Bitcoin (BTC) exchanges are an integral part of the virtual currency world and its ecosystem in particular. Indeed, exchanges are the primary means many digital currency users have to transact in tokens and fiat currencies around the world. Today's digital currency exchanges must successfully balance various regulatory measures, keep up-to-date with safety and security practices to reduce the likelihood of fraud and hacks, and entice users in order to ensure viability and adequate liquidity.

Although it has not actively traded for about five years—an eternity in the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency—the once-legendary exchange Mt. Gox once enjoyed the status of being a monopolist. In 2013 and 2014 it dominated an estimated 80-90% of the BTC-USD trading volume. Now, however, Mt. Gox is more of a cautionary tale than an emblematic exchange to be copied. The one-time most popular exchange faced its demise after a massive haul of bitcoin was apparently stolen from its coffers. Now, successful exchanges today claim to have learned from Mt. Gox and present themselves as advanced models with better security mechanisms in place. Below, we'll take a look at the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today in terms of total trade volume over the 30-day period ending Jan. 9, 2020, according to CoinMarketCap.

1. HCoin

30-day Trade Volume: $39.1 billion

Reflecting major interest in cryptocurrency trading outside of the U.S. market, the top exchange by trade volume in the past month is HCoin, a new trading platform registered in Seychelles. The company, which focuses on Chinese markets, launched in August of 2018 as a global trading platform for fiat and digital currencies. HCoin users are able to transact in a wide array of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, XRP, litecoin, bitcoin cash, EOS, USDT, and HKDT.

2. Coinsbit

30-day Trade Volume: $35.6 billion

Estonian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsbit has quickly risen to become one of the most popular digital currency trading platforms today. This exchange aims to prioritize customer confidence by being among the most secure trading options for cryptocurrency. Coinsbit touts a November 2019 independent security evaluation which ranked the security of its platform as "high." This exchange also sets itself apart from its peers with InvestBox, a low-risk tool for developers and customers to explore new altcoins, an easy-to-use code creation mechanism to facilitate transactions, and more.

3. BitForex

30-day Trade Volume: $32.3 billion

BitForex is an exchange headquartered in Singapore and registered in Seychelles. Supporting more than 180 countries and 300 trading pairs, it is one of the most substantial and extensive trading platforms in the world. This contributes to the platform's high liquidity, and there are many other draws as well: BitForex is one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges to offer margin trading, derivatives, and a matching engine with 1.6 million order-per-second capacity.

4. LBank

Founded in October 2016, LBank is one of the older exchanges on this list. Nonetheless, the cryptocurrency trading platform has maintained its appeal to an international customer base thanks to hundreds of trading pairs. LBank also works to promote innovation in the cryptocurrency space. The company recently launched its third "LBK Voting Listing" event, in which 8 cryptocurrency projects compete for votes in order to be listed on the LBank exchange for free.

30-day Trade Volume: $32.0 billion

5. P2PB2B

P2PB2B boasts an astonishing 700+ trading pairs, including 300 or more coins or tokens, as well as a daily trade volume approaching $1 billion. The platform can process 10,000 trades per second and caters to an international customer base. Additionally, P2PB2B stores the large majority (more than 95%) of all cryptocurrency reserves in cold wallets for the best possible protection against hacks and theft.

30-day Trade Volume: $31.8 billion