Information is ever present on how to buy Bitcoin or other Altcoins with numerous guides written on the topics of how to trade, buy and sell on various cryptocurrency exchanges.
Yet, it is rare to find information about the top few choices that not only provide their customers with a slew of options but also present them with the best rates in terms of fees so that potential purchasers can get the best deal.
Seeing this imbalance in information, we have put together a comprehensive guide which outlines the top few cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of charges, services, and support of cryptocurrencies, so that all types of users could find an option to peg as their primary exchange which they can rely on in terms of day to day activities.
Allowing users to take part in the cryptocurrency community without spending a fortune or breaking the bank.
So without taking any more time, let’s go ahead in learning more about these exchanges.
Even while being less than a year old, Binance is considered to be one of the most successful and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and for good reasons too.
Launched in July 2017 with its own initial coin offering (ICO) for its native token BNB, the exchange has gone on to become synonymous with cryptocurrency trading.
It has progressed so far, to the point where it offers over 100 cryptocurrencies for buying, selling and trading through its platform. While it was originally based out of China, it moved to Japan.
The exchange had to move to Japan because of the many issues that stemmed from the government and its campaign on dismantling the cryptocurrency industry.
The exchange’s offerings include industry veterans including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, to new kids on the block such as TRON, FUN Token and Zcash.
Binance charges a fee of 0.10% on all trades, regardless of whether the user is buying or trading in cryptocurrencies. Since it only offers deposits and withdrawals in cryptocurrency, there are no fees for deposits or withdrawals, but a network transaction fee is charged for each withdrawal by the exchange that goes to the transacting cryptocurrency’s respective platform.
While being a centralized exchange, Binance uses its BNB token as a key element for its trading operations. The exchange also allows users to obtain significant discounts if they pay their transaction fee using the BNB tokens. Users are able to find these coins on the exchange to buy and trade.
Using BNB in its first year allows users to get a whopping discount of 50% over the trading charges on the exchange, which means that if users are paying their trading fee using BNB, then they will only have to pay 0.05% over each trading transaction.
The discount is not limited to the first year either since Binance will continue letting its BNB holders having a 25% discount in trading fee in the token’s second year, 12.5% in its third year, and ending it with 6.75% in the fourth year.
The complete discount structure on the BNB token can be found under the support page.
However, Binance possibly falters in one area, which is its lack of support for fiat as the exchange does not deal in any deposits or withdrawals in fiat and only deals in cryptocurrencies.
Therefore, if you are only just starting in the cryptocurrency industry, then you will need to kick off your operations at an exchange that allows fiat deposits. If you like, you can then buy and transfer some cryptocurrency from there to Binance, and start trading on the exchange which currently has the lowest trading fee of all renowned platforms.
Launched in 2012, U.S. based Coinbase is one of the most popular names in cryptocurrency trading.
Yet even with its facilitation of credit card payments and an app which can be used by anyone who is not even familiar with the cryptocurrency trading industry, it charges some of the highest trading fees in return for those solutions.
However, this is where it gets interesting.
Coinbase’s “other” exchange from where the popular app-based exchange facilitates its cryptocurrency trading, the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) is the go-to platform for traders.
Especially for somewhat seasoned traders that can handle their conventional exchange interface instead of the extremely user-friendly Coinbase mobile app.
However, it does not necessarily mean that GDAX’s interface comes with a requirement to solve rocket science equations. GDAX is in line with the other conventional cryptocurrency exchanges.
The platform can easily be understood and navigated by anyone who is either familiar with the cryptocurrency industry operations or can devote just a few minutes to learn about how the system actually works.
While the exchange only trades in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, it allows fiat and withdrawals through bank deposits.
Cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals are free save for the network fee; ACH deposits and withdrawals are also free, with SEPA deposits and withdrawals being charged a flat fee of €0.15. U.S. wire deposits are charged at $10, while wire withdrawal charges are $25.
As for trading, the exchange operates on a maker/taker model.
GDAX is one of the few exchanges which charges no fee to the market maker in any tiers; whereas, its fee for market takers starts at 0.30% for trading volume until $10m.
While this fee is higher as compared to the most economical option on this list, Binance, it is in line with most of the other exchanges.
Furthermore, the utilization and ease of fiat deposits make GDAX a good starting point for any trader.
Users can purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum through fiat and then use these popular cryptocurrencies as trading pairs across other platforms which only accept cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals.
The complete fee structure is outlined under support.
Even though Bitfinex stopped serving individual U.S. customers as of November 9, 2017, it remains a popular choice amongst international cryptocurrency traders due to its low fees and trading options in over 35 cryptocurrencies.
Launched in 2012, Bitfinex allows users to trade in popular and new cryptocurrencies, including but to limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, and Qtum.
Allowing cryptocurrency and fiat deposits and withdrawals, Bitfinex acts as a good starting point for cryptocurrency users.
