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.

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