The Bottom Line: Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, if not the largest player in the market. There isn’t a single crypto trader who doesn’t know about it and even when some might choose not to use it, you’ll hardly find any crypto user who actively doesn’t recommend it.
When you buy or sell on Binance, transactions happen instantly thanks to its automated system, eliminating waiting time.
It’s that level of ease of use what makes Binance the first stop for many newcomers.
Not only is Binance a huge exchange, but over the last couple of years, it has expanded operations in the crypto world.
As of today, Binance works as a two-level (basic and pro) crypto exchange, while also having a native blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Binance has pioneered semi-regular Initial Exchange Offerings for crypto projects that makes the cut. The ongoing IEO wave is considered by many to be largely successful because of Binance.
Another reason people are driven towards Binance is its security rating.
Although Binance has been hacked, the company is insured – and each time customers have incurred losses due to systemic loopholes, they always get a full refund.
Account Minimum: $0
Fees: .1% per trade
Promotion: Very low trading & transfer fees
What is Binance Exchange?
Binance is a Chinese company, founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao and Yi He. Zhao had already made a name for himself in the cryptocurrency world, as he was part of the team behind blockchain.info and the CTO of OKCoin.
He’s currently Binance’s CEO and the mind behind many of its features and innovations.
Yi He’s experience is more varied. She has worked on media, both in front of and behind the cameras, most famously as an anchor for Travel TV Channel.
She has also worked with internet media and is a co-founder of OKCoin. She currently works at Binance as its CMO.
Operational spread and strength
Binance is the biggest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume. This is partly thanks to ease of use of its platform, but also thanks to the sheer number of cryptocurrencies available for trade.
Having such a standing also means every single move made by the exchange can be seen as a sign and swing the market – particularly considering how volatile the Crypto market is.
The company started out in Hong Kong, but its servers were moved to Japan in 2017 as there were fears the Chinese government would ban crypto trading.
Today, Binance has no public HQ, although it’s been confirmed they have offices in a number of countries – including China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Malta.
The location of the main Binance servers and the base of operations remains secret due to security reasons.
Payment Methods and Fees
Huge as Binance is, it doesn’t offer all the payment methods one might expect from such an operation.
This isn’t surprising, considering the exchange began as a crypto-to-crypto (i.e. no fiat currencies) exchange and only expanded to accept some sort of fiat later on.
This is important to point out because as of today, Binance is still a primarily crypto-to-crypto exchange. Because of that, some expectations you might have about an exchange might not be met.
Past 30-Day Trading volume
< 100 BTC
≥ 100 BTC
≥ 500 BTC
≥ 4500 BTC
≥ 10000 BTC
≥ 20000 BTC
≥ 40000 BTC
≥ 80000 BTC
≥ 150000 BTC
Deposit of money to your Binance account is actually free. Binance then charges .1% in order fee.
Rates to expect for withdrawals and deposits
Binance offers very competitive rates all around, with what in some cases are the best rates in the market. The structure isn’t entirely simple, but you can quickly grasp it.
All deposits on Binance incur no fees whatsoever.
Withdrawals incur fees, but rather than a set amount these vary depending on the blockchain you’re using and its current condition.
Withdrawal fees aren’t percentage-based, but instead a flat fee no matter how much you withdraw – since Blockchain transaction fees tend to work like that.
There are minimum withdrawal amounts to ensure the withdrawal fee doesn’t become higher than what you’re withdrawing. These amounts can change along with the fees.
For specifics on withdrawal fees and minimums, check Binance’s fees table.
Rates for buy/sell transactions
Just as with withdrawals and deposits, Binance’s rate system can seem convoluted at first.
Trading fees are percentage based, but they vary based on how much (in BTC) you have traded over the last month.
The flat trading fee is 0.1%. All trading fees get a 25% discount if they are paid using BNB.
That’s the most important value, and what you will be paying most of the time if not always. There are lower fees, but those are for power traders.
If you have BNB available, your fees will be automatically deducted from those funds, applying the discount.
Depending on how much you trade, Binance’s trading fees can go as low as 0.015%.
Since the very first discount tier still requires you to trade 100 BTC (or its equivalent in any other crypto) within a month, you likely won’t be getting preferential rates in a while.
Methods of deposit
Binance only supports withdrawal to crypto wallets. Withdrawal of fiat is not possible, since the system doesn’t have a fiat wallet to begin with.
As such, the only way to cash out of Binance is by moving your crypto to another exchange.
Transaction Completion Periods
Deposits made to Binance via crypto wallets usually clear within minutes. However, the exact timeframe will depend on the wallet configuration and the crypto being deposited.
Since authentication is required for deposits to take place, if the blockchain for your crypto is having a spike in activity this time could extend beyond minutes into a few hours.
Withdrawals usually happen within an hour. Once again, if the cryptocurrency you’re withdrawing is seeing a spike in activity, this could take longer.
Operations and Dashboard
On first look, Binance’s user interface can seem confusing since it displays a lot of data right away.
However, most of these data is made up of coin listings and price graphs. Once you get beyond that, the system is actually simple to use and understand.
However, as usual with these systems, there are two different sides to Binance. The default interface, intended for newer traders, is the easier one.
There’s an advanced one, however, that shows more data and gives you a bit more control over your trades.
Binance is available mainly as a website. However, it also offers apps for Android and iOS so traders can check prices and trade on the go.
This means that you can keep track of your crypto both at home and outside, as long as you have an internet connection.
As common with large crypto trading sites, Binance only keeps a small part of its holdings in hot (i.e., live or online) storage.
