Best Cryptocurrency Exchange • Ultimate Beginners Guide

UPDATE October 1st 2018: I have changed my cryptocurrency trading strategy. I still believe in longterm holds but I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can read more about this here

Making $350,000 trading cryptocurrency in 2017 was nothing short of a wild ride. And whilst I will forever be grateful for discovering and investing in Bitcoin, I have to be honest with you about something….

There are other cryptocurrencies out there which excite me FAR more than Bitcoin.

If you are interested in riding the cryptocurrency wave and taking the first step towards financial freedom then I strongly recommend diversifying into several different coins.

I’ve talked about this before but today I’m going to cover the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms to trade on in 2018. You see, many of the exchanges only list a limited selection of cryptocurrencies and if you want to make the most money it makes sense to be on several exchanges so that you can pick up coins when they are still cheap, before they have gone mainstream.

Some of my single biggest profits have been from investing in coins that are fractions of a cent, and only available on one or two exchanges, before they blew up.

Not all coins do blow up and you have to choose your positions wisely but if you want the best chance of making a killing trading cryptocurrency, you will need to be active on several exchanges, this is the ultimate list of my favourite cryptocurrency exchanges to check out…

Don’t get me wrong. I still believe Bitcoin has room for a ton of growth and I predict that by the end of 2018, a single Bitcoin will be worth around $50,000 – that’s an increase of 400% in a year, from the current price of $17,000 which is obviously still amazing but…

We can do better.

I believe the best cryptocurrency investment strategy is to invest in a portfolio of varied and exciting coins – picking these up when they are new to the scene, and still relatively cheap, is the optimum move.

Altcoins are more affordable than Bitcoin, Ethereum or other well established cryptocurrencies and crucially if you pick the correct altcoins – wow, those babies can fly!

Me watching my cryptocurrency stocks soar…

As I’ve highlighted before, my strategy when trading cryptocurrency has been, to diversify my crypto-portfolio, and watch as all of my coins accumulate in value.

Often, I sell half of a position when a coin triples in value – this gets my seed money out with a 50% profit and leaves the other half of the position in their on the long term.

I now shy away from day-trading as I find it stressful, time consuming and have noticed that I tend to do much better when I aim for larger movements in the market. I’m a swing trader, I’m in this for the long game.

Don’t think two months ahead. Think two years ahead… That’s how you can make the most money.

UPDATE October 1st 2018: I have changed my cryptocurrency trading strategy. I still believe in longterm holds but I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can read more about this here. 

To start investing in altcoins, you need to buy your Bitcoin, register for an account on one of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms of 2018, buy shiny new coins with your Bitcoin and start making money…

Without further ado, let’s get stuck in and examine some of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms of 2018.


Quick Answer: The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges


What is a cryptocurrency exchange?

If you want to follow the strategy of building out a diversified cryptocurrency portfolio, you won’t just want to buy Bitcoin.

Yes, you’ll have to start by buying Bitcoin, but after that you’ll take that cryptocurrency, send it to an exchange and use it to buy other cryptocurrencies (also referred to as alt-coins).

That’s what the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms allow you to do – to get in on new and exciting coins and split your initial investment up.

Bitcoin (and to a lesser extent, Ethereum) are the gatekeepers to cryptocurrency.

You have to buy your Bitcoin (or Ethereum), which you can then use to buy other cryptocurrencies.

the top cryptocurrency exchange platforms allow you to invest in alt-coins


Why you need to have accounts with multiple cryptocurrency exchanges

If you are interested in trading cryptocurrency one of the most important things you can do is open a few trading accounts. I highly recommend opening multiple accounts with a few of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for a few reasons…


Certain cryptocurrencies will only be available in certain exchanges

In October there were over 1,100 cryptocurrencies on the market, and they aren’t all easy to get ahold of.

As you’ll see when we analyze the best cryptocurrency exchanges, some platforms (Coinbase, Coinmama, etc) only offer a handful of coins. Sure, the popular coins are easy to find, but the largest chances to profit are usually with the cheaper coins.

By having accounts with a few exchange platforms, you will be able to access multiple cryptocurrencies and increase your likelihood of striking gold with the right alt-coin.

Obviously, it’s important that you do your research and do not just randomly buy up cheap coins, research is crucial here – stay tuned for my 2018 top picks for coins to invest in post – coming soon!


Additional Insurance for your Portfolio

This list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges is as legit as it gets. These companies are well reviewed, and as secure as can be…. but it’s still completely possible that any of these cryptocurrency exchange companies could crash and burn or get hacked.

