What Are Exchanges & Why Are They Needed

Exchanges are market places where digital-assets investors meet. Coincidentally, the soaring and surging of the online platforms from the crypto-verse coincide with an era of significant access to the internet and computer infrastructure worldwide. Therefore, by online presence, investors in cryptocurrencies have access to 24 hours – 7 days cycles of opportunities via exchanges.

Initial exchanges are built on the model of forex platforms – enabling traders to combine dashboards with views of indicators and digital-asset pairs for trading.

Crypto-exchanges follow suit with the universal law of demand and supply, which informs the value and volumes traded per day for each cryptocurrency.

Past 2017, the crypto-exchanges advanced and introduced more products like futures and options. You’ll find impressive arrays of investment opportunities arising from the existence of the crypto-exchange platforms.

The crypto-verse requires exchanges. The main reason why the entire cryptocurrency industry needs them is the formation of capital and its channeling. And various models help pool capital for the whole of the market.

Exchanges play the role of tapping in capital from many separate actors and accumulate it into a single platform where various stakeholders meet at points of common interest. They are vital pillars at facilitating liquidity requirements across all crypto-stakeholders. For instance, if you need to exchange Bitcoin for Tether, the place you find help is via an exchange. And the reverse to it also requires an exchange.

Specifically, exchanges act as primary markets – where firms in need of capital meet. Brokers and exchanges fall into that primary category. The secondary category of markets comprises day to day traders.

Over the past decade, the ease of access to computing and internet networking has radically revolutionized the exchange industry. On a similar scale, the first decade of Bitcoin and Altcoin blockchains contributes to another revolutionary layer of crypto-products.

 How Do Exchanges Work

Exchanges provide users with the platforms to facilitate the interplay where parties interested in cryptocurrencies initiate and close trade deals. However, one significant departure with digital-assets is the lack of a central coordination center or a central data-bank in ordinary circumstances.

Dealing with cryptocurrencies requires one to open an account. So, the place you open an account is with an exchange of your choice.

Since digital assets are verified and transferred online, your exchange platform provides security layers for account holders to adhere to. More or less similar to what ordinary banks provide you as PINs and 2-Factor authentication options.

Following is a brief overview of the undertakings of generic activities that account holders require to be fully conversant with. Of course, in-depth stuff happens with platform developers. Next, find generic but helpful guides that apply across the board with crypto-exchanges:


Crypto-investors require capital for their accounts, and they have to present (deposit) it into an account on the exchange platform.

Most platforms allow crypto-currency funding or deposits, while others help traders convert fiat money into the digital assets of the exchange platform’s choice. Many flexible options exist for funding accounts, including accepting credit/debits card transfers or online bank transfers.

When you deposit fiat, an exchange will guide you on converting it into the crypto-money of your choice. The applicable rate will be spot – or the real-time rate depending on your day and conversion time.

While some modes of deposits like online transfers reflect instantly, others like bank transfers may take longer, relative to the regulations and infrastructures.

In case one gets hitches while transferring fiat or crypto to fund an account, good customer care from an exchange should help you resolve that in real-time.

Buying, selling & fees

Most exchanges get incomes by charging small percentages of fees to traders. When you buy or sell a cryptocurrency via an exchange, know the amounts they charge you. Since there are many exchanges, shop around to see whose fees schedule suits you.

On rare but increasingly common instances, exchanges allow traders to do it for free. Platforms share the information via their social connections like Twitter and Facebook.

The small but cumulative fees help exchange platforms meet costs like security audits, hiring system developers, customer support, marketing teams, and general administration staff.


Account verification is a requirement across most exchanges. And, exchange platforms put in place mechanisms to verify account ownership and authenticity of transactions.

Verifications help with both system and digital assets security. It all has to do with making sure your logins are filtered with a layer to help keep robots and insecure processes from facilitating illegal access and transfer of your crypto-currencies.

Google-recaptures wade off robots as well as email verifications. Account-holders should not take offense with the verification methods that exchanges adopt. Those conform to due diligence on the part of the exchange platform to help keep everything safe.

