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Cryptocurrency trading guide Andrew Strogoff

Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform, How to Choose One

Cryptocurrency trading guide
Best cryptocurrency trading platform, the main criteria to choose them
Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform, How to Choose One

Cryptocurrency exchanges are numerous nowadays. They offer different services and trading conditions to their clients. They have different level of security as well. Today we are going to tell you how to find the best cryptocurrency trading platform.

Why is it important to choose the best one? Those who start crypto trading, need to open an account with one or even several trading platforms. There are several criteria helping investors to make the right choice. One trading place has higher level of security, for example, but does not support fiat money. The other work with large amount of coins but have few deposit/withdrawal methods.

The importance of choosing the right place for trading is easy to explain. If the exchange does not meet your requirements, you will have difficulties when working with it. For example, you want to trade some rare coins, but the exchange does not offer big choice the its clients. You will need to look for another market to satisfy your needs.

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Main criteria to find the best cryptocurrency platform

There are several cryptocurrency exchanges currently and all of them try to attract clients as they earn via fees. In order to make the best choice, one needs some aspects to analyze. We would like to suggest several criteria that may be helpful for all categories of traders including beginner investors.

Reliability and reputation

The first thing everybody needs to pay attention to is reputation and reliability of cryptocurrency trading platform. This criterion is the main as if the platform fails (hacker attack, for example), your money (digital assets, tokens) will be stolen.

How to analyze security level of the platform? It is hard to answer this question as hackers always develop new ways to penetrate those exchanges. As for reliability, this information can be found on different websites and forums including Bitcointalk, Reddit and the others.

What kind of information do you need? Everything related to the cryptocurrency trading platform activity including troubleshooting, security measures, how platforms’ team solve problems and the other aspects.

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Another important thing is where the exchange holds clients digital assets. Earlier, most of those trading platforms used hot wallets in order to provide fast access to coins and transactions for their clients. However, the situation has changed with the growth of hacker activities. Many traders remember the situation with MT GOX and some other trading places, which were hacked. Clients lost huge amount of money there.

Most of the contemporary best cryptocurrency trading platforms use different security measures including cold wallets. They hold up to 90-95 percent of clients funds on offline servers and require multisig in order to protect users from malware that may come from administration.

Several exchanges recommend to use two factor authentication, which improves security level as well. This means that you need to receive a special code in order to do important steps when working with platform such as withdrawal, for example.

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Commissions  

All the best cryptocurrency trading platforms as well as the other trading places require commissions from their clients. The average fee is about 0.2 percent. However, recently exchanges changed their policies and establish dynamic commissions depending on trading volumes and some other important aspects.

When a trader looks for an exchange, he wants to earn more and pay less. It is logical and natural. However, we want to warn that lower fees do not mean better conditions for the trader. Sometimes such trading places with low commissions try to attract more traders as they have low liquidity.

The number of trading pairs

Different exchanges offer different number of trading pairs. The more coins are offered; the larger choice is for investors. However, we would like to mention that trading platforms may be divided into two groups here.

The first offer fiat money but low number of currency pairs. Those cryptos are interesting for those who want to start cryptocurrency trading and have no coins. Sometimes, traders choose those places first in order to buy popular coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum and then choose another platform in order to buy rare coins.

The second group of exchanges offer huge offer of different altcoins. However, there you won’t find fiat currencies.

When choosing one of those trading places you need to understand that the quantity does not mean the quality. The large number of coins is not necessary. It is better to find platform with those cryptos that trader is going to work with.

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Trading volumes

Liquidity is a very important criterion as trading volumes affect investors profits directly. Let’s suppose you choose a low liquidity coin with $500 daily volumes. It will be very hard to trade it especially when you have huge amount for trading.

This is the main reason why traders always try to find coins with higher volumes as they will be able to sell them without any problems. Exchanges have their liquidity as well. Those places with low volumes cannot provide you with high profits.

Payment methods

The best cryptocurrency trading platforms offer their clients a large choice of deposit/withdrawal including fiat money (via bank transfer), digital payment systems like PayPal, Skrill, Webmoney etc. Naturally, they provide traders with the opportunity to deposit any coin they offer for trading.

What kind of exchanges to choose according to this criterion? We think that the reply here is more than evident. The more payment methods are, the better is the exchange for every trader.

For those who do their first steps in crypto trading it is crucial to pay attention to those exchanges offering fiat money as they do not have coins and need them in order to start.

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Verification requirements

It is not a secret that almost all exchanges require verification procedure from their clients in order to abolish all limitations. Those who to stay anonymous, have less opportunities. Sometimes, they are limited in daily trading or withdrawal capabilities. However nowadays there are still those trading places where you don’t need to confirm your identity. Most of those exchanges work with large amount of coins and do not offer fiat money as deposit/withdrawal mean.

Trading platform

Those who come to exchanges in order to simply buy or sell their coins, sometimes do not need even a chart as their aim is to conduct one operation without forecasting the market. However, professional traders always need more tools to take decisions.

Several of the best cryptocurrency trading platforms give an opportunity not only to place buy or sell orders, but also to make technical analysis using different indicators, Japanese candlesticks, timeframes etc. It is important to mention than the wider the range of those tools is the more opportunities any trader has.

The majority of those full functional platforms offer Tradingview charts. Those web tools provide users with different analysis instruments including the most popular and effective indicators both trend and oscillators as well as different chart types.

Type of cryptocurrency trading platform

There are three main types of those platforms and traders or investors need to know which one to choose. The first and the most widely spread is trading platform with many features that allow clients to not only conduct their analysis and forecast future price fluctuations, but also to conduct other trading activities choosing orders types etc.

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The second type of exchanges is p2p platforms, which are designed to provide users with an opportunity to work directly with each others avoiding a book of orders. Here you find those who are interested in selling coins to you or buying them from you.

Finally, there are brokers who offer cryptocurrencies to their clients. Those companies mostly come from Forex. They offer several coins from the top 20 and huge amount of analysis tools as they are designed for professional traders and investors.

User interface

The best cryptocurrency platforms have everything traders need to improve their results. We have already mentioned technical analysis tools but there are also some other features that need to be described. In order to satisfy different traders’ categories needs, exchanges provide them with news, volumes, book of orders and other useful information allowing clients to examine market situation.

