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You can use a cryptocurrency exchange to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). We’ve compared some popular Bitcoin exchanges by different categories to make it easier to find the best for you.
A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where you can buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies.
Some exchanges allow you to trade through fiat currencies, such as Malaysian ringgit or US dollars, while others allow you to buy cryptos using another digital currency like bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH).
There are exchanges designed to suit novice traders or those new to the world of cryptocurrency, as well as platforms designed for institutions and full-time traders.
Because not every exchange supports every available digital coin and token, you may need to use multiple crypto trading platforms to buy and sell the currencies you want.
The term “exchange” can be used to refer to a variety of crypto trading platforms:
If you’re researching peer-to-peer exchanges, you’ll also come across the concept of decentralised crypto exchanges. Many (but not all) peer-to-peer exchanges can also be as decentralised.
Decentralised exchanges (DEXs) are hosted on a network of distributed nodes and allow you to trade cryptocurrency directly with other users. The absence of centralisation means there’s no single point of failure for hackers to target, and server downtime is no longer an issue.
And because trades are executed using smart contracts, you can trade straight from your wallet. This ensures that you don’t have to transfer any of your coins and tokens onto an exchange, allowing you to retain control of your cryptocurrency at all times.
With more than 200 exchanges to choose from and more launching all the time, how can you find the best cryptocurrency exchange for your needs? The most important thing to do is to research a wide range of platforms and compare the pros and cons of each option. With hundreds of exchanges to choose from, how can you find the best cryptocurrency exchange for your needs? The most important thing to do is to research a wide range of platforms and compare the pros and cons of each option. The best Bitcoin exchange for you depends on what you’re looking for.
Consider the following factors when comparing crypto exchanges.
So how do cryptocurrency exchanges work? And how exactly can you buy and sell crypto on an exchange? Read on for step-by-step instructions on what you need to do.
For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have RM1,000 that you want to use to buy bitcoin.
In this scenario, let’s assume that you have 1 BTC that you want to exchange for ETH. Here’s what you need to do if placing a trade on a centralised crypto exchange:
However, if you’re using a decentralised crypto exchange, the process is a little different. You’ll typically be required to link your wallet to your account, but you’ll then be able to trade directly from wallet to wallet, with no requirement to deposit any funds on the exchange.
If you want to sell cryptocurrency on an exchange – let’s say bitcoin for the purposes of this example – you’ll need to follow these steps:
It’s now time to withdraw those funds from your exchange account, but the exact process you’ll need to follow depends on whether you’ve purchased crypto or fiat currency:
You’ll need to deposit funds on your cryptocurrency exchange. Bitcoin exchanges accept all sorts of deposit methods, including the following:
However, not all exchanges accept all payment options. To make things more complicated, some exchanges might accept one payment method for withdrawals, but not for deposits.
Processing times, fees and limits can all vary depending on the payment method you choose, so read the fine print to learn the ins and outs of each payment option. For example, while credit card deposits might be processed quickly, they usually attract high fees. Meanwhile, bank transfer deposits may not attract any fees, but they can take 1-2 business days to process.
Before you buy or sell cryptocurrency on any exchange, you’ll need to be fully aware of any fees that apply. Fees vary between platforms and may include:
When you buy cryptocurrency on an exchange, those digital coins are typically deposited straight into your exchange wallet. If you want to keep your coins in this wallet, you can.
However, using an exchange for long-term storage is not recommended. This is due to the fact that the exchange controls the private key to your wallet, so you effectively don’t have total control of your funds. And with exchanges regularly (and sometimes successfully) targeted by hackers, storing bitcoin or any other crypto on an exchange long-term is very risky.
A much safer option is to transfer your coins off the exchange and into a secure wallet that lets you control your private key.
While regulators are gradually implementing laws and guidelines to help protect consumers against fraud, there are still plenty of dodgy exchange operators out there. Falling victim to theft is a major concern for any crypto buyer, so what can you do to protect yourself against scam crypto exchanges?
There are several simple steps you can take:
For more info on how to stay safe when buying and selling cryptocurrency, check out our guide to bitcoin scams.
Not all crypto exchanges are created equal, and not all crypto buyers and sellers have the same trading needs. The best exchange for one person might not necessarily be the right choice for someone else, so it’s essential that you do your own research.
Check out our reviews on a range of leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Malaysia and around the world. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each Bitcoin exchange and consider how they align with your trading requirements.
This will help you find the best crypto exchange for your needs.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.
Learn more about the Crypto.com platform in our complete review.
Read about Bitsane’s features, security and fees to see if it’s the right cryptocurrency exchange for you.
If you’re looking for a secure, decentralised exchange where you can trade a huge range of Ethereum ERC20 tokens, check out our review of IDEX.
LocalMonero is a global peer-to-peer marketplace where users can buy and sell Monero (XMR) using their local currency. Find out how the platform works in this detailed guide.
If you want to buy or sell digital currencies on the Liquid crypto exchange, check out our review of its fees, features and payment methods as well as its pros and cons.
Cubits aims to be more than just a bitcoin broker. Think of it as a high-security wallet that enables seamless bitcoin to fiat currency conversions.
CoinCorner aims to be the world’s easiest and most straightforward way to buy, sell and transfer bitcoin. See how it works and whether it’s succeeded.
Learn all about Coinhako and how you can use it to buy bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash in Malaysia.
Binance is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. Here’s how to get started using it.
If you’re considering buying and selling crypto on HitBTC, a well-known exchange that supports more than 300 digital currencies, read this review first.
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