Binance Review and Comparison
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 10/23/20
Binance is one of the leading trading platforms around, with over 200 coins supported for deposit and withdrawal. In this review I’ll cover the main things you need to know before signing up.
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Binance Review summary
Binance is a crypto trading platform that offers one of the most competitive rates around. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned trader looking to trade crypto, this is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go.
The platform accepts users from around the world and has received favorable reviews from the crypto community. Recently the exchange has also partnered with 3rd party companies such as Simplex to allow credit card and wire transfer purchases of cryptocurrencies at a premium. Finally, US users can trade on Binance-US which is compatible with US trade regulations.
That’s Binance in a nutshell. If you want a detailed review of Binance keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:
- Binance Overview
- Binance Services
- Currencies and Payment Methods
- Binance Fees
- Buying Limits
- Supported Countries
- Customer Support and Reviews
- Binance vs. Other Exchanges
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion – Is Binance Safe to Use?
Binance is a Hong Kong–based cryptocurrency exchange launched by developer Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ) in July 2017. Zhao’s company Beijie Technology created the exchange after a successful ICO that raised $15 million.
Investors who invested in the ICO got Binance Coin (BNB) in return which can be used to trade cryptocurrencies and pay for fees on Binance. BNB’s initial value was around $0.1, and as Binance got more and more popular the coin appreciated in price.
Beijie Technology and its founder maintain an impressive track record within the industry. Zhao’s CV includes high-profile positions, such as technical director at Blockchain.com, and his company now provides trading systems for over 30 other platforms.
Following struggles with the Chinese government’s views on cryptocurrencies, Binance now runs its servers from more lenient states, providing it with the freedom to run a competitive exchange service:
“In response to China’s decisions, we are moving our IP’s from Hong Kong to an offshore location. So we are registered in multiple locations and we have people in multiple locations. That way we will never be affected by one regulatory body,” explained Zhao.
The trading exchange has been experiencing astounding success since its summer launch, and it now sits around the top ten in terms of 24-hour trading volumes on Coinmarketcap.
Binance‘s Exchange allows users to exchange fiat for Bitcoin or other coins. There are several ways you can buy crypto on Binance:
A very neat feature, Binance provides a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading service, which connects buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency directly. This facilitates fiat payments, with a wide variety of payment options that depend on the users’ preferences.
Binance has recently partnered with Simplex to supply a brokerage service via credit and debit cards. This service allows you to buy 31 different cryptocurrencies with a credit card. However, this service comes with a premium that can get as high as 3.5% fee for USD purchases.
Thanks to integrations with additional 3rd party providers, Binance now enables its users to buy crypto directly with fiat using SEPA & bank transfers. This option is especially attractive, as SEPA & wire deposits entail no transaction fee at all. On the downside though, while this payment method is available for several fiat options such as euros, CAD & AUD, it is not available for USD deposits.
Last, Brave, the privacy-focused browser integrated a Binance Widget for in-browser trading. The widget allows users to buy and trade crypto through Binance, as well as view and manage their crypto portfolio.
Trading on Binance is fairly easy and user friendly. There’s an impressive cryptocurrency selection available for trading in conjunction with the Bitcoin, Ether, BNB, XRP and Tether trading pairs. Crypto/fiat paris are also available on Binance’s fiat markets.
Users can choose between the “basic”, “classic” and “advanced” interfaces for order book style trading plus margin, peer-to-peer and OTC trading options.
For spot trading, users can select between three different interfaces, based on their experience level. The classic interface allows a quick view of market and trading pairs, making it easier to switch pairs. The advanced view gives users access to advanced charting tools.
For people who are new to trading there won’t be any difference between the two views – both would seem too complex.
Less experienced traders have a basic quick trade option which allows you to simply convert coins at the market rate, without charts or orderbooks.
Margin trading is available for selected trading pairs, allowing users to trade with leverage of up to 10x on some coins. Users can choose between cross margin, which risks your entire margin account balance, and isolated margin, which restricts your potential losses to a single trading pair.
Binance also offers leveraged futures trading, which I’ll cover in the next section.
Binance Futures and Derivatives
Binance Futures, which was launched in 2019, enables traders to speculate on the price of (rather than to purchase and sell) Bitcoin and various popular altcoins, including Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and more.
The platform allows leveraged trading of up to 125x, which means that traders can multiply their profits (but also losses) by 125 – more than any other major platform.
