Crypto-Crypto exchanges are becoming an increasingly useful place to buy Bitcoin online. They are particularly useful for seasoned investors in cryptocurrency that already have a strong portfolio of digital assets. Unlike fiat-to-crypto exchanges which allow you to buy cryptocurrency directly with fiat currencies, crypto-crypto exchanges let you purchase cryptocurrency using another cryptocurrency that’s already in your crypto wallet. At Best Bitcoin Exchange, we have reviewed the best crypto-crypto exchanges you can use to buy Bitcoin. Take a look at our table of the top five contenders and our in-depth review of their pros and cons.
A crypto to crypto exchange offers cryptocurrency trading pairs. The best crypto-crypto exchange is one which offers up-to-the-minute prices on the leading cryptocurrencies against one another e.g. BTC/ETH or BTC/XRP.
Fiat-to-crypto exchanges do not provide these trading pairs, which means you have to deposit fiat currency or convert cryptocurrency you already own into fiat currency before you can purchase more digital assets. This is not a very efficient process, which is why many exchanges started accepting cryptocurrency as a straight swap for another crypto coin, based on their respective market values.
If you already own some kind of cryptocurrency and you’d like to buy some Bitcoin using your crypto wallet, read on to discover who we've chosen as the five best crypto-crypto exchange platforms after detailed research into dozens of available options.
An interesting way to make money on Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin and the Ripple coin is to trade their price movements just like you would in the stock market. eToro is a market leading social trading community that allows you to sign up as an eToro member and take ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ positions on coins such as Bitcoin without even having to physically buy and store Bitcoin in a wallet. This type of trading is known as Contracts for Difference (CFDs), which you can learn more about in our comprehensive eToro review.
- Markets open 24/7
- CFD transactions are faster and more efficient than an exchange
- Well-regulated and licensed by the UK's FCA and Cyprus' CySEC
- Intuitive trading apps available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets
- Flat fee of USD $25 for each withdrawal
- Not currently possible to amend any stop losses submitted when trading cryptocurrencies
Binance has rapidly become one of the biggest crypto-crypto exchanges in the world, with a decentralised exchange designed to process more crypto-crypto transactions at volume than any other platform. Our thorough review of Binance confirms that it is a relatively new brand to the cryptocurrency exchange marketplace, having been established in mid-2017. However, due to the considerable backing of some of the biggest names in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, it is now a platform worth up to $2 billion. With the ability to process 1.4 million transactions per second, why don’t you consider joining the four million Binance members already buying Bitcoin and other leading crypto coins using their existing cryptocurrency?
- Doubles up as a crypto wallet as well as an exchange
- Advanced security protocols
- Some of the lowest trading fees in the industry, at just 0.1% per trade
- 2FA option for additional protection against hackers
- Exclusively a crypto-crypto exchange, with no fiat-crypto pairs available
- Binance iOS app only available directly from the Binance website, not the App Store
- Advanced exchange view can be confusing to newbies
Launched in 2017, Kucoin is an innovative exchange for crypto-crypto transactions, powered solely by its very own ERC20 Kucoin (KCS) crypto token. According to our in-depth Kucoin review, the portal currently has five core markets – Bitcoin, Ethereum, NEO, USDT and its own KCS coin. However, it supports up to 133 cryptocurrencies spanning over 300 crypto-crypto trading pairs. There are no withdrawal limits for on the Kucoin platform, not even for new customers, and its trading and withdrawal fees are highly competitive within the industry.
- Outperforms Binance in transaction capabilities
- Fast: Designed to process over two million orders per second without delay or lagging
- Plenty of promotions and bonus structures such as paused trading fees on specified crypto assets
- Traditional trading tools such as candlestick charts available
- Somewhat unclear how much vetting takes place before new coins are allowed on the platform
- With no support for Know Your Customer (KYC), Kucoin accounts are not as secure as some other platforms
Established in 2014 by a group of online security specialists with a keen passion for crypto assets, Bittrex rapidly became one of the leading crypto-crypto exchanges for American customers due to its position as a fully US-regulated and compliant portal. Our full guide to Bittrex states that Bitcoin can be used to buy more than 250 cryptocurrencies on the exchange here, with flat fee order fees of 0.25%. All new sign-ups to Bittrex benefit from having their funds stored in cold storage, further enhancing the security and integrity of this brand.
