A-Z: What are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

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Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Blockchain A – Z covers all of the important topics you need to know if you’re just getting into blockchain! We go letter by letter with each episode defining a specific topic. By the end of the series, you’ll know your blockchain ABCs!

What are cryptocurrency exchanges?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are a place to buy and sell cryptocurrency. One of the most well known exchanges is Coinbase, where many users buy their first cryptocurrency.

Most exchanges only offer a few options when you are trying to directly purchase cryptocurrency with via fiat currency. Other exchanges allow you to convert bitcoin or Ethereum into alt-coins, or other smaller cryptocurrencies.

Some popular exchanges in North America are Coinbase, GDAX, Gemini, Polinex, Bittrex, Kraken, Quadriga, etc.

Check out our guide on how to buy and sell crypto here!

Side note!

Cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer the same securities as wallets. When your crypto is on the exchange, they technically hold it, not you. This means you do not own the private keys to your funds, and you’re essentially trusting them as a third party security for your funds. If something happens to the exchange (i.e. they close or are hacked), your funds are completely vulnerable and susceptible to being lost! Read more about securing your cryptocurrency with a wallet here!


For more blockchain terminology and vocab, head over to our Blockchain Glossaries, where we have a wide range of terms you should definitely know!
Still aren’t sure? Let us know here!
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