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Binance

Binance Review
Trader's rating 1.5
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed Not available 0.10%

 

Binance is a crypto currency exchange, focused mainly on the Chinese market. Of course, you could still use it, if you are based elsewhere.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Binance China N/A

 

Binance is a relatively new Chinese company, created by experienced professionals in the cryptocurrency space. The most recognizable name behind this project is that of Changpeng Zhao, former CTO at OKCoin.

 

Binance was created after attracting funds via an ICO (Initial Coin Offering – creating a new digital asset, backed by the project). The BNB tokens can now be traded on the exchange, or used as a method of paying your trading fees, which will reduce them by 50%. Additionally a small portion of the coin has to be paid to the company to cast your vote in the community poll, which determines which altcoin will be added to the exchange next.

 

That being said, whenever a new coin is added, Binance holds some kind of promotional distribution to existing clients. Usually it involves tracking the biggest holders of the new asset and rewarding them with extra coins. While these can not be taken as a guaranteed means of attaining more altcoins, they do raise attention towards the new tradign product.

 

Given its brief history, it is not surprising that Binance has not yet been hacked. That being said, the most obvious issue with this exchange is the fact it operates in China. Given the recent moves by the local authorities, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them register in a different country.

 

The English user reviews on Binance, while few, are fairly positive. Again, we must reiterate this is still a very new company, at the time of writing of this review.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Binance offers a substantial number of coins, which are traded mostly against Bitcoin and Ethereum. On the other side the two major coins are also paird with USDT (US Dollar Tether a digital asset, backed by US dollars, which aims to keep a 1:1 price ratio). The list of coins available at Bitnancie includes, but is not limited to (especially since new ones are added frequently): BTC, ETH, LTC, BCC, OMG, IOTA, ICN, MCO, SALT, KNC, CTRm SNLS, FUN, BQX, XVG, ZRX and BQX.

 

Minimum initial deposit

Binance does not provide information on the minimum deposit amount. As we cover mostly forex brokers, we are used to companies stating this information openly. The need for a minimum deposit level is associated with the legal costs of opening an account, which may exceed the potential commissions you will make with a broker, if you are trading too small. That being said several companies don’t have a required minimum, like the FCA-regulated industry leaders at IG

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Binance. For those of you who are not familiar with the trading world – this is a system which allows you to trade with more money than you actually have in your account. Your balance is then used as a guarantee to maintain your position open. As an example, forex brokers require very little in collateral, in order to maintain massive positions. The so called leverage ratios can go as high as 1:500 or more. For instance, XM offers 1:888 in leverage.

 

That being said the cryptocurrency space is a lot more volatile, hence the need for lower ratios. Exchanges and forex brokers alike, rarely offer more than 1:20 in leverage.

 

Fees

The fee structure at Binance is simple to understand, but more importantly very competitive in the current environment. There is a flat 0.10% fee on all trading. Other exchanges often separate clients based on their trading volume and the way they enter/exit a transaction (traders who provide liquidity to the exchange usually get some benefits).

On the other hand forex brokers incorporate the costs of trading in the spread. While comparing them is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, we have made a side-by-side review of both services here.

 

Trading platform

 

Binance’s trading platform is web-based. Furthermore it offers two distinct trading layouts, a more simple one and a “Pro” version. Visually it reminds us a lot of the platform provided by Bitstamp. Here is how the “standard platform” looks:

 

 

The order book is placed on the left and more interestingly is arranged vertically. While being a bit avant-garde, this is by no means unique. The tape is on the bottom right, with a news feed placed directly above it. Overall, the presentation seems enjoyable. The “Pro” version, on the other hand looks like this:

 

 

This reminds us a lot of Bitstamp’s platform. The positioning of the order book and tape is a bit more convenient, with them being grouped up. The charting package also seems a bit more sophisticated, but it’s not even close to the forex industry standard which we have grown accustomed to, MetaTrader4 (MT4)

 

Methods of payment

 

Binance is one of the exchanges which doesn't accepts fiat currency payments and focuses only on the digital side of things. Clients can deposit and withdraw the coins supported at the exchange.

 

Conclusion

 

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange, created by a former key member of OKCoin. While the company mostly focuses on the Chinese market, everybody is welcome. That being said, they do not accept fiat money deposits. The amount of coins available for trading is relatively high and still growing, but there are other exchanges offering the more exotic ones. The major issue we have with Binance is that the project hasn’t been around long enough to actually prove itself. Here are the pros and cons of this exchange:

 

Pros  Cons
Founded by industry veterans New company
Some altcoins included  Based in China (may have issues with regulators)
More assets being added constantly Does not accept (fiat) money transfers
Competitive commissions  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Bittrex

Bittrex Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.2

 

 

Our Experience

As we mentioned in the beginning of our Bitstamp review, after testing their services, we transferred some coins to Bittrex in order to experience more exotic coins. While Bitstamp only offers four of the major cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, Bittrex supports over 190 digital assets.

 

What was highly unusual at Bittrex was the vast number of wallets available. There were pages and pages, but then again all trading assets must be supported. We were very careful to transfer our recently acquired Litecoin to the appropriate address. We chose Litecoin, as the network fees (not charged by the exchange, but by the actual blockchain) for a Bitcoin transfer felt a bit too high.  

 

Once we received the coins we started trading, after going through Bitcoin several times, as most altcoins are traded against it.  After a couple of days we realized we had some Bitcoin “change” left over. This was obviously due to partial executions. Here is a preview of the multiple wallets we have and the “change” left in the third one (click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

While the 29 pages may seem scary at first, there are several filters, including the option to “hide zero balances”.


Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed None 0.25%

 

Bittrex is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Its main advantage against major competitors, like Kraken or Bitfinex is the diversity of coins available for trading. Basically every coin you can think about is traded on Bittrex.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Bittrex, INC US Applying for NY Bitlicense

 

Bittrex, INC is based in the US, more specifically in New York. It is one of the few companies which has applied for the controversial “BitLicense”. If you are not familiar with the story, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) had plans to regulate bitcoin exchanges in 2015, which one may argue backfired. A lot of companies opted not to go through the stringent regulatory process, and simply moved out of New York. While at least nine applied for a license, only three were approved for two years. The fact, reputable companies decided to back-out, combined with the slow process, makes the entire law appear to be ineffective. While the regulation may not make New York a crypto-trading hub, Bittrex is still in the application process.

 

When it comes to the security of your funds at Bittrex, the company offers and recommends using two-factor authentication, which is a standard measure in the industry. The exchange hasn’t yet suffered a major hack, unlike others. However there are a few alleged reports by individuals, who claim their accounts were hacked. It is hard to verify their claims or if they aren’t to blame for mistakes like having a weak password or not enabling two-factor autentication.

 

The user reviews for Bittrex are fairly positive. Traders like the feel of the actual trading platform (which we’ll cover shortly) and the diversity of altcoins. That being said, given the number of assets available for trading, one must be careful when transferring coins to Bittrex. Some of the user issues with the exchange involve the company’s policy on recovering coins transferred to the wrong wallet, which we will get to in the Methods of Payment section. The other frequent complaint people have invoves slow responses from the customer support, but the amount of negative post is nowhere near the ones for Poloniex.

 

Update: While the majority of reviews on Bittrex were positive, the company apparently locked-out a lot of accounts in the days around the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. This prevented customers from selling their Bitcoin as the market rallied. While we had no issue, with our testing account a lot of other traders had. Check the comments section below this review for complaints. We have lowered the otherwise solid score of this exchange as a result.


Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

As we mentioned in the beginning, the major advantage of Bittrex comes from the plethora of alternative coins it provides. Currently there are over 190 digital assets available for trading. There are two types of markets at Bittrex – USD and Bitcoin. As their names suggest, at one of them you are trading coins against the US dollar, while in the latter you are trading them against Bitcoin. The more exotic assets are only available in the second market type.

 

Minimum initial deposit

Bittrex does not provide any information on the minimum deposit level. While this is a common practice with cryptocurrency exchanges, we are used to forex brokers providing this information freely. Some even point out the low levels they have as a competiive advantage. For instance, you can open a cent-account at FXTM with only $5.

 

Leverage

There is no margin trading at Bittrex, at the time of writing of this review. That being said, the company has announced it is working on its implementation. Forex brokers, who provide bitcoin trading (like IG) always provide margin trading. Additionally, almost all of their offers involve CFD trading, which is slightly different than exchange-based trading. For a full description of the differences between the two, read this review. 

 

Fees

The trading fee at Bittrex is 0.25%. This is in-line with the current offers provided by other exchanges, although such a flat value is not often applied. For instance, some exchanges offer a different fee for market “makers” and takers”, encouraging people to provide liquidity to their order book. A market maker (in this context, not to be confused with forex market makers) is a trade who places a bid or ask on the exchange. A “taker” is somebody who buys directly from the best available ask (or sells at the best bid). Furthermore, discounts for large traders are also provided at some exchanges, based on the monthly trading volume. 

 

Trading platform

 

As most other crypto-exchanges, Bitttrex offers a web-based platform. It feels fairly easy to use, while offering multiple capabilities. The charting package is average – worse than the one provided by let’s say MetaTrader4 (MT4), but a lot better than the ones which other exchanges offer. There are several technical indicators available, but again not as much, as these available at the leading forex trading platforms. Here is what a chart at Bittrex looks like (click to zoom-in): 

 

 

The order book also feels very intuitive and as if it was developed by somebody who is familiar with trading. The “star” column on the inner-side of both the bid and ask tables fills up wit a … star, once you have placed an order. This makes it easy to visually recognize the price levels at which you are willing to buy or sell. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

Overall the Bittrex trading platforms is one of the better ones we have seen, with no major downside to it.

 

Methods of payment

 

Payments to and from Bittrex can only be made via cryptocurrencies. Given the plethora of available wallets, one must be careful not to deposit to the wrong one. We found a comment from an individual, who mistakenly transferred his Bitcoin Cash into his regular Bitcoin wallet. The support team managed to help him, but you must be aware of the official company policy on this matter. It is to review such transactions only if they involve coins worth over $5,000 and charge a 5% fee for fixing the issue.

 

While relatively inexperienced users will like to deposit via Credit/Debit Card or on-line solutions such as Skrill or PayPal, they will have to go through another party before trading at Bittrex. 

 

Conclusion

 

Bittrex is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Its main advantage over the competition is the availability of multiple alternative coins – over 190 and counting. That being said, the company does not accept fiat money deposits –  instead they only operate in the cryptoverse. This is a limitation for inexperienced people, but if they want to venture into the assets available at Bittrex, they would have to do some research anyway. The trading platform feels solid. Overall Bittrex is a top-contender for people who are looking to trade more exotic alternative coins. Here are the pros and cons of trading with Bittrex:

 

Pross Cons
Applying for NY BitLicense No fiat currency deposits accepted
Multiple altcoins available Locked user accounts prior to the BTC Cash fork
Relatively competitive commissions  
Nice trading platform  
No major hacks in the past  

 

 

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