The interface should be intuitive as there are many traders who work seasonally or come there for the first time. However, user experience is subjective as different traders may enjoy different interfaces.

The best cryptocurrency trading platforms always offer best user experience and they grow faster in volumes as the others. Those trading places are able to boost in a short period of time.

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Country of residence

Another important aspect to pay attention to is country of residence of the exchange. Why is it crucial to know this? Some US exchanges do not allow traders from wide list of countries due to their regulation. The situation is the same with some Asian trading places.

Those platforms are only available for the residents of the countries where they are established. Localization is also a key moment in decision taking process. Most of exchanges offer English versions for their clients. However, some international trading places allow users to use multilingual websites including several European and Asian languages.

Support service

Finally, we would like to mention support service as one of the criteria that is important when choosing the best cryptocurrency platform. Before you take your decision, try to talk to the support service using different means that the website offers.

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Look at their reaction speed as well as at answers that they give. If they do not aspire to help their clients, it is better to choose another one.

Best cryptocurrency platforms

Now we are going to give you the list of the best cryptocurrency platforms according to our view. Check it out below:

  1. Binance

  2. OKEX

  3. Huobi

  4. HitBTC

  5. BitFinex

  6. CoinEX

  7. Upbit

  8. ZB.COM

Those exchanges have high day trading volumes and offer the best services in our opinion as those aspects are connected. The best service a trading platform offers, the more clients it will have in the future.

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Top 10 Blockchain ETFs to Buy in 2019

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Why should investors buy top Blockchain ETFs?

Blockchain has become one of the major buzzwords in the tech space over the recent years, and it comes as no surprise that many want to capitalize on the revolutionary technology. That prompted the appearance of Blockchain ETFs where old meets new.

ETFs can be bought and sold in the form of stocks. While cryptocurrencies are generally deemed to be extremely risky, Blockchain ETFs that are comprised of the most established stocks on the market are considered to be a much safer choice. U.Today has come up with the list of top 10 Blockchain-oriented ETFs to invest in 2019.    

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BLCN

BLCN invests in stocks of the companies that are dealing with Blockchain. The ETF has more than 60 stocks. The advisory board of BLCN consists of crypto influencers who decide what stocks they should invest in.

Yahoo! Finance

Despite a bumpy start, Eric Ervin, the CEO of BLCN, is not deterred by disappointing numbers, taking a long view into the future. He believes that the technology is still too nascent, and we are dealing with a long-term investment.

BCNA

Reality Shares has yet another Blockchain ETF, and its focus is placed on China, the second largest stock market in the world. Ervin claims that China is betting big on the DLT technology — it has almost three times the amount of patents the US has. Not surprisingly, Alibaba is their main holding, but the fund also has exposure to China’s A-Shares — before they invest in a particular stock, they assess the number of Blockchain-related patents as well as the degree of innovativeness. Eventually, they only select the companies with the highest score.

Yahoo! Finance

BLOK

Amplify’s ETF was launched simultaneously with Reality Shares in mid-January of 2018. BLOK also intentionally excludes the words ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Blockchain’ from its full name. Prior to that, the SEC issued a warning after a lot of stocks shoehorned these trendy words despite not dealing with crypto at all (case in point: Riot Blockchain (RIOT), which immediately saw its stocks skyrocketing).    

BLOK owns the stocks of IBM, NASDAQ, Overstock and other behemoths that are keen on the Blockchain technology.     

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Notably, there is one key difference between BLOK and BLCN — Amplify is an actively managed ETF.

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BKC

Back in May, BKC joined the crowded Blockchain ETF space. Brian Kelly, a Bitcoin permabull and a constant CNBC contributor, spearheads the fund. The holdings with the highest weighting in the fund include Overstock.com, GMO Internet and Global Unichip. Kelly states that BKC is a top-of-the-mind option for those who would like to invest in cryptocurrencies without dealing with enormous price swings and security issues. Overall, BKC holds the stocks of 32 companies.

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KOIN

The fund utilizes artificial intelligence in order to discover new Blockchain stocks. It specifically targets stocks with related keywords.   

Yahoo! Finance

Since the list of KOIN’s holdings includes many big-name companies in the likes of Microsoft and Visa, it is definitely a safe bet for investors, but the predominance of conventional stocks makes it hard to make sizeable gains. Investing in companies with low market capitalization is considered to be a huge risk for such funds.

LEGR

First Trust Indxx has three groups of Blockchain stocks:

  1. Stocks of companies that have already come up with their own Blockchain-related products (for instance, IBM).   

  2. Those companies that are already utilizing the Blockchain technology, but they use technology that has been developed by other companies.

  3. The last group of stocks is attributed to those companies that are only dipping their toes in Blockchain.

Such a diverse approach to investment is considered to be one of the main advantages of LEGR. However, the fact that the fund rebalances its holdings to other stocks only twice a year makes it less attractive than other options.

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LDGR

A Blockchain ETF is supposed to be more than tech stocks in expensive clothes. LDGR actually offers to invest in companies that have a proven record of investing in Blockchain-related stocks. Just like in the case with KOIN, it cherry-picks the companies with the help of AI.

Yahoo! Finance

According to the company’s CEO Lewis Bateman, they are exclusively focusing on investing in stocks of those companies that already have Blockchain-related patents. Mastercard Inc. and Royal Bank are among their top holdings. It hasn’t been an easy run for LDGR, but the same can be attributed to practically any other ETF that was launched after January. However, Bateman claims that this LDGR stands out among the rest of earlier launched funds because of its robust buildout.    

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LINK

LINK is the first entry on our list that actually features the word ‘Blockchain’. In its portfolio, this actively managed fund features stocks of 31 global companies that are dealing with the nascent technology. Raj Lala, the CEO of Evolve ETFs, is a firm believer in the disruptive potential of the DLT, and the fund is an opportunity to capitalize on that.         

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Things didn’t go particularly smooth for this fund since its stocks have shed more than 20 percent of their value since LINK’s inception in May. Hut 8 Mining Corp is at the top of its holdings list with a 10.8 percent share.

