The Exchanges or exchange bitcoin are criptomonedas purchase applications. Since they became popular, the market has been filled with them, but not all of them are as safe as they should be. Below, we show you the most reliable and cheapest platforms to buy bitcoin that exist.
The Exchanges that we show below have used them, so we give guarantees of their operation and safety. If there is one that we do not include in the list, it does not mean that it is not reliable, but that we have not yet used it. However, if you want to avoid any bitcoin scam, we recommend using some of the ones mentioned.
Before starting, we will give you some tips to make your purchase safely. Also, we will show you a short guide on how to use most cryptocurrency exchange houses. If you already have experience and want to know directly which are the safest bitcoin exchanges, we recommend using the following index to go to the part of the article that you prefer.
What is a bitcoin exchange
As we have mentioned, bitcoins are bought through an exchange, which are platforms that allow currencies to be exchanged with each other or with FIAT money. Below we will detail the most popular and consolidated exchange houses where to buy bitcoins. In addition, we will compare the different commissions and characteristics of the exchanges so that you can choose the one that suits you best.
Before using a bitcoin exchange
Before venturing to buy any cryptocurrency, you need to consider the following:
- Make sure you know the characteristics and risks of bitcoin. We have prepared the following articles in case you do not know them yet:
- What is bitcoin and how does it work
- Bitcoin characteristics
- Bitcoin risks
- You must have a bitcoin wallet to store your cryptocurrencies. Most exchanges have their own wallet. However, they can be vulnerable, since you leave your money in the hands of third parties. We have also prepared an article on how to save bitcoins.
- To acquire bitcoins, you must use an exchange. There are many possibilities in the market and many of them have very high commissions. Below we will expose you which are the most secure and widespread platforms to buy bitcoins with euros. It is very important to do it through verified exchanges and a certain entity. Doing it through platforms of doubtful legality, can make you lose a lot of money. Remember this, if you find something very cheap in the world of cryptocurrencies, it is surely a scam.
How many bitcoins to buy
Before acquiring bitcoins, it is important to know your risks well. The cryptocurrency market is currently very volatile and investing in bitcoins involves certain dangers.
Regulatory agencies, such as the CNMV, insist that it is possible to lose 100% of what is invested when buying cryptocurrencies. Therefore, it is very important that you invest only money that you do not need and that you do not mind losing. And of course, don’t leverage: Never ask for a credit to buy any cryptocurrency.
Also, do not trust recommendations or what you read on the internet from supposed “gurus”. People who try to convince you of something surely have their own interests and try to alter the market to their advantage. Read everything you can, train yourself and create your own criteria. If you are going to buy bitcoins, that is your decision.
On the other hand, whenever you use a new platform to buy cryptocurrencies, we recommend trying a small amount of money first. In this way you will know well its operation and commissions.
If at this point, you are still determined to acquire cryptocurrencies, continue reading the article to know how bitcoin exchanges work.
How to use a platform to buy bitcoin
Using a bitcoin exchange is as easy as following these simple steps:
- Sign up for an exchange.
- Verify your account.
- Choose a payment method.
- Buy bitcoins, ethereum or any other cryptocurrency.
Register on an exchange
Currently there are a good number of consolidated platforms to buy bitcoins. However, there is still much more demand than supply and, although the Bitcoin network allows very cheap and even free transactions, the platforms take advantage of this to offer their services with high commissions.
We are confident that when the market stabilizes, the world of cryptocurrencies will gradually regulate itself. The same law of supply and demand will force these commissions to go down. Unfortunately, nowadays you have to pay close attention to the rates that apply to each exchange office.
Before registering, it is important to check that the exchange accepts the cryptocurrency you want to buy. Bitcoin is the most widespread virtual currency, making it possible to acquire on all exchanges.
One of the most widespread is Coinbase, a US exchange based in San Francisco, California that allows you to buy bitcoins with euros. Among its guarantees, it has the participation of the Spanish bank BBVA, which invested in said company in January 2015.
Verify your account
Verifying an account on an exchange can be somewhat tedious.
It is normal for exchange houses to require identification documents, such as ID, passport or driving license. They do it to comply with the legal provisions related to the prevention of money laundering. However, you are transferring personal information to third parties, so it is very important to do it through reputable and trusted exchanges.
