Binance is still the largest crypto-to-crypto trading platform but has increased its offering of fiat-to-crypto services among other trading options to see it hold on as the largest cryptocurrency platform in the world.
The exchange’s low fees and a huge number of trading pairs, as well as strong security features, make it one of the platforms most people recommend for new users and seasoned traders alike. But if you are looking for a feature not available on Binance, here is a list of other exchanges you can consider.
History of Binance
Binance was launched in July 2017 in China following an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised $15 million from investors, who received the native Binance Coin (BNB) in exchange for their capital. Key figures at Binance are its founders, Changpeng Zhao and Yi He. The former is the CEO of the fast-developing and expanding company, whose extensive experience working at OKCoin and Blockchain.com wallet helped create the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume.
In 2017, the team moved its operations to Japan as China imposed a ban on cryptocurrency trading. The following year, Changpeng Zhao and the team opened offices in Taiwan, later announcing it was shifting base to the crypto-friendly EU state of Malta.
In 2019, the Binance team announced the launch of Binance Jersey, a fiat-to-crypto platform that operates independently of Binance.com. It caters to European investors and lists EUR and GBP trading pairs.
In June 2019, Binance announced it was partnering BAM Trading to launch Binance US. The move was seen as a pointer on Binance’s part to seek greater regulatory oversight and dispel any lingering doubts as to its legality and security.
In 2020, Maltese authorities said that Binance Exchange did not have regulatory approval to operate in the country.
Binance has an extensive team operating offices in over 40 countries across the world, including the UK, USA, France, Singapore, Germany, Uganda, and India.
Binance completed a hat trick of acquisitions in 2019 and 2020. It acquired WazirX, the largest crypto exchange in India; then followed that up with analytics firm DappReview, and netted CoinMarketCap in a reported $400m acquisition.
Today, Binance has registered over 15 million users, with its average daily trading volume hitting over $2 billion. The Binance website and businesses are accessible in multiple languages, including Chinese, English, Japanese, French, and Turkish among others.
Binance Regulation and Security
Binance is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, largely unregulated though the company has recently begun working closely with regulatory authorities in the US and UK. In June 2020, the company announced the launch of Binance UK, an FCA-regulated affiliate the exchange has earmarked for the UK and European investors. Binance US was also launched in 2020.
Security is a key feature of the Binance ecosystem, and the company boasts a fairly solid score on this feature. However, it should be noted that Binance suffered a security breach in May 2019 that resulted in the loss of 7000 Bitcoins after hackers compromised several user accounts. Binance moved quickly to strengthen its security and created SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users) which is set aside from exchange fees to settle compensations in case of such losses.
The exchange also uses AI and cyber forensics to monitor exchange activities and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) to authenticate transactions. Users on the other hand, have access to a 2 step authentication or two-factor authentication (2FA) process.
If you have signed up for an account and would like to counter check what security level you have enabled, log in and head over to the Security dashboard. If you are using the Binance app, click on “Account” and then “Security.”
Is Binance Safe?
It’s never going to be said in absolute terms that this or that cryptocurrency exchange is impenetrable. Binance thus is, like many of the top exchanges in the space, doing everything to ensure user funds are safe.
I’d say that, despite an earlier breach, Binance currently is one of those crypto platforms with the most robust security measures. The exchange’s wallets are secured with the latest technology, and its SAFU initiative provides a safety net.
The company has also ensured its users adhere to security protocols, including fulfilling KYC requirements before trading on the platform. If you are looking for a cryptocurrency exchange that you can use with a lot more confidence, then Binance should be on that list.
The reputation that Binance has achieved comes from the excellent team at its core, not least with figures like Changpeng Zhao who are highly respected in the industry. The platform has also continued to innovate and develop, offering a variety of products that users want in the crypto market.
Even when it got hacked in 2019, the quick action and establishment of SAFU to cover all the losses provided a massive reassurance to the platform’s large user base.
Although the Binance platform provides access to more than 200 coins and tokens, all are listed based on a risk assessment framework, and any that violate set parameters are quickly delisted to protect users.
Is Binance for Me?
Yes, whether you are that newcomer trying to find their way around crypto trading or a seasoned hand looking to unearth the next trading gem.
