Digital Marketplaces

Cryptocurrency exchanges are market places for digital assets or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or other altcoins.

In essence, cryptocurrency exchanges are online platforms where users are able to exchange (buy or sell) cryptocurrency assets. You can exchange your cryptocurrencies for traditional currencies such as the Euro, US Dollar or other (crypto)currencies. There are several types of cryptocurrency exchanges, we will cover further on this page.  


Cryptocurrency exchanges, like all other exchanges that buy and sell goods and assets, have to deal with (il)liquidity.

The cryptocurrency market itself is highly volatile and contains many relatively liquid (high market capitalization and trade volume). However, it also plenty of illiquid (hard to sell quickly due to a lack of ready and willing buyers) cryptocurrencies. When choosing an exchange for buying and selling cryptocurrencies – take into account the trade volume of your exchange. Moreover, consider your entry and exit strategy. Among others, look at the available options offered by various exchanges, trading pairs and possibilities to use traditional FIAT currency. Bitcoin (BTC) dominates the market up to this day. However, there are plenty of other smaller projects competing for a position in the top 100.

There are thousands of cryptocurrency projects, but simultaneously, there are numerous exchanges where all of these assets are sold, which is part of the problem. Essentially, the exchanges are competing with each other for liquidity in a relatively small market with relatively low market capitalization.

Cryptocurrency Liquidity

Liquidity describes the extent to which an asset or security can be quickly bought or sold in the market without affecting the asset price. Liquid assets are relatively easy to buy and sell. Furthermore, the majority of people and businesses accepts liquid assets as means of payment. Keep in mind that this principle of liquidity and the relation to asset price applies to any market and asset. Some more examples of fairly liquid assets include stocks, bonds, and listed commodities, including precious metals such as gold and silver. These liquid assets can be sold almost instantaneously during regular market hours at fair value.

Converting FIAT Currency

Once registered on an exchange that allows for currency deposits, you can start to engage the market. You now have a host of different options available, depending on the available trading pairs for the currency you deposited. Depending on your country and the currency you're using - you will most likely end up using a broker exchange that operates either internationally and offers multiple currency trading pairs or a local one that also deals in your currency. Trading pairs that you will find almost everywhere would be Bitcoin and Ethereum (USD/BTC, USD/ETH, EUR/BTC and EUR/ETH).

Have a look at the trading pairs available for your currency at your broker exchange. You can deposit money on your exchange account in multiple ways (depending on your provider). You might be able to use bank deposits (SEPA), credit cards or perhaps even services like PayPal. As mentioned before, not all types of exchanges accept fiat currency deposits (broker exchanges only); some exchanges only allow you to deposit cryptocurrencies to exchange other alternative coins (trading exchanges). Today, Bitcoin is still one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and all exchanges offer Bitcoin.

Therefore, you can consider it as one of the best gateways for purchasing other coins. In other words, if you want to buy any other cryptocurrencies, you should look at the available trading pairs and take the following steps.

There are plenty of exchanges available which operate in your geographic location.

If you’re interested in purchasing a particular project, coin or token, you can use platforms such as CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko. Here you navigate to the specific asset or exchange, and you’ll have access to a world of information which you’re able to filter. This overview is precious if you’re looking for popular exchanges, exchanges with high volume, exchanges that list many coins or tokens or exchanges that have been around for years. In short, we believe such aggregated sites are a perfect place to start exploring.

Centralized versus Decentralized Exchanges

In the field of cryptocurrencies, divisions of exchanges are mainly decentralized exchanges and centralized exchanges. Leading exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase and Huobi are all of centralized nature, which are challenged by problems of opaque trading rules, in-transparent fund storage and security. Decentralized exchanges hope to capitalize on many of the security problems faced by centralized exchanges. However, we conclude that decentralized exchanges - although very safe - are not yet popular among the mass public and need a higher level of user-friendliness and especially liquidity, to attract more users. In terms of the development of decentralized exchanges, inevitable trade-offs still have to be made.

However, this is progressing and expected to change in the (near) future. You will likely need to register at least one centralized broker exchange that allows you to enter the market by depositing fiat currency. After making your first deposit, you are ready for your first trade (purchase of digital assets) and send your newly acquired assets to a decentralized or centralized trading exchange as you see fit.

