Best Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange → Comparison & Beginner’s Guide

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Looking for the best place to buy Bitcoin? There is a wide range of cryptocurrency exchanges on the market, which doesn’t make the decision easier. If you want to buy and sell Bitcoin you need an exchange with low fees, good liquidity, and the best platform! Why should it be difficult?

We help you compare exchanges and choose the best cryptocurrency exchange platform. It only takes a minute to open an account. Learn everything about Bitcoin exchanges and get started quickly. This is a complete guide that helps you from start to finish!

Below is our comparison table where you can compare Bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchange reviews and choose the best for you. In the beginner’s guide, we talk about exchange fees, importance of trading volume, security, and much more. Compare reviews for exchanges now →

Top 5+ Bitcoin & Crypto Exchanges - December 2018

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The winners

How to Choose the Best Cryptocurrency Exchange?

It’s not always easy to choose between the best Bitcoin exchanges. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies and even more exchanges to choose from.

The crypto market is constantly evolving, and you need to stay up to date. You will find the most important information together with our exchange grade in the comparison table above. This makes it easy to choose the best site to buy Bitcoins.

However, there are more things that are good to check and compare. To choose the best exchange, look at the following:

  • Customer Satisfaction – The best way to choose a Bitcoin Exchange is to test and compare different platforms. But the quickest and easiest way is to listen to what their customers say. Are their customers satisfied? To help you answer that question, all exchanges on this page have a rating (with numbers 1-100 and stars 1-5).
  • Fees and Costs – An important factor when you buy and sell Bitcoin is the fee. However, all exchanges use different types of fees and costs. This includes buying- and selling fees (either a percentage or fixed price), order fee (market orders are more expensive than limit orders), transaction fees and more. In most cases in the comparison table above, we display their fees and costs with “Low”, “Medium”, “High”, or “Varies.” We don’t want to make it harder than it needs to be for you.
  • Exchange Platform – There are, as mentioned, many Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency exchanges. Everyone has their own platform with varying user experience and different tools. Which Bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchange platform is best? It depends largely on your preferences. Open an account and test!
  • Customer Support – Not all cryptocurrency exchanges offer fast and reliable customer service. Is there customer support 24/7? Do they offer phone support, chat support or both? NOTE! Many users have previously experienced problems with support response time at cryptocurrency exchanges. It’s difficult to handle a customer support when the number of new users grows fast. For this reason, we advise against using smaller exchanges on the crypto market.
  • Exchange Volume – It’s important with high trading volume on exchanges to reduce the spread (the difference between buying- and selling price). If the exchange doesn’t have enough trading volume, this becomes a hidden fee. However, as long as you choose a big Bitcoin exchange, you don’t have to worry about this. Continue to read this guide and learn more about exchange volume.
  • Security – The crypto market is not as regulated as the stock market. This means that you have more responsibility for security. A cryptocurrency exchange is used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. NOT to store your Bitcoin/cryptocurrency. IMPORTANT! Buy a secure Bitcoin Wallet to protect your cryptocurrency. Learn more →

World wide currency exchange

Beginner Guide: Best Bitcoin Exchange

Are you looking for the best Bitcoin Exchange? Is it the first time you buy Bitcoin? You have come to the right place! We’ll tell you everything you need to know to buy and sell Bitcoin / cryptocurrency.

This is a complete beginner’s guide with many tips: Learn how a Bitcoin exchange works. How to buy and safely store your cryptocurrency. How exchanges charge customers with different fees. All about exchange platforms and much more.

We help you navigate the crypto market. Bitcoin exchanges have both pros and cons. One advantage is that they are open 24/7 every day of the week. One disadvantage is that there are fewer regulations for exchanges on the crypto market.

Advantages with Bitcoin Exchanges

  • Very Low Fees – Cryptocurrencies have very low fees. Bitcoin is transferred person-to-person. There are no third parties, such as a bank that charges expensive fees.
  • Fast Payments – You can transfer cryptocurrency to and from exchanges instantly. Bitcoin can be transferred directly to anyone, anytime. You decide.
  • Open 24/7 – You can exchange cryptocurrencies 24/7. Unlike the stock market, the crypto market is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

Different Types of Exchanges

There are two different ways to exchange cryptocurrency. This has resulted in two different types of Bitcoin exchanges. You can either buy cryptocurrency from someone that wants to sell the same amount at an exchange (in other words, from the order book). Or you can buy cryptocurrency directly from the company behind the exchange. This is a popular service that makes buying and selling cryptocurrencies much easier.

