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Binance General Overview
Binance advertises itself as the leading exchange for digital assets worldwide and manages to live up to that name most of the time. This exchange was founded in July 2017 and just after a few months, in early 2018, it was established as the leading exchange by trading volume. Since then Binance’s ecosystem has grown significantly with the addition of the Binance smart chain that operates independently and serves as a platform upon which other projects can build and deploy their products. So far there hasn’t been that much interest from mainstream projects but there are a few others that are currently building on the Binance smart chain.
The exchange was founded by Changpeng Zhao, a Chinese entrepreneur that started out as CTO at OKCoin. After a turbulent episode with that exchange, Changpeng Zhao moved on and started Binance that was a result of an ICO which raised over $15 million. Due to regulatory issues, Binance was forced to operate in many different remote locations that included countries more lenient toward regulation. Right now it is reported that this exchange operates in Malta. Early investors of Binance were compensated in BNB tokens that gained utility and value over time. The initial sale price was roughly $0.1 per token.
What is Binance?
Binance is an exchange that facilitates cryptocurrency trades. Their platform offers many different trading services and allows users to trade the most popular digital currencies on the market. The exchange acts as a custodian for their users offering crypto wallets directly on their platform where traders can store their capital for as long as they need. Those that keep their funds on Binance can also benefit from the lending program which will be discussed in this review.
Why Choose Binance?
There are a few reasons why you should choose Binance as your main crypto exchange but also a few arguments against that decision. KYC is a tedious task that can sometimes take months due to errors on both sides of that transaction. On top of that, many crypto traders don’t like it due to frequent hacks and data leaks so Binance can serve as a solution to this problem. Since anonymous accounts can transfer up to 2 BTC daily, that should be more than enough for recreational traders that don’t move large sums around. Binance also offers many different investment options that are good for both small and big investors. Those that don’t like trading can earn interest by lending their crypto holdings while traders can utilize leverage and margin trading.
US-based users, on the other hand, won’t be able to enjoy most of these benefits. Binance.us states on their website that daily transfer for accounts with basic verification can’t exceed $5k. Even those that complete the Fiat account verification process will have some limitations – 5,000 USD with ACH or 7,500,000 USD with wire on every transfer. Crypto withdrawals for micro traders can become an issue if your withdrawals are frequent. Binance did lower BTC and ETH withdrawal fees in early 2020 but there are still some coins that require double-digit dollar value to be withdrawn.
Pros and Cons
- Low fees
- 25% fee discount when using BNB
- 200+ tradable altcoins
- Altcoin deposits & withdrawals
- Fiat trades supported
- Altcoin margin trading
- Bitcoin Futures trading
- Stable mobile apps
- Anonymous accounts with 2BTC withdraw daily limit
- KYC only for higher limits
- High yield interest account
- Crypto lending
When it comes to features Binance usually manages to keep up with its competitors. Their trading fees are at a reasonable level with added discounts for trading pairs that include BNB. Margin accounts can utilize the leverage of up to 1:3 for BTC and altcoins. Futures trading is more flexible with BTC/USD trading up to 1:125. Another pro that should be mentioned is lending because it can serve as a stream of passive income for Binance users. Rather than holding on to their investment, they can earn interest by lending their tokens to other users via the Binance lending feature.
When it comes to cons, Binance does have quite a few:
- US traders have to migrate from Binance.com to Binance.us because of a trading ban
- The exchange was hacked in 2019
- Crypto payment card only available in the EU
- No phone support. Unreliable customer support in general
- Not recommended for beginners
Even though the exchange got hacked in 2019, victims of the hack were offered a full refund later that year.
How Binance Compares to Other Exchanges?
Fiat deposits were unavailable until recently so Binance was behind on that front for a few years when compared to their competitors. When it comes to reputation, Binance is a fairly respected exchange in the crypto space but probably not the first choice for most crypto enthusiasts. The main reason for this would be geographical restrictions that Binance is constantly trying to workaround. US customers highly prefer Coinbase over Binance but this doesn’t mean that this trend won’t change in the future. An interesting fact to consider is that Binance still managed to capture most of the users even though they didn’t provide the best services. On average, it is the most visited crypto exchange worldwide.
Binance is fairly easy to navigate but, as mentioned previously, is hard for beginners to comprehend. Price charts follow the usual trading standards and the dashboard is very intuitive for users that previously interacted with forex or stock exchanges.
Trading on the platform is pretty straightforward and simple. You just need to select the type of trade you are trying to execute and fill out the info provided by the interface.
Binance also offers a mobile app that comes with a slick design and a user-friendly interface.
After testing both the basic and advanced trading modes on Binance you will come to the conclusion that this exchange offers an above-average service with a lot of room for improvement.
