May 15, 2021

Binance Review

Read more about Binance
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Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. But is it a legit platform for trading your crypto? Find out before you sign up.

Overall Score

4.3

Cryptocurrency Trading

5.0

Interest Accounts

3.0

Mobile App

4.0

Commissions and Fees

5.0

Ease of Use

4.0

Research

4.0

Safety

5.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Wide range of currencies
  • Low fees
  • Secure Asset Fund for users
  • May intimidate new users

Bottom Line

Excellent crypto exchange with low prices and good selection

Binance and Binance.US. have some of the lowest trading fees on the market. Plus, they support more cryptocurrencies than most of their competitors.

But are these platforms right for you? And are they trustworthy?

Learn more in our detailed Binance review, including fees, features, and how it compares to Coinbase and Kraken.

What is Binance?

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange. It was founded in 2017 by Hong Kong developer Changpeng Zhao, and his company, Beijie Technology.

Due to increasing regulatory pressures, Binance moved its offices from China to Japan, then to Taiwan, and to Malta. In that time, it has become the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume with a market cap of $1.3 billion. [1]

Since moving to Malta, their status appears somewhat uncertain. As of February 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) was "assessing if Binance has any activities in Malta which may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight."

Binance.US is the United States offshoot of Binance. It was founded in 2019 and is managed by BAM Trading Services in San Francisco, California. Like Binance, Binance.US is also one of the top 10 exchanges listed on CoinMarketCap, which ranks and scores exchanges.1

Binance.US is currently available in 41 states and offers 52 cryptocurrencies. This is significantly less than the 259 available on the international platform but more than many competing U.S. platforms. They offer a U.S.-specific app and desktop site.

Binance is geared toward intermediate and advanced investors. While they offer low fees and many useful features, their interface is more complicated than more user-friendly competitors, and beginners may find it overwhelming.

Is Binance safe and legit?
Binance.US has so far had no issues with security. However, the global site was hacked in 2019 for the sum of 7,000 BTC, roughly equivalent to $40 million. It should be reassuring for potential traders to know that Binance says it paid affected users back in full. Fiat currencies held on Binance are insured by the FDIC for up to $250k, though cryptocurrencies are not.

How Does Binance Work?

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange that makes its money by collecting fees from users when they execute trades on the platform.

These fees are some of the lowest in the cryptocurrency space, making Binance a competitive choice for crypto traders and investors.

Supported Cryptocurrencies (Binance.US)

  • BNB, TetherUS, Bitcoin, VeThor Token, Ethereum, Storj, Harmony, Cardano, VeChain, EOS, Dogecoin, Stellar Lumens, Helium, Litecoin, Zilliqa, Matic Network, Elrond, Enjin Coin, Decentraland, Hedera Hashgraph, BUSD, Chainlink, USD Coin, Tezos, OMG Network, Solana, ICON, Algorand, QTUM, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin Cash, Uniswap, Orchid, Ravencoin, Band Protocol, Zcash, Horizen, Dash, NEO, 0x, Ontology, Cosmos, Compound, Maker, MIOTA, Ethereum Classic, KyberNetwork, Waves, NANO, Augur v2, DAI, PAX Gold

  • They also support a number of Bitcoin to other crypto pairs: BNB, Ethereum, VeChain, Cardano, Chainlink, Tezos, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Uniswap

Supported States (Binance.US)

  • Binance.US is available in 41 U.S. states. It is not supported in the following states: Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

Is investing in crypto a good idea?
Investing in crypto is likely riskier than other forms of investment, as the market displays greater price fluctuations in shorter periods of time (volatility). This means that your chances of seeing extreme gains and losses are both increased. The best rule to follow in any investment is to not risk any money you can't afford to lose.

Features

Binance offers a wide range of useful features on top of its basic trading platform.

  • P2P Trading: This feature allows users to trade crypto with one another on their own terms, with no fees. Users set the price they want to pay or be paid, and the amount of currency they have, and post them on the P2P platform for other users to fulfill.

  • Credit and Debit Cards: Users can purchase certain cryptocurrencies (currently 31) with credit and debit cards since Binance partnered with Simplex. However, with fees as high as 3.5%, this will not be your cheapest option.

  • SEPA / Wire Transfers: Users trading in certain currencies, like EUR, AUD, and CAD, can buy crypto directly, with no fees, using bank transfers and SEPA. This feature isn't available for USD.