In our comparison table, you can see which services an exchange offers. They are either only an exchange, only a seller, or both. TIPS: Exchanges that only sells cryptocurrency directly to customers usually charges higher fees. Compare and choose the best site to buy Bitcoins!

NOTE: If you are looking to buy Bitcoins with your bank card for trading purposes, it may be better to use a Bitcoin Broker. Read more in the next section →

Jumping guy deal

Bitcoin Exchange VS. Bitcoin Broker

It’s a common mistake to confuse an exchange with a broker. You need to understand the difference to choose the best place to buy Bitcoins. Which place is best will depend on your purpose for buying cryptocurrency.

Do you want to use or invest in Bitcoin? In that case, you should buy Bitcoin at a cryptocurrency exchange. Want to earn money from trading Bitcoin? In that case, open an account on a cryptocurrency broker.

What Is Best for You?

When you buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, you are in charge of security. You need to buy a Bitcoin wallet to store them. If you’re thinking long-term and want to invest in Bitcoin, you should buy real cryptocurrency.

Use our comparison table and choose the best place to buy cryptocurrency for you. Open an account and don’t forget to order a private Bitcoin wallet! This also means that you have the option to use your Bitcoins whenever you like.

However, if you want to speculate on the price, we recommend a cryptocurrency broker that offers Bitcoin CFDs (Contract for difference). This means that you don’t buy real Bitcoins but instead a contract that mirrors the price.

Bitcoin brokers offer an easier alternative for trading cryptocurrencies. Their products are for traders who want to make money when the price goes up and down. However, your capital is at risk!

Do you think a Bitcoin broker is better for you? Read more about Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency Brokers.

Crypto security shield

IMPORTANT! Bitcoin Exchange Security

You should not trade Bitcoin on exchanges that do not prioritize security. Normal stock exchanges have many regulations and are protected with FDIC insurance.

Bitcoin Exchanges don’t work the same way. There are little or no regulations in cryptocurrency markets. If their security fails, you can lose your money.

Only Use Trusted Exchanges

You should only trade on Bitcoin Exchanges that has been around for a while and are reliable. It makes the company that owns the exchange important. A reputable Bitcoin Exchange was Mt. Gox where 70% of all Bitcoin transactions took place in 2013. However, the exchange was hacked, and all users lost their Bitcoins.

Today, Bitcoin Exchanges are still hacked, but the market is more distributed, and security is improving every year. One exchange called Bitfinex was hacked in 2016 but has since then paid back all the money that was stolen. For every year, cryptocurrency exchanges become safer.

Never Store Cryptocurrency on the Exchange

You should not use the Bitcoin Wallet on the exchange except when you buy and sell cryptocurrency. With this wallet you let the exchange store your private key, this is also called a hot wallet.

We recommend all to buy a Bitcoin wallet that is not connected to the Internet, also known as cold storage. To protect your Bitcoin and private keys, avoid hot wallets when you can and use cold storage.

If you have a smaller amount of money in a hot wallet, we would not worry. Otherwise, we recommend that you transfer Bitcoin from your wallet to the exchange when you want to trade. When you’re done, you transfer Bitcoin or cryptocurrency back to your own wallet to protect it.

The Bitcoin Exchange should offer the following to protect your account; Two-factor authentication, email encryption, withdrawal protection, and e-mail notifications.

Crypto transaction fees

Fees & Costs: Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform

Transaction fees and costs are generally low at Bitcoin exchanges. This is one of the biggest benefits with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.

With regular banks and stockbrokers, you need to pay high transaction fees and fixed prices annually for your account. Even though the fees are low on Bitcoin exchanges, you should compare prices.

Compare Transaction Fees

There are always smaller exchanges that charge too much. You should control costs like the transaction fees. The transaction fee is usually 0.1-1.5%. The fee may vary, depending on whether you are using an exchange platform or service.

