Guide to Cryptocurrency Exchanges (Part 1 of 3)

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The driving force behind the cryptocurrency market is of course trade, and that trade takes place on the many cryptocurrency exchanges. We are going to have a look at some of the most popular exchanges in this three part series. Have a look below and see if you are trading on the right exchange.


Coinbase is located in San Francisco, California, and is a comprehensive platform that functions like an exchange, a digital wallet, and a range of tools traders can use to conduct their business. It is a very popular platform among beginners due to its simply design and ease of use. More advanced traders can use Coinbase’s sister platform GDAX (soon to be Coinbase Pro). With over 20 million people using it, it is considered to be one of the most prominent exchanges, and is valued at more than $1 billion. Having already partnered with companies like Overstock and Expedia, Coinbase has plans to expand into the Japanese market.


BitMEX is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, and processes around $2 billion worth of transactions every day. For better or worse, the platform is very reliant on Bitcoin, as all profits and losses made from trades are converted into Bitcoin. This means that even if a trader buys and sells cryptocurrency tokens other than Bitcoin, any eventual yields are dependent on the value of Bitcoin. BitMEX calls their unique system ‘leveraged contracts’, ‘futures contracts’ and ‘perpetual contracts’. Although the exchange is based in Hong Kong, it is registered in the Seychelles, which means it is subject to very little regulation.


Not constrained by a single location, Binance is a series of cryptocurrency exchanges spread out across several Asian countries. Although it only came into being last year, Binance already processes $1 billion worth of transactions every day. Rather than having a separate platform for advanced users, traders can switch between ‘beginner’ and ‘advanced’ modes when using the platform. What also makes Binance special is that it has its own cryptocurrency token called Binancecoin (BNB for short). Although BNB tokens are not a requirement for users of the platform, traders who hold BNB tokens receive a discount on transaction fees.


Another exchange based in Hong Kong is OKEx. Processing over $1 billion worth of transactions every day, the exchange has announced plans to expand to the Maltese market. As with Binance, OKEx has its own token called OKB, and similar to Binance traders can get a discount if they hold OKB tokens in their digital wallet. As opposed to Binance, however, owners of OKB tokens also get the right to vote on company issues, and access to fiat and margin trading. One of the drawbacks of OKEx is the restricted areas. It is not possible for traders in countries like the United States and Hong Kong to use the platform.


Huobi is another pan-Asian exchange, originally founded in China and now with offices in Singapore, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, as well as the United States. The latter is interesting, as the platform is currently not available to US traders due to regulatory issues. Nevertheless, Huobi is divided into Huobi OTC, where users can trade fiat money for crypto tokens for free, and Huobi Pro, which is similar to the more advanced trading platform offered by Coinbase. Huobi is about to launch a cryptocurrency ETF called HB10.

I’m a freelance writer and full-time curious person. My main interests are philosophy, politics, art, culture, science, and how they’re all interlinked. When I’m not writing, I’m fronting a band, producing records, and making videos. I’m also currently working on launching a YouTube channel that will focus on culture and politics. I think blockchain technology is fascinating because of the huge potential it has to revolutionise not only the financial sector, but society as a whole.