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"The Ultimate International Guide To Worldwide Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Wallets, Exchanges, Price Comparison Tools, Portfolio Trackers, ATMs, VPNs & Other Services"
 
Written by David Cameron Gikandi on November 1st, 2017
Contents
  • What Is A Wallet? What Is An Exchange?
  •  Everyone Worldwide, Start Here: Get An Easy Start With A Coinbase Wallet
  •  Next, Try An Alternative Online & Mobile Wallet
  •  If You Have Lots Of Value In Coins, Get A Hardware Wallet
  •  For The Daring And Paranoid, Consider A Paper Wallet
  •  To Buy And Sell, Start With The Major Global Exchanges
  •  If The Major Ones Don't Suit You, Try Your Luck On Other Smaller Global & Regional Exchanges
  •  If You Really Can't Find A Suitable Global Exchange, Look At Smaller Continent-Specific Exchanges
  •  Africa
  •  Asia 
  •  Europe 
  •  Middle East
  •  North America 
  •  Oceania/Australasia 
  •  South & Central America
  •  Bitcoin Price Comparison Trackers
  •  Portfolio Trackers
  •  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Get A VPN For Your Laptop, Smart Phone & Tablet Device
  •  Bitcoin ATMs
What Is A Wallet? What Is An Exchange?

There are dozens of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, and new ones are added frequently. However, some of these are either not secure enough, or they have issues here and there, such as slow customer support and so on.

In this guide, we aim at giving you exposure to what is available, good and bad, so you have full choice. 

DISCLAIMER: We take no responsibility for any loss or damages, and we advise you to exercise due diligence and care. We do not test, rate and review every exchange and wallet available, which means we cannot possibly know everything about every wallet or exchange. You are responsible for your experience and due diligence; we simply provide you with information.

A wallet is a website, app, hardware device, or piece of paper where you store your Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies. Watch this short wallet explainer video:


OK, now, what is an Exchange?

An exchange is a websites or app where you can buy, sell or exchange various cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and various fiat currencies like dollars and Euros.
Everyone Worldwide, Start Here: Get An Easy Start With A Coinbase Wallet
The most popular, well-financed, and stable online wallet is Coinbase. Although it accepts users from all countries for storage (wallet) purposes, it has buy/sell (exchange) restrictions for all but 30+ countries. Nevertheless, we advice that no matter which country you are in, create your free Coinbase account anyways, because sometimes it comes in handy even if you are in a non-supported country for exchange services. Also, for newbies, it gives you a good beginner experience, even before you buy your first cryptocurrency. Click here to open your free Coinbase wallet, the most popular and easy-to-use wallet for most people (by using my link, you will also get $10 in free Bitcoin from Coinbase once you fund your account).
Next, Try An Alternative Online & Mobile Wallet

These are more convenient and easier to use than hardware wallets, and they are free to get started with, but we do not recommend that you store thousands of dollars worth of coins on them. Use them for day-to-day use, or for storing small amounts of money, because they make it so easy. But NEVER EVER store large amounts of money, or your entire savings, online or on your mobile. EVER! You have been warned. Why? Because online and mobile wallets can be hacked. Bitcoin cannot be hacked, hardware wallets cannot be hacked, but online and mobile wallets themselves can be hacked, and when they are, you can lose whatever you had stored in them. In addition to hacking, governments can shut down or seize online wallets and their passwords by simply grabbing the wallet provider's database. So, ALWAYS transfer large amounts of coins to a hardware wallet. 

Generally, online/mobile wallets are relatively safe; most people live well with them without any incidents. But because they are online, they do stand the risk of a hacking attack. That wold rarely happen successfully, but if and when it ever does, you don't want your big nest egg sitting online at the time. Hardware wallets are offline.

So, the rule of thumb is: online/mobile for convenience with smaller amounts or regular trading activity, hardware for long term storage of large amounts.

