The Best Altcoin Exchanges of 2019

The explosion of the cryptocurrency market has created a glut of cryptocurrency and altcoin exchanges. It can be really tough to tell at a glance which exchange protects your privacy, your investments and provides you with the best services. You can easily find a list of altcoin exchanges, but how about what makes one better than another?

Some accept fiat currency, while others do not. Some exchanges partner with numerous wallets, while others use their own. You’ll find exchanges that deal in numerous cryptocurrencies and those that only exchange one or two. Some brokerages and exchanges offer an altcoin exchange while other limit their trades to Bitcoin and Ether. This guide offers a complete look at the cryptocurrency and altcoin exchanges available not just a list of cryptocurrency exchanges:

  1. What Is a Altcoin Exchange?
  2. How to Buy Altcoins & Cryptocurrencies
  3. Best Altcoin Exchange Sites
  4. Types of Cryptocurrency & Altcoin Exchanges
  5. Factors to Consider When Choosing an Altcoin Exchange
  6. Final Thoughts

What Is an Altcoin Exchange?

Similar to a stock exchange or fiat currency exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange, provides a technical system for the purchase or trade of a cryptocurrency and altcoins. This type of financial exchange may allow the transfer of other digital assets, as well. The user can buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies on these financial exchanges which are also referred to as digital currency exchanges (DCEs). Like other financial exchanges, the investor can make a limit order or market order. The brokerage process at the best altcoin exchange sites works just as it does for other financial assets with the exchange fostering transaction and collecting transaction fees.

7 Steps on How to Buy Altcoins

Buying altcoins for the first type can be a daunting task.  There are so many different kinds of altcoins to buy: Ripple, EOS, Cardano, NEO, Monero, Litcoin are just a couple of the most popular.  Before you buy, keep a couple things in mind.  Not your keys, not your crypto.  This means that if you keep your cryptocurrency or altcoins on an exchange, you open yourself up to losing your investment.  Many exchanges do not insure your crypto.  It is a best practice to store your private keys offline.  We recommend using a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S or Ledger Nano X. After you decide on an altcoin to buy and you have a secure wallet available, it’s time to buy your altcoin!

In this example, let’s say we want to buy NEO.

  1. Sign up for a Coinbase account (get $10 of free Bitcoin with the link below) or an alternative
  2. Buy Bitcoin using a credit card, debit card or bank account
  3. Find where NEO is available to be traded and create an account on the best exchange.  Some of the best altcoin exchanges include Binance, Changelly, and Bittrex. (Find the entire list below)
  4. Find the deposit page for Bitcoin, find the deposit address, and send your Bitcoin from Coinbase to the altcoin exchange. Be sure to read the pro tips below first!
  5. Once your Bitcoin deposit has been confirmed, you will be able to purchase NEO.
  6. Go to the NEO/BTC trading pair and buy your altcoin.
  7. Once you buy the desired amount, we recommend transferring the NEO to your hardware wallet to keep your NEO safe.

Keep in mind that transactions are not instant.  They may take as long as 30 min or an hour to deposit or withdraw your crypto depending on the exchange you are using and how busy the network is.  For Bitcoin transactions, you can use https://www.blockchain.com/explorer but you can also search for “{insert your crypto} explorer” in Google and you will find a blockchain explorer where you can track your transaction. Be sure you take precautions to ensure for a perfect altcoin trading experience.

3 Pro Tips to Avoid Losing Your Newly Bought Altcoins

  • Start Small & Go Slow! – Buy a small amount of Bitcoin first and test sending it to your hardware wallet or to a trusted friend.  Get familiar with the process and how you can track your transactions on the blockchain.
  • Test Withdrawals – After buying your altcoin, make a small withdrawal to your hardware wallet as a test.  If everything goes smoothly, then you may want to increase the withdrawal or withdraw the rest.  Remember, if you withdraw your altcoin to the wrong address, it’s gone forever.  Better to be safe and go slow than be sorry!
  • Enable All 2-Factor Authentication – These add an extra step between a malicious actor and your cryptocurrency.  Enable 2 factor authenticators like Google Authenticator, Authy, phone number, and/or email to secure your account.