For example, the exchange CEX.IO has a transaction fee between 0.10% and 0.20% depending on the order size. While a service like Coinbase that makes it easy to buy has a fixed fee of 1.49%.

One of the reasons why transaction fees vary on exchanges is because they have different orders types called makers and takers. Maker is the person who has his order in the order book, which “make” liquidity. Taker is the person who places an order that matches, or “take”, the makers’ order.

This system is created to increase liquidity and trade volume. It is desirable because it reduces the spread which reduces the difference between the buying- and selling price.

Are There Any Hidden Fees?

You should check if there are any deposit and withdrawal fees. Deposit fees are usually free of charge. Otherwise, it depends on the payment method you use. It’s common with a fee to deposit money with your credit card and free with bank transfers.

To withdraw money, it’s usually free, but there may be a withdrawal fee. Last but not least, there is typically a currency conversion fee. Just make sure to use the same fiat currency to avoid this fee.

Choose the best cryptocurrency exchange with the lowest fees. Use our comparison table on this page! Learn more about hidden fees →

Crypto market size

Pro Tip: Exchange Volume Is Important

Before you choose a Bitcoin Exchange, it’s important to look at the exchange volume. How high the trading volume is can tell a lot about the exchange. If the volume is not large enough, the price may differ from other places.

It is important to have a high volume of trades in order to have buyers and sellers at all price levels. A low volume may also increase the spread, which means that the price difference between the buying and selling price increases.

In other words, it becomes more expensive to exchange Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. If you buy and sell immediately, the transaction fee plus the spread will be your loss. This means that exchange volume is extra important if you do many trades.

Low Exchange Volume = Hidden Fee

You pay a premium on the price with a high spread. It’s usually small amounts, but it will stack up over time and cost you money.

This is why there are market makers on the regular stock exchange. Their job is to find buyers and seller to avoid big price differences.

Because cryptocurrency is a relatively new market, there are not many market makers. Therefore, the price may vary widely at different exchanges. This will be resolved over time when more people start exchanging Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

If the exchange doesn’t have enough trading volume, you will pay a hidden fee. However, as long as you choose a big Bitcoin exchange, you don’t have to worry about this. Choose the best cryptocurrency exchange →

Star ratings

Cryptocurrency Exchange Reviews

All Bitcoin exchanges have their strengths and weaknesses. Which is the best site to buy Bitcoins? That will depend on what you’re looking for. Do you want to trade on one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges? The safest cryptocurrency exchange? Or the exchange most users like the best?

Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The largest cryptocurrency exchange is Coinbase with over 20 million users. Coinbase has grown to the largest company on the crypto market by helping people buy their first cryptocurrency

Is it the first time you buy Bitcoin? In that case, Coinbase is a good exchange. You can exchange cryptocurrency instantly with your bank card (costs extra). They are a large and well-known Bitcoin exchange. Read more in our cryptocurrency exchange review of Coinbase.

Safest Cryptocurrency Exchange

Which is the safest cryptocurrency exchange? It’s not easy to determine which cryptocurrency exchange that is the safest. But we have done our best to answer that question.

Bitcoin exchanges use the same security measures to protect their platform. For this reason, it becomes more important to review the company behind the exchange. We, therefore, consider that the safest cryptocurrency exchange to be PaxForex. It’s a reliable and regulated Bitcoin exchange.

Bitcoin exchanges use the same security measures to protect their platform. For this reason, it becomes more important to review the company behind the exchange. We, therefore, consider that the safest cryptocurrency exchange to be eToro. It’s a reliable and regulated Bitcoin exchange.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchange

But which cryptocurrency exchange is the best? We have tested almost all exchanges and written many Bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchange reviews. After we have done an overall assessment, the best exchange is PaxForex.

But which cryptocurrency exchange is the best? We have tested almost all exchanges and written many Bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchange reviews. After we have done an overall assessment, the best exchange is eToro.

This is the best place to buy Bitcoins and cryptocurrency. Why?

