Bitcoin

Trading Bitcoin? Here Are Exchanges Offering the Best Conditions for Spot Traders

Bitcoin cryptocurrency coins on a stylized background
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2024 is shaping up to be a bumper year for Bitcoin. The world’s most famous cryptocurrency has already reached a new all-time high value and entered Wall Street following the SEC’s approval of spot ETFs in January. Now, as a long-awaited halving event looms, speculative traders believe that BTC will continue to break new ground. But which exchanges are the safest for spot Bitcoin trading? 

Plenty has changed since Bitcoin’s last bull run in 2021, but the cryptocurrency’s halving cycle appears to be regular as clockwork as BTC soared beyond its old all-time high of $69,044 in March 2024, helping to deliver new levels of bullish sentiment surrounding the crypto landscape as a whole. 

With Bitcoin’s halving event set to take place on April 19th 2024, traders are anticipating many more market movements throughout the rest of the year and beyond, as historical trends point to a rally that could continue well into 2025. 

Unlike the market rally of 2021, Bitcoin is now equipped with far greater levels of institutional acceptance following the SEC’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs on Wall Street. We’re also seeing higher volumes of institutional interest in cryptocurrency than before, with blockchain technology earning new levels of trust throughout several industries. 

Excitement for the return of bullish sentiment to the crypto landscape has also seen spot trading volumes accelerate to three-year highs. Bitcoin’s spot trading volume in particular reached highs of almost $29 billion in March, a level that hasn’t been seen since May 2021. 

However, while institutional acceptance is growing, trust remains an ongoing issue for traders. The high-profile collapse of FTX has rocked the faith held in cryptocurrency investing and has made it more difficult for traders to place their liquidity in exchanges. 

With this in mind, it’s not enough to find a functional spot trading exchange for Bitcoin, traders must be free to embrace the crypto landscape without the fear of losing their investments. 

Pros and Cons of Crypto Spot Trading

Why is cryptocurrency spot trading such a desirable form of investing? One of the most notable appeals is that it offers investors genuine coin ownership, which can be used for many purposes including collateral to borrow other crypto assets or to earn interest via decentralized lending pools. 

Another advantage is that spot trading is a fairly straightforward approach to trading, and involves less risk than, say, margin or futures trading. This means that losses remain limited to the capital that you put into it. 

Generally speaking, there are also more cryptocurrency options for traders to utilize. This is because more assets are supported for spot trading than margin trading on crypto exchanges. 

However, there are a few cons for traders to consider. Notably, spot trading doesn’t offer leverage, meaning that you’ll need to use your funds which could negatively impact prospective gains. 

Spot trading can also incur some fees, including trading, withdrawal, and network fees that can also eat into your profit margins. 

Unreliable crypto exchanges may also pose a larger overall threat to your liquidity. Counterparty risk has become a major talking point for the crypto landscape in the wake of several high-profile exchange collapses in recent years. With this in mind, it’s important to use a reliable and safe exchange for your spot Bitcoin trading. 

But which exchanges are the most trustworthy? Let’s explore four key exchanges that offer the best conditions for spot traders: 

1. Bitget

Bitget

In terms of trustworthiness and value for money, it’s difficult to look beyond Bitget as a leading crypto spot trading exchange. 

Launched in 2018, Bitget has amassed more than 25 million users worldwide. In terms of trading volume, Bitget regularly surpasses the $10 billion mark, making it the fifth-largest globally. 

Bitget’s popularity is down in no small part to its impressive range of over 800 trading pairs for spot traders, all of which feature a strong level of liquidity. With newly listed tokens arriving on the exchange daily, Bitget is also a safe bet to feature some of the freshest up-and-coming tokens. 

One of Bitget’s biggest advantages stems from the strides that it’s making in the world of DeFi, and the launch of Bitget Token (BGB) has helped to bring more decentralized services and Web3 functionality to the platform’s users. In addition to this, BGB holders are treated to a 20% cut on transaction fees if they pay for a spot transaction with the coin, making it an excellent cost-saving measure. 

The functionality of the platform is also great for traders of all experience levels. Smart tools like Conditional Order and Trigger Order functions can help advanced traders structure orders on their terms, while Bitget’s Spot CTA tool serves as a fully automated, algorithm-based feature that allows all traders to set up timely risk-controlled orders. 

From a regulatory perspective, Bitget is one of the most compliant cryptocurrency exchanges in operation and works closely with local authorities to ensure that all users can enjoy a fast and seamless registration experience. 

Additionally, a zero-fee trading campaign is currently underway for BTC/USDT and ETH/USDT spot trading pairs on Bitget’s exchange. 