This is why I recommend having accounts with a few of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms. If one of the companies does get hacked, you won’t lose all of your money and you’ll be able to keep on trading.

Also – Never keep your cryptocurrency funds in a trade account longer than you need to. Get in, make your trades, cycle profit out and keep it in safe. The best way to protect your long term holds is with a Trezor Hard Wallet .


What to look for in cryptocurrency exchange platforms

There are dozens of options, but to make a list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges, there were a few things I had to take into consideration, and when picking your own best cryptocurrency exchange, there are a few things YOU need to take into consideration.


Availability!!! (PLEASE READ)

Cryptocurrency is exploding like a beautiful volcano filled with gold, and because of this, the world is in a crypto-frenzy. Millions of new people are trying to sign up for memberships to cryptocurrency exchanges, which have in turn completely overwhelmed the cryptocurrency exchange servers and forced many of them to pause new user registrations. At the time of writing – multiple exchanges are not taking on new members.

This means that one day, an exchange platform will be ‘open’, but the next day it will ‘not be accepting new members’.

First off, let me say something – this is fucking great for crypto. Instead of being greedy and compromising security for an extra buck, cryptocurrency exchanges are taking time to improve infrastructure and improve their security. This is because the exchanges genuinely KNOW that cryptocurrency isn’t a fad – it’s the future. And they’d rather lose a month’s worth of new signups to do things correctly, and ensure there are no breaches. Slow and steady wins the race.

As of writing this article, I’d say a good 75% of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets have temporarily closed their doors. This leaves us with slim pickings, but thankfully there’s still a few great options offering their services while the others are temporarily down.

I strongly recommend joining any of the exchanges on this list that are still taking new members as soon as possible – as it is totally possible that these exchanges will also start limiting new signups in the next couple of weeks.

When these cryptocurrency exchanges begin accepting new members again, huge amounts of money will flow in to the marker – immediately. This will result in huge spikes across multiple coins to new all time highs, there has never been a better time to get into crypto than just before these spikes so right now is a good time to get the ball rolling and join the crypto-train…

I keep this list updated to ensure that you know which of the best cryptocurrency exchanges of 2018 is open for business, so you can get your account open and start building your cryptocurrency portfolio.


Which cryptocurrency exchange is safe

Safety is the most important thing to take into consideration. I made sure to only include the safest cryptocurrency exchange platforms of 2018. My recommendations are either cryptocurrency trading platforms that I personally use, cryptocurrency trading platforms used by people I know, or cryptocurrency platforms I’ve read sterling online-reviews from.

At the time of writing; I am actively trading on Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitfinex, and Binance.

While some people get freaked out by safety issues surrounding crypto, these days the exchanges have a ton of measures in place to stop hacking attempts and whilst this can be a tad irritating – complex verification processes are standard when joining many new exchanges – it’s for the safety of your cash and the cryptocurrency community.


Where the best cryptocurrency platforms are located

Head office locations of the platforms vary, but mostly you’ll see they are based in either the USA or Asia. This is important for two reasons. 1) The exchange region may make them more or less likely to offer certain coins e.g. Chinese exchanges tend to always list new Chinese coins and 2) depending where you are from you may or may not be able to join! Some of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms of 2018 only offer memberships to people in certain regions of the world, this is a bummer but there are ways around it.

Don’t worry, we’ll cover all this and more.


Cryptocurrency Exchange Fees

There’s no way around this – if you want the best cryptocurrency exchange platform, you’re going to have to pay per transaction.

But worry not! Again, this is good news as the best cryptocurrency trading platforms are reinvesting this money into customer support and enhanced security, which is certainly worth the small and noble trading fee. Trading fees on all exchanges are pretty minimal and you’re unlikely to really notice them affecting your bottom line.


Cryptocurrency Exchange Reputation

As with anything internet-related and money-related, reviews for the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms are not always consistent. My opinions are usually based on my experience. Can bad shit happen? Duh, obviously! But just be aware that a lot of people’s ‘negative’ experiences are their own fault and could have been avoided had they been more careful – always use two factor authentification guys!


The Best Cryptocurrency Exchange 2018 (Updated June 8th, 2018)

*Remember, this list is organised based on my highest recommendation for cryptocurrency exchange platforms based on which of them is currently accepting new members* 


Top pick right now: Binance Review

Binance is my favourite cryptocurrency exchange for trading

  • Location – Hong Kong
  • Founded in 2017
  • The Broke Backpacker – Best Cryptocurrency Exchange of 2018
  • Some of the fastest trades on market (hour or more done in less than 10 seconds)
  • Very simple setup an easy to use
  • Low fees (sometimes half of other cryptocurrency exchanges)
  • Easy interface – recommended for newbies!
  • Huge cryptocurrency database
  • Fantastic affiliate system

I’ve been using Binance for nearly a year now and it’s made quite the impression on me as it has catapulted itself as my favorite of all the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms of 2018.

