Best Altcoin Exchanges to Trade & Buy

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• Updated: December 18th, 2020

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Your first step into the altcoin world will most likely occur through an exchange or brokerage.

Both these services act as an onboarding ramp for the average person to exchange and buy altcoins.

The main distinction between the two is that on a brokerage you’re purchasing directly from a company, whereas exchanges, on the other hand, allow you to transact with other customers directly.

A broker experience is typically catered towards beginners, and what we recommend to almost all of our readers.

If we had to summarize the best altcoin exchanges and brokerages for Q1 of 2021, they would be:

Keep reading to learn about brokerages, which we’ll cover in the first part of this guide. The second part of this guide will cover exchanges, the different types, and your best options for choosing one.

What are brokerages?

Brokerages are without a doubt the best way for beginners to get involved in Altcoins.

Brokers help facilitate the exchange of fiat and altcoins by buying up large amounts of altcoins or the financial asset they offer. Rather than allow users to trade with each other through complicated order books, they simplify the process through a guided user interface.

Why use a brokerage?

Altcoin brokerages are great, especially for beginners as they are the fastest, simplest, and most trusted way to get your first altcoins.

It’s true, altcoin brokerages will come with a slightly higher fee, due to the extra services they offer, but the fee is very worth the convenience newbies receive.

Below, we’re going to list the altcoin brokerages that we recommend the most to all of our readers.

Best Altcoin Brokerages

Based out of San Francisco, California, Coinbase is considered by many to be the most beginner-friendly altcoin exchange. It accomplishes this through its beautiful yet simple user interface.Coinbase is a brokerage, meaning that instead of buying altcoins from other users, you are buying directly from Coinbase.

As far as fees go, Coinbase charges 1.49% on bank purchases and 3.99% on credit and debit purchases. Due to the lower fees involved, it’s recommended to use your bank account when making large purchases.

Coinbase’s fees are on the lower end compared to other brokerages mentioned later in this guide.

Visit Coinbase

Coinmama is another beginner-friendly altcoin brokerage that focuses on credit and debit card purchases.

They offer instant delivery and sell Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and more to 40 US States, and most countries.

Coinmama doesn’t provide its users with a wallet on the exchange. Instead, users are asked to provide a wallet address to send the purchased altcoins to.

As long as you have your own wallet, this shouldn’t be an issue!

Coinmama’s fees are slightly higher than Coinbase at 5% when a credit or debit card is used.

Recently, Coinmama has made it possible to sell altcoins back to your bank account. This feature is only available in European countries, but it’s likely it will be available to more as time goes on.

Visit Coinmama

eToro is an interesting option when it comes to altcoin brokers. What sets eToro apart is their social trading and copy trading features, allowing you to view the most successful traders on the platform, and mimic their trades as part of your trading strategy.

eToro only supports deposits via bank account, so if you were planning to use a card that won’t be possible. For fees, eToro charges differently depending on the coin. Expect a .75% fee when trading altcoins.

Visit eToro

What are Exchanges?

Altcoin exchanges use order books and other matching engines to allow users to trade altcoins amongst themselves. Due to the way trading goes down on exchanges, the fees are much lower as the company is providing a less intensive service.

Why Use an Exchange?

We recommend anyone to use an altcoin exchange if they want to take on more of a challenge when it comes to altcoin investing. Most exchanges’ user interfaces are not very intuitive and can take some getting used to. That being said, if you can feel comfortable using a P2P exchange, every altcoin investor should seek to use an exchange, simply due to the advantage they give on fees.

Below, we’ll list some of our favorite altcoin exchanges, and ones that members of the Bitpremier team itself use.

Best Altcoin Exchanges

Kraken is another popular exchange based in the United States that’s been around since 2011.

In terms of trading fees, Kraken’s are very fair and scale based on your 30-day trading volume. If you’re a maker, they range from .16% all the way to 0%. Taker fees on Kraken range from .26%-.1%.

