Bitcoin Exchanges

The Best Bitcoin Exchanges

Bitcoin Exchanges: What to Look For

Bitcoin exchanges all share certain core functionality, but their effectiveness as trading networks can vary greatly as the result of small changes in their design. Here are some key elements to look at when choosing the right exchange.


Every bitcoin exchange has a slightly different fee structure to suit differing usage patterns and for distinct audiences. Almost every exchange uses a volume-based fee schedule with fees a percentage of the transaction amount and generally capped around 0.30 percent.

Some exchanges use a maker-taker fee model, where those who place buy and sell orders designed to move the price up or down pay no fees, while those who accept whatever offers are currently available pay a fee for the convenience, keeping the price near as possible to the market average.


Almost every bitcoin exchange uses two-factor authentication at the least to protect your account from hijacking, but some exchanges offer advanced encryption methods; offline wallets and strict hiring procedures for added security.


Trading and Currencies

The trading volume of a bitcoin exchange shows you the level of trust people have in the business practices. A larger client base and higher trade volume means more potential trade partners, ensuring more equitable trades for all that tend to stick closer to the average market value of bitcoin. The currencies a network accepts can also affect its usefulness and trade volume.

Application program interface (API)

An API allows custom software to interface with the system, though specific functionality is different across the bitcoin exchanges.
The best bitcoin exchanges in 2017

Coinbase combine an attractive interface where you can get bitcoins with a debit card with multiple online wallets for your digital currency. With almost 5 million users, including 45,000 merchants, and 9000 developer apps Coinbase is popular in Europe and North America. It does need slightly more work to verify an account.

GDAX is an integral part of the trusted Coinbase brand for technical traders.

Localbitcoins is popular for person to person transactions worldwide as you interact directly with the person selling to you. The site offers escrow and dispute resolution. requires no verification and also has PayPal available. Transactions may take longer to conclude and some bank accounts have been suspended after receiving money, which is one of the risks associated with anonymous transactions that come from this exchange.

Bitstamp operates out of London, UK and is popular in Europe, though there are restrictions to other countries. Good volumes are available for larger trades. Bitstamp is well received by people using Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and visa mastercard purchasing.

Kraken has a growing reputation as a bitcoin broker, serving markets in Europe and the USA. They work well through SEPA, have an easy verification process with expert cryptographic communications and the cheapest rates, though the site is not visually intuitive.

CoinATMradar provide a global map of bitcoin ATMs. This allows you to use cash to buy in person at a physical machine. No verification of ID is required, allowing users to stay anonymous at over 869 ATMs spread over each continent.

A peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace connecting buyers with sellers, Paxful gets over 2 million monthly visits, with half originating from the USA. There are more than 150 payment methods available. The fees are higher than elsewhere.

For those more technically advanced, Bitsquare is a decentralized p2p platform with high security. Over 60 cryptocurrencies can be traded and you can purchase bitcoins using a bank transfer, escrow, and trusted third parties.

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