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Beginner's Guide to Exchanges - Part 2
Beginner’s Guide to Exchanges – Part 2
A little late, but as promised here is Part 2 of the Beginner’s Guide to Exchanges. I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support and feedback in making these. Link to Part 1 This time I also made a Google Docs survey in the hopes of sharing the results with the community. I thought we could share what we use as a whole and why redditors choose the exchanges they do. For skeptics (as you all should be), I assure you that I am not collecting personal information. This is for recreation and if you are still wary, then by all means abstain! Link to Survey In Part 3 I will be wrapping up this series by covering decentralized, semi-decentralized, and derivative exchanges. Here it goes!
00 – Concepts and Definitions (Continued)
What is FinCEN? This is an agency within the US Dept. of Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions. It is meant to prevent financial crimes and money laundering both by businesses and individuals. In 2011, FinCEN defined digital currencies as fiat and started cracking down on those in the crypto world. Since then, every exchange serving US citizens has been trying comply with regulations otherwise they face severe penalties. Thank them when exchanges as for your Address and an ID.
What is the ICO (UK Regulatory Body)? This stands for the Information Commissioner’s Office and it is the UK counterpart to FinCEN - a regulatory office that reports directly to Parliament. ICO oversees compliance of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. It is meant to help companies and individuals keep their private information private, and can enforce this with penalties up to £500,000 when personal information is recklessly stored or leaked.
What is APR? Stands for Annual Percentage Rate.
What is Arbitrage? Arbitrage trading means to take advantage of price differences between markets. For example, say Poloniex lists ETH at $400, while Kraken lists it at $500. Buy low at Poloniex and then sell high on Kraken and you just made yourself a hundred bucks. Simple!
What is a Coinswap/Crypto-converter? Basically, a coinswap is a broker. If liken an exchange to a marketplace where buyers and sellers meet to agree on a price, then a Coinswap is a person who goes to the market on your behalf. Give them what you want to sell, and they will come back with what you want to buy. They take a small commission, give you a fair market rate (or close to it), and sometimes don’t even ask for your identity. Coinswaps are popular because they are convenient and offer coin pairs that exchanges sometimes cannot.
Overview: Founded in late 2013 by Gerald Cotton in Vancouver, Quadriga should be a source of national pride. While 4 major Canadian exchanges suddenly closed between 2015 and 2016, Quadriga survived. Then In 2015, Quadriga became the first exchange to attempt being listed publicly by enrolling for enlistment on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE). However, it ultimately failed to do so after being confronted with restrictions and regulations.
Withdrawal/Deposit Fees: Low deposit and withdrawal fees in comparison to other exchanges. A little unorganized on their official site
Linked Bank Transfer
Deposit 1%/ Withdraw Free
Free (Withdraw Only)
1% (Withdraw Only)
Free (Withdraw Only)
Security: Quadriga was quite notably lost of 67,000 ETH earlier this month, after an expensive mistake involving the Geth 1.5.9 upgrade. Apparently, outgoing addresses were incorrectly entered without 0x at the beginning of addresses and the sent ETH became trapped. Yet Quadriga has taken full responsibility and reassured customers that it will not affect their accounts.
Google Authenticator or Email 2FA Available
Undisclosed amount of funds in cold storage
3rd Party Security provided by CloudFlare
Expired $50 bounties
Verification: Quadriga CX enables alternative instant verification with an Equifax Credit Score Report.
Digital only, Limits Vary
Customer Service: Negative reviews are hard to come by, but perhaps that is due to the smaller size of this exchange. The FAQ is a little disorganized with a lack of tabs or categories on the site. However, support offers a direct phone line and email support. Also u/QuadrigaCX seems very active and responsive in the Bitcoin CA subreddit.
Bottom Line: The handling of the ETH loss was handled professionally and quickly. And as a Canadian, lower deposit and withdraw fees are probably impossible to find somewhere else. Trading fees are a little high, but that is the trade off. It seems they have weathered some ugly storms other Canadian exchanges could not and are a trustworthy exchange going into the future.
