A Crypto exchange is a platform that allows users to exchange their cryptocurrency for a small fee. Users upload their tokens or coins to the exchange wallet and then buy or sell them to other users of the platform. In its basic form this is how it works, but follow on for further details of nuances and pitfalls you can avoid.
Most exchanges will be anonymous and will offer you a really secure account with 2 factor log in enabled. Using this type of login makes sure that anyone who obtains your email or username cannot hack into your account and steal your cryptocurrency. Usually they will use Google authentication or a similar app to give you a secure code which enables you to log in.
When looking for a suitable exchange keep looking out for exchanges offering a wide selection of coins in which will let you diversify your investment. You also need to watch for a crypto exchange with a easy to use platform inside. Some of them can be quiet complex and intimidating. Look out for platforms that give you real time prices and charts. For instance, if you follow the cryptocurrency IOTA and need a real time price for trading, make sure the platform gives you streaming prices or you are trading blind.
Many of these exchanges offer various payment processes like credit or debit cards, or by depositing finds from bank wire. Often you can deposit token directly. It is often good to find an exchange which partners with large banks so you may transfer your money with low fees. You will find you have a lot to choose from so pick wisely.
At this moment in time, many exchanges aren’t properly regulated. This is the nature of cryptocrrency. However regulation seems to be creeping in more and more so expect many to be regulated fully over the coming years.
You will also find that some exchanges can have a very low fee but then you see a massive gap between buying and selling price. This is called a spread. It is the difference between the highest selling price on offer and lowest buying price.