What are the Best Altcoin Exchanges in 2019?

Finding the best exchange for cryptocurrency trading requires some research not just a list of cryptocurrency exchanges. Although there are copious amounts of brokerages and exchanges, not all of them serve all locations. They also vary by which cryptocurrencies they offer. Here’s our list of the best exchanges for cryptocurrency with extensive reviews so you can study each of the cryptocurrency exchange sites without visiting each to determine which is the best cryptocurrency exchange for you and which is the best exchange for altcoins for you.

Coinbase – Most User Friendly Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinbase - Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinbase – Cryptocurrency Exchange

Think of Coinbase as the McDonald’s of cryptocurrency exchanges. It is far and away one of the cryptocurrency exchange sites in existence. As of 2019, it has served 5.9 million customers in 33 countries for a total of $6 billion in cryptocurrency trades. Based in San Francisco, CA, It is the “world’s largest Bitcoin broker.” Customers can make purchases using a connected bank account, Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfer, Interac Online and other purchasing options. It offers limited payment methods though when the investor wants to cash out. It offers both high buying limits and high liquidity, plus it is known for its user-friendliness. It provides the most direct method of purchasing Bitcoin available.

Users can conduct instant purchases when they have a credit card registered as a backup funding source. Its’ one downside is that it can track how its users spend their Bitcoin purchases. Moving coin purchases to Coinbase Pro results in zero transaction fees but transfer to a cold wallet directly does result in a fee which varies on the size of the transaction.  You may also be interested in our list of the best Coinbase alternatives.

Coinbase Pro – Best Cryptocurrency Exchange For Intermediate Traders

CoinbasePro - Cryptocurrency Exchange

CoinbasePro – Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinbase Pro offers an unusual, unique feature among cryptocurrency exchanges – it charges no fees for purchases of BTC, Litecoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, 0x, Basic Attention Token, and they are adding more tokens regularly. You need a Coinbase account before you can sign up for Coinbase Pro. Both firms are owned by the same parent firm.

Coinbase Pro is for the more experience trader and will find a trading dashboard similar to those on advance stock trading platforms. It is worth it to learn if you conduct frequent trades since you’ll save quite a bit of money with zero transaction fees. It is open to users from Europe, the United Kingdom and the US. Moving money to Coinbase Pro continues the user’s savings since Coinbase Pro also charges zero withdrawal fees.

Changelly – Easiest Altcoin Exchange

Changelly makes it simple to get started purchasing or trading altcoins, but it lacks basic Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks that more secure exchanges use. It offers essentially no verification or even registration process. Sign up with your email.

Its strong point is the number of cryptocurrencies it offers, currently 35. It also provides cryptocurrencies to exchange with fiat pairs like the US dollar and the Euro. It also connects to other exchanges when you purchase and searches through them to find the best available price for your purchase or sale. Because of this feature to maximize your investment, each transaction takes a total of five to 30 minutes.

Changelly charges a transaction fee of 0.5 percent on each trade. It refers to it as a commission fee though which may cause confusion for those moving to cryptocurrency from trading traditional financial assets. You’ll also pay a miner’s fee from your cryptocurrency balance.

You will need either a VISA or MasterCard or a cryptocurrency Changelly supports to purchase. You’ll also need either a hot or cold wallet to move the purchase into since Changelly does not offer its own wallet. It’s not known for its ease of use for purchases. In fact, it provides step-by-step guides to buying with cryptocurrency or a credit card due to this. It’s owned by CoinSutra.

Binance – Best Altcoin Exchange Overall

Binance - Best Cryptocurrency & Altcoin Exchange

Binance – Best Cryptocurrency & Altcoin Exchange

Malta’s Binance exchange conducted its own initial coin offering (ICO). It continues to experience rapid growth and currently ranks as one of the top ten cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. Binance lets investors trade in more than 140 altcoins.

