For those of you who don't want to bother signing up to exchanges or having to verify your identity and more important don't want to leave too much value in the hands of others but still want to trade every now and then and speculate on currency movements. There are some other services which can help you with this without having to trust exchanges.
I'm not going to get into decentralized exchanges in this post yet as I recently discussed them. This is about services that offer quick and easy trades from one currency that you hold in a secure wallet which only you have the keys to to another currency which will end up in a wallet of yours as well. This eliminates the risk of trusting exchanges in the scenario that they will freeze your account and funds or go down and the hassle of having to wait for weeks for them to respond to your tickets.
If you want to trade Bitcoin into another currency, it allows for all of these as of right now:
But also for Steem Dollars and Steem Power to your account directly (it didn't fit in one screenshot).
They have recently also added a delegation feature for SteemPower for 1 or 3 months which you can read more about here: Blocktrades Delegation Announcement.
Blocktrades also accepts many coins to trade into the screenshot above, not viewing the Bitshares ones, this is the rest of the currencies they accept:
I have personally used their services quite often and it is very reliable. Fees will apply + transactions fees but due to other exchanges often being unreliable it often may pay off a lot more to use these services instead. This one time Poloniex was down and Steem was having a breakout on Bittrex the fast service of Blocktrades allowed me to do some good arbitrage for a fast profit which you can read more in an old post of mine.
Shapeshift is another similar service that allows for quick and safe trades between currencies without going through exchanges. They have a wide selection of altcoins and let you trade in between them for a fee and transaction fee. You choose what currency you want to input, place your address of the other currency you want to trade with and you will receive them in a matter of minutes (not counting confirmation times).
It has been up and running for a long time but seems to have some problems every now and then keeping all altcoins available for trading. Steem and Bitshares for instance are currently disabled but we hope they will be back up soon! Make sure to always check if they are available at the time of doing a trade.
Hope this article helped some of you traders out there who don't want to trust exchanges with your funds but still want to actively trade. The volatility we are having lately gives a lot of room for profits even if there are some extra fees involved by using these services instead of exchanges.
Stay safe out there!