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Five Alternatives to Coinbase

Coinbase receives a lot of attention because it’s easy for beginners. The company also made headlines in 2017 when they raised their Series D funding of $100 million. With that said, Coinbase’s fees can be as high as 7%, they only offer three digital currencies at the moment, and you might not like how Coinbase handles their Bitcoin fork (e.g. they chose not to distribute Bitcoin Cash to Coinbase users).

Coinbase Bitcoin

Bithumb Bitfinex Bittrex Gdax HitBTC
Base South Korea Hong Kong U.S. U.S. Europe
Trading volume $900 million $600 million $257 million $183 million $286 million
Trading pairs 10 53 261 9 296
Fiat Currency Accepted Korean Won USD N/A USD, EU, GBP N/A
Country eligibility Open Excluding the U.S Impose restriction on selected states in the U.S. Only available for selected countries; 3 states within the U.S. not eligible Limitation on North Korea, Washington, and the New York States; Otherwise open
Fees 0.15% 0.1% – 0.2% 0.25% 0.1% – 0.25% 0.1%
Major Hack Yes Yes N/A Flash crash N/A

So you may wonder any other alternatives. In this blog, we will give an introduction to five exchanges other than Coinbase across the globe and provide a snapshot of what they are and how they are different. A very useful tool for navigation is CoinMarketCap which tracks the price for most cryptocurrencies, tokens and the trading volumes for exchanges. Most of our following discussion will refer to it.

There are two main reasons we selected these five: liquidity and geography. Market trading volume can reflect how active the exchange and gives you a relative idea whether your buy/sell order can be fulfilled instantly. While cryptocurrencies are traded 24/7, the geographic location of an exchange informs where most of its users and the customer support are likely to be based so you may want to trade during a time that most of them also stay active.  

1. Bithumb

Coinbase alternative: Bithumb

Coinbase alternative #1: Bithumb

Based in South Korea, Bithumb has around $400 million trading volume in the past 24 hours based on CoinMarketCap. Given its location, the only fiat currency Bithumb accepts is Korean Won, either by bank wire or credit card so you don’t have to physically be in South Korea. It offers 10 trading pairs, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Qtum, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Dash and Monero.

For transactions, Bithumb charges 0.15% for makers and takers. You don’t need to pay for depositing funds to the exchange but it does impose a fee for withdrawals, depending on the exact coin you are dealing with. Here you can find a full price list.

While it tops the list of worldwide exchanges by its trading volume, Bithumb was also said to have been hacked in July 2017, with some customers reporting the loss of money due of the security breach.

2. Bitfinex

Coinbase alternative: Bitfinex

Coinbase alternative #2: Bitfinex

Bitfinex is based in Hong Kong and accepts U.S dollar. The trading volume is at a similar level with Bithumb, around $400 million but it has a total of 53 trading pairs. Some of them are crypto-to-fiat (BTC/USD) and rest are crypto-to-crypto (ETH/BTC). This page provides a full list for your reference.

However, do take note that Bitfinex has issues with depositing and withdrawing U.S. dollars directly from bank wire, and it bars U.S. residents from trading due to banking compliance issues.

In terms of the security: Bitfinex was hacked in 2016 during which $60 million was exploited. Following the hack, investors were issued BFX token as an equity representation for 36% of the total hacked amount which Bitfinex later obliged to buy back in 2017.

The fee structure is similar with Bithumb. Deposition is free while transaction charge can vary from 0.1% to 0.2% based on the transaction amount, and the withdrawal of any asset also comes with an associated fee.

3. Bittrex

Coinbase alternative #3: Bittrex

Coinbase alternative #3: Bittrex

Bittrex, is based in the U.S. and regulated by the U.S. government. A major difference between Bitfinex and Bithumb is that Bittrex is a crypto-to-crypto only exchange, meaning Bittrex doesn’t accept USD (or any fiat currencies). But if you have Ether stored in a wallet somewhere, you can send it to your Bittrex account to buy Bitcoin.

Given this feature, Bittrex offers 261 cryptocurrency trading pairs, and amounting approximately $370 million market volume. For each transaction, they charge a 0.25% commission, slightly higher than the previous two options. But it would be a go-to if you have a wide interest in different coins.