Registration requires an email address. Binance gives each registrant 1 QTUM, its currency, as a welcome gift. It offers a Community Coin Per Month, multi-lingual customer service and mobile apps servicing both Android and iOS.

This altcoin exchange offers a lower transaction fee than most exchanges, 0.1 percent. It provides a discount for day traders when using the platform’s native currency, Binance Coin (BNB). Payment of your trading fee in BNB further reduces the fee. Saving traders money puts it in the running for best exchange for altcoins.

Kraken – Top Altcoin Exchange

Kraken - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange

Kraken – Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange

Kraken provides one of the longest standing and most vast cryptocurrency exchanges, serving more than 190 countries. It has kept its superior reputation by upholding its regulations and providing dependable security making it one of the best cryptocurrency exchange sites.

It, like Coinbase Pro, features a steep learning curve. While it is not the easiest exchange for altcoins to master, it provides one of the best choices for high-volume trades. It’s geared toward investors with knowledge of order books and order types. It offers low transaction fees on a sliding scale depending on the amount of the transaction. It lowers the fee as the amount of the transaction increases, all the way down to zero percent for 30-volume trades of $10,000,000 or greater. Your first trade will generally carry a transaction fee of 0.16 to 0.26 percent, so long as it falls with $0 to $50,000.

It serves about four million clients with 20 potential cryptocurrencies to trade. Since its founding in 2011, it has handled more than $140 billion in trades. Its high volumes and experience put it among the best altcoin exchange sites.

BitMEX – Most Popular Leveraged Altcoin Exchange Site

Bitmex - Most Popular Leveraged Cryptocurrency Exchange

Bitmex – Most Popular Leveraged Cryptocurrency Exchange

Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, BitMEX, a peer-to-peer trading platform, was previously one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges. It offered leveraged contracts in a derivative market. That began changing in late 2018 and the earliest part of 2019. Older discussions of this cryptocurrency exchange will reflect its previous high rank as an exchange. In the earliest days of 2019, users began complaining of random account shut downs. It did not occur to those with suspect accounts only, but to respected financial journalists who wrote firsthand of the experience in warnings against using the exchange.

KuCoin

KuCoin provides easy trading via apps for Android and iOS. It does not offer much in the way of security though. You’ll get a quick sign up and numerous cryptocurrencies you can trade. It offers many altcoins including DragonChain and KCS.

It charges a trade fee of 0.1 percent. It does provide discounts when a user pays or holds KCS. This discount begins at one percent per 1000 KCS. KuCoin caps this as a 30 percent discount. Deposits are free. You’re charged for withdrawals. You’ll need BTC or another cryptocurrency to open an account. You also need an email to open an account.

Huobi Pro

Huobi Pro, founded in China, serves the international community as a cryptocurrency exchange, trading in more than 130 countries. Its main office is in Singapore. It ranks in the top five exchanges according to CoinMarketCap. It offers 244 cryptocurrency pairs putting it in among the best exchange sites for altcoin.

It’s known for protecting user privacy. It makes trading on the go easier with apps for Android and iOS. Huobi Pro requires an email, mobile phone and that the user share their country of residence to open a trading account. It offers stop-limit orders like a stock exchange would.

Bittrex

The US cryptocurrency Bittrex offers more than 190 cryptocurrencies to trade. Their location requires significant compliance via the US Securities Exchange Commission. Bittrex offers one of the largest trade volumes of BTC worldwide. It charges a .25 percent service fee.

You can register with just an email, but you need to submit to the KYC process to trade. This includes submitting identification documents and your phone number. You must complete this process before you can withdraw funds. If you want to conducts higher limit trades, you must enable two-factor authentication. It offers basic accounts that allow withdrawals of up to three BTC per day and advanced accounts that allow withdrawals of up to 100 BTC per day. You cannot deposit fiat currency or make purchases with it. Bittrex offers only cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trades.

