How to Build Your Own Bitcoin Exchange - Bitcoin News

Start your own Bitcoin exchange

Bitcoin Exchanges / December 21, 2021

Setting up and operating an exchange can be quite involved.

A few tiers to start thinking about: legal, banking, tech+security, and volume.


  • The first question is whether you want to operate globally (e.g. Bitfinex or BitStamp) or focus on a national market (e.g. FlowBTC, meXBT). The next step is to seek legal counsel to help decide where you want to locate and how to incorporate/structure your business.
  • You want to think about how you can limit your liability and exposure to litigation, as well as what regulatory/compliance requirements are in your jurisdiction, and what they are likely to be in ther near term.
  • Merkle Tree offers a useful high-level global map of the regulatory landscape.


  • What sorts of banking relationships do I need and how can I secure them?
  • Note that banks can be heistant to provide services to digital currency exchanges.

Tech + Security

You or a partner need to build and maintain complex architecture that pairs orders, executes transactions, and manages deposits and withdrawals. Major componets are:

  • Matching engine
  • Risk management system
  • Accounting/audit system
  • Wallet management
  • Payment gateways

Security is understandably paramount. Some things to consider:

  • Sound internal security procedures among your team - see, e.g. CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) (incredibly important, and often overlooked)
  • Network and hardware security (secure data center, etc.)
  • KYC (Know Your Customer) + AML (Anti-Money Laundering) solutions
  • Two-Factor Authentication for users


Without lots of live volume, all the above is for naught. It is well worth your time to actively consider all of the below:

  • Channeling liquidity from large exchanges like Bitfinex to your exchange
  • Messaging, media presence, brand creation and maintenance, ads and retargeting
  • User definition (is this a retail exchange, for advanced users?, etc.), and using this to inform UI design and to prioritize features for product differentiation

Hope this is helpful for getting started!

Disclosure - I work at a firm called AlphaPoint - we provide white label tech to many of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the marketplace, including full stack tech and hosting, as well as order routing for day-one liquidity.