For funding options, Kraken offers deposits in USD (FedWire), EUR (SEPA), and CAD(Wire & EFT). Like most other options, if you own altcoins already, they allow for several altcoins to be deposited on the exchange.

A unique feature of Kraken is that it allows for margin trading with up to 5x leverage. When margin trading on Kraken, eligible accounts can borrow up to $500,000 to go long or short on an altcoin.

Visit Kraken

Gemini is an exchange based in New York, US that allows for the trading of USD against Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, and more. For fees on Gemini's brokerage service, expect 1.49% fees on buys and sells for orders over $200. Gemini's brokerage service is an intuitive way for beginners to purchase cryptocurrency.

If you feel comfortable using their exchange feature, have your account switched to ActiveTrader mode. On this mode, fees scale base off your trading volume and are between .35% and 0% depending on if you are a maker or taker.

Visit Gemini Read Review

Coinbase Pro is Coinbase’s traditional exchange, and one of the lowest fee ways for anyone to trade altcoins. The exchange features several trading pairs, like BTC/USD, BTC/ETH, and many other altcoins and fiat currencies. There will be something for everyone on Coinbase Pro.

As we said above, as long as you can handle the complex interface of a P2P exchange, this will likely be the best way for anyone to buy, sell, and trade altcoins.

Visit Coinbase

Reviews of the Top Altcoin Exchanges

eToro Review

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Buy Altcoins with eToro

You may know eToro for their incredibly creative ad campaigns.

Or maybe for being the pioneer of the “social trading” concept.

Outside of their advertising and innovative concepts, is eToro all that?

Let’s find out!

eToro Overview

eToro isn’t technically an exchange in the purest sense of the word, as it doesn’t have an order book to match buyers and sellers. Instead, eToro is a brokerage offering direct access to altcoin investments.

While eToro has been in operation since 2010, it’s only been available to US users since 2018 when it gained its US brokerage license. However, eToro USA is in the process of a gradual US rollout and isn’t currently available to users in all states.

At the present time, trading is available to residents of 41 states. You can check if it’s currently available in your state on the eToro help section.

If your state isn’t yet listed, then you aren’t yet eligible to use eToro. US citizens residing outside of the US are also not permitted. Besides, some features may not be available in all states where eToro is currently available.

Coin Selection

eToro offers more options for trading in different altcoins than any of its global competitors. Some of the available coin options include:

  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • EOS (EOS)

Payment Methods

You can fund your eToro account in one of two ways. Either by linking your online bank account to your eToro account or by sending a wire transfer from your bank to your eToro account. When you click the “Deposit funds” button for the first time, you’ll be prompted to choose one of these methods.

If you choose to link your bank account to your eToro account, then the web interface will walk you through the steps. You’ll have to have your bank credentials handy and enter them when prompted.

If you choose to link your bank account, you can use this funding method in the future without having to re-enter your details.

If you opt to fund your eToro account with a wire transfer, then eToro will provide you with the necessary account details you’ll need to send the payment.

You’ll then have to instruct your bank to send the payment using your usual bank web login portal. eToro requires that you upload a screenshot of the ABA confirmation document to its customer service portal.

Both of these funding options will require a waiting period before the funds reach your account, so you won’t be able to start trading as you would with an exchange such as Coinbase or Coinmama that accepts credit card payments.

Fees and Limits

There is a minimum deposit requirement of $50 for online banking, while wire transfer deposits have a higher minimum requirement of $500. Both of these minimum deposit requirements apply for the first deposit and any subsequent top-ups.

Deposits made by both online banking and wire transfers are capped at $10,000 per day.

The fee structure for trading on eToro for the major altcoins is shown below. For the ones not shown, the range is 1.9%, up to 5% for trading Tezos.

There are no fees for withdrawals from your eToro account, but conditions apply. Funds deposited via online banking must have been on your eToro account for a minimum of six days before you can withdraw them.

