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Where to Buy Bitcoin: A Guide to The Top 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

After suffering one of its worst-ever starts to a year, Bitcoin surged back to prominence in March with a 9% gain, nearly reversing losses from earlier in 2022 and beating U.S. stocks while spearheading a rise across broader digital-asset markets.

Now, suddenly, a day cannot pass without hearing about Bitcoin. Look one way, and there, Larry David and Matt Damon are advertising crypto firms. Swivel your head– oh, hey, it’s the mayors of New York City and Miami debating who loves Bitcoin more.

More and more individuals are interested in Bitcoin these days; after all, it’s the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Whether you’re a financial institution, an everyday investor, or just curious about all the fuss, you may want to know where to buy Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are one of the simplest ways to buy bitcoin, and this article will guide you to the 10 top cryptocurrency exchanges for buying Bitcoin.

What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is a market-house where you can buy and sell cryptos, like Ether or Bitcoin using different traditional fiat money options or other digital currencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges function similarly to other trading platforms you might be familiar with. They set up accounts for you where you can generate various order types to buy, sell, and speculate in the cryptocurrency market.

Advanced trading features like futures trading and margin accounts are accessible on some crypto exchanges, but they are less common for users in the United States. Others include crypto staking or crypto lending, which allow you to earn money on your cryptocurrency holdings. The leading exchanges provide educational resources to keep you informed on all things crypto.

In general, there are two categories of cryptocurrency exchanges: centralized and decentralized exchanges.

·        Centralized Exchanges

In a centralized exchange, a central authority handles all the order books and transactions. Users can transfer their fiat cash, such as dollars, directly into cryptocurrency on centralized exchanges, making it simple to get started with crypto trading.

Some bitcoin enthusiasts believe that centralized exchanges conflict with the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies. Centralized exchanges may demand users fulfill Know Your Customer (KYC) standards— to reveal their identity to combat money laundering and fraud, like when applying for a bank account.

The downside to centralized exchanges is that they are prone to hacks. In January 2018, the popular centralized exchange Coincheck was hacked, losing $530 million worth of NEM. Following this incident, Centralized crypto exchanges have strengthened their security to counter breaches in recent years. They now store most customer funds offline and have insurance coverage in place to cover crypto losses in the event of a hacking, among other things.

·        Decentralized Exchanges

Network nodes handle order books and transactions in decentralized exchanges rather than a central authority. Anyone who joins a DEX network can certify transactions, similar to how bitcoin blockchains function. This may improve accountability and transparency while also ensuring that exchange can continue to operate regardless of the firm’s state.

The problem is that decentralized exchanges are far less user-friendly in terms of U.I. and currency conversion. Users can’t always deposit dollars and exchange them for crypto on decentralized exchanges. This implies you must either have cryptocurrency or utilize a centralized exchange to obtain crypto that you can use on a DEX.

You’ll undoubtedly be doing direct peer-to-peer exchanges as well. This implies it may take longer to locate someone interested in buying what you’re selling, and you may have to accept price concessions to purchase or sell low-volume crypto swiftly if liquidity is low.

The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges

You can trade bitcoin and other digital assets on nearly 600 cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. However, prices, quality, and safety differentiate them. Experts recommend that it’s best to stick with well-known, high-volume exchanges. Below is the best list of the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges.

1.   Binance

Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally in terms of the daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. It is a safe and solid marketplace for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, with a simple buy/sell process.

You can trade bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies using various payment methods, including bank transfer, credit or debit card, and cash. To give you a secure and flawless crypto-buying experience, Binance only works with verified and trustworthy partners.

Binance accepts several currencies and makes it simple to buy crypto with USD, AUD, EUR, and other fiat currencies. To acquire crypto, you can use a variety of accepted stablecoins like Binance USD (BUSD), Coinbase USD Coin (USDC), and Tether (USDT).

2.   Coinbase Exchange

Coinbase is a popular cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. Fortunately; you can purchase Bitcoin using the Coinbase app wherever Coinbase is available. It’s quick, simple, and safe.