HBLK

Harvest Portfolios was responsible for launching the country’s first Bitcoin ETF, HBLK, which focuses both on large-scale and small-scale Blockchain businesses. Notably, this became the very first Canadian ETF that got the green light from regulators. Back in February, the Ontario Securities Commission approved the ETF.     

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The main purpose of this ETF is to become an entry point for investors who are seeking access to the burgeoning tech sector. Subsequently, they buy the stocks of already established companies.   

BKCH

In June 2018, the Horizons fund was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (yet another Canadian Blockchain ETF on our list). In 2018, Blockchain ETFs became the salient feature of the country’s biggest stock exchange.  

Yahoo! Finance

The fund’s chief executive officer Steve Hawkins claims that he is not sure how big the adoption of the Blockchain technology is going to be, but the investments are necessary for building out the technology. BKCH, according to Hawkins, is focusing on well-established companies (the holdings of this ETF include the stocks of Nvidia Corp. and Digital Realty Trust Inc.).

What differs Blockchain ETFs from Bitcoin ETFs?

Since there is a lot of confusion, it is worth pointing out that no aforementioned Blockchain stocks are dealing directly with cryptocurrencies. The Winklevoss brothers were on track to launch their own Bitcoin ETF, but they didn’t get the approval from the SEC. Bitcoin ETFs are seen as a catalyst for the next bull market, but SEC commissioner Hester Peirce (better known as ‘Crypto mom’), claims that it could take years for the much-anticipated approval.  

Hopefully, this article helped you pick up the best Blockchain ETF! Stay tuned with U.Today!   

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DOBI Trade Review: Safe Cryptocurrency Exchange or House of Cards?

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DOBI Trade General Information

DOBI Trade is a little-known Chinese exchange that started operating in May 2018. Apart from its website, the exchange also has an Android app.  

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Unlike major crypto-to-crypto exchanges, DOBI Trade only features a small number of cryptocurrencies, but new coins are being constantly added there. This digital asset trading platform has rather strict listing rules to ensure investor protection. Its listing conditions include regulatory compliance, a certain degree of innovativeness, and an active user base. On Oct. 24, for instance, DOBI Trade also listed the TaTaTu coin embraced by Hollywood’s A-lister Johnny Depp. As U.Today reported earlier, the superstar has joined a Blockchain startup in order to democratize the movie industry.

Still, while having very little assets, DOBI Trade trumps many major exchanges by the level of liquidity — this is the 5th biggest exchange in the world by daily trading volumes. Anyway, this is a rather questionable success which many experts believe to be a direct result of wash trading.

Apart from being a cryptocurrency exchange, DOBI Trade is also a cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer and even presented mining watches. Shenzhen, its parent company, puts emphasis on empowering financial technology services with the help of Blockchain technology.  
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With that being said, DOBI Trade remains just a little-known Chinese cryptocurrency exchange, and it has an abysmal 28 rating on scamadviser.com which analyzes ownership details, the location of the site, popularity, and so on. Hence, U.Today will help you determine whether DOBI Trade is really worth your attention.

Setting up a DOBI Trade Account

Creating an Account

Obviously, the first thing that you want to do is to create a new account with this website. Click the “Register” button at the top right corner of the screen to see a pop-up registration form where you have to enter your email address and come up with a secure password. Alternatively, you can register with your phone number. Once you’ve done that, make sure to open your confirmation letter with a link.
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After successfully completing the registration process and logging in to your account, you can see the home page of this exchange. The interface of DOBI Trade doesn’t have any special features that are worth pointing out — it looks like an armada of other fledgling Chinese exchanges that struggle to find their niche in the maturing market. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that the site is quite informative: the front page features all the recent announcements above the chart with the latest price swings. However, all the guides that are present on the site are written in broken English which is hardly understandable.

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Security

Now that we’ve covered the process of creation of an account, let’s have a look at some major security features offered by DOBI Trade. They do not require you to enable 2FA authentication, but you can enable this function in the account settings. Before that, you have to install Google Authenticator, a multifactor mobile app that generates timed codes for every log-in attempt.  
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To enjoy all the functions of the exchange, you also have to complete the know-your-customer (KYC) verification procedure. It’s a mandatory rule for all regulatory compliant exchanges that help to prevent many cases of money laundering, terrorist funding, and other illicit practices. All newly registered users have to verify their identity by uploading a photo of their passport (both front and back). The following types of documents are accepted on DOBI Trade.

  • The Chinese Mainland ID Card (for the residents of China)  

  • Passport or Foreign ID Card (for foreign users)

  • Driver’s license

Just like any other exchanges, the user who wants to get their identity verified has to hold a photo together with a piece of paper that shows the address of the exchange (dobitrade.com).

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NB: DOBI exchange usually approves accounts in 24 hours.

Those who want to engage in trading on the DOBI trade exchange have to set a trading password. Go to “My Account” and click “Set” in the corresponding section. This is an extra security measure that will help to enhance the protection of your funds.  

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Adding payment methods

DOBI Trade is a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, which essentially means that debit card payments are not allowed there. First, you have to purchase Bitcoin (or any other digital asset) on Coinbase or any other fiat-to-crypto exchange, and then you can deposit money here.

Depositing and sending cryptocurrency   

In order to deposit money, you have to go to your account setting and choose the “Deposit” option. In the newly opened window, you have to choose the currency you need in order to generate the corresponding wallet address (not all cryptocurrencies are available for payments at the moment). This is the address of the recipient that you have to enter in your cryptocurrency wallet from where you are planning to transfer the earlier specified amount of funds. It could be any fiat-to-crypto exchange where you have already bought cryptocurrency with fiat money or a cryptocurrency wallet. Once you’ve sent the money, it will be automatically deposited to your DOBI Trade account.        

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In order to send funds to your wallet, simply choose the “Withdraw” section that is situated right below the previous one. The modus operandi is similar — pick the coin that you want to withdraw and then specify the amount of payment that has to be sent to your wallet.

NB: It is mandatory to undergo the verification process if you want to withdraw funds (the detailed instruction has been given above). On top of that, you also have to set a trading password.   

