The total market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies stood at over $220 billion on September 28, 2018. Since the launch of the very first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, in 2008, these digital assets have intrigued and attracted investors from all across the globe. Driven by rising investment and trade in digital currencies, crypto money exchanges were set up.

These exchanges are virtual platforms, where you can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies, against other virtual currencies or fiat currencies like the US dollar, pound sterling, euro and more. However, before trading, make sure you do adequate research on the reputation, fees, verification requirements, geographical restrictions, payment methods and exchange rate of each cryptocurrency exchange.

Today, with the number of exchanges operating worldwide, making an informed investment decision is the key to success. Here’s a look at 5 top cryptocurrency exchanges.


1.    Poloniex

Poloniex is considered to be one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It was founded in 2014 by Tristan D’Agosta. Based out of the US, this exchange offers more than 100 cryptocurrencies for trade. The site is very easy to use and loaded with features to enhance your trading experience.

 The fee depends on whether you are a maker or a taker. For makers, the fee ranges from 0% to 0.15%, based on the amount of trade. For takers, the fee is between 0.10% and 0.25% of the transaction. No extra charges are levied on withdrawal, apart from the transaction fees required by the network.

 Poloniex also features a chatbox, which provides help to all users. You’ll also get various data analysis tools to enhance your trade decisions. However, it doesn’t support fiat currencies. If you are looking to trade only in altcoins, Poloneix could be a good choice.


2.    Bittrex

Another US-based crypto money exchange, Bittrex provides access to over 190 cryptocurrencies for trading. These digital currencies are well-regulated and compliant with US regulations, ensuring security of your investment.

 Users on this platform decide the rate at which they want to trade and Bittrex charges 0.25% of the transaction as its fee. Withdrawals are free, except for the transaction fees required by the network. You need to register and log in through your email ID to start using the services of Bittrex. However, to withdraw funds, you need to complete a KYC by submitting your identity documents and phone number.

 Bittrex offers two-factor authentication for greater data security for user accounts. It is a crypto-only exchange, with a user-friendly interface and advanced tools to aid trading decisions.


3.    Coinbase

Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is based out of San Francisco, California. It only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. You can easily buy cryptocurrency from Coinbase through a digital wallet or a credit card. The digital wallet offered by this exchange is compatible with iOS and Android.

 You can trade with other users using the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) subsidiary of Coinbase. The exchange doesn’t charge any fee for moving funds between your Coinbase account and GDAX account. The services of GDAX are currently available in the US, Europe, UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore. It charges a fee of 0.25% on each transaction.


4.    Bitfinex

This is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges today, launched in 2014. It is registered in the British Virgin Islands, with its headquarters in Hong Kong. Unlike Coinbase, Bittrex and Poloniex, you can trade using US dollars on Bitfinex. This exchange charges 0.1%-0.8% of the transaction as its fee. You will be charged a fee on both deposits and withdrawals.

 To use this exchange, you need to register with Bitfinex, verify your identity and authenticate yourself with the documents requested. You will find advanced features like limit orders, stop orders, trailing stop and such like along with various charts, to assist you in your trade decisions.


5.    Kraken

This US-based exchange, founded in 2011, operates in the EU, Canada, Japan and the US. Kraken has grown to become the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, with respect to both liquidity and euro trading volume. The exchange allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple, Ethereum and more. It also allows trade between Bitcoin and the euro, US dollar, Canadian dollar, Great British pound and the Japanese yen. However, this exchange is more suitable for experienced traders.

Kraken charges 0.05% to 0.75% as its fee for each transaction. It uses two-factor authentication to secure user accounts. It also sports features like margin trading and account leveraging.

Today, there are a plethora of options for trading in cryptocurrencies. However, you need to research before investing in these crypto money exchanges, given that they are subject to various risks. It is important for you to find the exchange that matches your trading needs the best and stay updated with the latest news and updates in the segment to make informed trading decisions.