Bittrex also functions as a learning site for new traders. It provides candlestick charts and crosshairs for monitoring currency rates. It put it all together in an easy to use interface.

Bitpanda

European brokage firm, Bitpanda, conducts one of the largest volumes of trades in Europe. You can buy, sell and trade BTC, Litecoin, Ether, Ripple, Bcash and many other altcoins. It charges a one percent transaction fee for purchase using your bank, but a three percent fee for credit card purchases. It offers some payment methods only to Europeans, including SEPA, SOFORT, NETELLER and Skrill. It offers an Android app.

One of Europe’s more secure brokerages, it requires a registration and verification method similar to US exchanges. You’re required to provide a national identification, plus conduct a video verification with a Bitpanda staffer. This is a standard KYC/AML practice in many countries. You can trade using both fiat currencies and cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency at Bitpanda. Its flexibility ranks it among the best exchange sites for altcoins.

Bitstamp

Founded in 2011, Bitstamp was created as a European competitor to the Mt. Gox exchange. While it began in Slovenia, its offices moved to the United Kingdom in 2013, then to Luxembourg in 2016. It has earned a reputation for reliability. Slovenian developers Damijan Merlak and Nejc Kodric created the exchange and expanded it with investment funds from Pantera Capital, a partnership between Benchmark, Fortress Investment Group and Ribbit Capital.

To deposit or withdraw, you must verify your identity. If you have all identification needed at the ready, this requires two hours. You’ll need to scan your driver’s license, passport or national ID to provide your residency and address.

You can use one of two fiat currencies, US dollars or Euros, or purchase using Bitcoin or Ripple. Some items can be traded user-to-user trade, such as Ripple; others require user-to-Bitstamp trades which may have an unfavorable exchange rate. Of course, Bitstamp charges fees. For international wire deposits, you’ll pay a 0.05 percent Bitstamp fee. The minimum charge is $7.5 USD or EUR and requires two to five business days to be completed. If you use Bitstamp to purchase, the withdrawal charge is a 0.09 percent Bitstamp fee with a minimum charge of $15.00 USD or EUR. The minimum international wire withdrawals is $50.00 USD or EUR. These, too, take two to five business days. The Bitcoin trading fee is 0.25 percent for less than $20,000 of trades. It lowers depending on the trade volume with the lowest fee of 0.10 percent for a monthly volume of greater than $20 million trades. Trades using USD or EUR get charged a flat fee of 0.20 percent. Bitstamp requires minimum trades of $5.

The firm also provides two mobile apps, one Android, one for iOS. It does not support altcoins, derivate trades, futures or margin trading services. It has a responsive customer support division. They usually respond within an hour. It offers BTC/EUR and ETH/EUR trading pairs. Its reputable nature and customer service make it one of the best cryptocurrency exchange sites.

CEX.IO

Founded in 2013, CEX.IO began as a combination Bitcoin exchange and cloud mining service. It transitioned in 2016 to coin exchange only and added Ethereum to the exchange. You cannot really consider it an altcoin exchange since it only offers Bitcoin and Ethereum. Located in London, it has earned a strong reputation. It provides buy and sell methods for Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can make a deposit through either a bank transfer or credit card.

It serves most of the world including some US states. CEX.io does not support 28 US states and two US territories. While the business incorporated in the UK as a private limited company, it is also registered with the US Treasury’s FinCEN. It meets Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council compliance standards. According to its website, the exchange use offline cold storage. Its security protocols include two-factor authentication via Google Authenticator, SMS or call requests.

