How to Buy Monero – Best Monero Exchanges and Reviews for 2018

MoneroHow to Buy Monero

Monero coin, commonly referred to as Monero (XMR), is arguably the most private of all cryptocurrencies, but it is definitely not the easiest cryptocurrency to buy. That’s because, in spite of it being among the top 10 cryptocurrencies, it is not supported by some of the top exchanges.

People trying to figure out how to buy Monero on different exchanges often realize that they have to go through an extra step to trade Monero. To find out more about this extra step, read “How to Buy and Sell Monero.”

Of course, there are some exchanges that allow the purchase of Monero directly. The following review of the best Monero exchanges will give investors a good insight into how to buy Monero.

List of Monero Exchanges

For your convenience, here’s a list of Monero exchanges, along with the pairings available in each exchange and the volume of XMR traded (as of December 18, 2017).

ExchangeTrading Pair With XRMVolume Traded 
HitbtcBTC/USD/ETH76717.610 XRM
PoloniexBTC/USDT72459,907 XRM
BittrexBTC/USD/ETH62549.181 XRM
BitfinexBTC35674.244 XRM
BinanceBTC/ETH27017.270 XRM
LivecoinBTC/USD10542.019 XRM
KrakenEUR/XBT/USD24596.363 XRM
ExmoBTC/USD/EUR4015.940 XRM
CryptopiaBTC/USDT/LTC/DOGE/NZDT 1645.914 XRM
Gate.ioBTC/USDT  211.791 XRM

 Best Exchanges, With Reviews 

Depending on various factors—like reputation, ease of use, and customer support—the following five would be among the best exchanges to buy Monero.

Binance: This Hong Kong-based exchange is among the top five that have the most XRM trading. Though it is a Bitcoin-centered exchange, it supports a myriad of coins. It has excellent security (has not been hacked), no deposit fees, no withdrawal fees, and very low trading fees. The user experience is positive, with no unnecessary time lags during transactions. And yes, it supports margin trading.

On the flipside, beginners might find it a tad difficult to use the web site, as it does not have phone customer support. The other drawback is that Binance does not accept bank payment methods.

Bitfinex: This exchange too has high trading volumes. The advantages of this exchange are that it has high U.S. dollar (USD) liquidity and offers a full package of order types, margin trading, and lending market. It has no deposit fees, has withdrawal fees only for wire transfers, and has low trading fees. On the other hand, because it has been hacked once, its reputation has taken a hit—even though the hack has been solved professionally and innovatively. So, in spite of the hack, its security is good.

Poloniex: Thanks to its high liquidity and margins trading, this exchange is right up there in trading volumes. The other factors in its favor are no deposit fees, no withdrawal fees, and very low trading fees. The cons are that the web site is fractionally slower than the others, and it has poor customer support.

Kraken: Though the trading volume of XMR is relatively low on this exchange, it features among the list of best exchanges to buy Monero for a few reasons. It has excellent liquidity in European markets, it supports margins trading, and it has excellent security features.  Kraken also has low trading fees. Unlike the other exchanges in this list, however, it has deposit fees and withdrawal fees.

LIvecoin:  One good thing about this exchange is that it’s the only one in this list that does not have any trading fees. And, though the deposits and withdrawals incur fees, the deposit/withdrawal speeds are fast.  On the flipside, though it has never been hacked, the security features are not as good as the other exchanges. It also does not support margins trading. (Source: “Exchange Bitcoin to Monero and vice versa,” Bestbitcoinexchange, last accessed December 18, 2017.)

The following chart will help you compare Monero exchanges at a glance.

Monero Exchanges Comparison Chart

Deposit FeeWithdrawal FeeTrading FeeSecurityMargins TradingHacked?Trading Volumes
BinanceNoNoLowExcellentYesNoHigh
BitfinexNoYes (wire)LowGoodYesYesHigh
PoloniexNoNoLowExcellentYesYesHigh
KrakenYesYesLowExcellentYesNoLow
LivecoinYesYesNogoodNoNoLow

How to Buy Monero on Different Exchanges

As one can see from the first chart, the most widely accepted trading pair is Bitcoin/Monero (BTC/XMR). So, we’ll discuss how to purchase Monero using Bitcoin on one of the five best exchanges mentioned above, Poloniex.

The first step is to create an account at Poloniex. The process is pretty simple and requires the user to share standard information like name and e-mail ID.

Once the account is set up, the user needs to click on “Account” on the top right menu of the Poloniex site and navigate to the Poloniex “Balances, Deposits & Withdrawals” page.

The next step is to click on the “Deposit” link from BTC in order to obtain the BTC address. With just one click, the user’s funds should be on its way to Poloniex. The Bitcoin transfer might take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes.

To exchange Bitcoin, go to Poloniex’s BTC-XMR exchange page. Here, one can see a historical and graphic display of Monero’s fluctuating prices, as well as the current Monero exchange rate.

Click on the highlighted number situated beside the option entitled “You have.” This will set your trade to take in your complete Bitcoin balance.

Next, click the number highlighted beside “Lowest ask.” This will set your trade price to the lowermost current seller.

If you’re happy with the price, click “Buy” and you’ll get the exact amount of Monero for your Bitcoin. (Source: “Buy Monero Coin,” BitPremier, last accessed December 18, 2017.)

With a few variations, the process of buying Monero is almost the same on all the exchanges.

Analyst Take:

If one goes just by the Monero exchange volume, Hitbtc would be the best exchange for buying and trading Monero, but—taking all other factors into consideration— my choice of exchange for Monero would be Poloniex.

It is very popular and has a good reputation, in spite of being hacked once. In fact, being hacked in 2014 has worked in the exchange’s favor; since the hacking, the security at Poloniex has been beefed up, and is currently excellent.

To further tick the boxes, the exchange does not charge any withdrawal/deposit fees, has low trading fees, and supports margins trading. The icing on the cake is that it has a U.S. dollar trading pair, albeit tethered.

While the chart above shows that Binance has all the same features as Poloniex, its Monero trading volume is almost a third of Poloniex’s. Also, the fact that Poloniex is based in the U.S. tips the scales in its favor.