Binance is a popular cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao (CZ). The platform provides trading opportunities for over 500+ cryptocurrencies, especially altcoins.
It covers popular coins such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), including its own blockchain-based token, Binance Coin (BNB).
The exchange has quickly grown to be one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Binance registered the highest trading volume as of April 2021 making it the largest cryptocurrency exchange at the time.
As of 13th May 2021, Binance was reported as being under investigation by the Department of Justice and IRS. There have been concerns about illegal activity being masked through crypto trading and claims that those who’ve made windfalls betting on the market’s meteoric rise are evading taxes.
Binance’s design allows for higher levels of processing throughput. The exchange is able to process around 1.4 million orders per second. In addition to exchange-specific services, Binance also offers other tools, platforms, and services for supporting the overall blockchain ecosystem.
Binance Labs supports promising pre-ICO stage projects. Many newly created cryptocurrency projects can raise the necessary funds through the platform. Binance also provides advisory resources, and a launchpad for any project’s necessary listing and fundraising exercises.
Binance supports three types of trade orders: limit, market, and stop-limit orders. Limit orders are executed only at the limit price set by the trader, market orders are executed immediately at the best available market price, while stop limit orders become valid orders only when the price reaches a specified level.
Binance has several trade options and offers additional order types for crypto derivatives, specifically on futures contracts. These trade orders include:
- Limit order
- Market order
- Stop limit order
- Stop market order
- Trailing stop order
- Post only order
- Limit TP/SL order
The exchange’s low fees combined with the team’s proven knowledge of how to build a trading platform is enough to make it a major player.Learn more
Pros / Cons
- Customer support can be slow
- KYC compliance can take a long time
- Was hacked (big time) in 2019, causing doubts about security
- User-friendly platform
- Large selection of crypto
- High trading volume delivers greater liquidity to Binance traders
In 2019, hackers managed to steal 7,000 BTC, worth $40 million at the time in a massive security breach. Hackers used a variety of techniques, including phishing and viruses, to steal not only crypto but personal data from up to 60,000 users. Binance pledged to up security following the hack by making significant changes to the API, two factor authentication, and withdrawal validation areas, all of which were exploited by hackers in the attack.
That’s all well and good, but users have recently been complaining about hacks and exploits on Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Yield farming protocol bEarn Fi lost nearly $11 million in an exploit in May, 2021. As it stands, Binance’s security doesn’t look too hot.
Binance offers educational resources for users looking to increase the security of their accounts. They also offer typical security measures, such as 2FA and an ongoing bug bounty. Security definitely isn’t one of Binance’s selling points. Ultimately, it’s difficult to trust the exchange after such a major breach.
Binance has a history of getting into hot water with regulatory bodies. The exchange currently operates in a number of markets worldwide. Binance Germany is currently licensed as a contractually bound broker in Germany, with an office in Hanover.
Binance has also run afoul of European securities regulators, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Federal Financial Supervisory Agency in Germany for offering securities-tracking digital tokens before publishing an investor prospectus.
Binance was banned from the US in 2019 due to perceived regulatory violations. Shortly after, Binance.US was opened and registered with the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
In the first half of 2021, Binance faced investigation from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as well as the IRS.
As crypto faces increasing regulatory hurdles, Binance’s spotty history may come back to haunt it.
In short, Binance collects personal identifying data including address, name, date of birth, nationality, gender, signature, home address, and more. If users agree to biometric authentication methods, Binance also collects and stores the corresponding information.
Information is collected in order to comply with AML, KYC, and CTF regulation. The platform also monitors and collects tracking information, including everything from SIM card information, GPS, IP address, and more.
Personal information is used to provide and maintain services, protect users from automated abuse (spam, fishing, DDoS), comply with legal requirements, research, and development.
The platform also says that they may disclose your personal information for any purpose you consent to. Even if it is hellishly boring, try to read the fine print when you agree to things, otherwise you might have accidentally sold your private information to some interesting parties.
How does Binance compare?
Binance currently stands neck and neck with Coinbase as one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world. Binance stands out for its diverse stable of altcoins. With 500+ different types of crypto, it leads the list in terms of options. Low fees combined with advanced charting and diverse trade options mean that Binance is a good fit for more advanced traders looking to capitalize on altcoin trading.
Binance does have a more complex interface, and has been in legal hot water several times over the past few years. Beginner traders who aren’t keeping their eyes on the news might be faced with an unpleasant surprise. If you’re a beginner that’s uninterested in the more exotic options or coins, stick to Coinbase or Kraken. Keep in mind that Binance has been subject to major hacks in the past. If you want access to altcoins and trade options without a dodgy history, check out Crypto.com or Kraken.
