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10 of the best bitcoin & cryptocurrency brokers

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If you’ve looked over a ‘how to get started in cryptocurrency’ guide you’ll realise that finding a broker is an important part of the process.

Crypro brokerages are also an extremely competitive area – which means big marketing campaigns, affiliate schemes – and plenty of websites telling you exactly who to use. Sadly, it’s pretty obvious that most of those things point you in the direction of whoever’s spending the most money to get you onboard – not always the best choice for you!

Rather than point you in one direction or another, we’ll run you through 10 of the most reputable brokers and exchanges currently operating – and give you a few pointers that might help you make your decision.

Coinbase

In terms of established names, you won’t find many more solid than Coinbase. They’ve got a nice and simple step by step process that sees you create a digital wallet, connect your bank account then start buying currency.

Coinbase only trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin at the moment – so if you’re looking for something less well-known, you might be better starting somewhere else. For the 3 big currencies, Coinbase is a good bet.

CEX.io

CEX.io is another well known name in crypto – and has the enviable record of having never lost any user’s funds to theft. Combine that with a 99.999% service availability and CEX.io presents as a very safe and dependable choice.

The site meets financial legal compliances in some of the most stringent countries in the world too – so you’ve got more than just a few good reviews backing your choice of broker up.

Localbitcoins

Reading a Localbitcoins review will make it clear that this isn’t your average crypto broker site – instead, the service is a true peer-to-peer bitcoin trading service.

Imagine a classified site but entirely for Bitcoin – the site allows users to post advertisements offering their own exchange rate and payment methods. Localbitcoins consider themselves the future of Bitcoin trading – a peer-to-peer service for a peer-to-peer currency.

Wall of Coins

Wall of coins cite themselves as being the most trusted crypto marketplace on Earth – and a bit part of that is the way they handle their customers and their coins.

A lot of brokers offer a wallet that doesn’t offer you direct access to your coins and their keys – but Wall of Coins does. Not only that, but all coins are held in ‘cold’ storage – an unmarked secure facility with the highest level of security. A lot of companies that hold coins offline take a while to grant access and begin transactions – which can be limiting – but Wall of Coins offer access within 15 minutes – impressive speed.

Coinhouse

Coinhouse is one of the few crypto exchanges that’s based in France – and it’s run by Ledger, the team behind the Ledger Nano S – one of the most highly thought of hardware wallets on the market. As such, you can sleep easy knowing your currency and details are in safe hands.

Coinhouse deliver your currency immediately, meaning you’re free to spend your time as you wish – rather than sitting around waiting for your account to credit. They comply with regulations throughout Europe and the USA and pledge no hidden fees – so what you see is very much what you’re going to pay.

ItBit

ItBit crank up the authority on their site and through their marketing material by concentrating on financial organisations and Bitcoin trading professionals. They’re regulated throughout the US and offer bespoke services for clients who are trading serious numbers of Bitcoin.

ItBit very much put themselves forward as the next level of crypto exchanges – and part of that is their high level of customer support. If you need help – they’ve got dedicated customer support representatives available online or via the phone at any time of the day or night.

Twin their levels of customer care with the fact that they were the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in the US – and you’re onto a safe bet.

Changelly

Changelly is a little different to the other services on this list – in that it doesn’t trade in traditional currencies whatsoever – so your GBP, USD or EUR is no good here!

Instead, you’ve got the chance to find some exceptional exchange rates between digital currencies – better than the services that deal with standard debit and credit card transactions. When you visit the site you can enter the currency and amount you wish to trade from – and you’ll get a real time indication of how much you can expect out from your desired coin.

Because Changelly doesn’t actually hold any coin – all transactions are facilitated directly with the relevant user and trading platform – protecting user anonymity. This is a good review of Changelly that we would highly recommend that you read. 

Coinmama

Although Coinmama only sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, they pride themselves on ease of use and speed – so if you don’t have the time to sit around making sure each step of the process is going to plan, you might find yourself right at home here.

Select an amount, click ‘buy now’, enter your card details and you’re done. Plus, you can quickly and easily track the status of any order. Simplicity at its finest.

Bitpanda

Where most exchanges only accept Visa, Mastercard and PayPal – Bitpanda are happy to accept any one of 10 payment options – from Skrill to SEPA.

Bitpanda came to life after its founders – all Bitcoin enthusiasts – discovered how difficult it could be buying Bitcoin in Europe. The service is fully automated – as soon as you submit your payment you’re automatically credited with the cryptocurrency of your choice. Their homepage has an exceptionally detailed FAQs section that will take you through any uncertainties you have about the platform.

