If you are looking to buy your first Bitcoin, choosing an online exchange is the very first step you need to take.
I was being asked all the time what are the best places to buy Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency so I decided to create this guide for you.
To help you get started investing in Bitcoin, I curated for you the top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges that I use personally. You can buy your first Bitcoin with confidence.
Coinbase is without a doubt one of the most rock-solid Bitcoin exchange out there. They have been oprating since 2012 and they legitimized Bitcoin businesses in the USA by obtaining financing from major VC firms and banks.
The first person to have invested in Coinbase is Adam Draper, Founder of Boost VC. I actually interviewed Adam Draper in the podcast here about that. Also Andreessen Horowitz, The New-York Stock Exchange, the Bank of Tokyo and many other big businesses have also invested in Coinbase.
Coinbase allow debit, credit card payment as well as wire transfer. They have a full fledged cryptocurrency exchange that they call GDAX. You can purchase one of the following cryptocurrency: Ether, Litecoin or Bitcoin.
Coinbase was founded by Fred Ehsram and Brian Armstrong in 2012. Because they are based in the USA, I feel much more confident when buying and selling cryptocurrency on there platform.
Daily Bitcoin Volume: $40,000,000
Headquarter: San Francisco, California
Cryptocurrency Exchange Review: Coinbase is a solid exchange based in the USA. They are in my opinion the safest one to use because of the investors they got and their location in the USA. This is my number 1 recommendation when it comes to buying and selling Bitcoin online.
Bitstamp is the third largest bitcoin exchange in the world by volume. So if you are looking for a place with a lot of liquidity, this is it.
You can buy or sell Bitcoin and Ripple on their trading platform. There interface is very easy to use and self-explanatory.
They were victim of a hack in 2015 but since then, they have revamped their security features. But I still don’t advise anyone to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange for extended period of time.
Daily Bitcoin Volume: $30,000,000
Cryptocurrency Exchange Review: Bitstamp is currently my go to place when I want an accurate price on Bitcoin. They are one of the godfather of all exchanges because they have been around for so long. For those reasons, Bitstamp is number 2 on this ranking.
Kraken is my favourite European exchange. They have the largest volume for the Bitcoin-Euro pair. It was co-founded by Jesse Powell, a long-hair entrepreneur from San Francisco.
There exchange have a great choice of different fiat currency you can use to fund your account. You can use US dollar, Canadian dollar, Japanese yen and Euro. They have an interesting story because they were the exchange apointed to oversee the distribution of the remaining of MtGox, the bankrupted exchange.
If you live in Europe, this should be your favourite exchange, but if you trade in US dollar, there volume is not as high as the previous mentioned exchanges. One great thing about Kraken is that you can trade over 10 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum and Zcash.
Daily Bitcoin Volume: $39,000,000
Headquarter: San Francisco, California
Cryptocurrency Exchange Review: Kraken is also based in San Francisco so this gives them an extra layer of credibility when it comes to solvancy. They also support more Fiat currency so if you are from Europe, Kraken might be the exchange just for you.
Poloniex is a true cryptocurrency exchange in the sense that you can only deal with crypto assets on this site, no fiat allowed. If you want to trade there, you have to transfer some Bitcoins first.
Poloniex has the largest volume of Bitcoin traded from all the other site listed in our top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges.
They also have the largest variety of token to trade. Poloniex boast more than 60 different cryptocurrencies to choose from. If you are looking for that particular token, chances are you will find it there.
Because they don’t deal with Fiat currency, you don’t need to register with your personal information which is a great advantage for privacy conscious traders.
Daily Bitcoin Volume: $45,000,000
Headquarter: Wilmington, Delaware
Cryptocurrency Exchange Review: Poloniex is my go to place when I want to buy altcoins. There platform is very easy to use and they usually have most cryptocurrency available for trading. The only downside is that you cannot trade directly into US Dollar, you need to use a replacing currency called tether USD, but that is also an advantage because you don’t need to register with your personal information.
Out of all the other exchanges in our ranking, Bitfinex has the highest daily volume of Bitcoin traded. You can go short or long on Bitfinex and the ease of use and clarity of their platform is their incontestable advantage.
