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bitFlyer Review - Is it scam or safe?

bitFlyer Review - is bitflyer.jp scam or good cryptocurrency exchange?

RATING: 4 / 6 REVIEWS bitFlyer

RECOMMENDED BITCOIN BROKERS


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  

 

Latest news about bitFlyer
Forex
Broker Country Regulation Platform Min Deposit Review
US CFTC, NFA MT4, Web,
in-house
$50 Review Website
US NFA, CFTC MT4 $250 Review Website
Cyprus, UK, Mauritius CySec, FCA, FSC MT4, MT5, Web $10 Review Website
Australia ASIC MT4, MT5,
IRESSTrader
$100 Review Website
Cyprus, Australia CySec, ASIC MT4, MT5 $5 Review Website
UK, Australia, South Africa FCA, ASIC, FSCA MT4, Trading
Station,
NinjaTrader
$50 Review Website
UK, Cyprus, UAE, South Africa FCA, CySEC, DFSA, FSB MT4, MT5, FxPro
Markets,
cTrader
$100 Review Website
Cyprus CySEC MT4, MT5, Web $1 Review Website
Belize IFSC MT4, MT5 $100 Review Website
Cyprus, UK, South Africa, UAE CySec, FCA, FSCA, DFSA MT4, MT5, Web $5 Review Website
Cyprus, UK CySEC, FCA MT4, MT5 $1 Review Website
UK FCA MT5 $5 Review Website
UK FCA MT4, Web, MT4
for Mac
$100 Review Website
Australia, UK ASIC, FCA MT4, MT5,
cTrader
$200 Review Website
UK, Cyprus, Dubai FCA, CySEC, DFSA MT4, MT5, Web,
PrimeTrader
$100 Review Website

Traders` reviews for bitFlyer

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Summary

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A SCAM which will swallow your coin

Its SMS (Mobile text) never works so that u can not withdraw. It does not show the coin or momey u put in. It is N Korea behind.

Helpme 06/23/2018

Avoid at all costs

Iam set up with Bitflyer and been trading as per normal with no problems. I made a good profit and pulled my funds at the right time to transfer my BC out to an external account. Bitflyer without any warning froze the payment. I have sent many e mails to no avail. You cant talk to anyone at all.I feel now that any profit or all my funds have gone due to the downturn of the current BC trade. I wouldnt want anyone to go through the troubles Iam now having.

Yasuko 12/18/2017

Money transferred for nearly a week, still my Bitflyer account is not credited

I wired my first deposit to fund Bitflyer account. After several emails, still haven’t got a response from bitflyer. My account still have not yet credited. Not very impressed with their customer care.

Vanessa 12/14/2017

BitFlyer Rates are a Scam and an outright lie

I went through their really obtuse setup procedure (that goes against everything bitcoin is about but whatever) and I bought 50,000yen each of BTC and ETH with a credit card, where they assured the fees were FREE. As I went back to my account I saw immediately that I had lost 15,000 yen of the value (15% of my trade). I emailed them about it and they said that they use a special rate for credit card transactions that they don't tell the consumer, and that its my responsibility to check how much BTC I'm getting when I do the trade THROUGH THEIR EXCHANGE THAT SAID THE FEES ARE FREE. This is classic bait and switch, and is not explained ANYWHERE on their website. False advertising and a scam, I'll be reporting this to the authorities.

Cal 12/07/2017

I would stay away

I'd avoid these guys, at least their US platform. I set up an account more than a week ago and then funded via wire six days ago. The funds have STILL NOT hit my account and they continue to request that I provide them with the same personal information and proof of identity, even though I've now provided it twice and they said via email that I am good to go. They may be able to work out the kinks but I'd go elsewhere to established platforms as I've never had these types of issues with the other exchanges.

jp2020 12/07/2017

Transferred money and they won't deposit it in my account

I transferred funds to this broker almost 3 weeks ago. bitFlyer says they can't tell if they received the money or not. My bank confirmed it has been deposited in their account. The customer service is horrible, and the issue is still unresolved. If they can't manage simple deposits, I wonder how secure your money and coins are if stored in their web wallets/accounts. Proceed with caution until they build experience and trust. My advice is to stay away as hackers know it's a great opportunity because of their disorganized management style.

Tokyo 12/04/2017
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