Crypto here, Bitcoin there, everyone is talking about it and it’s slowly becoming impossible to avoid the topic. The hype around cryptocurrencies is no longer just hype. Large companies, investors and banks have now acquired a taste for digital currencies and are beginning to recognise the potential that lies within them. But not only the potential of cryptocurrencies themselves, but also that of the underlying technology – the blockchain. It’s not just the big fish that benefit from investing, private individuals are also investing with increasing frequency. Whether long-term investments or daily trading, huge sums or just small investments, there is something for everyone here. The choice of platforms on which the digital currency can be bought and traded is huge. That’s why in this article I’ll tell you which platform is the right one for which intentions. Let’s go!
Where you should buy depends on your goals
First, you need to ask yourself what you want. Do you want to take a little money and try out what happens with your investments? Do you want to invest in certain coins for the long term? Or are you keen on trading? Don’t be fooled, it sounds nice and easy to make a lot of money in a short time with trading, but it takes a lot of work, costs nerves and is usually only worth it if you are well acquainted with the crypto market and its changes.
Next, you should ask yourself which cryptocurrencies you are actually interested in. Some platforms offer a very extensive selection and others only the better-known coins.
Comparison of different crypto exchanges and brokers
As you have probably already noticed, the range of different exchanges and trading platforms is huge. To give you a small overview, I have simply taken a closer look at five very well rated and different platforms. In the end, you will hopefully have a better idea of which crypto exchange is the right one for you.
The self-proclaimed multi-asset platform Etoro was founded in Tel Aviv in 2007 and is very hyped on the internet. Etoro, unlike the other platforms, do a lot of advertising, especially on YouTube, which is why they have become very well known very quickly. The promise: “To make the global markets accessible for everyone to trade and invest in them in a simple and transparent way”.
The platform was originally a broker for traditional assets such as shares and co. Since 2018, they also offer cryptocurrencies. Etoro offers its service via the website and an app. Crypto can be bought with fiat currency, but different cryptocurrencies cannot be exchanged with each other. Fiat currencies, or fiat money, are national currencies that are not linked to the value of a commodity such as gold or silver. The value of fiat money is largely based on the public’s trust in the government or central banks that are the publishers of the currencies. Examples: Euro, US dollar, sterling pound.
Registration is relatively extensive. Personal data and some questions about financial knowledge and the planned investment are required. Income, profession and tax ID must also be provided. After about 10 minutes you can start trading. Etoro offers its users the possibility to trade in a virtual mode with imaginary money. This mode is a really great way to put your trading potential to the test. It is very interesting for beginners because here you have the possibility to trade with virtual money. So you actually have almost all the functions that the platform offers and you can just play around with a capital of 50,000$ and get a feeling for how it works. For those who are new to the trading business, this is a very useful feature.
The special feature of the platform is the “Social Trading” function, which allows you to follow other investors and copy their trades. Especially for beginners, this is a very interesting feature and saves a lot of work. It takes away many people’s initial fear of entering trading, which often arises due to little experience. In combination with the virtual mode, it definitely increases the fun factor of entering the world of cryptocurrencies.
As soon as you have familiarised yourself a little with the tool, you can easily get started and open your first trades. Here there might be a small drawback for some: the minimum deposit amount is $200 (€160). Speaking of dollars: unfortunately, the values are displayed in $ in many places, which can be a bit annoying for some, because you always have to convert. There is the option to change your currency to € in the settings, but unfortunately, it does not take over this setting everywhere. Etoro currently trades 19 cryptocurrencies, including well-known coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others. In addition, as already mentioned, you can also trade with other assets such as shares and EFTs. There are also social trading functions for this. In the market overview, however, you can filter if you are only interested in a certain category.
The hyped platform is truly an all-rounder and is suitable for anyone who wants to try out the market and does not yet have a lot of experience. Great features like the virtual mode or social trading make it easy to get started with a great fun factor. But also for experienced traders, there is a great overview, many functions, such as the leverage function and the possibility to exchange information with other traders or perhaps even to provide portfolio copies for newcomers as an experienced investor.
Libertex is a European broker based in Cyprus. You can buy cryptos with fiat currency or trade other cryptocurrencies on Libertex via their website or app. Libertex is less well-known, but the platform still has a lot to offer.
