- If you are looking to buy and trade cryptocurrency, did you now that Coinbase might be your least attractive option?
- Often it will pay to buy Bitcoin on one exchange and trade digital currency on another platform
- Decentralized exchanges like Bitshares are becoming more popular, but do you know what the real benefits are?
Thought Bitcoin was dead? Think again. Despite the current Bitcoin price being stuck at $10,000, investor interest is at an all-time high. In fact, Goldman Sachs sponsored startup Circle, has just bought leading cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.
There is just one question. If you are looking to invest in digital currency, which Bitcoin exchange should you be using?
Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Buying & Trading
Bitcoin exchange Coinbase is easily the world’s most popular exchange. In November 2017, Coinbase surpassed 13 million users. However, Coinbase isn’t just a digital currency exchange. As well as this, Coinbase users also benefit from access to the Coinbase operated GDAX trading platform.
Of course, being the best-known cryptocurrency exchange in the world doesn’t automatically make Coinbase the best. In fact, many people who buy Bitcoin and trade cryptocurrency using Coinbase, have serious reservations with the platform.
- Coinbase has a long history of freezing accounts and suspending trading during peak trading periods
- Coinbase verification can take days and in some cases, even weeks
- Coinbase regularly suspends user accounts without notice
- Up until recently, Coinbase failed to adopt segregated witness protocols (segwit) and in doing so, purposefully drove up
- Bitcoin transaction times, frees, and prices
- All centralized exchanges like Coinbase are prone to hacking and make it difficult for users to withdraw and exchange funds freely
2018’s Top Coinbase Alternatives
Because of Coinbase’s many shortcomings, millions of people looking to buy Bitcoin and trade digital assets, are increasingly gravitating toward alternative exchanges.
Buy Bitcoin at Xapo & Trade Digital Currency Using Binance
Based in Switzerland, Xapo is one of just a handful of Bitcoin exchanges which allow people to buy Bitcoin instantly via bank transfer and/or via regular credit and debit card.
- Xapo verification usually takes less than 24-hours
- Bitcoin can be bought at regular market prices
- Bitcoin balances on Xapo can be linked to Xapo debit cards which users can use to spend Bitcoin just like fiat cash
- Xapo benefits from robust multi-factor wallet security
Sadly, Xapo only allows users to buy Bitcoin. This means that people looking to buy and trade other forms of digital currency will first need to buy Bitcoin at Xapo, before transferring funds to trading platforms such as Binance.
Binance as 2018’s Best Centralized Cryptocurrency Trading Platform
Binance is currently 2018’s fastest growing cryptocurrency trading platform.
Based in China, Binance offers the highest number of altcoins available to trade and is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Already listing over 140 altcoins, Binance allows users to trade fee-free, and is the only exchange to feature a fully features IOS and Android trading app.
Sadly, because Binance is centralized (meaning that all exchange data is held on a set number of servers) Binance is just as susceptible to hacking as other exchanges like Coinbase and GDAX.
Bitshares & The Rise of Decentralized Bitcoin Exchanges
Recent high-profile Bitcoin exchange hacks have led many cryptocurrency traders to start showing a preference for decentralized Bitcoin exchanges. This is because unlike exchanges hosted by central companies like Coinbase, decentralization allows users to stay in complete control of their assets.
- No single point of regulation means that exchanges can’t be shut down or forced to comply with central government regulations
- No controlling central group can close or freeze trading accounts
- Distribution across several blockchain nodes means that exchanges are free from exploitable security weaknesses
Of course, decentralizing an entire cryptocurrency is far from easy. At present, however, decentralized exchange Bitshares, offers all the same functionality of Coinbase, even when it comes to buying Bitcoin on-site.
Safer & More Secure
Cryptocurrency traders lost millions in 2017, simply by having accounts frozen by Coinbase during peak trading periods. Because of this fact alone, platforms like Bitshares will soon be the norm, as people start looking for better ways to secure their cryptocurrency.
Of course, with decentralized exchanges, no one can reset passwords or login details if these are ever lost or stolen. This being the case, if you do plan on moving to an exchange like Bitshares, you will need to be prepared to become solely responsible for your own online identity and account security.