How to Use DOBI Trade

Now, we will review the main page of DOBI Trade, trying to determine its main feature. The home page features all the following sections.

  • OTC (over-the-counter trading)

  • Exchange (the actual cryptocurrency exchange where you can purchase and sell cryptocurrencies)

  • User Guide (the instructions about how to use this platform)

  • Announcement (the most recent news and upgrades)

  • About Us (guides and more information pertaining to the modus operandi of the exchange)

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Their OTC trading platform is designed for purchasing cryptocurrencies with fiat money (you can also deposit cryptocurrencies). The list of available fiat currencies includes the Chinese Yuan (CNY), the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), and the Thai Baht (THB). Similarly to peer-to-peer exchanges in the likes of Paxos and LocalBitcoins, you simply post your offer with detailed instructions. Neither the US dollar nor Euro is accepted there, so it is obviously not suitable for US traders. Hence, the website is Chinese-only, but those who still need to use this service can always resort to Google Translate. If you are interested in their over-the-counter trading solution, follow this detailed instruction which has been outlined on the DOBI Trade official Medium blog.       

In order to start trading, you have to choose the “Exchange” section. Similarly to any other cryptocurrency exchanges, it features a TradingView-powered candlestick chart that displays most recent price fluctuations. It offers many drawing tools for high-profile traders to perform an in-depth technical analysis, such as the Shiff pitchfork and the Gann Box, a rather powerful instrument for detecting recurring price cycles. Your trading history is displayed right below the graph.

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Meanwhile, you can see detailed information about the most recent price swings at the top of the screen after choosing a necessary trading pair in a drop-down window. There are three base currencies — BTC, ETH, and DOB — that form trading pairs with all available assets. According to CoinMarketCap, the EOS/BTC and ETH/BTC pairs are responsible for almost half of the exchange’s daily trading volume.
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Purchasing Cryptocurrency

If you want to purchase cryptocurrencies, pay attention to the “Buy & Sell” section at the right bottom of the page. Once you’ve chosen the trading pair you need, simply fill out the form with necessary information. First, you have to specify the price at which you want to purchase the currency and then enter the number of coins. Once you’ve created an order, you have to wait until it gets executed. The list of all orders is displayed on the right.
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DOBI Trade Fees

The Chinese exchange has the following fee structure:

Type of transaction  

BTC  Market

ETH  Market

NEW  Market

DOB  Market     

Buy

0.1 percent

0.1 percent

0.3 percent

0.2 percent

Sale

0.1 percent

0.1 percent

0.3 percent

0.2 percent

When it comes to DOBI Trade’s fee structure there is no differentiation between market makers and takers. Instead, there is a flat fee that is set at 0.3 percent. Notably, the exchange doesn’t charge any fees for deposits but has a 0.5 percent fee for withdrawals (in any currency).   

Transaction Limits & Liquidity

There are withdrawal limits in place, but the DOBI Trade guides do not specify what maximum amount of payments can be sent to a user’s wallet. In case the user exceeds these laminations, the funds are checked manually, and the withdrawal might be delayed.     

Customer support

According to their official website, they do have customer support, but you have to wait for the reply for up to three days. Hence, there is not much to be said about their customer support since it is clearly very slow. All the help requests should be sent to the exchange’s official email address — [email protected].       

Pros: Does It Bring Anything New to the Table?

Let’s jump into all the major advantages of this exchange.

  1. High level of security. DOBI Trade allegedly offers top-notch anti-fraud technologies and innovative encryption techniques. Moreover, they have strict verification rules.

  2. Liquidity. The exchange boasts a global user base and high trading volumes. However, this claim is rather misleading (U.Today will later explain why its gargantuan trading volumes shouldn’t be taken seriously).

  3. A high speed of payments. DOBI Trade claims that is it able to process up to 10,000 transactions per second.  

  4. Numerous partnerships. The fledgling Chinese exchange is trying to gain traction by teaming up with numerous Blockchain startups. One of its most recent deals was sealed with AirWallet, a decentralized wallet application. DOBI Trade has also partnered with a Chinese technology company Chuangyu which aims to propel the growth of the burgeoning Blockchain industry.

Cons: Suspicious Trading Activity and More

DOBI Trade, the exchange which at the time of writing this article only has 629 subscribers on Twitter, has recently made it to the list of top five biggest exchanges by trading volume, surpassing Huobi by about five mln. The website traffic also doesn’t help — it has an Alexa rank of 47,318 with Indian traders allegedly being its core audience. Of course, these are clear indicators of inflated trading volumes.

Similarly to BitForex and FCoin, DOBI Trade is artificially increasing its trading volumes by means of offering transaction mining rewards. Critics believe that such a controversial practice is a salient example of wash trading — when the same asset is traded multiple times to somehow inflate market activity.

On that metric, DOBI Trade, BitForex and Liquid stand out as having reported transactions many times larger than website visits (see the above chart for more details),” – Bloomberg.

In fact, DOBI Trade goes as far as surpassing all other platforms by wash trading, as the graph below shows.

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DOBI Trade has also recently made headlines because of skyrocketing Litecoin volumes on this exchange: DOBI Trade alone was responsible for 26 percent of its daily trading activity. For comparison, only a minuscule 1.6 percent of Litecoin trade was recorded on Coinbase Pro, the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Really makes you think!  

Other major minuses of DOBI Trade include:

  • relatively high fees (as mentioned above, there is a 30 percent flat fee);

  • broken English (some of their guides are hardly readable while the OTC section doesn’t support the English language at all);

  • a small number of coins;

  • poor customer support.   

Conclusion

Any good things about DOBI Trade are easily outshined by its rampant wash trading the purpose of which is to lure gullible investors. While the exchange does offer high liquidity, it is not trusted enough to be your primal choice for a cryptocurrency trading platform since this relatively young Chinese trading platform doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table. Our consensus is that unless you want to become their 630th subscriber on Twitter, there are far better choices.

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Best Coinbase Alternative For Cryptocurrency Trading

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Want to trade crypto somewhere else aside Coinbase? Meet the best alternative websites and applications
Best Coinbase Alternative For Cryptocurrency Trading

If you want to engage into crypto trading, you need a cryptocurrency exchange website. Although the vast majority of traders rave about Coinbase, alternative solutions are also available. The Internet is full of websites like Coinbase, and today we will review the worthiest ones.