On the other hand, due to the current high demand, it usually takes several days to approve your verification. For this reason, it is also relevant to register before the exchange you have chosen. Once you are determined to buy bitcoins, you only have to carry out the operation.
Some bitcoin platforms allow the purchase of small amounts of cryptocurrencies without verification. The safest and most widespread of them all is Coinmama. It has somewhat higher commissions than Coinbase, but you can acquire up to $ 150 a day in cryptocurrencies without compromising your privacy.
Choose a payment method
Not all exchanges allow FIAT money (normal money, euros, dollars), but they only work with cryptocurrencies. In order to use these exchange houses, it is necessary to transfer bitcoin, ethereum or another altcoin to them.
However, many much easier platforms have now been developed where you can buy bitcoins with euros by SEPA transfer or credit card.
SEPA bank transfers are low on fees, but take several days to execute. In contrast, credit card transactions are instantaneous, but have more commissions.
Some platforms accept other payment methods, such as SOFORT transfers. They normally have equal or greater commissions than card operations.
Types of bitcoin exchanges
All exchanges are the same: digital currency exchange platforms. Initially, these were somewhat complex systems if you were not familiar with the world of finance. Therefore, in recent years platforms have emerged where getting bitcoins has become very simple. In return, commissions on these systems are higher.
For this reason, we wanted to differentiate two types of bitcoin Exchange: the Exchange Platforms and the Exchanges themselves.
This separation is not official. We propose it to you so that you understand what you are paying when using a more user friendly service. As stated, they are exactly the same. However, the platforms are much easier to use and that usability translates into higher commissions.
Platforms to buy bitcoins: Easier to use
Exchanges are very similar to brokers, in that instead of stocks, you trade with cryptocurrencies. They show numerous supply and demand data and different ways of operating.
In order for any user without financial knowledge to acquire digital currencies, bitcoin platforms emerged. In them, buying cryptocurrencies is as simple as pressing a button. However, these systems typically have higher fees.
Bitcoin platforms are a double-edged sword. Being so easy to use, anyone without financial knowledge can acquire cryptocurrencies.
This has caused many people to have lost money and been scammed, because they do not know how the world of finance works. Therefore, training is very relevant before acquiring cryptocurrencies.
ADVANTAGES of bitcoin Platforms
- Easy to use. In English it would be said that they are beginner friendly.
- They usually allow you to buy with FIAT money (Euros, dollars…).
- They allow various payment methods, such as SEPA transfers or credit or debit cards. Many of them allow alternative methods like SOFORT, OKPay …
- They are safe companies. Some exchange platforms have become big companies. They are based in Europe, Japan or the United States and not in tax havens, so they are more regulated.
DISADVANTAGES of bitcoin Platforms
- High commissions. There are fees for depositing and withdrawing FIAT money, for buying / selling and for exchanging cryptocurrencies (for example, changing bitcoins for ether).
- Few cryptocurrencies available. Only the most popular are usually available; although they are working on having a bigger offer.
- They are so easy to use that even people without financial training can do it.
Below we show you a table that lists the most popular bitcoin platforms, where you will also find a comparison of their commissions.
As it is an expanding market, commissions tend to vary frequently. You can confirm them through the link in the source column.
|Exchange platform||Exchange commission||Deposit Fee||Commission for withdrawing|
|Coinbase||0.5% (Spread Rate) + 1.49% (Coinbase Europe Rate)||SEPA: € 0Card: 3.99%||SEPA: € 0.15Card: 3.99%|
|Coinmama||5.90%||SEPA: € 0Card: 5%||X They do not allow withdrawals. Your bitcoins are sent directly to a virtual wallet.|
|Cryptoder||one%||SEPA: € 0X||SEPA: € 0 (Europe) / € 10 (outside Europe)X|
|Bitpanda||1.49% (Buy) 1.29% (Sell)||SEPA: 1-4%Card: 5.00%||SEPA: 1-4%Card: X|
|Coinhouse||SEPA: 4.9%Card: 4.9%||SEPA: 3.9%Card: 3.9%|
|Changelly||5%||SEPA: XCard: 5%||X They do not allow withdrawals. They send your bitcoins to a virtual wallet.|
Bitcoin Exchanges: Fewer Commissions
Bitcoin exchanges are very similar to traditional stock brokers. Being somewhat more complicated to use, they have lost market share in favor of exchange platforms, much more accessible to everyone.
