The Top 5 Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Beginners

What is the best cryptocurrency exchange?

With so much information and noise in the cryptocurrency space it can be hard to know where to get started. This is particularly important when it comes to asking the question; what is the best exchange to use? We have compiled a concise guide to the top 5 crypto exchanges that all beginners should familiarise themselves with. We’ve included these exchanges for their ease of use, their multitude of cryptocurrency offerings and ease of access into the cryptocurrency space.

5. IDEX

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The IDEX exchange is a little different to the others on the list. The IDEX exchange is a decentralised exchange (DEX) and they brand themselves as “the first high-performance decentralized exchange, provides both real-time trading and on-chain settlement.” We wanted to include at least one decentralised exchange on this list and IDEX is our pick. 

As a decentralised exchange, IDEX allows users to use their Ethereum wallets to access funds and trade their assets directly with others using decentralised Ethereum smart contracts. A great thing about decentralised exchanges is that they facilitate the flow of value in a very open fashion. IDEX is about the easiest to navigate and use once you become familiar with how to create and use your own Ethereum wallet. IDEX is also a great place to find smaller cap tokens that have not yet been listed on larger centralised exchanges. Many people will therefore use IDEX and other decentralised exchanges to pick up tokens for projects that have completed their initial coin offerings (ICOs) but have not yet been listed on the mainstream exchanges.

IDEX is part of the larger AurauraDAO project which aims to be a decentralised cryptobanking and financial platform. IDEX is therefore one of many pieces in the puzzle of this much larger and very ambitious project. This is another project definitely worth keeping an eye on.

4. OKEx

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OKEx is an asset trading platform that originally came from OKCoin.com. It was spun off the original OKCoin.com site in to facilitate futures trading for digital assets. To date, OKEx has received over $10 million USD in funding from investors such as Tim Draper, Ceyuan ventures, and Mandra Capital.

OKEx now facilitates more than 450 trading pairs and also allows you to trade with leverage on certain pairings like Bitcoin and Litecoin.

The exchange offers very reasonable fees at 0.03% for open positions and zero fees for close positions. OKEx has staked a major claim to users in the Asia Pacific region of the world and may not be as familiar to those in the west. It should not be underestimated though, as it now facilitates more that $1 Billion USD in daily trade volume.

Perhaps OKEx it is more suited to those intermediate traders who begin to toy with the idea of using leverage. Up to 10 and 20x leverage is available for both Bitcoin and Litecoin. Being the number two exchange in terms of daily volume at the time of writing this, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

3. Huobi

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Huobi is an exchange we have been keeping an eye on for a while. Founded in 2013 and based out of Singapore, Huobi has received backing from investors that include Dai Zhikang, Sequoia Capital and Zhen Fund. Although it is based out of Asia, Huobi has a number of strategic partners in the USA. It has even set up Huobi Labs, a blockchain incubator for early stage startups based out of San Francisco.

Huobi offers a simple to use intuitive interface for a very nice user experience. It has been slowly creeping up the rankings in terms of daily trade volume and now sits at number three with $650 Million in daily trade volume at the time of writing this.

Huobi now offers over 190 trading pairs on their platform with 0.2% maker and taker transaction fees. They also offer 24/7 support and pre trade education to new users.

There’s no doubt Huobi continues to impress and has a great offering of trading pairs. Their own native token “Huobi Token” (HT) has more than doubled in USD value from $1.49 to $3.80 since beginning trading in February 2018.

2. Coinbase & Coinbase Pro

Coinbase serves as an entry point for so many newcomers in the crypto space. They have made themselves the go to entry point for people to enter the market using traditional FIAT currencies. They have nailed down a position, especially in North America and Europe as a leader in helping users to convert their USD, GBP or EUR into crypto assets and enter the market place.

Coinbase has been running since 2012 and now operates in over 32 countries. Currently, Coinbase offers users the ability to purchase 4 different cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Coinbase even allows you to buy crypto with your debit or credit card, but be wary of the hefty 4% fee if choosing this method.

Coinbase has another product offering now called Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX) that is aimed towards more advanced crypto traders. However, it is not too difficult to navigate and the fees on this site are considerably lower than using coinbase.com. You can easily transfer funds interchangeably free of charge between your Coinbase account and Coinbase Pro. Once you have created your Coinbase account, you will use the same login credentials to access Coinbase Pro.

With the ability to exchange your fiat to crypto, Coinbase is a great place to get started in the crypto space. However, it does lack a comprehensive offering of cryptocurrencies. So once you eventually want to expand your portfolio, you’ll have to join other exchanges.

1. Binance

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Binance is one of our favourite exchanges. Binance raised $15 million USD in a July 2017 Initial Coin Offering and has not looked back since. In just the space of one year, Binance has risen through the exchange rankings to become the number one cryptocurrency exchange by volume. It now processes $1.5 Billion USD worth of value on a daily basis. CEO Changpeng Zhao has put an emphasis on security, transparency and putting the customer first. It has clearly paid off in a huge way.

Binance offers a huge range of cryptocurrencies on their site. They also have an excellent smartphone app and native application for Mac and Windows. You can reduce your fees on Binance by using their BNB token which is native to the exchange itself. By buying and holding BNB you will avail of 50% fees compared to paying fees in the currency you are transacting with.

Binance also offers basic and advanced trading view. With the highest daily trading volume of all exchanges, liquidity is very high on Binance. This allows you to get in and out of trades in a timely manner.

Binance is also in the process of creating a decentralised on chain exchange called Binance Chain. If you want to know more about the difference between centralised vs decentralised exchanges, check out our article HERE.