  • Brave Binance Widget: Privacy-focused users may already be familiar with Brave, an internet browser that strives to protect user data. Binance now has a widget that can be used to trade crypto through the Brave browser.

  • Margin Trading: Certain coin pairs can be traded on Binance for up to 10x leverage.

  • Binance Futures: Binance has a separate platform, launched in 2019, called Binance Futures, which allows users to trade certain coins at a leverage of up to 125x. Accounts are funded and balances paid in the USD stablecoin Tether. Trading with any degree of leverage should be regarded as highly risky, as traders can lose many times the amount they originally invested.

Binance Financing

  • Savings: Binance Savings allows users to earn a small percent of interest for keeping their crypto holdings in either a "flexible" or "locked" account. The flexible account functions similar to a traditional savings account, while the fixed-term locked accounts function like CDs.

  • Staking: Binance's staking service allows users to earn returns on coins that would otherwise just be sitting around. Staked coins are chosen at random to be used in a valuable transaction validation on a proof-of-stake blockchain, for which the coin owner is paid. There is some risk and limited availability for popular coins, but posted rates go as high as 12.49%.

  • Binance Smart Pool: This service allows crypto miners to pool their resources as part of a larger mining group and then earn rewards proportionate to their participation.

  • Binance Visa Card: Spend your crypto out in the real world with the Binance Visa Card—even at businesses that don't accept cryptocurrencies. Your crypto will be converted real-time, without fees, to fiat currencies, which are used to pay the vendors.

  • Crypto Loans: You can use Bitcoin or Ethereum as collateral for loans in the USD stablecoins BUSD or Tether, offering money when you need it without having to sell off your investments.

  • Binance Liquid Swap: An automated market maker (AMM) platform that provides more stable prices and lower fees for large transactions.

How do you get money out of Binance?
Getting money out of Binance is simple. Simply log into your account, go to your wallet, and select "Withdraw." From there, you can transfer your fiat currencies to a linked bank account for free, send by wire transfer or debit, but fees apply. Cryptocurrencies can be sent to a wallet you hold.

Fees to look out for

Binance offers some of the lowest fees among competing crypto exchanges.

Trading Fees

  • 0.1% Spot trading fee
  • 0.5% Instant Buy/Sell fee
  • 25% Discount from your Trading fee for using BNB to pay for trading fees. It must be in your account at the time of trade, and then will be used automatically.
  • Fee discounts, based on "VIP Levels," are calculated based on a 30-day trading volume, and account balance of Binance Coins (BNB):
    • VIP Level 0 (Under $50k USD or ≥ 0 BNB)
      • Maker: 0.10% / Taker: 0.10%

    • VIP Level 10 ($500m USD or ≥ 6000BNB)
      • Maker: 0.0% / Taker: 0.02%

Deposit / Withdrawal Fees

  • Fiat Currency Deposit via bank or wire transfer are free
  • Fiat Currency Deposit via debit card incurs a 4.5% fee
  • Fiat Currency Withdrawal via bank transfer is free
  • Fiat Currency Withdrawal via wire transfer is $15 domestic and $35 international
  • Withdrawal Limits depend on account verification level:
    • Basic: $5,000 equivalent in crypto each day
    • Advanced: $1,000,000 equivalent in crypto each day
    • Complete Fiat Verification: Up to $5,000 USD bank transfer and $1,000,000 wire each time.

Crypto Withdrawal fees vary depending on the currency. The full list can be found here.

Security Measures and User Privacy

Binance offers a range of security measures to protect your cryptocurrency and your personal information.

  • Two-Faction Authentication: Binance currently supports 2FA via SMS message and Google Authenticator, and Yubikey.

  • Withdrawal Address Whitelist: Binance users can specify a list of specific crypto wallets they want to allow withdrawals to, which are confirmed by email. This prevents someone who's gained access to your account from withdrawing your assets without your knowledge.

  • Trust Wallet: Binance has an official cryptocurrency wallet available for iPhone and Android users.

  • Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU): Binance pools 10% of transaction fees and transfers it to its security fund, which can be used to repay investors in the event of a hack, as they did in 2019—over $40 million.

Binance has suffered a few semi-successful attacks (a large-scale phishing campaign in 2018 and a hack in 2019).

In each case, however, they showed an encouraging willingness to tackle the problem directly and compensate users who were affected, rather than denying or trying to hide.