Effective from March 20th 2024, Bitget traders can celebrate the Bitcoin halving event by enjoying zero fees for the associated trading pairs and plenty more opportunities to maximize their profit margins. 

2. Binance

Binance

When it comes to trading pairs, Binance is one of the strongest options for spot traders throughout the cryptocurrency landscape. With more than 1,500 trading pairs and the immediate buying and selling of over 350 cryptocurrencies, it’s difficult to look beyond this popular crypto exchange for an abundance of choice. 

By trading volume, Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and has opted to continue building its vast range of functions for investors to incorporate a wide range of spot trading options into its impressive repertoire. 

There are many different order types that traders can choose from within Binance’s spot trading market, including market, limit, stop-limit, OCO (One Cancels the Other), and trailing stop orders. 

While the spot trading fees of 0.1% at Binance may feel a little inhibitive for traders seeking to maximize their profits, it’s possible to access more advantageous rates by boosting your Binance VIP level. However, some trading pairs are available on a fee-free basis. 

For traders seeking to access a high volume of trading pairs at one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume and reputation, Binance stands as a strong option that’s well positioned to serve users well throughout the crypto bull market. 

3. Bybit

Bybit

Bybit is a strong option for crypto traders seeking to work with leverage, and with trading volumes regularly exceeding $4.5 billion per 24 hours, it’s clear that the exchange deserves a mention on this list. 

Not only does such a significant volume illustrate the strong liquidity at Bybit, it’s also a good indication of the sheer number of leveraged products the exchange offers. Including perpetual futures, the maximum leverage on Bitcoin is x125. 

When it comes to spot trading, Bybit’s fees mirror Binance’s 0.1%. This falls in the higher range of the exchange’s commissions structure, with 0.055% taken from futures and 0.02% from options. 

While Bybit serves as a viable option for experienced traders seeking to take up a comprehensive set of Bitcoin futures, options, and spot trading, the exchange suffers from a higher volume of regulatory struggles than other options in this list. 

In October 2023, Bybit suspended operations in the United Kingdom in a bid to work on becoming more compliant with domestic regulators. 

Although this may be a major cause for concern among traders, it’s worth noting that the compliance issue stemmed from the implementation of new rules on marketing and communications for crypto businesses set out by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Specific concerns stemmed from the ‘financial promotion rules for cryptoassets’, which indicates that these regulatory issues aren’t directly related to liquidity or investor security. 

4. Coinbase

Coinbase

When it comes to reputable cryptocurrency exchanges that offer quality spot trading experiences, it’s hard to look beyond Coinbase. As a Nasdaq-listed company, Coinbase is required to maintain a high level of transparency for all stakeholders to scruitinize. 

As a Wall Street stock with a $60 billion market capitalization, Coinbase offers a degree of trust that other platforms simply can’t compete with. Furthermore, the company reported a 41% increase in revenue to $954 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, highlighting a sustainable business model. 

It’s this sustainability-first focus that’s aided Coinbase in recently launching its own spot trading features. Initially limited to institutional investors outside of the United States, Coinbase is slowly but surely expanding this function for retail investors and, soon, US traders to enjoy. 

While Coinbase’s status as a publicly traded company holds many advantages in terms of transparency for traders. It also means that the selection of assets listed are limited, and new trading pairs can be slower to arrive on the platform due to increased levels of scrutiny. 

For all the mentions of ‘transparency’ here, there’s still some more opaque pricing structures when it comes to trading. The exchange doesn’t disclose its spot trading fees, rather Coinbase notes that notes that all fees "are calculated at the time you place your order and may be determined by a combination of factors, including the selected payment method, the size of the order, and market conditions such as volatility and liquidity."

Additionally, Coinbase isn’t exactly squeaky clean with regulators, despite its Wall Street status. The exchange is still under investigation from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for alledgedly violating federal security laws. This is a charge that Coinbase has moved to dismiss. 

Building a Trust-First Trading Experience

Because of how exceptional the world of cryptocurrency is, and the levels of volatility and unpredictability that follow traders everywhere, it’s important to note that caution should always be exercised when making trades. 

While the four exchanges listed are strong options for spot Bitcoin trading, user experiences can vary depending on expectations over trust, fees, and trading goals. With this in mind, it’s worth assessing the merits of each option and how they may be capable of achieving trading wants and needs. 

In a landscape as volatile as crypto, anything’s possible. With this in mind, it’s essential to trade using an exchange that’s trustworthy and efficient. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Dmytro Spilka

Dmytro is a finance writer based in London. His work has been published in The Financial Express, The Diplomat, IBM, Investing.com, FXEmpire, Investment Week and FXStreet.

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