Finally, Bittrex hasn’t seen any security hack that was to the level Bitfinex had suffered. That said, at least one user has reported a hack which resulted in his nearly 7 Bitcoins being stolen.

4. GDAX

Coinbase alternative: Gdax

Coinbase alternative #4: Gdax

GDAX is owned and operated by Coinbase. While you can buy/sell cryptocurrencies on both Gdax and Coinbase, the core difference lies in the order book: When you buy Bitcoin on Coinbase, you are buying the inventory from Coinbase’s own stock, which means you pay the real-time price of bitcoin — for which Coinbase charges you a higher fee.

GDAX, on the other hand, plays the order book role, which matches your bid/ask with someone’s ask/bid. The exchange is also based in U.S. and offers a total of 9 trading pairs, both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto. Compared to Bitfinex and Bithumb, Gdax is more diverse in terms of supporting global major fiat currencies, including the US dollar, Euro, and British Pound. The fee ranges from 0.1% to 0.25% depending on the transaction volume.

While no major security hack was reported on GDAX, there was once a price flash crash where Ether just plunged from over $300 to as low as 13 cents, which triggered a margin call that liquidated the positions held by many leveraged traders. But Coinbase later announced it would reimburse the amount to investors.

5. HitBTC

Coinbase alternative: HitBTC

Coinbase alternative #5: HitBTC

And finally, after Asia and America, we move to the Europe, where HitBTC is based in. In terms of the liquidity, HitBTC and Gdax are at a similar level, both somewhere between $150 to $200 million. But HitBTC operates in the same style as Bittrex, which provides only crypto-to-crypto trading. Yet, it offers even more options than Bittrex – 296 trading pairs according to CoinMarketCap, beating Bittrex’s 261, with a smaller transaction charge, at 0.1%, compared to Bittrex’s 0.25%.

How to find the exchanges where you can trade specific cryptocurrencies?

 

Visit Coin Market Cap: They have over 1200 coins listed, among which you should find the one you would like to invest. For example, if you are particularly interested in Ripple, locate Ripple from the top and click on it. Then the next page you will see a chart for the historical price of Ripple, as shown in the screen capture.

Go to the “Market” tab, after which you will be able to see all the exchanges that offer the trading of Ripple, as well as their corresponding trading pair and volume in the last 24 hours.

8 Ways to Change Your Habits (And Actually Get What You Want)

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What does it take to make a goal or a dream come true?

You know the drill. You’re vowing to change your behavior. Tomorrow I’ll … start meditating. Start brushing my teeth. Finally get around to writing those essays you’ve been meaning to write. Make plans for the new book you’re putting together. Learn to code.

You vow that you’re going to do it. You know it. You have to do it.

But it didn’t get done today. So you wake up tomorrow and do the same thing you’ve always done. Yet your behavior doesn’t change.

When we make broad-sweeping declarations about our life, they don’t work.

In fact vowing to do anything, no matter how strong the vow, usually wears off as your willpower drains throughout the day. So how do you make a change in your life that’s actually effective? “Everyday people plan to do difficult things, but they don’t do them. They think, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow,’ and they swear to themselves that they’ll follow through the next day,” write Carol Dweck, researcher at Stanford and author of Mindset. “Research by Peter Gollwitzer and his colleagues show that vowing, even intense vowing, is often useless. The next day comes and the next day goes.”

So how do you make a resolution that actually works? Here are a few of the best tips and tools we’ve read about, used, and know to work:

1. Make a concrete, vivid plan.

What works, writes Dweck, is making a vivid, concrete plan. Describe to yourself exactly what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and what steps you need to take, down to the minute detail. “Think of something you need to do, something you want to learn, or a problem you have to confront. What is it? Now make a concrete plan. When will you follow through on your plan? Where will you do it? How will you do it? Think about it in vivid detail.”

Increase your possibility of success by outlining when you’re going to do something, by putting it in your mind as a behavior — and on your calendar as an action.

These concrete plans — plans you can visualize — about when, where, and how you are going to do something lead to really high levels of follow-through, which, of course, ups the chances of success.

