Poloniex - still unhacked
Chinese Altcoin Trading Exchanges - BTCC, OKCoin and Huobi, the most liquid exchanges on this planet
BTC-e - good for trading but has withdrawal fees
Bit-x - good for Bitcoin or Litecoin but has transaction fee
HitBtc - lowest fees but not enough traders
ANXpro - not liquid enough yet
If you are looking to trade altcoins or pairs like Bitcoin / Litecoin or Dash / BTC, you need exchange with easy policy on crypto deposits and withdrawals. Low fees are a plus too, and indeed you need an exchange that is not going to exit scam you.
Altcoin trading - Ether, Monero, Dash and shitcoins
Two pairs were mentioned, Bitcoin / Litecoin and Dash / BTC. You must have noticed at least Ether and Monero by now.
The problem was, typically altcoins seemed to move with Bitcoin. That was true until about January 2016. After that, with the Hearn thing probably, altcoins started living their own lives.
There were also some very fitting marketing attempts regarding Dash (also known as Darkcoin) spotted on Reddit, mainly reacting on the /r/bitcoin censorship issues:
Dash also draws from the existence of WalletExplorer - basically, as soon as someone knows your Bitcoin wallet address, it is a public thing what you do with your Bitcoin. Wallet addresses of Bitcoin exchanges and darknet markets are all doxxed there. Dash has a feature similar to CoinJoin that mixes the coins and keeps you anonymous as if you were using cash.
Either way, Litecoin, Dash or any altcoin can be always used to mix coins (unlink your real identity from your Bitcoin) without paying mixing fee for that. In case you didn’t realize that, buying a coin from a sidechain and then selling it back for Bitcoin will give you different Bitcoin.
If only for that, it is good to keep altcoins in check and know which one is stable enough to use it for mixing. (For instance, Litecoin has a pretty steady price now). You can always use ShapeShift, an instant alt-to-alt changer service, or one of regular altcoin exchanges.
All in all: Looks like good altcoin times have started.
What to look for
Find a liquid exchange. Chinese exchanges are perfect for that, simply because of the number of Chinese.
Different cryptocurrencies also have different liquidity. Other than Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and Dash are quite significant. It is not to say one shouldn’t trade anything else. But the smaller the maret the more each taker order influences the price.
If you only want to deposit cryptocoins and withdraw cryptocoins back, going through AML/KYC is an overkill. Choose an exchange that needs no papers to get you started.
As for trading with fiat profit, you can always send Bitcoin to a virtual debit card instead of selling it on a Bitcoin exchange and doing bank wire.
Altcoin Trading Exchanges
So here is finally a list of exchanges that have friendly policy for anyone who wants to deposit cryptocoins and withdraw either same or different crypto.
The most dodgy yet unhacked
Poloniex is an exchange, margin trading and lending platform that operates fully in crypto.
You need to state your name and country to get $2000 daily withdrawal limit (that is, $2K in cryptocoins only). To state your address and phone number raises the limit to $7000 daily.
It is the liveliest place for altcoin trading thus far but don’t read the trollbox.
Policies: Restricts US.
- Trade: 0.15%/0.25% and less, maker-taker.
- Deposit: All crypto free.
- Withdrawal: All crypto free.
- Mobile: TabTrader. No in-house Poloniex app, the one that sometimes shows up online is scam.
Chinese Altcoin Trading Exchanges
Good places to trade might also be Chinese exchanges.
Liquidity is good, especially when you are looking into altcoins where it is mostly dead in Europe.
No AML/KYC papers necessary when you only handle cryptocoins.
When signing up you need to certify you are not from US, Indonesia or other restricted countries (they are specified in Terms).
- OKCoin (China) needs 2-factor auth to withdraw coins and you need to state your address and ID number.
- BTCC (formerly BTC China)
- Huobi (China) needs a phone confirmation.
Trade fees are flat and of 0.2%.
Only Huobi is available in TabTrader.
Based somewhere? Identity verification required in case you choose to load your account by wire transfer. BTC-e trades altcoins like LTC, NVC, PPC and NMC. Markets are quite big. BTC-e has been around for some time now.
Policies: No liability, users are supposed to protect their own information.
Charts: In house without indicators. Or Bitcoinwisdom.