When registering, you have to log in with your full personal data. However, here you have the option of simply registering for a demo account with your email and password. This demo account works like the virtual version at Etoro. You can try out with virtual money before the real deal starts. The registration for the live account is similar to that at Etoro. All your essential data is required. From name and address to tax ID. Afterwards, questions about previous knowledge and experience in trading with assets must be answered. Once the registration has been completed, you can continue. Now you have the opportunity to deposit money into your account. This is because the cryptocurrencies are not paid for directly, but with credit that has to be loaded onto the account first. What’s really cool here is the choice of payment methods. From Paypal to GiroPay, many options are available here. Once again, the minimum deposit of €100 could be a drawback for some.
Now we come to the essentials: Buying coins! For someone who hasn’t had much experience with the crypto market before, Libertex’s user interface might seem a bit overwhelming and complex. This could also be related to the fact that you can trade not only cryptocurrencies here, but also other assets.
Libertex is geared more towards people who want to get to grips with the market intensively and not just invest but want to trade cryptos. For these people, there are many great features here and a very appealing user interface. With over 40 coins, Libertex also provides a relatively large offer. In summary, it can be said that anyone who feels like putting a little money in their hands and already knows something about the market or wants to try it out is in good hands with Libertex.
With an average trading volume of 20 billion US $, Binance – although it has only been running since 2017 – is the largest crypto exchange. But it is not only known for its impressive trading volume, but also for its large supply of almost 150 coins.
Registering with Binance was a real challenge. I kept having problems with the email verification because my confirmation email never arrived. There were also problems with another email address I tried. The security check via webcam, which verified my identity, also didn’t go quite as it should have. In the end, I was able to solve the problem via the app.
Binance offers the complete package, you can easily buy the coins by credit card or bank transfer and there are only small fees for trading and for the payout. The platform with its page structure is even more complex than Libertex. Numbers, charts and curves everywhere. This platform is definitely suitable for those who are heavily involved in the crypto market, want to make their own forecasts and need a lot of numbers in one pile for their decisions.
The market overview is relatively extensive, as you can select different categories there, such as DeFi or NFTs. In addition, you can always see the prices compared to other coins or compared to the various fiat currencies. The different functions for trading are basically the same as with Libertex. Binance also has an academy attached to its trading platform, where you can learn everything about blockchain and cryptocurrencies from A-Z if you are interested in the technology behind Bitcoin and Co.
The biggest difference between Binance and Libertex is that Libertex focuses on the social network. This is manifested by the creation of a profile and the option to exchange information with other traders or even copy portfolios of successful traders. Binance, on the other hand, focuses more on the crypto market and the various functions for trading. Moreover, Binance is a pure crypto platform while Libertex also trades other assets. Another advantage of Binance is its own Telegram group, which allows members to exchange information with each other.
Binance is a good platform for traders who already have experience. The individual functions and the extensive market area can be overwhelming for beginners.
Coinbase is a trading platform on which simplified crypto trading is possible. In April this year, the platform went on the stock market with a valuation of a gigantic 100 billion US dollars.
Similar to any other platform, registration is only possible with identity verification. But the whole process is relatively quick, and then you can get started. The platform offers over 50 coins that can be paid for with a credit card. However, 3.99 % fees apply. But the money is available immediately. Alternatively, you can pay by SEPA direct debit, but it can take up to five days for the money to arrive.
Both the app and the website are very easy to use. Coinbase is less about trading and more about medium- to long-term investing, which of course doesn’t mean that you can’t sell your coins again at any time. The market overview is very clear and simple; you won’t find any complicated applications, scales or analysis views. You can always see exactly what the price is and can read the changes quickly and easily.
Directly on the start page, you have an overview of the common cryptocurrencies. As soon as you click on the crypto, you see the course of the price and can choose between the hourly, weekly, monthly and annual overview. Directly below you have the option to purchase the coin. The purchase is relatively quick and easy.
In your portfolio, you have an overview of your current total value in euros. Although the platform has hardly any trading functions, you still have the option to convert your cryptos into other cryptos. This way, you don’t have to sell if the price drops too much, but you can simply convert your current crypto into another coin. You can also set up a price alert to protect you from excessive losses. If you want to send your coins to another wallet, this can also be done easily and in no time at all. Furthermore, the platform offers interesting functions to inform you about current news and to suggest learning content.
