Crypto trading platforms : virtual currency exchange platforms

Investors are flocking to crypto-currencies with the aim of obtaining a larger capital gain. However, the choice of platform is crucial for success in crypto trading.

Crypto trading platforms, i.e online platforms for exchanging virtual currencies, have grown significantly in recent years.

On July 14, 2017 Zhao Changpeng launched Binance, an online cryptocurrency exchange platform. In the space of a few months, the Chinese-Canadian entrepreneur becomes a billionaire, and Binance the first virtual currency exchange on the planet in terms of volume. Indeed, the rise of crypto-currencies in recent years has led to the creation of several trading platforms, some of which are particularly well known.

Here is a comprehensive summary of what you need to know to choose the most reliable crypto trading platform to best suit your goals.  

What is a crypto trading platform?

A crypto trading platform is an online platform where it is possible to buy and sell crypto-currencies. Unlike crypto trading via CFDs, which does not involve owning the underlying virtual currencies, platforms require you to actually buy the latter. Some of these platforms also allow you to trade crypto-currencies against fiat currencies (euros, dollars...), and vice versa.

To be able to trade crypto-currencies on online platforms you need to open an account, then to lock in a buying position in order to keep the tokens in a digital wallet. It is of course possible to resell these tokens afterwards. There are currently several platforms, all of which differ in the way they operate, such as maximum authorized deposit, the number of cryptocurrencies they offer, and the fees required.  

Choosing your crypto trading platform

In order to select the most reliable and suitable trading platform for your needs, you can refer to a number of criteria, such as :

  • The crypto-currencies offered : some platforms specialize in a single crypto-currency (e.g. Bitcoin), while others offer dozens (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin...). A platform's trading volume is also a strong indicator of its reputation and reliability. Moreover, not all platforms allow the conversion of virtual currencies into fiat currency, and vice versa.
  • Payment methods : depending on the country where the platform is hosted (Europe, United States, Japan...), payment methods may vary and may not meet traders expectations.
  • Fees: Of course, fees are a major factor for investors. The cost of transactions, as well as the cost of deposits and withdrawals, are significant expenses that must be taken into account in an investment strategy.
  • Verification request : some platforms require that their clients' accounts be verified (especially those allowing exchange with fiat currencies), which implies that you must provide supporting documents. At the same time, other platforms allow you to remain anonymous.
  • Reputation : the rise of the cryptocurrency market has naturally led to discussions on forums, specialized sites and other comparators, which contribute to the good or bad reputation of a platform; a valuable indication for choosing the best possible platform.

The best crypto trading platforms

Based on the criteria mentioned above, the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms are the following :

  • Binance : among the market leaders with a monthly trading volume of nearly $20 billion, this platform offers no less than 450 different crypto-currencies. Renowned for its ease of use and fluidity, it is particularly aimed at advanced traders, providing them with numerous analysis tools. However, it is unfortunately impossible to make withdrawals in fiat currency.
  • Kraken : a historical platform with an excellent reputation. It offers a complete trading interface and all the most popular crypto-currencies on the market. Its fees are also among the lowest you can find, although the verification process is relatively slow.
  • Coinbase : a very popular platform and particularly suitable for beginners. Intuitive and user-friendly, registration and verification are very fast. It offers 4 major crypto-currencies, and the monthly trading volumes are very high.