Livecoin is a long-running cryptocurrency exchange based in England, with servers housed in Louisiana, USA. Since 2013, Livecoin has been offering a growing number of digital currencies for customers all around the world. Livecoin is available in all nations, except for the United States. And even though this is a notable exception, Livecoin is often seen in the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges by volume.
Livecoin finds a way to offer something for (almost) everyone, without sacrificing service or losing their primary focus. This is a hard line to walk. Even though the site remains reliable since the early days of Bitcoin, this may not be the exchange upon which new users will wish to start.
For these readers, we’ll offer a quick explanation of eToro, as it compares to Livecoin. eToro is as easy for beginners as it gets, and offers profit potential for investors without centralized exchanges’ chance of loss of funds through hacking or user error. eToro won’t work for everybody, though. For the rest, Livecoin is still a strong choice.
What is Livecoin?
Livecoin exchange is a cryptocurrency brokerage platform, aimed at the world population. Even though Livecoin’s services are not available for people in the United States, it’s presence in the rest of the global market remains strong.
Livecoin sells dozens of cryptocurrencies for fiat (US Dollars, Euros, and Russian Rubles). Oftentimes, when a crypto exchanges accepts fiat, they only do so for a few coins (for example, Coinbase sells only Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin). Livecoin, in contrast, has more than 100 crypto/fiat trading pairs, giving its customers convenient ways to buy the coins they want, without first having to buy Bitcoin in order to make a subsequent trade.
Livecoin is not regulated (and thus not available) in the United States. In the rest of the world, Livecoin resides in something of a grey area, legally speaking. As a broker of a novel asset class, many countries simply don’t have a regulatory framework for exchanges like Livecoin. This gives some users pause, as does the lack of formalized verification of new users on Livecoin.
Nonetheless, Livecoin appears to conduct itself in a professional manner, from the way it adds and maintains features, to the way it fixes problems through customer service. Livecoin has yet to suffer a large hack, as so many other crypto exchanges have. Thus, even though Livecoin isn’t as transparent as some other coin exchanges, it’s possible that it’s just as secure, if not more so.
In reality, you can’t really expect a universal cryptocurrency exchange to be transparent in every detail. It simply wouldn’t be possible to offer Livecoin’s high level of features (particularly the fiat>crypto pairs) and tick off every box regulatory bodies from around the world could create. So while not a sure thing, Livecoin seems to be above board. Still, it might not be the best new crypto exchange for newcomers.
eToro – a Simplified Livecoin Alternative
While Livecoin offers an unbelievable range of fiat>crypto trading pairs, the exchange can be a little much for new users to handle. Livecoin is many things, but it’s not exactly simple. For this reason, we like to highlight one of our favorite alternative crypto investment platforms: eToro. It has a number of features which contrast sharply with the characteristics of Livecoin which are questionable or difficult for some.
While Livecoin operates in something of an international grey area, legally speaking, eToro is fully regulation compliant from its home in the UK. eToro doesn’t have the wide range of cryptocurrencies that Livecoin has, but it does have an extremely well curated selection of 12 of the world’s best digital currencies.
The differences don’t end here. Livecoin sells users digital assets which must be transferred and stored on third party software, chosen and downloaded by the user. There are many fraudulent digital wallets out there, meant to ensnare unwitting users. Even if the user chooses the correct wallet, there’s always the chance of sending coins to the wrong address, or messing an address up by a single character. In both cases, the user’s coins will be lost forever.
eToro, in contrast, doesn’t require the user to transfer or even own anything. The user simply pays for a contract that gives them access to the profits from their chosen currency’s current market value. Let’s say you want to invest in $5,000 of NEO. You pay $5,000 to eToro, and this balance gets locked into a contract. You wait for 6 months and the price of NEO doubles. You end your contract and walk away with $10,000.
Of course, the price could also go down, and the user could incur losses. But this could also occur with traditional ownership models as facilitated by Livecoin. eToro’s way is just a lot simpler. It’s not a solution for those who would like to use their cryptocurrency – trading and spending for any number of purposes. It is, however, a perfect way for people who simply want to invest or speculate upon the value of these underlying currencies, without ever using the actual coins for any other purpose.
Finally, eToro is remarkably simple to use. They accept a single currency (USD). They have a simple fee structure that’s easy to find and understand. The buying and selling interface couldn’t be more intuitive. Most people don’t have to be taught how to use it. Livecoin, however, takes some getting used to (as evidenced by the image at the beginning of this section).
None of this is to say that eToro is objectively better than Livecoin. The two are apples and oranges, really. But it’s unquestionable that Livecoin is the more difficult and (arguably) questionable of the two platforms. Thus, but new users, we recommend using eToro first, before getting into the deeper waters that Livecoin provides. Livecoin is more sophisticated, to be sure, but users should also be sophisticated before taking the plunge.