This platform is really suitable for anyone who wants to invest their money in crypto and always wants to have a quick overview of their assets without being distracted by the charts and figures. Both the app and the website are designed to be child’s play and easy to use for any newcomer.
Bison, a platform of the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, is the first German app to offer trading in cryptocurrencies. Bison is only available as an app and not as a desktop version. Here, too, registration is quick with a short webcam check. In general, the platform is structured similarly to Coinbase. The main goal is to make entering the world of cryptocurrencies as easy as possible.
The app is totally clear and it is very easy to identify how to buy coins. The start page offers an overview of the current portfolio value, the available amount in euros and the various coins that have been purchased. At the expense of simplicity, the range of coins is significantly reduced. Only the five best-known coins Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple are available on Bison. But for those for whom the offer is sufficient, the platform is a great alternative to Coinbase. Because Bison is ahead of Coinbase in one thing: they also offer a demo version, where you can first try out using virtual money before it goes to the real money. Another difference between the platforms is the payment method. While the coins are paid for directly at Coinbase, at Bison money must first be deposited in the app, after which coins can be bought with this credit.
Anyone who simply wants to jump on the bandwagon and invest in coins is in good hands with Bison.
After this introduction to the different platforms, you may have developed a better sense of which platform might be right for you. Because there is no one right platform for everyone. Nor do you always have to choose just one. The choice of the right platform always depends on your own goals and preferences. Nevertheless, I can give you a few tips.
Simple, clear, medium- and long-term investing
If you are very new to the crypto world and want to put some money in your hands and have a quick and easy overview of your investments, I would definitely advise you to use Coinbase or Bison. If the best-known coins are enough for you, Bison is completely sufficient. But if you also want to invest in lesser-known coins, Coinbase might be the better alternative.
A smooth entry into the world of crypto trading
Etoro is the perfect platform for those who are not entirely new to the crypto world but do not yet feel 100% confident in the market. Here you have the opportunity to put your trading talent to the test in a demo version. In addition, through social trading, you can orientate yourself to experienced investors and simply copy their portfolio. You are spared the quickly intimidating charts with thousands of numbers on this platform.
If you are additionally interested in trading and the technology behind the coins and want to learn more about it, the Binance Academy offers a wide range of learning material.
For those who already have some experience in crypto trading, Libertex and Binance are the right address. A comprehensive market overview and many different functions such as leverage are quite common here. In addition, you have a huge selection of coins and can buy and sell in a few seconds.
I have given you a small insight into my personal experiences with some common platforms here. But there is a huge selection of other providers. And driven by the current hype, more and more classic companies and trading platforms are also entering the market. For example, you can buy various coins from the neo-broker Trade Republic since a few weeks and several large banks offer cryptos as part of their investment strategy. There are also a large number of crypto space providers, such as Kraken, Bitrex, Bitcoin.de and many more.
Most exchanges where cryptocurrencies are traded are responsible for maintaining liquidity and securing trades and users. This means that a blockchain system, which is supposed to provide a decentralised solution, is heavily dependent on centralised exchanges. That’s why, unfortunately, they are still vulnerable to hacker attacks and fraud.
The solution to this problem is the Decentralised Exchanges (DEX). When brokering transactions, there is no third party mediating between sender and receiver. Rather, so-called “smart contracts” ensure that you can exchange your coins directly with another user when someone makes your request in reverse. These smart contracts can be understood as automated contracts that run on a blockchain.
The two best-known examples are Uniswap and Pancakeswap. Both platforms work according to the same principle. One difference is that Uniswap runs on the Ethereum blockchain, while Pancakeswap uses the Binance smart chain.
Are coins not available on your platform?
No problem, this is where decentralised exchanges come to your rescue. By connecting your wallet, you can easily swap one coin for another. Here you can choose from all possible coins. Especially new projects (coins) are only accepted after a certain time on the common exchanges. But if you want to be part of it from the beginning, these exchanges are the right place for you.
An easy way to access the decentralised exchanges is the Trust Wallet. You can access them via Dapp and then select the relevant platform. There are also other DEX’s to choose from here.