Exchanges for purchasing cryptocurrencies or trading between pairs are as diverse as the coins themselves.
There are several major factors to determine the best option for you
- What country do you live in?
Not all exchanges are available for use in every country.
- Are you purchasing directly with fiat?
Most exchanges that host a market for trading between cryptocurrencies do not accept fiat payment to directly purchase a coin. Users generally need to visit a site like Coinbase or LocalBitcoins to make a fiat to crypto transaction.
- What payment method do you prefer?
If purchasing with fiat, the payment type will narrow the options available. Some websites like CoinMama hold Bitcoin and Ethereum and allow for payments via credit card. Other websites like LocalBitcoins are a platform for Peer to Peer transactions. This allows for a very diverse selection of payment methods, because it is determined by the seller themselves.
- What will you be using the cryptocurrency for?
If you plan on trading the coin using a website such as Binance or Kraken, you can deposit directly to the wallet on the exchange. If you plan on using the coins for payment or just to hold as an investment, you will need a wallet to store them.
- How do you plan on storing your coins?
There are many types of wallets to store cryptocurrencies that provide benefits for access, security and wallets such as Jaxx even have exchange features built in.
Most wallets are “hot” this means that the wallet is connected to the internet and provides easy access to the owner.
A “cold” wallet is not connected to the internet. These can be digital, such as a Nano Ledger S, and are essentially encrypted flash drives. The most basic method is a paper wallet, meaning a physical document of the all the needed information to restore a wallet and its contents to digital form when desired.
Should you buy?
Investments in most countries are highly regulated, because of the substantial risk involved and advice should be left up to professionals. A growing issue in the blockchain space is that there are so few people who grasp the industry enough to provide quality information as advice.
This has spawned a wave of various types of scams that take advantage of most peoples total lack of knowledge.
The best option is to find a blockchain community where you can pose questions, seek advice and find opportunities to learn more. The most beneficial community to join will be one that is physically close to you so that you can have face to face interactions and live discussion.
The future of cryptocurrencies, as with anything, can never be certain, but there are numbers to show consistent growth in support for blockchain technology around the world. As the technology grows into its own, usability will increase dramatically. Without impediments from government, the adoption of cryptocurrencies seems inevitable but does not mean that an investment is safe.
The most in depth, ranked list can be viewed at: https://www.bestbitcoinexchange.io/
It does not yet include this newer UK Exchange: https://bittylicious.com/