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- Binance is one of the youngest altcoin and bitcoin exchange platforms, officially launching in July 2017
- Despite its youth it has grown exceedingly fast and is currently the world’s largests cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume
- Low Binance fees, large selection of altcoins and high payout thresholds, have made Binance the top trading platform for many altcoin traders and investors
- Binance is one of the few (reputable) exchanges online which still allows users to create completely anonymous accounts
First off, let me just say that Binance is one of the exchanges that I personally use the most.
Overall, Binance is a terrific cryptocurrency exchange (especially for day trading, anonymity and finding less common altcoins), but there are some things for you to be aware of, which I discuss in this Binance review.
As of July 2018, Malta-based exchange Binance, ranks top in lists of Bitcoin exchanges by trading volume. This means that Binance processes more trades over any 24-hour period than even the likes of Coinbase or Bitfinex.
Binance’s popularity has exploded over the past year and the exchange currently boasts over 7.9 million registered users, and that number is increasing daily. It is considered by many to be one of the best sites to buy bitcoins and altcoins.
How Binance Works
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange which brings buyers and sellers of a variety of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum, together in one place and facilitates trades and provides market liquidity for a small fee.
Binance does not accept fiat currency (USD, EUR, etc), only cryptocurrency, which insulates it from the banking system and regulatory government bodies.
The disadvantage of this is that, in order to use Binance, you need to first purchase bitcoin or another altcoin and send it to the exchange. But the advantage of this, in addition to those mentioned above, is that you can retain a greater level of anonymity and freedom from oversight and taxation.
The user interface can be viewed in the “basic” or “advanced” mode. Both actually appear quite complicated to the novice, but after spending a few minutes looking around, it is quite easy to pick up for most users.
Here is what the basic trading interface looks like.
It looks somewhat different on the mobile iOS and Android apps, but has basically the same options. We recommend you first get familiar with the exchange on a laptop or desktop computer.
- The bottom middle portion is where you initiate buy and sell orders. You can choose between a market, limit and stop-limit order. The left side shows recent transactions that have occurred on the exchange and the right side has the trade history on the bottom.
- The top right is where you can search for any of the listed coins. To buy or sell any cryptocurrency you need to first search and select that particular coin. When doing so, you will see the bottom center trading area ready to trade that coin.
- At the top right, above the search bar, you can also choose to use bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB) or Tether (USDT) as your trading pair.
The advanced trading view looks like this.
While it actually appears more simple with much the same information, it is advanced in the sense that it has more functionality, providing you with more tools and allowing you add more technical indicators and adjustments to the charts. The night mode is also a preferred view by many traders.
Binance Pros & Cons
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of Binance before we take a more detailed look at the exchange.
Binance advantages include:
- Binance is available worldwide and benefits from fully featured iOS & Android mobile app support
- Low fees
- User anonymity – Why cryptocurrency traders prefer Binance over other exchanges is simple: unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance does not require Know-Your-Customer (KYC) identity verification on sign up. Instead, new users can register via email in seconds.
- User anonymity means that Binance users are protected from having trades monitored by tax authorities
- Not requiring government ID verification makes Binance the safest place to buy and trade privacy coins like Monero and ZCash
- Despite not requiring user ID verification, Binance still allows users to withdraw up to 2 BTC per day (or an equivalent amount of altcoins)
Binance disadvantages include:
- Since Binance does not support any fiat currencies, then you have to first buy cryptocurrencies elsewhere and then transfer it to Binance in order to use the exchange (though they are in talks with Maltese banks to set up fiat transactions)
- Security seems solid and Binance has a good reputation (especially since they foiled an attempted hack in March 2018), but the exchange is still young and funds are not insured like at Coinbase
Let’s now take a closer look at these pros and cons.
Why is User Anonymity Important?
User anonymity is becoming a key concern for many cryptocurrency investors.
