For those looking to delve into the cryptocurrency market and purchase Bitcoin, Bitcoin exchanges are imperative. These exchanges usually offer different payment methods to purchase both Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, Some companies provide additional services, rather than solely operating as an exchange. As with virtually everything in this life, there are both benefits and disadvantages to cryptocurrency exchanges. Here are the top 10 Bitcoin exchanges for 2019.
This is the planet’s most popular Bitcoin exchange platform and is available to users in dozens of countries. Launched in San Francisco in 2012, Coinbase is the largest Bitcoin exchange, and therefore it is widely trusted and users needn’t fear being defrauded. As the largest Bitcoin broker in the world, it also offers an exchange, developer API, and wallet. As piece of mind, cash held in Coinbase wallets is FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) up to $250,000 US.
With a simple, seamless interface, users can purchase Bitcoin with a credit card, bank account debit card, SEPA transfer, Interac Online, and many more payment methods. Withdrawing Bitcoin is easy, as it can be converted into other cryptocurrency or deposited directly into a bank account. In addition to Coinbase, Bitcoin can be exchanged for US dollars and transferred to a specified bank.
Launched in 2013, itBit became the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in the United States in 2015 having received a charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). Based in New York City, the company offers two main services: a Bitcoin exchange and an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. It has become a highly reputable exchange for trading Bitcoin with fiat currency and is likewise popular for having high liquidity and low fees.
itBit is regulated as a bank, and its exchange services are available in all US states, except Texas. Because of this regulation, there is an extensive verification process required for all accounts. In addition, itBit can only accept wire transfer as the payment method, based upon the outlined set of regulations. The exchange supports three fiat currencies: the US dollar, the euro, and the Singapore dollar, and to date, Bitcoin is the only tradable cryptocurrency.
Established in 2013, Coinmama now serves over a million users in 180 countries. As a brokerage service, Coinmama lets customers purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with either a credit card or a SEPA transfer. Offering safe, secure transactions, users purchase coins directly from the company, rather than a trading platform. Therefore, the process is swift and easy, seeing as users don’t need to search for a buyer.
Yet, the convenience of a brokerage like Coinmama comes with a bit of a price, with regards to fees. For each purchase, the company charges a 5.9% transaction fee. Additionally, debit card and credit card transactions tack on another 5% in fee from the company’s payment processors. These exchange fees begin to add up, especially if a large sum of money is invested.
Founded in 2013, CEX.IO initially offered both Bitcoin exchange and a cloud mining service. However, in the beginning of 2015, the company closed its mining services, now operating only as an exchange. With CEX.IO, customers can purchase Bitcoins for low fees via credit card, a wire transfer or a SEPA transfer (if residing in the European Union). Transfers via bank transfer are free.
The company is one of the oldest and most popular Bitcoin exchanges in the industry. However, this exchange, unfortunately, isn’t available in many locations, including several US states (a total of 28 states aren’t supported by the company).
Another complaint users have regarding CEX.IO is the amount of hidden charges and service fees. The company charges a 7% service charge, which is included in the price of the cryptocurrency on the exchange. Thus, the high exchange rate seen on the site already includes the service charge for the brokerage service. In addition, CEX.IO also charges different fees for the trading platform.
CoinHouse was founded in 2014. The broker exchange has become a popular option for beginners who want to dip a toe, as it were, into the world of crypto investing. CoinHouse allows users to purchase cryptocurrency in Euros using a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer, with all transactions appearing in the fiat currency.
Coinhouse offers low fees and instantaneous delivery of purchased cryptocurrency. In addition to offering Bitcoin, the company also offers other altcoins such as Ethereum and Litecoin. CoinHouse is very reputable and the exchange complies with both Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Additionally, users must verify their ID in order to make purchases.
Founded in 2014, Bitpanda is one of the leading and most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe and the world. It is a fully automated platform, and has become one of the most popular brokerage services that offer buying/selling cryptocurrencies in the EU. For those residing outside Europe, it is an inexpensive method of purchasing Bitcoin with a SEPA transfer, or credit card.
In addition to Bitcoin, the company offers an extensive list of two-dozen cryptocurrencies that can be bought and sold. It also has four fiat currency wallets for the EUR, USD, GBP, and CHF. Bitpanda offers an array of payment methods, and maintains low fees that are already incorporated into the price of the respective cryptocurrency. The company also charges transaction fees, which vary depending on the cryptocurrency.
Based in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Bithoven is an exchange platform which supports all the major cryptocurrencies and over 400 altcoins. It charges fairly low trading fees and acceptable withdraw fees. Unlike several other exchanges, Bithoven does not restrict or impose limits on the number of daily withdrawals or deposits. This is a contributing factor to the exchanges increased popularity
Bithoven provides a web-based trading platform, with exceptional customer service (and even provides round the clock customer support with live chat). In addition, the company provides an extremely comprehensive FAQ section. Conversely, two disadvantages of Bithoven is the fact that it isn’t regulated (akin to most of the market), nor does it accept fiat currencies as a method of purchasing coins.
BitQuick was founded in 2013, and has offices in Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas. This Bitcoin exchange that lets users buy Bitcoins with cash via cash deposit. BitQuick is a decentralized exchange, meaning that it isn’t subject to the same regulations as centralized exchanges. The company’s services are is available in all US states, save for New York state (the company stopped its services here what for the BitLicense).
BitQuick has established itself as a reputable exchange for Bitcoin, however, the site was hacked in March 2016. Blessedly, no user funds were stolen, but the hackers did manage to gain access to user names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Apropos of verification, BitQuick must comply with certain minimum documentation for Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations, as it is registered as a Money Service Business by the US Treasury Department.
Gemini was founded in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins (Cameron and Tyler famously sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole their idea for Facebook, and were awarded $65 million USD in compensation). Subsequently, they invested $11 million of that payout into Bitcoin and became billionaires as a result.
Based in New York City, the Gemini exchange has become one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. The company is fully compliant with regulations, having been registered as a New York state limited liability trust. Consequently, Gemini has become a popular choice for users who seek security. It has become a go-to exchange for both individual and institutional clients.
Athena Investor Services
For those users looking to purchase large volumes of Bitcoin and other crypto-assets Athena Investor Services is a good option. Established in 2017, the company offers personalized over-the-counter (OTC) trading services to both individual clients and institutions.
This cryptocurrency brokerage allows users in the US to by and sell betwixt $10,000 and $500,000 in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. Because the company offers personalized assistance with the buying process, they charge a fee of 4% per buy. Payment is via wire transfer, and the cryptocurrency is usually sent within a couple of hours.
There are pros and cons to each of the Bitcoin exchanges discussed in this article. As the popularity and price of Bitcoin increases, so does the potential for nefarious parties to become involved within the industry. Always do your due diligence, protect yourself from scammers, and keep your investment safe.