There are literally dozens of wallets! A Google search, or an Android/iOS marketplace search, will give you lots of options, some of which are unsafe and untested. Therefore, instead of listing everything available out there, here are some of the more recognised and safest ones:

Coinbase

Abra

Lykke

Mycelium

Sentinel

Lawnmower

Here is an example of how a mobile wallet looks like:

There is no "best wallet" for everyone. Each wallet has different features and, depending on your needs and tastes, you will, through testing each one, find the one that feels best for you. Many people use more than one wallet; it can be safer and more convenient.

If You Have Lots Of Value In Coins, Get A Hardware Wallet

Hardware wallets are pieces of equipment, usually small enough to keep as a keychain or small hard drive, that store your coins offline. So, instead of storing bitcoins online with a third-party service provider (an online or mobile wallet), you get to keep them offline with you at home or at your office and so on. This adds a layer of protection because you have them the instant you need them, and you are not exposed to any IT risks that an online service may be exposed to, and no government can seize your coins from a hardware wallet, even if they take the hardware wallet from you (unless you volunteer to give them your hardware password). Hardware wallets also have additional backup methods that allow you to retrieve your coins even if you lose the hardware itself. If you have a lot of coins, we VERY STRONGLY recommend you store them on hardware wallets - do not store large amounts on mobile/online wallets.

There are a few hardware wallet manufacturers. The ones that are most recommended are these two:

Ledger

Trezor

Here is what a Ledger wallet looks like, why you should consider getting one, and how to use it:

And to drive the point home, here is how one person lost a small fortune, and how a hardware wallet might have saved him:

For The Daring And Paranoid, Consider A Paper Wallet

OK, this is not for most people - paper wallets can get complicated to make and keep safely. But I figured you need to know that a wallet can be 100% paper. Yes, you actually don't need technology! Regular, good old paper will do. And paper is 100% hack-proof! HOWEVER, it has other risks (you can lose the paper, burn it, get it wet...). Nevertheless, here is the information:

Here is an alternative "how to" video:

To Buy And Sell, Start With The Major Global Exchanges

Generally speaking, most of the times, you are better of buying and selling on a major exchange, because they are usually better managed, safer, and they have a much higher liquidity (more buyers and sellers), which means you can buy and sell faster, at more competitive prices and fees.

OK, let's first address the word "global". Because it can be misleading. Technically speaking, these exchanges CAN accept customers from most countries. But legally speaking, most of them act like old-school regional or local banks when it comes to the KYC rules of setting up your account. They will often prevent you from actually buying cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies (like US dollar, Euro, etc) or selling selling cryptocurrencies for fiat, until you "verify" your account according to old banking rules (KYC).

Verifying an account requires you to upload one or two government IDs, a proof of address such as a recent electricity or water bill, a phone number for 2-factor verification, and so on. This isn't a problem for people who live a conventional life (a job, a long term residence, a fixed phone, a mortgage, etc...), and do so in a systemised or developed country that has residential postal addresses with bills sent to your home in the mail. 

However, it wrecks havoc on people who are not conventional (e.g. digital nomads, frequent travellers, off-grid people, and so on) and therefore don't have fixed address, phone numbers and bills. It also wrecks havoc for people who live in developing or non-Western countries where there is no such thing as proof of address (e.g. in much of Africa, Asia and South America, there are no postal residential addresses, no bills sent to residential addresses, and people pay for their utilities via mobile phone or at the bank and such).

Therefore, so-called "global" exchanges are actually quite limited by their KYC requirements, which were not designed to suit more than half the world's actual way of life. More often than not, the exchanges are more regional than global. Their KYC verification rules actually end up locking out billions of people worldwide, condemning them to financial exclusion, exclusion from the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency revolution. 