Pros and cons

Like any exchange, Binance (and Binance.US) comes with its own set of pros and cons. Review the points below to determine if the platform is right for you.

Pros

  • Competitively low fees
  • Wide range of available cryptocurrencies
  • Bonus features like P2P trading and Staking
  • Trustworthy record dealing with security breaches

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Not available in some states
  • Customer support is slow

App download: Apple, Google Play

Common Complaints

On Reddit, a small number of customers have reported long processing times on deposits and withdrawals. Some have interpreted this as Binance attempting to deny them their money.

However, Binance reliably replies to those complaints, and at time of writing, most users seemed to have reached a solution.

Here are responses to some of the most common Binance concerns.

Can you get scammed on Binance?
It is possible to get scammed on any cryptocurrency exchange, including Binance.

Because cryptocurrencies are not insured, and exchanges are not banks, you often have no recourse if someone gains possession of your cryptocurrency. That's why it's paramount to follow account security best practices, such as:


  • Never share your personal information or login info.
  • Keep your crypto stored on a wallet outside the exchange (preferably a cold wallet), and never share your private keys.
  • Beware of people presenting them as investment experts or claiming they can help you "recover lost funds," especially on forums and online review sites, which are packed with scammers.

Binance offers more security tips in this article.

Can Binance steal my money?
The likelihood of Binance absconding with user funds is very slim. There have been accusations leveled at the company in the past of stealing their users' money or locking their accounts.

However, in most of these cases, Binance was acting in compliance with a legal authority.

As of writing, Binance has a rating of 2.1 on Trustpilot, and Binance.US has a Trustpilot rating of 1.5. Binance is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

Create an Account

Creating an account on Binance should only take a couple of minutes, but will require a variety of personal information and documentation. Here's what the process is like:

  1. Add your basic info (name, location, contact) via their smartphone app or desktop site.

  2. Once that's done, you'll upload some identifying documentation based on KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations common in the crypto space. You'll need:
    • Photo ID (passport, driver's license, state ID)
    • Proof of residence (utility bill or similar)
    • Photo (taken via their app)

  3. You'll also need to set up 2FA (two-factor authentication). They support Google Authenticator or SMS.

  4. Once you've verified your email, your account is active and you're ready to trade.

Contact Customer Service

Contacting customer service on Binance is fairly easy with their ticket system. However, users have experienced long wait times due to the volume of requests.

Pro Tip: If you've had an open ticket for a long time and can't seem to get an answer, consider posting your request and support ticket number on Reddit. Binance seems to respond more reliably to complaints there.

To Contact Customer Support:

  • On the desktop site: Log in to your account on the desktop site and click "Submit a Ticket," under the "Resources" tab.

  • In the app: You'll find support access under the Profile button, in the Account section, under the heading "Help and Support." You can access their Help Center (FAQ) or submit a request to customer service.

Binance Alternatives

With so many cryptocurrency exchanges out there vying for your business, it's hard to know which one to choose. Let's take a look at how Binance stands up to some popular competitors.

Binance vs Coinbase

 Coinbase
 Learn MoreVisit Site
 

Binance US

Coinbase

SPECIAL OFFER
Get $5 in Free Bitcoin for Signing Up - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Cryptocurrencies Supported
52
50
Countries Supported
41 US States
Over 100
Fiat Currencies Supported
USD
USD, GBP, EUR
Digital Wallet
Yes
Yes
Transaction Fee0.10% spot trading fee or 0.50% instant buy/sell feeGreater of Minimum Flat Fees or Variable Fees (1.49%+) by Location and Payment Method:
Minimum Flat Fees
  • < $10: $0.99
  • $10.01 - $25: $1.49
  • $25.01 - $50: $1.99
  • $50.01 - $200: $2.99
Copy Trading
No
No
Limit Orders
Yes
No
Margin Trading
Yes
No
Spread0.01% - 0.95% depending on cryptocurrency
0.50%
Interest Accounts
Up to 10% APY
USDC only, 1.25% APY
Crypto Loans
No
Invitation only
Bank Account Purchase Fee
Free
1.49%
Debit Card Purchase Fee
4.5%
3.99%
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
ACH Transfer Fee
Free
Free
Wire Transfer FeeDeposit: $15
Domestic Withdrawal: $15
International Withdrawal: $35
$10 ($25 outgoing)
Crypto Conversion Fee
Free for USDC to BUSD
up to 2%
Other Fees25% fee discount for holding BNB; tiered discounts based on 30 day trade volumeInstant Card Withdrawal: up to 1.5% + minimum fee of $0.55
Address Allowlisting
Yes
Yes
Anonymity
No
No
Biometric Login
Yes
Yes
Cold Storage
Yes
Yes
InsuredUSD balances FDIC insured up to $250k, Secure Asset Fund for UsersUSD balances FDIC insured up to $250k
Maximum Trading AmountMaximum order amount varies by currency
Unlimited
Two-Factor Authentication
Google Authenticator
SMS or Google Authenticator
Withdrawal LimitWire Transfer: $7,500,000 / day
$50,000 / day
 Learn MoreVisit Site