Binance currently has a two star rating on Trustpilot, with the overwhelming majority of reviews clocking in at just one star. Complaints include getting locked out of accounts, difficulty communicating with the support team, difficulty reaching support at all – you name it, it’s been complained about.
There is a self-service help desk that appears to be fairly comprehensive. There is a support chat available, but assistance appears to be mostly of the robotic variety. It’s clear that customer support is not one of Binance’s strong suits.
Opening an Account and Trading
To open an account, go to the Binance home page and click on “Register” on the top right-hand side of the home page. It can also be done on the mobile app.
In order to create a free account, you may open an account linked to your email address or mobile.
Complete the information requested. This includes either an email address or mobile number and password. If you are a referral you may also enter the referral ID.
Acknowledge that you have read and agree to the Terms of Service and then click “Create Account”.
Binance will send you a verification code to your email address. Enter the code and hit “enter”.
You may now deposit funds in order to begin trading. Binance allows you to either deposit cash, crypto, or buy crypto with your credit card.
Users will need to complete the verification process, however, to be able to use all deposit methods.
For demonstrative purposes, we have selected “Deposit Crypto”. From the dropdown menu under “Coin”, you may also select the crypto that you wish to deposit. We have chosen Bitcoin.
Copy the address or scan the QR code from your Bitcoin wallet from which you wish to transfer Bitcoin, choose the amount, and complete the transfer.
Once your Bitcoin wallet is funded on the Binance exchange you are ready to trade.
Please note that, if you choose to deposit fiat currency or purchase by credit/debit cards, you must first complete the Identity Verification process.
In order to complete the “Identity Verification” process, go to your account dropdown menu shown by the arrow and select “Identification”.
Upon the completion of the verification process, your withdrawal limit increases to 100 BTC. You may also make a fiat currency deposit that will have limits in place upon completion.
You will need to provide the following in order to complete the verification process:
- Primary country of residence.
- First and last name.
- Date of birth.
- Residential address.
- Photo of your ID.
- Selfie to verify your identity.
When you are ready to complete the process, click “Verify”.
You will now need to verify your identity. Please ensure that you have your Photo ID to hand.
If there are any issues with the information provided, you will be asked to try again. Until the process is complete, limits on deposits and withdrawals will remain in place.
Post Identity Verification Deposit
Upon completion of the verification process, you may make fiat currency deposits.
In order to make a fiat currency deposit, go to the Buy Crypto dropdown menu on the top left-hand side of the home page.
Select “Bank Deposit” and then select your chosen method of payment, complete the details, and finalize the transaction.
Binance recommends Bank/Card Deposit. Here there is a flat deposit fee of £1.95 in the case of GBP deposits. For Visa and Mastercard deposits, there is a 1.8% deposit fee.
Do note the limits that are in place for bank deposits. In the case of GBP, the limit is £460. For Visa or Mastercard, the deposit is a higher £4,600.
Binance Fees and Trading costs
Binance has a tiered trading fee structure based on a 30-day cumulative trading volume. Traders are categorized into VIP Levels, ranging from Level 0 to Level 9. These can range from 0.1% for maker and taker to 0.02% / 0.04%, depending upon VIP level status.
For example, a VIP 0 user who trades less than 50 BTC worth per month would be charged the standard 0.1% fee per trade.
This means if you buy $200 worth of Ethereum (ETH), you would only pay 200 x 0.001 = $0.20.
These low fees make Binance a very attractive exchange for many seasoned crypto traders, as with such high trading volume, Binance are still profitable even with low fees.
In addition, there can be a 25% discount for both maker and taker when using BNB, as shown below:
Margin Borrow Interest Rates
Margin borrowing interest rates are also based on VIP Level status and vary by crypto.
Withdrawal fees and minimum withdrawals vary by crypto, as shown below. For the full crypto offering, fees and minimum withdrawals, these can be viewed on the main site.
Deposit & Withdrawal Options
Binance facilitates the easy deposit and withdrawal of funds in either crypto or fiat money. Deposits are free on Binance, another attractive element of the exchange.
Users who don’t already own crypto can purchase it by credit or debit card, P2P trading, cash balances, and by third-party payments.
In order to view your crypto purchasing and deposit options, view the “Buy Crypto” dropdown menu.
If you already own Binance supported crypto:
As shown by the arrows below, you may also change between crypto and fiat and exchange your crypto deposit or fiat currency deposit. You will need to complete the verification process, however, to deposit fiat currency.
