Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2019
2019 saw a flourishing of marketplaces and crypto-related services, with a handful of markets established as leaders.
In 2019, a renewed Bitcoin bull market led to an evolution of exchanges and brokerage services. Here are the top exchanges in terms of liquidity, fiat gateway access, and a robust selection of well-picked digital assets.
Binance: this market operator showed its mettle in 2018, and became the undisputed leader in 2019. As of September 2019, Binance will prepare to split its international and US-based services, to comply with regulations and avoid accusations from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Binance will be thus fully compliant with most jurisdictions while offering credit and debit card access to purchasing digital coins.
Binance is fully KYC, requiring a picture ID for any significant purchases. A recent leak revealed customers’ passports, revealing one of the risks for the exchange. Still, Binance remains one of the safest market operators, with only one big heist taking away 7,000 Bitcoin (BTC).
Because of the success of Binance, the BNB native coin was among the best-performing altcoins as of September 2019.
Bitpanda Exchange: The recently launched Bitpanda exchange is just revving up. Its biggest advantage is being tied to the Bitpanda crypto brokerage, a one-stop-shop for multiple digital coins and tokens. Bitpanda offers fiat access for European traders, as well as crypto-to-crypto exchanges based on the Bitpanda Exchange Token (BEST).
Changelly: Changelly still has a place in 2019, especially for smaller and fast exchanges. The service was revamped with mandatory accounts and customer screening (KYC), offering exchanges between multiple assets. Changelly, however, holds the risk of running out of coins or closing a pair without warning, so it is best used for the most liquid pairs that are usually always available.
KuCoin: This exchange has established itself as the smaller Korean cousin of Binance, working on similar principles. KuCoin offers a vast selection of tokens and significant liquidity. The market is also internationally available, though strongly targeted to Asian traders. KuCoin is a good choice for relatively obscure coins or tokens not available on other markets, and it is also a hub for Bitcoin SV (BSV) trading, for those that want to access the asset, which was delisted from Binance.
Kraken: The Kraken exchange is one of the fixtures in the crypto space, which has improved its performance in 2019. The exchange offers fiat pairs and is one of the off-ramps for Tether (USDT). Despite lacking a native token, Kraken also pays out revenue shares to its traders.
Beyond those services, which are the most prominent, there are other reputable exchanges that may be used for specific assets. Bibox Europe is quickly catching up with Bitpanda with a full fiat gateway and a fully legalized exchange. OKEx and Huobi still line up among the most active exchanges offering high liquidity and trustworthiness.
In 2019, exchanges are extremely careful about local regulations, and US-based traders need to read the small print to avoid problems. Most exchanges also offer a compliant global service. UK buyers are also somewhat restricted due to local banking services, as well as potential problems related to Brexit.