Registration is free. During it you will need to set up two-factor authentication. CEX.io also requires verification. You must provide your full name, address, and photo identification such as your passport or driver’s license. It also requires a proof of address document. To register a credit card, you must submit a selfie taken at the upload time which must match your photo identification. Once verified, you can deposit to your account using a bank transfer or credit card. While credit cards work faster, they carry extra fees. Bank transfers cost less but require a one to three day wait. Once funded, you can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum at CEX.IO. You cannot use a credit card if you live in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria or Vietnam. Check the website for a list of countries that cannot use bank transfers as it is lengthy. The fees vary for transactions. If you use US dollars, the fees are 2.9 percent plus $4.99. Using Euros results in a 2.9 percent fee plus €4.99. Using RUB results in a 2.9 percent fee plus 499 RUB.
The amount of bitcoin available for purchase varies by account type:

  • Basic accounts – up to $400 per day with a monthly limit of $2,000,
  • Verified accounts – up to $10,000 per day with a monthly limit of $100,000,
  • Individual Business & Corporate accounts – unlimited purchases.
  • The site provides email support.

Coinmama

Founded in 2013 the Israeli exchange Coinmama makes it easy for you to purchase cryptocurrencies. It transferred its operations and business registrations to Slovakia after its inception. It allows more than 180 countries to trade on its exchange, including parts of the US.

It has a registration and verification process similar to Bitstamp’s. You can breeze through it if you have the scans of your photo identification ready. Verification removes the limits on your daily and monthly purchases. Enter your email, set a password and your country of residence. You must confirm your email. Verification requires you share your phone number, address, and city, plus upload a photo identification. Coinmama also requires a selfie of you holding your ID and a note which the website specifies the wording. You can purchase once you are verified.

You can buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Qtum and Ripple. This makes it one of the best altcoin exchange sites. Coinmama bases its cryptocurrency spot rates on TradeBlock XBX rates, then adds a 5.90 percent fee. Once you complete verification, your daily limit will be $5,000 with a monthly maximum of $20,000. Providing additional documentation opens you to higher tiers.

While it serves many locations, it currently does not allow users from Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, North Korea, Palestinian territories, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe. It serves 26 US states.

Let’s talk fees. The exchange charges a 5.90 percent trading fee. Add to that a five percent fee on credit or debit card transactions. It charges zero fees to European paying via SEPA transfer. Some credit card processors consider cryptocurrency purchases as cash advances. The results in higher fees. Despite their high fees, the cryptocurrency exchange is one of the most reputable in existence. It is know for solid service and good customer support.

Paxful

Founded in 2015, Paxful provides a peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling cryptocurrency. It functions similar to eBay. It mediates an exchange between two parties.

The exchange offers numerous payment methods including credit/debit card, bank transfer, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and gift cards. You can use those Amazon, iTunes, Amazon and Steam gift cards you got for Christmas here.

You’ll pay no fees to Paxful when purchasing when purchasing Bitcoin directly from a buyer. The seller can charge an arbitrary fee though depending on the payment method used. Gift cards tend to experience the highest fees. The site charges Bitcoin sellers a one perfect fee. It also uses mining fees. Its transaction limits are set by the trade participants.
Paxful uses Comodo security which includes 256-bit SSL encryption. It also adheres to PCI vulnerability standards. Check each seller’s profile before buying to ensure it has positive feedback. The site protects user funds in escrow while the trades complete. It also uses password secured wallets and two-factor authentication.

Its customer support group provides quick responses. Users can contact them through email, phone, chat or their Facebook page.

Paxful lets all countries register, but limitations may be set by the buyers and sellers. Each sets their own limits on the countries they support. Payment methods vary in which countries may use them.

This exchange provides one of the most efficient ways to trade Bitcoin and one of the most diverse method lists of payment. It has a superior reputation and provides fairness by mediating peer-to-peer trades that experience problems. Its unique setup lets you shop around for the best deal on Bitcoin making it one of the best cryptocurrency exchange sites.

LocalBitcoins

Founded in 2012, LocalBitcoins connects Bitcoin buyers and sellers. While it may have begun as a local peer-to-peer marketplace, it now calls the whole world its home. This Bitcoin exchange offers security and an easy-to-use trading platform.

It is not a full cryptocurrency exchange nor could you call it an altcoin exchange. It is not a trade exchange at all. It functions like Paxful, letting buyers and sellers trade directly. It does hold the Bitcoin in escrow until the transaction completes. This protects both parties.