If you’re looking to write a book in the new year (which, full disclosure, I am), then break it down into its constituent parts. When will you write? What will it look like? What days a week will this happen?

Think about it exactly, not vaguely.

For me: I’m going to set an interim goal of writing on my book for at least ten days in January. More specifically, a writing session includes just opening the doc and working on a single page. I’m focused on making the habit of working on my book part of my regular routine.

2. To make change, visualize the change. Take time to imagine your behavior change in detail.

It turns out, detailed visualization is powerful enough to change behaviors even before you start. As I’ve written about before, the power of visualization is so important, it’s proven to change behaviors:

“In a famous basketball study, players were divided into groups that visualized perfect free throws, a second group that practiced their shots, and a placebo group that did nothing. At the end of the study, the players that visualized their perfect throws improved almost as much as the group that practiced — without ever touching a basketball. It’s important to note that the visualization involved the specific steps and actions it takes to perfect a free-throw shot.”

If you want to change what you do, you can begin with your thoughts.

3. Start small.

Habit change happens when you start really small. Want to learn how to run? Your first month might focus just on the first five minutes of each run, until you’ve mastered that first step. This includes mastering the steps of putting your shoes on, walking outside, and only then maybe adding a few minutes to walk to the corner or around the block each day.

What’s key is successive positive reinforcement, or rewarding the behavior you want more of. Too often we jump cold turkey into a brand-new routine only to find ourselves back in our old habits before we know it. Instead, focus on the smallest possible change that could build into a habit over time. For more on this, check out Stanford Professor B.J. Foggs’ Tiny Habits program.

“We often think that if you start with something so small, it won’t make a difference. But the truth is, because that momentum builds after you get going, you can often start with something really tiny, and it will blossom into something much bigger,” says writer and author James Clear.

If you’re stuck or overwhelmed with a new project, ask yourself: what’s the smallest thing I could do next to make this happen? It doesn’t matter how small it is — the trick is to make it small enough that you actually do something.

Tweet: “Even when you start small, it can make a huge difference.” — @James_Clear

4. Prime yourself.

New behaviors need an introduction, of sorts. Whenever I start to learn something new, I try to expose myself to the new context before actually committing to a new behavior change. Often the weight of how much is going on can be intimidating — researching a new location, mapping it out on google maps, looking up schedules, figuring out payment options, sticking to the plan — that enough friction in any of these steps and you don’t end up doing it.

Instead, make one of the first steps a walk through. Whenever I try out a new gym or studio, I go in for a tour. You can learn the routine, see the studio, and practice the behavior of going to the gym. This makes it easier for you to repeat this action down the line because you already know how to do it.

Want to start flossing your teeth in the morning? Go right now to your bathroom sink and practice the behavior. Get out the floss, put it on the countertop, and floss at least one tooth. Even if it’s 2pm in the afternoon, even if it’s just one tooth. This will prime you for repeating the behavior the next day.

5. Look to the process, not the outcome.

Too often we confuse the reward of the outcome with understanding what, exactly, it’s going to take to get there. Sitting down to write every single day is a lot more boring than having a published book in your hand. So how do you create a schedule that rewards the small successes?

It’s actually psychologically difficult to conceptualize change. We don’t understand thresholds of small changes; instead, we’re biased to see big wins. The biggest change happens over time, however, when you enact small, consistent behaviors. Sometimes mundane acts over time add up to something more exciting, after all.

“It’s so easy to focus on this idea of one defining moment, or overnight success, or some massive transformation to flip a switch and become a new person — but it’s not that way at all,” explains Clear. To make a behavior stick, look closely at the process and whether or not you’re really willing to commit to the, at times, drudgery and slog that it’ll take to get there.

And be ready to surprise yourself. Entrepreneur Corbett Barr reminds us that “Not a lot will change in one single day, but a lot can change in 30 days.” It’s rare that I’ll have a breakthrough day to finish my book (and by definition, that will only be one day out of many), but if I keep showing up, that day will arrive.

