Although you should always do your own research before investing, below is the table of the best bitcoin exchanges to buy bitcoin online. If you are new to cryptocurrency exchanges then lookout for the ‘beginner-friendy’ column.
Secure cryptocurrency exchanges that are trustworthy and have good user ratings will rank higher than their peers. Extra points are given for sites to buy bitcoin with paypal, as many users request this feature. Ranking preference is also given for sites to buy bitcoin with credit card. Check out each option on the following best bitcoin exchange list. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.
What are the different types of Bitcoin exchange?
There are a couple of different exchanges, you can either buy bitcoin with another cryptocurrency, bitcoin with a fiat currency or bitcoin as a cfd through a broker. For more information and the best exchange to use see the following pages.
Hopefully the list of best bitcoin exchanges and cryptocurrency exchanges above will be of good use for how to trade bitcoins. Each outstanding site should have detailed instructions. From here, one can easily figure out how to buy bitcoin with credit card, paypal, cash, bank transfers. Once you have got some coins check out the list of available wallets. Our complete list of exchange reviews can be found following the link.
It’s a tough question in my opinion. Each will have an upside compared to others. Check a few out and look up on forums to see what users are saying about the service provided, and which they think are the best Crypto Exchanges to buy bitcoin easily. Localbitcoins.com is a really cool crypto exchange p2p bitcoin exchange for beginners wanting to buy for their first time. The service is all over the world, meaning you can use euros, pounds, yen, australian dollars, swiss francs, canadian dollars, krona, rubles, lira, rupees and so on. If you pay by physical cash then you get to meet the person in real life. Alternatively you can do a fast bank transfer and the site will hold your coins in escrow for you once it goes through. Obviously there are more simple ways to start using a crypto exchnages and bitcoin exchange and buy altcoins. Some like to buy with paypal, but not many leading bitcoin exchanges accept this because of chargebacks.
Generally the biggest bitcoin exchanges to buy cryptocurrency will be toward the top of the above list. For example Bitfinex, GDAX, Bitstamp, Coinbase (also the best usd bitcoin exchange) all represent large volume proportions. Daily volume varies, and therefore the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange vary each day. Go to bitcoinity for a good list of all the best bitcoin exchange site to buy cryptocurrency and their proportional volumes. Some find this handy for arbitrage between markets.
Sadly, with the demise of Cryptsy there is a need for a new major first-rate cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchange (aka altcoins). Having many medium-sized cryptocurrency exchange bitcoin sites is a better situation than having one large amazing option. Bittrex (new account creation temporarily disabled) has now replaced Poloniex as the largest most amazing option to exchange bitcoin. Its platform is functional enough to have attracted tens of millions of new customer every month. Things feel smooth when using Bittrex. All big and small trading pairs are offered and it is now possible to do cryptocurrency margin trading on major altcoins. This is a cool feature, but use it with caution as leveraged trading has a certain risk factor. Keep in mind that some of the best bitcoin exchange sites also do altcoins. Yobit, Bittrex, Cryptopia and Changelly, are great options worth checking out. Some even offer short selling on major coins.
You may also like to check the coin rankings & market capitalizations on coinkapp - which has a splendid comparisons list of the top cryptocurrencies. Alternatively, coinmarketcap offers a rather simplified list.
This is an important question to ask when choosing the best place to buy bitcoin. Yes, putting the words trustworthy bitcoin exchange and the best place to buy bitcoin in the same sentence seems like an oxymoron, especially when remembering the shiny days of MtGox (aka Empty-Gox). While the bitcoin protocol has never been hacked, many peripheral businesses have. Perhaps the best question to ask would be: which are the least secure bitcoin exchanges. Generally, those listed here are optimum and of good standing, but please proceed with caution. Remember never to leave more btc online than you can afford to loose.
Please come back to my blog and rate which ever finest site(s) you chose to buy BTC online. This helps future visitors immensely.
eToro was one of the first CFD providers to offer cryptocurrencies on their platform. With an extremely easy to use interface, it is a huge attraction for beginners who are looking to invest in crypto for the first time. Buying crypto as a CFD is different to buying and owning the actual cryptocurrency, but does it really matter? We take a look at eToro in more detail.
Coinbase Update: Coinbase buy and sell orders resolved but performance still 'degraded'. Coinbase combine an attractive interface, a great site to get bitcoins with a debit card, and an insured online wallet for your digital currency. Over 30,000,000 users are signed up, including 75,000 merchants, and 15000 developer apps. Works well for European, and American customers. It started with just bitcoin trading but has now expended to include Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum & Litecoin. I've also written a comprehensive Coinbase review for more detail.