05 – Fiat Exchanges – Europe
Overview: CEX.io is started in London in 2013 both as an exchange and a cloud mining provider with its acquisition of Ghash.io. In 2014, Ghash was the largest Bitcoin mining pool contributing to over 42% of the mining power and mining over $200 million in BTC. In October of 2014 Ghash closed yet CEX.io lived on as an exchange.
Verification: With a lot of backlash from the Bitcoin community, CEX has registered with FinCEN and ICO in the UK, while also implementing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-your-Customer (KYC) policies. Once these policies came into effect and ID verification was requested, many original Ghash users abandoned the exchange. Exchange allows for linking of Facebook and Google+ accounts. Not a good option IMO.
ID + Photo
$10,000 Daily/$100,000 Monthly
Customer Service: Customer complain are abound here, and for justified reasons with hidden deposit and withdrawal fees. However it seems the company is quick about inquiries and verification, stating that most inquiries are filled in 24 hours. The FAQ is comprehensive which you should come to expect from established exchanges. Despite some unhappy customers, tt is good to see that they care about their reputation and their product.
Bottom Line: If you are already invested in crypto, CEX.io has some of the lowest trading fees in the game. However, they are clearly taking advantage of inexperienced users and those looking to exchange fiat for the first time. When purchasing with their FOK buying service (using instant credit card transactions), not only is the buy rate not at market price, but a 7% fee is added. This is price-gouging, this is FOK-ing unreasonable. I understand that this service offers something not found elsewhere, but additionally 1% crypto and $50 USD withdrawal fees makes these actions questionable if not just plain greedy.
BTC-E / XBTC-E
Overview: BTC-e is has been operating out of Russia since 2011 and provides language support in English, Chinese, and Russian. Perhaps due to this flexibility, it has high volumes of BTC, LTC, and ETH. It has an unclear connection to xBTCe, but both link to each other in the FAQ of the respective sites. A feature that is provided by BTC-e not seen elsewhere is software for trading called MetaTrader 4. This software seems a little clunky, but includes some TA features.
Security: BTC-e was hacked way back in 2013/2014 and reportedly $35,000 of BTC was stolen. Since then it has had a relatively clean record. This Digiconomist review is a thorough and detailed read, but unsure.
Google Authenticator Available
Must be changed every 6 months
3rd Party Security Services provided by CloudFlare
Verification: Since late May, there have been a shit storm of reports claiming BTC-e is locking funds for previously unverified users. In the FAQ users are asked to register at XBTC-e and within 10 days the account will be unblocked. It is unclear how the websites are connected or related to each other and 10 days is eons in crypto time.
No Stated Limits
Customer Service: Live Chat is supported during operating hours and the FAQ is listed in Russian and English. Resources are a little unorganized, but complete none-the-less. Bad reviews and complaints are plentiful with the long history of the exchange and the recent troubles with account verification for some long time users.
Bottom Line: I’ve got to be honest that I personally despise the interface at these 2 sites. Both give Yahoo! GeoCities and the original SpaceJam website a run for their money in terms of web design. Perhaps it makes up for it with some free TA software and a large daily volume. But it comes to say that the longevity of this exchange is its biggest strength.
Overview: Liqui is based out of Kiev, Ukraine. As a digital exchange, it does not support fiat currencies and is competing with the likes of Bittrex and Poloniex as it lists dozens of altcoins. The feature that differentiates Liqui is its ‘Interest’ feature which was introduced to increase traffic and volume to the newer exchange. It works similarly to depositing money into a savings account - deposit ETH into an account and earn 24% APR (or .066% daily interest) which is deposited every 24 hours. There is some fine print about deposit limits and interest calculations, but how it is presented is clear and straightforward. Unfortunately the limit of 1000 ETH needed by Liqui is currently full, so you will need to wait until others withdraw ETH or the limit is increased to participate.
Verification: There are no deposit/withdrawal limits and no verification levels. In order to start trading, all that is needed is an email address.