Binance Futures balances are held separately from users’ regular trading accounts and must be funded with Tether (USDT) as collateral. All profits and losses will also be realized in USDT.
The user interface for Binance Futures looks almost identical to the Binance spot trading interface, aside from a few extra functions for controlling leverage and viewing open positions.
Fees on Binance Futures are slightly different from their spot markets, with maximum trading fees of 0.04% on any trade. Fees are lower for “maker” trades (which add liquidity to the order book before execution), or for users with large monthly trading volumes.
Binance also offers futures that are collateralized using non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or altcoins, under a separate tab named “Coin Futures”.
Finally, Binance offers derivatives called “Leveraged Tokens”, which provide UP and DOWN contracts betting on the price of certain cryptocurrencies. These give the buyer leveraged exposure to cryptocurrencies without the risk of liquidation.
The latest addition to Binance’s services is its financing option:
Binance Savings allows users to make a return on idle funds, through “flexible” or “locked” account types. Flexible savings accounts yield variable interest rates, while locked savings accounts pay higher interest on fixed-term deposits.
Binance also provides a staking service, which allows users to earn returns on proof-of-stake and decentralized finance (DeFi) coins, without needing the technical knowledge to stake the coins themselves. Similar to the savings accounts, the staking service is available in flexible and locked options.
Binance Smart Pool
Binance Smart Pool allows miners to contribute to a larger mining group which splits rewards. Hash power is automatically redirected to the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine at any moment, providing users with hands-free optimization.
Binance Visa Card
The Binance Visa Card allows users to spend their cryptocurrency holdings in places that only accept fiat currency via credit or debit card. Behind the scenes, your crypto holdings will be converted to fiat when you make a purchase (with zero fees), so that you don’t have to hold fiat on-hand.
Binance offers loans to users in the form of BUSD and USDT, collateralized with BTC or ETH. This provides an easy way to get your hands on stablecoins, while maintaining exposure to your cryptocurrency holdings and avoiding the taxable event of selling crypto.
Binance Liquid Swap
Binance Liquid Swap is an automated market-maker (AMM) platform, similar to Uniswap. Users can trade coins on Liquid swap with minimal slippage, or provide their liquidity in return for a share of fees. The key difference between Binance Liquid Swap and Uniswap is that Liquid Swap is centralized.
All in all, the number of coins available to trade, deposit and withdraw on the exchange is nearly 200, including major altcoins such as:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Dash (DASH)
- EOS (EOS)
- Nano (NANO)
- Paxos Standard (PAX)
- TRON (TRX)
- TrueUSD (TUSD)
- Tether (USDT)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Crypto can be traded for fiat (or other crypto) on the trading platforms or purchased directly using these payment methods:
- Credit/ Debit card
- Bank transfers
In a competitive space, the fee structure of Binance is cutting edge. Its team members have sharpened their knives and are slicing the opposition apart.
A flat rate of 0.1% is very enticing for any trader who doesn’t need immediate fiat liquidation. Traders that use Binance’s futures trading platform enjoy even lower fees, starting at 0.02% / 0.04% for makers or takers, respectively.
Incredibly, it undercuts most other large exchanges, some of which charge upward of 0.2%. That’s a pretty sizeable difference if you’re working with large orders.
BNB, the native Binance token, provides an additional discount on this trade fee of up to 50% when working with the coin.
Deposits are free, as you’d expect (aside from blockchain fees that are always paid by the sender). Withdrawal fees do apply, although they generally correlate with the blockchain transaction fees as well.
The withdrawal fee seems to be updated on a regular basis to try and offer a fair price.
Binance has a very simple limit structure, there are only withdrawal limits. Level 1 verified accounts can withdraw up to 2 BTC every 24 hours. Level 2 verified accounts can withdraw 100 BTC every 24 hours.
Verification requires filling out a basic Know Your Customer (KYC) form and providing proof of identity among other documents.
Binance does not mention which countries are supported by its exchange which makes it basically available worldwide. Customers from the USA can now use Binance US after Binance withdrew its main service from the country.
There is also no mention about exceptions for US citizens which caused Binance to come up on the US Department of Financial Services radar for potential violation of New York’s virtual currency regulations.
