With the value of Bitcoin rising drastically over the past year, it’s no wonder many people have developed a new found interest in the cryptocurrency.
With that comes the fact that many individuals will start looking for a reliable way to manage and trade their Bitcoins.
As a matter of fact, some of the more entrepreneurial-minded internet users will even look to earn a few bucks from said trading, and for that they will need a reliable platform to conduct their business.
What to look for?
So what exactly makes a certain exchange platform worth using? It really depends on who is being asked, but most people will agree that certain factors are always important to note.
1. Privacy – one of the main attributes of Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency is the fact that, when handled properly, transactions cannot be tied to a certain individual.
The privacy that this offers can be greatly mitigated by an exchange that is too lenient about their security, or is outright snooping on its customers.
2. Reliability – as stated above, some people will decide to base most of their business on Bitcoin trading.
For that to be a success, they need to know that the exchange they are using will not try to undermine, scam or steal from them.
Reliability can be a difficult factor to measure properly, since the best way to do so is to ask the users themselves about their experiences.
That’s why the exchanges listed further down were chosen in part based on overall public impression.
3. Fees – pretty much every Bitcoin exchange has some sort of a fee they charge users.
Fees are in place mostly to ensure the services run smoothly and compensate those who are working to enable their users a proper trading experience.
These fees can be one time, per registered account, or per transaction, depending on the Bitcoin exchange in question.
There are also different types of fees; some can be percent-based, depending on the amount of Bitcoin that’s being exchanged, while others are experience-based and depend on the number of transactions or the amount of time certain users have spent using a particular service.
4. Trading Volume – depending on the person, it can be very important to be able to exchange large quantities of Bitcoin on a daily basis and in some cases, that can be disabled by the service itself.
As it stands, most exchanges have a predetermined amount of Bitcoin they will allow a certain user to exchange on a daily and weekly basis.
These caps can be raised by performing several transactions or by other means of account verification.
Best Bitcoin Exchanges and What They Offer
The Bitcoin transaction is carried out between two people, and the service is only there to make sure that the transaction is carried out without any problems.
That being said, registering a LocalBitcoins account is the easiest to perform of the mentioned services, and it requires the least amount of information (none of it is personal) making it the most privacy-oriented service on the list.
Couple that with the fact that it allows cash-in-hand payments, the Bitcoin ordered over LocalBitcoins will be almost impossible to trace back to the buyer.
The service itself has a five-year history with the community, and it is widely considered to be THE platform to acquire and sell Bitcoin all over the world.
Due to the fact that the service itself plays a very small role in Bitcoin transactions, the possibility of fraudulent exchanges is minimized to the fullest.
The registration process for a LocalBitcoins account carries no fee at all. The same is true for any transaction using the services.
In case a user wants to create an advertisement on the LocalBitcoins website, the fee will amount to 1% of any future Bitcoin sale made using LocalBitcoins.
Transferring funds to the wallet will have a Bitcoin network transaction fee, which changes depending on the current usage of the Bitcoinblockchain.
Also, in case the funds are sent to the LocalBitcoins wallet, a Bitcoin network fee will be reduced from the deposit. In case the deposit is smaller than the current fee, the deposit will not be processed.
4. Trading Volume
As with many other factors regarding LocalBitcoins, the trading volume is determined by the person registered as a Bitcoin seller on the service’s website.
There is a possibility of setting both the minimum and maximum amount of Bitcoin that can be exchanged.
While Kraken is one of the more reputable cryptocurrency exchanges and is considered to be one of the more secure services, some users might still be deterred by the amount of personal information the platform needs in order to verify users’ accounts.
And this verification process is necessary in order for one to be able to deposit money and buy Bitcoin from Kraken.
The information needed for verification includes:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Country of residence
- Phone number
These pieces of information cover the first two levels of verification and while there are others still, the first two should be enough for most users to reliably conduct any Bitcoin trading.
As a matter of fact, it is one of the best-graded centralized exchanges on the internet, which should prove a lot considering that the Bitcoin community has traditionally been suspicious of centralized systems, usually for a good reason.
While Kraken’s fee system can be a bit confusing for a first-time user, there is a simple way to explain it.
All fees are charged on a per-trade basis. There are some slight differences in fees depending on the currency used to acquire Bitcoin.
Also, the platform has “maker” and “taker” titles, which represent whether the person trading Bitcoin is going to affect the current Kraken market (maker) or if they are going to accept Kraken’s exchange rates (taker).
Lastly, the amount of funds traded on the platform plays a role, but all transactions below 50,000 of the chosen currency will have a fee of 0.26% for takers or 0.16% for makers.
All in all, Kraken is probably the cheapest Bitcoin exchange service if one is judging by fees alone.
4) Trading Volume
As stated above, there are several different levels of account verification that one can acquire on Kraken.
While higher levels require an increasing amount of personal information to be provided, they also increase the trading volume for the given account.
For level 2 of the verification process, the above mentioned personal information is required, and there is a daily deposit and withdrawal cap of 2,000 in fiat currency and a 5,000 withdrawal cap for cryptocurrency.