I love the interface – very straightforward and easy to use.

But in my opinion, the two best things about Binance is 1) it’s got the largest cryptocurrency coin collection, and 2) it’s incredibly safe and secure.

I love Binance so much that I’ve put together an entire step-by-step guide on how to set up an account with them. Unfortunately though, Binance has currently paused new sign-ups.

Read the whole review and step by step guide here

Start trading crypto on Binance now!


Solid Pick for Newbies to Crypto: Terrexa


  • Location – Cyprus
  • Founded in 2018
  • Super easy to use
  • Purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum with USD or Euros
  • Fast registration process
  • Upfront fees
  • Easy interface – works with the Terexa app
  • Plans to offer more Cryptocurrencies soon

If you’re new to the Crypto space and simply want to dip your toe in the water, Terexa offers one of the fastest registration processes out there. You can sign up and purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum the same day – paying via either bank transfer or credit card.

Terexa doesn’t yet have the functionability or volume of the larger exchanges  but for getting your foot on the Crypto ladder, Terexa offers a shortcut past the mountains of verification that is often required to join cryptocurrency exchanges.

If you just want to buy, trade or hold Bitcoin or Ethereum, Terexa is probably the quickest way to do that.

Start trading crypto on Terexa now!


Bittrex Review

Bittrex is one of the top bitcoin trading platforms

  • Bittrex Location – Seattle, United States
  • Launched in 2014
  • One of the most reputable and popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms
  • Reputable for safety
  • Bittrex fees are a clean and transparent .25% fee per trade
  • Huge list of coins
  • Currently closed to new members

Truth be told, were it open to new members, Bittrex could be my number one recommendation. It’s probably the largest, and most respected name in cryptocurrency, and has done a great job ensuring it provides one of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms online.

There have been reviews about the site being slow, as well as fairly negative reviews concerning the Bittrex app (available on both iOS and Android)…. but aside from that, Bittrex reviews have been fairly stellar.

I find the charts are not as easy to read on Bittrex as Binance but besides that, I have no complaints.

But unfortunately, Bittrex is not currently taking on new members.


Bitmex Review

Bitmex is a great beginner cryptocurrency exchange

  • Location – Hong Kong
  • Launched in 2017
  • Easy to use
  • Customizable interface with light/dark theme
  • Can trade with leverage (good for traders with a ton of capital)
  • Great for advanced traders
  • 24/7 email (and support tickets on social media)
  • Excellent security
  • Lots of advanced features

Founded recently in Hong Kong, CEO Arthur Hayes’ background in equity derivatives and banking make him the perfect leader for what is quickly becoming respected as a top cryptocurrency trading platform.

But, Bitmex is not for everyone. While it is not necessarily complicated, it is definetaly designed for more advanced users to get the most out of it. The customizable interface enabled experienced traders to have their menu set up the way they prefer it, and the high trading volume gives the advantage to traders with a ton of capital.

If you are a beginner in cryptocurrency, but are utterly fascinated and have found your life calling – sure, give Bitmex a go. But ultimately, while Bitmex is phenomenal, if you are a beginner, I would be much more keen to recommend Binance .

Start trading crypto on Bitmex now!


Bitfinex Review

best cryptocurrency exchange

Good for pros, BitFinex is one of the best platforms for trading cryptocurrency

  • Location – Hong Kong
  • Founded in 2016
  • Top cryptocurrency platform in USA market (owns 10% of market)
  • Unlimited withdrawal
  • Well reviewed app (btw NEVER TRADE on the apps, just use it to track the market)
  • Multiple payment options
  • Secure (after being hacked in 2016)
  • Interface isn’t most user-friendly
  • Customizable interface/menu
  • Low fees
  • Some reports of long waiting time for withdrawals
  • Limited alt-coin selection (only 24 coins available as of writing this)

Again, while maybe a bit more recommended for experienced cryptocurrency traders, Bitfinex is one of the most dominant names in cryptocurrency exchange and trade in 2018.

Owning the largest share of the US market, Bitfinex has had quite an up and down run. In 2016 the platform was hacked which resulted in the loss of 72 million USD worth of Bitcoin. Yikes. But! The hack did little to the company’s loyal customer base, as they have improved security measures, and they continue to dominate the largest cryptocurrency market on the planet.