- No limit on deposit sizes
- Industry leading security features, including 2-factor authentication
- Smoother account verification than competitor crypto-crypto trading platforms
- Recently forced to temporarily pause new accounts for retail investors
- No margin or leverage trading options
Another option is a broker exchange like eToro. If you want to be able to buy and sell the price of Bitcoin and other coins without benefitting from physically owning them, eToro is the ideal social trading platform that allows you to learn and enhance your knowledge of Bitcoin and even emerging altcoins from like-minded traders. It was also awarded our 2018 crypto-crypto exchange of the year, so make sure you check out their latest sign-up deals.
On the whole, crypto-crypto exchanges are probably not the best starting point for newcomers to cryptocurrency investing, simply because they won’t have the portfolio of crypto coins in their wallets available to buy more. Some people will prefer the concept of fiat-to-crypto exchanges initially, with the ability to trade fiat/crypto pairs and use USD, GBP or EUR to start buying Bitcoin from day one, before migrating over to the best crypto-crypto exchange.
However, the simplest and most exciting place to start trading Bitcoin and other crypto coins is to sign up with eToro and trade the price action using CFDs. This easy-to-use platform makes it easy to understand prices and their busy social feeds encourage members to get involved with discussions and debates on Bitcoin investment angles. There’s also the option of taking part in the eToro Crypto CopyFund, allowing beginners to copy the trades of the eToro investment committee, comprising a group of highly experienced cryptocurrency investors. The fund also diversifies into multiple crypto coins, not just Bitcoin, allowing beginners to benefit from the combined performance of the leading digital assets.
There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t day trade Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies – even altcoins – using a crypto-crypto exchange. If you're new to the cryptocurrency industry, you may not be aware of the volatility in the price of most crypto coins. It’s not unusual for daily price moves of 5-10%, allowing day traders to make impressive returns if they are on the right side of the price move, of course.
If you want to become a retail trader of cryptocurrency, there are two main day trading options:
Many of the crypto-crypto exchanges above provide up-to-the-minute prices on the leading cryptocurrency trading pairs, as well as more obscure altcoins. With lightning-quick transactions and leverage available with the likes of the Bitmex platform, for example, you can take an early morning position on a trading pair and sell your assets later in the day at the click of a button when the price has moved in your favour.
Of course, if you’re not overly fussed about physically owning the cryptocurrencies you trade and are more interested in profiting from the price action, CFD trading makes more sense as a day trader. eToro is certainly the best starting point, with 24/7 trading available across all markets and no overnight or weekend fees for ‘buy’ positions. Members can also use the Daily Market Review to better understand how the markets moved and how they are likely to fare in the days ahead.
In summary, crypto-crypto exchanges are well-suited to those who have already accrued digital assets to exchange in the first place. Newcomers to cryptocurrency investing should look closer at fiat-crypto exchanges to start building a crypto coin portfolio before migrating over to a crypto-crypto exchange.
Leverage relates to the amount of risk an exchange is willing to offer a cryptocurrency trader. If your chosen exchange offers 100x leverage on Bitcoin, if you were to invest £100, the value of your position would be £10,000. For every percentage price move on Bitcoin you then stand to gain or lose £100. If you were to use an exchange that offered no leverage, each percentage price move on Bitcoin would only see you gain or lose £1. Leverage simply enhances your ability to profit from price moves, but it is a risky business for beginners.
Put simply, if an exchange didn’t charge order fees and commissions on trades they wouldn’t be financially viable!
A demo account is a good way for beginners to trading platforms to understand how things work. You can place trades with demo or ‘play’ money to get a feel for the markets, before switching over to a live trading account, requiring you to deposit your own fiat or crypto currency to trade with.
In essence, a broker exchange like our top pick, eToro, isn't strictly an exchange. It is a place where you can invest in cryptocurrencies rather than trade them. Crypto-crypto exchanges are better than brokers if you wish to use crypto coins you already own that have risen in value to purchase new crypto assets that have the potential to be more valuable in the future. However, broker exchanges have a lot of benefits too, as you can read in our guide.
The best crypto-crypto exchanges are those that are well regulated and licensed. Keep your eyes peeled for platforms that are regularly audited by the UK's leading Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).