Crypto-currency trading is reaching in the numbers of billions of dollars. Trading of Bitcoins and other Altcoins are becoming profitable. Bithumb recorded more than 100 million dollars in trading and it has exponentially risen to 2 billion dollars. Some people have created a fortune using cryptocurrency and some have lost heavily!
We must always act on the wise words of Ben Graham, “The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.”
To refresh the reader about Blockchain, this technology bypasses a central mediator when two parties transact. The primary mediator is conventionally a bank. However, how to maintain the integrity of transactions without an arbitrator? Blockchain achieves this by maintaining a distributed public ledger.
This ledger is updated in a timely fashion and fragments of it exist in all nodes(computers) of the Blockchain ecosystem. These fragments are also replicated and pose no threat of deletion or loss.
In the process of Blockchain mining, individuals called miners, collect transactions and add them as a block to the Blockchain. They are duly rewarded with transaction fees and a few units of cryptocurrencies.
There is a large number of cryptocurrencies with the most popular one being Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple. The cryptocurrency can be compared to ‘digital gold’, whose value fluctuates in the trade market.
Cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to purchase and sell bitcoins and Altcoins. These exchanges have evolved and support several handy features.
What should you know about an exchange?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are traditionally web-based applications where users can trade currencies. Several wallet applications are also currently extending support for exchange.
Exchange can be leveraged by creating a profile and buying currencies either via debit/credit cards or through custom payment methods. Likewise, currencies can be sold to either fiat currencies or local currencies.
To maintain the exchange, a small fee is charged to deposit, withdraw and trade cryptocurrencies. There are several exchanges in the market and few highlights to choose a good exchange are:
- Ease of sign-up: A good exchange will offer easy profile creation without being lengthy.
- Support for multiple geographies: A good exchange must be truly international and not restrict users from a particular geography.
- Intuitive UI: A non-cluttered and beautiful UI make an exchange interesting to use.
- Informative and attractive charts: A good exchange should have easy to understand charts and graphs like the current and trending price.
- Reasonable deposit, withdraw and trading prices: A good exchange should not charge exorbitant rates and should be competitive.
- Security: A good exchange must have robust security features. It must go beyond the hacker’s line of sight and prevent attacks.
- In-app crypto wallet: It is usually convenient if the exchange wallet supports off-exchange wallet.
- Push notification alerts: Support like SMS or in-app alerts would be handy.
- Sturdy architecture to support round the clock trading.
- Continuous integration of currencies to meet market trend.
- Real-time trading of digital assets and live blockchain integrations.
You can buy and trade cryptocurrencies from the third part exchange, Bithumb. Bithumb was created by a company called BTC Korea.com Co. and has its headquarters in South Korea.
Bithumb is a well-reputed exchange and has a sizeable daily trading volume. It was often said that Bithumb grew so quickly that the government raided it.
Although the government raided to protect the interests of ordinary investors, this action was ridiculed by the citizens. After much consideration, it was later decided that no further ban would take place without consultation.
Bithumb has become hugely prosperous as the number of its customers increased. Business was so good that Bithumb struggled to maintain its infrastructure to support the growing number.
Also read, Where Are Cryptocurrencies Headed in 2018?
Bithumb appears on the list of some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges. However, Bithumb is oriented to be slightly regional. Bithumb provides some benefits to locals of South Korea. Considering the usability and other great features you should explore this exchange. You might find it suitable.
Bithumb holds over 75% of South Korea’s bitcoin market volume and around 10% of the global trade. Bithumb also holds about 50% of South Korea’s Ether trading volume and is practically the largest Ether exchange in the world.
The largest South Korean cryptocurrency exchange is Bithumb. Although not explicitly regulated, but like all platforms operating from within the country, is subject to some leniency from the South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC).
It may also be subjected to on-site inspections by representatives of the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), the National Tax Service (Korean IRS) and the police. The FSC has banned the initial coin offerings to safeguard inexperienced investors but asserted that the cryptocurrencies are virtual representations of value and not financial products.
The trading platforms and transactions in the bank are kept in vigilance by FSC. For the time being, cryptocurrencies can be traded on an exchange only if a bank has confirmed the authorization of an account.
Like most cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb sticks to basics and its trading platform does not have any smart features. Bithumb offers three trading options: general trade, easy trade and reserved trade. The general trade is self-explanatory.
The easy trade provides the automatic transactions, the purchase is made in the order initiating with lower sell amount. It can change with real-time transaction value. As per the amount the client has requested, the reserved trade places an order at the market price.
Bithumb in popular news
- Bithumb has partnered with Korea Pay’s services, a mobile payment operator in the country, that could bring crypto payments to over 8,000 merchants across the country.
- A mall in South Korea has partnered with Bithumb to accept 12 kinds of crypto payment.
- Bithumb to offer payment option with cryptocurrencies in social media.
- Plastic Surgeon and startup investor buys 352 million dollars stake in Bithumb.
- Bithumb to launch Global Decentralized Platform.
- Bithumb reduces hack loss estimation from 31 million dollars to 17 million dollars.
- Bithumb hack does not change Bitcoin fundamentals, according to Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin.
