Best Bitcoin & Altcoin Trading Platforms
The Bitcoin and Altcoin Trading sites on this page show our opinion only and BestBitcoinExchange.net is not responsible for any losses that may happen by trading on these trading platforms.
What are altcoins?
Although bitcoin is the leading cryptocurrency on the market, there are several different alternative digital coins are available on the market. Altcoins have the similar background as bitcoin, they are all based on blockchain technology although different technical algorithms and features are associated with each altcoin.
As of today there are almost thousand different altcoins have been issued to the market. The number of alternative digital currencies is growing every week as new coins hit the market through the ICO – the Initial Coin Offering processes.
The altcoins are placed to market through ICOs which becoming more and more popular for startups to raise money and for investors to jump into hot investment opportunities. The initial coin offering process is the exercise during the altcoins are issued to the market for first public purchases. It is similar to the IPOs on the exchanges, however during an ICO in stead of shares, a new cryptocurrency is issued to the market.
The process begins with issuing a white paper, where the owners of the new digital coin details the features and specifics of the cryptocurrency that will be placed to the market along with the initial prices.
You can check the ICO Calendar for the newest altcoins, or just follow the Bitcoin Talk forum thread about emerging altcoins. Investors can purchase new altcoins through pre-orders and once all the funds have been raised the new altcoin is available to trade on the altcoin market.
Each have its unique feature which gained them popularity among others. Many altcoins have a decentralized nature and does not have a leading body, while others are owned by private companies.
The idea behind altcoins is that any community can have their own digital currency. Some of the altcoins have a supporting community behind them which facilitates the marketing activity of the coins. For example the Dogecoin community is well known for it’s generiousity and have supported several good causes in the past with charity events.
Dash even works as a corporation with decision making board and a development team concentrating on updates and new features. Strong social and media activity also helps growing the values of altcoins.
What is altcoin trading?
Altcoins can be traded on the market just like bitcoin with the help of cryptocurrency trading platforms. Trading between altcoins and bitcoin is as popular as trading with altcoins against fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, RUB or CNY. The market is continually growing, the popularity of ETH altcoins trades have been increasing recently.
Altcoin trading works similar to the forex trading, so general background knowledge of the forex markets can be beneficial for new traders. You can trade the major altcoins without the need of picking up the technical knowledge of cryptocurrencies, however it is suggested to follow the news associated with the industry to be able to act quickly on major market moves.
In order to start trading, the traders should pocess altcoins that can be transferred from the altcoin wallet to the altcoin exchange. There are some exchange on the market, where you can purchase altcoin directly on the site before starting trading. In other cases you have to own altcoins upfront.
Couple of trading site offers the option to trade with CFDs, like Bitmex. This enables traders to benefit from the market movements of the underlying altcoins without actually owning cryptocurrencies. By purchasing a certificate which value is linked to an altcoin, all the benefits of the altcoin trading can be enjoyed, without the technical background needed to open a cryptocurrency wallet.
Altcoin trading have two different pricing models. Platform can charge each order a fixed or pro-rata fee than can be decreased by increasing the trading volumes. An other approach is the spread based model, where the platform does not charge specific fees on the orders but the bid and ask prices of each trade already includes the trading fee.
Couple of exchanges apply the maker-taker fee schedule, which gives discount to those traders who provides liquidity on the market and charge fees to those who are taking the orders from the order book.
Just like during forex trading platform, altcoin trading sites also offers trading on margin. Trading on margin means borrowing money in order to increase the exposure to a certain market to benefit more on the price changes.
Margin trading can be very risky, so it is only suggested to advanced traders. The amount of leverage can be widely different among the sites, the most common leverage used by altcoin trading platform is 2-3x, but at couple of places the leverage can be increased up to 100x. Tutorials on margin trading can be found on BitcoinTradingSites.
Advantages of altcoin trading
Altcoin trading can earn significant money while trading from home in case the necessary research has been performed by the traders. Due to the high volatility of the altcoin markets, the trading profits can be higher compared to forex trading or even compared to bitcoin trading. This volatility can be taken as an advantage if the trader joins the market at the right time.
During trading with altcoins, the pump and dump scheme is often used on the market. This happens if a new coin on the market received significant amount of publicity and the prices are inflated artificially through misleading or exaggarated information.
When the price of the new coin reached it’s peak, the owners just dump the coins and sell off all of them to gain short term profit. It is advisable to pay careful attention to any news associated with cryptocurrencies that can affect the price of the altcoins.
Disadvantages of altcoin trading
Besides it’s obvious benefits, altcoins trading has it’s own challanges as well. The extreme volatile altcoin prices can lead to significant losses if the traders does not apply an appropriate risk management system.
Markets can change rapidly, it is very common to see 20-30% differences in the altcoin prices intra-day.
Some trading platform does not allow fiat currency withdrawals, so the profits from altcoin trading must be first converted to bitcoin on an exchange and then it can be transferred to another exchange to withdraw the amount in USD. These transfers have fees that is charged from the profit earned.
Platforms for altcoin trading
There are couple of altcoin trading sites available on the market where you can buy and sell alternative digital currencies in exchange for bitcoin or fiat currencies.
Poloniex is specified at altcoin trading. You can trade with 80+ cryptocurrencies on the Poloniex platform, including the major altcoins and some new coins too. They apply a volume based maker-taker fee schedule. Fees ranges between 0.00% and 0.25% depending on the last 30 days of trading volume on the account.
Bittrex has over 200 altcoin pairs and the list keeps growing. They charg a fixed 0.25% trading fee on each order. Withdrawals are free of charges, you only have to pay the transaction fee to the network.
Cryptopia offers 446 different altcoins to trade with, which makes them a one stop shop for alternative cryptocurrencies. The prices includes the spreads of the platform.