Withdrawal to bank

Over time, crypto-investors have had banks buy into the idea of blockchain opportunities. Especially in nations where crypto is taken as legal as they pay taxes, exchanges allow transfer into bank accounts for withdrawals.


Credible exchanges should not limit withdrawal mechanisms, and that includes bank accounts. More or less applies to the reverse to bank deposits to transfer into crypto-exchanges.

Commercial banks would act within limits under their parent central banks’ regulations within whose jurisdiction they perform.

Withdrawal to wallet

Every owner of digital assets must have a wallet into which they can withdraw crypto. Since the crypto-verse has no resident bank, you otherwise may withdraw and transfer as much as you own in cryptocurrency – no limits like the case with banks.

And various forms of wallets exist, where knowing the security levels for each is very helpful.

Hot wallets have live internet connections, and traders cite them as the riskiest.


Your cryptocurrency, being digital, can be stolen swiftly without your knowledge. A wallet provided by your exchange is a hot wallet.

Cold storages have no connections to the internet, and traders cite them as the safest for your cryptocurrencies. It’s also a great tip to choose a cold wallet with a reliable security layer – 2-factor authentication.

What are the critical differences between Exchanges & How to decide which one is suitable for you

One significant similarity across crypto- exchanges is – they lack a centralized controller. Their transaction records are updated on the public ledger – the blockchain.

But, Crypto exchanges are different. How?

First, crypto-exchanges differ from their user interfaces. Every exchange has its system protocols, which may extend to branding colors. Others have unique features, purposefully helpful to investors/people who may be physically challenged.

Second, crypto-exchanges vary with the array of products they offer. Some offer crypto to crypto swaps, while others allow speculators to take on CFD crypto-products with speculation.

Third, crypto-exchanges vary regarding their policies on fee charges. And by extension, the privacy policies also differ with each, albeit the common phrases cutting across the board.

Customer support varies; some may have excellent teams, while others are non-existent.

On a very significant scale, crypto-exchanges differ on the levels of traders’ detail-requirements. It’s a benchmark best known as KYC or Know Your Customer policy. There are stringent requirements, while others are very relaxed. Mostly this is informed by the level of national regulations in place to guide and protect crypto-investors.

How to Choose My Best Exchange


Crypto investor-tastes are as varied as there are many exchanges available for them. So when it comes to choosing the best, several variables stand out:


  • How secure is the exchange platform?
  • Can you afford their fee charges comfortably?
  • Is customer care adequately responsive?
  • How is the platform’s uptime?
  • Do you appreciate their Know Your Customer policy?
  • Look out for honest reviews from reputable consumer rating platforms.

Quite much, but thinking through each and with bits of insights and actual experiences from other users, you can gauge if an exchange meets your best category.


Countries allowed, deposit methods, range of coins, security, volume, centralized vs. decentralized, mobile app, the complexity of the site.


Nations vary in the status regarding regulations on exchanges and cryptocurrencies. The range involves countries that allow, partially allow, or disallow and those with total bans.

Globally, the top twenty leading economies host various exchanges and regulations and lead to the exchanges adhering to minimums regarding exchange management, trading account owners, and their details.


  1. Canada


  1. Britain
  2. Australia
  3. USA
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Singapore
  6. Mexico
  7. Russia
  8. Argentina
  9. Turkey
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Italy
  13. Nigeria
  14. Iran
  15. Venezuela
  16. Malta
  17. Bermuda
  18. Switzerland
  19. Georgia
  20. Seychelles



A reputable exchange should offer you a vast array of coins and tokens. The best places to find necessary information are lists likecoingecko.com and coinmarketcap.com. From the list, you can navigate to the official sites for the coins and tokens to look up for more details from value content like the whitepapers and roadmaps. Two other metrics with reputable digital-assets pertains to the total market capitation and also daily trading volumes.

