For many, the first step into the world of cryptocurrencies is by way of an exchange, which is essentially a marketplace that allows users to both buy and sell various cryptocurrencies. In many ways, it’s similar to the process of buying and selling stocks via a stock exchange, but it differs in one fundamental way. There is no middle man, no broker executing transactions, with a cryptocurrency exchange.
With anywhere around 200 exchanges in operation, with most of them not operating under any rules or regulations, you have to do your homework before you place your trust (and your finances) in any of them. With that said, there are a few key factors you should definitely consider when choosing a crypto trading platform.
Security and Authenticity
The level of security offered by an exchange is vital, and there are two points you should consider when looking into this. Does your exchange offer cold storage facilities? This is crucial in ensuring that your coins are safely stored offline, out of the reach of hackers. High-level SSL encryption is also a must, and keep an eye out for the availability of 2-factor authenticity (2FA)
When considering signing up to an exchange, you need to make sure that the customer support is on-point, because you never know when you’re going to need them, and a lack of customer support can cost you time and money. Email support is a must and is offered by any exchange worth its salt, while some may even provide live chat facilities.
You want to look for an exchange that makes it easy for you to use their platform. There’s no point in trying to negotiate a cumbersome, confusing user interface; it will just cause you problems in the long run. Make sure to look for exchanges that put user experience at the top of their priority list.
A contentious point for many traders, and something that can make or break an exchange. You’re looking for relatively low transaction fees on buying and selling crypto, as it’ll prevent your profit margins being eaten up in the long run, which goes without saying if you’re a constant trader. Check the fees offered by the exchange you’re looking at, and be sure to compare them with other exchanges before signing up with anyone.
Large or Small?
Most people would initially see this as a no-brainer of sorts, with the larger, more established exchanges being the obvious choice, right?
Well, not always.
Most exchanges offer something different to its users, and it depends on what you’re looking for. Larger exchanges are large for a reason, usually because they’ve earned the reputation they have by providing a good level of service over a period of time, but you’ll sometimes find that smaller exchanges offer a more personalized level of service or factors that larger exchanges either can’t or don’t.
In the case of Gemini, which was founded by the Winklevoss twins, users based in the United States can enjoy using an exchange that is regulated by New York’s Department of Financial Services. If you’re based outside the US, however, it may not be the exchange for you, as they only accept US dollar deposits.
RightBTC is another exchange that’s been making headlines of late, with the Dubai-based operation offering low trading fees and claiming to screen every coin that they provide on their platform to ensure that scam tokens don’t dupe their customers. This is obviously a real plus if you’re relatively new to crypto and allows you to know that whichever coin you buy has been vetted by the exchange.
Many times smaller exchanges will allow access to some of the newer, less popular currencies that haven’t hit the main exchanges yet, which is something that traders looking to get in early and make a profit will find attractive.
In the end, the crypto exchange that you choose should be a fit for you, so be sure to take the above into account before making your choice, and don’t just go with what’s popular at the time.
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