10 Best Exchanges to Use to Purchase Cryptocurrency

Coinbase Homepage Image Screenshot

Figuring out which exchange to use to buy the cryptocurrency that you have been eyeing can be quite a difficult challenge so we figured to put together a list of the most popular exchanges in order to help you to make an educated decision to choose the best exchange for you. This are listed in no particular order and I recommend that you do your own research on these exchanges first before choosing to implement any of them.

#1: Coinbase

This is the most popular exchange and is based in San Francisco, California. You can buy and exchange Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and now Bitcoin Cash on this platform. The fees can be quite high depending upon how much you are trying to buy or exchange but this platform is very user friendly, especially for newbie investors. You can make purchases with a debit/credit card, bank wire, bank transfer, or add fiat currency to a wallet to make purchases later. Customer service is via email and can take a few days to return your email.

#2: GDAX

GDAX Homepage Image Screenshot

This is the sister exchange to Coinbase and owned by the same company. If you create a Coinbase account then you automatically have a GDAX account. The major benefit of using GDAX is that the fees are a lot less and even free if you buy with limit orders. The con is that it may be intimidating to use for new users but there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show how to buy with GDAX. Transfers between Coinbase and GDAX are free and generally instant.

#3: Bittrex

Bittrex Homepage Image Screenshot

You can transfer Bitcoin or other major coins into this exchange in order to purchase many popular altcoins like Ripple or Monero. You cannot purchase coins from this exchange with fiat currency. Not every popular coin has made it onto this exchange because they have pretty stringent requirements. And coins can be quickly taken off this exchange if they feel the coin company is not adhering to their standards. They have a headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

#4: Kraken

Kraken Homepage Image Screenshot

This exchange is based in San Francisco, California and was started in 2011, which makes it one of the oldest exchanges. They are lauded for having very low fees and high security protocols. Online reviews suggest that they have problems oftentimes with uptime and congestion problems so consider that when looking for an exchange. This exchange has availability of approximately seventeen coins.

#5: Bitfinex

Bitfinex Homepage Image Screenshot

Advertised as the “world’s largest and most advanced cryptocurrency platform.” Bitfinex is pretty cool because it has a customizable user interface so you can save your preferences and manage tickers. You can exchange between about twenty-two coins using USD or BTC. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Hong Kong. Be careful with this one because they have had some pretty major hacks that have resulted in lost coins.

#6: CoinMama

Coinmama Homepage Image Screenshot

You can use fiat currency to purchase cryptocurrencies on this exchange and the benefit is that the buying limits for debit/credit cards is higher. The downside is that the fees are generally higher to make purchases from this exchange. They are headquartered in Israel and founded in 2013. Services are offered in 182 countries so this is a popular exchange. You can purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum on this exchange.

#7: LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins Homepage Image Screenshot

This is a face-to-face exchange for the most part and is considered to be a peer-to-peer buy/sell exchange. Ads are posted on the forum with proposed terms for payment and delivery of the coins. Many people use this method in order to try to stay more anonymous and/or to avoid the hassle of setting up exchange accounts and waiting for identity verification. Fees are generally fairly inexpensive.

#8: Gemini

Gemini Homepage Image Screenshot

Headquartered in New York City, New York and founded in 2015 by the famous Winklevoss twins, this exchange offers the purchase of Bitcoin and Ethereum. They have faced many uptime challenges and have had to increase the size of their infrastructure quite a few times in the most recent past. But, the first Bitcoin futures were traded based upon information provided by Gemini, so this exchange is socially well-connected. One benefit that most investors seem to like is this exchange is overly compliant with financial regulation and any USD deposits are kept at FDIC insured banks with most of the cryptocurrency holdings stored offline in cold storage in order to attempt to keep assets secure.

#9: Bitstamp

Bitstamp Homepage Image Screenshot

Has offices in London, New York City, and Luxembourg and was founded in 2011. The interface is very user-friendly and you can buy five major coins instantly using a credit card. Most of the coins are stored offline in cold wallets for security purposes. Fees are fairly low for this platform. It takes a while to get verified in order to make your first purchase and customer service support via email is not very responsive.

#10: Poloniex

Poloniex Homepage Image Screenshot

Based in the United States and founded in 2014, this exchange offers a large number of cryptocoins as well as opportunities for margin trading and lending. They advertise that they store most of the coins in cold storage offline in order to preserve the integrity of the network and the coins. Customer service for Poloniex has been known to be fairly poor and not very responsive but this can be a problem with many of the exchanges.

These are the ten most popular exchanges for purchasing and exchanging cryptocurrency. I would love to hear your feedback on which you have used and what your experience has been like using them. Feel free to leave a comment to share with others your experiences!

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Disclosure: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is based upon my individual experience. Please do your own research and do not invest any money that you cannot afford to lose. Consult with attorneys and tax professionals for any legal or tax related questions that you may have. This should not be considered to be investing, legal, or tax advice.