We do recommend that you scan the QR code, when possible.
Fiat Currency Deposit
In order to deposit fiat money, select “Bank Deposit” from the “Buy Crypto” dropdown menu.
You will need to complete the verification process in order to deposit fiat currency.
Additional methods to purchase crypto include:
- Debit or credit card
- P2P Trading
- Cash Balance
- Third-party Payment
These options are also available to select from the “Buy Crypto” dropdown menu
For withdrawals, users may withdraw Binance supported crypto to external wallets. The Binance platform also supports the withdrawal of fiat.
In order to make a crypto withdrawal, go to the “Wallets” dropdown menu and select “Spot”.
Choose the crypto wallet that you wish to withdraw from and click “Withdraw”.
If you have not added a recipient address via “Address Management”, select “Address Management” from the Withdrawal page and then click “Add Withdrawal Address”.
In order to make a fiat withdrawal, simply select fiat from the page above.
Binance has been on shaky ground recently, as evidenced by recent news coverage. The exchange recently stopped selling digital tokens linked to shares after a crackdown by Hong Kong’s financial watchdog. Regulators in Britain, Germany, and Japan has also issued warnings over Binance. This has affected private investors, as several hedge funds have recently limited trading on Binance, citing regulatory risk.
CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has hinted that Binance US might go public in the future, teasing a potential IPO.
Is Binance Safe?
Binance delivers a high-level of security to users to protect personal information and user assets. These security measures include:
YubiKey 2-Factor Authentication: A YubiKey is a hardware device that you can use on Binance as a 2FA method to enhance account security.
Google Authentication: Used for withdrawals and security modifications.
SMS Authentication: Used for withdrawals and security modifications.
E-mail Address: Used for withdrawals and security modifications
Which coin will Binance add next?
Binance covers assets that make up around 90% of the total crypto market, however Binance are constantly evaluating new cryptocurrency they believe to be secure and beneficial to their customer base.
How to complete identity verification?
Choose “user-center”-“identification” and then click “Verify” in the identity verification section. Follow the steps and have photocopies of your ID ready to upload.
There is also an advanced verification that uses facial verification.
Binance is available in over 190 countries globally covering most of North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Unfortunately, due to regulation, Binance is not usually available in the US. However, the exchange created a license in Binance US, which allows them to legally operate in the American market.
Binance US is currently regulated by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. Binance as of 2020 announced they would be adding a Binance UK platform, exclusively for the UK. It has been mentioned that the site and activities will be regulated by the FCA (United Kingdom), thought Binance may soon no longer operate in the UK.
Binance supports 19 fiat currencies, including US dollars, pounds sterling, Indian rupees, and Australian dollars. See below for the full list of supported fiat currencies:
AED, AUD, AZN, BGN, CAD, CHF, CLP, COP, CZK, DKK, EUR, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, ISK, JPY, KES, KRW, KZT, MXN, NGN, NOK, NZD, PEN, PHP, PLN, RON, RUB, SAR, SEK, THB, TRY, TWD, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, ZAR.
You also have access to a wide range of stablecoins such as Binance USD (BUSD), Binance USD Coin (USDC), PAXOS (PAX), Tether (USDT), and True USD.
Binance Payment Methods
Binance investors and traders can purchase cryptocurrency via:
- Bank Deposit: supporting bank deposits for fiat currencies.
- Credit/Debit Card: Visa and Mastercard.
- PTP Trading: By bank transfer with 60+ alternative options.
- 3rd Party Payment: via Banxa and Simplex.
Diverse financial services
Unlike main competitor Coinbase, Binance offers a wide array of financial services for investors looking to maximize their profits. Binance users have access to margin and futures trading with leverage up to an extraordinarily high 125x. In a hilarious twist, Binance requires that you answer a 12-question quiz to start trading. Considering just how much leverage they offer, that’s not a terrible idea. While it is possible to find the answers online, prospective traders might want to pass the test without cheating to avoid negative financial consequences.
Binance users are encouraged to use Trust Wallet, a third-party app available on the App Store, Google Play, and Android. It can be used to send and receive tokens, and supports card transactions. Trust Wallet is open-source, which means that anyone can take a look at the code to see if it’s secure. Trust Wallet supports DeFi tokens and NFTs in addition to more traditional tokens.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance has joined other exchanges like KuCoin and Huobi in creating a native token. Binance Coin, or BNB, is one of the most hyped exchange tokens, evidenced by its listing on Coinbase. Users that hold BNB can get discounts of up to 25% on trading fees, or as a currency on Binance Smart Chain.