I’m a Beginner
For the beginner, the Basic Interface provides a simple and easy to use dashboard. You can easily navigate the pages to buy, sell, or trade several top cryptocurrencies. Their order book here is pretty simple, just select the coin you want to Buy or Sell and click a few buttons to complete the process. A lot of help is also available from Binance Academy and an updated FAQ page.
If you are an old hand at trading and want something a little more advanced, Binance offers an Advanced Interface. Access all the sophistication in terms of charts and technical analysis tools as well as stop-loss and stop-limit orders. Margin trading, leveraging and other complex trades are made readily available.
Exchange Wallets: Features, Supported Cryptocurrencies, and Security
Binance offers a wallet service that allows its users to keep purchased crypto assets. But as the service is built-in, the company holds on to the private keys, which in crypto terms, means control over your assets is in the hands of the exchange when you deposit funds into the exchange account.
However, Binance takes the security of its users’ assets seriously and stores most of the deposited assets offline in cold wallets. The exchange has made it known that over 90% of the assets are at any given time stored in cold storage, with less than 10% in hot wallets.
Users can also use Trust Wallet, a popular crypto wallet Binance recently acquired, and which users can use to store several coins and tokens. If you don’t want to use the wallet, Binance supports several other top wallets, including hardware devices that you can use to move your coins off the exchange.
Binance supports over 500 digital currencies, with trading pairs available against the top two coins BTC, and ETH as well as BNB and USDT.
Some of the popular coins on Binance include:
Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, Ripple (XRP), Tether USD (USDT), Bytecoin, Monero (XMR), Cardano (ADA), Binance Coin (BNB), NEM, Steem, Ardor, Augur, Zcash (ZEC), Qtum, EOS, 0x Protocol (ZRX), Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), ICONOMI, TrueUSD (TUSD), NEO, Status (SNT), Bancor (BNT), Bytom (BTM), Loopring (LRC), TRON (TRX), SONM Ark (ARK), Balancer (BAL) and Basic Attention Token (BAT).
You can instantly buy any of these coins or trade hundreds more on the exchange. The Binance Fiat Gateway provides for up to 40 fiat currencies via bank cards, VISA, and MasterCard among other third party payment methods.
Binance has several security features in place designed to protect users from spam attacks as well as unauthorized access to trading accounts. The following are what we were able to establish as available to users:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Password manager
- Withdraw access manager
While all these features are in place to protect users, malicious intent remains out there and any exchange can indeed be compromised as Binance was in 2019. It, therefore, goes back to the idea of only keeping what you can afford to lose on the exchange.
How to Transfer Your Crypto Funds From/To Binance
Sending crypto to or from Binance is a simple and straightforward process. Follow the steps below to deposit or transfer funds from your wallet.
To add crypto to your Binance account, go to your profile on the Finance page and click on “Deposit.” Select the coin and amount you want to transfer.
Enter or Scan the QR Code to input your wallet’s address. Press the “Send” button to send the crypto to your Binance account.
NOTE: Some of the coins will require that you check the MEMO box for the process to continue. If you are unsure what that is, be sure to find out before proceeding.
To transfer crypto from Binance is not a complicated process. Log in to the Binance homepage and click on your profile icon. Scroll down to the “Withdraw,” button to select the coin you want to withdraw.
Next, enter the address you wish to transfer funds to (it’s easier with the withdrawal whitelist enabled).
Type the amount to transfer and click on “Submit.” Enable your 2FA authentication and follow the link in the email sent to confirm the transfer. If you are sure you want to proceed, click “Confirm Withdraw.” A new page will open displaying the withdrawal.
Fees and Costs of Binance
Binance does not charge fees for crypto deposits, although what you pay as withdrawal fee depends on the cryptocurrency. Nonetheless, trading and withdrawal fees on Binance remain some of the lowest in the industry.
Trades cost 0.1% on both spot trading and margin trading, with discounts available when users pay with BNB. Binance Futures trading attracts a basic fee of 0.02% for makers and 0.04% for takers.
Payment Methods & Limits
Binance offers support for various payment methods, including Bank card, crypto, and credit and debit card via several third-party providers that include Simplex, BANXA, and Koinal.