Also, there are 10,000 and 50,000 monthly caps for fiat currency deposit or withdrawal and cryptocurrency withdrawal, respectively.
When creating an account, some personal information will be required in order to connect a user’s PayPal/Skrill/Bank account to the VirWoX system.
- These pieces of information include:
- Email address
- First and last name
- Country of origin
VirWoX states on its website that the platform will acquire some personal information of clients when transferring funds, but that such information will be kept secret, unless requested by public authorities.
One of the main reasons for this is its outstanding customer support and willingness to help out users to rectify issues that were not their fault.
One of the main negative aspects of using VirWoX is that its usage fees are a little bit higher than those of its competitors.
However, this has not proven to be a major issue for the business, as many users are happy to pay the higher fees if the service they receive is outstanding, which it obviously is.
1. For a Market Order, the fee is calculated as a variable percent of 1.9%-3.9% plus a flat rate of 25-50 SLL (Second Life Linden), a currency used on the VirWoX website which can be used for buying Bitcoin and sold for fiat currency.
2. For Limit Orders, there is a commission rate that varies depending on the amount of funds being exchanged.
It can go from 0.78% for 200,000 SLL to 3.9% for any amount between 0 and 1,000 SLL.
3. Deposits have a different fee depending on the means of payment:
- PayPal – the fee varies with the currency, the location of the customer, the method of payment, the size of the transaction, and the amount of previous PayPal transactions.
- Credit/Debit Card or Skrill – like with PayPal, this factor influences the height of the fee (for Euro, the fee is 0.39 Euro, for 3.5% of the transaction).
- Paysafecard – the deposit fee is 20%.
- SOFORTbanking – this applies to transactions of 10 Euros or less. The fee is 0.25 Euros plus 2.5% applied to the transaction value.
4. Withdrawals carry a fee of 0.002 BTC per Bitcoin. There is also a fee of 1EUR (or 1USD, 1GPB, 1CHF)plus a 2% fee per withdrawal via PayPal, and a fee for 1EUR per withdrawal charged for other withdrawals as well, such as Skrill or Bank Transfers.
5. There is also an inactivity fee for accounts that haven’t been accessed for 12 months or more, but it will be withdrawn only from accounts that have a positive balance.
4) Trading Volume
There are restrictions in trading volumes depending on the validation level of a certain account, which also depends on the amount of time a client is willing to wait in order for the transaction to be executed.
A level 0 account can trade up to 90 Euros per day and up to 270 Euros per month. This is increased to 120, 200, 400 and 1,000 per day or 900, 2,000, 4,000 and 10,000 per month for levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
There are currently no limits imposed for withdrawing funds.
The only information required in order to start trading Bitcoin are a working email address and a phone number.
Paxful does, however, claim that the system gathers certain information having to do with use of the website and service, such as IP and server logs—which include the IP of every request made to the server.
Although Paxful claims that such information is kept strictly to improve the performance and comfort-of-use for the service, it is still important to note that this data is collected in the first place.
It’s also important to note that a few months prior to writing this article, reports surfaced that fake Android apps were using this service supposedly to steal Paxful login information from users.
But it seems that those programs were removed from the App Store pretty quickly.
Many people go as far as admitting that Paxful is the main rival of the LocalBitcoins service, despite having a smaller customer base.
This alone should speak volumes, especially considering that this community relies heavily upon word-of-mouth information and personal experience to judge a newly launched service.
1. As far as fees go, those looking to buy Bitcoin off Paxful will be pleased to find that there is no fee at all from the service provider’s side.
There is, however, a fee set by every individual seller which can go anywhere from 0% to 100%.
The most common practice is to place a 30% fee on any Bitcoin exchange, which can be quite steep especially for those looking to buy larger amounts of Bitcoin.
2. All sellers of Bitcoin on Paxful are charged a 1% fee per sale.
3. As far as wallet fees go, only the sender is responsible for the payment to the Bitcoin network itself. As such, this fee is calculated according to the network’s rules and regulations.
4. There is also a miner’s fee of 0.0008, which can be quite high for those looking to send a small amount of Bitcoin.
4) Trading Volume
There is no trading volume set by the Paxful service provider. Each individual seller decides how much Bitcointhey are selling, and how much Bitcointhey are willing to sell in a single transaction.
The personal information that one will have to provide to start trading Bitcoin on CEX.IO include:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Internet address
- Date of birth
- Photographic evidence
- Banking details and bank account data
Like with VirWoX, there is a distinct difference between “maker” and “taker” users. While no fee is required of “maker” users, “taker” users have to pay a varying percentage fee, depending on the amount of Bitcoin being traded.
This fee ranges from 0.20% for amounts less than five Bitcoin, and down to 0.10% for amounts over 6,000 Bitcoin.
4) Trading Volume
CEX.IO has no trading volume set, which is good news for people looking to trade larger amounts of Bitcoin in a short period of time.
While there are many different Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange services out there, the five listed above all stand out from their competitors in one way or another.
Whether it’s smaller fees or increased privacy,there are many qualities that make these services worth using.
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