The best bitcoin exchanges 2018
Coinbase combine an attractive interface, a great site to get bitcoins with a debit card, and multiple online wallets for your digital currency. Over 4,800,000 users are signed up, including 45,000 merchants, and 9000 developer apps. Works well for European, American, & Canadian customers. I’ve also written a comprehensive Coinbase review for more detail.
- Really easy to use
- Lots of long-time customers
- Online wallet available
- Slightly more work needed when verifying account
Localbitcoins is quite a popular for p2p (person to person) transactions all over the world. Simply put, you interact directly with the guy selling to you. Out of all the bitcoin sites listed here, this is one of the first and most reputed. Escrow and dispute resolution is provided by the site.
- Great way to meet people
- PayPal also available
- No verification needed
- Popular in most countries
- May take longer to conclude transaction
- Risks associated with anonymous transactions
- Some bank accounts have been suspended after receiving money
Bitmex is the leading bitcoin margin trading site. Users can trade cryptocurrency derivatives with up to 100x leverage. Pairs include BTC/USD, Yen, Monero, Ripple, Dash, and Ethereum. Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes has used his experience as an equity derivatives trader for Deutsche Bank to design, build, and maintain exactly the type of platform that users are looking for. Granted that this platform is for experienced and seasoned traders. Beginners should avoid trading coins here without knowing the implied volatility risks.
- Leading platform for bitcoin derivatives and margin trading
- Great and functional user experience throughout the site
- Up to 100x leverage
- With such high leverage it’s easy to overlook implied risk factor
CEX is one of those international bitcoin exchanges accepting euros, British pounds, US dollars, Russian Rubles, and Ethereum. Needless to say, CEX is very popular within those regions. There is a no-nonsense landing page, giving you the option to buy or sell 100, 200, 500, or 1000 USD worth of Bitcoin. I like the transparency given to users about how much they will actually pay – even before they sign up. With the best security practices, a modern and simple user interface, and both bank transfer & credit card purchases, CEX is indeed a good European alternative to Coinbase.
- Bank transfer and credit card deposits
- Very easy to use & great for beginners
- Users know how much they will pay before even signing up
- Buying and selling Ethereum is available
- Recently Litecoin was unlisted
Poloniex definitely is the best cryptocurrency exchange. Why? Well firstly because of the sheer amount of users that flock here to trade their altcoins. Poloniex has been through extremely fast traffic growth since the demise of its rival Cryptsy in 2016, and especially since the recent altcoin bubble of early 2017. Traffic has grown from 7 million monthly visits in February 2017 to 30 million in May 2017. Secondly, Poloniex has the nicest trading interface out there, both for mobile and desktop users this will work wonders. Please note that because Poloniex is a pure “crypto” exchange, it is not possible to deposit government (fiat) currency. You’ll need to first buy bitcoin elsewhere, and then deposit it to be able to tade.
- The most popular crypto exchange
- Good margin trading (up to 4x) available on largest altcoins
- One of the best trading interfaces for mobile and desktop browsers
- Has the best volumes for all major altcoins including Ethereum.
- Not possible to deposit fiat currency
Kraken is becoming a reputed bitcoin broker, with many markets served. Europeans love it just as much as Americans because they work well through SEPA, have an easy verification process, and are very knowledgeable when it come to cryptography and security. As of early 2017, Kraken has been re-positioning themselves as a crypto exchange by adding multiple new altcoins.
- Cryptographic communications
- Cheapest rates for trading, depositing and withdrawing
- works well for Europeans and North America
- Site not as visually intuitive
Bitsquare is not to be missed for the more technically advanced. A decentralized p2p platform that keeps you super safe. Over 60 crypocurrencies can be traded and you can even purcahse btc using a bank transfer, escrow, & trusted 3rd parties.
- Incredibly advanced (technologically)
- p2p AND decentralized
- Trusted escrow system for bank transfers
- Advanced level of IT comprehension needed
GDAX is great for technical traders and offers good liquidity. Deposits are in USD and can be processed just as rapidly as withdrawls. Also happens to be the best ethereum exchange for serious players in this space.
- An integral part of the trusted Coinbase brand
- Optimized to be a serious trading site
- More ID processing steps than on Chinese trading platforms
BuySomeBitcoins is a recent addition to my list. Why have I included it here? Well, so many of my readers were asking where to buy bitcoin without ID verification. Here is the best place to do exactly that. Although BuySomeBitcoins is small, with just above 150,000 monthly visits, it is growing fast and gaining reputation for being one of the only sites to offer credit card purchases without requiring ID submission. Note that BuySomeBitcoins do also offer users to voluntarily verify their identity in exchange for a more reasonable fee structure.
- No identity verification
- Credit card purchases
- Fees are higher if you choose to stay anonymous
Bitstamp are big in Europe and operate since 2011 out of the United Kingdom. Good volumes are available for larger trades. Well received by people using SEPA and credit cards. Both euro and US dollar deposits are accepted. I like Bitstamp because they really focus on being a pure bitcoin-only exchange.
- Card purchases available (visa mastercard and visa) in Europe and the USA.
- HQ Located in London
- Good for large transactions
- Not available outside of EU and the USA
CoinATMradar provide a global map of bitcoin ATMs. This allows you to use cash to buy in person at a physical machine. This is one of the most underrated means of purchasing with no verification of ID, and allows users to stay anonymous with over 869 ATMs srpead over each continent.
- Find bitcoin locations near you
- No ID needed in some cases
- Explains how a bitcoin atm works
- Not always possible to find a machine nearby
- You’ll have to leave your house!
WeSellCrypto was first a Dogecoin selling service in 2014. The admins then very correctly predicted that the market would rapidly need a PayPal to bitcoin exchange. Since, WeSellCrypto has offered simple and small purchases of Bitcoin using PayPal. WeSellCrypto may be perfect if you only need small amounts (under 100 USD), as they have several verification tiers which make it really easy to buy, in certain cases without verification.
- The simplest site for buying Bitcoin with PayPal
- No verification needed for small weekly purchases
- Trusted operators that have been active in the community since 2013
- As with all PayPal exchanges, fees are very high.
Paxful get over 2 million monthly visits, with 50% originating from the USA. It’s a peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace connecting buyers with sellers similar to the one above. Over 150 payment methods can be used. Impressive.
- Hundreds of payment methods
- p2p (person to person) – similar to Localbitcoins
- Higher fees than elsewhere