Whenever you check the value of your bitcoins, that price in fiat is quoted according to the market value on one of the big exchanges or as a composite price. The price you see in the ticker in the upper-right corner of Bitcoin Warrior is the Bitcoin Average price.
What You Should Know About Bitcoin Exchanges
A reliable price index from one of the older Bitcoin companies. They offer Bitcoin charts, an online Bitcoin wallet service (good, but not finally the best way to secure your coins), and a blockchain explorer that allows you to check how much individual addresses are storing and the transactions in and out of those addresses.
Try them here.
A solid Bitcoin price and volume chart. They also show current price on multiple exchanges.
Try them here.
A good source of information a lot of information about Bitcoin price, volume, hashrate, etc. They rank exchanges by volume, but can be a little confusing since each exchange’s price is listed in it’s main currency, making it a little hard to read.
Try them here.
Staying Safe using Bitcoin Exchanges
Check the reputation of the exchange you mean to do business on: Do they have a page that tells you who the principle people running the exchange are, and can you locate them on services like LinkedIn? Do they seem reputable when you conduct a Google search of the exchange and the word ‘scam,’ ‘theft,’ and ‘hack?’ (Remember that even the best sites will have some complaints!)
Know how to get your cash onto and off of the exchange. Ask what their deposit and withdrawal fees are, how long it takes them to process deposits and withdrawals, and how good their dispute resolution services are.
Never keep any more Bitcoin on an exchange than you need to.There have been thefts and hacks of even the best and most reputable exchanges. Security is likely to get better as Bitcoin business get more professional, but hacks and thefts are likely to continue just as bank robberies and swindles continue. For large amounts of bitcoins, learn how to secure them in cold storage for maximum security.
Look for exchanges that have and then be sure to use extra security like 2 factor authentication. You can download an app from Google or Authy that, once linked with the exchange, will give you a code good for only a few seconds. Passwords can be hacked, but this will greatly increase your security.
Always use strong passwords: random strings of numbers, letters and symbols. Best practice is to use a random password generator which will give you a long string of random letters, numbers, and symbols. Then use a password manager to keep track of them. It’s surprising how many people still use 12345 as their password.
Exchanges in general are vulnerable to government oversight. Anti-money laundering and know your customer laws frequently apply so the majority of the exchanges listed here will require some form of identity verification.
Be suspicious of any site that accepts PayPal. They have not been Bitcoin friendly and are not generally used.
Be suspicious of any site that accepts credit cards. It’s risky for sellers because it’s easy for a buyer to take the Bitcoin, and then complain to the credit card company and ask for a refund. In recent years, he situation with credit cards has improved considerably, but cards and crypto are still uneasy partners at best, and being cautious is justified.
Selling high and buying low can be very tempting, but anyone who tells you what the market is going to do in the next month, day, or hour is not being honest. In general, and over the long haul, it our belief that Bitcoin is going to go up, a lot. But in the short term, wild swings can really put a dent in your holdings and your psyche. If you have the knowledge and temperament, then, of course, have at it, hos.
Many services out there sell trading robots that can be programmed to trade on different exchanges depending on parameters you set. Watch out! In general, these require no less knowledge and experience to use than regular trading. Their settings are sensitive to precise market conditions, and those can change quickly. The bots I have looked at so far promise tremendous returns, but those returns are almost always inflated by the rise of Bitcoin itself. If you experiment with a bot, play with the settings to see if you will be increasing your holdings in both cash and Bitcoin; if your cash holdings are going up at the expense of your Bitcoin holdings, you are probably better off just holding Bitcoin.
When visiting different sites, be aware of what system they use to notate their bitcoins. Most sites still show full bitcoins, (1BTC), but some are starting to denominate in millibits to make it easier to see how much bitcoin is needed to buy, say, a cup of coffee. One millibit is .001 bitcoins. Many sites will let you select which denomination you want to view, so be careful of this any time you send bitcoin!
Exchanges by Region
Area of Operation: The biggest operator in the US, and also available in many other regions.
Funding: The best way to fund and withdraw from GDAX is through Coinbase, their parent company. No fees apply. There is no deposit limit, a $50,000 withdrawal limit, no balance limit, and no trading limit.
Fees: A 0.25% taker fee on trades. Some rebates apply.
Hacks/Scams: None. Both Coinbase and GDAX are thought to be secure places to do business, and go out of their way to be in compliance with local laws. Some users, especially of Coinbase, worry about how well their privacy will be protected on that basis.
Area of Operation: Based in California, Kraken has a large presence in the US and Canada, Europe, and Japan.
Funding: Depending on locale, bank deposit, SEPA, Wire, etc. Fees vary depending on the method of deposit and withdrawal.
Fees: Take fees begin at 0.26% and and maker fees begin at o.16% and descend a trading volume rises.
Hacks/Scams: None. Kraken has been shown to have very good security, and was chosen to assist the Japanese government in liquidating and distributing the funds left over from the defunct MT Gox.
Area of Operation: Mexico. In addition to being a full-fledged exchange, they double as a method for those working in abroad to remit money to Mexico.
Funding: SPEI or Bitcoin. No fees for deposits or withdrawals.
Fees: 1% trading fee for those with the lowest volumes. Rates improve as trading volume goes up.
Hacks/Scams: None. The available data suggest that Bitso is well run and may greatly increase in volume as tensions between the US and Mexico continue to worsen.
Area of Operation: South Africa, Nigeria, UK
Funding: Link a bank account or deposit Bitcoin or Litecoin.
Fees: Individual traders pay between .8% to 1.5%. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees for Bitcoin or Litecoin. There is a 10 Rand withdrawal fee for fiat.
Hacks/Scams: None. We had the pleasure of interviewing Tristan of Ice3X when they were first getting started.
Area of Operation: EU
Funding: Link a bank account or SEPA transfer.
Fees: Traders pay a maximum of .25% fee. The rate decreases as trading volume increases.
Hacks/Scams: In 2014, Bitstamp came under DDOS attack. The attackers notified Bitstamp that it would take 75 Bitcoins to lift the attack. Bitstamp refused as a matter of policy and waited out the attack. In 2015, a hacker siphoned 19,000 Bitcoins. The exchange closed for one week and has been running apparently trouble free ever since.
Regulation: Bitstamp is located in Luxembourg and is fully licensed as a payment operator in the EU.