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As the name suggests, day trading is buying and selling within the same day and profiting from quick price movements. Day traders generally go looking for a market with two things: volume and volatility.
You’ll see high volatility and increasing volumes in the Bitcoin and Altcoin markets. This means day trading can be very profitable – provided you know what you’re doing of course. Similarly, it can also be very unprofitable, if you have no notion and decide to jump right in and start margin trading.
We’ve taken a look at a few of the most popular exchanges where crypto day traders operate and compared across the following 5 dimensions:
- Fiat currency support (including deposit / withdrawal options)
- Trading fees
- Trading volume
- User experiences
- Trading tools
What was our experience? Read on to find out
Binance is a Hong Kong–based cryptocurrency exchange launched by developer Changpeng Zhao in July 2017. Binance is a BTC exclusive website so all of the coins will be paired up against BTC. Thus, you cannot currently trade fiat/crypto on Binance, but they do have tethered equivalents like USDT.
No fiat options available so you cannot deposit or withdraw fiat. Tethered equivalents are available to trade against.
General 0.1% trading fee, which is reduced if you hold BNB (Binane Coin) in your account. See more info on fee structure here.
Consistently one of the top 10 exchanges in terms of volume. At the time of writing over 1 Billion volume traded in the last 24hr. See more on volume here.
Binance is available in two versions: basic and advanced.
Mobile app also available for download.
Transparency is strong as evidenced by the response to the recent hack.
Advanced interface can look quite intimidating and takes a while to find your way around
Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the oldest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges currently in operation. It’s particularly popular with European customers.
Fees are 0.16% for maker and 0.26% for taker based on the lowest volume band ($0-$50,000). A full breakdown can be found here.
For margin trading there are additional fees for opening and rolling over a position. Margin fees are charged based on the total value of the order. Collateral held is not deducted from that amount. No fee for settling a position. More info here.
Consistently one of the biggest BTC/EUR exchanges by volume. At the time of writing, over 10,000 BTC traded in the past 24hr for example.
Some Altcoin trading pairs have very low volume ( less than 50 BTC in 24hrs for example)
More on volume from CoinMarketCap.
Nice trading interface and quite intuitive.
Sometimes the candles near the top of the trading chart interface are not visible.
When placing an order you can choose simple, intermediate, advanced or pro based on your level of experience.
Different theme can be applied to change the appearance of the trading screen.
Trading tools are available including Cryptowatch – a Kraken-owned service that provides real-time cryptocurrency market data, charting and trading services.
Hot keys are available.
Kraken also provides advanced order types such as stop-loss orders and automated trading.
Margin (up to 5x for BTC) and Futures trading available.
Previously known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro is designed to appeal to more advanced traders than the regular Coinbase. Both systems are integrated so you can use the same login for both and transfer funds instantly from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro and vice versa.
USD, GBP and EUR are supported currencies
Trading pairs vary country to country. European trading pairs are currently:
Free to transfer from Coinbase Pro to Coinbase and vice versa.
Coinbase Pro uses the common maker-taker model for fees. According to the website:
“When you place an order at the market price that gets filled immediately, you are considered a taker and will pay a fee between 0.05% and 0.25%. When you place an order which is not immediately matched by an existing order, that order is placed on the order book. If another customer places an order that matches yours, you are considered the maker and will pay a fee between 0.00% and 0.15%.”
More on Coinbase Pro fees here.
Easy to use and find your way around the interface.
No mobile app, but the website is mobile friendly.
Nice integration with Coinbase.
Launched in 2014, Bittrex is a US-based exchange with a good security record and a large number of Altcoins available to trade. Bittrex is available globally, including in Ireland.
Originally a cryptocurrency only exchange, but now USD trading, deposits, withdrawals are offered. No support currently for other fiat currencies such as EUR.
All trades have a flat 0.25% commission, which is higher than some competitors like Binance, Coinbase Pro and Kraken.
More on fees can be found here.
It was once one of the biggest exchanges, but has been surpassed in recent times. It still remains quite solid at over 15k BTC 24hr volumes.
Huge number of Altcoins.
Interface is very nice and easy to navigate.
Fast deposits and withdrawal.
Trading and investing in cryptocurrencies involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for every investor. Increasingly, the average day trader is competing with algorithmic trading, or “bots” and institutional money. Consequently, it’s harder for the retail traders who often find themselves getting tricked with fake volume created by bots.
Binance, Kraken, Coinbase Pro and Bittrex all offer well respected trading platforms. There’s a growing list of other exchanges offering services to traders. Finally, a few noteworthy mentions:
BitMex was founded in 2014 and has grown into one of the biggest exchanges. They combine margin trading and crypto derivative contracts. They do not have spot trading, but if you fancy leveraging up to 100x (not advisable!), then this is the place to go.
Okex is another huge cryptocurrency exchange that came on the scene relatively recently. A large part of their volume comes out of China.
Negocie Coins is bar far the largest exchange in Brazil doing a huge amount of volume.