Most exchanges make you weigh fees against protection, experts say.
The more secure exchanges charge a higher transaction rate. Coinbase charges a base rate of up to 4 percent for all transactions, for example, while other exchanges — with fewer guarantees, perhaps — can charge as low as 0.2 percent.
You also want to pick an exchange with high volume (you can check exchanges by volume on coinmarketcap.com). A higher volume tends to lead to higher price accuracy, experts say, since the exchange is processing many transactions at once rather than a few an hour — over the course of which these volatile investments can lose or gain thousands of dollars.
No matter how much you’ve researched and verified an exchange, don’t keep too much money on it for too long, said Matti Kon, CEO of financial software company InfoTech. Instead, transfer the digital coins offline and into a hardware wallet, safe from hackers.
“Do your thing and get off quick,” Kon said.
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