Best Bitcoin Exchanges in 2020: The Definitive Guide [Reworked]

By Alex Cavanagh on ALTCOIN MAGAZINEBitcoin exchanges come and go, but the best Bitcoin exchanges live on and get added to lists like ours for all to see!Today there is a veritable smorgasbord of options available for Bitcoin traders looking for a place to profitably buy and sell the world’s number one cryptocurrency.While many may seem equal on the surface, the services and tools provided by some platforms just don’t stack up against the advanced systems that are available to the users of the best Bitcoin exchanges in 2020.It’s with this thought in mind that we’re going to take a deeper look at what Bitcoin is for a start, continuing to look at the start of the crypto market and how crypto exchanges have today developed over time to become more advanced.We’ve put together a list of the best Bitcoin trading platforms available right now for traders based on range of factors, and we’re finishing it off by looking at which exchanges will do well and which will struggle throughout 2020.What is Bitcoin?Bitcoin’s CreationBitcoin is the wonder-tech shrouded in mystery since its creation by an anonymous group or individual called Satoshi Nakamoto. No-one knows anything about who created Bitcoin for sure, but there have been plenty of rumors and suggested Satoshi’s.When Bitcoin was created only a tiny handful of people knew or cared about it. Mainly this group was made up of computer scientists and members of cypherpunk and economic anarchist groups that were interested in ways of creating cryptographically-secured digital currencies.That’s exactly what Bitcoin is, but it wasn’t the first digital currency to be created — just the first to be truly successful.Store of Value vs Medium of ExchangeBitcoin’s main two uses are as a store of value, and as a medium for the exchange of value.While there are camps within the cryptocurrency industry to believe that one or the other is true, and even newer versions of Bitcoin like Bitcoin Cash which are firmly designed for one purpose or the other, Bitcoin really does serve both goals equally well.Bitcoin can be used to convert wealth normally held in banks into a digital unit of value that you control without the need for anyone else.Bitcoin can also be used to pay people for goods and services, and each year is being adopted more and more as a method of payment as well.While Bitcoin isn’t absolutely perfect for either of these situations and there are drawbacks to both, Bitcoin does provide many users with solutions to these problems that financial institutions have simply not been able to — hence the exponential growth in the value of Bitcoin in the last 10 years.Bitcoin TradingThe main activity undertaken by Bitcoin users is Bitcoin trading — buying and selling Bitcoin on trading platforms in order to attempt to generate a profit.In much the same way that stocks and forex is traded, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can also be traded on the open market and can be used by speculators to create extremely lucrative revenue streams.Bitcoin traders are found all over the world today, and use one or more of the many trading platforms that have sprung up in the past years in order to service the booming cryptocurrency industry.How Many Bitcoin Exchanges are the Today?Bitcoin Exchanges in the Early DaysTo begin with, there were no places to freely trade Bitcoin. This was because it was so new that business hadn’t had time to catch up with the technology, and so anyone that owned Bitcoin had to manually find individuals that wanted to trade and then directly trade with them.Although there were a few earlier and much smaller exchanges, the first real major Bitcoin exchange was Mt.Gox.Mt.Gox was so large that at one point it controlled 70% of all Bitcoin transactions that were taking place, but alas in early 2014 the platform collapsed following the news that it had more than 850,000 Bitcoins stolen from their accounts during a hack.At the time this was worth a whopping $473 million. Even more jaw-dropping is that today the value of those stolen Bitcoins is in excess of $6.4 billion!Bitcoin Exchanges Before 2017After the collapse of Mt.Gox, a number of new platforms launched to take the slack left by them.Kraken, Bitfinex, BTC-e, and Bitstamp were a few of the earliest Bitcoin trading platforms that were major in any kind of way following Mt.Gox. As the industry grew from 2014–2017, so did the value of Bitcoin and the number of traders becoming involved.Although this growth was steady, it was also relatively tame compared to the events of 2016 and 2017 following the launch of Ethereum, ICO boom and last Bitcoin bull run that blew the Bitcoin all-time high up to almost $20,000.Bitcoin Exchanges TodaySince 2017’s bull run many new trading platforms have come onto the scene, and while many are really just cookie-cutter imitations of earlier exchanges, some like PrimeXBT has truly broken the mould and brought something newer and better to the marketplace.New trading platforms that are at the highest level are revolutionizing the way that traders interact with Bitcoin by bringing new tools and innovations into their platforms.Today there are hundreds of Bitcoin trading platforms, and while a vast majority of those are not really worth visiting, read on further to check out the ones that are high-quality trading providers.Which Types of Bitcoin Trading Platforms are there?Bitcoin ExchangesOriginally there were just Bitcoin exchanges — platforms that provide the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin itself, and to trade directly with thousands of other traders.Exchanges are typically less secure than other platforms and performance-wise are often slower because of the higher number of concurrent connections that need to be maintained.After the crypto industry began to modernize and traders started to demand more advanced ways to generate profit, exchanges gradually began to be superseded by our next type of platform: Brokerages.Bitcoin BrokeragesBrokerages have recently become the much preferred way for traders to profit from Bitcoin.Whereas exchanges allow traders to buy Bitcoin itself, brokerages provide more flexibility by letting traders create positions that yield profit when Bitcoin’s price moves in the correct direction.This has blown open the crypto margin trading industry, which was really controlled by a single platform up until a couple of years ago — and when this year that platform, Bitmex, was hit by some huge scandals.Brokerages are typically