Customer Service: Searching for user reviews shows mixed results about Liqui’s customer service. The fact that it supported on several platforms, is reassuring. Contact Support@liqui.freshdesk.comBy Twitter@Liqui_ExchangeBy Telegram@Liqui
Bottom Line: The design and simplicity of Liqui stands out in my opinion. It is like what Poloniex could be if they just cleaned the UI/UX a bit. I like that it immediately gets into the trading charts without having to click around and if you miss the trollbox then this is your site. Like other smaller exchanges there are doubts over the reputation and reliability due to the opaque nature of the operations and development team. If you are looking for an alternative to Bittrex or Poloniex, this exchange may be worth investigating.
06 – Fiat Exchanges – South Korea
안녕하세요 여러분! 혹시 우리 한국인 친구 이 보고서를 한국어로 읽고 싶어한다면 알려주세요. 관심이 많이 있다면 간단한 한국어 보고서도 만들 수 있습니다. This year, ETH has taken off like a rocket in the Land of the Morning Calm. With a population of just 50 million, South Koreans account for almost 30% of daily ETH trade volume. Even more surprising is that currently the daily volume of ETH is about 5 times higher than that of Bitcoin on Korean exchanges. Since demand is high, ETH is trading at a premium on Korean exchanges. Some users have been talking about capitalizing off this imbalance by trading on arbitrage between exchanges. For those who have no connection to Korea and hope to do so, I have bad news – all Korean exchanges require a National ID number and access to a Korean bank account. This makes Korean exchanges virtually closed to Korean nationals and those with long-term visas. Sorry everyone.
Overview: Bithumb has all the features of horrid Korean web design - pop-up ads, flashing side-banners, disorganized pull downs, links to cafes/blogs, and generic stock images with embedded text. You can’t even see the exchange before making an account with your email or mobile number. It does support 4 languages, but reveals only poor translation done by Google Translate. In the face of this, this exchange has been trading a daily volume only second to Poloniex. On the bright side, they have the unique options to buy gift certificates/vouchers and remit money overseas.
Overview: Coinone is the second largest Korean exchange, and its design is a breath of fresh air compared to its rival. It offers service in English and Korean and allows for the trading of Bitcoin, ETH, ETC, and Ripple. It has a very comprehensive chart that is highly customizable, but sadly is only gear towards BTC currently. This makes it perfect for margin trading, and in the future I hope they add ETH. They also offer overseas remittance through their service Cross. Coinone support seems above average in their customer service with a PDF guide and an unprecedented landline number for direct support.
Overview: As the smallest of the 3 Korean exchanges, Korbit benefits from its simplicity. It by far has the best design and English support with clear links to services - including remittance, global payment, and their company bio. Like CoinOne they offer a direct phone line for customer inquiries and an extensive FAQ in 2 languages. Similar to the other exchanges, it has insanely low fees for deposits and withdrawals. This is largely thanks to the Korean banking system where wire transfers and mobile banking are commonly used. I recommend anyone interested in Korean exchanges to start here as they also have a reddit presence on u/korbitBTC
With a great deal of anticipation, major Chinese exchanges started trading ETH this summer. Since these exchanges deal huge volumes of Bitcoin already, naturally it was expected that they invest heavily into ETH as well. So far this hasn’t quite lived up to the hype with many exchanges still favoring Bitcoin, Litecoin, Altcoins, and even Ethereum Classic (Gulp). Three of these exchanges underwent inspections by the Peoples Bank of China earlier this year and will be working closely with the government to ease fears of money laundering and market manipulation. There are a lot of Chinese sites, and since my Chinese is non-existent this list is basically just for name recognition. In many ways these sites are very similar in regards to security, verification, and fees compared to their western counterparts; just marketed at a different audience and currency. If users are seriously interested in these exchanges and making reviews, please contribute or ask!
Overview: Number one in Chinese ETH trading, currently overtaking the volume of exchanges like GDAX and Kraken. CoinOne is very accessible with a mobile app, PC trading software, live chat customer support, and wallet services. OK Coin has English for the basic interface, but no detailed information in the FAQ.