- Bithumb launching kiosks at restaurants for food orders and crypto payments in Korea.
- Major Korean exchange Bithumb is expanding operations to Japan and Thailand.
- South Korea’s largest hotel booking platform will accept cryptocurrency through Bithumb.
- Bithumb claims to have retrieved 14 million dollars in hacked cryptocurrencies.
- A clever scammer was cheating Bithumb of 90,000 U.S. dollars daily.
A unique benefit that Bithumb offers to the locals of South Korea is to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies using Korean Won. The population outside South Korea can do the same using cryptocurrency.
Coins supported by Bithumb
Bithumb supports buying, selling and trading of 37 coins. In addition to Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrencies supported are Dash, Ether, Ether Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash, Monero, Qtum against the South Korean Won.
Some rankings rank it among the platforms with more comprehensive coverage like Coincheck, Bisq, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and Kraken.
Transaction fees compared to others
Bithumb deposit fees depend on the type of coin being deposited. Coins like Ethereum, Ripple are free whereas Bitcoin, Dash and Litecoin have a small price. Bithumb withdrawal fees are also dependent on the type coin being taken out. For example, Ethereum charges 0.01 ETH and Bitcoin costs 0.001 BTC. You have to check Bithumb website for latest prices periodically.
Bithumb transaction prices are one of the lowest with rates being almost 0.15% against buying or selling of currencies. When we broadly compare Bithumb prices with other exchanges, Bithumb is genuinely generous and offers reasonable prices. Bithumb is made famous due to one of this reason.
How to register and locations it is available in
Bithumb is universally available, but in May 2018, Bithumb restricted registrations from Iran, Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Yemen, and Syria. This was due to issues with money laundering.
Crypto exchanges in South Korea must have a banking partner if they want to issue accounts. There were instances of Bithumb stopping creating new accounts since they needed to renew their contract with a bank.
Registering with Bithumb is straightforward by visiting the website and providing all the vital details. Bithumb prevents anonymous trading by requiring to provide personal information.
The salient steps involved in the registration are:
- Entering emailing and checking if not duplicate.
- Entering accurate details for ‘captcha’.
- Enter nationality and valid cell phone number.
- SMS will be sent post which the verification number has to be entered.
- Then personal information like full name, date of birth and gender has to be entered.
- Then enter a full personal address.
- Then a strong password has to be created.
- Then there are terms and conditions clauses to be accepted upon.
- Once sign up is complete a mail will be sent which has to be confirmed.
Security review of Bithumb
Since cryptocurrency regulations are stringent in South Korea, it is a requirement on its exchanges to offer enhanced security. Bithumb restricts only one account per person by acquiring complete personal information.
Mobile number is a must and has to be confirmed. Bithumb actively suggests two-factor authentication wherein while logging in and withdrawing funds, an OTP is sent to the registered mobile.
The website also has strong encryption measures. However, there are concerns that hackers linked to North Korea are suspected of targeting its funds.
Also read, How To Buy Bitcoins Anonymously
Bithumb 2017 hack
Security of Bithumb was compromised with an all-out hack in June 2017. Hackers gained unauthorized access to Bithumb user’s account and stole an estimated 94 million U.S. dollars. However, the company maintained that its servers were not compromised, but one of its employee’s computer was hacked.
Over 31,000 individual accounts(or 3% of the users) were accessed and Bithumb offered a refund up to a maximum of 900 dollars. Post this incident, Bithumb carried out intensive investigations.
To improve security, Bithumb considered improving their wallet system by enhancing network security and therefore for some time the Bithumb system remained offline. There was a lean period during which Bithumb was unable to give a full estimation on when this upgrade would be completed.
They brought in more security and introduced a team which monitors suspicious activities. This has made Bithumb one of the most secure exchanges.
Pros and Cons of Bithumb
Like any cryptocurrency exchange, we can summarize the good and not so good points of Bithumb exchange as follows:
The significant features of Bithumb are:
- Well established, having been set up in 2013.
- Relatively low fees compared to other exchanges.
- The large trading volume which promotes benefits.
- Provides support round the clock. Has a live chat and phone-based assistance.
- Good security features.
- Well suited for beginners and advanced users.
The letdowns of Bithumb are:
- Only South Korean locals can deposit fiat currency.
- The number of coin support is lesser compared to other exchanges.
- Security was compromised in 2017 with a full-fledged hack.
- The verification process is slow for more substantial funds.
Also read, Is Cryptocurrency legal?
From the above discussion, you must be clear that Bithumb is an excellent trading exchange. Several factors elevate the usability of Bithumb. Low fees and surveillance make Bithumb promising. However, such features are also present in exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex.
While this article throws light on Bithumb, it is generally recommended to the user to survey the market and choose an exchange platform wisely. People who are actively engaged in activities like mining, need to build broad awareness about the machinery of cryptocurrency.
Blogs, reviews, new releases and promotions are key aspects that need focus. Building upon these will make working with exchanges and accretion of wealth seamless.
Your thoughts are welcome, leave a comment or suggestion in the section below. We’ll be glad to address it.