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(Pocket-lint) - Looking to buy some Bitcoin? If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchains, you may struggle with finding the best exchange. It’s important to choose a provider with a good reputation, suitable set of features, and offers the coins you’re most interested in trading.

Exchanging British Pounds for Bitcoin isn’t as simple as it may seem. While Sterling is the fourth most-traded currency in the world, it ranks eighth for Bitcoin on CryptoCompare behind the South Korean Won and Japanese Yen. That makes choosing the right exchange key, as you need one with good liquidity to facilitate trades.


Here are some of the top currency exchanges worth looking at:

1. Binance

Ranked as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, Binance offers a dizzying array of coins. The company claims its matching engine makes it one of the fastest exchanges in the world. It’s ideal for the user looking to diversity their portfolio as much as possible, allowing users to trade Bitcoin for a whole host of alternatives.

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2. Coinbase

The easy-to-use cryptocurrency exchange and wallet shot to the top of the iPhone most-downloaded free apps in December when Bitcoin surged in price to nearly $20,000. It offers four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum. Just put in your bank details, buy, and the coin is delivered to the wallet provided by your account. Coinbase charges 1.49 percent for UK customers on buys and sells, jumping to 3.99 percent for instant card-based purchases.

3. Abra

This app is similar to Coinbase in some respects, offering simple smartphone crypto management. Abra recently launched its all-in-one wallet and exchange app that covers 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies, with giants like Bitcoin and Ethereum joined by smaller “altcoins” like Dogecoin and Vertcoin. It doesn’t charge transaction fees, and Abra makes its money back on the exchange spread. Abra’s system of smart contracts means it could expand to cover all kinds of asset classes in the future, like stocks.

4. QuickBitcoin

Need bitcoins fast? QuickBitcoin can help. The service enables British customers to buy bitcoins in just under an hour, dropping to under 10 minutes for instant bank transfers. Simply provide a wallet address where you want the bitcoins delivered, enter the amount you want, and hit “order”.

5. Kraken

This exchange has been described as the largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of euro volume, and British users can take advantage of this huge market. Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the oldest and it was the first to be listed on Bloomberg’s terminals. It also offers exchange in Ripple, Ethereum, Stellar and more. Its fees are very competitive, going as low as zero, but it tailors its offering to more advanced crypto traders.


Founded in London, 2013, CEX.IO is one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges on the market. CEX.IO is a FinCEN-registered money services business and operates under strict compliance with security standards. It covers 99% of countries and offers a wide range of trading opportunities for Bitcoin and Altcoins, including trading on margin. CEX.IO supports multiple fiat currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, RUB and allows for depositing and withdrawing money via credit cards and bank transfers. Despite a large number of active users (over 1 million) the platform ensures a well-timed support for any issue. 


For the more advanced trader, GDAX is owned by the same company as Coinbase and offers the same cryptocurrency trades. GDAX works more like a traditional stock trading platform, allowing users to place a variety of orders. It also offers far lower trading fees than Coinbase for users that can wrap their head around the interface.

8. LocalBitcoins

Essentially the Gumtree of Bitcoin, LocalBitcoins lists cryptocurrency sellers in the local area to set up exchanges with willing buyers. You can search by a wide variety of payment methods including postal order and gift card post. It’s less restrictive than other exchange methods, but like any other local product exchange, buyers need to watch out for scams.

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Writing by Mike Brown.
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