The 5 Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2018

best cryptocurrency exchanges

Discover the best cryptocurrency exchanges from someone who has lost over $3 million

Looking to buy and sell cryptos and want to know the best Cryptocurrency exchanges to trade through? As of right now, I've personally lost in excess of $3 million in fraudulent, hacked or collapsed exchanges.

Today I am going to offer you as much guidance as possible to ensure you benefit from my multi-million dollar mistakes. I'll take you on a tour from the outright dangerous to those the big hedge funds would place funds with.

Let's get started on the best cryptocurrency exchanges in 2018

First, a little history.

Since the mid-nineties, electronic trading platforms have been my preferred platform for trading. Over time, I have worked out that although many are great, there are occasionally dangerous and unsuccessful platforms too.

While this article doesn’t profess to be the ultimate guide to the best cryptocurrency exchanges, it is a useful guide to choosing an exchange based on my personal experience from when I started to trade bitcoins in 2013.

Horrible cryptocurrency exchange collapses

Since Bitcoin exchange platforms arrived in 2011, there have been several horrible crypto exchange collapses.

I have also had my fair share of losses from exchange failure; with 8 bitcoins hacked in the Mt Gox exchange, 5 and a half bitcoins disappearing in the IGOT exchange and the equivalent of 8000 Dash and 100,000 Ripple lost in the fraudulent Crypsy Exchange.

While dwelling on these losses doesn’t help me much, particularly when I realise that they amount to over $3 million at today’s exchange rates, hopefully, they will help you when looking at your various exchange options. Experiences like these have taught me to do extensive research, ensuring when choosing a top cryptocurrency exchange, I will avoid situations like this in the future.

It is important to always check the potential exchange on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Checking these sites can bring you into contact with users’ complaints and how they are handled, resolved and improved on.

It is an effective way to tell how often the platform goes down as well as get an overall feel for their customer support.

Do not treat crypto exchanges as a personal wallet - trust nobody

Some platforms claim they are audited, some say they keep 98% of all coins in cold wallets and some say they are hack-proof, although, it is critical to maintain a certain amount of scepticism.

Cryptocurrency exchange tips and tricks

  1. Different exchanges are good at different things.
  2. Some crypto exchanges are built only for trading major digital currencies, such as Bitcoin Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Etherium.
  3. Some exchanges allow users to sell or buy bitcoins and the more exotic coins.
  4. Some exchanges may be safer because they are transparent and regulated.
  5. Some exchanges are state of the art and have all the facilities.

1. BITTREX Cryptocurrency Exchange

Top 5 Crypto Exchanges in 2018 from Someone Who Has Lost Over $3 Million

Bittrex tends to be the exchange I recommend for beginners.

Bittrex is sleek, functional and based in the U.S.

Click play on the video below to see how easy it is to place a live limit and conditional orders.

It supports a wide range digital currencies, so you have plenty of scope to trade crypto to crypto across a range of digital assets.

I find the trading and order systems extremely easy to use. It's very hard to make a costly mistake, this is why I tend to use this exchange.

The charts are okay, not fantastic, but very easy to navigate.

The platform and user interface is set up for the serious day trader or the infrequent user.

Like to day trade? The Bittrex exchange might be perfect for you

If you like to day trade cryptocurrencies, then this could be your go-to exchange. Exchange fees, brokerage and transfer costs are on par with most other exchanges.

Bittrex is a digital exchange, so if you want to take profit on your digital currencies, you have to use the digital currency version of the US Dollar (USD) - Tether USDT.

There has been a lot of criticism of USDT relating to its unaudited circulating supply.

The reality is that sometimes you just want to be out of the digital currency market, and this is a great facility when wanting to do that, rather than paying the fees on bank transfers back to USD, GBP or EUR for example.

I have done hundreds of trades and depositing and withdrawing on Bittrex and have never had a problem.

Having said that, there are a few areas of placing orders I'd like to see improved. Click play on the video below to see the truth, warts and all with their platform.

2. BINANCE Cryptocurrency Exchange

Top 5 Crypto Exchanges in 2018 from Someone Who Has Lost Over $3 Million

I think the Binance exchange is the Asian equivalent of Bittrex.