The bigger part of it is kept in cold storage in an undisclosed location – meaning most of Binance’s funds can’t be stolen even if you hack the site.
This means that your crypto is safe with Binance as long as you keep your Binance account safe.
Security and Customer Insurance
Continuing with the security subject, Binance has actually been hacked in the past – with millions of dollars in Bitcoin being subtracted.
The hack was due to a flaw in the system which has since been patched. While the hack made the news and was largely publicized, users didn’t lose their crypto.
Binance owned up to the hack, took the loss, and refunded people the lost cryptocurrency.
As such, Binance actually has a good track record. It has sadly been hacked, but when it happened, the company did the right thing.
Account opening requirements
All you need to open a Binance account is an email address and password. While other data might be required for verification, you aren’t required to verify your account to use the exchange.
On an important note, however, Binance does not offer its services to US customers on its main portal.
In other to comply with US regulations, US residents can use BAM Trading Services, designed especially for them.
Binance is accommodating when it comes to KYC requirements. You are allowed to open an account, deposit from crypto wallets, trade, and withdraw, without having to go through authentication as long as your daily withdrawal is under 2BTC.
The company has KYC/AML provisions in place that must be adhered to by customers who trade above 2BTC. This requires account verification.
Verifying your account
Binance’s verification process is both simple and strange. The requirements are simple: A picture or scan of a government-issued ID (passport or driver’s license preferably) and a picture of yourself holding a handwritten note saying “Binance.”
Yes, the second requirement is a bit odd. It gets even weirder: From the moment you click on “verify,” you have fifteen minutes to go through the process – else the system will lock out and you’ll have to wait half an hour to try again.
Other than that, it’s a very simple system, just filling out a form and providing those images.
How A Typical Transaction Works
Making a deposit
Making deposits on Binance is a simple process. If you’re looking to buy using fiat, you must provide your credit card’s data and how much crypto you want.
For crypto deposits it’s even simpler. From the User Center, click on the Deposits tab, and then on Funds.
Select the cryptocurrency you want to deposit, and the system will show you Binance’s wallet address for that blockchain.
You just have to send the funds there from your wallet.
How trading works
Trading on Binance is even simpler. All you have to do is look for the trading pair you want (from the crypto you have to the crypto you want) and place an order from there.
There are also advanced options, allowing you to set stop limits and other features. To access these, you must go to the advanced interface.
However, while these features are welcome, they need some getting used to if you must get a handle on how they work.
Making a withdrawal
Just as with deposits, withdrawing your crypto from Binance is quite simple.
From your profile, click on “Withdraw,” and then select the token you wish to withdraw. Then, input the address of the wallet you wish to withdraw your crypto to.
If you have whitelisted addresses, you can select one from the dropdown.
Then, input the amount of that crypto you want to withdraw, and click on “Submit.”
Depending on the wallet you’re using, you might be asked to perform additional verification steps – but usually you’ll only have to confirm the 2FA.
The 2FA system requires a code and a mobile phone. Once you’ve input the verified phone and click ‘submit’, you’ll receive the code containing an anti-phishing key.
You need to input this code on the tab provided on the trading screen and submit.
You should have your crypto within an hour after that.
Binance has customer support via a responsive Zendesk and also on Telegram.
Unlike other businesses, these two options are the only way to go – with no phone numbers to contact.
The exchange does offer a well curated knowledge base for help.
The customer support is said to be slow, but generally decent.
Considering customer support isn’t great when it comes to cryptocurrency-related services in general, that’s a plus.
Pros & Cons
- It’s the largest crypto exchange in the world, and trades heaps of different currencies.
- Transactions are instant.
- Transaction fees and rates are among the lowest in the market – with power traders getting even better rates.
- You can buy crypto from them straight with your credit card.
- The security rating is impressive. And the crypto community in general, recommends the website.
- Registering is quick, and using it is easy, while also offering some advanced features.
- Most of Binance’s funds are kept in cold storage in undisclosed locations, so it’s impossible for a hacker to do away with a large portion of the company’s money
- For regional markets, Binance Jersey offers a direct Pounds and Euro-based transaction. Same goes for Binance Uganda, where local banking support is provided.
- Binance trades crypto-to-crypto primarily. While you can buy some crypto with credit card, you can’t cash out through them.
- Customer service is slow, although decent.
- While simple to use, the fact that Binance only trades crypto makes it seem like it was designed with experienced users in mind. However, its advanced features for margin trading are still in the works.
How To Open An Account
Opening an account with Binance is a really straightforward process.
To do so, you only have to click on the “Register” link on its website, and then provide your email address and password (hint: use a secure one).
You’ll then have to confirm your email by clicking a link sent to your inbox. Once that is done, you’ll be ready to use your Binance account.
Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, if not the largest player in the market.
Should You Use Binance?
While the cryptocurrency world moves amazingly fast and it’s usually difficult to predict anything, it’s easy to see that Binance is safe not just for now, but likely for the foreseeable future.
As an exchange, the company has grown from nothing to the biggest site in the market within two years from inception, surpassing the user base and trading heights of sites with up to a decade of experience.
This trend isn’t likely to stop, and at this point, it is clear that Binance will remain a main player in the crypto community.
More importantly, the company isn’t only dedicated to trading, but it’s also trying to help advance cryptocurrencies and bring them to the mainstream.
The company’s decision to support crypto start-ups with IEOs has solidified the idea that Binance is a force of good to trust.
Asif is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and journalist who’s been writing on the subject since 2014. He also has a keen interest in social engineering and cybersecurity. When not busy writing about cryptocurrency, he can be found reading books and listening to music. He holds an M.Sc in Life Science and an MBA in Finance & Banking.