In recent months, Changelly and Shapeshift have begun freezing funds prior to users uploading official identity documents. Coinbase, meanwhile, now routinely shares user information with third parties like the IRS.
Binance is, therefore, the last reputable Bitcoin exchange where traders can buy and sell coins free of government oversight.
So if you are looking for anonymity, then Binance is one of the best places for you to trade cryptocurrencies.
Is Binance Safe?
Because Binance is such a young exchange, this is a question that has largely remained unanswered until recently. In March of 2018, there was an attempted hack which was caught by Binance’s automated systems.
Essentially, hackers created a fake site which people mistook for the real exchange. The fake site then collected lots of user login information allowing them to convert all these people’s altcoins into bitcoin and attempt a pump and dump on Viacoin.
In the end, nobody lost any funds and the hacker’s actions were prevented, which instilled a lot more confidence in Binance’s security. After this incident, many investors feel more confident declaring Binance safe.
An important security measure that we highly recommend you take is to enable 2 factor authentication, using an app such as the Google Authenticator.
Also, it is generally considered smart not to keep the majority of your funds on an exchange. Especially if you are holding (or hodling) for the long term, we recommend you use a cryptocurrency wallet.
- Best bitcoin wallets
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The Binance Coin (BNB)
One thing to be aware of is that Binance has issued its own cryptocurrency, called the Binance Coin, with the symbol BNB. If you use BNB to pay your fees then you get a 25% discount on trading fees.
The BNB coin will also be one of the principal coins used in the decentralized exchange that Binance is planning to open in the future.
In addition, the coin itself could be a good investment as Binance plans to use 20% of each quarter’s profits to buy back BNB and destroy them. They plan to do this until they have destroyed 50% of all BNB coins, thereby making them more scarce.
However, if you prefer to ignore BNB all together, this is just fine and in no way impedes your ability to use Binance.
As well as robust privacy safeguards, Binance offers users low fees on all transactions. See below for fee details of deposits, withdrawal and trading fees.
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
Deposits: At present, all deposits are free.
Withdrawal :Withdrawal fees vary and are adjusted regularly according to the current state of each blockchain. As of the time of writing here are some of the current withdrawal fees:
Fees for withdrawing bitcoin from Binance are a low 0.0005 BTC. In general, the fees are low compared to many cryptocurrency exchanges.
Trading fees: Binance trading fees then start at 0.1% per trade. However, fees can be lowered by 25% to 0.075% if paid using Binance BNB tokens.
In addition, the more volume you trade, the lower your trading fees.
Deposit & Withdrawal Limits
What many users prefer most about Binance, is the fact that up to 2 BTC can be withdrawn within a 24 hour period with a Level 1 account. A Level 1 account means you only need to provide an email address. This is why many users wishing to remain anonymous use Binance.
If you go through identity verification and attain Level 2 status, you can withdraw up to 100 BTC within 48 hours.
There is also a Level 3 status, but no details about this are provided except a message saying to contact them.
Binance Supports Over 80 Altcoins
At present, Binance allows users to buy and sell over 80 different altcoins. Much more importantly, Binance often lists new to market altcoins prior to other exchanges. This allows many users to profit considerably by investing in digital assets early.
In addition to the most well-known coins (such as bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin) some of the coins supported include:
- Cardano (ADA)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Bitcoin Gold
- ICON (ICX)
- Basic Attention Token
Binance’s customer support is ok. They have a FAQ section that lists the most common issues. I have used located the answer to a couple issues using this section.
You can also contact the exchange for support. From the basic exchange view, click “Support” at the top of the screen and you’ll be taken to a help desk where you can then select “Submit Request”.
The one time I personally contacted them, a knowledgeable person did help me resolve the issue fairly quickly, though it did take quite a few hours for the initial reply.
The Move to Blockchain Island
Binance began in China but moved to Japan in September of 2017 after the Chinese government banned cryptocurrency trading. The exchange then moved it’s headquarters in March of 2018 to Malta, which is now often called “blockchain island” for being such a crypto-friendly district.