Using LocalBitcoins puts the brunt of safety on the user. You need to consider the seller and their profile before spending any money.

While the exchange is open to most locations, two notable exceptions exist – Germany and the US state of New York.
While most of options herein only offer bitcoin exchange, you do have one candidate for the best altcoin exchange in Coinmama. For Bitcoin only, you have multiple opportunities.

Poloniex

Established in 2014, the US based altcoin exchange Poloniex offers more than 100 cryptocurrencies for purchase, sale and trade making it the best exchange for altcoins in the US. It boasts one of the largest trade volumes among worldwide exchanges. In 2017, it ranked as the highest volume ETH exchange. It supports an independent market of Ethereum-based crypto coins, in addition to its BTC market.

To trade on Poloniex, you’ll need to register with your email address and deposit Tether dollars (USDT) which means you’ll need to have an existing account on another crypto exchange before you can purchase. This top altcoin exchange only provides cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trades, so you can not purchase with fiat currency. It charges a fee of 0.15 to 0.25 percent depending on whether you’re purchasing or selling.

It provides many tools geared toward high volume trading and experienced traders, such as candlestick charts at time scales from five minutes to 24 hours and a stop-limit feature.

Bitfinex

Established in 2014 in Hong Kong, Bitfinex offers trades of using 13 cryptocurrencies. Its users can purchase, sell or trade using cryptocurrency or fiat currency. This top cryptocurrency exchange offers Bcash, Bitcoin, Dash, EOS, Ethereum Classic, Ethereum, IOTA, Litecoin, Monero, OmiseGO, Ripple, Santiment, Zcash and many more.

Its fees can seem quite hefty. For trades using US dollars, the exchange charges a minimum wire fee of at least $20. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay a trade fee of 0.1 to 0.8 percent depending on trade volume. Each withdrawal and deposit also incurs a fee.

Advanced traders can take advantage of features such as fill or kill, stop-limit orders, stop orders, trailing stop and TWAP. The site provides market charts.

Bitfinex requires registration that includes national identification plus verification. The entire process requires 15 to 20 business days from ID submission to validation, so do not expect to sign up and trade the same day. As of January 12, 2018, the exchange requires new registrants to adhere to a put a limit of S10,000 USD or its equivalent in cryptocurrency. Without this the account will not function for purchases. It still offers one of the best cryptocurrency exchange sites, especially for high volume traders. It offers a web version and apps for Android and iOS.

Types of Altcoin Exchanges

Two main types of cryptocurrency exchanges exist. These are:

  • fiat exchanges,
  • cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchanges.

A fiat exchange lets the investor purchase, trade or sell a cryptocurrency using a government-backed currency, also called fiat currency. Examples of fiat currency include the US dollar, the Mexican peso and the Japanese yen.

A cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchange lets the investor purchase, trade or sell a cryptocurrency using other cryptocurrencies. Examples of this include purchasing Ether with Bitcoin or XRP with Ether. This type of exchange is also referred to as an altcoin exchange.

Further differences exist. Investors have three types of platforms from which to choose for making cryptocurrency investments:

  • traditional cryptocurrency exchanges
  • cryptocurrency brokers
  • direct trading platforms

A traditional exchange lets investors buy, sell and trade according to the prevailing market price. Like the New York Stock Exchange or the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but for cryptocurrency, these exchanges act as a middleman for a transaction between a buyer and a seller. A cryptocurrency broker still facilitates a purchase, but the broker determines the price. It usually uses the prevailing market price but adds a fee. The direct trading platform enables peer-to-peer trading. Think of it as the Napster for cryptocurrencies.