Slightly more work needed when verifying account
Binance Update: Binance offers $250,000 reward for details that lead to arrest of hackers. The China-based cryptocurrency exchange began live trading in July 2017, so is fairly new to the crypto exchange world. However it has proven itself thus far to its clients, with its robust charting software and both basic and advanced interfaces attracting novice and expert traders. We've written an in depth analysis of Binance
Bittrex Update: We've unlisted Bittrex from the ranking while new account registrations remain closed. I'll be re-listing the exchange once new sign-ups are allowed. Currently only corporate accounts are being accepted, which is not ideal for cryptocurrency exchanges.
Update 2: Bittrex now claims they are compliant with SEC's ICO rules.
Bittrex has earned it's place as the new contender to the throne of world's largest crypto exchange. Years of hard work and some lucky circumstances (BTC-e shut-down, Poloniex exodus, Cryptsy) have compounded a steady inflow of new users. It is a great place to trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. I'll let you read the detail in my Bittrex review, which has some important facts and analysis.
Localbitcoins is quite a popular for p2p (person to person) transactions all over the world. Simply put, you interact directly with the guy selling to you. Out of all the bitcoin sites listed here, this is one of the first and most reputed. Escrow and dispute resolution is provided by the site. See my thorough review of Localbitcoins, I personally use it to cash out of positions quite often.
CEX is one of those international bitcoin exchanges accepting euros, British pounds, US dollars, Russian Rubles, Ethereum, Zcash, and Dash. Needless to say, CEX is very popular within those currency regions. There is a no-nonsense landing page, giving you the option to buy or sell 100, 200, 500, or 1000 USD worth of Bitcoin. I like the transparency given to users about how much they will actually pay - even before they sign up. Good security practices, a modern and simple user interface, and both bank transfer & credit card purchases are available. CEX is indeed a good beginner-optimized alternative to Coinbase. Read the comprehensive Cex review for more details including fees, verification, & security.
Recently Litecoin was unlisted
Kraken Update: In late 2017 Kraken was temporarily unlisted here following extensive trading engine and UI issues. Thankfully, in January 2018 the website underwent a successful migration and all systems are now reported to be functioning to everyone's satisfaction.
Kraken works well through SEPA, has an easy verification process (expect 4-6 weeks vetting with current backlog) compared to Bitstamp, and is very knowledgeable when it come to cryptography and security. As of early 2017, this platform has been re-positioning themselves as a crypto exchange by adding multiple new altcoins. I've written an in-depth Kraken review with everything you need to know..
GDAX is a cryptocurrency exchange that is great for technical traders and offers high levels of liquidity. Deposits are in USD and can be processed just as rapidly as withdrawls. Also happens to be the best ethereum exchange for serious players in this space. For more information on GDAX.
More ID processing steps than on Chinese trading platforms
Xcoins describes itself as a Bitcoin lending service that allows traders to get bitcoins by using a credit card or PayPal. Due to charge back with paypal, buying cryptocurrency has been difficult however Xcoins claims to have found a way around it. Their unique peer-to-peer lending model connects lenders and borrowers and allows users to get bitcoins through a series of secure loans. Each secure loan can be paid with any PayPal-recognised payment method. Unlike regular cryptocurrency exchanges, borrowers that no longer want the bitcoin can get their money back. Lenders may also choose to join the platform for free.
Update: Reports suggest Bitstamp will be sold to a South Korean gamain company. The price thought to be $350 million.
Bitstamp are big in Europe and, since 2011, have moved from Slovenia, and the United Kingdom in search of sound regulatory environments. Good volumes are available for larger trades. Well received by people using SEPA and credit cards. Both euro and US dollar deposits are accepted. I like Bitstamp because they really focus on being a pure bitcoin-only exchange (update: since 2017 Bitstamp have started adding popular cryptocoins). Please read my Bitstamp critique for analysis of factors such as security, fees, and the history.
Not available outside of EU and the USA
Update: Multi-currency money sending app Circle buys Poloniex for $400 million!
Poloniex was once the best cryptocurrency exchanges, before competitors like Bittrex starting offering superior services. Nevertheless Poloniex went through extremely fast traffic growth since the demise of its rival Cryptsy in 2016, and especially since the recent altcoin bubble of early 2017. Traffic has grown from 33 million monthly visits in November 2017 to 66 million in December 2017. Poloniex has the nicest trading interface out there, both for mobile and desktop users this will work wonders. Please note that because Poloniex is a pure "crypto" exchange, it is not possible to deposit government (fiat) currency. You'll need to first buy bitcoin elsewhere, and then deposit it to be able to tade. I've written a full analysis of Poloniex, further exploring the founders, users, security, fees, history, and alternatives.
