This is the second part of our three-part coverage of some of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges. If you have not read the first part, check it out here.
Bitfinex is another of the many exchanges based in Hong Kong, and handles just under half a billion dollars worth of transactions every day. Unfortunately, Bitfinex has not had it easy as of late. It was subject to a massive hacking operation in 2016, in which it lost around $70 million in Bitcoin. Last year, it was accused of manipulating the value of Bitcoin by using a stablecoin called Tether. Finally, it is not possible for US traders to use Bitfinex due to regulatory issues. Nevertheless, traders are not required to provide any form of identification in order to use the exchange.
Bithumb is a smaller exchange based in the South Korean capital of Seoul, and handle transactions worth just over a quarter billion dollars in a 24-hour period. Bithumb is a bit different from most other exchanges in that it only allows for fiat money to cryptocurrency exchanges. In other words, you cannot trade one crypto token for another at Bithumb. Another reason the audience for this exchange is smaller is that only traders local to South Korea can use it. The only fiat money allowed is the South Korean Won. Just this Wednesday, on June 20th, Bithumb announced that it had been the victim of a hacking incident resulting in losses of around $31 million in cryptocurrency tokens.
A fellow South Korean exchange handling similar transaction volumes as Bithumb is UPbit. Like Bithumb, UPbit is only available to South Korean traders and subject to strict South Korean regulations. As with many other South Korean exchanges, UPbit has been the subject of much scrutiny from the government. The exchange was created late last year and is the product of Kakao Corp., which is a mobile provider in South Korea, and Bittrex, which is an American cryptocurrency trading website.
Going back to Hong Kong, we find HitBTC, which is in a similar league to Bithumb and UPbit in terms of transaction value. The exchange was created back in 2013 and brands itself as the most advanced platform of its kind. Some of the features traders have access to on HitBTC include advanced algorithms and a rebate system. While HitBTC does not allow users to trade using fiat money, they are able to purchase Bitcoin using their credit card — provided their bank allows for it. Although there are few regulations, new Japanese regulations have caused HitBTC to suspend their services for Japanese residents.
This exchange, which was founded late last year, focuses mainly on the Chinese market. Also clocking in at a quarter billion dollars in daily transactions, ZB.COM also available in English for non-Chinese users. Inviting a friend onto the platform will net users a 10% discount on transaction fees. It is, however, a requirement to provide some form of identification in order to trade on the platform. As the exchange is registered in Samoa, it is not regulated.