One major pro is that Bitfinex has a LOT of the volume for major coins and this is a good place to dip your toe into margin trading however – I do not recommend margin trading unless you have several months of trading experience under your belt.

With only 24 alt-coins available, I have a hard time finding a reason to recommend this cryptocurrency exchange over any of the others that have similar security, low fees, but allow access to other beautiful alt-coins.

Start trading crypto on BitFinex now!


Coinbase Review

best cryptocurrency exchange

Coinbase is a legendary cryptocurrency exchange platform AND is still taking new members

  • Location – San Francisco, USA
  • Founded in 2012
  • Can directly purchase Bitcoin (can buy with credit card, Paypal, or bank account)
  • Supported in 30 countries
  • Great design, easy to use
  • Connected to traditional-banking system of USA (and because of that, they are bit shady)

Coinbase is probably the most popular name in all of cryptocurrency exchanges. This is because it acts as more than just an exchange – it’s a platform to purchase your Bitcoin, and it also provides a wallet to store your cryptocurrency. This swiss-army knife approach to cryptocurrency helps explain it’s dominance in the market.

But unfortunately, in spite of all that goodness, it’s difficult for me to recommend Coinbase, as they seem to oppose everything that a decentralized currency actually is supposed to be. They are funded by major banks, are run by ex-Goldman Sachs executives, are in compliance with the IRS, and have been guilty of countless other acts of crime against the entire concept of what cryptocurrency should be.

OK, philosophical rant aside, if you can access Coinbase it’s actually quite convenient. But just in case shit hits the fan, get your coins out of there and store them unto your own secure Trezor Hard Wallet. 

Start trading crypto on Coinbase now!


Poloniex Review

best cryptocurrency exchange

Poloniex is a classic, but recommended for more experienced users

  • Location – USA
  • Only deal with cryptocurrency
  • Use Tether instead (USDT)
  • World’s largest cryptocurrency exchange
  • Lots of coins
  • Margin lending/User lending (fluctuating rates)

Poloniex is the exchange I first started on and I’ve been using it for over a year. The main problem with Poloniex is that the support is fucking terrible – it can take weeks to get a response. Another frustrating part about dealing with Poloniex is the exchanges desire to seem to want to pay taxes. Cryptocurrency trading exchanges like Poloniex and Bittrex are dealing with compliance tax issues by the US government.

These additional regulations and yellow tape are forcing US residents to trade on cryptocurrency exchange platforms that are not based in the USA (mostly China or Korea).

For this reason, I say keep it easy. Skip on anything-US based, and stick to Binance.


Coinmama Review

best cryptocurrency exchange

Coinmama allows you to trade Ethereum and Bitcoin… but that’s it

  • Located in Israel
  • Founded in 2013
  • Secure
  • Can purchase cryptocurrency with credit card
  • Need verification to purchase more than $150
  • Only Bitcoin and Etheruem
  • Available in a shit ton of countries (but limited in the USA)
  • 3.99% service charge

While 95% of people won’t use Coinmama as a cryptocurrency trading service, it technically can trade cryptocurrencies, as Coinmama works with both Ether and Bitcoin.

But having said that, Coinmama mostly exists to help people purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum with a debit or credit card.

If you are looking for a good place purchase Bitcoin, this is highly recommended (but due to high demand, new transactions are currently lagging).

Start trading Crypto on Coinmama now!


Kraken Review

best cryptocurrency exchange

Kraken’s reviews are polarizing, but it’s fans love it


  • Location – San Francisco, United States
  • Founded 2011
  • Polarizing cryptocurrency exchange
  • Complicated user interface (not recommended for beginners)
  • Low fees
  • Secure across the board
  • Only 17 cryptocurrency coins available (as of writing)
  • I HATE the charts

Unlike the other US-based cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Kraken’s biggest problem isn’t that it’s located in the USA. Kraken biggest problem is its customer support – they are all over the shot.

Easily the most polarizing of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms, depending whom you talk to, Kraken is either the best platform for trading cryptocurrency or the worst experience one can ever have. Complaints range, but typically revolve around their lackluster customer service.

Having said that, Kraken is one of the early adopters in cryptocurrency exchange, and regardless of its back-and-forth reviews, it has solidified itself as a premiere cryptocurrency exchange platform. Personally, I don’t use Kraken any more.