They say the KYC rules are their to prevent crime and terrorism. Personally, I think it is rather sad because there are over 4 billion people who already face financial exclusion (access to banking systems) and will NEVER have a residential address and so on, and to exclude all these people on the odd chance that criminals use an exchange is missing the big picture. Criminals are a small handful, perhaps a few thousand worldwide. Regular folk are in the billions. I myself have had a rather hard time getting accepted into most of the major exchanges - they won't let me fund my account with fiat currencies like USD. And I know I'm not a criminal - I am simply a digital nomad who travels the world a lot, so I simply cannot send them the kinds of residential address proof and permanent mobile numbers they ask for, etc. There is a real need here, and hopefully this post inspires some entrepreneurs to open a decentralised exchange with zero KYC requirements, or KYC that relies on social media accounts and such, things that everyone can get, truly global.

So, having said that, which is the "best exchange" for most people in the world? There is no such thing. Each exchange has their own niche and speciality, so look around for what suits you best, uniquely. The only way to know what will work for you is to set up free accounts with them all and see if they accept your country and situation. We do not have all the answers for all countries and all situations and for all exchanges, so just experiment yourself by opening accounts with each exchange and see whether any trade restrictions are imposed or not. Sometimes, you might have to work with two or more exchanges to fulfil your needs.

That said, here is a list of the major ones:

Bittrex

Bitstamp

Poloniex

Changelly

Krakken

Bitfinex

Binance

ShapeShift

Abra

LocalBitcoins *this is a peer-to-peer exchange whereby you buy and sell directly with individuals rather than the marketplace itself like the other exchanges.

Here is an example of what an exchange looks like once logged in:

Just like online and mobile wallets, exchanges can be hacked or seized by governments. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. If you have a lot of coins, we VERY STRONGLY recommend you store them on hardware wallets - do not store large amounts on exchanges.

If The Major Ones Don't Suit You, Try Your Luck On Other Smaller Global & Regional Exchanges

With these smaller exchanges, especially take extra care to make sure your money is safe. Test things with smaller amounts of money first, for example. I have personally had a situation with one of these exchanges (CEX.io) whereby I sent a small test amount of money by bank wire transfer to fund my account and make sure I have all the details right, before starting to trade more. The exchange received the funds but credited my account with the wrong amount (I sent them a test amount of $100 USD but they credited my account with $76 USD, which is 24% less), and for weeks I never got a response to my support ticket. Finally, weeks later, I got a response that didn't actually resolve anything, I replied, and I am awaiting again. Nothing sinister, simply human error on their part, coupled with an overwhelmed customer support department, I assume. So, be careful, these exchanges are not 100% fail proof.

In no particular order, here they are:

BitPanda
LiveCoin
GDAX

OpenLedger (CCEDK)
Cex.io
CoinMama
Paxful
VirWox
Cryptex24
ALFACashier
BitQuick
XMLGold
Unichange.me
AnycoinDirect
CoinMotion

LakeBTC
eToro
QuadrigaCX
HitBTC
Cryptonit
FXopen
DSX
Plus500
Cryptotrader
The Rock Trading
CryptoFacilities
SpectroCoin
IndaCoin
igot
xcoins
Cryptopay

magnr

BTCBear
Whaleclub
Coinut
CoinMate
BitMEX
SimpleFX
Markets.com
AVA Trade
1Broker
BitBay
Exmo

If You Really Can't Find A Suitable Global Exchange, Look At Smaller Continent-Specific Exchanges

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange whereby you buy and sell directly with individuals rather than the marketplace itself like the other exchanges. LocalBitcoins is available in just about every country. But you pay a higher price for your bitcoin purchases (which also means you get get a higher price for selling your bitcoin there). A less-known alternative that works roughly the same is Bisq Network (formerly called BitSquare).

