The word “altcoin” is an abbreviation of “Bitcoin alternative,” and thus describes every single cryptocurrency except for Bitcoin. Altcoins are referred to as Bitcoin alternatives because, at least to some extent, most altcoins hope to either replace or improve upon at least one Bitcoin component.
Even though Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptocurrency right now, there is a growing demand for so-called altcoins as well. In some cases, it can be quite difficult to find a good exchange that supports the altcoin one wants to trade. Below is a list of what we deemed to be the best alternative cryptocurrency exchanges to date. Always do your own research before using these companies, though, and do not store funds longer in an exchange wallet than needed.
One of the more commonly overlooked exchange platforms is Exmo. The company has been around for over two years, and the team is based in Spain. The platform is home to various cryptocurrency trading markets, including Dash, Ethereum and Dogecoin. What is even more intriguing is how all of these currencies can be traded against the US Dollar directly. Although Exmo generates far less volume than some other platforms, it is an important exchange to keep an eye on.
One of the longest-running exchanges supporting multiple cryptocurrencies is BTC-E. Among the currencies supported altcoins are the likes of DASH, Litecoin, and Ethereum. All of these supported altcoins can be traded against Bitcoin, as well as fiat currency pairs. BTC-E is one of the exchanges with a very active chat box, which users should always make use of before depositing funds on this platform.
Although most traders use Kraken as a platform for Bitcoin exchange purposes, the company has enabled support for various altcoins in recent times. As of right now, Kraken supports quite a few different cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum Classic, Ripple, ZCash, Monero and others. All of these trading pairs can be traded against Bitcoin, as well as Euro and US Dollar currencies. So far, Kraken has not been overly successful in the altcoin trading market, yet they are one of the primary fiat currency gateways for these currencies right now.
When one talks about trading altcoins, the conversation will eventually turn towards Bittrex at some point. Many altcoin experts consider Bittrex to be a platform bringing great attention to individual currencies, as it attracts so many traders. Every currency listed on Bittrex will see a lot of trading volume in the first few weeks. Depending on how successful the currency is, and how active the developers are, these altcoins may move on to bigger and better things as time progresses.
It is impossible to look into trading altcoins and not use the Poloniex exchange these days. Although Poloniex does not list every single altcoin in existence – which is a good thing – they are the premier exchange when it comes to trading alternate cryptocurrencies. Poloniex was also one of the first platforms to support Ethereum classic after the Ethereum hard fork.
Among the top currencies listed on Poloniex are Monero, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Litecoin, Factom, and Maidsafe, to name a few. The platform generates a high amount of Bitcoin trading volume every single day. Moreover, some of the “mainstream altcoins” even make it onto Poloniex’s lending and margin trading markets, allowing them to gain even more exposure over time.