6. Motivation doesn’t last long, so plan ahead for when you’re not motivated.

How do you stay motivated? Well, it’s not about motivation — it’s about habit. Stephen Pressfield describes Somerset Maugham’s relationship to motivation and writing:

“Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” Maugham reckoned another deeper truth: that by performing the mundane act of sitting down and starting to work, he set in motion a mysterious but infallible sequence of events that would produce inspiration, as surely as if the goddess had synchronized her watch with his.” — Steven Pressfield from The War of Art

In other words, the difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional doesn’t wait for motivation. They get to it, even if they don’t feel like it.

7. When you get stuck, reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.

This idea comes from 37 Signals, and I heard about it from Eric Zimmer and James Clear on “The One You Feed,” podcast. James writes every Monday and Thursday, and he explains that even when there’s a dud of a day, he still shows up and sticks to the schedule.

It doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s about shipping something. Rather than skipping altogether when circumstances get dicey (skipping your workout because you only have 20 minutes, avoiding your writing session because you’re tired), instead, find a way to do something, even if it’s just for a moment. Do jumping jacks for 6 minutes, then 1 minute of pushups. Write 200 words, or three sentences.

Whatever time you have is how much you do.

A little of something is a lot more than nothing.

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8. Behavior change requires… change.

In order to get a different outcome, change the inputs.

This might seem exceptionally obvious, but it’s worth pointing out: if you want a different result, you’ll have to do something differently than you’re currently doing. What you’re doing right now (and for me, it’s spending three weeks not writing, then a day stressing about writing) — isn’t getting you the result that you want.

If you aren’t getting what you want, then what you’re doing isn’t working. In order to get what you want, something about the process will have to change.

What are you willing to do differently to get what you want?

How can you change your habits to get more of what you want?

How to Develop A Daily Writing Habit

One of my health habits is a daily writing habit. Last year, one of my goals for 2014 was to write daily. I’m happy to report that I only missed a total of three days in 2014. I’m currently on a 350-day writing streak, and it’s become kind of addictive.

Here’s some of what I learned about cultivating a writing habit.

Why write daily?

The idea came from a book called The Artist’s Way (which admittedly I haven’t read — but I’ve heard it’s good). They call it morning pages, which consist of three pages of writing done every day. It can be about anything that pops into your head — and it’s important that you get it all out of your head without editing or censoring in any way.

A daily writing habit helps clear your mind and gets ideas flowing for the rest of the day.

I initially started writing every day because I eventually want to write a book, but it’s become so much more than that. I use my daily writing as a way to think out loud, and troubleshoot problems, thoughts, and anxieties I have. It gives me something to look forward to in the morning and actually puts me in a really good mood.

As my friend Dev says, “Developing a daily writing practice is about deepening a conversation with oneself.”

“Developing a daily writing practice is about deepening a conversation with oneself.”

A really tangible benefit is that I’ve written way more blog posts since I’ve started writing every day.

Before, writing was something that I often needed to do — whether it was writing an email, a blog post, or a letter I’d been meaning to write — but never really found the time for.

Figure out why you personally want to write more often.

Is it to start a blog, to build a following, to become known as a thought leader, to connect with your inner voice, to develop a creative outlet, or to write a book? These are ALL good reasons, but it’s good to know which ones are most important to you and which ones aren’t. These will be your guiding forces that propel you forward when things are tough.

Pick some accountability metrics

It’s easy to say “I want to start writing more” and then fudge it at the end of the year. It’s tempting to come up with a loose goal — one that isn’t tied to a specific number or action — because it doesn’t require much thought and is almost impossible to fail. (Because what does “write more” even mean? Does sitting down to write once or twice count?)

But goals like that are almost meaningless and unlikely to help you create meaningful change in your life.

Instead, come up with one or two trackable goals. My trackable goal this year was to write 750 words every day. Seven hundred and fifty words is about three pages handwritten (or one page typed single space). But there’s another reason I picked that number which will become more obvious in a second.

Specificity matters. If you want to change your behavior, you have to know how to measure it.

Make it a regular practice

This is the really hard part, but in order to hit a big goal you have to develop regular habits in your life. When a friend introduced me to 750words.com, I was blown away. It’s a simple site where you go to do your daily writing. 750words isn’t a publishing platform, it’s a personal tracking tool. It keeps track of your writing streak and gives you some really cool daily stats on your writing as well as badges for your accomplishments that keep things fun.

