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Taking the cryptic out of cryptocurrency

It's always best to approach cryptocurrency with as much information on your side as possible (Image: Shutterstock)
It's always best to approach cryptocurrency with as much information on your side as possible (Image: Shutterstock)

A cryptocurrency is a purely digital version of money. It’s a payment system that doesn’t rely on banks and lets anyone, anywhere send and receive payments. Stored in digital wallets, it got its name from the encryption it uses to verify transactions, keeping things secure.

The first, most traded and most famous cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, released in 2009. Since then, the market seen several growth bubbles. And several crashes. So if you’re interested in investing, you might be nervous of its volatility, complexity and lack of regulation.

A good place to start is to pick a crypto exchange. These are online sites where traders buy and sell digital assets. Some offer the lowest fees. Some trade a large range of currencies. Others provide analysis and research.

Choosing the right crypto exchange for you is vital. Here are some of the most popular but do your own research too. And remember, there’s always a risk in investing, particularly in cryptocurrency, and you should consult a Financial Advisor before investing in anything.


There are two versions of the popular exchange Coinbase. The basic one with educational resources that are particularly good for first-timers. And Coinbase Pro, with extra features for experienced users looking to trade with others.


Easy to use, Iconomi is a beginner-friendly option that offers enough features to make it suitable for advanced traders too. Regulated by the FCA, it has over 150 different cryptocurrencies available for trading. And low trading fees.


Bitget is a reliable exchange that offers more than just trading. It’s been growing in popularity thanks to its advanced interface and innovative features like copy trading. Security is also a strength with a 300 million dollar fund to protect users’ assets.


Gemini’s security is one of the reasons for its popularity. It may have higher fees than competitors but it also has innovations like digital asset insurance in its crypto wallet. And low minimum trade amounts make it a good option for beginners.


The security-conscious will like Kraken thanks to the two-factor authentication for login that make it safer to use. The interface s highly customisable and the fees very reasonable, especially for basic transactions like depositing or making withdrawals. has one of the best support sections of all exchanges, a massive comfort for crypto novices. It’s intuitive too, meaning you can hit the ground running when setting up trading accounts. And offers a wide range of currencies.


Binance has a wide range of cryptocurrencies to trade. But its crucial advantage is its speed. The exchange allows for instant payments that can rival traditional forms that take hours, if not days, to settle. And its fees are particularly low and, in some cases, zero.


eToro has become famous thanks to its social trading feature. Customers can follow fellow traders and put in orders that copy their investments and sales. It also has a low to zero commission structure, meaning fees are competitive.


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