So you’ve read the Beginner’s Guide To What Is Cryptocurrency, and now it’s time to see what you need to do to really get started? First of all, you’re going to need know…

Where To Buy Cryptocurrency

You have two options here. Via an Exchange, or Over-The-Counter (OTC). If you have limited funds to invest, then an Exchange is for you. OTC places usually deal with $100,000 – $500,000 minimum investment amounts, and some require even more.

So, which exchange(s) should you use?

Depending on whether you want to buy Bitcoin or one of the other top 3-5 Cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, XRP, LTC, BCH, etcetera…) you will have a few options.

Get Started in Cryptocurrency

Don’t forget that in order to purchase most other cryptocurrencies, you first need to have Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or XRP. It’s like saying you need to have USD, EUR, or GBP before you can buy stocks in those countries. It may seem benign at first, but you’ll get used to it, we promise.

“Wait, what?”

For those in most countries, Coinbase offers a viable and trustworthy doorway to the Cryptocurrency world. Coinbase allows you to send your fiat currency to them through bank transfer, or credit card (depending on your country). If you are in smaller countries, like some of our writers (Australia, New Zealand), you may find it harder to find an exchange with enough liquidity and volume to offer you a good deal.

If you are going to do a bank transfer, it’s also recommended not to use the word “bitcoin” in your reference fields, as some banks have been known to bounce back or block transactions involving any cryptocurrency. While most modern countries are now accepting cryptocurrency as here to stay and are innovating to regulate and use it, other countries are still wary of the new technology. We’re looking at you, New Zealand banks.

Where to start.

Just to be efficient, we’re going to list the top five Four Fiat-To-Crypto exchanges below so you can find the one that will work best for you and your country. The more liquid exchanges will provide better pricing points for your preferred cryptocurrency, remember. For newcomers to the space, we also recommend avoiding places like localbitcoins.com as you are dealing with other people directly, who may or may not be legitimate.

Top 4 Cryptocurrency Exchanges To Start With

1: Binance

Binance is king in the crypto-to-crypto world, and recently began offering fiat-to-crypto via credit card payments. If you are ever wanting to purchase other alt-coins, Binance is the place to go. They offer high liquidity and a fantastic interface, and have been around for quite some time now without suffering the hacks and setbacks a lot of other exchanges have seen. Binance is our most highly used platform, and a lot of the time, if an alt-coin is not listed on Binance then we don’t dig into it too much. Their team do a great job of vetting tokens and coins before they accept them onto their site to trade. If you want to avoid the 3% credit card fees and don’t mind waiting a bit longer for a bank transfer though, read on.

Pros

  • Purchase BTC with Credit Card

  • Trade Over 200 Other Coins

  • Easy To Use

  • Fast Setup

  • Referral System

Cons

  • Doesn’t support Crypto-Fiat Yet

  • No Margin Trading

  • Not available to all US Citizens

As mentioned above, Coinbase is pretty much the main fiat-to-crypto window for the majority of the world. They also offer Pro trader accounts and other services, so it’s handy to have them. If you ever want to cash-out your Crypto for fiat one day, you’ll also need a service like theirs. A lot of exchanges give you a window to buy the crypto, but not to sell it due to regulatory inconsistency. Due to this, Coinbase is a wise choice to have an account with, even if you don’t use them to purchase your crypto initially.

Pros

  • Purchase Crypto with Credit Card

  • Sell Crypto Back to Fiat

  • Easy To Use

  • Fast Setup

  • Highly Regulated

Cons

  • Doesn’t support other alt-coins

  • No Margin Trading

  • Not Available In Smaller Countries

Bittrex has been around since 2014 and offers very competitive fees and rates. It is worth noting that they aren’t regulated in every country. This is a hard task, considering how many countries there are. All with differing requirements! But Bittrex has been around long enough that most of those who have been in the space from an early time, trust them. They began like Binance only doing Crypto-to-crypto but expanded into fiat-to-crypto.

Pros

  • Purchase Crypto with Credit Card

  • Sell Crypto Back to Some Fiat Currencies

  • Easy To Use

  • Access To Alt Coins

Cons

  • Limited Fiat-Crypto Pairs

  • They have had to block US Citizens from 30+ alt-coins

  • Not Regulated

We remember the days when CEX just started out! They have come a long way since then. Their website is polished and presentable, and they offer virtually the lowest costs you’ll find. In fact, it’s free to deposit and withdraw! They charge a small commission during trades (like all exchanges do) instead. If you have experience with Forex or Stocks, you’ll also be pleased to find CEX offers margin trading.

Pros

  • Purchase Crypto with Credit Card

  • Bank Transfer Accepted

  • Easy To Use

  • Access To Alt Coins

  • Margin Trading

Cons

  • Limited Fiat-Crypto Pairs

  • Lower Liquidity Than Some Exchanges

5. CoinMama

CoinMama is well-known and respected around the world as a gateway into Crypto. However, our dealings with them have been less than satisfactory. For this reason, we left them off our top list. In February 2019, they suffered a huge hack and lost a lot of their customer’s data. We received the notification email, and thought – well, at least they’re owning up to it. Since then, however, we have been unable to login to our account. Numerous attempts to contact support have been made with no reply. Their customer service is failing in this respect, so we have regrettably had to leave them off the list.

Share your experience!

So, these are all exchanges we have personal experience dealing with. We haven’t just gone and presented the top Google results! By far, the most streamlined to deal with has been Binance. That said, as mentioned, you do need an “out”. Binance is working on allowing users to withdraw Fiat via Singapore and by gaining regulatory clarity in Malta. Malta is turning into the Golden boy of the Crypto-sphere in terms of clarity and lawmaking around cryptocurrencies.

If you have other suggestions or experiences with other fiat-crypto exchanges, please comment them below.