There’s a lot to love about Binance, and many traders continue to be upbeat about the service. Low fees, a responsive exchange, and developers with a proven track record leave most people beaming. Binance has generally been considered a comprehensive success in its short life so far.
Most support inquiries need to be made via the site’s email contact form. As with most major trading exchanges, you may have to wait a while for a response simply due to the sheer growth in demand.
There is a customer service bot chat to tap into, but some of the responses are automated (and in some in Chinese).
Happily, the website is completely multilingual, so most people should get along fine in one language or another (15 in total supported). This is another real advantage for Binance as it seeks to compete as a global cryptocurrency exchange.
One major problem does appear to be a thorn in the site’s side: Many reviews complain about a faulty 2FA/SMS confirmation.
The temperamental nature of this setup for Binance means that a few customers struggle to withdraw funds. In fact, it’s such a problem that scam allegations have been pointed at the service.
To be honest, dodgier prospects exist across the industry, and I see this as more of a technical issue than a scam. From personal experience I can say that if you use Authy (and not Google Authenticator) that problem doesn’t exist.
Since Binance provides only trading services I will compare its fee schedule to other reputable trading platforms.
Binance vs Coinbase (pro)
Coinbase Pro is Coinbase’s trading platform. It is one of the leading exchanges around in terms of reputation and adoption.
Aside from the limited availability of the platform worldwide (supports 103 countries), the platform charges a 0.25% trading fee which is 2.5 times of what Binance charges.
You can read my full Coinbase review here.
Binance vs Bittrex
Bittrex is a US cryptocurrency exchange that has grown in popularity among crypto traders since launching its operations in December 2014. Its steady growth has made it one of the most preferred altcoin exchanges on the market. You can read our full Bittrex review here.
Bittrex charges a flat 0.20% fee on all trades. This is 2 times more than what Binance charges. The exchange supplies a wide variety of altcoins (over 250) which is more than what Binance currently provides.
Binance vs Bitfinex
Bitfinex supports over 100 cryptocurrencies and tokens, less than Binance which supports over 200. You can read my Bitfinex review here.
Bitfinex works on a maker taker fee schedule. Makers, people who add new orders to the exchange, have a 0.1% fee at max (similar to Binance). Takers, people who remove orders from the exchange, have a 0.2% fee at max (twice than Binance).
Fees are reduced once you start trading in higher volumes.
Binance vs Kraken
Kraken, headquartered in San Francisco, California, is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges around. It operates across the United States (with the exception of New York due to the BitLicense) and Canada, as well as in the European Union and Japan.
The platform supports over 30 different cryptos (As opposed to Binance’s 200+). You can read my Kraken review here.
Like Bitfinex, Kraken also works on a maker taker fee schedule. Makers have a max fee of 0.16% and takers have a max fee of 0.26%. In both cases Binance wins with lower fees.
Can I Withdraw Money from Binance?
You can withdraw cryptocurrencies from Binance. The option to withdraw fiat currencies from Binance is currently limited to AUD and RUB only (and not USD, EUR, etc.)
Can I Buy Bitcoins on Binance?
Yes. It’s possible to Buy Bitcoins on Binance with a credit card or with any supported cryptocurrency.
How Do You Buy Bitcoins on Binance?
- Sign up to Binance
- Deposit funds to your account
- Find the trading pair for Bitcoin and the deposited cryptocurrency
- Sell the deposited cryptocurrency for Bitcoin
- Withdraw the Bitcoins to your own wallet
Alternatively you can just buy Bitcoin directly with your credit card.
Is Binance Safe?
Binance is considered a safe exchange that allows user account protection via the use of Two Factor Authentication (2fa).
On May 7, 2019, Binance experienced a major hack which resulted in 7000 Bitcoins stolen from the exchange. However Binance has stated that all losses will be covered by its emergency insurance fund (aka SAFU).
When we pull everything together and look at Binance objectively, the pros far outweigh the cons. This is more than can be said for some other competitors.
The exchange’s low fees combined with the team’s proven knowledge of how to build a trading platform is enough to make it a major player.
It’s no wonder that success followed the service during its opening months. Add to this the ability to offer a truly worldwide service away from the grip of the Chinese government, and there’s not much to stop Beiji Technology.
Relatively limited fiat support is a bit frustrating, but it’s understandable in most circumstances. Having said that, Binanace is constantly adding more options, with EUR and GBP trading pairs already available.
Have you had any experience with Binanace? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.