If you’re in the cryptocurrency exchange world, you may have heard of Binance. Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange platform. With its large variety of cryptocurrency and many tools and features, this platform has many talking. Before you jump in, though, read our in-depth review of Binance and decide for yourself.
Massive liquidity; many currency pairs; many platform offerings allow options for the user; superb security and customer service. Reputation matches their results. “SAFU” fund means that exchange will likely not need to confiscate customers’ funds to recuperate losses as other exchanges have done in the past.
The U.S. version is starkly barren in contrast to the heavy option-laden international version; some of the platforms could have been combined (namely the Basic and Advanced exchange, and the Academy/Research/Lab platforms).
To anyone researching cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance has surely come across the radar. This exchange has become perhaps the world’s biggest (and maybe the go-to) cryptocurrency exchange available on the internet. The exchange is commonly compared to Coinbase Pro, however Binance offers a lot more features. There are very distinct differences that make this China-based exchange stand out as one of the most influential forerunner exchanges in the cryptocurrency space.
A Brief History of Binance
Binance was founded by CEO Changpeng Zhao in 2017, moving to Japan, and then eventually to Taiwan, in response to China’s proposed ban on cryptocurrency at the time. Officially, the Binance headquarters is located in Malta, after both China and Japan passed harsher regulation in 2018. Changpeng Zhao (commonly referred to as “CZ”) has a sizable record working on different exchanges and crypto technology: First, he had founded a broker trading system called Fusion Systems; he worked with Blockchain.info on their wallet; and he worked for a short period of time as the CTO of OKCoin, which was a digital asset spot-trading platform.
In its short period of existence, Binance has made waves, influencing the way many exchanges are operated in the cryptocurrency space. Since its beginning in 2017, Binance has launched their own cryptocurrency token (Binance Coin, or BNB), as well as offering several different trading platforms including traditional live trading, margin trading, as well as futures trading. Binance has also recently implemented a decentralized finance lending platform, as well as a staking platform, allowing users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency. The mammoth exchange also offers a wallet, a research and education department, token launch platforms, and more. These implementations have set the bar as the new standard of cryptocurrency exchanges.
Due to regulatory laws currently in place, Binance has currently geo-blocked all users with a United States IP address. However, as of September 24, 2019, the exchange has opened their doors to United States citizens via their own version of Binance’s exchange at the Binance.us web address.
Opening a Binance Account
Opening an account on Binance is relatively simple and straightforward. On the website, click the Register button, and enter your email and password (preferably one not used on any other website) into the appropriate fields. Check the box to verify that you are 18. Binance will then have you verify your identity to make sure you are human. Once these steps are completed, Binance will send you an email with which you can then use to verify and gain access to your account.
Depending on your location, you may not be able to access Binance, as certain countries are geoblocked from the website. In June 2019, 29 countries (including the U.S.) were geoblocked. If you are a citizen of the U.S., simply register on their U.S. domain (Binance.US); the procedure is exactly the same as international version of Binance. Any geoblocked users that were previously on the international version can still withdraw their funds as needed.
Binance currently offers a wide range of cryptocurrency tokens and trading pairs, offering well over 500 different currency pairs on their international website. Due to regulatory restrictions, as of October 2019, the U.S. Binance currently offers 13 trading pairs, with more to come along the way. The tokens available on the Binance marketplace are tradable in either crypto-fiat; crypto-BTC; crypto-ETH; as well as crypto-Stable Coins. This gives the user many options and possibilities for their trading portfolio needs.
Like any exchange, Binance takes a commission fee for every trade placed. These commissions are taken at a standard rate of 0.1%. However, if using BNB to pay for your trading fees, Binance will take a 25% discount off the total fees. Trading fees are collected every 30 days; the BNB discount will be taken off simply by having BNB in your account, and opting to pay your trading fees in BNB (there is a toggle switch for this in the trading window on the Exchange). Your fees and discount will change as your trading volume increases, as well as holding BNB for longer periods of time.
Binance’s Platforms, Tools, and Services
When it comes to making convenient options available to customers, Binance has been paving the way, revolutionizing the day-to-day business of exchanges by offering a wide range of tools and platforms. Depending on your preferences, Binance offers 5 different trading platforms to trade on. The exchange also makes educational information readily available to anyone looking to learn.
For simple cryptocurrency live trading, Binance offers two different versions: Basic and Advanced. The Basic exchange has a white page background, with a live chart in the middle of the screen; the order book on the left; all of the possible trading pairs on the right-hand side, with the Trade History for the current on-screen trading pair just below. Below the chart, the customer is able to input their buy and sell orders into the according fields. Below this area of information is the customer’s current open orders, followed by the customer’s 24 hour trade history underneath. The Advanced exchange is almost exactly the same thing as the Basic exchange, except that the page background is black, and the information on the page is condensed closer together.
