The Top Bitcoin Exchanges

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Cardano
  • Dash
  • Decred
  • EOS
  • Ethereum Classic
  • IOTA
  • NEO
  • Qtum
  • Tether
  • Zcash
Fees
  • Maker: 0.0-0.1%; Taker: 0.1-0.2%
Target Market
  • Global
Currencies
  • USD, EUR, GBP, JPY
Deposit
  • Bank Wire

There is a reason Bitfinex consistently produces the highest volumes of USDBTC liquidity, and it is not just because of their industry-best 3:1 spot margin accounts.  Bitfinex offers a professional trading platform with minimal latency, tons of different cryptocurrencies on offer, and the lowest fees for a spot exchange on the market.

It can be a bit difficult to get your dollars into Bitfinex’s Hong Kong-based bank account, but many active traders simply deposit bitcoin.  US traders are not accepted, and Bitfinex frowns upon the somewhat common practice of using a VPN for trading.

Due to massive volumes and their relatively sophisticated platform, new traders will be required to deposit $10,000 in fiat or crypto equivalent to begin trading.

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ripple
Fees
  • Taker: 0.2%; Maker: 0.0%
Target Market
  • Global
Currencies
  • USD, EUR
Deposit
  • Credit Card, Bank Wire, SEPA, Debit Card

BitStamp is a solid alternative. First, it is open to residents of the United States, Europe, and many additional markets as well. It offers very good liquidity on the most important cryptos, namely bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and ripple, and fees are low. The platform is very bare boned, and the exchange interface more closely approximates a brokerage.

Best Overall Multicoin Exchange

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Augur
  • Banx Shares
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • BitShares
  • BlackCoin
  • BlockSafe
  • Bytecoin
  • Cardano
  • Clams
  • Cloakcoin
  • Counterparty
  • Dash
  • Decred
  • Diamond
  • DigiByte
  • DigixDAO
  • Dogecoin
  • EmerCoin
  • EOS
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Factom
  • Feathercoin
  • Franko
  • GameCredits
  • GetGems
  • Gnosis
  • Golem
  • Golos
  • Gridcoin
  • Gulden
  • HEAT
  • InfiniteCoin
  • IO Coin
  • IOTA
  • Jumbucks
  • Komodo
  • Lisk
  • MaidSafeCoin
  • MasterTrader
  • Monaco
  • MonaCoin
  • Monero
  • Monetary Unit
  • Namecoin
  • NEM
  • NEO
  • NeosCoin
  • NeuCoin
  • Novacoin
  • Nubits
  • Nxt
  • OKcash
  • OmiseGO
  • Omni
  • OpalCoin
  • Peercoin
  • PIVX
  • PotCoin
  • PrimeCoin
  • Qtum
  • Ripple
  • Rubycoin
  • SALT
  • Sapience
  • Scotcoin
  • Startcoin
  • Steemit
  • Stellar
  • Storj
  • Stratis
  • SuperNET
  • Sync
  • Synereo
  • Syscoin
  • Tether
  • Tezos
  • Transfercoin
  • Tron
  • Ubiq
  • Vanillacoin
  • Vericoin
  • Vertcoin
  • Viorcoin
  • VPN Coin
  • Waves
  • Zcash
Fees
  • .05-0.1%; Futures .025% on settlement
Target Market
  • Global
Currencies
  • Crypto Only
Deposit
  • Crypto Only

Wow, did Binance come out of nowhere!  The brainchild of ex-okcoin CTO Changpeng Zhao, Binance shook up a multicoin exchange market that was very much in need of a shakeup.  Thanks to its lowest in category fees, a large selection of coins, interesting promotions, and a stable platform, Binance has been able to dethrone Poloniex and Bittrex as the crypto to crypto exchange with the most volume on most all the popular cryptoasset pairs.  

An additional ingredient for this stunning success is their multiplatform support.  Binance has applications in the Android store, with an iOS app coming soon. Unlike Poloniex, it is easy to trade on your mobile.  The web platform is every bit as good as the competition, and it has even developed a lightning fast downloadable client.

Best Exchange for Leveraged Trading

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Cardano
  • EOS
  • Ripple
  • Tron
Fees
  • Maker: -.025%; Taker: .075%
Currencies
  • Crypto Only
Deposit
  • Crypto Only

Bitmex is the number one cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, offering massive leverages on a number of cryptoasset pairs in both spot and futures markets.  Leverages are high (customizable from 1.1-100X), fees are microscopic, and volumes are absolutely massive.

