In the world of computers, nothing is cent percent secure — as proved by numerous hacks including various thefts of bitcoins worth millions and breach of HBO’s servers. And so is true for cryptocurrency exchanges — where many are backed by insecure strategies and false promises.
You might ask then: which exchange is trustworthy enough to buy bitcoins?
It’s hard to say and impossible to guess, but seeing the statistics and checking out the people’s experiences around the world, one can find out the most trustworthy exchange. This being the case, I’m listing below the most trusted bitcoin exchanges. The below list is compiled based on comments, feedbacks and experiences of numerous people.
Read Also: 4 Ways to Own Bitcoins Online
Coinbase is one of the effective mediums to trade bitcoin, ether, and litecoin. Coinbase supports over 32 countries; letting you trade using your local currency. Amazingly, your digital assets are stored in an offline storage, and its multi-signature vault gives you more control over your funds. It also provides apps for Android and iOS devices.
What I like is; Coinbase protects your digital assets with its insurance policy, i.e., you’re protected even if the exchange lose your funds due to a hack or system failure. Moreover, it also lets you schedule your purchases monthly or weekly to invest with discipline.
- It has easy and clean interface suitable for new users.
- You can set automatic payments to buy cryptocurrencies.
- Coinbase maintains high security towards your stored digital assets.
- Its insurance policy protects your digital currencies stored on its servers.
- Various countries are not supported including India, China, Russia, Germany, etc.
- It has limited payment methods like credit/debit cards, bank deposit, and PayPal.
- It poses certain limitations on trading bitcoins.
- Its transaction fees are high.
It is a peer-to-peer exchange that enables you to post exchange ads stating exchange rate and payment methods for trading bitcoins. That means, LocalBitcoins is a person-to-person bitcoin exchange where you can buy and sell bitcoins. Its web wallet stores your bitcoins from where you can sell them or transfer them to your personal bitcoin wallet.
What I like is all online trades on LocalBitcoins are protected with escrow system to avoid frauds and scams, similarly to escrow system on freelance job sites or other peer-to-peer sites. Interestingly, you can also enhance your account’s security by enabling 2-factor authentication and login guard to protect your account from unauthorized logins.
- It lets you trade bitcoins in 248 countries including Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, India, Japan, Switzerland, and many more.
- It supports various payment methods including PayPal and credit card.
- Its escrow system protects you from online frauds.
- It provides various methods for improving security.
- Chances of scams are high if precautions aren’t taken.
- It’s expensive to buy with credit cards and PayPal.
- Fees can be higher if you’re trading using cash because people are ready to pay extra for the privacy offered while trading with cash on LocalBitcoins.
Coinmama supports exchanging bitcoins, enabling you to buy bitcoins using a credit or debit card. What I like is, it secures and encrypts your personal information on dedicated servers as its traders’ security is its prior motive. You can also buy bitcoins with cash after you’ve provided the required documents and verified your account.
- Easy navigation and attractive user interface.
- Allows purchasing bitcoins with cash.
- Your privacy and security is on Coinmama’s priority list.
- Coinmama supports various credit or debit cards including VISA, MasterCard, etc.
- Good affiliate program that offers 15% of Coinmama’s commission to the referrals.
- Fees are high.
- You cannot sell bitcoins.
- All of its functions are not available in some countries.
- It supports payment by only credit/debit cards and not PayPal.
CEX.IO encrypts your complete data and provides strong security to your account. It supports almost 99% of countries and executes orders quickly. What fascinated me about CEX.IO is, it supports the popular payment methods and avails downloadable reports.
Surprisingly, it also supports margin trading and automatic funds borrowing along with numerous features for professional traders. CEX.IO protects your account against DDoS attacks, and it’s compliant with PCI DSS standards like above given secure exchanges.
- CEX.IO supports the various payment methods including credit/debit cards (VISA and MasterCard), bank transfer (SWIFT and SEPA), and coins (BTC and ETH).
- 0% trade fee for makers, and special conditions for high-volume traders.
- It supports US dollars, euros and rubles only.
- High fees is charged for trading bitcoins.
- Bank withdrawals might be expensive.
- Its interface may not seem easy to new users.
Bitstamp is a safe bitcoin exchange that secures your digital funds offline like many others. What I like is, it offers transparent volume-based pricing with zero hidden charges. Users can trade instantly using the major credit cards or the popular cryptocurrencies. Bitstamp supports trading in various coins and suits newbies as well as professional traders.
- Boasts to be first fully-licensed exchange by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance.
- It supports instant trading with the major credit cards like VISA and MasterCard.
