Headquartered in Kiev, Liqui is a crypto-only cryptocurrency exchange with a 235 trading pairs. Liqui offers both a public and private API for programmatic trading and states a 24-hour volume of around 1250 BTC. Liqui’s numerous trading pairs are all against its three main currencies, BTC, ETH, and USDT, meaning that those looking to trade with fiat will want to find a different exchange or a method of converting their crypto after the fact. Overall, It is a good choice for small to medium traders, especially those looking for the ability to trade programmatically against a large number of cryptocurrencies.

Liqui finds itself at #23 on BlockExplorer’s list of the top 25 cryptocurrency exchanges of 2017.

Liqui

liqui cryptoURL: liqui.io
Launched: 2016
Trading pairs: 235
Deposit Fees: No
Withdrawal Fees: No
Trading fees: Yes
Verification: Yes
Margin Trading: No (coming soon)

Fees and Limits

Liqui lays out its fees in the usual maker/taker scheme, where makers pay a 0.10% fee and takers pay a 0.25% fee. All of Liqui’s trading pairs currently have the same fees applied to them. Fees are listed on Liqui’s Fees and Limits page, with the fees specifically only listed for the three ‘main’ cryptocurrencies you trade against; Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD Tether.

Limit-wise, Liqui has three levels; New accounts are split into three 24 hour periods, where their withdrawal limit increases by 5,000 USDT or equivalent per day, starting at 5,000 USDT. Following the new account restrictions, an account receives the “Basic Account” withdrawal limits of 50,000 USDT or equivalent per day. And lastly, for “Enhanced Accounts”, the limit is 500,000 USDT or equivalent per day. Note that the Enhanced Account’s limit requires both verification and 2FA to be enabled on the account.

Registration

Registering an account on Liqui is simple, and requires a username, email, and password. A confirmation email will be sent to you once you have completed the registration form. And after following the confirmation link in said email, you can begin to trade. Note that new accounts have withdrawal limits that are explained above.

Verification

Liqui has one verification level, the requirements for which are not published. Getting verified begins with a support ticket at their support site. Assume that for verification, the usual information is required. Namely a photo ID and proof of residence.

Interface

Liqui has a soft feel to its interface, which by default is a cool white with blue highlights. Liqui’s interface also offers a dark mode, which can be toggled with the lamp icon at the top of the page. The dark mode maintains the same highlights but trades the light background and dark text for a dark background with light text. Almost all of the interface switches seamlessly, with charts requiring a refresh. Some users may find the dark mode difficult to read, as the contrast between the text and the background is not very high.

On Liquis main trading page, there is a chart and summary front and centre, with buy and sell dialogues below. Further below is an area to select trading pairs, the current order book, trade history, and your personal trade history.

Security

Liqui offers decent security measures, including 2FA. When logging in to your account, without having 2FA configured, you are emailed a security code for that login. The security code is a massive 64 character string, making it safe from brute forcing in the 5 minutes which it works. Two Factor Authentication is offered via Google Authenticator and is simple to set up, using the standard ‘scan this QR code’ approach.

Otherwise, Liqui offers a complete overview of account login activity. Specifically, you can see all active sessions, with the ability to close them, and you can see all login activity, successful or otherwise. Both account information sections have the date, time, and IP address of the occurrence listed.

Coinfloor is a London UK, based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2012. It offers 8 trading pairs, all of which are crypto/fiat. Coinfloor finds itself at number 21 on BlockExplorer’s list of the top 25 cryptocurrency exchanges of 2017.

Coinfloor is a good choice for any UK based trader looking to trade in some of the more well-known cryptocurrencies. Specifically, Coinfloor provides trading pairs for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, and Litecoin. Coinfloor’s markets seem active, with XBT/EUR being the most active trading pair.

Coinfloor

coinfloor cryptoURL: coinfloor.co.uk
Launched: 2012
Trading pairs: 8
Deposit Fees: Yes, for fiat
Withdrawal Fees: Yes, for all
Trading fees: Yes
Verification: Yes, one level
Margin Trading: No

Registration

Registration on Coinfloor is broken up into three steps. Step one requires just an email address and password. Once you have completed step one, you must confirm your email via a link before proceeding to step two. Step two requires you to configure two-factor authentication, and step three requires you to go through Coinfloor’s verification system.

Verification

Coinfloor has a single verification level that is required to trade on the platform. Getting verified is a two-step process that requires a picture of your ID, your full name, your country of residence (including postal code). According to Coinfloor, the verification process should take about a minute for pre-verification in most cases.

Fees

Coinfloor’s trading fee system is broken up into three levels where each level is based on the amount you have traded over the past 30 days. On the low-end, the trading fee is 0.30% of your trading and applies for traders with less than $500,000 USD traded over 30 days. For mid-range, the fee is 0.20%, which applies for traders that have traded between $500,000 USD and $1,000,000 USD over the past 30 days. And on the high-end, for more than $1,000,000 USD traded, the fee applied is 0.10%.