How to select a decent exchange platform like Coinbase?

Before we start observing Coinbase competitors, let’s figure out the criteria that will help you to make an informed decision and pick up the best CoinBase alternative tailored to your needs.

  1. Check out the list of cryptocurrencies supported. If you prefer altcoins to Bitcoin, make sure that the exchange platform works with your coins.

  2. What is the commission fee? Normally, for sites like CoinBase, it may reach three percent, though some websites charge even more– it depends on the currency, amount of payment, and user’s location. Read the fine print in the SLA to understand the exact fee amount beforehand.

  3. How much time does it take to withdraw the funds? As a rule, you can get the money instantly or within a few hours. Also, it’s important to find out the minimum and maximum deposit/withdrawal sum.

  4. Are there any extra perks? Many Coinbase alternatives offer Bitcoin graphs, personalized notifications, and other useful features. These may prove helpful to make instant decisions.

Now it’s time to overview the websites like Coinbase.

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Kraken

Being increasingly popular, Kraken is considered to be one of the best Coinbase alternatives in 2017. Thanks to the fact that it’s never been breached, it is considered to be the safest exchange platform. Kraken supports over 20 altcoins and four fiat currencies, and its salient feature is margin trading. It means that a trader can get a position with leverage. Besides, a new user can create different types of accounts (it depends on the amount of traded money and the extent of identification he wants to go through).

Users can also reap benefits from a thought through loaning system. The maker (a person selling some coin on the platform) the transaction fee is around 0.0-0.16 percent, the taker (a person who bids on some certain asset) - 0.10-0.26 percent.

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Desc: Kraken website interface– trading made intuitive and fast

Alt: Kraken website interface

CEX

This UK-based site like Coinbase is well-established and trusted by Internet users. At CEX, users can purchase Bitcoin by Mastercard or Visa, as well as bank transfer. The platform supports  eight cryptocurrencies:

  • BTC,

  • ETH,

  • BCH,

  • Bitcoin Gold,

  • DASH,

  • Ripple,

  • Stellar Lumens,

  • ZCash.

As for fiat currencies supported, these include RUB, USD, EUR and GBP.

Unlike other sites like Coinbase, CEX covers 99 percent of the world’s crypto-supporting countries– its audience is spread all over the globe. Besides, their transaction fee is agreeable. While bank transfers and crypto deposits are not charged at all, the average fee for card deposit is 3.5 percent, 0. 3 percent is charged for crypto withdrawal. The exchange is charged in the range of zero percent and 0.25 percent depending on the amount involved.

CEX also has a feature similar to Coinbase instant buy– a user can quickly figure out what is what and make a purchase within seconds. More tech-savvy traders can use a full order book and charts to place orders for crypto.

image

Desc: CEX displays cryptocurrency graphs to make a better decision

Alt: CEX cryptocurrency graphs

Gemini

This Bitcoin exchange was founded in 2014, and quickly made waves due to the fact it doesn’t charge users from transactions– this is a great competitive advantage. Besides, Gemini clients aren’t afraid of storing their assets on the platform due to cold storage (offline). Newcomers can create either a business account or an individual account. There’s only one disadvantage: Gemini supports Bitcoin and Ethereum only.

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As many other alternatives to Coinbase, Gemini leverages a security feature called 2FA. It prevents malicious access to assets stored offline, so hackers won’t be able to get into the system, even if they know the password to an account.

image

Desc: How an account on Gemini website looks

Alt: Gemini website account

Changelly

Among Coinbase alternatives, US-based website Changelly stays on the forefront of the industry thanks to the whole gamut of currencies supported (about 100 coins) and the automatic monitoring of the biggest exchanges. The last feature means that the platform tracks which cryptocurrencies have the best exchange rate at the moment, and notifies users about it.

Changelly’s transaction fee is 0.5 percent, and only the instant conversion rate can be used for exchange. Its user interface is intuitive and simple, and it’s suitable for both professionals and beginners.

Are there any downsides? First, Changelly does not have an order book. Secondly, it has very high fees for credit card deposits (well, most exchange platforms do). While Changelly takes a five percent fee, Simplex service can add another five percent.

image

Desc: Simplex service for instant buy-in Changelly

Alt: Simplex instant buy

LocalBitcoins

If you’re into Bitcoin solely, this is the best alternative to Coinbase. Finland-based project LocalBitcoins has been around since 2012 and works as a P2P exchange embracing over 15,000 cities around the world. Using this website, both sellers and buyers can meet and trade offline. You can either pay in cash or send money via PayPal or wire transfer. Direct bank deposits and other payments ways are available, as well.

When it comes to registration in LocalBitcoins, you only need your email ID, however, if you want a higher level of trust among traders, you can verify your identity. Please, note that the fees are defined by buyers and sellers, and LocalBitcoins plays the role of an escrow manager.

image

Desc: LocalBitcoins instant buy section

Alt: LocalBitcoins interface

Coinmama

This is an Israel-based website that’s supported by an experienced and credible team. Coinmama allows trading in ETH and BTC only, but they say that other altcoins will be added soon. The only payment method supported is credit/debit cards, and USD/EUR payments are accepted only.

Besides, Coinmama doesn’t feature a wallet service, so you need to provide your wallet address to have the funds sent. The price on the conversion rate will include the fee of 5.5 percent, but the payment gateway that handles transaction can add five percent more.

Why then using Coinmama? This is a perfect choice for beginners being very easy in use. There’s no extended trading platform with order books– you just check spot rates and make transactions.

image

Desc: The offer page on Coinmama

Alt: Coinmama offers

CoinCorner

This website is originally from the UK. Similar to CoinBase, it allows users to purchase Bitcoin with band transfers or a credit/debit card. CoinCorner supports only Bitcoin and offers iOS and Android apps. Its fees range from one percent to 2.5 percent for a transaction. Like Coinmama, it has a simple buy interface to earn instant rates on Bitcoin– there is no order book for advanced trading.

image

Desc: User area in CoinCorner website

Alt: User area in CoinCorner

BitStamp

This is a relatively new exchange that focuses on selling Ethereum and Bitcoin by making payments via a credit/debit card (most users prefer Visa or MasterCard payments) to almost anyone in the world. Using fiat currency, users can also buy Litecoin and Ripple. BitStamp also supports SEPA and Astropay methods, as well as direct bank-to-bank transfer.