Binance also offers Margin trading on their platform. This essentially means customers can leverage their trades with more volume. The exchange allows leveraging ratios typically ranging from 2:1 to 100:1. Both long and short positions can be opened on Binance’s Margin trading platform.
The cryptocurrency exchange has also added Futures contracts to their platform, offering BTC at up to 20x leverage. As of October 2019, Binance’s Futures only offers BTC in the BTC/USDT currency pair, though CEO Changpeng Zhao has said that more pairs will be arriving soon. This gives more options to any customer looking to add more leverage to their margin trading. The exchange operates in similar fashion to stock market futures.
For the customer who may be curious about cryptocurrency, the technology behind cryptocurrency, Binance, and investing in general may want to check out Binance’s platforms: Academy, Research, and Labs. The Academy offers articles and videos for everyone from beginners to advanced cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Much of this content is highly informational, and gives customers the know-how needed to navigate their way through the cryptocurrency space.
Binance’s Research offers reports on many different cryptocurrency tokens, as well as offering 3rd-party reports on different cryptocurrency projects in the industry. The Research area available to customers offers many articles on wide-ranging topics within the cryptocurrency community. Some of these topics range from coin-specific use cases to fundamental technology overviews to allow users and customers to gain a better understanding on their investments and speculations.
Binance also offers Lending and Crypto Staking. For Lending, customers simply subscribe to the time period of their choice, deposit their funds, and withdraw their funds with accrued interest once the end date has arrived. Crypto Staking allows users to accrue interest on their cryptocurrencies by simply holding Proof-of-Stake enabled tokens in their account. As of 2019, NEO; ONT; VEN; ALGO; XLM; STRAT; KMD; and QTUM are the only stake-able cryptocurrencies available. Binance will not be charging fees on staking. Snapshots are taken every 24 hours to validate staking distributions.
For all cryptocurrency holders, Binance offers their Trust wallet. The wallet is available for Android/Apple, and is compatible with many cryptocurrencies including Ethereum ERC-20 and Binance BEP2 tokens. Users are also able to exchange their cryptocurrencies for others using decentralized exchanges within the application.
Launchpad is a platform that offers customers the ability to purchase newly listed cryptocurrencies as they go live on the exchange. The customers have to enter into a lottery system, and if won, will allow the customer to purchase an amount of the newly listed token or asset.
For the Binance customer that wants to buy cryptocurrency with fiat, Binance has their own platform separate from the live-trade atmosphere of the exchange. With their Buy Crypto platform, users are able to purchase a cryptocurrency of their choice by using a credit card or a bank transfer. This is ideal for anyone not wanting to time the market for the best possible prices.
Rounding out the many platforms and offerings available to Binance customers is their Charity platform. With this platform, customers are able to donate various cryptocurrencies for humanitarian causes all around the world. This platform allows charity to be completely transparent due to the use of blockchain technology.
Unfortunately, for U.S. customers, many of these platforms will not be available due to regulatory restrictions. Currently, the only platforms available to U.S. customers are the Basic and Advanced live trading platforms. It remains unclear whether the margin, futures, lending, and staking platforms will be implemented to the U.S. version of the exchange in the future. The Basic/Advanced exchange functions exactly as the international version of the same exchange.
Security and Customer Service
Holding the title as one of (if not, THE) biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world does not come without its heavy load of responsibilities, namely on the security and customer service side of things. For security, the exchange offers 4 methods to keep users’ accounts secure. 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), Anti-Phishing Codes, Identity Verifications, and Withdrawal Whitelists are the current security methods available to users. These security measures can be turned on/off as desired.
Being such a large exchange makes Binance a big target for hackers around the world looking to gain access to customers’ accounts. Many wallets in the cryptocurrency space have been hacked over the years, with users finding their wallets to be completely empty. While Binance has had their share of incidents, the exchange has historically always been on top of any problem or breach that may have occurred. Binance seems to strive for extreme transparency. In 2019, many users lost their funds due to a security breach related to API-key integrations. Binance completely reimbursed the users of their lost funds with funds from their “SAFU” fund. This fund was built from a percentage of each commission fee, with the specific purpose of security-related reimbursements.
Conclusions For Binance
Binance has certainly revolutionized the cryptocurrency space by offering many platforms for their customers. Their implementations have helped Binance catapult into being one of the largest, and most liquid exchanges in the world. Many of their practices have set the industry standard for how exchanges should be operated, as well as the offerings that should be given to the customers. Because of their willingness to remain at the forefront of innovation, Binance is sure to remain relevant for many years to come. For an exchange as big as its reputation, one may have to look very hard to find an equivalent or better service for buying and exchanging cryptocurrency.