Bitmex is 100% bitcoin.  Deposits are in bitcoin only.  All trading, even non-bitcoin derivatives, are collateralized in bitcoin.  This allows for entirely anonymous accounts, though US traders are not accepted and it is recommended not to use a VPN. Bitmex is a responsible bitcoin citizen, batching withdrawals once a day, which helps both from a security perspective as well as minimizing blockchain congestion.

Bitmex is unique in that it’s exponential growth has not undermined it’s support.  Much of the support is offered publicly by way of the trollbox, but emails are quickly answered as well.  This might very well be due to Bitmex’s singular support for bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, which greatly minimizes transactional overhead.

Runner Up: OKCoin

Best Exchange for P2P Trading: LocalBitcoins

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
Fees
  • Set by seller
Target Market
  • Global
Currencies
  • USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CNY, DKK, HKD, HUF, IDR, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, MXN, MYR, NGN, NIS, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, ZAR
Deposit
  • Credit Card, Bank Wire, ACH, SEPA, Paypal, Debit Card, interac, Cash, OKPay, Perfect Money, Crypto Only, e-transfer, Neteller, Skrill, Money Transfer

LocalBitcoins has arguably done more to spread bitcoin to every corner of the globe than any other business.  The model is simple: localbitcoins is a market which directly connects local buyers and sellers, who may transact however they would like, with the payment method of their choice.  While they offer an escrow mechanism for online exchanges, many users actually meet face to face, utilizing Localbitcoins reputational management system, which aggregates feedback and the number of transactions for each member to provide a trust score.   

The beautiful thing about Localbitcoins is how localized the transactions can be.  The most common or sought after deposit options in each location are generally available, as bitcoin sellers are intimately aware of the local market conditions and requirements.   Depending on the market Localbitcoins can get expensive, but that is often due to a lack of tangible alternatives.

All the Deposit Options!

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
Fees
  • 0.9%
Target Market
  • Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela
Currencies
  • USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CNY, DKK, HUF, INR, JPY, KRW, MXN, MYR, PLN, RUB, SEK, SGD, ZAR
Deposit
  • Credit Card, Bank Wire, SEPA, Debit Card, OKPay, Neteller, Skrill

Cubits is an underrated bitcoin brokerage offering an array of deposit options catering to about 20+ different markets and currencies.  Cubits beats out competitors Coinmama and CEX not only because they offer lower fees on credit card deposits, but due to their integration of a number of payment options important outside of the EU, like OKPay and Skrill.

Unlike CEX, the Cubits price index is quite close to industry consensus, so the price quoted is more or less widely accepted.

Keep an Eye Out for Cashapp

The US bitcoin market has been pretty much dominated by Coinbase, which came early to the market and amassed massive volumes of liquidity thanks to their handsome and easy to use product.

Enter CashApp from Square, which began trialing a buy bitcoin option on the application.  There is massive disruptive potential here. There are few money transfer applications in the world that reach such a massive audience.  Paypal is one. Square Cash is another. Don’t bet against Jack Dorsey, armed with Square’s $16b market cap, and opposite a company in Coinbase that makes one mistake after another.

The Suit and Tie Exchange

Cryptos
  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
Fees
  • Maker: 0%; Taker: 0.25-0.1%
Target Market
  • Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
Currencies
  • USD, EUR, GBP
Deposit
  • Credit Card, Bank Wire, ACH, Faster Payments

Coinbase is still the best exchange in the US, arguably the world, for bitcoin traders.  HOWEVA – I’m using this best of page for an airing of grievances.

Never mind that their support has proven wholly inadequate to manage increased demand.  Never mind their CEO’s annoying habit of posting messages on twitter which may or may not contradict his own company’s statements, and never mind the constant services outages and freezes (getting better I should note).

What really grates about Coinbase is the perception that they (or their CEO more specifically) is sort of trying to undermine bitcoin.  Sounds counter intuitive, does it not? And yet:

  1. They complain about the cost of transactions, which they themselves disproportionately contribute to, but didn’t invest a dime to alleviate the problem until very late. 
  2. It took them months to integrate segwit and they still have not batched transactions (see point 1), but they did find the time to do dumb stuff like integrate cryptokitties.  
  3. They surprised the market with a bitcoin cash integration which caused a spike thanks to insider trading, and then a collapse which no doubt lost a lot of their customers a lot of money.
  4. They continued to support the S2X hard fork against the overwhelming will of the community, up until the point that it failed technically in very public and humiliating fashion, crashing upon launch.    
  5. Their CEO unloaded most of his bitcoin to buy Ethereum, and so there seems to be quite the conflict of interest which helps to explain all this other stuff.  

But they are still the best US bitcoin exchange, and their hiring of PR managers will hopefully help to prevent some of the stuff above.