2FA is the security feature introduced recently. As we’ve mentioned, it prevents unauthorized access and thefts. BitStamp also offers iOS and Android apps like CoinBase, which helps users to trade on the move. It is licensed to operate in Europe and charges 0.10-0.25 percent per transaction.

image

Desc: BitStamp website shows diagrams of BTC fluctuations

Alt: Graphs on BitStamp website

Verdict

How to define which website is better than Coinbase? There’s no versatile answer, no one-fits-all solution. The platform should comply with your demands and requirements, support the altcoins you work with, and be licensed in your country.

Exchange platforms differ, just like their transaction fees. Let’s compare how much is charged for internal transactions:

Kraken

0.0-0.16% - taker, 0.10-0.26% - maker

CEX

0% to 0.25% depending on exchange sum

Gemini

0%

Changelly

0.5%

Local Bitcoins

0%

Coinmama

About 5% for instant buy

CoinCorner

1% to 2.5%

BitStamp

0.10% to 0.25%

Please, note that the transaction fee varies according to the sum of the exchange, user’s location, currencies involved, etc. Don’t forget that deposit and withdrawal fees also apply, and they can be around five percent for every operation.

With a reliable and well-established exchange platform, cryptocurrency trading becomes simpler and more efficient. Some platforms provide more than just sell/buy function– they feature useful notifications and personalized alerts, let users store their assets right on the platform and create wallets, and enable P2P exchange. So if you approach crypto trading seriously, you should take security and functionality into consideration.

Although Coinbase is considered to be at the forefront of the crypto exchange niche, it’s not the only variant available. The above-mentioned alternative exchange platforms can offer a wide range of currencies supported, easy and intuitive interface, and convenient smartphone applications. With this review, you’ll be able to analyze the market of exchange platforms and make an informed decision.

Need more info? Check out this video reviewing exchange platforms with the lowest fees:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LkfOJ-zTsg

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Cryptocurrency trading guide Andrew Strogoff

Bitcoin Futures Trading: Complete Guide to It

Cryptocurrency trading guide
The article discusses guides to Bitcoin futures trading
Bitcoin Futures Trading: Complete Guide to It

U.Today presents a complete guide to Bitcoin futures trading. Here is an article that will help you to understand the nature of those contracts and how they work with Bitcoin.

What is futures

What is futures

What are those financial contracts or derivatives? Features is a financial contract that allows to buy or to sell some basic asset within the established dates and for the previously established price, which is fixed in the agreement.

Futures are approved on the basis of standard conditions, established by the exchange. The conditions for every basic asset are established separately, which helps to sell them at a price, which is close to market quotes.

Futures are very “liquid” derivatives because of their conditions. Moreover, all the participants in the transaction are protected by the margin that the parties have to pay before the contract sets up.

Some novice traders and investors think that futures are a kind of speculative trading instruments helping them to gain more profit. However, those derivatives serve to decrease risks and to guarantee the delivery of underlying assets. It is to mention that nowadays almost all futures contracts do not require delivery of goods.

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The history of futures

The futures market has a long history. Some think that those contracts appeared in Osaka (former Japanese capital). Rice was the main trading good at that time. Buyers and sellers wanted to protect themselves from price fluctuations and this was the main reason to create futures contracts.

However, some other traders underline that futures have appeared in the Netherlands during the “Tulip mania” period. The bulb cost so much that the buyer had no opportunity to buy it. Nobody could predict the price of the bulb. This was the main reason for those futures contracts to appear.

Let’s give an example. Imagine that there is a farmer who cultivates wheat. He has some spending as he needs to invest into fertilizers, seeds and his employees. In order to conduct his activities, a farmer needs to be assured that his investments will be paid off.

However, he cannot be sure in advance as the price of wheat may decrease significantly in case of high yield. To tell the truth, wheat buyers need to protect themselves from the higher prices in case of low yield.

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Bitcoin futures: the main reasons for those contracts to appear

BTC futures are the result of this hype tendency. Bitcoin becomes more and more popular and Wall Street investors want to benefit from this trading instrument.

Nowadays there are futures for different types of underlying assets including weather. Everything that can be measured or calculated, may become the underlying asset for a futures contract. Bitcoin is a good “candidate” for such a mission.

However, this gives no clear understanding of why do these contracts appear? The main reason  lies not only in this hype but also in the fact that serious investors do not have trust in those exchanges that we have currently.

Yes, there are already some regulated trading places, but they are not numerous. Bitcoin is an unregulated trading instrument at all and is traded on unregulated exchanges, which sometimes are unable to deal with a high number of traders.

Another great thing about futures contracts is that their number may be significantly higher, than the number of existing bitcoins. When you deal with futures, you buy a contract and not the underlying asset. It means that you just make a bet on growth or decline of this or that asset.

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How do Bitcoin futures contract work

Bitcoin futures works the same way as any other futures contract. This is an obligation to sell or to buy some bitcoins in the future (the price is established in advance as well as the dates). The margin for such a contract is about 10-15 percent. The system works like a leverage in this case and participants may get some kind of credit. They invest less and may rely on higher profits in case of success.

Here is an example of how this works. Let’s say Bitcoin price is $6,000 currently. You expect the BTC price to increase in the future and to reach $7,000. So you buy let’s say 10 contracts expecting the price to grow. The expiry date is two months.

What do you have as the result of this deal? You have bought obligations to buy ten bitcoins at the market price at the moment of the expiry date of the contract.

If the price reaches your established level, you will sell the contract and get the profit. You may hold the contract until the expiry date if you think that the price will go even higher. However, if the price fails to reach the target within those two months, you lose meaning you have to give back your margin.

To tell the truth, you can buy and sell Bitcoin contracts anytime you want. The price of those contracts may significantly vary from the underlying asset’s price. Futures contracts allow you to earn on both uptrends and downtrends.