Overview: Second in Chinese ETH volume, Huobi mirrors its rival OKCoin in many ways. It has a solid interface, a mobile access, and even the same rumors of faking trading data! Huobi also started with the ambitious motive of having zero trading fees, only to introduce them in January of this year.
Overview: ShapeShift is the leading Coin-converter site and has been since 2014 when it was founded. With great effort put into to eliminating verification requirements and allowing for the exchange of dozens of altcoins, ShapeShift provides a relatively seamless and simple service. The big buttons and bright color scheme immediately differentiates it from other exchanges.
Trading Fees: From the website ShapeShift does not charge a specific fee. Instead, we offer an exchange rate for each coin which changes every 30 seconds with market conditions. We try to earn revenue by offering a profitable exchange rate, and typically we earn in the range of 0.5% (50 basis points). You receive exactly what the exchange rate shows, there is no additional fee (except the tiny miner fee). There are complaints about the fees not being calculated fairly, but no one is forcing any of these users to exchange at the unbalanced rate. Or you could just read what CEO u/evoorhees has to say about it over at the Ethereum subreddit.
Security: After losing $230,000 from a possible internal hack in 2016, ShapeShift contracted the Canadian Security firm LedgerLabs. Afterwards they permanently hired Michael Perklin as Chief Security Information Officer. ShapeShift claims the only information stored during exchanges is the logs of wallets and the transfers between them. This is protected by storing the data across servers in multiple countries with none based in the US.
Customer Service: Customer service is necessary for the inevitable ‘entered the wrong wallet address’ problem from new users. Along with complaints about slow transfers, a simpler platform does not exempt ShapeShift from dealing with tons of angry customers and their problems. I take many of the complaints about unfair exchange rates with a grain of salt, because the problem could have been avoided by the customer. It does seem however that ShapeShift is very responsive, with a presence on almost every social platform imaginable. Even right here on reddit at shapeshiftio
Bottom Line: Especially after the release PRISM, it is obvious that no one is better at simplifying than the ShapeShift team. In order for crypto trading to become mainstream, it need to be easy enough that your grandma could do it. Erik Voorhees understands better than anyone. Instead of being confronted by esoteric graphs, unfamiliar ticker symbols, and a list of registration requirements, ShapeShift differentiates itself from other exchanges in both its interface and ease of use.
Overview: Changelly is a prototype project that was created by developers associated with MinerGate 2013. It has a slightly less sleek interface than ShapeShift, but is still quite intuitive in terms of its pull down exchange bars and other information. Changelly offers Credit Card services like CEX.io, but the fees are currently so expensive that it is hardly worth it. Another downside is the recently introduced email requirement.
Trading Fees: 0.5% Commission Fee with .00042 ETH Network Fee.
Security: It offers 2FA with Google Authenticator and HTTPS protocol.
Verification: A confirmed email address is all that is needed to start trading. You could easily use a throwaway email if there are concerns over privacy. There are also links to your Google+ or Facebook Profile, which seems a little uneccessary.
Customer Service: Like ShapeShift, Changelly suffers in its reviews due to inexperienced users. Those using Credit Cards especially will feel ripped off despite a clear disclaimer stating that rates are high. They have an extensive FAQ, but do not appear to have a ticket system for complaints and their social media pages are more geared for press releases than support. Their subreddit is a similar story in changelly, but their support staff u/changelly_com runs circles trying to solve issues. Because of the honest effort, I believe they can do better and can improve.
Bottom Line: When it comes to criticisms of Changelly, the apple does not fall far from the tree with MinerGate. Users rightfully have some distrust about the lack of opacity in the management and operations of this exchange. I feel that they are more honest and fair in the Credit Card services than CEX.io, but still should cut the service as it generates a ton of bad experiences. If you are looking to convert coins, it seems to be an acceptable service, but some of the benefits are lost with having to verify an email address. In this way it is hard to compete with ShapeShift.