Offshore foreign exchange and cryptocurrency broker based in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, its headquarters are in Montenegro, although it also boasts an office in London. Established in 2010 the owners have significant expertise in forex markets as well as stocks, CFDs and options both as traders and brokers. PaxForex’s customer support is its comprehensive trading guide that’s available to both newcomers and experienced traders.
Offers more than a dozen ways to fund your PaxForex trading account
Customer support team is available 24 hours a day between Monday and Friday.
PaxForex customers can trade Bitcoin and Ethereum using CFDs
Mini account with a minimum deposit of only $10
Not FCA or CySEC regulated
No multiple choices of trading platforms
Gemini is a fully registered, New York-based exchange that holds the status as being a NY state limited liability Trust. Its USP is its auctions, which are held twice a day and function pretty much like the auctions on major stock exchanges. Gemini operates in a similar space to Coinbase as it allows users to withdraw and deposit directly to and from their bank accounts. Although it serves a relatively small number of countries, the trust gives investors a bit more confidence compared to other entities in the cryptocurrency space. For a more in depth catch look at Gemini's exchange, read my review.
Changelly, the cryptocurrency exchange with over 700,000 customers on board aims to eliminate the technical barriers of traditional trading platforms by using an automatic trading robot that integrates Bittrex, Poloniex, and other leading trading platforms. Basically, it allows traders to trade virtual currency without needing verification or registering at any cryptocurrency exchange. Changelly asks exchanges to suggest the best rates available on trading pairs and operates by making bids. It processes more than 50,000 BTC on a monthly basis and offers seamless and instant conversion of 80+ tokens and altcoins. Changelly make how to buy cryptocurrencies easy.
Definitely an exchange I would recommend to those who are looking for a simple process, for more information check out our thorough review.
72Option, founded in 2011, the Cyprus-based broker is licensed and regulated by CySec and has clients in 14 countries across 3 continents. Traders use the popular SpotOption trading platform for binary options (types available include High/Low, 60 Second, Ladder, One Touch, Long Term, 5 Minutes, and Limits) while there is also CFD & Forex trading available.
Coinmama, a popular site for buying bitcoin or ether from those far-out tricky countries that are not accepted by the larger exchanges. Note that users cannot sell back to the site - only buy. There's much more detail in my inspection of Coinmama which I encourage you to read.
Credit card purchases from nearly all countries
Bitmex is the leading bitcoin margin trading site. Users can trade cryptocurrency derivatives with up to 100x leverage. Pairs include BTC/USD, Yen, Monero, Ripple, Dash, and Ethereum. Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes has used his experience as an equity derivatives trader for Deutsche Bank to design, build, and maintain exactly the type of platform that users are looking for. Granted that this platform is for experienced and seasoned traders. Beginners should avoid trading coins here without knowing the implied volatility risks.
With such high leverage it's easy to overlook implied risk factor
BitPanda is an Austria-based bitcoin broker that specialises in trading bitcoins within the Eurozone and offers a wide range of payment methods. Their exchange rate is higher than the average cryptocurrency exchange mainly due to the fact that they allow trades to buy bitcoins with Skrill, credit card, and other methods which allow chargeback. For more info about their rates, see our in-depth look at the exchange.
The broker boasts fast delivery and easy ID verification which makes trading small amounts of bitcoins particularly easy. Buying and selling larger volumes of the popular cryptocurrency, though, is a bit tougher due to the strict ID verification requirements. As for fees, the e-wallets come with higher charges while SEPA, SOFORT, GIROPAY, and EPS have very low fees.
Update: Stolen Coincheck NEM found in exchanges in Canada.
Coincheck is one of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and offers leveraged trading in some digital coins for JPY (Japanese YEN) and vice versa, plus a spot buy/sell service, among others. The crypto exchange offers one type of account with a 1:5 leverage. But, users need to undergo a particularly strict verification process to use that account. Can you trust Coincheck despite the breach in security? See here for more detail.
Coinexchange supports loads of altcoins, meaning that to buy cryptocurrency or cryptocurrencies is easy. Their stated goal is to provide traders with new ICOs, and a secure and safe exchange on which the altcoins available can be traded. Their 'About Us' section though, is lacking as it doesn't provide information about the platform’s licensing status or its history. Community chatter at Bitcoin Talk demonstrates people’s numbness to state a straightforward opinion about where to put this operation yet. That being said, the bitcoin exchange offers a highly accurate bitcoin exchange rate for every coin.
