While Mt. Gox imploded recently, losing 750,000 Bitcoins and filing for bankruptcy, the Bitcoin ecosystem seems to have weathered the storm quite well. The price of Bitcoins recovered in the wake of the Mt. Gox fiasco, hitting a high of $701.32 per coin. It seems that reports of Bitcoin’s death have been greatly exaggerated after all. Mt. Gox may have been the largest Bitcoin exchange right before it went under, but that doesn’t mean that it was the only game in town.
The nature of the Bitcoin marketplace means that there are a lot of other exchanges out there where you can trade Bitcoins with national currencies as well as other cryptocurrencies. Some of these exchanges claim to do things differently from first-generation services such as Mt. Gox, and some, like Coinbase, have even received funding from venture capitalists. There’s no guarantee that there won’t be a repat of Mt. Gox, so tread wisely, but if you want to start buying and selling Bitcoins, here’s 10 exchanges you should take a look at.
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Kraken is a feature-rich cryptocurrency trading platform. It combines Forex trading and Bitcoin exchanges into one comprehensive service. Kraken has advanced order forms such as Stop-Loss, Trailing Stop and Take Profit, meaning that you can trade exactly how you want. To match these trading features, Kraken has big-picture security, including full reserves, extensive legal council and strong relationships with banks.
Kraken supports USD and EUR. However, trading with national currencies requires level 2 verification. There are four tiers of verification on Kraken. The amount Kraken charges for deposits and withdrawals depends on the currency. Transaction times also differ. Full lists are available in the FAQ. Kraken also supports Litecoin, Namecoin and Ripple.
Bitstamp is a Slovenian-based Bitcoin exchange, previously the second-largest exchange behind Mt. Gox. It doesn’t offer a lot of advanced buying or selling order forms. Bitstamp has an instant buy/sell order that buys and sells your coins at the lowest and highest offered price respectively, as well as a limit order that limits maximum purchase and minimum selling prices.
Bitstamp only supports USD. The site charges a nominal fee per transaction, with the size of the fee changing based on a 30 day trading history. Withdrawals are also charged a fee, ranging from 0.90 Euro if you’re part of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) to a $15.00 minimum fee for those outside of the SEPA.
Bitfinex is second only to Bitstamp in terms of transaction volume, and is definitely one of the most advanced Bitcoin exchanges currently operating. You can go short or long, exchange and even trade Bitcoins with leverage, if you so desire. All Bitcoins are stored in a cold wallet and the database is backed up once a day. In addition, Bitfinex works with security company Arcui to detect and prevent intrusions.
Bitfinex only supports USD. It has a relatively complex fee structure, with different fees based on the amount of Bitcoin you’ve traded over a 30-day period. These fees start at 0.15% and can go as low as 0.1%. Withdrawals in Bitcoin and Litecoin are both free, with a $10 fee charged for international wire withdrawals.
BTC-e is one of the larger Bitcoin exchanges on the Internet, behind only Bitstamp and Bitfinex. BTC-e is shrouded in anonymity, with no clues regarding the identities of the individuals behind it and where the exchange is truly based. BTC-e is built on the MetaTrader 4 platform and intends to start publishing audited financial statements in the near future.
BTC-e supports USD, EUR and Russian Rubles. BTC-e charges a 0.2% fee for every transaction conducted on the site, although the site does mention that this fee may be different for each individual account. Aside from Bitcoin, BTC-e also trades in Litecoin, Namecoin, Peercoin and Primecoin.
Justcoin is a Bitcoin exchange from Norway. It positions itself as an easy-to-use exchange, and so doesn’t have any advanced trading or exchange features. Security-wise, Justcoin stores its bitcoins in encrypted offline wallets, which are then stored in secure bank vaults. Justcoin also provides two-factor authentication.
Justcoin supports USD, EUR and Norwegian Kroner, and charges a 0.5% trading fee for all transactions. It also supports Litecoin and Ripple, although you can’t buy these currencies directly. Instead, you’ll have to buy Bitcoins first and then exchange for either of the two currencies.
Coinbase is more than just a Bitcoin exchange; it’s a comprehensive digital wallet that can be used to store, spend, buy and accept Bitcoins. In a sense, Coinbase is trying to be the PayPal of Bitcoin, letting merchants accept Bitcoin as well as helping users buy, use and store the currency. It claims to offer bank level security and the payment industry best practices, including two-factor authentication.
Coinbase only supports USD and is only for users in the United States. It charges a flat 1% fee on all transfers to and from USD, but doesn’t charge for Bitcoin to Bitcoin transactions. Coinbase also has a mobile wallet app for Android as well as an SMS-based mobile wallet.
BTCChina is China’s leading Bitcoin exchange, both in terms of trading volumes and the amount of liquidity. BTCChina has a number of notable security features going for it, including its new Picasso service, which offers offline storage of Bitcoins. Since BTCChina focuses on a specific country, it also provides SMS verification for added security.
BTCChina only supports Chinese Yuan. The exchange charges a 0.1% trading commission fee. However, limit orders not executed immediately get a 0.1% rebate upon completion. In addition, "market-makers" that add to market liquidity are exempted from trading commission and get a 0.1% market-maker rebate.
CampBX is a United States-based Bitcoin exchange with a number of advanced trading features. Some of these features include Spend-X trades, short selling and margin trading, although the latter two are not yet active. CampBX promises 99.99% uptime and is audited daily by security auditor McAfee. CampBX also has Google TOTP two-factor authentication.
CampBX only accepts USD at the moment, but they are working on accepting EUR. Fees for both quick and advanced orders are 0.55%, with bulk discounts available. CampBX also has its own Testnet version, which lets users practice trading with easily-obtained coins akin to play money.
Cryptsy is the exchange to go to for trading between different cryptocurrencies. Cryptsy lets you trade over 60 different types of cryptocurrencies, from the more popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin to less-popular cryptocurrencies such as QuarkCoin, ZetaCoin and, yes, Dogecoin. As of now, Cryptsy focuses on coin-to-coin trading, but it intends to allow users to trade in USD soon.
Cryptsy also plans to expand its service offerings and establish escrow services, further establishing itself as a service for merchants looking to start accepting cryptocurrencies. Cryptsy charges a 0.2% fee on purchases and a 0.3% fee on sales.
Bter is a lot like Cryptsy in that it’s more of a large altcoin exchange rather than a place to buy and sell Bitcoins. Bter was one of the first altcoin exchanges to support Primecoin. Unlike Cryptsy, Bter also enables you to buy and sell coins using Chinese Yuan. Bter includes security provisions such as manual withdrawal confirmation and Google TOTP two-factor authentication.
Bter only supports Chinese Yuan. It also developed its own desktop cryptocurrency trading software, BterTrader. The software lets you track trading values, Moving Average indicators and market depth, all from your desktop. Bter charges a 0.2% fee for both sales and purchases.