Also, it’s good to remember that Bitfinex had a solid stance in favor of Bitcoin during the last ideological battle. They were true to the Ethos of bitcoin and won the trust of many users this way, including mine.
Bitfinex is located in Hong Kong and they have 7 different cryptocurrencies to choose from including Z-Cash, Monero and Ethereum.
Daily Bitcoin Volume: $45,000,000
Headquarter: Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island
Cryptocurrency Exchange Review: Bitfinex is a great exchange that offer in my opinion the cleanest and easy to use platform. Like any other exchange, it’s good to remember that you should never leave your cryptocurrency sitting on an exchange. Always transfer them to your personal wallet where they are protected from hackers or thieves.
Honorable Mention: Bittrex
Bittrex is another great cryptocurrency exchange. They have a small daily volume of transaction but they often are the first exchange to list a new cryptocurrency. If you want to be the first to invest in a new cryptocurrency, you should definitely bookmark Bittrex.
Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, poloniex and Bitstamp are the best cryptocurrency exchange sites available out there in my opinion. They all have been open for many years and have shown over time seriousness and stellar customer service.
Personally, I think that cryptocurrencies are the best investment opportunity available today and choosing a reliable exchange is an important step to not overlook.
If your favourite exchange is not listed in my top 5, just add it in the comment section below!
“But I still don’t advise anyone to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange for extended period of time.” Excuse my ignorance, but why not – and what are the alternative options?
Alexandre Fortin says
Hi Tom, because of hacks and theft. You should secure your coins using your own wallet. (phone wallet for small amount, hardware cold wallet for bigger amount)
Pls how and where can I open hardware cord wallet for bigger amount or smaller?
Let’s say I store my private key on a paper wallet. But to cash out my coins I have to transfer them through an exchange anyway isn’t it? So the exhancge can still freeze the transfer? Or is there another way…
William Whitby says
I want to use bittrex?:)and I can log in but I can not get it to verify.It sucks bc I want to move around some cions and cant.If anyone can help me or let me know a good exchange that has good traffic and tools thanks in advance.
What of localbitcoins?
Been using it since 2014
I must say I really love your posts.
I have a question regarding cash deposits, any Idea which of these sites have the possibility to wire cash to before buying the actual bitcoins? I know Coinbase has this option but only set till a max of 15.000 per week or 500 euro per week by creditcard.
I’m looking to deposit larger amounts in order to trade them for Bitcoins.
Any Idea which site to use? Or do you know any sites which sell large amount of bitcoins using cash deposits?
Thank you for your reply!
What about zebpay exchange India based.
Any these allow/encourage Day Trading?
Love to your nice post. I always keeps my eyes on your current blog.
Can i store large amount of DOGE, BCN, DGB AND XRP for a future investment? And how much the price of these coin should be gone up by next few month?
Thanks for sharing this post. I explored these exchanges and found poloniex is the best as it has many coin options.
please suggest me which is the best coin for investment as per current scenario.
Nice bit of information. Considering the bitcoin/crypto explosion, I have two questions I need your informed input on.
1)What is the implication of a bitcoin bubble in the market with regards to investments? Is there any likelihood that a crash is eminent and if it is, what are the signs to look out for?
2)There’s a new Alt Coin which seems to be taking root in my part of the globe; SWISSCOIN. To your knowledge, is there any credibility to their name and do you think they possess the credibility and characteristic for continuity especially in developing countries?
Truth is, due to our inflation ridden economies, investing (particularly buying) in BitCoin is a nightmare! The rates are crazily high compared to our purchasing power. What advice do you have for people like me as we are forced to seek out cheaper and newer altcoins such as Swisscoin as initially mentioned. (Nigeria in mind).
Sorry that’s more than two questions.
Jagjit gill says
Hi Alex im in surrey bc and would like to meet up with you if possible to discuss about investing in cryptocurrency.please let me know when and where we can meet thanks
Amazing information especially on top 5 cryptocurrency exchange product in full detail.gives the best knowledge on cryptocurrency exchange , cryptocurrency market live , Coinscap price.
Rj Thermo says
Alex Just want your honest and expert idea about Canada based CoinPayments, do you think its the best place to Buy and Hold Cryptos?