Category Archives: Services

Two New Exchanges Start Trading LTC/USD

It has been a very frenetic weekend for exchanges.  Two new exchanges have started trading the LTC/USD currency pair.   I previously surveyed several exchanges in the post “A Survey of Crypto Currency Exchanges“.   In this post, I make a quick survey of the new exchanges.

The two new exchanges are Bitfinex and Crypto-Trade.    These two new exchanges look to me to me more advanced than any of the existing exchanges.

Bitfinex

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The look and feel of this exchange is extremely basic, it does not even have a chart of the trading! However, underneath the basic functionality is an exchange platform that is incredibly advanced.    Bitfinex currently trades BTC and LTC.  USD can be transfered to the exchange via wire transfer.

The major differentiator of this exchange is the ability to use margin (i.e. borrow money) and to loan out your own money to traders.   Furthermore, this exchange also allow one to trade buy and sell on other exchanges like Bitstamp.    Due to these two features, I expect this exchange to explode to one of the major crypto-currency exchanges.    One indicator of the massive acceptance of this exchange is the amount of USD loaned out.  At this time it is at 700,000 USD.  This is pretty incredible for such a new exchange.

Bitfinex takes security extremely seriously unlike major exchanges that treat it as an after thought.   Wallets are stored in a customize BitArmory wallet and placed entirely into cold storage.  Two factor authentication is also available as an option.

Liquidity still needs improvement of LTC, however BTC liquidity is decent.  The exchange resides in Hong Kong.

Crypto-Trade

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This exchange arguable has the most sophisticated interface among all the other exchanges.   This exchange was developed by the same folks who developed https://www.litecoinglobal.com.  Crypto-trade currently trades 9 crypto-currencies.  The exchange seems to have adopted all the currencies available at BTE-e with the exception of NVC.   Liquidity at this time is completely absent, that’s because it just started.

Security is quiet comprehensive include, captcha for logins,  pins that require the mouse to punch in,  question and answer verification and email verification withdrawal.   The site also has a chat box that one can conveniently hide.

In summary, this looks like one of the best designed exchanges.   However, we’ll have to wait and see if it can gain enough liquidity to be of value.

The exchange is also based out of Hong Kong.

A Survey of Crypto Currency Exchanges

Here’s a quick survey of existing crypto currency exchanges that support alternative currencies.   This survey does not include exchanges that support only Bitcoin like MtGox, CampBX, Coinbase and Bitstamp.   That will be for a future survey.

BTC-E

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The most popular of the exchanges with very deep liquidity.   Approximately 8% of Bitcoin transactions go through here and possibly 95% of Litecoin transactions.   BTC-E is extremely robust and rarely does it go down due to trading volume.  Handled DDOS attacks via CloudFlare which on occasions prevents access to the site.  Limited options to send USD into the exchange, however extensive option to send USD out of the exchange.   Charting not very good in that no volume is shown and the time scale cannot be changed.    Withdrawal of money is protected via the requirement of an email confirmation.   A very popular trollbox that can be extremely noisy.  This is the most important exchange in the alternative crypto-currency world.  Exchange is hosted in Germany but run by Russian operators.

Vircurex

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A lot of different currencies (12 at this time) that can be traded in all combinations.  That is, one can trade FRC to LTC if the need arises.  This is the only exchange that supports this, most other exchanges can exchange only to BTC.   Liquidity is extremely poor in the exchange.  Charting does show volume but no time scale option.  Charting can show inverse relationships.  Trading can at times be extremely slow, this is surprising since there is no liquidity.   Vircurex has gone offline several times,  more recently due to a hacking incident.   Fortunately, accounts did not lose their funds.   Employs YubiKey for 2 factor authentication. Exchange allows only one way to add and remove USD funds.  Exchange appears to be hosted in Canada.

McxNow

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A few currencies ( MNC, LTC, SC and WDC) can be traded to BTC.  The exchange is extremely fast and never has a downtime with the exception of upgrades.  Charting is simplistic and only shows hourly averages.   Personally trading history very difficult to keep track of.   Exchange provides incentives to trading by drawing a lotto every 5 minutes.   Chat box is quite popular.  No ability to exchange to USD.   Poor support for two factor authentication and password recovery.  Exchange hosted in Australia.

Bter

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Multiple currencies (10 at this time) all exchangeable to BTC.  Charts shows volume with a time scale option.   Prices can only be set up to 5 decimal places.  This makes it very difficult to trade most currencies since this makes the spread extremely high.   No option to exchange to USD or any other currency.   Extensive use of 2 factor authentication for security.  Exchange is from mainland China.

Cryptsy

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Multiple currencies (18 at this time) all exchangeble to BTC.  Very low liquidity.  The best chart among all the exchanges, shows volume and allows time scale change interactively.   No option to exchange to USD.  Exchange is of U.S. origin (Florida) and claims to be registered with the BSA as a Money Services Business.

Cryptonit

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Multiple currencies (7 at this time) exchangeable in multiple ways.  Very low liquidity.   Exchange is built of the Drupal platform.  Employs OpenID for log in allowing existing accounts for other sites to be used as login.  Uses Google Authenticator for two factor authentication to secure withdrawals.   Exchange is extremely slow.  Charts do not show volume.  Money has been known to be lost in the exchange.  Exchange is extremely buggy and maintained as a hobby by the operator.  Site operator cannot afford a proper site certificate.  Hosted in Germany.