Binance does not have a limit to how much cryptocurrency users can deposit on its exchange. As for crypto withdrawals, the limitations depend on the crypto asset and the user’s verification level.
However, there is a limit on daily trading volume, again this depends on the account verification level and the digital asset.
For a full look at the trading limitations, check out Binance’s Fee schedule.
- Minimum trade size: 2 BTC
- Maximum trade size: Up to 100 BTC
Binance: Performance, Features, and Functionality
Binance is a mammoth in the crypto trading space, and it’s fast. The platform boasts a matching engine that comfortably handles 1,400,000 orders per second. The exchange also provides multi-platform support, with users able to access trading online/web, Android and iOS mobile apps, desktop, and via Binance AP.
The support is also exemplary if you compare it with its peer exchanges. To emphasize, Binance provides support in 7 languages!
As of now, there is no customer care number, but they do have a support portal where you can submit your requests. Expect the turnaround time to be 24-hours.
You can also use their live chat support option as shown here in the restricted operating hours.
Apart from that, the FAQ section is fairly robust and if you go through it thoroughly, you may not really need to contact their support.
Binance also offers staking and crypto lending services, which are great for users who want to earn off their holdings without having to worry about the day-to-day price changes.
The Binance trading platform is for both the enthusiast and the seasoned trader in need of a full range of trading tools. There is a basic, classic, and advanced interface. Here you can also access spot trading, P2P, and OTC (over-the-counter). With P2P, you can easily buy and trade crypto from the peer-to-peer exchange while OTC allows for large trades.
Binance offers several educational resources, both on cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology. You can access a lot of information on Binance and the wider crypto industry on the Binance blog. Binance Academy also offers free access to loads of these resources, including videos and how-to guides while Binance Info is the encyclopedia of crypto. If you like it, head over to Binance YouTube, or engage the Binance community on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram.
Apart from spot trading, Binance is the leading derivatives platform by volume. It offers Margin and Futures trading options, with 0.02% maker and 0.04% taker fees.
Margin trading allows you to borrow money from the exchange to buy an underlying asset, in this case, Bitcoin, Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX) and the native Binance Coin (BNB). Trade both long and short positions. You will need to activate your margin account by going to the Wallet tab and clicking on the “activate” button.
To access the feature though, you must have completed the KYC process and enabled 2FA, either Phone authentication or Google Authenticator.
Binance announced their futures trading in September 2019, initially for Bitcoin only. The exchange has since added futures contracts for Ethereum, Tron, and Chainlink among several other options.
As an options contract, futures trading allows you the right (not an obligation) to buy or sell a given asset at a given future date and set price. Thus you have a call option (buy) and put option (sell).
When you open a futures trading account, you can choose to trade Perpetual Futures or Quarterly Futures, with the fees charged much lower than the industry standard at 0.075% for makers and 0.025% for takers.
You can use Binance with one main account that gives you access to various services and products in the Binance ecosystem. Once you create the account, you have the most basic access at level 1 (VIP-0). The level has a daily withdrawal limit of 2BTC.
Once you verify the account, you move to level 2 that gives you deposit and withdrawal limit increases. If you are depositing EUR for instance, a level 2 account allows a limit increase to 500 Euros, and the withdrawal limit goes up to 100BTC. The VIP levels are from 0-9.
The sub-account feature allows users to create and manage as many as 200 sub-accounts under their main account. It is a great feature that one can use to open trading accounts for members of the family, workmates, friends, or customers.
Binance also allows users to apply for and open trading accounts under legal entities such as Corporations and Private companies.
Collateral Accounts refer to special accounts opened by users on Binance to deposit and withdraw collateral (such as margins) per these terms (including the Binance Contract Services Agreement and Binance Platform Rules), as required for contract transactions, leveraged trading and/or currency borrowing services.
Final Thoughts on Binance
Binance has done a lot in the short time it has been in the market to rightly earn its place as one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
If I have to make a list of the top legit cryptocurrency exchanges in the space, Binance would appear in the top three. Why? It has a great professional team, its security is top-notch (despite that hack), and it is one of 10 platforms that do not fake trading volume.
Overall, Binance is the best exchange if you are new to crypto and want to easily buy or sell digital assets.