Binance is also reportedly in talks with Maltese banks to set up fiat currency transactions, which would make it easier for crypto investors to deposit and withdraw funds.
Binance Signup and Login
Signing up for an account at Binance is incredibly simple. All you need to do is provide an email address and create a password. It’s about as easy as it gets.
Signing up will automatically give you a “Level 1” account, in which the only limit is that you can withdraw up to 2 BTC within a 24 hour period.
If you wish to sign up for level 2, so that you can withdraw up to 100 BTC per 24 hour period then you can go through the identity verification process. To do so, click on the icon of a person on the top right and click on your “Account”. Now on your account page, at the top right it will show your level. Click on level 2 to follow the prompts for ID verification.
Verification can take up to a few hours or, in some cases, longer.
How to Fund Your Account
To deposit funds you will need to send some cryptocurrency to Binance. We recommend you use one of the more popular coins such as bitcoin or Ethereum. If you don’t already have some, follow these guides to purchase cryptocurrency at Coinbase first, generally considered to be one of the easiest places to buy crypto.
Once you have purchased your bitcoin or Ethereum you can now transfer them to your Binance account.
Here are the steps to do so:
- Within Binance, go to Funds >> Deposits.
- Next, select the coin or token you’d like to deposit. (VERY IMPORTANT: make sure you select the right coin according to its symbol. If you send it to the wrong token address you may lose your coins. You can check the coin’s symbol at coinmarketcap.com)
- You will be given a deposit address. Select and copy this deposit address.
- If you followed our guide on how to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum at Coinbase, then go to Coinbase and select “Accounts”, locate the coin you purchased and select “Send”. Then input the address you copied from Binance. It may take a few minutes or even an hour or more for the transaction to arrive at Binance. If you are sending coins from another location other than Coinbase, the process should be quite similar.
How to Trade on Binance
Once you have deposited some cryptocurrency into your Binance exchange account you can then buy or sell. The process is quite straightforward, though may look different depending on if you are using the basic or advanced view. But the process is the same.
Search for the cryptocurrency trading pair you’d like to transact in. For example, if you funded your account with Ethereum (ETH) and would like to trade that ETH for Stellar (XLM), then search for ETH or XLM and locate and click on “XLM/ETH”.
From there, in the buy or sell area, select if you want to issue a market, limit or stop-limit order, and fill in the amount you’d like to transact. You can also simply click on one of the “%” buttons to trade that percent of what you have. For example, if you have 1.0 ETH and you select “50%”, you will then be trading with 0.5 ETH.
Then you simply click the buy or sell button and, most likely, you’ll see the transaction was completed immediately. You can then check your funds by going to the basic exchange layout and clicking on Funds >> Balances.
Congrats, you made your first trade on Binance!
As of 2018, Binance is easily the best exchange for altcoin traders and privacy-conscious investors.
The only drawback to using Binance rests with the fact that accounts can’t be funded or cashed out in fiat cash (though this could change if Binance is successful in its talks with Maltese banks to add fiat support). Users who wish to exchange coins for fiat cash will, therefore, need to use separate exchanges or credit and debit cards which can be linked directly to cryptocurrency wallet balances.
As mentioned earlier in this review of Binance, I personally use the trading platform more than any other exchange. I highly recommend it.
Security & Reputation9.5/10
- Large selection of altcoins
- Low fees
- Solid reputation
- Quite easy to use
- Anonymity & protection from taxation
- Can currently only fund account with cryptocurrency, not fiat
- Funds uninsured like Coinbase, & therefore not suitable as a long-term wallet
- Customer support seems somewhat slow
Richard has developed and ran multiple online websites and communities with tens of millions of monthly visitors. He first discovered bitcoin and blockchain in 2012 and has been helping to educate others on its potential since then. Richard is very passionate about the crypto community. Read his inspiring story into cryptocurrency here.