safer than exchanges, and the speed of transactions is reliably faster on these platforms as well — allowing for increased profitability from less slippage.Decentralized ExchangesDecentralized exchanges or “DEX’s” are the newest type of crypto trading platform, and unlike brokerages and exchanges which both have custody over the assets being traded on them, DEX’s simply provide the technology for multiple wallets to connect with each other and trade directly.This has been one of the most interesting ideas within crypto, but unfortunately, all attempts to create successful DEX’s have never really got off the ground.This is because of the technical complexity of creating these systems, and a range of technical issues that are also quite preventative compared to brokerages and normal exchanges.Best Bitcoin Exchanges in 2020PrimeXBTPrimeXBT is the market leader for multi-asset crypto margin trading and has exponentially grown both its user base and trade volume over the recent past to now have a daily average trade volume of up to $550 million per day.The platform has a clean and user-friendly interface, with tools such as professional charting technologies, 50+ indicators, multi-monitor capabilities and a powerful trading engine that can execute up to 12,000 trades per second built right into its systems.PrimeXBT has grown largely as a result of its low fees of just 0.05% on all trades, as well as it successful 4-tier referral program that has generated $1 million in payments for the top 3 affiliates.As well as this, PrimeXBT has advanced security and has never been hacked or breached.BinanceBinance is a well-known crypto exchange that uses its BNB token to grow its user base and lists a wide range of crypto-assets to trade.The platform suffered a huge hack in early 2019 to the tune of $40 million in users’ funds, but has recovered from that to continue forward throughout the rest of the year.Binance’s user interface is easy to get the hang of, and for anyone wanting to margin trade the platform offers up to 3x.This is low in comparison to other sites, and really should be much higher in order for Binance to remain competitive.HuobiHuobi is an Asian-based exchange that has been around for a number of years.The platform provides a good user experience with a design that is easy on the eye, and a simple options menu to select and create trades.Huobi has built a loyal following in some parts of Asia, and has recently branched out into listing IEOs or Initial Exchange Offerings, which are the next version of the famous cryptocurrency ICOs, Initial Coin Offerings.Traders can use Huobi quite easily, and although Huobi’s fees are higher than PrimeXBT by quite a bit, they are still lower than Binance’s.What is the Future of Bitcoin Trading?Bitcoin trading today is not the same beast as Bitcoin trading circa 2013.For a start, the size of trading volume moving around the exchanges of the world are hundreds of times larger, and the number of crypto traders in the market today has continued to increase exponentially since 2013.But the biggest change in the marketplace by far has been the move by institutional traders into the market over the past few years.This is what has contributed massively to the growth in trade volume, as institutional traders deal in millions of dollars of Bitcoin per week.But this has also seriously increased the sophistication of the market, with hedge funds and investment backs using algorithms and high-powered trading bots in Bitcoin markets that used to only operate and mainstream stock markets.As we move into the future, access points like the pending Bitcoin ETF’s and the newly launched Bakkt project will create superhighways of wealth that can move from traditional markets into crypto markets.This will continue to push the price of Bitcoin higher, and will dramatically increase its price considering that the size of the total cryptocurrency marketcap is currently a fraction of the size of all forex, stocks and commodities markets in the world.As this happens cryptocurrency markets will gradually begin to resemble traditional markets more and more, including regulation to some degree being a likely outcome.This is both good and bad — good for anyone that is dealing in huge volumes of Bitcoin and needs greater stability, bad for anyone that believes in the tenants of cryptocurrency and doesn’t want to see it become wall street 2.0.Which Bitcoin Trading Platforms are Looking Particularly Strong?PrimeXBT is our top pick in the list above, and for good reason.Their ascension to the top will continue throughout 2020, and the impending bull run will only help this market leader to take over the reigns from older, more obsolete and less trusted platform like our next entry.Which Bitcoin Trading Platforms are Going to Struggle in 2020?Bitmex has fallen from grace throughout 2019, being hit by 3 major scandals in one year it’s genuinely surprising that they are still trading at this point.In early 2019 the long-standing rumors of Bitmex’s nefarious behavior was confirmed when they were outed for trading against their own clientele, deliberately liquidating their client’s positions, and creating a huge $100 million insurance fund with this money.At the same time, the U.S CFTC announced that they were launching an investigation into the platform for potentially illegal activity including deliberately allow U.S citizens to trade.The trifecta was completed later in 2019 when on a single day Bitmex’s Twitter account was hacked as the platform made an announcement that a huge amount of their users’ privacy data had also been leaked publicly.2020 may be the year that Bitmex turns it all around, but to be honest, we doubt it.Summary: Best Bitcoin Exchanges in 2020Bitcoin trading is popular as ever, and while people want to trade BTC there will always be platforms there to provide the necessary tools to make this happen.As trade volumes rise more and more exchanges are coming onto the market — so now more than ever, traders can afford to shop around to find the best crypto trading platforms available today.We’ve put together a list of the platforms we believe fit this bill, along with our reasoning for listing them and if you’re searching for the best places to trade Bitcoin online you might want to take a look at those on our list and see whether their services suit your needs.Altcoin Magazine Bitcoin Exchanges in 2020: The Definitive Guide [Reworked] was originally published in ALTCOIN MAGAZINE on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Author: Alex Cavanagh