Additionally, the minimum withdrawal value is $50, you must have funds available to withdraw, and your account must be verified.

How Safe is eToro?

As a regulated trading platform, eToro offers a high degree of security, and to date, it hasn’t been hacked. All data is encrypted by default.

It’s also recommended that you take advantage of the two-factor authentication feature to provide an additional layer of security to your account, ideally using a service such as Google Authenticator or Authy.

Customer Support

You can access first-line support through the online forum, where you can search for answers to questions in the eToro database. If you need to speak to someone, then you can submit a ticket or call their customer support line.

eToro has average customer service reviews on Trustpilot. However, it’s evident that the company is attempting to respond to negative reviews left on the platform.

Social Trading aka “Copy Trading”

Copy Trading

Copy Trader is eToro’s trademarked program where users can replicate the exact portfolios and trading strategies of top traders. Why would a top trader allow other users to copy them?

Because eToro incentivizes them to do so. As a user, you won’t see any differences in fees, which are applied the same as if you opt to implement your own trading approach.

Within the Copy Trader interface, you can view each of the “popular traders” and their trading performance over time, including a risk score, which illustrates how much risk the trader is willing to take to generate their rewards. You can also see their returns over the last 12 months and how many other users are copying their strategy.

If you decide you want to participate in Copy Trader, you simply choose the amount you want to invest and click “Copy” and eToro does the rest. It will distribute your investment across the same positions as your chosen trader.

There are some rules and limitations. For example, the minimum amount to copy a popular trader is $200, and the maximum number of users you can copy is 100 at any one moment. There are many other approaches within Copy Trader, which you should review in detail before deciding to participate.

eToro offers other social elements. For example, outside of Copy Trader, anyone can choose to share their portfolio and returns. Users can chat about different approaches directly on the platform.

How to Create an eToro Account

Etoro Account

To create a basic account only involves providing your basic details such as email address and password. You can also create an account using your Facebook or Google credentials.

However, this will only give you access to the interface itself. To access the full features of eToro, you’ll need to get verified, which involves undergoing a KYC check.

Coinmama Overview

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Buy Altcoins with Coinmama

Coinmama Review

Coinmama Overview

Coinmama is a Slovakian-based altcoin exchange that deals with fiat-to-altcoin transactions. While originally focusing on debit and credit card transactions they’ve recently expanded to bank options such as SEPA and SWIFT.

Their service is open to customers across the world, allowing for consumers to buy altcoins through their simple to use payment portal. When it comes to fees, they are around the middle of the back at 5.5%.

Since its creation, Coinmama has attracted over one million customers, who hail from over 188 countries from around the world and has cemented itself as a great way to get altcoins for fiat currency.

Coinmama Payment Methods

As we stated above, Coinmama initially only accepted credit and debit card transactions. They’ve done a great job of adding additional payment methods.

At press time, Coinmama allows for the following:

  • Debit Card (Worldwide)
  • Credit Card (Worldwide)
  • SEPA (Europe)
  • SWIFT (Worldwide)
  • Faster Payments (UK)

Coinmama Fees

Buying altcoins on Coinmama is instant and easy to do. Coinmama takes a 5.5% cut on transactions made. However, the payment processor which Coinmama uses also takes a fee on top of the first fee, adding up to a total of a 10% fee.

Although this fee resembles altcoin ATMs, many customers still use this service as a way to reliably obtain the altcoins they want.

Coinmama Limits

Coinmama’s purchasing limits can be broken down into tiers from 1-4.

You’ll find them pictured below.

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

For level 4, you’ll want to contact Coinmama support to figure out a more custom solution for your needs.

Supported Countries

Coinmama is supported in pretty much every country out there besides the following:

  • Cuba
  • Crimea
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • North Korea
  • Palestinian Territories
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria

As you can see, that’s a pretty small list-making Coinmama one of the top brokerages and exchanges in terms of the number of countries they support.

