Here are some Cryptsy alternatives that you might find helpful. These are all sites like Cryptsy in that they help you trade altcoins. You can buy or sell your altcoins here. Cryptsy is the largest such exchange and has the most number of currency pairs. However, it still makes sense to look for alternatives to Cryptsy. This is because –
- Diversification: That’s right, you don’t want to put all eggs in one basket. The crypto-currency world is still the Wild West out there. Exchanges have been hacked and money has been lost in the past. If something happens to your beloved exchange, you don’t want to be at ground zero. Cryptsy is pretty good overall, but why take your chances?
- Slow Confirmations: Cryptsy is popular, and when the load on their servers increases, it can be a mess. People have waited for over 48 hours in the past for their deposits to show up. This can be a huge investment loss. Crypto-currencies like MegaCoin have had a history of 400% increases in 48 hours. Do you really want to miss out on such rallies because your deposit wasn’t confirmed?
- Arbitrage Plays: If you have money on several different exchanges, you can involve in some plain old arbitrage plays. These opportunities don’t last very long, and certainly not long enough for you to withdraw money at one exchange and transfer to the other. However, if you are on multiple exchanges, you can find some great deals this way and end up in the green all the time, combining the balances on multiple accounts (my favorite arbitrage play exchange is Bter, since most of its users are on a different timezone than US. More on that later).
- Lower Fees: Certain exchanges can have lower fees than Cryptsy. If your intention is to trade – buy and sell multiple times, then the lower the fees, the better. This is also true if you’re intending to buy a lot of crypto-currency. The fees can add up quick. Also remember that sovereign money is sometimes cheaper, if you can get it on a particular exchange (e.g. Vircurex almost always has a 5-10% discount with respect to USD, although getting your USD there is hard).
- Currency Pair Availability: Not all currency pairs are available on Cryptsy. In addition, if you’re trading with sovereign money, you might be looking for exchanges that accept Euro or Renminbi, for instance.
Now that you have an idea of why it is a good advantage to look at alternatives to Cryptsy, here are some of your best options:
- Bter: My favorite Cryptsy alternative that I discovered when I was buying ProtoShares. There are several things I like about this exchange. It is my go-to place for currency arbitrage, perhaps because being a Chinese exchange, its peak activity is at a different time than Cryptsy. I have done several successful arbitrage trades with this exchange. They also tend to have a wide variety of alt-coins and they are good with adding new alts soon. Protoshares, for example, was added to Bter almost 10 days before Cryptsy. The story repeated with NXT – Bter was the first major exchange to trade Next. The second great thing about them is the low fees, which seems to be a hallmark of Chinese exchanges. The trading volume has dipped now, with the uncertainty in China, but I expect it to pick up soon again.
- btc-e: This is one of the older exchanges that is very popular in Russia and Eastern Europe. It has a good amount of trading activity at most times, but the number of currency pairs are very limited. Also, if you can get your USD or EUR on to this exchange, you can find some of the cheapest rates for buying all alt-coins. They are completely anonymous but have surprised their doubters time and again amidst all the turbulence in this space by being pretty reliable and adding new features like allowing fund withdrawals through Visa and MasterCard.
- MintPal: MintPal was born during the recent ‘exchange boom’ that happened in the altcoin space where many different exchanges started popping up all over the place, and several of them had many security and other issues too. However, MintPal has stood the test of time (well, a few months at least) and seems to be the favorite exchange of many traders and investors now. The site is clean, fast and responsive. You can also vote for your favorite coins to be added to this exchange. It’s fast becoming a favorite Cryptsy alternative for many people in this space.
- Vircurex: *TRADE WITH CAUTION* I used this exchange a while ago to buy my first Litecoins. It has cheap USD/EUR options as well but doesn’t have as many currency pairs as Cryptsy. The main thing I like about this exchange is that it is very responsive and fast, and almost never had any overload issues like Cryptsy seems to have very often. The exchange was hacked recently and had some funds stolen, so some accounts remain frozen. Trade at your own risk!
- Coins-e: This is a new exchange and I’ve not used it as much as the ones mentioned above, but it looks pretty professional and promising. The liquidity is still a bit low, but the flip side of that is, for longer term investors, sometimes the price difference is worth a good buy. A good alternative to have.
These are my top Cryptsy alternatives that I’ve personally used. What about you?
Photo Credit: Mike Baird