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Ultimately, if you want to make money with crypto you have a couple of options. The easiest thing to do is to build a diversified portfolio of carefully selected coins and then to simply wait a couple of years. However, this is not the most effective way to make mad money. If you want to truly crush it at crypto, you need access to truly knowledgeable people.

I am not your guru. I’m a crypto enthusiast, not a professional trader, and I make plenty of mistakes. There are a huge amount of ‘gurus’ and ‘experts’ out there but the truth is that many of them haven’t got a fucking clue what they are talking about.

Opinions in cryptocurrency are like assholes, everybody’s got one. It’s extremely easy to predict the market and hell, everybody seems like an expert, when cryptocurrency is experiencing a bull run.

It’s very very easy to make mad money when the market is on an upswing, less so when cryptocurrency enters a bear market. Talented traders, and those with information, can make money on the way up and on the way down.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the media, especially Twitter, can have huge effects of the market. If you decide that cryptocurrency is your new thing, if this is where you want to spend your time, then I strongly recommend that you educate yourself and improve your understanding of who to follow, who to trust, when to buy and when to hold.

There are many groups on Facebook where you can find like-minded folks who will happily talk crypto all day but the problem is that 99% of these groups are filled with people who have only a very basic understanding of cryptocurrency and the knowledge available here is not particularly strong. I have recently left almost every single group on Facebook as, in my opinion, they are largely filled with FUD.

If you are serious about cryptocurrency trading, I strongly recommend finding a mastermind group that suits your skill level and budget so that you can improve your knowledge, expose yourself to less risk, and gain access to news and tips before they hit the mainstream market – this is where the real money is to be made.


Conclusion to the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

This is a fascinating time in the history of cryptocurrency. Soon, everything crypto-related will settle down, and all of these platforms will be able to accept new members and help with new transactions.

But in the meantime, we have to deal with the fact that high demand has put most cryptocurrency platforms new business on hold. That leaves us looking for the ones that are currently operating.

Keep an eye on this list as I will be updating it regularly so ensure it’s as up to date with the market as I am able to do.


Disclaimer: I am not a professional (or even a veteran) trader. I am an intermediate trader with a passion for cryptocurrency. I am disclosing my own ventures in crypto because cryptocurrency trading does make up a chunk of my online income and I want to be 100% transparent with you when it comes to making money online. Investing in cryptocurrencies carries a risk – you may lose some or all of your investment. Always do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Again – this article is aimed purely at advising; draw your own conclusions on whether cryptocurrency trading is right for you.


  • Avatar Jay says:

    I seriously think Kraken is the best on this list as their security is as tough as f. Mind my words but I am into security and stability. That’s why I also added Fx Leaders as my go to guide since it is free. I am planning to get their premium for notification but since I am always in front of my computer so I guess not for now. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your post and following your guide. Thanks Will!

  • Avatar Thomas says:

    Sure, Binance, Coinbase and KuCoin have authority among the crypto community, however, there are also disadvantages. For example, I am not a supporter of registration, since cryptocurrency gives us anonymity. It is important. Next, there are limits, they are different, but they are. For those who live in the world of crypto, this is not very convenient. Recently, projects have been created that allow the use of unlimited exchange without registration. You may have heard about changenow, I have not found a description of this platform here, I hope you will prepare a review. This will be useful information for the community.

  • Avatar David Zurnamer says:

    I have only a couple hundred $US and have been threatening to invest for quite a while. Your openness is encouraging. I did buy a so-called mining contract, investing $100 of my few! However, I misunderstood about mining. So, regarding that as something long term (very!?), I want to be able to actually begin trading. I am fortunately already registered on Binance. Now, how do I take $100 cash and begin this show? Yup, total novice! Hope this is confidential.

  • Avatar Zain Ali says:

    Hello will,
    This article is a motivation for me. I am also a part-time trader, and currently I am in huge loss lol. Because of some of my mistakes I suffer from huge losses. But I think these mistakes will teach me and next time I’ll never repeat them.

  • Avatar Matthew Kaffel says:

    Hey Will,

    I have heard about crypto currency for years and obviously should have taken it more seriously back then, but can only look forward and not back. The reason I say this is bc I really appreciate you putting together all this info about crypto currency bc I just got serious about starting to invest and love all your content. After doing a bit of research, I really like your straight forward and NO BS approach. I felt like I couldn’t trust any other website…kind of a slimy feeling reading them…but not yours. I was more than happy to click on your affiliate links and hope get PAID! I just signed up for Coinbase, KuCoin and Binance from your links…even though I had seen them elsewhere. Keep that crypto currency content flowing…Thanks Matt

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