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- The first step when investing in cryptocurrency involves setting up an account with reputable online exchanges
- Nearly all cryptocurrency investors are best served by using a combination of Coinbase, Binance, and Changelly, the 3 together cover virtually any need a crypto investor or trader could want
- The best cryptocurrency exchange platforms of 2018 all feature robust security, are easy to use, and are available to global investors
2018’s Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges – The Top 3 For All Needs
Shopping around for the best cryptocurrency exchange isn’t easy.
With new exchanges being established on a daily basis, it can be difficult to know which are legitimate and which aren’t. At the same time, some exchanges only serve users in specific geographic regions.
The good news is that as of 2018, there are still three leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms which serve global users, benefit from high user trust scores and cover the needs of almost any cryptocurrency investor or trader.
Together, these 3 top cryptocurrency exchanges should serve all of your crypto investing needs, whether you want to buy a little bit of bitcoin or many different altcoins, hold (or hodl) them for the long-term or be a day trader, and with nearly any payment method.
Coinbase – The Best Cryptocurrency Exchange for Beginners, for Simplicity and for Security
In December 2017, U.S. based exchange Coinbase made headlines by surpassing brokerage firm Charles Schwab, with regard to the platform’s number of active users.
Having grown from being just another bitcoin exchange, Coinbase currently boasts over 14 million active users.
This is significant because, in total, there are currently only 28.5 million active bitcoin wallet addresses with an active balance of at least 0.001 BTC.
Coinbase User Benefits
At present, Coinbase allows verified users (worldwide) to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum, using debit and credit cards and direct bank transfers. This makes Coinbase the most straightforward way, by far, for most new to market investors to get started with cryptocurrency. However, Coinbase also offers its users a variety of other benefits.
- Know Your Customer (KYC) ID verification means that accounts can be created and verified on Coinbase easily and quickly – as well as recovered with relative ease in the event of lost login details
- Interoperability with the popular GDAX trading platform means that users can buy cryptocurrency and start trading assets immediately and with very low fees
- Coinbase offers users the option of storing coins in offline cold storage ‘vaults’, keeping them extremely secure
- Coinbase customers in the United States can connect Coinbase Shift debit cards directly to Coinbase wallet balances
- Unlike other popular exchanges, Coinbase has never been successfully hacked or lost user funds due to internal or external security breaches
- Coinbase funds and coins insured – and in the U.S., even FDIC insured up to $250,000
Is Coinbase the Right Cryptocurrency Exchange for You?
If you are new to cryptocurrency, Coinbase should definitely be your first choice of exchange, at least in terms of initially buying Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Non-U.S. users, though, should keep in mind that they may not be able to benefit from certain Coinbase services.
If you are looking for simplicity, ease of use and security, then Coinbase would probably be your best bet.
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Binance – The Top Cryptocurrency Exchange for Altcoin Investors & Traders
Fortunately, Chinese-born and Hong-Kong based altcoin exchange Binance provides global users with one of the easiest ways to buy, trade and exchange almost any altcoin currently on the market.
- Huge selection of altcoins available
- The largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume
- Headquartered in Hong Kong and hosted on servers located in Japan and South Korea, Binance allows users to buy and trade digital assets, free from oversight from U.S. regulators. Moreover, like Coinbase, Binance has never been hacked and is regularly praised by users in terms of ease of use
- Binance offers users an easy signup process and protects user accounts using 2-factor authentication
- Binance allows users to trade hundreds of altcoins, ERC20 tokens, and top market cap cryptocurrencies
- Binance regularly lists altcoins prior to many other exchanges
- Low cryptocurrency exchange rates – trading and withdrawal fees on Binance are negligible
- Depositing and withdrawing funds to and from Binance is easy
Is Binance the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Site for You?
For anyone planning on investing or trading altcoins (beyond the four available on Coinbase), Binance is easily the most favorable exchange to consider using.
All that users need to remember is that Binance accounts cannot be credited with fiat cash. In this case, traders will need first to buy Bitcoin from an exchange like Coinbase, before getting started. You can see our guide on how to buy bitcoin for this.
Changelly – The Best Exchange for Cryptocurrency Instant Transactions & Swaps
Thankfully, instant exchanges like Changelly, can allow people to swap coins (for a small fee) for a wide variety of other altcoins instantly. Users who only want to buy tokens with a view to holding them long-term will, therefore, often find doing so via Changelly altogether easy.
For example, if there is an altcoin that you want to purchase, but it isn’t available at Binance, you can simply use any of your crypto assets and use Changelly to swap it instantly for over a hundred other altcoins.
Changelly is a bit different in the sense that you can only buy, not sell, altcoins. So, when purchasing cryptocurrency on Changelly you simply select the coin of your choice and input your wallet address. Changelly never takes custody of your coins, they just facilitate a swap from one coin to another.
- Very large selection of cryptocurrency altcoins
- Simple and easy to use
- Transactions are almost instant
- You can also buy bitcoin and many altcoins using a credit card
- Changelly doesn’t take custody of your cryptocurrency, it merely provides the swap and sends the new coin to the address you provide
Is Changelly the Best Instant Cryptocurrency Exchange for You?
If you are looking to quickly and easily swap one cryptocurrency for another, then Changelly is the way to go.
Changelly one of the simplest and most convenient cryptocurrency exchanges.
It’s so simple, in fact, that you can use this Changelly widget to swap cryptocurrency right now!
Do you have any experience with these 3 top cryptocurrency exchanges? What do you think is the best cryptocurrency exchange? Share in the comments section below.
Richard has developed and ran multiple online websites and communities with tens of millions of monthly visitors. He first discovered bitcoin and blockchain in 2012 and has been helping to educate others on its potential since then. Richard is very passionate about the crypto community. Read his inspiring story into cryptocurrency here.