Once again, it is perfect for novice traders.

Number of cryptocurrencies available on Binance

It hosts 304 digital currencies and is the 2nd largest by volume exchange. It came to prominence once digital currency trading became popular in Japan and South Korea.

Binance seems very secure. The trading and order platform is extremely easy to use and the charting is good. In fact, I did a full Binance Exchange Review here.

This is another exchange I have done a lot of trades on and I have never had a problem with.

Click play on the video below to view my full Binance Exchange Review including the placing of live trades on my account.

I find the back end accounting to be fantastic. The only problem I have is the very expensive transfer costs of exotic coins.

To start trading on Binance, visit them here.

3. KRAKEN Cryptocurrency Exchange

Top 5 Crypto Exchanges in 2018 from Someone Who Has Lost Over $3 Million

Kraken has been around since 2011 and given their popularity we have a full Kraken Exchange Review done.

They tend to stick to an old-school policy. The whole trading platform is quite outdated, they'll upgrade at some point, but right now they are the flip phone of the trading world.

However, I do trust them – I think they are very genuine. Kraken is regulated, audited and to the best of my knowledge, secure.

The company was hacked in early 2015, but they used this as an opportunity to improve.

They have strong banking relationships and are an exchange that allows EUR, JPY and USD accounts; so you can go from digital currency to fiat currency when needed.

This is not a trading platform for hardcore day traders that sell or buy cryptocurrencies frequently.

The order and trading platform are useable, the charting is minimal and the pricing is on par with others.


4. HitBTC Cryptocurrency Exchange

Top 5 Crypto Exchanges in 2018 from Someone Who Has Lost Over $3 Million

If you are planning to trade one of the 6000+ digital currencies/coins outside of the top 250, then you are going to have to use a 2nd or 3rd tier exchange. I can tell you first hand that it can be a white-knuckle experience. 

Although HitBtc is the 10th largest exchange by volume, its country of origin is unknown. Opening an account requires just an email address.

I suggest you get in and you get out ASAP. I once lost 10,000 coins on this site. Although it took 3 months for the company to reimburse the loss, they still ‘gave them back'.

The trading platform is fairly easy to use. It is expensive, the brokerage is extremely high and the transfer fees are off the dial; if you need to buy or sell something exotic then HitBtc is an option as it has a wide range of currencies/coins on its platform.

Click play on the video below to watch a live review. I go into my live HitBTC trading account and take a look at my open positions, give you the warnings and review the order ticket.

There are other options, but they are no less scary. If you are looking for the lowest fees, then you will have to look elsewhere.

To start trading on HitBTC, visit them here.

5. BITFINEX Cryptocurrency Exchange

Top 5 Crypto Exchanges in 2018 from Someone Who Has Lost Over $3 Million

Unlike the other platforms listed, I do not use Bitfinex.

My view is that Bitfinex is for larger traders. Large orders go through this exchange. They are consistently one of the worlds largest exchanges for Bitcoin in the world.

I have seen orders for 500 Bitcoin occur regularly. This is a professional trading platform that I would not recommend for beginners as the platform itself discourage newbies and have a warning when signing up; a minimum account size of $10,000 is required.

I suggest you watch this platform for large order flows.

Summary Table of the Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2018


Pairs   Traded  

Volume  (24hr)         



Novice Welcome

Ease of  use        

Chart Tools

Trade Costs  










































Top things to look for in a reputable cryptocurrency platform

  • They have a mobile app
  • They accept a number of payment methods including debit cards, credit card and wire transfer
  • You can make a wire transfer
  • Their transaction fees are low. Low fees are always a major drawcard with traders.
  • The interface is beginner friendly

Australian Cryptocurrency exchange platforms

In addition to the largest and most active platforms, some of you will be looking for an exchange in Australia. CoinSpot is one of the most active cryptocurrency trading platforms in Australia right now.

We recently created a video review of the Bitmex Exchange and thought we'd add it in here as a bonus to the top 5 already listed.