Signing Up With Livecoin
Signing up on Livecoin is really easy. Simply go to the site, click “sign up”, and add the limited amount of information requested. Livecoin doesn’t ask for much more than a working email address, to which they will send a verification email with a link you need to click before you can use the platform. You can then fund your account through various methods and start trading.
That’s how you do it unless you want to fund you account with a bank transfer (as many users will). In this case, you’ll be delivered to a contact page, where you will have to make your request directly, in writing. This is unusual. Typically, platforms like these will have a formalized system that gets the information needed to satisfy various international banking laws. Because Livecoin doesn’t make it clear how they handle this, there’s no way to know what you’re signing up for, before you enter into a dialogue with Livecoin. This is an example of the regulatory “Grey area” we discussed earlier. It seems to work for people, but we would prefer greater transparency.
We’re pleased to say that Livecoin’s fees are much lower than one would expect from an older international exchange. It’s not unusual to see fiat exchanges like this take 4% or more of each trade. Trading fees on Livecoin start at just 0.16%, and can be discounted all the way down to 0.02% with sufficient trading volume. There are numerous deposit and withdrawal fees (too many to write out here). You can find these on the Livecoin website.
More relevant to most traders is the cost of funding an account. Most payment methods are free for account funding (though this is not always true, and Livecoin simply doesn’t list the cost for credit cards). The costs are more clearly seen at withdrawal, with Livecoin taking some percentage of cash withdrawals, or some set amount of cryptocurrency depending on the coin. You can see this complete breakdown here.
If you choose the right funding pathways, Livecoin can be quite affordable, giving you access to an enormous range of altcoins with fiat currency. The price you’ll pay will likely be much cheaper than what you’d pay for Coinbase or the like.
Trading on Livecoin
Trading on Livecoin will be natural for anyone with experience on this kind of exchange. For newcomers, the standard buying options are Market and Limit orders, the two most basic trading forms in all kinds of markets. Market orders are trades completed as soon as they’re ordered, at the lowest price currently available on the market. Limit orders only kick in when a coin’s price hits a level chosen by the user in advance. Say you want to buy 50 NEO, but only when (and if) the price hits $50. Your limit order will wait to be filled until 50 NEO become available on Livecoin at the price of $50 or less.
Transferring Coins Off of Livecoin
As many of you will know, it’s never a good idea to keep coins you own on centralized exchanges like Livecoin. That’s because exchanges don’t specialize in long term coin storage. Their specialty is trade brokerage. Exchanges like these are routinely hit by hackers, who make off with millions in coins. This has never happened to Livecoin, but you should still choose digital wallets that you control for each coin you buy on Livecoin. Withdrawals will incur a small fee, but once your coins reach your wallet, they’ll be a lot safer than they would be on the exchange.
Livecoin Customer Service
Livecoin has 24/7 customer service in several different languages, available by chat or email. Because this service is so wide ranging, it’s impossible to say if customer service is consistent across all languages and platform eras. However, Livecoin’s reputation is pretty strong in this regard. If you’re worried about customer service, check out crypto forums like Bitcointalk, where you’ll find a lot of opinions about Livecoin customer service.
Is Livecoin Easy to Use?
Is Livecoin easy to use? It really depends on who you ask. We find Livecoin to have a fairly simple user interface, especially for those who have experience with more complex exchanges like Bittrex. On the other hand, new users may well be mystified with the way Livecoin works. There is also no Livecoin app, so younger users who don’t use desktop services routinely may find it inconvenient to buy cryptocurrency using Livecoin.
All in all, we think that Livecoin is easier than the average exchange, but its inherent complexity and the lack of formalized verification for some deposit options makes it, perhaps, a little more than the brand new user will want to tackle. With experience, Livecoin can become a truly useful exchange for anyone. Don’t let this scare you. If you’re willing to take the time to learn a new exchange from scratch, with no previous experience, it’s possible to be successful with Livecoin. Just take care in doing so.
Final Thoughts on Livecoin
Livecoin is an unusual cryptocurrency exchange; and that’s not a bad thing! It offers a wide array of altcoins that can be purchased with fiat currencies of three kinds: USD, Euro, and RUR. It is also available for people in countries all around the world, with the exception of the United States. Livecoin has a long history of service, operating without major incident since 2013.
On the other hand, Livecoin’s massive global reach means that they operate outside of the formal governance of many of the countries in which they are available. This puts some users ill at ease. Despite this, our research about and use of the platform indicates that this is a strong, credible service, offering real value through scrupulous means.
Livecoin seems to be a good representation of the libertarian cryptocurrency dream – an exchange operating on its own terms, but without taking advantage of its customers. Livecoin offers a real service, and we’re glad to give it our recommendation.