For more regional options, here you go (again, just as with the small global exchanges, be extra careful with these smaller regional exchanges):

Africa

Luno

ice3x.com

NairaEx

BitPesa

Asia

Luno

Coinhako

Binance

Huobi

OKCoin

BTC China

bitFlyer

quoine

Coincheck

bitcoin.co.th

coins.co.th

bx.in.th

coinplug

korbit

Unocoin

Zebpay

Coinsecure

prepaidbitcoin.ph

buybitcoin.ph

coins.ph

coinage

btcexchange.ph

Bitupcard

koinim

BTC Turk

coinbox

coins.my

Bitcoin Vietnam

VBTC

bitcoin.co.id

MaiCoin

BTCX India

Europe

matbea.com

Anycoin Direct

BitIt

BitPanda

BTC Direct

Coinify

CoinMate

HappyCoins

Indacoin

SpectroCoin

Bitcoin.de

BTC-E

Bitcoinbon

Bit2Me

Chip-Chap

bittylicious

Bitcoin Suisse

247exchange

BitMarket

BitBay

bitmaszyna

Cubits

Bitcoins Norway

BTCX

FYB-SE

Btcu.biz

Kuna.io

MaRSe

Middle East

Bits of Gold

Bit2C

BitOasis

BitFils

North America

Glidera

Wallofcoins.com

QuickBT

CanadianBitcoins

Coinsquare

Oceania/Australasia

BTC Markets

Cryptopia

btradeaustralia.com

buyabitcoin.com.au

CoinTree

bitcoin.com.au

CoinJar

Independent Reserve

CoinSpot

Coined.co.nz

Buybitcoin.co.nz

coinhub.nz

mybitcoinsaver.com

NZBCX

South & Central America

Chip-Chap

Volabit

Bitso

SatoshiTango

Bitex

Mercado Bitcoin

FlowBTC

FOXBIT

Ripio

SurBitcoin

SurBTC


There you go! The above is a comprehensive list, but it is not exhaustive. I am sure there are other exchanges out there, with new ones launched every so often. But the above should be more than enough to get you started, or at least aware of the terrain.

Bitcoin Price Comparison Trackers

Now that you can see just how many different exchanges there are out there, you can also probably guess that the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is different from exchange to exchange. So, how do you compare the prices if you need to?

Use these services to make your price comparisons:

Bitcoin Charts

Bitcoin Average

Bitcoin Wisdom

Bitcoinity

Bitcoin Ticker

Winkdex

Portfolio Trackers
This part is very easy. It is entirely optional, but I find it useful.

Portfolio trackers help you track your portfolio of cryptocurrencies, especially if you have many different ones. You might have some coins on Coinbase, others on your Ledger hardware wallet, others on some exchanges, maybe some on a paper wallet, and so on. How do you keep track of the value of all of these?

You use a portfolio tracker!

Why? Because if you have a hardware wallet, for example, your coins are nice and safe, but you have to manually calculate their value etc when you wish to analyse your portfolio. I don't like doing manual work when I don't have to :)

Why not have a tool that keeps a record of your portfolio automatically, does all the math for you, for all your coins, wherever they may be?

Here are some cool portfolio trackers, all of them free. Try them all, and pick the ones that feel best for you:

AltPocket

Blockfolio

Delta

Coin Ticker

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Get A VPN For Your Laptop, Smart Phone & Tablet Device

A VPN is perhaps the best way available to you to make sure than no one (hackers, government, etc) is snooping on your online activity as you set up your wallets, enter your usernames and passwords, send and receive Bitcoins, and so on. A VPN makes it very, very difficult for hackers and governments and so on, to poke their noses into your online activity - or to prevent you from accessing certain resources. Therefore, we highly recommend that you install a VPN on all your devices (mobile, laptop, tablets, desktop), and do so BEFORE you start setting up your wallets and passwords, etc.

Watch this video to learn what a VPN is, how it works, and how it helps you stay safe:

Again, we HIGHLY recommend you have a VPN installed and switched on, in all your devices, BEFORE you start setting up your wallet and exchange account passwords and trading cryptocurrencies. Here is a list of VPNs you can install in minutes. If you already set up accounts before installing a VPN, that's fine; simply change your account passwords after you activate your VPN.

Bitcoin ATMS
It's All About How You Play The Game
Want to Learn More? Here You Go:
 
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