What Is Litecoin & Differences Between Litecoin And Bitcoin
What is Litecoin? Litecoin (LTC) is the second largest crypto currency only smaller than Bitcoin. Litecoin is the biggest of the so called altcoins and is similar to but with some distinct differences to Bitcoin (BTC). Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee, a former Google employee who goes by the screen name coblee, and was launched on October 7th 2011. LTC is similar to BTC in that it uses a proof of work blockchain, difficulty adjusts every 2016 blocks, and rewards half about every 4 years. LTC is different to BTC in that the LTC network aims to process blocks every 2.5 minutes compared to BTCs 10 minutes. This allows for faster confirmation times. LTC aims to produce 84 Million LTCs which is roughly 4 times as many coins as BTC will eventually produce. LTC uses an algorithm called Scrypt, and BTC uses SHA-256. Scrypt is roughly 1000 times slower than SHA256 which is why you see LTC mining speeds quoted in KH/s (Thousand hashes per second) vs BTCs MH/s (Million hashes per second). LTC was originally designed so that it could be easily mined on CPUs and be resistant to mining on GPUs. With ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) having taken over the BTC mining world, a common misconception is that Scrypt is ASIC proof. Scrypt is only ASIC resistant just as it was deigned to be GPU resistant. What this all means is that eventually LTC will be able to be mined with ASICs but the increase in speed is not going to be anywhere near what it was with BTC and SHA-256. This fact means that GPU mining will not be wiped out as it was with BTC. LTC uses addresses very similar to BTC addresses. They are a mix of 33 numbers and letters but always start with a L. LTC is often described LTC as silver to BTCs gold. While some BTC enthusiasts dislike LTC and say it takes something away from BTC, alot of people disagree. LTC being a smaller and younger coin has the ability to change things and test new ideas. BTC has a much larger user base and larger team of developers so it can be harder to come to a consensus on changes with BTC. Litecoin devs have recently been helping develop both LTC and BTC by contributing bug fixes to the BTC-qt devs for inclusion in the Bitcoin-qt client. LTCs native client is the Litecoin-qt application which is very similar to the Bitcoin-qt client. Litecoin-qt is available for Linux, Windows and Mac at the official Litecoin website. If you would like to see a guide on how to setup a Litecoin-qt wallet please see How To Create A Litecoin Wallet. Alot of the same things that exist for BTC exist for LTC. Such as: PaperWallets Litecoin Block Explorer Another Block Explorer Litecoin Wiki Litecoin Gambling Litecoin Dice Litecoin Mining Calculator There are many exchanges that support trading LTC for other crypto currencies as well as USD. Some (but not all) exchanges are listed below. BTC-e OKCoin for China Kraken Bitfinex Crypto-Trade I do not endorse any of these exchanges. I am only listing them for information purposes only. As with anything in the crypto world please do your own research before doing any type of transaction. Some links to the LTC community are: LTC Forums LTC Google+ And of course the LTC subreddit A very popular chart website for LTC (and other coins).
The calculator uses the data from several reliable Bitcoin sources to calculate what would have been the Bitcoin value on a particular date. Where there are several different prices, it uses an average figure. It has been found that the calculator is as accurate as possible in working out the value of proposed Bitcoin investments on particular dates in the past. Overall, the calculator is an ... Your BTC address is a string of 26-35 letters and numbers that identify your Bitcoin wallet. BTC addresses begin with either a 1 or a 3 and are case-sensitive. When you want to receive funds, this is the information that you provide to the person paying you. Your BTC address is oftentimes called your wallet address or your public address. Bitcoin mining calculator for SHA-256: Price 12,977.79$, 19.9973T difficulty, 144.1406 EH/s network hashrate, 6.2500 BTC block reward. Bitcoin mining pools list and list of best mining software. Find out the latest Bitcoin (BTC) value with cryptocurrency calculator. Convert Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency into any world currency including USD, GBP, EUR, CNY, JPY, and more Address abcd has 0 BTC (on Bitcoin network) Address efgh has 1 BTC (on Bitcoin network) and the same address efgh has 1 BCH on the Bitcoin cash network. Now the person who has the private key for the address efgh in Bitcoin cash also owns the coins on Bitcoin blockchain. It is because they both refer to the same keys.
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