There are two types of bitcoin exchanges that are important when purchasing Crypto. First type is cash which provides you the ability to buy Crypto through your bank or credit card.
Second is Crypto to Crypto Exchanges which allow you to trade between various cryptocurrencies. Cash exchanges are more difficult to set up and can take a while to verify so be prepared for that.
BAKKT exchange is now open for business. This market has given big money access to the crypto market. From ETFs to mutual funds, this is just the beginning of a change in Bitcoin which we have been waiting for.
Coinbase is one of the more popular cash exchanges and is a great place to start
for beginners. Based in San Francisco it
is very user friendly and you can pay via bank transfer, bank wire, and even credit or
Gemini is located in New York and is a very secure and trusted bitcoin exchange. There are several coins Gemini now supports including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Zcash among others. There will be quite a few Crypto to Crypto exchanges you will want to sign onto. Some Cryptos are only on a few exchanges and you will have to join that exchange in order to acquire them.
Bittrex is a reputable exchange Based in Seattle WA and has quite a few cryptos to choose from. This is a good place to start and get used to trading coins.
Binance is based in Hong Kong and is one of the newer Exchanges. They are very popular
and have a ton of coins to trade from yet changes are coming for US customers. US citizens are no longer allowed to trade their coins on Binance.com and instead have opened a new website at Binance.us for U.S. customers only. There are only a few coins on the US Exchange and certain states are not available for Trading.
Poloniex quickly became one of the largest exchanges providing features such as margin trading which most other exchanges don't provide.
It also provides robust security measures earning an A- on the ICO Rating Report!
Huobi is based in Shanghai China. This is an exchange that may have some unknown but up and coming coins you may want to grab onto. No longer available in the United States.
The exchanges are great places to get coins and to trade,
but there is a word of caution. Mt Gox was an exchange in
Tokyo that in 2014 was performing 70% of all Bitcoin transactions. One day trading was suspended and the website
shut down. 850,000 Bitcoins were lost or
stolen from this specific bitcoin exchange which was around $340 million in 2014. Today that would be worth billions and in the lawsuit they only had to pay in 2014 value.
Those investors learned a valuable lesson about coins, if you don’t have the private key in your hands you are trusting someone else who may not be trustworthy. This does NOT mean there is a problem with the system. The system is stout and SUPER secure if you use it correctly.
If you decide not to have your own wallet and store your coins in an exchange or online wallet such as Exodus then you don’t own it! There is no such thing as FDIC which insures your coins, if your private key is compromised you can kiss your holdings goodbye.
So as a rule of thumb, keep the majority of your coins in a Trezor, Ledger Nano S, printed on paper or memorized. This way you can know for sure that your coins are safe in the event of a catastrophic failure such as Mt. Gox. For those who would like to trade, keep a small amount on the exchanges. When the value of your coin increases put it in a local wallet for safe keeping.
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