If you’re keen to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE) then you will most likely need an exchange to enable your transaction. A cryptocurrency exchange is a company that trades in cryptocurrencies, and there are two types: flat exchanges and crypto-to-crypto exchanges.
A flat exchange lets you buy virtual tokens using traditional currencies like US Dollars or European Euros. A crypto-to-crypto exchange lets traders buy and sell virtual currencies with other cryptocurrencies instead of more traditional ones.
Here are a few of the top cryptocurrency exchanges to give you some insights into the best options for your needs. I highly recommend that you set up and your accounts now, so that everything is ready to go when you want to make a purchase.
I made the mistake of not doing so and missed out on the Dogecoin jump from $0.04 to $0.40 because I had to wait for verification and funds transfer. Don’t make my mistake!
Coinbase is a San Francisco-based, centralized cryptocurrency exchange that has a user-friendly interface and is often recommended for beginners. It gives users the freedom to buy digital coins via a bank account or a credit card. It is also FDIC-insured, which gives customers some protection in the event of a cyber attack. It lets users withdraw funds directly into a US bank account or a PayPal account, which makes it very convenient.
Coinbase trades in 14 of the most popular tokens, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTE), and Ethereum (ETH). There is a limit to how much you can trade, which may frustrate advanced traders. It does, however, operate another exchange, Coinbase Pro, which has a larger selection of cryptocurrencies and offers more advanced trading features.
Coinbase is a good place to get started with trading in cryptocurrencies though you may prefer other options if you are an experienced trader. The cost of using Coinbase is a 1.49% processing fee on all transactions involving a bank account and 3.99% on transactions involving a credit card. Coinbase is a broker, which means customers can purchase cryptocurrencies directly.
Sign up using my Coinbase referral link and we’ll both get free Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 of crypto. Then, be sure to set up a recurring buy of $50 or more and you’ll also earn $10 after both your 4th and 8th recurring buys.
Launched in September 2019, also in San Francisco, Binance.US is the American arm of Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Now among the 10 largest exchanges by trading volume, (according to CoinMarketCap), Binance.US is also one of the few places you can trade Elon Musk’s favorite – Dogecoin.
While it doesn’t offer as many cryptocurrencies and crypto-to-crypto trading pairs as its parent company, the 50-plus selection at Binance.US still outpaces many other U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges. And its 0.1% trading fee is lower than many other U.S. exchanges.
The following cryptocurrencies are on Binance but not Coinbase: BND, VeChain (VET), Harmony (ONE), VeThor Token (VTHO), Dogecoin (DOGE), QTUM, and Matic Network (MATIC). On Coinbase, you’ll find Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Aave (AAVE), SushiSwap (SUSHI), and Celo (CGLD).
Referral Program info: You can start earning up to 40% of your invitee’s trading fees once you’ve passed advanced verification, provided all necessary personal information, reviewed and accepted the terms and conditions, and registered for the Referral Program.
Wall of Coins
This is also a popular platform for beginners because it lets you buy cryptocurrencies by making a direct funds transfer into the seller’s bank account. In a sense, it’s similar to Craigslist since it connects private buyers with sellers rather than selling directly. Once you find someone selling crypto at a price that suits you, you’ll be guided on how to transfer the funds to the seller. The minimum amount you need to spend is $5, and there’s no maximum limit, which gives a lot of freedom.
However, the platform only deals in Dash and Bitcoin, which can be restrictive for some. Another drawback is that processing times depend on individual sellers, which can make it slower than other platforms. You are billed for processing fees as part of your total rather than separately, and these fees are usually about 1-2% of your purchase.
Gemini is a cryptocurrency platform based in New York that has an intuitive interface and is also suitable for beginners. You can start trading even before your initial bank deposit has cleared, letting you take advantage of current prices instead of waiting up to a week to start trading. The site’s fees are reasonable but do vary with the volume of the trade. Generally, the prices are more reasonable the more trades you make. The site also offers a degree of protection against losses from potential cyber-attacks.
In addition to being a crypto exchange, it is also used as a wallet and a custodian. Gemini can be accessed through a web platform or an app – the mobile app has a digital wallet that lets you pay for goods using your crypto holdings.
This peer-to-peer money transfer system operates like a bank account and can be used to buy stocks and cryptocurrencies. It has a mobile interface and is simple to use, making it well suited for beginners. It also lets users withdraw cryptocurrency investments into their wallets. A drawback is that it only allows for trading in Bitcoins and not other cryptocurrencies. There are also limits to how much money in Bitcoins you can withdraw: currently set at $2000 worth of Bitcoins every day or $5000 in Bitcoins per week.
You can easily download the Bisq software and start using this peer-to-peer, decentralized crypto exchange. Because it is decentralized and non-custodial, it can’t be taken down, and only the user can control their funds. There’s also no registration process to start using it, which is good for anyone looking for privacy and people who don’t possess government-issued identification.
Bisq lets you trade in several different fiat currencies including US Dollars and Bitcoin. A drawback is that it can have slower transaction speeds depending on the payment method, and trading volumes may be low.
While Paypal is fairly new to cryptocurrency trade, it’s a trusted financial platform that has been around for years. You probably already have a Paypal account, right? If this is the case, you will be able to make your first trade in less than a minute because you’ve already gone trough all the identity verification hoops. This is actually where I bought my first Bitcoin. It was convenient, quick and easy.
Currently, you can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin through PayPal but I have a feeling this list will be expanding soon.
Downside? You can’t transfer your assets to another service or wallet (or import any more in), nor is there any other protection you can use (like a private key) to gain access to your cryptocurrency in the event you run into problems with PayPal. I recommend using it to get your feet wet, but move on to something a little more advanced as soon as you can.
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