There is one more thing to mention. Huge exchanges like CME, establish a very high price for those who want to start Bitcoin futures trading, meaning you have to pay at least five BTC to buy BTC futures on CME for example. This amount is not affordable for many retail traders and they choose brokers, which offer more loyal conditions.

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How do futures influence the Bitcoin market

There were many talks about Bitcoin’s price after futures launching. Some experts predicted its growth while the other urged the community to be cautious as the results would be unexpected. Anyway, we are now more than half a year after those contracts appeared and we can make some conclusions at this moment.

There is a common opinion that Bitcoin futures have a negative impact on the industry and cryptocurrency price as they allow traders to conduct bi-directional operations and to earn on both of them. This may lead to significant price fluctuations and downtrends.

So-called whales have large amounts of money and they can manipulate the price as they want. I would like to mention here the famous Soros trading operation against the Bank of England on Sept. 16, 1992. Soros is considered to be the man who has broken the Bank of England as he bet on GBP’s decline and earned billions of dollars.

Huge investors can be the reason of great panic on the cryptocurrency market. Cryptocurrency market’s capitalization is billions and even hundreds of billions of USD. However, daily Forex volumes are even higher. Speculative funds that penetrated the crypto market, were one of the reasons for this huge downtrend that we see in summer 2018.

Let’s see a simple example of how it works. Big money can invest millions of dollars in those contracts. When they see that market is hesitating to grow, they can “sell” BTC/USD using futures contracts and make the price decline significantly.

Another negative aspect is that you don’t need to buy Bitcoin in order to participate in those trades. This means that the number of adepts stays the same. Investors are cautious with the cryptocurrency at all. However, they are interested in speculative operations. This means that the number of those who want to benefit from Bitcoin’s price fluctuations but indifferent to this technology development will increase.

However, I also think that there are some positive moments. Bitcoin is officially adopted, which means that more participants may be involved in this network in the future. Moreover, I think that those futures contracts have already played their positive role.

Where can you buy Bitcoin futures? Those contracts are offered on CME. However,  as I have already mentioned, the entrance amount is rather high. You can also buy and sell Bitcoin futures with different specialized broker companies.

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Bitcoin futures– pros and cons

There are lots of positive and negative aspect that I would like to mention here. The advantages of Bitcoin futures trading are the following:

  1. Instant trading. You lose time or money. All those who have experience in classic cryptocurrency exchanges know that it is hard sometimes to buy or sell a crypto on a desirable price especially when you need several units.

  2. You don’t need to buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. All trades are conducted in fiat money. You need to deposit them into your account and you are ready to open positions.

  3. Low funds requirements. I have told you already that you need to buy five BTC contract at CME at least in order to participate in trades. However, nowadays there are several brokers that allow to invest even lower amounts and earn more. Some brokers offer micro trading.

  4. Huge leverage offers some great opportunities for traders. You don’t need to invest much in order to get higher profits.

  5. High liquidity. This aspect allows you to sell contracts anytime you want. You don’t need to wait for a buyer to purchase it.

  6. Low commissions. Several brokers take very small fees as compared to traditional cryptocurrency exchanges. You can increase your net profits due to this fact.

  7. High-security level. When dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges, you need to be careful as those trading places are famous for their weak security measures. Yes, they are doing their best in order to increase the safety of funds, but hackers are still able to breach their security systems and take clients’ money away.

  8. You can earn when the price goes both upwards and downwards. I mean traders have an opportunity to sell and to get profits even when Bitcoin declines. This is a great feature for speculative traders.

As for the disadvantages, here they are:

  1. Futures are not suitable for long-term investments. Every contract is limited by several months’ expiry. Futures may be interesting for active speculators who conduct several short and midterm trades in order to get the maximum profit possible.

  2. You need to have enough money on your trading account. Yes, I have told you above about the leverage, but you need money to maintain your margin. When you buy several contracts, you risk to “zero” your investments.

  3. Bitcoin futures are risky. You need to calculate all your risks.

  4. Knowledge required. When trading those contracts, you need the same knowledge that is required for exchanges’ speculative trades. I would say that you even need more skills in order to succeed.

Final words

Bitcoin futures are very popular nowadays among retail traders. They allow participating in Bitcoin trading without buying the very asset. Those contracts have both advantages and disadvantages, but I think they are worth your attention.

Cryptocurrency trading guide
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Top 7 Best Bitcoin Trading Bots in 2018

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Picking the right bot for automated trading may be difficult, but this comprehensive review of the top 7 best Bitcoin trading bots will surely alleviate the task
Top 7 Best Bitcoin Trading Bots in 2018

Trading bots are computer programs that automate the execution of trades on the market. They are extremely useful for beginner-level traders who aren’t capable of making an in-depth analysis of the charts. You cannot solely rely on Bitcoin trading bots, since they may go haywire and bring you substantial loses, but it still an effective tool for backtesting that provides you an ability to thoroughly test out a trading strategy without actually risking your own money.

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It is worth mentioning that trading bots get rather good reception from major cryptocurrency exchanges because they help them reach higher trading volumes and increase liquidity. There are trading bots for both inexperienced and advanced traders. Beginner trading bots are more suitable for individuals without programming skills. The article will focus on different types of bots. 

Top 7 Best Bitcoin Trading Bots in 2018,

CryptoHopper 

CryptoHopper is a Bitcoin trading bot that allows you to engage in automated trading 24/7. It can boast many useful features such as external buy signals from professional analysts who can determine a potentially lucrative investment. 

image


In order to use CryptoHopper, you simply have to link it to an already existing account on any exchange of your choice. Once you’ve done that, you can adjust your trading instruments by accessing your Hooper dashboard. The CryptoHopper bot offers you a big amount of trading approaches that are fully customizable. If you’ve never had any experience of dealing with trading bots, it is advisable to go the CryptoHopper educational sector where you can see all the relevant information about using the bot for employing different trading strategies. 

There is a free trial, and once it expires, you have to pay for one of three premium packages. The priciest solution (‘Master Hopper’) will set you back $99 per month.

