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bitFlyer

bitFlyer Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1: 15 Max 0.15% for BTC

 

BitFlyer is one of the most popular cyptocurrency exchanges in the Far East. It is also among the world leaders, in terms of volume.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
bitFlyer, Inc. Japan JFSA, NY BitLicense

 

BitFlyer is based in Japan. The local regulators have made some changes in the way they treat cryptocurrencies in the past. Currently, they are treated as assets, upon which capital gains (profiting from the price movement) is taxed. BitFlyer was one of the first companies to received the JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Agency) license, along with the major competitors from QUOINEX

 

Update: BitFlyer also received has the regulatory approval of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in November 2017. The company is set to start offering Bitcoin trading vs the USD, while adding altcoins in the future. We will update this review, when the service is fully implemented.

 

The company has been around since 2014 and has not had any hacking issues yet. The most important thing to note, from a western trader’s point of view is that trading is done (mostly) against the Japanese YEN (JPY), unlike most exchanges where you can trade cryptocurrencies against one another, the US Dollar and occasionally the Euro. You may need an account with a forex broker, such as FXTM, just to hedge your currency risk.

 

The user reviews on BitFlyer (written in English) are mostly positive. This is a good sign, as the company maintains multilingual support. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

As mentioned above trading at BitFlyer is done against the Japanese Yen. This applies for the plethora of Bitcoin instruments, which include Spot BTC trading, Margin BTC trading, and BTC Futures (not to be confused with Bitcoin Cash Futures). Furthermore Etereum is available for trading, against Bitcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

BitFlyer does not give any guidelines about a minimum deposit level. Forex brokers, on the other hand usually announce their minimum entry barriers. For instance, you can open an account with XM, with only $5.

 

Leverage

BitFlyer offers a maximum leverage ratio of 1:15. However, in order to be allowed to trade on margin, one must go through a tougher verification process. This type of ratio may sound very small to someone who is used to forex trading, as lots of brokers provide 1:500 or even higher levels. 

 

Do keep in mind cryptocurrencies often move far more wildly than fiat currencies. While a major pair will rarel move more than 1.5 – 2% percent per day, the Bitcoin often has gains or losses exceeding 10%. This explains the lower leverage offering by BitFlyer, which by the way is one of the highest offers provided by crypto-exchanges. For a full comparison of trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and on an exchange click here.

 

Fees

Fees at BitFlyer vary slightly for the different services, which they provide. They offer directly exchanging JPY to BTC, the fees for which go as high as 0.15% for the lowest volume traders. As a comparisson, Bitfinex charges this type of fee only for the market "makers", while takers pay a slightly higher one. The maximum fee for ETH/BTC is 0.20%. Here is the full information, as provided by the company (click to zoom-in):

 

 

Lightning FX stands for the margin trading of BTC/JPY. Futures on the other hand are similar to exchange traded futures. However the liquidity in them appears to be far lower, which is to be expected. We would not recommend them to inexperienced traders.

 

 

Trading platform

 

BitFlyer provides two trading platforms. They are both web based, which is not unusual for cryptocurrency exchanges. One of them is the so called Bitcoin Easy Exchange, which serves, to facilitate direct JPY to BTC transfers. It is what people, who want to get their funds converted to Bitcoin, before transferring them would use. Albeit simple, it does the job. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

The company also offers the BitFlyer Lightning platform. It feels much more like a forex trading platform, as it is designed with the trader in mind. This is the platform where the 1:15 leverage ratio is provided. Here is what platform looks like (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a chart on the left, with lots pre-loaded indicators. The order book looks pretty solid (in the middle) and the tape is locate on the right. Several more fields are located below these, similarly to the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminal. Charting appears to be decent, with several technical indicators in place. Furthermore the charts can be set to full-screen mode.

 

There are multiple themes available, if you do not like the black and orange feel. One thing we must mention are the maddening sounds, which are turned on by default. Every time a transaction is made, more importantly, every time there is a movement of a bid/ask in the order book, play a sound. Luckily, these can be turned off quite easily.

 

Methods of payment

 

BitFlyer accepts Bank Transfers, Credit Cards issued in Japan and Bitcoin transfers. Although the company has a clear focus on its internal market, a foreigner can still use their services, albeit not with his credit card. Users of online payment systems, such as Skrill are also left out.