Update: Bitfinex the first firm to add SegWit support live on their platform.
Bitfinex’s high volume is key for traders as it ensures a low spread. More than 5.77 million bitcoins traded through it from April 2017 to October 2017 alone, which is double the volume of Kraken (3.6M BTC) and Coinbase (3.06M BTC). For newcomers, the complicated interface makes costly mistakes more probable while the lack of fiat funding options makes it impossible to use regular money to buy cryptocurrencies. However, experienced crypto traders will find everything they need at Bitfinex.
HitBTC, judging by the bitcoin trading volume, HitBTC is one of the most popular bitcoin exchanges that offers a broad spectrum of altcoins. Although it is a well-established exchange, they do not provide information about the country they are based in. Nor did they provide sufficient details about the hacking incident that occurred early in 2016 and affected their clients’ accounts. HitBTC only offers banking services to major market makers and institutional investors; they are not registered as a payment provider. Nevertheless, the exchange provides trading of 150+ different coins while traders who provide liquidity by placing their own asks and bids are paid a highly competitive 0.01% rebate. For more in depth analysis, read our review.
A lot of you have asked me whether trading bitcoin is better than buying it. The answer depends on your goals, and experience of bitcoin trading. If you're looking to hold bitcoin as a long-term investment and check the price intermittently, it's better to buy bitcoin. This way you benefit from a small, one time exchange fee and the assurance that you hold a physical bitcoin in your wallet which can be spent at various retail stores.
Trading requires daily technical analysis and a sound understanding of trading platforms. I wouldn't recommend this unless you're experienced with eToro or an MT4 platform. That said, there are benefits to bitcoin trading. It gives you the option to quickly scale in and out of positions, and take profits at a desired price. When you trade bitcoin, you can take advantage of daily fluctuations in price. The CFD brokers used for trading are regulated, and your funds are arguably more secure than at an exchange like Coinbase. You will be charged spread (fee) on each trade, but you can execute a buy or sell order quicker. The biggest benefit to trading bitcoin is the limit - it's far easier to open a $100,000 position at a CFD broker than go through stringent checks and buy an equivalent amount on Coinbase.
My honest opinion? Do both - start off by buying bitcoin at exchange, but learn to trade bitcoin so you can better take advantage of price movements.
There are loads of places where you can buy and sell Bitcoin in the US. In fact, some of the world’s most popular Bitcoin exchange sites are American.
Coinbase is one of America’s most popular Bitcoin exchange site and probably the fastest and easiest way to buy Bitcoin in the US. The site has an ‘Instant Buy’ option for credit or debit card purchases and setting up an account is quick and easy with no long waits for verification (this can be an issue with some exchange sites).
If you wish to buy Bitcoin via bank transfer on Coinbase, it can take up to five days which is a bit annoying. Although, if you do buy using a connected bank account, Coinbase charges a much lower fee for purchases – it’s 3.99% for credit/debit card purchases and only 1.49% for bank transfer purchase.
I’d say Coinbase is the easiest way for newbies to buy Bitcoin because the site specifically caters to those who may not be all that familiar with cryptocurrencies. Admittedly, the fees are a little on the steep side compared to, say, LocalBitcoins and Kraken, but the good thing about using Coinbase is that you don’t have to worry too much about security.
Coinbase gives users the option to store coins in what it calls ‘the Vault’ (a more secure location because allegedly not even Coinbase can access coins in the Vault). This is good because security can be a concern with some of the lesser known sites. In short, Coinbase is a trustworthy brand and a safe and secure place to buy Bitcoin.
Oh, and additionally, Coinbase accepts payment via PayPal, which many sites are yet to cater for. As well as Bitcoin, Coinbase also offers support for Ethereum and Litecoin.
Of course, Coinbase isn’t your only option if you want to buy Bitcoins in the US. There are countless other sites, some of which charge lower fees than Coinbase so it’s worth considering other options.
If it’s lower fees you’re after, LocalBitcoins is another good option because the site simply puts buyers and sellers in contact with one other and offers an escrow service to ensure nobody gets ripped off. It is solely for bitcoin trading but a benefit it has is that it operates in all countries and buyers can pay for Bitcoins however they like, though most pay via cash deposit. Just remember to follow the rules of the site and beware of scammers.