ProfitTrailer

ProfitTrailer is one of the most popular bots out there with more than tens of thousands active users around the globe. As of now, the trading bot works with three exchanges– Binance, Bittrex and Poloniex. All you have to do is to buy a license for a program that can be run either on your PC or on a remote VPS server. The former is the most reliable way to use the ProfitTrailer bot, since it eliminates any connectivity issues. However, setting up a VPS server may be a bit challenging for non tech-savvy users.   
image
ProfitTrailer has rather beginner-friendly user interface. The homepage displays all the important information that is required for monitoring your trading activity. In order to see all your holdings, you have to go to the ‘Pairs Log’ tab while ‘Sales Log’ displays everything you’ve sold while using the bot. 

When it comes to pricing, just like with the previous case, there are three packages with prices varying from 0.03 BTC to 0.09 BTC. Hence, the most expensive offer will currently cost you about $590 for three licenses, which is very reasonable compared to other bots.

GunBot

GunBot is yet another advanced crypto trading bot for algorithmic trading that works with numerous exchanges, including Binance and Kraken. The bot allows its users to pick various trading strategies that can be customized according to your personal trading style. These strategies include:

  • TSSL (trailing stop/stop limit),
  • Bollinger Bands,
  • Stepgain,
  • Ping Pong.

Once you’ve picked your trading strategy and a cryptocurrency pair, you can configure the bot using your exchange API for third-party programs. Now you can take advantage of any precoded trading strategy. As mentioned above, it is recommended to run any bot (GunBot is not an exception) on a VPS, since it gives you more stability and flexibility.  
image
Such an extensive set of trading features obviously comes with a price. There are three premium solutions with the price of the cheapest one (‘Gunbot Standard’) being set at 0.065 BTC. ‘Gunbot Unlimited,’ which comes with unlimited access to all exchanges and the TradingView add-on for more strategies, will set you back 0.159 BTC. 

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3Commas

Now, we are going to focus on a relatively young Bitcoin bot that has already won over the crypto community. As of May 2018, it had more than 20,000 active users and its average trading volume exceeded $6 mln. It was launched in September 2017 as a pre-funded project. 

The system features three different kinds of bots:

  • simple,
  • short,
  • composite.

Simple and short bots allow you to do only one trading pair at a time (for going long and going short respectively). Composite bots, as their name suggest, supports numerous crypto pairs simultaneously. 

The peculiar thing about 3Commas is that they do not use popular trading strategies like Stepgain and Ping Pong. Instead, it relies on robust TradingViews analysis, but it still may seem underwhelming for ordinary traders. 

The prices are more than reasonable– you get a starter pack only for $25 while unlimited access to all available exchanges will set you back around $84. 3Commas is constantly expanding the list of available exchanges adding integration with Kucoin, CEX and other platforms. 

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AutoView 

The majority of the abovementioned trade bots are rather expensive, so if you are on a tighter budget and still look for an automated trading solution, then you should probably pay attention to AutoView. This cryptocurrency trading bot is super cheap, but it doesn’t mean that it is inherently bad. 

The AutoView bot comes in a form of a simple Google Chrome extension that gives you an ability to automate TradingView. Gunbot extension, for instance, has more advanced trading features, but they come with a significantly higher price. AutoView is not a beginner-level extension, since it requires users to manually program stop and losses into the script on TradingView. Those who are not good at programming can take advantage of numerous AutoView scripts that are available for free. For example, you can use the MACD indicator that gives you signals for both bullish and bearish MACD crossovers. 

There is a free version of this program with three available exchanges (1Broker, Bitmex Testnet, GDAX Sandbox). ‘Bronze Autoview’, which features Kraken, Binance, Bitfinex along with ten other 
cryptocurrency exchanges  costs only $5 per month. 
 

Haasbot 


Haasbot is the most sophisticated trading bot for true trading gurus. The project was launched in 2015 by Stephan de Haas. Despite the fact that this software has been around for a long time, many Bitcoin owners still haven’t heard about it due to its professional-oriented tools and rather a high price, which makes the product not affordable for run-of-the-mill traders.    
image
Unlike Gunbot or any other aforementioned Bitcoin trading bots, Haasbot puts emphasis on customization (you can create your own dashboard, focus on different indicators and so on). One can choose between trade bots, arbitrage bots and order bots– all of them are extremely easy to set up. Just like in case with AutoView, there are script bots as well, but they require profound C# coding skills.  
     
Haasbot offers three-month, six-month and 12-month licenses for different groups of users. The most advanced plan costs 0.208 BTC. This is definitely one of the most expensive offers on the market, but for slightly more than $1,200 per year, one can get an unlimited access to all HaasBots along with insurances, safeties and a myriad of trading indicators. 
 

Cryptotrader 

Cryptotrader is considered to be the most popular bot for automated trading. This Bitcoin day trading bot is compatible with basically all major exchanges, so you will have a seamless experience of running a GDAX bot or a Poloniex bot.  

On top of that, Cryptotrader has such a major advantage like cloud-based bots, which essentially means that there is no need to install software on your computer in order to run them. 
image
With Cryptotrader, plenty of trading strategies are available for free, but you can still purchase new ones in the market section. Both amateur and professional developers are able to sell the source code for a new trading bot here. There is also a backtesting option for those who want to try out a certain strategy on batches of historical data without actually engaging in trading. While some critics argue that the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile for backtesting giving any relevant predictions, it may still show whether you are on the right path or not.  

The price of any Cryptotrader plan fully correlates with the BTC value. That simply means that you will have to pay more if another Bitcoin bullish trend persists. A total amount of five subscription plans gives you a diversity of choice – from Basic+ to Premium. Those who go for the most expensive offer will be able to run up to 25 crypto trading bots simultaneously, but they have to pay from $200 per month. 

The bottom line 

As you can see, we’ve just reviewed drastically different bots for automated cryptocurrency trading, but all of them can be considered a viable option depending on what kind of trader you are. Hence, it is hard to determine the best Bitcoin autotrader, since the decision solely depends on your personal trading needs. 

There are obscenely cheap offers in the likes of AutoView that require good programming skills. Beginner-level users may play safe and go for 3Commas or CryptoHopper. At the same time, high rollers may consider shelling out $1,200 to pay for the annual Haasbot license. 

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