Except for being the safest Bitcoin exchange, it’s the most user-friendly. It will not get easier to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Learn more and open account →

Bitcoin casino trophy

Conclusion: Best Place to Buy Bitcoin

PaxForex is the Best Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency Exchange. You can buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrency easy, instant and secure. Their exchange platform has received our highest rating. Open an account and start trading now!

eToro is the Best Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency Exchange. You can buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrency easy, instant and secure. Their exchange platform has received our highest rating. Open an account and start trading now!

We Test and Rate Exchanges

When we rate cryptocurrency exchanges, we look at many factors. This includes their services, fees and costs, customer satisfaction, cryptocurrency exchange platform with tools, customer service, trade volume, security and more.

But most importantly, we test all Bitcoin exchanges. The user experience is in many cases a decisive factor. There are many Bitcoin exchanges, and more and more sites are being introduced.

We update this guide and our comparison table all the time. All exchanges have their pros and cons. We will help you choose the right one!

Get Started Now → Buy/Sell Cryptocurrency

If you want to use or invest in Bitcoin, choose an exchange and open an account. If you’re going to trade Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, we recommend a cryptocurrency broker. However, we recommend using a complete solution. You don’t need to choose between an exchange/broker if you open an account at an All-in-one Platform.

No matter what you choose, you should use a chart tool. It is used to analyze price history which helps you to buy/sell at a good price. An essential tool in addition to your exchange. The most popular chart tool on the market is TradingView. We use it daily and recommend it to everyone.

NOTE! Don’t forget that you are responsible for the security of your cryptocurrency. Buy a secure Bitcoin wallet to store your cryptocurrencies. Follow these steps to exchange cryptocurrency safely:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your question not answered here? Ask your question below!

Bitcoin is a digital currency, also called cryptocurrency. More specifically, Bitcoin is an independent, global and public ledger used to transfer and store value (also known as money).

  1. It’s independent because no state or bank controls Bitcoin.
  2. It’s global because money can be transferred quickly and cheaply, anytime, to anyone.
  3. It’s public because all transactions are stored in a shared ledger.

Learn more in this guide: What is Bitcoin?

It can take time to buy Bitcoin at an Exchange. When you open an account, you may need to verify your account, transfer money, place buying order, and more. However, there are exchanges that let you buy instantly →

Scroll down on this page to see the best Bitcoin exchange. Their cryptocurrency exchange has received our highest rating. Buy Bitcoin easily, safely and instantly!

The fees become more important, the more cryptocurrency you exchange. The lowest fees can be found at Bitcoin exchanges with high volume order books. To get the lowest fee you should buy/sell with a limit order.

If we’re gonna choose a large Bitcoin exchange with the lowest fees, scroll up to the comparison table on this page. Open an account at a large exchange. Does a smaller exchange offer lower fees? You trade on your own risk! There may be hidden fees.

As with all currencies, the value depends on supply and demand. Bitcoin has value because there are high demand and low supply. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are available in limited amounts in the same way as precious metals such as Gold.

Also, normal fiat currencies such as Dollar and Euro have no limited supply. The central bank is creating more and more money which leads to inflation. Bitcoin protects your money from inflation.

If you want to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you can buy them at a Bitcoin exchange. This is for long-term investors. But it also means you are responsible for security.

If you want to make money trading Bitcoin, we would recommend a Cryptocurrency Broker instead of an exchange. By this, we mean a CFD broker offering trading products. Your money is also protected by the broker.

NOTE! If you choose an exchange instead of a broker, you need to buy a Bitcoin Wallet to protect your cryptocurrencies.

5 comments

  • How do I transfer bitcoin from eToro to my wallet?

    Reply
    • If you download their app you can transfer Bitcoin to any wallet you want. Make sure to use a secure Crypto Hardware Wallet.

      We recommend using our comparison table to choose the best wallet for you.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

      / CryptoRunner Team

      Reply
  • eToro has never let me down, I just copy the best traders

    Reply
  • I want to buy cryptocurrency coins besides bitcoin, which do you then recommend?

    Reply
    • Hello David,

      The best exchanges on this page offer most cryptocurrencies. We wouldn’t think of that unless you want to exchange a smaller coin.

      However, if you want to trade altcoins we could recommend Binance. Otherwise use the comparison table and choose the best cryptocurrency exchange.

      / CryptoRunner Team

      Reply

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