- Trade: Flat 0.2%
- Deposit: Any crypto for free
- Withdrawal: Any crypto has fee of 0.001 coin
- Mobile: TabTrader
Bit-x only needs your phone number (or any phone number). It has quite a good base of users trading Bitcoin / Litecoin. Other than that it is one of the largest BTCEUR markets.
They only do crypto deposits and withdrawals but you can get their debit card. Good thing is you can get an anonymous plastic prepaid card if you are in a country that is not quite BTC-friendly. (Other Bitcoin prepaid cards are cheaper, though.)
Policies: There is a commision on each transaction, not refundable when trade is cancelled - Transaction commission equals 0,02%.
- Trade: Flat 0.2%
- Deposit: Any crypto for free
- Withdrawal: Any crypto free
- Mobile: Nope.
One of the exchanges that specializes in altcoin trading. You get the choice of many coins, deposits and withdrawals are in crypto only.
Bittrex is one of the places where you can trade Dash or ETH, most users there do so.
Policies: Based in US and at the same time some US states are restricted. Also, one peculiarity: Funds left on the account not moved for an unspecified period of time will be treated as unclaimed property. Don’t leave your coins there.
Charts: Basic charts in-house. Or cryptocoincharts
- Trade: 0.25% Flat
- Deposits: Crypto only, free?
- Withdrawals: Crypto only, free?
- Mobile: TabTrader
Probably in the need of get more makers in, there is a maker rebate instead of a fee. Trading cryptos is unlimited without verification, the platform is build for trading and has fine charts.
Drawback: Someone had issues withdrawing fiat. Plus the trading interface won’t let you specify enough decimal places as you trade and move coins, which means you always have to leave some behind.
Charts: Good in-house.
- Trade: Maker 0.01% rebate, taker 0.1% fee (still very good)
- Deposits: Free
- Withdrawals: Crypto payouts have flat fees - 0.0001 BTC, 0.001 LTC
- Mobile: TabTrader
HK exchange built on top of a Forex platform. Identity verification is not mandatory for crypto deposits and withdrawals.
Looks fine but doesn’t have enough liquidity yet - only some DOGE trades up until now (check out the trade volume table at the bottom). Probably only worth checking out for now.
Policies: Users in US or prohibited countries (which is not further specified) will be banned if they use a VPN.
Charts: On Cryptocoincharts
- Trade: Maker-Taker 0.3%/0.6%
- Deposit: All crypto free
- Withdrawal: All crypto free, limited to 20BTC a day or equivalent.
- Mobile: ANX is on TabTrader
It has been said many times that it’s not a good idea to keep your coins on an exchange if you are not using it for trading at the moment.
While there are many a wallet for Bitcoin, altcoin wallets are not so many. Here are a few hints.
- If you want to hold an altcoin that you think should grow in the future, you should get either wallet as a software or a hardware wallet.
There are Electrum incarnations for Litecoin and Dash. That’s probably as decetralized as it can get but beware the general Electrum privacy minus. The clients are pretty much the same as the Bitcoin client in all aspects too. If you are using Electrum for BTC already it’s a good call to get one for altcoins too.
- If you only need to move altcoins from here to there and don’t want to send money from an exchange to another or if you are not a ultra long time altcoin holder, web wallet will do.
- There are a few options for every altcoin (try LiteVault for Litecoin)
- If you are not a holder and don’t really care, Cryptonator should do more than fine for you. It is a multi-currency web wallet.
- If you want an altcoin wallet on your Android phone go for Coinomi wallet. It supports a whole bunch of altcoins. It is a multicoin wallet, many-in-one, including Bitcoin and testnets.
Altcoins supported by Coinomi
What to read
There is a page dedicated to altcoin comparisons on Cryptocoincharts
CCN published an article about altcoin scalp trading (another name for arbitrage). Quite down to earth - if you are not hobbyist, you need to be able to move a substantial amount of Bitcoin (yours or leveraged)
There is a dedicated sub for all cryptocurrencies called CryptoMarkets.
The subreddit BitcoinMarkets is dedicated to Bitcoin but the mods are allowing posts related to altcoin trading as long as Bitcoin is involved. It is a really down to earth subreddit absolutely lacking all the heated philosophical debates on censorship and block size well from all the rest of the Bitcoin subs.