Altcoin Selection

Coinmama currently offers ten altcoins, which are all in the top 20 in terms of market capitalization. They are as follows:

  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Cardano
  • Qtum
  • Ripple
  • Tezoz
  • Ethereum Classic

Coinmama has added several coins in the past few months and plans to add more throughout the year.

Customer Support

Coinmama’s “Happiness Heros” or customer support team, is often lauded for being extremely helpful and easy to reach. Their team is active 24/7 and is open to help out with anything you may need.

You can reach Coinmama’s customer support team through their Twitter, Facebook page, or support portal that offers a lot of insight on common support questions that customers have asked in the past.

If you cannot find an exact answer to the question you are asking, you can make an individual thread that will allow for the support team to help you out as soon as they can. Also feel free to send a message to their social media handles, as they are often active on those accounts.

How to Buy Altcoins on Coinmama

Before we can purchase altcoins on Coinmama, we must first create an account! To start, you will be prompted for some simple information.

buy altcoins on coinmama

After making your account, you will be prompted to enter some more information in order to verify your identity.

This can be annoying but is mandatory for Coinmama to serve its customers. You only have to do this part once.

buy altcoins on coinmama

Click next when you are finished! There may be a verification process where you have to send in some photo to prove your identity.

If not, you are ready to purchase altcoins on Coinmama using your credit or debit card!

Click a coin on the navigation bar to start purchasing.

You’ll be taken to Coinmama’s packages screen, where you can choose a preselected amount or your own price.

Buy altcoins on Coinmama

Choose an option, and click Buy Now! You’ll be taken to the next screen. Enter the wallet address you want to send your altcoins to. As you can see the order expires to ensure accurate pricing.

Next, enter your card information. Click Pay Now when you are finished and your altcoins will be delivered shortly!

Congrats, you have successfully purchased altcoins on Coinmama!

Gemini Exchange Review

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Buy Altcoins with Gemini

Gemini Overview

Gemini is one of the best-known altcoin exchanges out there, and for good reason.

Owned and operated by the Winklevoss twins, who had extremely early involvement in Facebook, it’s no wonder the exchange has been such a massive success.

But how does Gemini and it’s many services compare to the competition?

That’s what you’ll find out!

Let’s get right into it!

Gemini Supported Countries

Gemini supports a wide variety of countries making it a great choice for our very diverse audience. All US States, most of all Europe, Asia are supported. When it comes to South America, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Chile are supported.

Gemini Supported Payment Methods

Gemini is rather unique in the fact that it only supports bank transfers. In the event you already have altcoins, you can also deposit these into the exchange to convert into fiat or other altcoins.

At press time, other methods like credit & debit card, Paypal, or Skrill are not accepted.

Gemini Supported Coins

At press time, Gemini is supporting markets for 23 coins, with the main coins like Ethereum and Litecoin as well as some more obscure ones like Storj and Orchid. As time goes on we are sure Gemini will continue to add more and more altcoins.

Gemini Fees and Limits

When it comes to fees, the exchange will not charge for deposits. Some institutions may charge a wire fee if that’s what you decide to use, as well as any altcoin transaction fees. None of these is something “exclusive” to Gemini.

Once you have some funds on the exchange, it’s time to trade!

Depending on your account type (Active Trader vs Brokerage), you’ll have different fees.

Brokerage Fees

Gemini has what they call a “convenience fee” which is usually a .5% premium on the price of the altcoin you want to purchase for their brokerage customers.

On top of this, the fees for their brokerage are as follows:

Gemini Brokerage Fees

Assuming your order is larger than $200, expect to pay a 1.99% fee on your total order. This is pretty competitive with many other options that allow you to purchase altcoins with a bank account.