Bitquick

As you might be able to guess from the name, Bitquick is another service that prides itself on a quick turnaround time for customers – and while they don’t claim to be instant – you can get the transaction time for their 10 latest orders on their site – and it’s usually less than 20 minutes.

One of the big factors that sets Bitquick aside from anyone else is that fact that they handle cash – real cash, transferred to their account – rather than credit or debit card transactions that require the card issuer as an intermediary. You can expect some ID checks if you’re dealing with massive figures – but that’s to be expected – and there aren’t many exchanges that handle cash transactions so quickly and safely.

What does the future of the news publication industry look like?

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The impact of social media and broadcast news sites on the way news is reported is undeniable. The style in which news articles are written and the mediums through which these stories are shared have drastically changed in the last 15 years. But likewise, the platforms showcasing news stories have also continued to evolve, keeping up with the needs and wants of the reader. So, what does the future of the news industry look like will it be online like other publications such as https://proefabonnementkrant.com/telegraaf/?

Messaging

For the first time ever, more people used messaging apps than social media in 2015. Since that initial month, messaging apps have continued to reign supreme over social networks, pulling in more and more users every month.

For platforms like Facebook, which has more users reading the news on its site than any other social network, this isn’t bad news. That’s because Facebook also happens to have its very own integrated messaging system, which is highly popular. It also owns WhatsApp. These two messaging platforms pull in 800 million and 900 million users respectively. With Facebook leading the way when it comes to news stories, perhaps the future involves taking these stories to their messaging apps. Users could set their notification preferences based on the type of news story, be it urgent, international, celebrity gossip etc.

Audio News

In the past few years, publishers have invested heavily in their video content. But with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home finding their way into people’s houses, is this due to change and the focus shift to audio news?

Some companies have already begun experimenting with audio news stories, with the liked of The New York Times creating multiple podcast series. This includes their series named The Daily, which provides listeners with a 25-minute update on current news. A new episode is released five days a week.   

There has also been a boom in audio investment when it comes to automobiles. It is estimated that 20% of vehicles in the US are currently connected to the internet, though the goal is for this to be 100% by the year 2025. Content creators have felt the benefits of the increase in internet access, with Pandora’s VP of Business Development stating that “Automotive is our fastest-growing listening category.” With Pandora known for its personalised content, is this a precursor for the future of news reporting? Will we soon be listening to our own personalised version of the news?

Further Personalisation

Anonymity is a thing of the past when it comes to the internet. While people may refer to trolls ‘hiding behind their keyboards’, websites are collecting huge amounts of data on users. Creating accounts on websites gives information such as your birthdate, ordering packages passes along your home and/or work address. Your subscription to Birchbox gives an insight into your consumer choices, and your frequent visits to Ladbible.com highlight your sense of humour. All of this data is collected online and used to create tailored suggestions for content you’d enjoy. Facebook in particular enjoy using the information from your likes and links to get to know you better, and will continue to provide what it deems the most useful news stories for each person. The need for add-on tools like Feedly and Flipboard suggest there’s still some way to go with perfect this personalisation.

What else will change?

Just as social media decided to get in on the action, it is likely that other companies will adapt to the growing trend of finding news online. Companies not previously associated with the traditional news publications will begin branching out into the news industry. There are two reasons that this is likely. Firstly, companies will try to keep readers on their website. This will help them improve their user stats, find out more about user demographics, increase the price for advertisers with banners on their site, grow the company’s reputation. The list goes on. The second reason that sites will begin offering their own news section is to keep the readers happy. That’s because leading readers away to a different site requires additional seconds for the content to load. According to Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook “People don’t want to wait that long so a lot of people abandon news before it has even loaded.” No wonder Facebook’s news summaries can be seen on everyone’s main feed.

This overlap may also happen in the other direction, with traditional news publishers branching out to increase revenue. This could be a necessary step for news companies. Indeed 60% of publishers believe that monetization will be their biggest challenge, thanks to the increased use of ad blockers, low ad rates on mobiles and high levels of competition. There are a number of ways companies can evolve to increase revenue, such as:

  • Becoming event organisers. Many publishers have run their own events, such as Stylist Live and Forbes’ Summit Conferences.
  • Launching their own creative agencies. These are created to produce branded content. Examples of this include the Huffpost Partner Studio and Vice’s Virtue team.
  • Opening research institutes. These teams conduct high-level research, which supports the news generated by the publisher. The Economist’s version is known as the Intelligence Unit.
  • Creating teams to build and analyse user data. At Buzzfeed, the team is building technology that can detect web trends and connects users with content they’re most likely to enjoy.