Binance US: Pricing information from published website as of 04/13/2021.

Coinbase: Pricing information from published website as of 04/13/2021.

When it comes to being user-friendly, there's no doubt that Coinbase—or even the slightly more intimidating Coinbase Pro—has Binance beat. Where Binance shines are its industry-low fees, which are lower than Coinbase Pro's, and significantly lower than the basic Coinbase app.

Both exchanges are available in the U.S. and internationally. They employ comparable security features, though Coinbase has never been hacked, and Binance has. Binance scores more favorably on privacy and user independence.

If you think you can learn to use the more advanced interface, Binance is probably the best choice. If you're still new to crypto investing and want the simplest path forward, consider Coinbase.

Binance vs Kraken

 

Binance US

Kraken

 

Benefits and Features

Cryptocurrencies Supported
52
56
Countries Supported
41 US States
Over 170
Fiat Currencies Supported
USD
USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP, CHF, JPY
Digital Wallet
Yes
No
Transaction Fee0.10% spot trading fee or 0.50% instant buy/sell fee
0.00% - 0.26%
Copy Trading
No
No
Limit Orders
Yes
Yes
Margin Trading
Yes
Yes
Interest Accounts
Up to 10% APY
Yes, up to 17% APY
Crypto Loans
No
No
Bank Account Purchase Fee
Free
1.7% + $0.10
Debit Card Purchase Fee
4.5%
3.75% + €0.25
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
Wire Transfer FeeDeposit: $15
Domestic Withdrawal: $15
International Withdrawal: $35
$4 - $35
Crypto Conversion Fee
Free for USDC to BUSD
1.5% or 0.9% for stablecoins
Other Fees25% fee discount for holding BNB; tiered discounts based on 30 day trade volume1-time address setup fees for first-time deposits of many cryptocurrencies, varies by currency
Address Allowlisting
Yes
Yes
Anonymity
No
No
Biometric Login
Yes
Yes
Cold Storage
Yes
Yes
InsuredUSD balances FDIC insured up to $250k, Secure Asset Fund for Users
No
Two-Factor Authentication
Google Authenticator
Google Authenticator or Yubikey
Withdrawal LimitWire Transfer: $7,500,000 / dayDepends on verification level. Cryptocurrencies - Beginner: $5,000 / day; Intermediate: $500,000 / day; Pro: $10,000,000 / day; Fiat Currencies - Express: $9,000 / day; Intermediate: $100,000 / day; Pro: $10,000,000 / day

Binance US: Pricing information from published website as of 04/13/2021.

Kraken: Pricing information from published website as of 04/13/2021.

Like Coinbase, Kraken loses to Binance when it comes to fees. They offer a comparable number of cryptocurrencies to Binance. They have a slightly wider availability in the U.S., and American users may prefer them because they are a U.S. company.

Kraken scores slightly better than Binance when it comes to security, offering a wide range of features to protect your crypto while it's on their exchange. Their interface is not too dissimilar from Binance's.

If security is your main focus, Kraken may be the right choice for you. But if you want to trade crypto for the lowest fees possible, stick with Binance.

Should you use Binance?

There's not necessarily a right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing your cryptocurrency exchange, and ultimately it comes down to what you value as a user.

If low fees are your biggest concern, then Binance should definitely be at the top of your list. It isn't the easiest exchange to use, but if you can get the hang of it, the savings will be worth it.

Those looking for a more security-focused exchange may prefer Gemini or Kraken. Those who prioritize ease of use should consider eToro or Coinbase, which cater to early-stage investors who may want to learn more before diving into the deep end of crypto.

References

Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Read Next:

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How to Invest in Cryptocurrency

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