Deposit and withdrawal wise, for cryptocurrencies, there is no deposit fee and there is a small withdrawal fee of 0.0050 of that currency, with a minimum deposit of 0.05 and a minimum withdrawal of 0.0005. Fiat wise, the fees are set per currency and can be seen on Coinfloor’s fee page. Minimum deposit and withdrawal for fiat are 5,000 and 2,000 respectively for every fiat currency that Coinfloor accepts.

Interface

Coinfloor’s trading interface leaves a bit to be desired, the entire site is built on a white and blue theme, with the occasional green accent. And unfortunately, there is no dark mode available, making late night trading sessions heavy on the eyes. The main trading interface has a market depth chart, but no other charts are offered. Below the chart on the left is an order book, with your personal orders filtered to the right. Directly to the right of the chart is an order submission form. And on top is a trading pair selection drop-down.

Security

While Coinfloor does enforce 2FA, there are unfortunately only two supported 2FA methods, and Google Authenticator isn’t one of them. The two choices you do have are Authy and YubiKey, with YubiKey being the star of the two, as it’s a hardware-based second factor. Otherwise, Coinfloor will email you on every login to your account.

On the corporate side, Coinfloor states that it maintains all of its client’s currency in multi-signature cold wallets. Also stated is that its entire system is regularly tested by penetration testers, though it does not state exactly who, aside from ‘a highly regarded penetration testing firm’.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

Ethereum Overview

Ethereum has maintained its position as the second largest cryptocurrency for long enough that it appears firmly established as a stable entity in the cryptocurrency space. In addition to its popularity and significant market capitalization, it is also targeting a slightly different use-case than Bitcoin, meaning it has the potential to forge its own identity, separate from Bitcoin and other contenders.

Purpose

Ethereum was designed from the start as a platform to develop “smart contracts”. Essentially, a smart contract is a way for two people to record any kind of exchange, and with a blockchain being an immutable record, that record can be referenced and verified by anyone. Currency is merely one form of contract, and the main currency on the Ethereum blockchain is their native token, called Ether. While other forms of contract besides currency are theoretically possible, by far the most popular use of this blockchain has been to create new alternate currencies. These additional currencies on the blockchain are referred to as ERC20 tokens. ERC stands for “Ethereum Request for Comments”, and 20 is a number designation for when the standard was created that allowed for new token creation. By using this blockchain, new coins are able to leverage the established trust of Ethereum, which could be seen as an advantage over other coins that start from scratch.

Ethereum is currently the go-to standard for smart contracts and token creation. However, since its creation, there are many new blockchains which aspire to capture the smart contract market, in whole or by focusing on niche applications. Ethereum has a considerable head start, but things can change surprisingly fast in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Technical

Ethereum can be mined on Graphics Processing Units, or GPUs, which are a type of computer chip that has long been available for people to purchase for their computers to improve the visual experience of games, media, and other uses. By making Ethereum available to mine on widely available hardware, it takes advantage of an existing broad base of computing power. However, one disadvantage to using GPUs instead of a dedicated computer chip is that computations are slower and energy consumption is higher, and subsequently it is relatively a more expensive process.

Ethereum encrypts all transactions with a hashing algorithm called Kekkak-256, which provides a similar level of security to the SHA-256 algorithm favored by Bitcoin. Also, like Bitcoin, all transactions are pseudo-anonymous, meaning that users of the system are not named in any way on the system, but the numbered transactions themselves can be viewed publicly on a blockchain explorer. (https://etherscan.io/ for example)

Market

As of May 2018, Ethereum has a market capitalization of roughly 79 billion US, which is less than half of Bitcoin, but more than double the next coin down the list — Ripple, at roughly 3.5 billion. As one goes down the list of coins, the volatility increases exponentially, but Ethereum, near the top, has so far mostly been on the rise for over a year and a half. It is, however, notable that the initial surge in investment in Ethereum coincides with the beginning of the highly fractious scaling debate within the Bitcoin community. While this may simply turn out to be the catalyst that helped launch Ethereum into its own future, it may also indicate that its success may still be contingent on the fortunes of its predecessor, Bitcoin.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

QuadrigaCX is a Vancouver, Canada based cryptocurrency exchange that hosts ten trading pairs. It finds itself at number 20 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 cryptocurrency exchanges of 2017 list.

QuadrigaCX is well equipped for any traders looking to trade with CAD. There are a large number of options for both CAD and USD deposit and withdrawal. QuadrigaCX offers an API for programmatic trading. As such, it is recommended for any level of Canadian trader looking for a local exchange.

QuadrigaCX

quadrigacx cryptoURL: www.quadrigacx.com
Launched: 2013
Trading pairs: 10
Deposit Fees: Yes (Not for crypto)
Withdrawal Fees: Yes (Not for crypto)
Trading fees: Yes 0.2% – 0.5%
Verification: Yes, two levels
Margin Trading: No

Registration

Registering on QuadrigaCX is a single step process that requires an email address, your first and last name, and a PIN that will be used when making transactions.

Verification

There are two methods of acquiring verification on QuadrigaCX. It is recommended you complete both, as some of the fiat funding methods available require you to have completed a specific verification method.