While there’s inevitable change coming to the news publication industry, some things are expected to remain the same thanks to the high-standards set by traditional publishers. While people want content to be available quickly and news broadcasts streamed in real-time, digital publishers continue to pursue the credibility of traditional publishers, raising the bar in journalism. There has been a steady decline in journalism jobs over the past many decades, but a regrowth of the industry to cope with the changes could be a very real future. Only time will tell.

Protecting Your Finance Start-Up from Hackers

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Anyone who owns or operates a business will have some worry that crime will have a detrimental effect on its operations, but this is normally attributed to burglaries, unsavoury employees and vandalism. However, as the online world evolves, so does the role of a criminal.

It should come as no surprise that crime occurs within the online hemisphere especially in the finance industry with so much secure data being at risk.

However, there’s are millions of businesses who just aren’t prepared for the 2st century when it comes to cyber-crime, or don’t have the proper IT support services in place to handle such an attack.

Many assume that hackers are some sort of mastermind, but the truth is that they look for loopholes in security and the information freely available, albeit from an online perspective. As such, not having the right kind of security in place is akin to leaving the doors of your business unlocked overnight.

Similarly, the upsurge of cyber-crime can also dissuade business owners from adopting the Internet and the benefits it has to offer. While this is understandable, it shouldn’t stand in the way of expanding your business, you simply need to be aware of what precautions to take.

Encrypt Your Company Data

Encrypting your data may seem like an obvious solution, but it’s a vital one to ensure prying eyes are locked of your business affairs. Some may not be aware that popular operating systems such as Windows and MacOS come with their own encryption, called BitLocker and FileVault respectively.

The information on the device will be encrypted once a user has logged out of the system. Of course, those who forget to log out of their system could be open to attack. Fortunately, you can tweak your settings to ensure the device logs out automatically should there be no activity over a set period.

This simple measure will ensure that your sensitive information is not giving potential hackers food for thought.

Secure Your Network

While Wi-FI offers many benefits to business owners, it can also present its own set of problems if not implemented in the right way.

Understanding the network being used can mean that you are able to do more when it comes to securing your data. When wireless was introduced, it was of course a new way of connecting to the Internet, so the fact that it had some shortcomings is not surprising. Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP is a security algorithm which while potentially secure, has fell victim to numerous hackers.

Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA is a successor to WEP, and essentially offers a more secure network as a whole. If you have devices that can’t adopt the WPA network, it may be worth upgrading your equipment.

You should also consider turning off your service set identifier (SSID) to create a hidden network, which will ensure that only users in possession of the network name will be able to connect.

Ensure Your Devices are Secured

While having to log into a device each time you use it can seem inconvenient, it’s actually the way forward when it comes to protecting your business. Just as hackers prey on businesses online, they will also look to enter premises where hardware is held. Locking down the information contained within the devices ensures that company information isn’t falling into the wrong hands.

You can also consider implementing a third-party who is experienced in ensuring that digital data is kept secure, as well as installing safeguards to help deter potential thieves. These can include specific data-encrypted devices that would be useless to a criminal, as well as additional feature such as snapshotting thieves via webcams and smartphones.

Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware is a Must-Have

Viruses and malware are nothing new to the online domain, but this doesn’t mean the threat has decreased. There are many avenues that can introduce unwanted viruses and malware into a business’s network. These can include emails, websites and social networks.

Both viruses and malware have become more evolved and sinister, so while there is little a startup can do about such sinister introductions into the digital world, it can put itself in position where it’s less susceptible to attacks from unknown sources.

This is why it’s important to ensure that we have antivirus and anti-malware software installed on all devices used within the business.

Once the software has been installed, we then need to ensure that updates are installed as and when they’re released. This is because such updates are vital to combat current threats. Failing to update our software can be as detrimental as not having it all.

A Firewall Is Your First Line of Defence

A firewall is the bridge between your business and irrelevant data. Simply having access to the Internet can be a threat in itself, and those without a firewall are leaving their information to risk. Although we can do a lot to ensure we are only carrying out safe browsing, we can’t assume that this will always be the case. It’s also worth remembering that attacks are on the network as a whole, and not one particular advice.

Having a firewall in place help syphon out unwanted attacks, often dealing with the problem before it ever occurs. Of course, to have the best line of defence, we have to have the right software installed. While the basic firewall that comes with many home systems will suit the everyday users, those who are running a start-up may want to invest in a more robust, business solution.

