The safest cryptocurrency exchanges to use are the ones that are regulated and safe. At this point, most of the exchanges operate in countries where governments don’t interfere. This is why the top two exchanges by trading volume, Binance and Coinbase (Coinbase has since closed down), have set up shop in places like Singapore and the US.
You can also try to find out which exchange was hacked. There’s a website called https://hacked.com/ that will tell you which cryptocurrency exchange was hacked and how much money was stolen.
There are other ways of finding a good exchange though. One way is to look at their security reviews. Another is to read their customer reviews on trade websites like Reddit. Those opinions are usually more valuable than what people say in forums because they represent traders who have been through all the hoops, so they know what it’s like to use an exchange from day one.
We do not want to give the impression that cryptocurrency exchanges are unsafe. But we also do not want to encourage anyone to use one without checking it out. We have concrete advice on how you can check them out, and we’ve done our best to find the top-rated ones.
We don’t take this project lightly. It took over a year of writing, testing and rewriting to complete, but it is a very important undertaking. We have dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort into making sure this is the most useful information available.
Here are some of the things you can do.
You can make sure your software has never been breached by checking it against VirusTotal.
You can check that the exchange’s security is as good as it claims to be. This is most easily done if the exchange has a code of conduct, which you can check at https://mycryptoexchange.com/code-of-conduct/. It also helps to have a look at the past transactions and wallets of the exchange, at https://mycryptoexchange.com/transaction-history/.
You can run antivirus software on your computer and install different firewall settings.
You can make sure your PC has no unknown or suspicious apps on it, by running AdwCleaner and SxSFixer. You can also uninstall apps using Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall a Program. The best way to keep your computer safe is to keep it up-to-date with all security patches by downloading them from Microsoft or Apple when they’re released.
In summary: clean your computer for malware; use firewalls and antivirus; run updates for all your software; install Windows Defender on Windows 8, 7 or Vista; install Malwarebytes on Mac OSX.
A lot of people are afraid of losing money in an online exchange. They’re right to be scared. But there are ways to protect yourself.
Most online exchanges have a system called “escrow,” which is supposed to make them trustworthy by requiring the company to hold your money until you get the goods or services you ordered. But even if it looks good, escrow is not completely safe. An anonymous hacker could buy up all the coins on an exchange, then demand that everyone take any coins they have, from anyone who doesn’t want to do that as well—and if everyone agrees, he can steal everyone’s money.
That’s why I would recommend against using an exchange unless you’re trading with a known company, and you can trust that company not to steal your money. But even when you do use an exchange, it’s important for you and your broker or trader (if you’re dealing with one) to communicate carefully about what the deal is: how much money you want to risk, how much the other person wants to risk, and so on. If either side talks too much before they agree on a price, they might end up at a bad price, and then both lose money—because neither wanted to lose money at all!
You can always gamble on a cryptocurrency exchange, but it will be a losing game. If you blame the exchange for your losses, you won’t learn anything and you may be setting yourself up to lose more money later.
If you want to make money, it is better to do something you are good at than something where you are lucky. And the crypto world has some things that even professional traders don’t understand. For example:
– it takes time to find the right trades. As a professional trader, you should be able to make all your trades at least 24 hours in advance. For most of the currencies I trade, I need a full week’s lead time.
– You have only one trading account per exchange. This makes it hard for anyone else with access to that account to make money for themselves. And this is not just an issue with crypto exchanges; most professional traders use only one account per asset class.
– Exchanges constantly change their terms and conditions, and this makes it hard for anyone who doesn’t know about them to make money for themselves.
In the case of crytocoins, exchange rates have been manipulated in the past, but they did not seem to be doing so intentionally. With a relatively small amount of effort and money, you can do a lot of harm to an exchange. On the other hand, many people are already doing this and it doesn’t seem to be working very well.
For instance, MtGox is probably the biggest bitcoin exchange in terms of volume (if not market share). It was hacked by hackers who took about 4% of all bitcoins in circulation at the time. At the time it was running at a loss, but that turned out to be because a lot of the bitcoins were being held in wallets that didn’t allow withdrawals. When they allowed withdrawals, they started making money again. I’m not sure what would happen if someone started messing with MtGox’s price-sliding software as it runs today on MtGox’s network (or what would happen if someone did something similar at Coinbase or Coinbase Pro), but it seems like it would be pretty hard to get through all those defenses before anyone noticed what was happening and shut down trading on MtGox or persuaded them to stop operating altogether.
There are many sites that will reliably pay you in Bitcoin. These sites are called “exchanges.” The safest way to use an exchange is to connect your bank account to the exchange and have it immediately credited with the full amount of your purchase, leaving you with a paper receipt proving that you’ve received the Bitcoin. You can also avoid the fee by using a peer-to-peer payment system such as Living Room of Satoshi (Ripple).
If you don’t want to use an exchange, or if you prefer not to leave your money on a site for months at a time, there are other ways to get access to Bitcoin. For example, you can buy Bitcoin from another person through a site like Local Bitcoins or from someone who has purchased bitcoins at an exchange and is willing to sell them. If the person you’re buying from doesn’t mind selling his coins privately, then you can use cash only, say in person.