Binance is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange with the largest organic trading volume. It has several uniquely featured versions including Binance, Binance US, Binance Jersey and Binance DEX. In this review we highlight each of their various features and controversies that you need to know.
History of Binance
Binance was founded by Changpeng (CZ) Zhao in 2017. The name comes from a combination of the words “Binary” and “Finance”. Binance is originally from China. However, due the harsh crypto regulation procedures in the country, the Exchange moved to more conducive jurisdictions outside China.
“In response to China’s decision, we are moving our IP’s from Hong Kong to an offshore location… So we are registered in multiple locations and we have people in multiple locations. That way, we will never be affected by one regulatory body.”Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance (2017 interview)
Currently, Binance is based in multiple jurisdictions, including Malta, Singapore and Hong Kong and its servers are located around the world. Their main site offers support in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and French.
Key Features and Functions
Binance (Binance.com) is the main exchange, it is most popular and has the full suite of services offered by the Exchange. Key features include:
- Most supported cryptocurrencies (over 1,000 coins).
- Owing to its popularity, it has the highest trading volume worldwide.
- Only offers crypto to crypto trading pairs.
- Access to Binance Launchpad, an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) platform for listing of new cryptocurrencies.
- Stop-Limit Function. The order will be executed once the given stop price has been reached. So the stop-limit order will become a limit order to buy or sell at the limit price or better.
- Binance Lending. Users can hold their cryptocurrencies on the Exchange for a specified time period and earn interest.
Binance US (Binance.us)
Binance US (Binance.us) was Binance’s answer to US regulations barring citizens from trading on Binance. Key features include:
- US regulation compliant
- Has fiat to cryptocurrency trading pairs. Users can use USD to buy cryptocurrencies directly on the Exchange.
- Bank account linking is available.
Binance Jersey (Binance.je)
Binance Jersey (Binance.je) is akin to Binance US for users who are not US citizens. Key features include:
- Buy/ sell cryptocurrencies with fiat (USD/EUR).
- Bank account linking for banks from the UK and some European countries.
Binance DEX (Binance.org)
Binance DEX (Binance.org) is also known as Binance Chain. Key features include:
- It is a decentralized exchange developed on Binance’s own Binance Chain blockchain;
- Users maintain custody and control of their private keys and funds. This means that users’ funds are much less vulnerable to hacks or exchange closures; and
- Only limit orders are accepted. Unlike other exchanges, Binance DEX does not match orders continuously. Rather, it matches open orders received using periodic auction.
Binance (Binance.com) is supported in most countries except the USA.
US citizens are only able to trade on Binance US (Binance.us) and at launch, users from the following states can NOT create Binance US accounts:
|Louisiana||North Carolina||New York|
Binance Jersey (Binance.je) is available in the following countries:
|Argentina||Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)||Liechtenstein||Singapore|
|Chile||Ireland||New Zealand||United Arab Emirates (UAE)|
|Croatia||Israel||Norway||United Kingdom (UK)|
Meanwhile Binance DEX (Binance.org), Binance’s decentralised exchange is blocked in the following countries:
|Burman||Central African Republic||Democratic Republic of Congo||Democratic People’s Republic of Korea|
|Cote D’Ivoire||Crimea region of Ukraine||Croatia||Cuba|
Supported Cryptocurrencies and Payment Methods
Binance accepts payments using credit card (Visa and MasterCard), debit card and cryptocurrency. However debit and credit card payments are restricted in the following locations:
- US: New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Georgia, New Mexico and Washington;
- Several Chinese banks; and
- Some countries entirely e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Users can only pay USD or EUR to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH/BCHABC) or Ripple (XRP) using debit and credit cards on Binance.
Binance is a crypto-to-crypto exchange only. So users must buy first the above cryptocurrencies using fiat, before they can trade with other cryptocurrencies on the Exchange.
Binance US (Binance.us)
Binance US, which was recently launched in September 2019 only supports around 20 cryptocurrencies. But more are expected to be added in future.
Users can use their debit cards to directly transfer USD from their bank accounts into their Exchange account via ACH or wire transfer.
Binance Jersey (Binance.je)
Binance Jersey only supports 6 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH/BCHABC), Litecoin (LTC), Binance GBP Stable Coin (BGBP) and Binance Coin (BNB).
Users from some countries can directly transfer GBP and EUR from their bank accounts to the Exchange via SEPA or Faster Payment. Check here for the list of countries supporting this function.
Binance DEX (Binance.org)
Binance DEX supports 90 cryptocurrencies.
Fiat deposits are not accepted on Binance DEX. Users can only deposit those cryptocurrencies supported by the Exchange.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
For Binance.com, Binance US and Binance Jersey, fees are different depending on the cryptocurrency to be transferred. Fees are charged in the respective cryptocurrency to be transferred. For example, Bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals cost 0.0005 BTC per transaction. There are no deposit fees.
For fiat transfers, on Binance US, USD wire withdrawals cost USD15/USD35 for domestic or international withdrawals respectively. Deposits generally and ACH withdrawals are free.
