Bitfinex Trading View - Light theme (Image: BIUK)

How to Put Your Bitcoin on a Trading Exchange

Once you’ve got some Bitcoin what can you do to make it grow? The obvious answer is to put it on a Trading Exchange. Then you have the options of Trading, Margin Trading and Lending. These will be covered in more detail later; here we’ll look at the process of getting your Bitcoin onto an exchange.

The five biggest exchanges by trading volume are Bitfinex, Bithumb, Bittrex, GDAX and Poloniex, in that order. Here we’ll use Bitfinex.

Bitfinex Home Page (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Home Page (Image: BIUK)

Go to Bitfinex.com and click on Sign Up. Enter your chosen Username and Email address. Enter a strong password, e.g. from Passwords Generator. Set the Timezone (e.g. to (GMT+00:00) London). This will create you a new account.

Bitfinex Welcome Screen (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Welcome Screen (Image: BIUK)

Find the email you’ll be sent and verify your email address. Login at Bitfinex.com. You will start in the Trading screen, likely showing a Bitcoin – Dollar chart (‘BTC/USD’).

Bitfinex Trading View - Dark theme (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Trading View – Dark theme (Image: BIUK)

By default it will be dark. If you prefer a lighter colour scheme go to the top right user icon and select Interface, then Theme and choose Light.

Bitfinex Trading View - Light theme (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Trading View – Light theme (Image: BIUK)

To transfer some Bitcoin from your Electrum wallet into Bitfinex select Deposit -> Bitcoin. You may then get a warning about there being a fee on small deposits (less than $1000) that you need to acknowledge.

On the New Deposit screen select Bitcoin. You may then get advice to set up two-factor authentication (e.g. using your mobile phone to confirm withdrawals) – it’s a good idea but for simplicity we will ignore it at this point. You will see options for Exchange Wallet (for trading), Margin Wallet (for trading with leverage) and Funding Wallet (for lending). Under Funding Wallet select Click to generate address. This will create you a Bitcoin address where you can send funds; click on the Copy to Clipboard icon next to it.

Bitfinex Deposit Screen (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Deposit Screen (Image: BIUK)

Sending from an Electrum Wallet

Log into your Electrum Wallet and select the Send tab; paste in the Bitfinex address. Add an optional Description (e.g. Transfer to Bitfinex). Enter the amount of Bitcoin to transfer (or press Max if you intend all of it).

Electrum Send tab (Image: BIUK)
Electrum Send tab (Image: BIUK)

If you hover over the Fee slider you can see what the mining fee will be – moving the slider to the right will speed up the transaction and increase the fee – this can usually be left at the default. Press Send, re-enter your password to confirm. You will see a brief message about signing and then Payment Sent.

Select the History tab and you will see the transaction there. Once it has been confirmed (which may take from minutes to hours depending on how busy the network is) it will show here with a green tick.

In Bitfinex select Deposit and once confirmed the deposit transaction will also show here. Initially it will be marked Unconfirmed.

Bitfinex Deposit screen - transaction unconfirmed (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Deposit screen – transaction unconfirmed (Image: BIUK)

Once confirmed it will show as Completed, and the new balance will also show under Funding in the Balances area of the sidebar.

Bitfinex Deposit screen - transaction confirmed (Image: BIUK)
Bitfinex Deposit screen – transaction confirmed (Image: BIUK)

Your Bitcoin is now on the Bitfinex exchange ready for trading or lending.

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