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It’s also good to lookout for which currency pairs are available: are you looking to trade Bitcoin for USD, Euros, or other fiat currencies. The location usually gives an idea of what’s on offer. However, the largest Bitcoin sites usually have many options for buying Bitcoin with government issued currencies. Bitcoin currency exchanges work in a manner similar to banks. You first deposit an amount of money in the currencies supported by the exchange, to your account in the exchange, then you use these balances to trade with other users of the exchange and then you are able to withdraw that money. Unlike over-the-counter transactions, there is no risk of losing money due to people not fulfilling their part of the deal, as long as the exchange itself does not commit fraud or withhold money.
Exchanging is done by placing “buy” or “sell” orders, which the exchange system software then matches with each other. “Buy” orders (or “bids”) are offers to buy Bitcoins in exchange for another currency at a maximum price-per-Bitcoin which is set by the seller. “Sell” orders (or “asks”) are offers to sell Bitcoins at a minimum price-per-Bitcoin. If the bid price of a buy order is higher than the ask price of a sell order, an exchange can be performed and the bid order, the sell order or both can be removed from the “order book”. Thus, at any given time, there is a price above which there are no more buy orders and a slightly higher price below which there are no more sell orders. Communication with the Bitcoin currency exchanges is commonly done using a standard web browser, over a secure SSL connection.
CoinBase combine an attractive interface, a great site to get Bitcoins with a debit card, and multiple online wallets for your digital currency. Over 4,800,000 users are signed up, including 45,000 merchants, and 9000 developer apps. Works well for European, American, & Canadian customers.
BitStamp are big in Europe and operate out of the United Kingdom. Good volumes are available for larger trades. Well received by people using SEPA and cards.
Kraken is becoming a reputed Bitcoin broker, with many markets served. Europeans love it just as much as Americans because they work well through SEPA, have an easy verification process, and are very knowledgeable when it comes to cryptography.
BTCC secures your account and funds using an offline cold storage and geographically redundant cloud servers, SSL encrypted traffic, real-time internal controls and strict procedures. A leading role in every segment of the Bitcoin ecosystem is offering a digital currency exchange, a mining pool, payment processing and consumer wallets.