Don’t Promote Your Admin Pages

Hackers have to get their information from somewhere, and in many instances, it can be located within Google, which means that your current web operations need to be amended. While a business has to ensure marketing material has to be promoted, this doesn’t mean the admin pages have to be.

Using the robots-txt file ensure that the bots used by Google disregard ay pages deemed sensitive, making it more difficult for hackers.

You can find out about such measures online. If you’re not too confident in carrying out the work yourself, then why not consider the services of a third party.

Why Hire an SEO Agency?

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When looking for ways to promote your website online, search engine optimisation is a term that will come up regularly. Many assume that SEO is something that can be undertaken by themselves, and in some instances, this is true. However, many have found that there are more benefits available to them when employing the services of an SEO agency.

An SEO Agency Has Experience

Although there is a slew of advice online when it comes to SEO, there still had to be a learning phase. This means that your operations could be minimal in the interim, only to find that everything you’ve learned in the last few months is now considered outdated. Using the expertise of an SEO agency allows you to take advantage of its experience and methods, that will have been fine-tuned and perfected over the years.

This allows a business to hit the ground running, and start marking pathways in the online world sooner rather than later. Of course, we should have realistic expectations, and a reputable SEO agency will have no issue in advising the timeframe in which you can expect to see results.

SEO Agencies Can See Thing from the Customer’s Perspective

While there can be a lot of elements of SEO you can take undertake yourself, it’s not always about strategies. It’s also about being able to understand the customer, and what they expect from an online entity. For example, Keep SEO Simple an SEO agency in Scotland have had several years’ experience in dealing with many different companies, meaning that an SEO agency is a position to tailor your strategy to meet the demands of the modern-day consumer.

This can involve several different factors, depending on what type of business you have, and the type of message you wish to convey. However, those who employ the services of a reputable SEO agency can be confident that a bespoke strategy is put in place that strikes the right chord with your online audience,

Be Introduced to New Ideas

To some, SEO can seem like a monotonous task that involves the same old practices. The truth is that the Internet is forever evolving, and the art of SEO is something that is always changing, albeit it for the better. Numerous search engine updates mean that customers are now offering content that is of value to online users. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your company to new customers. Have you ever considered the opportunities social media platforms have to offer? Or maybe there’s a new technology that you wish to make use of. It’s not uncommon for SEO to work alongside marketing in many ways, and there can even be instances where the two overlap. 

Using an SEO Agency Can Be More Cost-Effective Than an In-House Team

Some may be under the impression that using an SEO agency is more expensive than hiring an in-house team, but it can actually be cheaper. This isn’t to say that certain businesses can’t benefit from an in-house team, but it’s about assessing what suits you and your company best. An in-house team can mean a constant expense that needs to be met, regardless of whether there is work available or not. Of course, you could advertise for a temporary role, but this isn’t very appealing to those who are looking for more security when it comes to their job role.

An SEO agency is normally quite flexible when it comes to terms and conditions of the contract. While you should note that there is very little point in employing the services of an SEO agency for a month or so, as it’s unlikely it will be able to make that much progress in such a small amount of time. However, this doesn’t mean that you should have to continue paying for a service each month that you don’t need. Dealing with right kind of SEO agency will ensure that the service on offer is tailored to your needs, while staying within your budget.

Greater Potential for a Profit

Some companies may only have a web presence because they assume that is all that is needed, but regardless of how great your website is, it’s not really serving a purpose if no-one is visiting the website. Using an SEO agency allows you to understand just how much opportunity your website can offer, and support you in finding ways of ensuring your website is generating a profit. Regardless of whether your website contains news, or sells the latest video game console, an SEO agency will know how to get the best from your website, ensuring that you’re generating a profit wherever possible.

Only the Right Practices Are Used

Whether we’re paying for a cheaper service, or implementing SEO strategies, there could be instances where the strategies being used are not having the desired effect. For example, those new to the world of SEO will probably read that a website can benefit from backlinks, and for the most part this is true. Backlinks are a great way of telling search engines such as Google what websites have linked to your business website. This could be in the form of sharing content, or even social media shares. However, the value is in the backlink itself, as opposed to how many there are.

It’s not unusual to see one-off services that offer business owners hundreds of backlinks for their website, however if these backlinks are considered untrustworthy, then all it will really do is cause your website to decrease in popularity. An SEO agency will ensure that only white-hat SEO tactics are used, meaning that your site is optimised to meet with the regulatory requires of Google and other search engines.

Using an SEO agency to carry out your SEO can mean that your website is gaining popularity sooner rather than later, while being optimised to ensure that rankings stay strong when it comes to search results.