Active Trader Fees

Gemini Active Trader

Gemini calculates fees based on your 30-day trading volume. The more you trade, the lower the fees. If you were to cross a bracket, you’ll receive a fee rebate down the line. In order to save on fees, you can be a maker as opposed to a taker. This means that instead of taking liquidity, you offer liquidity by putting an order in the order book.

Coinbase Review

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Buy Altcoins with Coinbase

coinbase altcoin exchange homepage

Coinbase is one of the most well-known altcoin brokerages and for good reason.

They support an enormous amount of countries, have low fees and work closely with governments to ensure no action is in violation of laws.

Another reason why Coinbase is so successful is due to its beautiful but simple user interface and its wide support for altcoin purchases.

Regardless of your tech background, Coinbase makes it easy for anyone to buy and store altcoins.

Supported Currencies

Coinbase allows for users to trade fiat and altcoins through their brokerage and exchange Coinbase Pro.

Fiat Selection

When it comes to Fiat currencies, Coinbase supports:

  • USD
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • AUD
  • CAD
  • SGD

Altcoin Selection

Coinbase offers plenty of altcoins including:

  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Ripple
  • And More

They are often criticized for not adding more altcoins as many of its competitors have added a wider selection. Coinbase is based in the United States where there are some of the strictest laws surrounding digital currency.

Until there is more clarity around laws, it will be difficult for Coinbase to add more coins.

In December of 2017, Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash to their exchange. During the addition, Bitcoin Cash shot over $3,000. Before Coinbase added BCash, they only sold three currencies.

Coinbase was also hit with accusations of insider trading after Bitcoin Cash’s price launched days before the addition.

Coinbase Payment Methods

Another strength of Coinbase is its flexibility of payment methods. At the time of this writing,

Coinbase allows altcoins to be purchased with credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, SEPA transfers, and Xfers transfers.

Coinbase Payment Methods

Please note that if you live in the US, Coinbase has disabled credit card purchases as many major companies do not allow them.

Depending on what country you live in, certain payment methods will or will not be accepted.

One cool feature Coinbase has is recurring buys. Coinbase allows you to choose a time interval to cost-average your altcoin purchases.

Cost averaging allows you to get the mean price of a currency over a time period.

This is great to cover altcoin volatility.

Coinbase Fees and Limits

Coinbase’s fees are the same for everyone, but limits can be increased by adding more information. Some users have been able to increase their limits to $50,000 weekly by adding a valid phone number, confirmed email addresses and ordering a certain amount of altcoins.

How to Buy Altcoins on Coinbase

In order to buy altcoins on Coinbase, you will need to first create an account. Click “Create Account” and then confirm your email.

Next, you will be asked to confirm your phone number. Enter your number, and Coinbase will text you a code. Type in the sent code to go the next step.

From here, you will need to verify your identity by filling in several fields.

Coinbase Review

After this step, you are almost ready to buy your altcoins!

Click the settings tab on the navbar and click “Link a new account”. From here, you choose the payment method you want to link.

As stated above, Coinbase does not allow US customers to use credit cards to purchase Altcoins anymore. Debit cards still work.
Coinbase review

After linking the payment method you are ready to buy altcoins!

Click the buy/sell tab on the navigation bar to continue. Enter a $ amount or a BTC amount and click Buy!

Buy Altcoins on coinbase

Congrats, you now own some altcoins! Since we used a debit card, we will receive our altcoins instantly! Learn how to store your altcoins on a hardware wallet in one of our other guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Withdraw my Altcoins from an Exchange?

Similarly to deposits, this will vary depending on the type of exchange. Most fiat exchanges allow users to withdraw sold altcoins proceeds back into their bank accounts. It is somewhat rare to find an exchange that allows withdrawals to a credit or debit card.

For altcoin-to-altcoin exchanges, you can most likely withdrawal from the wallet tab mentioned earlier. You will need to provide another wallets deposit address in order to send the transaction.

Lastly, some exchanges will have limits on withdrawals, that can be improved by verifying your identity.

 

 

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