Click play on the video below for the full review including live trading.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Digital Currency Markets may be compensated by agents and exchanges through affiliate links on this site. We only link to exchanges or agents that we ourselves have used on our travels in trading and investing in Cryptocurrency.

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Use Digital Currency – How it works

How our Bitcoin Gift Card works

What is a Bitcoin Gift Card?

A Bitcoin Gift Card is the perfect way for the newcomer to get their first Bitcoin. It comes with a paper wallet and simple instructions to set up a software wallet so that you can transact with Bitcoin over the internet. Bitcoin Gift Cards are available in AU$25, $50, $100 and $500 denominations.

Who should buy a Bitcoin Gift Card?

Anyone new to Bitcoin will find no easier way to get their first Bitcoin.

They can be gifted by an existing cryptocurrency enthusiast, or bought by anyone wanting to get involved for the first time themselves.

How can I pay for my Bitcoin Gift Card?

You can pay with either cryptocurrency through our payment gateway, or you can use Australian Dollars through our POLI Pay facility.

Can I use a Bitcoin Gift Card to top up an existing software wallet?

Yes. When you receive your additional Bitcoin Gift Card, you can simply import the "Secret" wallet identifier from your Bitcoin Gift Card into your existing software wallet. This will move your Bitcoin from your Bitcoin Gift Card into your existing software wallet. 

What does my Bitcoin Gift Card include?

Your Bitcoin Deposit, wallet and key generation and network transfer.

How long does it take to receive my Bitcoin Gift Card?

Going through to checkout takes about 2 minutes. You won't find an easier process anywhere. Once you've placed your order, it can take between 10 and 60 minutes to receive your Bitcoin Gift Card depending on the speed of the Bitcoin network at time of purchase.

How our Flexi eGift Cards work

We have partnered with GiftPay, an aggregator of online deliverable eGift Cards in Australia.

Through our agreement with GiftPay, you are able to purchase a Flexi eGift Card from us, redeemable at a broad range of retailers in Australia.

Watch the Video to see how it works

What is a Flexi eGift Card?

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What's more, you may be able to split your Flexi eGift Card and spend it at different shops! For example, if you have a $30 Flexi eGift Card, you could choose to split it up into a $20 Myer eGift Card and a $10 iTunes eGift Card. 

Where can I spend it?

You can spend your eGift Card at a broad range of Australian retailers. For a full list of our retailers, click here. (page showing full list of retailer logos)

How do I redeem it?

Your Flexi eGift Card will be emailed to you. Click the link in the email to open your Flexi eGift Card.

Then convert your Flexi eGift Card into any combination of gift cards or vouchers up to the total available balance. How you redeem your chosen gift card depends on the card or voucher chosen.

Pay a BPay Bill

What Bills can I pay?

You can pay any bill that has the BPAY logo and Biller Code including credit cards.

Are there any payment limits?

Yes. You can pay a maximum of $1000 per transaction based on regulatory limits. You can however break up a bill into multiple $1000 tranches and enter the same biller and customer reference code.

How does the transaction work?

When you enter the amount you wish to pay, the BPAY biller code and your bill’s customer reference number, you will click through to our checkout.

At checkout, you will be asked to leave your details, which enables us to satisfy our legal requirements under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017. This sounds ominous, but takes about 2 minutes.

When you proceed to payment, you will be shown the digital currency amount payable and the wallet address to send your digital currency to.

Once you have sent your digital currency to our payment gateway wallet, you will receive an email notifying you that your payment has been received. We then convert your digital currency to AUD and pay your BPAY bill on your behalf.

Are there any fees?

Yes. At checkout you will notice our 3% fee added to your bill amount. This is to help us manage the currency risk of a volatile digital currency market when converting to AUD for us to pay your bill. We use a third party payment gateway to enable the digital currency transaction. Our considerations when choosing a gateway was security, pricing (spread) and speed. You’ll note when at checkout (before proceeding to payment) that the price you receive on your digital currency is very competitive. Other digital currency BPAY facilitators charge up to 6% per transaction on the currency alone, which in our view is akin to highway robbery.


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