- Provides strong security by storing 98% of funds offline and having yearly audits.
- Supports exchanging using the major fiat currencies like US dollars and euros, and popular cryptocurrencies like ETH, XRP, LTC, etc.
- Withdrawals are not instant and may take 2 – 5 days.
- Trading fees are higher if you are trading lower volume.
Kraken is a professional bitcoin exchange that offers high liquidity and implements high security and keeps funds in cold storage. Surprisingly, it offers leveraged bitcoin margin trading and features advanced order types for professional traders. This exchange’s funds are cryptographically verified and maintains very robust security standards.
- High liquidity in trades.
- Charges as low as 0% based on volume.
- Kraken offers solid security including encrypted cold storage.
- Supports numerous currencies including US &amp; Canadian dollars, pounds and yens.
- Support response are delayed at sometimes.
- Depositing currencies can be expensive in US and Canada.
- You may require documents like identity proof and residence proof for opening an advanced type of account on the Kraken platform, like opening a bank account.
BitBay is an easy-to-use trading platform that supports fast withdrawals and deposits. It keeps your account secured using 2-factor authentication, and notifies every account activity directly for safety purposes. I liked its “Instant Buying” and “Instant Selling” options which works just like you’re buying from or selling to BitBay immediately.
- “Instant Buying” and “Instant Selling” options lets you trade quickly.
- Supports trading using popular fiat currencies like US dollars and euros.
- Various tools are integrated with BitBay such as Bitcoin Ticker, TabTrader, Bitcoin Checker, etc. for advanced trading on this platform.
- Good affiliate program that offers 20% of BitBay’s commission to referrals.
- Fees can be high for international customers.
- Beginners might find the interface as difficult.
- You need to verify your account to avail all of its functions.
It is a bitcoin exchange which is feature-packed and built on the best technology, letting you buy and sell effortlessly. HitBTC incorporates advanced encryption technology and 2-factor authentication to give you peace of mind and help you trade safely. It consists of a fast and responsive interface that lets you trade easily without any registration process.
- 2-factor authentication is enabled.
- No registration is required to start trading bitcoins.
- It provides robust security including advanced encryption and cold storage.
- Supports trading many cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, XMR, DASH, LTC, BCC, etc.
- Its interface is not as easy as Coinbase.
- Its account verification process can be time-consuming.
Here are a few more:
This Hong Kong-headquartered bitcoin exchange is appealing for both traders and investors. The website is less flashy than the rest but practical. OKCoin is best for experienced traders with high familiarity with trading tools and platforms.
Best for: Traders
Choose another exchange if: You are not a trader.
Another trading-oriented bitcoin exchange in this list, ItBit offers reasonable rates for bitcoins but bear in mind there is a small fee on top of it. They offer “boutique service” for large bitcoin trades over 100BTC.
Best for: Full-service, premium bitcoin trading services.
Choose another exchange if: You want small amounts of bitcoins.
As the name suggests, BitQuick is all about speed. How it operates is similar to LocalBitcoins where you buy and sell from other individuals. Buying bitcoins will incur 2% fee. However selling bitcoins are free.
Best for: Fast transactions
Choose another exchange if: Speed isn’t a factor.
Circle is a pretty-looking platform and suitable for light to casual bitcoin users. Marketed first as a user-friendly payment platform with chat integration, you can link debit card, credit card or bank account to send money via Bitcoin’s blockchain to friends and family.
Best for: New bitcoin users who need funds transfer solution rather than holding bitcoin
Choose another exchange if: You truly want to keep the bitcoin or blockchain part invisible.
This bitcoin service provider is known better as one of the top bitcoin debit card providers. E-Coin is included in this list as they allow indirect bitcoin purchase with PayPal, which is rare. You can also buy bitcoins with PayPal with other services such as Paxful or VirWox – both options incur higher fees.
Best for: Buying bitcoins with Paypal (by topping up the virtual debit card with funds from PayPal)
Choose another exchange if: You don’t want or like the idea of bitcoin debit cards.
Which should you choose?
Well, it depends on your requirements. What I mean to say is first of all, think what are your requirements apart from safety and security, and then choose one of the above services. For example, do you need to exchange or trade, do you need to use mobile app, etc.
If you ask me, if I’d need an easy to use exchange service, I’ll go for Coinbase. If I’d need total privacy of my identity and funds, then I’ll choose LocalBitcoins and trade directly with the seller in cash. And apart from your requirements, you must also check if your chosen service is available and supported in your country before looking for any more info.
Hope you find this post helpful. Happy trading!