The first verification method is to upload a copy of your ID and a proof of residence. And the second asks you questions about your credit information, provided by Equifax.

Fees

QuadrigaCX does not use the usual maker/taker scheme for its fees. Instead, QuadrigaCX has flat fees for trading pairs. Specifically, 0.5% for BTC/CAD, BTC/USD, ETH/CAD, LTC/CAD, BCH/CAD and BTG/CAD, and 0.2% for ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, BCH/BTC and BTG/BTC.

For deposits and withdrawals, QuadrigaCX charges no fees for crypto or most fiat, with only CAD having fees for some methods. You can see an overview of the fees on QuadrigaCX’s funding page. There are very small minimum limits on crypto deposit and withdrawal, while fiat has both minimums and maximums that change depending on the deposit or withdrawal method used.

Interface

The interface QuadrigaCX provides is an off-white with muted colors. While there is, unfortunately, no dark mode available, the off-white background with muted colors is not as overly bright as some other exchanges.

At the top of the page, you will find information about the currently selected trading pair, a place to select trading pairs and your current balances.

The trading interface is broken into tabs, and unfortunately, there is no way to get a chart, an order book, and an order submission form on the same page. All of the tabs have a vertical design, which leaves a substantial amount of dead space on either side of the interface. Overall, while the trading interface does provide enough information, it could be laid out more efficiently.

Security

QuadrigaCX has excellent security practices. When making any transaction, you are required to enter an additional pin for confirmation. The login page is protected from replay attacks by way of a timeout. You can secure your account with Two Factor Authentication, which can be either email based or Google Authenticator based. And to top it all off, you can have all email sent to you from QuadrigaCX encrypted with your PGP key.

Some ambiguous wording during the registration process implies that you will be emailed both your password and transaction pin. The resulting email does not contain any sensitive information other than your client ID.

Founded in 2014 by the creators of aftermarket.pl, BitMarket is a Polish cryptocurrency exchange that finds itself at number 18 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 cryptocurrency exchanges of 2017 list. This exchange offers 6 trading pairs, all of which are crypto/fiat.

BitMarket has some moderate activity, with almost 100 BTC traded in a single day on its BTC/PLN trading pair. It is recommended for all polish traders, especially those looking for a mid-volume market with a robust API for programmatic trading.

 

BitMarket

bitmarket cryptoURL: BitMarket.net

Launched: 2014

Trading pairs: 6, all fiat/crypto

Deposit Fees: Yes

Withdrawal Fees: Yes

Trading fees: Yes 0.0% – 0.45%

Verification: Yes, three levels

Margin Trading: Yes

Registration

Registration on BitMarket requires a first and last name, an email address, a password, and a current physical address. Once the information is filled out, there are four checkboxes that are required, one of which links to a document that seems to only be available in polish.

Verification

BitMarket has three verification levels, none of which are required unless you want to deposit or withdraw fiat, or are trading more than 15000 EUR in a year.

Verification level one is the simplest to acquire. You are required to send BitMarket a scanned ID that states your current address, or a scanned ID and some proof of residence. For level two, a verification code is sent to your stated address via post. The last verification level is required if you wish to use instant bank transfers to fund your account. Each bank account you want to transfer from has to be verified individually by way of a 1 PLN transfer to BitMarket.

Fees

BitMarket uses the usual Maker/Taker scheme that most exchanges use to structure their trading fees. Specifically, BitMarket bases its fees off of your last 30 days of trading. BitMarket does not state exactly when your current fee bracket is updated. On the low end, makers pay 0.15% for between 0 and 99.99 EUR traded, while takers pay 0.45 for the same. For the high end, over 500,000, makers pay no fees, and takers pay a fee of 0.30%. Margin trades follow the same fees above, with opening a position taking the maker’s fee, and closing a position taking the takers fee. After opening, margin trades pay a daily fee outlined on BitMarket’s fees page

For deposit and withdrawal, the fees you pay depend on the currency and the method of transfer. Cryptocurrencies have no deposit fees and have a small withdrawal fee. For fiat deposit, there is no fee for PLN, while EUR deposits cost between 2 and 5 EUR. Both PLN and EUR pay withdrawal fees, PLN ranging from 2 PLN to 20 PLN, while EUR is a flat 2 EUR.

Limits are set at 100,000,000 PLN or equivalent daily on deposits, aside from cryptocurrencies. And there is a limit of 100,000,000 or equivalent daily for withdrawal on all currencies.

Interface

BitMarket’s interface overall is a very bright white with green and blue accents. There is no dark mode available, meaning that late night trading could be a source of eye strain.

The trading interface feels quite simplistic, with a chart, order submission, order book, and trade history all stacked vertically. The chart itself while informative feels sluggish when changing settings, and overall seems somewhat blurred.

Security

BitMarket seems to have some very trigger happy bot protection in the form of a captcha via Cloudflare. I found myself solving one at least once every three page loads. Otherwise, BitMarket offers Two Factor Authentication by way of Google Authenticator.