Centralized Exchanges (CEX)

Centralized exchanges are the weakest link in the cryptocurrency community, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Ironically, most existing digital currency exchanges built within the cryptocurrency ecosystem are centralized. Making them vulnerable in ways our digital currencies are not. A centralized exchange such as Coinbase, Kraken or Binance is run by a profit-oriented company that gets revenue from their platform's fee structures. Both the access and exit points into the current blockchain ecosystem require fees - all of which go to the centralized exchanges that facilitate these services. High fees are one of the main reason why decentralized exchanges are needed. In all honesty, it is worth mentioning that many centralized exchanges can execute fiat currency to cryptocurrency transactions while DEXs, on the other hand, are usually only able to facilitate crypto to crypto transactions (for now).

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)

A decentralized exchange is an exchange that allows you to trade cryptocurrency with other people utilizing the blockchain directly. Unlike a centralized exchange, you don't need a "middleman"; there is no central authority or main server required to make a transaction. In this sense, you could use it in the same way as a centralized exchange although they usually have a lower trade volume (fewer buyers and sellers) and might be a little less user-friendly in terms of user interface and user experience (UI/UX). However, the landscape is changing rapidly as technology advances, and more and more DEXs emerge.

Buy Cryptocurrency - Broker Exchanges

A broker exchange allows you to buy crypto directly with your native currency. In other words, with a broker exchange, you can effectively convert your fiat currency for cryptocurrency or cash out your crypto and convert it back to fiat currency. A broker exchange is required for beginners and is your starting point if you don't have any cryptocurrency assets in the game which you can trade.


Coinbase (CEX)

Coinbase is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known exchanges in the world. Moreover, Coinbase is one of the largest broker exchanges, very user-friendly but charges relatively high fees. At Coinbase, you can buy and sell the most well-known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum by simply registering, linking your bank account and making a deposit. You can make deposits in almost all fiat currencies, provided that Coinbase is operating in your country.

Kraken (CEX)

Kraken was founded in 2011 and is known as one of the largest and oldest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. Moreover, Kraken is consistently named one of the best places to buy and sell crypto online and has recently updated its website and UI/UX interfaces to appeal to a larger audience.

Coinmama (CEX)

Buy Bitcoin and Ethereum with your credit card, SWIFT or SEPA transfer in the fastest, easiest and safest way online. Coinmama is focusing on customer experience and customer service so that transactions are super quick (user verification takes around 30 minutes). For beginners, this is an excellent option for buying your first Bitcoin. More advanced users can use alternative trading platforms to save on transaction fees.

Trading Exchanges

Liquid (CEX)

As a unified, globally-sourced trading platform Liquid bridges the worlds of fiat and crypto. A platform, which offers high liquidity through their "World Book", which connects liquidity pools from exchanges around the world. They also offer a wide range of fiat currency deposits and withdrawals, at very low fees and are fully regulated with a very intuitive user interface and user experience. Also, their native token QASH will provide you with 50% trading discounts.

Trade Cryptocurrency - Trading Exchanges

Many consider trading exchange is the "traditional" cryptocurrency exchange. It allows you to trade crypto for other cryptos. For example, if you own Bitcoin and would like to own some Ethereum or other Altcoin, you could sell some of your Bitcoin for something else using a trading exchange. A trading exchange could be a centralized (CEX) or decentralized exchange (DEX).

Binance (CEX)

Binance is one of the biggest and most popular CEX with huge trade volume and an incredible amount of token listings. It offers a referral program that provides commissions over the trades executed by referrals. It doesn't, however, provide dividends for token holders. Binance is, at the time of writing, global 2nd exchange in terms of volume. Furthermore, it offers many quality coins, has a very active and involved community and provides many tools for trading. Binance is currently building a DEX.

KuCoin (CEX)

KuCoin is a relatively new player in town which you can compare to Binance. Moreover, Kucoin has trading incentives in place, essentially sharing 90% of its trading fees with its users, promoters and investors. It is a competitive new startup based in Hong Kong, and it runs a sleek design, UI/UX interfaces, and an interesting business model. KuCoin pays out its dividend bonuses daily to KuCoin token holders.

Kyber Network (DEX)

Kyber Swap (DEX)

Kyber Network fills a gap in the existing system of cryptocurrency exchanges with its decentralized nature and instant trades. As the number of cryptocurrencies available grows, so will the need for decentralized systems like this, of which Kyber is a pioneer. Kyber is an on-chain liquidity protocol that aggregates liquidity from a wide range of reserves. Kyber Network powers instant and secure token exchange in any decentralized application. It allows users to swap tokens without leaving their wallet application.

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