With that being said, Bitfinex charges its users for deposits that are below $1000 in value whether they are in cryptocurrency or fiat.
The charges for each deposited cryptocurrency vary and are highlighted in a detailed manner here. However, deposits in fiat bank wire are charged at 0.10%, with a minimum of $20/€20.
The same structure model applies to cryptocurrency withdrawals, with each of the offered cryptocurrencies having different charges applied to them.
But the fee for fiat withdrawals is again defined here, with bank wire withdrawals charged at 0.10% with a minimum of $20/€20; while express bank wires that get completed within 24 hours being charged 1% at a minimum of $20/€20.
Even with the fees that pertain to deposits and withdrawals, Bitfinex boasts of sporting one of the most affordable trading fee structures within the industry.
Bitfinex follows the maker/taker model, where it has segregated its fees in tiers. The fees start with the tier of up to $500,000 traded on the exchange by the user in the last 30 days, where the maker gets charged at 0.10% and the taker gets charged at 0.20%.
The more funds a user has traded on the exchange, the lower their maker or taker fees would be.
Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges with its roots all around the world. Ever since its launch in 2011, the exchange has managed to maintain its reputation by providing some of the most sought after trading solutions in the industry.
With support for 17 cryptocurrencies, Kraken operates out of Canada and offers popular trading options such as Bitcoin and Ethereum along with some newer cryptocurrencies such as EOS and Gnosis.
Kraken facilitates bank deposits and withdrawals in USD, EUR, JPY, and CAD.
The deposit fee for USD domestic and international wire transfer is $5 and $10, respectively; whereas, the withdrawal fee is $5 for USD domestic transfers and $60 for international wire transfers.
The deposit fee for EUR SWIFT international wire transfers is €5 for Fidor and €10 for SMBC; whereas withdrawals in this segment are charged at €60. There is no deposit fee for EUR SEPA, but its withdrawals are charged at €0.09.
The deposits for JPY domestic transfer and CAD international wire transfer are free, but they are charged at ¥300 and $10, respectively.
The exchange operates on a maker/taker model as well, with its fee fluctuating from a payment tier basis.
For most of the trading pairs, the maker fee starts from 0.16% for a trading volume under $50,000; while the taker fee for the same tier is pegged at 0.26%.
The higher a customer’s trading volume is, the lower the fee gets to be. As mentioned above, most of the trading pairs follow the same fee and tier structure, a snapshot of which is provided below.
However, the fee structure at the exchange can vary for different trading pairs. The complete list of fees and trading pairs can be seen here.
The U.S. based Bittrex has been in operations since 2013 and can be considered as a top-tier exchange not only due to its compliance with local laws and regulations but also because of it’s up to date offerings in cryptocurrency trading services.
At the time of writing, Bittrex offers more than 190 cryptocurrencies through its platform, with plans to update its portfolio on an ongoing basis.
Bittrex’s offerings include but are not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero. With the exchange being known for being a champion of new altcoins in order to provide them with a platform to grow and flourish in a healthy environment.
This approach alone makes Bittrex a viable candidate for a cryptocurrency trader, since investments in altcoins, cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, is a perpetual need of any cryptocurrency enthusiast.
Bittrex does not charge any fee for cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals but the blockchain network fee still applies, as it does with any other exchange.
Furthermore, while the exchange does not offer fiat deposits, it allows for an exception in the form of users directly purchasing Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether from it in case their desired exchange amount is equivalent to or greater than $100,000.
Trading fee on Bittrex follows a fee of 0.25% for the profits of the trade. As the exchange explains, this fee is calculated on the following method: (amount * purchase price * .0025).
Like Binance, Bittrex also remains a good option for those who already have cryptocurrencies.
A cryptocurrency marketplace for Bitcoin, LocalBitcoins is one of the most popular off-exchange options to buy this prime digital asset.
The platform allows users to connect with other individuals like them in a peer-to-peer trading network, where the seller gets to decide the price of their Bitcoin along with their preferred payment method.
With operations in 248 countries, users are bound to find good deals on the website and execute trades without having to pay a trading fee to any exchange.
This option saves users from having to go through verification procedures and also allows them the freedom to choose their own payment method, where they can pay through cash, PayPal, bank transfer or even any other cryptocurrency to the seller.
Those Are the Cheapest and Most Reliable Options for Buying Bitcoin
Please bear in mind that all the exchanges and methods listed above have made the cut either due to their competitive fees or the quality of services that they provide to their users.
Anonymous and instant trading platforms such as ShapeShift and Changelly offer to charge no fees and instead make their profits through the spread on provided exchange rates.
Users have often noted that the exchange rate seems to be significantly higher on these platforms than they are on conventional cryptocurrency exchanges, which is why they have not been included on this list.
As always, it is recommended for users to do their own research before selecting any option which they would like to select as their primary medium of cryptocurrency trading.
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