Binance is a well-known name in the crypto industry but it did have ups and downs along the way. The 2019 hacks is probably the most known fact about Binance but there are other problems that followed the exchange since it started out in 2017. Almost 90% of projects that got launched on the Binance Launchpad have lost value over time. Most of those coins and tokens never reached the presale price after hitting the markets and this is one of the reasons why early investors lost faith in the Launchpad. Binance did recently revamp it with Matic network that had a fairly successful launch.
In 2015 Changpeng Zhao accused OKCoin in a Reddit thread of using trading bots and implementing wash trading tactics on their platform. The post was later removed by CZ but it sparked other discussions on the platform that imposed the idea that Binance is using the same tactics today. An unproven claim that still pops up on Reddit every now and then even 5 years after the infamous Reddit post.
In general, Binance can be considered as a reputable exchange since their customers are taken care of even in the event of a hack or breach. For example, the COVER hack that took place in December 2019 didn’t affect Binance users because they got compensated by the exchange.
Important things to know about Binance?
- No deposit fees
- $10 minimum deposit
- Credit card purchases enabled
- 150+ tradable coins and tokens
- High liquidity and reliability
- Reasonable discounts for BNB trading pairs
- 24/7 support
- P2P trading
A reliable crypto exchange should have enough liquidity and uptime to be considered as a competitor in the space. During the past few years, Binance has kept their uptime at a reasonable rate with a few unscheduled repairs during big surges in traffic. The most recent example would be the event that took place in August 2020 when Binance.us went down and halted all trading. Even though the funds were safe and no harm was done to traders, the crypto market doesn’t stop when one exchange stops operating. Those that wanted to buy or sell their crypto at that exact moment couldn’t do anything until the exchange came back online. Most of the time this is harmless and nothing to worry about but traders that want reliability at all times should consider all options before making their final decision.
It is worth mentioning that Binance facilitates P2P trades where users can make private trades with each other. In this case, Binance offers an escrow service that makes sure the trade is successful and both parties get their share. This is a feature that can’t be found on many crypto exchanges.
Binance has no specific guidelines on the countries they support but their TOS does state that “some countries may be restricted”. For example, another product that belongs to the Binance ecosystem – Binance DEX was forced to block users from 29 countries:
USA, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Burma, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cote D’Ivoire, the Crimea region of Ukraine, Croatia, Cuba, Herzegovina, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
How to register on the Binance app?
- Open the Binance app and click on [Login/Register] at the top left-hand corner.
- Follow the instructions and insert the email address and password you’ll use for your account. Read the TOS and click on [Register].
- After clicking on [Register], you’ll see a sliding jigsaw verification code. Please, drag the slider to complete it.
- Once you have completed the jigsaw authenticator, you will be sent a confirmation email to the address you’ve specified. The confirmation email should arrive in 10 minutes.
How to deposit crypto on Binance?
- Go to the Binance website or app and Log In to your account.
- After the login, please click [Wallet] – [Spot Wallet] on the upper right-hand side of the page, and then click on [Deposit].
- Input the abbreviation or full name of a coin/token that you want to deposit or select it from the list.
- In this example you can see a BTC deposit. In order to quickly get the BTC deposit address for your account, copy the BTC deposit address and paste it to the corresponding platform’s address section, where you intend to withdraw your funds from.
Alternatively, you can also use the corresponding platform’s mobile app to scan the QR code to complete your deposit.
Does Binance require KYC?
Yes and No. Binance.com allows up to 2BTC withdrawals per day without KYC while Binance.us requires a more strict KYC process with different limits and rules.
Is Binance good for beginners?
Not necessarily. Traders that are experienced in the stock and forex markets will feel at home while newcomers won’t enjoy the same satisfaction. Complete beginners will need some time to learn their way around the exchange.
Since it first hit the market in 2017 Binance has been growing constantly. Their yearly trading volume is on the rise and the BNB token has seen significant growth in that same period. There are a lot of changes that struggle with liquidity and lack of support but with Binance you shouldn’t worry about these things most of the time. Submitting tickets and getting support is fairly easy when the markets aren’t busy but as the cryptocurrency space expands and new users are on boarded delays are to be expected.
Fiat onramps are a great addition to the exchange as well. Those that want to keep their value in crypto but still participate in the conventional financial system can do so with the Binance card that offers users more flexibility and freedom. Even though it can’t be recommended as the first choice for everyone, Binance should be considered as a top 3 crypto exchange, at least. Constant upgrades and improvements that are made on the platform are evidently bringing results. We can only expect more of the same in the coming years. Binance has made it clear that it is here to stay but they still have a long way to go if they want to stay competitive in the space.