Every crypto-enthusiast should hold critical facts regarding the security of any digital-asset or product. Further, be handy enough to know how to maintain and keep it safe from unauthorized transfers. If you are unsure of an asset, search for it via lists of scummy ICOS like cryptochainuni.com. It should be part of due diligence to take all matter crypto-security with caution.

The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger. However, it has shortcomings like Bitcoin and slow mining speeds and heavy power consumption. The real picture is, crypto-enthusiasts were quick to notice the lag, and it’s the real reason why Altcoins exist to fix on shortcomings.

Initial exchanges were centralized, and over time, more of them are advancing into decentralized servers. It helps since no party can ransom all the servers in one moment, thus limiting chances of censure.

Most credible exchanges open an array of interfaces for users. For instance, apart from web interfaces, they also allow users via mobile platforms like Android and iOS with smart integration like QR- quick response codes and telegram bots for security and procedure authentication.

When it comes to site complexity, it depends on the user experience UX of the developers behind the exchange system. Some sites may work with a caution against DDOs attacks, away from the complexity with reading charts and indicators. Typical instances involve deploying IP scanners and cloud flare technologies. One of them is Tether.io.

Advance features like margin trading

It’s rare to find an exchange without margin trading. The reality is, many exchanges give a bonus when you open accounts with them. Therefore, competition and the cutting edge present as the amount of freedom with the number of times you can leverage or multiply your advantage opportunities. Leveraging is very common with futures contracts.

What are the risks of using an exchange


As reputable as they are, exchanges can get hacked. In October 2019, Bitmex, a very reputable exchange, slipped into a dangerous spell with exposure to the account holder’s details. It’s just that risky, and you may not be sure if everything is air-tight enough.

There’s an excellent counter-measure, though.

The rule of thumb is to keep as much as you require transacting on your exchange wallet, and storing it away in a credible cold storage wallet.

At individual levels, master the basics of crypto-security. It’s pretty unwise to open, install and transact with, say, an electrum wallet using a PC in a cyber-client you do not own!

Hacking, in general, can easily extend into your digital-assets virtual space. If unauthorized parties have the administrator passwords to your operating system, change them. In rare but very detrimental situations, Keyloggers and Trojans are a considerable betrayal regarding both wallets and exchange access security credentials.

Also, be wary of screen share programs like Anydesk and TeamViewer. Quite beneficial programs but ensure you limit access to systems you use to access wallets and exchanges. Similar, but equally important care should apply to browsers. Do you save every password on Chrome?

Not controlling your coins until you withdraw

Keep tabs on your digital assets from time to time. Aside from storing with cold wallets, bolster access to the cold storage physically. Smart enough, ensure you confirm balances in them and if everything else is okay.

The bare minimum should be, keep your access to private and public keys as you should with the passwords to your wallets. At the worst, if you do paper wallets, keep them in safe custody, and limit access to the keys’ printouts.

 Other FAQs

  1. How much do crypto exchanges make?
  2. It’s not straightforward to establish how much crypto-exchanges earn. However, it must be a considerable portion of the entire pie. Exchanges have the advantage of leveraging on the minute transaction costs and coupling that with trade volumes.

On a reasonable scale, the exchange should transform into a form of passive income stream- of course, with assumptions of the upfront and successful marketing and adoption of your exchange with significance.


  1. Can I start a crypto exchange?
  2. Yes, with current access to technology and equipment, you can start one. Leveraging on technology makes the whole dream closer to reality. From a critical look, ordinary PCs are pretty easy to turn into nodes. Other probable avenues would work with a smart wallet product while upscaling on everything towards a fully-fledged crypto-exchange. One prime point of focus should be the water-tight security of digital-assets, and that should help your project create confidence with prospects.


  1. How best can I promote my Cryptocurrency exchange?
  2. First, have in place an excellent value creation project in the name of a crypto-exchange. Marketing and doing it right are two different metrics. At this age, you can hive of a solid marketing plan and fund it with correct timing and targeting. Bootstrapping doesn’t mean the most expensive teams around. Lean on to handy experiences of the past. And this has always been a gem, leverage right with organic traffic.