However, they have a great advantage: their low commissions.
ADVANTAGES of bitcoin Exchanges
- Fewer commissions.
- They normally allow you to acquire more variety of cryptocurrencies. (bitcoin, ether, monero, ripple, verge…)
DISADVANTAGES of bitcoin Exchanges
- More complicated to use. They are simply not beginner friendly, but with little time they learn to use.
- They do not usually allow many payment methods. Some only support SEPA transfer. Others only work with cryptocurrencies.
The fees of traditional bitcoin exchanges differ in two: maker and taker.
When a user buys bitcoins at the current price, he gets the taker role and the commissions are somewhat higher.
On the other hand, if you want to buy for a different price than the current price, for example, something less, you can launch an order that will be executed when it crosses another sales order for the price you have indicated. In this case, you acquire the maker role.
Making a simile with traditional stock buying, it can be said that takers buy at the market, and makers make a limited order.
The other commissions that the exchanges apply are by deposit and by withdrawal, although practically all cryptocurrency deposits are free.
Comparison of bitcoin Exchanges
The current commissions of the main exchanges are as follows:
As it is an expanding market, commissions tend to vary frequently. You can confirm them through the link in the source column.
|Exchange||Maker / taker commission||Deposit Fee||Commission for withdrawing|
|Coinbase Pro (old GDAX)||0% / 0.30%||Crypto: € 0SEPA: € 0.15||Crypto: € 0SEPA: € 0.15|
|Binance||0.1%||Crypto: € 0||Crypto: It depends on the cryptocurrency.|
|Cex.io||0.16% / 0.25%||Crypto: 5%SEPA: € 0Card: € 2.99||Crypto: € 0SEPA: € 1Card: 1.2% + € 3.50|
|Bitsane||0.15% / 0.25%||Crypto: € 0SEPA: 0.5% or € 1Advcash: 3%||Crypto: Depends onSEPAcryptocurrency: € 5 Advcash: 0%|
|Bitstamp||0.25%||Crypto: € 0SEPA: € 0Card: 5%||Crypto: € 0SEPA: € 0.90Card: $ 10|
|Bitstamp||0.1%||Crypto: € 0||Crypto: Depends on cryptocurrency|
|Kraken||0.16% / 0.26%||Crypto: € 0SEPA: € 0||Crypto: Depends onSEPA cryptocurrency : € 0.90|
|HitBTC||0.01% / 0.1%||Crypto: 0.0015 BTC||Crypto: It depends on the cryptocurrency.|
|Bitfinex||0.1% / 0.2%||Crypto: € 0 for deposits over $ 1,000. It depends on the cryptocurrency for minor deposits.Transfer: 0.1% (minimum of € 60)||Crypto: It depends on the cryptocurrency. There are some free withdrawals.|
Exchange bitcoins locally
Finally, another alternative option to bitcoin exchanges is the exchange of bitcoins between people. LocalBitcoins is a website where you can buy bitcoins from other people directly, without intermediaries. The transactions are completely free and allow you to do them with people from your country. However, you should consider the following:
- You are buying from other people you don’t know and without any intermediary. Be very careful that it is not a scam. LocalBitcoins offers information about confirmed exchanges and the opinion of other users. Make sure that the person with whom you make the exchange has a very good score and many exchanges.
- People who sell on LocalBitcoins usually want to get a little more money than selling them on an exchange. Therefore, prices will normally be higher.
What is the best bitcoin exchange?
The decision of what to use depends on you and your strategy.
As for commissions, it is best to buy bitcoins directly on an exchange. If instead, you are looking for comfort and immediacy, the best option to buy them will be what we call cryptocurrency platforms.
Whichever option you choose, the first time you use an exchange or platform you should try a small amount of money. This way you will make sure you know their operation and commissions well.
On the other hand, the exchange with the fewest commissions can be GDAX. An intermediate solution may be Bitstamp, due to its low commissions and its possibility of using a card. Although for the card option, the cheapest alternative is still Coinbase.
Instead, if you are looking to invest in lesser known currencies, it is best to transfer your cryptocurrencies to Binance, KuCoin or HitBTC. These exchanges have the option to exchange with a large number of cryptocurrencies. Since they do not work with FIAT money, you will have to buy the cryptocurrencies before in another of the previous options.