Finally, if you want low fees but still want to go the traditional exchange route, I’d recommend either Gemini, a New York-based site which offers some of the lowest fees around (but doesn’t operate in all states so check first to see if your state is catered for), or Kraken, which also charges low fees but can be a bit tricky for new users and the customer service isn’t all that great.
To be clear, I’ve only talked about sites where you can buy Bitcoin using FIAT money. There are other sites you can use if you already have another cryptocurrency and want to use that to buy Bitcoin.
If you are interested this is a good page to give you information on buying bitcoin the in the US.
At the time of writing, OKEx is the exchange with the largest bitcoin volume going through it. However, this changes on a regular basis.
With cryptocurrency exchanges moving locations (to avoid countries clamping down on them, namely China), the volumes of bitcoin traded at each one are often found to fluctuate.
Not only exchange locations but exchanges abilities to keep their trading functionality working is also another factor when looking at their volume. Binance, for example, recently stopped its trading services to update its systems. During that period, volumes were obviously completely down, however now they’re back, they sit second for the highest volume in the last 24 hours according to coinmarkepcap.com.
It is always worth keeping an eye on the news if you are interested in exchange volumes, watch out for regulation being introduced into different countries.
Bitcoin exchange fees are a pain, there’s no doubt about it. However, if you shop around you can avoid getting totally ripped off when you buy Bitcoin.
Bitstamp boasts deposit fees as low as 0.05% and, depending on how much Bitcoin you want to buy, you’ll be charged a transaction fee of between 0.25%-0.1%. If you deposit/withdraw your money via SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) you won’t be charged any hidden commissions, as is the case with some sites.
I’d say Kraken is also a good shout if it’s low fees you’re after. Their fee schedule can be found here: https://www.kraken.com/help/fees
The good thing about Kraken is you can buy using FIAT and they charge you next to nothing to withdraw your funds. Most other sites charge higher fees when you buy and then again when you withdraw so you get bitten twice, so to speak.
Coinbase’s rates are relatively low if you pay via a connected bank account (although the downside is this can take up to five days). When you buy via bank transfer, Coinbase usually charges a 1.49% commission on Bitcoin purchases (this varies slightly depending on what country you are in).
If you are in Europe and in a country which participates in SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), you are charged next to nothing to withdraw funds (€0.15 with Coinbase) which is great. The same goes for all sites which support SEPA. Kraken, for example, charges €0.09 for withdrawals.
Unfortunately, if you’re in the US, Canada, Australia or most other parts of the world, you’ll be charged a bit more to withdraw funds. This is annoying because you’re effectively paying commission twice: once when you buy and once when you withdraw.
Lowest fees are probably on LocalBitcoins because you’re buying directly from other people and the site doesn’t take much, per trade. Using LocalBitcoins maybe requires a tad more technical know-how but the site is good and reliable and guides you through the process of signing up and initiating a trade nicely.
Local Bitcoins charges a flat 1% fee on each purchase.
The easiest way to buy Bitcoin online is via exchange sites such as Coinbase or escrow services like LocalBitcoins. The exchanges mentioned will explain how to buy cryptocurrency in a simple manner.
You need an internet connection to be able to use these services. Once you’ve purchased Bitcoin, however, you can store coins in an offline wallet for added security.
You can do this by storing the private keys which relate to the coins on either a paper wallet or a hardware wallet.
If you’re looking to buy large quantities of Bitcoin, you can use OTC (Over the Counter) exchanges. OTCs specialize in fulfilling large orders and, as such, can usually execute your order a lot faster than traditional exchanges can.
With OTC exchanges, you can essentially buy Bitcoin offline because you either phone up or more likely visit the offices in person.
This is a problem lots of people are now beginning to run into. With many exchanges there are high levels of verification to go through before even getting close to that sort of initial deposit.
If you are based in the UK, you can organise a meeting with them to discuss the best ways to invest larger sums of capital.
There are other exchanges out there that are specifically designed for high rollers, Cumberland mining will only accept clients who are looking to invest over $100,000.
Plenty of exchanges allow you to buy Bitcoin instantly but you’ll usually have to pay a bit more for the privilege.
Coinbase, for example, has an Instant Buy option but you must use a credit or debit card so the transaction can be authenticated instantly and they charge 3.99% per purchase, rather than the usual 1.49%.
Many other sites offer a similar service but, like with Coinbase, it will usually cost a bit more than to buy via a connected bank account or wire transfer.
LocalBitcoins is another great way to buy Bitcoin quickly. Setting up an account doesn’t take long and, as long there are enough sellers, it is usually pretty easy to execute an order.