Notably, 98 percent of customer assets are held in cold storage in a global network of safe deposit boxes backed by digital and paper backups. Bank-level encryption and security protect its website. All accounts must also use two-factor authentication, which helps prevent anyone from accessing your account unless they have physical access to your phone. Coinbase makes it easy for investors to buy crypto with USD, AUD, EUR, INR, and RUB,

3.   FTX

This cryptocurrency exchange is ideal for experienced investors looking for low fees and advanced features. FTX offers margin trading, short selling, and a variety of order types. It also has a special feature that permits users to trade a basket of cryptocurrencies as if it were a single asset.

FTX accepts USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, and CNY payments. You can buy bitcoin or other cryptos on FTX with various payment methods, including bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards. Every cryptocurrency exchange must prioritize security, and FTX.US is no exception. It offers a custom-built hot and cold wallet for holding customer crypto funds and agreements with industry-leading custodians and complete external backing of all hot wallet funds. Users can also utilize two-factor authentication (2FA) for logins and withdrawals to protect their accounts.

4.   Kraken

Kraken is a cryptocurrency exchange that authorizes users to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum. Kraken is one of the first Bitcoin exchanges, and it offers over 120 different coins for buying, selling, and trading at low costs. It’s notable for supporting spot trading and cryptocurrency futures at current market rates. Kraken offers users margin accounts and futures trading, riskier products beneficial for particular trading strategies. There’s also a feature to secure your account from any changes if you’re concerned that hackers could breach it.

5.   KuCoin

KuCoin’s extensive features, cheap fees, and a wide choice of coins are ideal for experienced cryptocurrency traders. However, KuCoin does not have a license to operate in the United States, lowering its ranking.

KuCoin also has a mobile app that permits you to recruit trading bots. Trading bots can trade your cryptocurrencies, so you don’t have to keep track of the market. To secure the crypto assets stored on its exchange, KuCoin has teamed with Onchain Custodian. This includes Lockton insurance against crimes like hacking. It also has a bug bounty system to encourage ethical hackers to report system flaws.

6.   Huobi Global

Huobi Global provides an all-encompassing ecosystem for experienced crypto traders and investors, allowing them to buy, sell, stake, and borrow various cryptos, including Bitcoin. However, the exchange has yet to attain regulatory compliance in substantial areas, and beginners may struggle to use the platform’s numerous tools and features. It is not also available in the U.S.

Huobi secures client assets in multi-signature cold wallets and has a 20,000 BTC Security Reserve Fund to deal with serious security incidents to ensure its users’ safety.

7.   Gate.io

Gate.io will most certainly overwhelm inexperienced investors or those just getting started. They will be dissatisfied by the inability to deposit fiat currency, such as U.S. dollars, to buy crypto directly on the platform. If you don’t already have coins, you’ll need to buy them on another exchange and transfer them to the platform to start trading.

The Gate.io platform provides real-time market data to its consumers. You can view information like the current price, trading volume, liquidity, and price trends of all supported altcoins on the platform. Despite Gate.io’s hack in 2019, Cryptocurrency Exchange Ranking (CER), a third-party that reviews crypto exchange cyber security, ranked the platform as the best in August 2020.

8.   Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a famous cryptocurrency exchange globally known for its low fees. It’s also linked to the Tether stablecoin, which has caused the exchange to run into regulatory issues. The minimal costs on Bittfinex are favorable, but its shaky history may concern future customers.

To keep user accounts safe, Bitfinex uses different industry-standard security measures. Two-factor authentication, powerful APIs for linking third-party services, withdrawal protection mechanisms, and cold storage of customer assets are just a couple of the features available.

9.   Crypto.com Exchange

Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers trading, investment, staking, wallets, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This exchange has over 250 different currencies, low fees, and discounts for individuals in a significant position in Crypto.com Coin (CRO). Its ecosystem of crypto-related items may be a suitable fit for people trying to get the most out of their coin.

Crypto.com utilizes various security procedures to keep user accounts safe, including multi-factor authentication (MFA) and whitelisting.

10.               Binance.US

Binance.US is a cryptocurrency exchange for citizens of the United States. While Binance.US boasts lower trading costs than its competitors, it has a limited variety of digital assets to buy, sell, and trade. It isn’t available in every state in the United States.

Binance.US provides its users with industry-standard security features. To buy, sell, or exchange cryptocurrency, users must also authenticate their identity. Although the verification process is time-consuming, it is in place to prevent fraud and other illicit actions.