Any of these three may allow fiat purchases. Purchasing platforms that allow purchases with fiat may allow you to do so using by linking your bank account, credit card or by loading cash into a digital wallet by some other means. When you make your very first purchase of cryptocurrency, you’ll have to use an cryptocurrency exchange that accepts fiat currency because you will not yet own any other cryptocurrency. After that, you can move to using an exchange that accepts cryptocurrencies. The best cryptocurrency exchange provides the type of platform you need and the type of trades you need. It might be one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges or it could be a small altcoin exchange in your home country.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Exchange for Altcoins

Not all exchanges and platforms are created equally. Some protect your investment better than others. Consider the following six factors when choosing the best exchange for altcoins to use:

  • security
  • supported currencies
  • commissions and fees charged
  • payment methods
  • geographic location
  • simplicity

The security offered by a platform and its legitimacy go hand in hand in finance. Many exchanges have been hacked. These hacks can result in massive losses, such as the loss of $31.6 billion in cryptocurrencies when Bithumb, a South Korean exchange was hacked. Just as when you shop for a cryptocurrency wallet, you should examine the security features of the platform first. What encryption does it offer? How does it protect your identity? How much data regarding transactions does it make public? Which security methods besides secure socket layer (SSL) encryption does it use? Examine its insurance, liquidity and spread.

Next, determine what cryptocurrencies it supports. Initially, you’ll be hamstrung to an exchange that allows fiat purchases, but thereafter, if you plan to make cryptocurrency investing a regular facet of your portfolio, you’ll need an exchange that supports trades of a multitude of crypto coins, also referred to as tokens. Also examine its purchase and withdrawal limits, as well as its trading volume. The best exchange for altcoins might not accept fiat.

Quality costs money. A secure cryptocurrency exchange that accepts fiat currency and runs trades in multiple cryptocurrencies may change heftier fees and commissions than a basic platform. Moving to high-volume trading can rack up transaction charges. This means it is important to shop around for a quality altcoin exchange that charges reasonable fees.

As mentioned, some platforms accept multiple methods of payment, including the use of existing cryptocurrency in a hot or cold wallet, linking your bank account, credit card, digital payment methods like PayPal or Google Wallet or by loading cash directly into the proprietary wallet on the exchange. The more options for payment methods provided, the better since this provides you flexibility.

You are safest choosing a local exchange. Local means within the borders of the country in which you reside. This protects your purchases by ensuring that they adhere to the legislation that governs cryptocurrency purchases within your nation. Check the exchange’s license. Most nations require cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain a license to trade assets, just as all other types of financial exchanges.

Finally, examines how simple to use the platform is. You can go through the motions of a trade without making an actual purchase. Explore the website or app. How hard is it to find what feature you want or to determine what the altcoin exchange offers? The easier to use the exchange is and the better the liquidity is, the more likely you’ll be to use it.

Don’t Forget a Altcoin Wallet!

Besides choosing the right crypto exchange for yourself, you will also need a cold and hot cryptocurrency wallet to store your crypto coins. While most exchanges offer a built-in wallet online, you should not use these for long-term storage of your purchases. They are prone to hacking.

If you plan to shop with a portion of the coins purchased, keep a fraction of your investment in a hot wallet online. Move most of your investment into a cold wallet though. You can purchase these for $50 to $299. You can also use a paper wallet. You’ll need an app or to use a website like myetherwallet.com to create the paper wallet, then print it. These printed documents are best kept in a safe or safety deposit box as you would with stock or bonds.

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

Final Thoughts

There is no one final “best cryptocurrency exchange” but you will find a number of top cryptocurrency exchanges. The best altcoin exchange varies depending on where you live, what cryptocurrencies you want to trade, your trading frequency and whether you’re starting out as a trader or you long ago established yourself as one of the earliest traders of Bitcoin.

In the US, Coinbase or Coinbase Pro probably makes the most sense for most investors. In Nigeria, Luno probably makes for the best choice. Your location decides which exchanges you can use, so it determines which provides the best choice for you. Hopefully, this guide to the top cryptocurrency exchanges helped much more than a simple list of cryptocurrency exchanges.

One Comment

  1. Jason
    Jason

    Great list of altcoin exchanges! I personally will be using coinbase pro and binance.

    April 14, 2019 at 10:47 PM

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