Meanwhile on Binance Jersey, all fiat (USD/EUR) deposits and withdrawals are free until 31 December 2019.
Binance DEX users must pay deposit and withdrawal fees in Binance Coin (BNB). Deposit fees are 0.000625 BNB (approx. USD0.012466) and withdrawal fees are 0.000375 BNB (approx. USD0.00748) respectively.
Trading fees for Binance.com, Binance US, Binance Jersey and Binance DEX are generally 0.1% for makers and takers with the following exceptions:
- Binance.com and Binance.us: Users with larger trade volume or hold a specified amount of BNB are eligible to become VIPs. Higher VIP tiers give you lower trading fees. And for all users, there is a 25% discount if fees are paid using BNB.
- Binance Jersey: Fees are discounted to 0.05% until 31 December 2019.
- Binance DEX: Fees are discounted to 0.04% if paid using BNB.
Binance has competitive trading fees compared to some other cryptocurrency exchanges. For example:
- Coinbase: 0.50% of the transaction plus a further Coinbase Fee depending on the transaction amount. Side note: did you know you can avoid their expensive withdrawal fees? Find out more at CoinBase Fees- How to Avoid Them?
- Kraken: 0.16% (maker) / 0.26% (taker)
- Bittrex: 0.25% (maker and taker)
- Poloniex: 0.15% (maker) / 0.25% (taker) (Note: Poloniex has discounted their fees to 0.00% until 31 December 2019)
- OceanEX: 0.10%, discounts are offered for payments with their OceanEx coin.
- KuCoin: 0.10%, discounts are offered for payments with their KCS coin.
- Huobi: 0.20%
- OKEx: 0.10% (maker) / 0.15% (taker)
- BitMEX: -0.025% (maker) (i.e. a rebate is given) / 0.075% (taker). This Exchange however only deals in margin trading.
- BitFinex: 0.10% (maker) / 0.20% (taker)
- BitMax: 0.085% (maker and taker) for larger market cap coins, 0.10% for other coins
We ranked the exchanges mentioned above from “most used” to “avoid at all costs”. Where do each of these exchanges fall under? Check out our Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges of 2019 article and find out.
Like any exchange, Binance is no stranger to controversies. From stolen bitcoins to its Know Your Customer (KYC) database being hacked, many ask if Binance is safe? Let’s take a look at some recent controversies.
Binance hack: 7,000 Bitcoins stolen
In early May 2019, Binance informed the public that hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoins (then worth about USD40 million) in a single large scale security breach. The Exchange says that hackers used a variety of techniques such as phishing and viruses to obtain its users’ login data.
The Exchange used its SAFU fund- their emergency insurance fund to cover any affected users’ losses in full.
Check out my article and video below where we discussed this hack in more detail:
Binance KYC Data Breach
In August 2019 a hacker alleged they had obtained a huge portion of the Exchange’s Know Your Customer (KYC) data. The hacker set up several Telegram groups allegedly featuring this private data. The hacker also demanded a total of 300 Bitcoins (then worth around USD3.5 million) from the Exchange or else they would release more data.
Binance claims the leaked data was from February 2018 when the Exchange was using a third-party service provider for processing its KYC verifications. However some commentators were saying that Binance should bear most of the blame for the incident.
To remedy the situation, Binance offered a reward to anyone who can provide information to identify the hacker. However it does not seem like the hacker has been found.
Meanwhile, the Exchange offered lifetime VIP membership and preferential trading fees and services to the affected users.
Is Binance safe in 2020?
We’ve seen many exchanges become victims of hacks. Some, such as the Cryptopia exchange hack was so serious that the Exchange went into liquidation and users were unable to withdraw their funds.
Binance, as the world’s largest exchange would clearly be a prime target for hackers. Indeed the 2 hacks in 2019 demonstrated this. However Binance did handle the hacks by compensating affected users from its insurance fund and providing them with various benefits.
So is Binance still safe in 2019? We’d say that from track records, when it was hacked the Exchange will step in to remedy your loss. However we emphaise that no exchange is 100% safe. Hence we emphaise the importance of removing your cryptocurrencies off exchange and storing them in offline hardware wallets. It is the only way in which you keep full custody of your cryptocurrencies.
Which hardware wallet should you get? Check out our comparison of the top 3 hardware wallets on the market. Or individual detailed reviews for the Ledger Nano X, Trezor Model T and KeepKey.
You can also check out my video comparing the Ledger Nano S (the predecessor to the Nano X), Trezor Model T and KeepKey below:
Conclusion: Binance Pros and Cons
- Exchange with the world’s largest trading volume.
- Track record of taking steps to remedy affected users when hacked.
- Competitive trading fees.
- Large amount of supported cryptocurrencies.
- Offers lots of unique services and features.
- Creating a KYC verified account can take up to 2 weeks.
- Issues when buying cryptocurrencies using credit card.
Services offered: 5/5
Cryptocurrency support: 5/5
Final Score: 4.5/5
Sign up to Binance here: https://www.binance.com/?ref=10192887
Updated on 6 November 2019: Added sections on Binance US, Binance Jersey, Binance DEX and updated review scores.