 

Conclusion

 

BitFlyer is the number one cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. It also rates pretty highly among the global volume charts. The most specific thing is that trading is done against the Japanese Yen (JPY). There are multiple platforms and services available, including margin trading. Despite being focused on its domestic market, the company appears to be reaching out to the rest of the world and with commission levels so low, customers will come. Here is a summary BitFlyer’s pros and cons:

 

Pros Cons
No major hacks yet Trading against JPY
Accepts Bank Transfer and Japanese Credit Card Does not accept Credit Card, from countries other than Japan
Competitive commissions No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
Relatively nice trading platform  
Allows margin trading and futures  

 

Coinone

Coinone Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

  

Account type Leverage Trading fee Deposit Fee
Standard 1:4 0.10% None

 

Coinone is one of the major Korean cryptocurrency exchanges. If you are enthusiastic about blockchain technology, you should know a few things about them even if you don’t plan on trading with them. As you may know the trading activity on Korean exchanges has been relatively high in recent times and even determines the short term price swings.

 

Coinone Advantages

 

Established local player – Coinone has been around since 2014 and the team behind this exchange looks very solid. There aren’t any reports of a major hack at this exchange, which is not the case with one of their major competitors – Bithumb.

 

High level of Security – Security seems to be a top priority for Coinone, as the company includes multi-signature wallets, two-factor authentication  (2FA) and cold storage. While there is no 100% guarantee of future safety, these factors are nice.

 

Low Fees – The costs of trading at Coinone are very competitive, with the offers by other exchanges. With a 0.10% maximum fee (which goes even lower, if you trade bigger volumes) this exchange is one of the cheapest. As a comparison, Kraken, another otherwise solid exchange charges up to 0.26%. 

 

Korean Bank Transfers accepted – Coinone accepts fiat currency deposits, via bank transfer. That being said, only Korean bank accounts can be registered with this exchange.

 

>>Get Bitcoin with a credit card<<

 

No fees on deposits – Unlike most other exchanges, this one does not charge fees on deposits (regardless of the methods of payment). Most services accepting fiat currencies charge something in the 2-10% range. 

 

7 coins available – The current list of coins available at Coinone includes: BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, QTUM and LTC. This may be more than enough for some users, but there are those who are willing to explore exotic digital assets. If you are looking for more altcoins, be sure to checkout Bittrex and Cryptopia.

 

Leverage is available – Unlike most exchanges, Coinone  offers margin trading, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:4. That being said this involves borrowing coins from other traders. This can be a costly and tedious process, so if you are looking to speculatively trade Bitcoin a forex broker may be a better alternative.

 

>>Bitcoin forex brokers<< 

 

Trading with such a company usually allows even higher leverage, but may not be suitable for long term positions. Read more here.

 

Nice trading platform – The “Pro Charts” feature of Coinone is very nice, when compared to some of the other crypto-exchanges. Here is a preview (a live chat is also included, click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

Coinone Disadvantages

 

Focus on Korea – Dealing with this company if you are not Korean will be hard, or even impossible, as they require having a local bank account. It is technically possible, but you will have to go through a lot of hassle.

 

Trading only against KRW – While this exchange offers several altcoins they can’t be freely traded against one another. Some clients may even see this as a positive, but at the end of the day, having the ability to quickly convert one coin into another will be viewed highly by others.

 

Few negative user reviews – We couldn’t find many user reviews on this exchange in English, but there were a couple of complaints regarding slow payments.

 

Withdrawal fees – These are not the miner fees associated with a given blockchain, rather fees which go to Coinone. They aren’t that big, but will still annoy some users. Here is the breakdown:

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Coinone is one of the leading Korean cryptocurrency exchanges. They have been around since 2014 and acts as an entry level service for locals. Additionally the company provides access to “Jikgu” payments (a term used for Koeran online shopping from other countries).

 

The actual exchange platform is rather well-designed, which is probably one of the contributing factors to this venue’s popularity. At the time of writing of this review, they are only surpassed by Bithumb, in terms of BTC/KRW trading volume.

 

That being said, Bitcoin trading is not regulated in Korea, so if you are looking for a safer alternative, you may try with a forex broker.

 

>>Trusted forex brokers, offering Bitcoin<<

 

While we review this exchange from an outsider’s point of view (as the company is heavily focused on the domestic market), we generally like what we see. Here is a summary of this exchange:

 

 

Pros Cons
Established local player Focus on Korea
High level of security Trading only against the KRW
Low fees Few negative user reviews
Korean Bank Transfers accepted Withdrawal fees
No fees on deposits  
7 coins available  
Leverage is available  
Nice trading platform  

 

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