainchild of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, two American twin brothers, the Gemini exchange is a relative newcomer, having only come online in 2014. Nevertheless, Gemini achieved to world’s first: It became the first ether-licensed ether exchange in 2016, and the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange in 2018.
The Gemini exchange is based in New York. Customers can avail of crypto to fiat payments, and also BTC/ETH trading.
eToro – The first iteration of the eToro platform was launched as far back as 2007. eToro originally branded itself as ‘social trading and investment platform’, but it has evolved through innovation and the constant introduction of new features like WebTrader and Visual FX. Today, eToro caters for about 140 million users worldwide.
Cex.io – The history of the CEX.IO exchange is slightly peculiar, as the company actually started as a cloud mining outfit back in 2013. Mining services were indefinitely suspended in 2015, due to rapidly diminishing returns, but the company continued life as a crypto exchange.
Today, CEX.IO offers cross-platform trading via its website and mobile app.
DigiFinex – This exchange is one of the latest entrants into the crypto exchange playing field, as it only began operating in 2017. DigiFinex is based out in Singapore, and has a heavy focus on the Asian market.
Remarkably, the platform allows trading of hundreds of different coins. Such diversity is quite unheard of in the west.
And like Binance, DigiFinex uses a native ERC-20 token (DigiFinex Token) for in-house trading.
BitMart – Much like DigiFinex, BitMart is a rather new crypto exchange. It went online in November 2017, but only began trading in March of 2018, and registered itself with US regulatory bodies shortly after that.
BitMart’s main focus is spot trading, that is, an asset or commodity that is transacted and delivered immediately.