Keeping track of streaks is a very powerful tactic for developing any new habit. There’s a story about Jerry Seinfeld that says he used to keep a big calendar by his desk and mark an X for every day that he sat down and worked on his routine. Eventually his streak became so long that he kept going just because he didn’t want to break it.

Althought this is a misattribution — Seinfeld said in a Reddibt conversation “This is hilarious to me, that somehow I am getting credit for making an X on a calendar with the Seinfeld productivity program. It’s the dumbest non-idea that was not mine, but somehow I’m getting credit for it.” — the idea is still powerful.

Like I mentioned before, I’m currently on a 300-day writing streak and the thought of breaking it pains me.

At first I started by writing whenever I had time during the day. Sometimes it was in the morning, sometimes it was at night, journal-style, just before going to bed. The problem with this haphazard approach was that a whole day would pass by without me finding any time to write. Indeed, those three days of writing that I missed, I didn’t even realized I missed them. I thought I had written on those days.

Eventually I settled on writing my 750 words first thing in the morning every morning.

Do you feel like you don’t have time to accomplish your goals every day? Make time.

Lao Tzu says, “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have have time,’ is like saying ‘I don’t want to.’”

The best thing I ever did for writing and habit development in general was start waking up earlier. Recently there has been some research saying that seven hours of sleep per night might be better than eight. So now I try to be in bed by 11:30pm and wake up at around 6:30am every morning.

Find ways to make it fun and easy

On top of the badges and stats that 750words.com gives me, I’ve had to find other ways to make it fun and kill the tediousness I sometimes feel.

Some of the badges I’ve collected on 750words.com

Initially I started by writing in different styles every day. One day would be murder mystery, then science fiction, then romance. Sometimes I write letters to my parents or my friends. They really appreciate those.

It might sound weird to write in a different genre or style than you’re used to, but three pages goes by pretty quickly, and then you get to never look at it again if you don’t like it.

Find a friend to keep you accountable and make it more fun.

For a while, my friend Mathias and I sent each other prompts to kick start our daily writing. One person would send the other a single sentence of a story to use as the first sentence and also a style to write the story in (to push us out of our comfort zone). Then the other person had to finish it in that style. Here’s an example:

Pippa eyed the watermelon two over from the end on the left because it reminded her of her ex-boyfriend. “This one will be perfect,” she thought.

Style: Realism

Though most of the time I just write in free-form every morning. I’ve been able to get the total time it takes to write 750 words down to about 10–15 minutes.

Keep a notebook of prompts for later days.

I’ve started keeping a notebook of writing prompts in Evernote in case I’ve run out of ideas or I want to finish a blog post (this is actually one of them). During the day, I come up with ideas, add them to Evernote, and then I write about those in the morning.

Right now, the list includes “What I’ve learned so far in 2014,” “There’s no expectation of privacy on the Internet,” “On people holding subway doors,” and other random thoughts I have on the subway.

One Month is sending out a daily writing prompt for 30 days to help encourage a daily writing habit. If you want to join in, click here to sign up to get an email reminder every day for 30 days.

Don’t worry about editing

It will take you forever (about an hour) to write 750 words if you worry about format and editing while doing the creative stuff too. Most people recommend separating the two actions.

Ernest Hemingway said, “Write drunk; edit sober”

Get comfortable with having tons of typos and your writing being mostly nonsense. If you want, you can edit it later.

This can be hard so a trick I’ve learned to accomplish this is to turn the brightness down on your computer screen so that you can’t read what you’re writing.

A lot of times, I’ll pick an idea from my Evernote notebook of blog post ideas and write about it for 750 words. Then I’ll take that writing and upload it to Medium for editing. I usually do one round of personal editing and then send it around to a few friends (using the “share draft” feature) before publishing.

Some of my most successful blog posts have been developed in this way (including How to get a busy person to respond to your email and How to never forget anything ever again).

Want to write more? Here at One Month, we’re all trying to write (and blog) more. Join us in Sarah’s Content Marketing course to get creative ideas for content, learn more about marketing, and become a better writer.

Do you have any other tips for developing a daily writing practice?

Have you read anything about techniques famous authors used to write every day? Post a comment! I’m going to compile a list of best practices.