A few alternatives for using and trading cryptocurrencies

A few alternatives for using and trading cryptocurrencies

Exchanges can be tedious, and occasionally fall victim to hacks. Here is a list of ways to actually use those cryptocurrencies

A quick look at crytocurrency listing site, CoinMarketCap, reveals that there are 1,442 cryptocurrencies currently trading. Some have multi-billion-dollar market caps, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, while others are listed on obscure exchanges with relatively no volume.

Depending on your location, different exchanges are available to sign-up, deposit, and begin trading cryptocurrencies. The problem is that even the biggest exchanges are prone to technical outages, lock-ups, hacks, and more problems.

Here are some of the recent exchange issues from the past

  1. A normal software upgrade to Kraken (exchange) created a two-day outage

  2. Leading global exchanges Binance (Asia) and Bittrex (US) closed registration for new accounts due to an overflow of new demand

  3. Over the past week, a hack to Coincheck resulted in a US$500 million theft

In early 2018, LifeHacker published an article exploring the alternatives to Coinbase, the largest exchange in the US and top feeder for new accounts. Coinbase has been in the media often for outages during critical trading times, such as flash crashes or new coin listings.

All of these issues have casual traders seeking alternative options to participate in cryptocurrency. Thankfully, traditional exchanges are not the only way to participate. There are many different options currently available to participate in the industry as both a buyer, seller, volunteer, and participant.

Here are a few that come to mind

Peer to Peer Marketplaces

Peer to peer marketplaces allow two groups of people to both sell and buy a product at an established price. Cointal is one such exchange, allowing users to find other people to exchange crypto and FIAT, all secured online.

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The most interesting aspect is that users can buy crypto with almost any payment method imaginable. This ultimate flexibility bypasses traditional strict and tedious exchange policies.

“Originally designed to be instant, secure, and frictionless, accessing and using cryptocurrencies can still be complicated. Fees, transaction times, and conversions are taking longer and longer. Most platforms are too complicated for the average new user. This is no one’s fault, but just the natural progression of a fast moving and disruptive industry.” – Cointal CMO, Youssef Azzouzi


The ecosystem can be both closed or open depending on the structure and involve many layers of complexity. For example, Sparkle Coin offers a three company ecosystem that includes an exchange, payment gateway, and online shopping mall.

This allows users to put their cryptocurrency to immediate use by transacting, trading, and even purchasing products from leading retailers – all without leaving the Sparkle Coin ecosphere.

In-Person Transactions

Companies like LocalBitcoins have provided a Craigslist-style platform to connect buyers and sellers via a multitude of different transactions.

Cash by mail, local meetups, gift card exchanges, and other mediums give consumers a variety of options to buy and sell bitcoin at the local level. For distance transactions, an escrow is applied to keep transactions secure. With this solution, exchanges can be bypassed and a wallet is offered on the website directly.


AirDrops allow people receive crypto by simply having an online compatible wallet and participating in the process.

No exchange or transfer of any kind is needed. ShipChain, a recent blockchain company that sold out of its ICO, offered a community-wide airdrop to all Telegram fans. The campaign gave over 20,000 people the chance to receive free tokens.

Initial Bounty Offerings

Similar to an airdrop, an initial bounty offering (IBO) allows participants to receive tokens or rewards in exchange for completing small tasks. Pioneered by a company called U.CASH, IBOs have become a popular way for global supporters to complete tasks such as register, social media participation, whitepaper edits, and other activities in exchange for tokens. U.CASH also offers more traditional universal cash management to bring financial inclusion to everyone.

“We pair our technology with a retail network of converters who provide users the means to load and unload funds from their digital wallets. This Universal Cash can then be used for many traditional financial services such as bill payments, sending funds, mobile recharges, loan repayment, prepaid cards and others.” – U.CASH CEO, Brian Phan

Whatever you choose, please keep security and safety as a top priority. Always secure your keys offline and enable two-factor authorisation when possible.

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No method is 100 per cent safe so use caution when using digital wallets, exchanges, ecosystems, and more.

Copyright: traviswolfe / 123RF Stock Photo

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