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Binance is the largest retail crypto exchange in the world and can be a reasonable choice for both beginner and advanced users alike. This exchange offers low trading fees, but it’s not available in the U.S. Binance has also encountered several regulatory issues, which could be concerning for prospective users.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
Low trading fees
Can be convenient for both beginner or advanced traders
Limited customer support options
Regulatory issues in several countries
- Binance is the largest retail crypto exchange in the world by daily trading volume.
- Binance offers low trading fees and features that will appeal to both novice and advanced traders.
- Customer support could be an issue, as the only option users have is to submit a ticket via email.
- Binance’s U.S. partner company, Binance.US offers fewer features and a limited selection of cryptocurrencies.
- Year Founded 2017
- Official Website Binance.com
- Cryptocurrencies Available 400+
- Customer Support Email ticket only
Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.
Binance is one of the world's largest crypto exchanges by daily trading volume. Offering hundreds of cryptocurrencies, multiple charting tools, and low trading fees, this platform could be a fit for both beginners and advanced crypto traders.
However, Binance receives mostly negative customer feedback, and it's not available in the U.S. While this exchange isn't accessible in the United States, its partner company Binance.us is open to U.S.-based users.
Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
Binance.com is a global crypto exchange that’s available in over 180 countries. It was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, otherwise known simply as CZ. Before launching the Binance exchange, CZ introduced an initial coin offering (ICO) for Binance Coin (BNB), which would become the world’s premier exchange token. BNB debuted on June 24, 2017, after raising $15 million, with the Binance exchange opening 11 days later. Today, BNB is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Initially launched in China, Binance moved its operations to Japan after China banned crypto trading. Today, its holding company is located in the Cayman Islands, and Binance indicates it’s planning to establish headquarters in a few different countries, including Ireland.
Cryptocurrencies That Trade on Binance
Binance supports numerous fiat-to-crypto, crypto-to-crypto, and stablecoin-to-crypto trading pairs. At the time of writing, the top five most popular coins to trade on Binance were:
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Terra (LUNA)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
In addition, Binance offers over 400 different cryptocurrencies, including:
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Solana (SOL)
- 0x (ZRX)
- The Graph (GRT)
- Enjin (ENJ)
- Ravencoin (RVN)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Vechain (VET)
The exchange also supports several trading pair options, including:
- USD-to-crypto pairs
- Crypto-to-crypto pairs
- Stablecoin-to-crypto pairs
For example, Bitcoin is one cryptocurrency, but it can be traded as BTC/USD (Bitcoin and dollars) or BTC/USDT or BTC/BUSD (Bitcoin and the Tether or Binance USD stablecoins).
Similarly, there are crypto-to-crypto trading pairs for many of the smaller market cap coins against a handful of the larger market cap ones. For instance, Bitcoin (BTC), Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Binance Coin (BNB), Ethereum (ETH), Chainlink (LINK), Litecoin (LTC), Uniswap (UNI), VeChain (VET), and Tezos (XTZ) all have trading pairs against other cryptos.
The “Buy Crypto” tab in the upper-left corner of the site is where users can go to exchange dollars for crypto in the simplest manner possible. Simply select “buy,” “sell,” or “convert,” enter the currencies and amounts, and execute the order.
Using this method, orders are executed at the current market price, and the coins would be deposited into the user’s wallet. This option would be best for beginners and is similar to how many beginner-oriented exchanges work, like Coinbase.
Binance also offers three other trading views, which can be found under the “trading” tab. Trading on Binance can look and feel different depending on the view chosen. Users can choose between one of three different views:
When a user clicks Convert/OTC, they will see a basic form to choose from market or limit orders. There's a slightly different view depending on the order type you select. For market orders, you’ll enter the currencies you’d like to trade. For limit orders, you’ll also be required to enter a max price and a timeframe. Note that there is a $10,000 minimum for OTC trading on Binance.
In the Classic view, a user will see candlestick charts in the middle of the screen and the order books for the selected market on the left. The right-hand side is where you choose a trading pair, and toward the bottom-center is where trades are placed.
The Advanced view provides everything possible and somewhat resembles a professional-oriented exchange platform like Coinbase Pro. This option could be confusing for newer traders.
Binance offers very low fees overall. Deposits are generally free and fees for trades of all kinds are much lower than most competitors. However, users who opt to purchase crypto with a credit or debit card will incur a 3.5% or $10 fee, whichever is higher.
|Payment Method||Binance Fee|
|Debit/Credit card||3.5% or $10 (whichever is higher)|
|Trades||0.1% - 0.015% (for OTC trades, fees come in the form of a spread)|
|Withdrawals||Varies depending on the asset - free for fiat currencies|
Although Binance has low fees overall, fees can still add up for those placing lots of trades. And don’t forget withdrawal fees – sending crypto off the exchange comes with a price.
One notable feature Binance offers is fee discounts for using Binance Coin (BNB) to pay trading fees. The fees are deducted from their BNB balance at a discounted rate of 25% less than normal trading fees.
For traders who hold BNB and trade less than 1,000,000 BUSD worth of volume each month (which would be most retail traders), fees will be 0.075% for both maker and taker trades. Those not holding BNB will be charged 0.1%. Traders with higher volume enjoy reduced rates according to nine different VIP levels, with the lowest level being charged just 0.015% for maker trades and 0.03% for taker trades.
Binance is considered to be a relatively secure place to buy, deposit, and trade crypto. The exchange has a good reputation in terms of platform security and hacks rarely occur.
Binance users can enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to help protect their accounts. The exchange offers several options for 2FA, including:
- Security key
- Authenticator app
- SMS text
Binance users can also enable the following security features for their account:
- Email address withdrawal
- Address management
- Anti-phishing code
Most of these are standard security measures for crypto exchanges, though not all exchanges offer every option. Most importantly, not all users take advantage of these options, even though doing so could make their accounts more secure.
Despite its security measures, it’s important to note that Binance has run into regulatory issues in multiple countries, including China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Thailand. While this isn’t necessarily a security issue, users could run into problems with account lockouts if the Binance exchange suddenly becomes unavailable in their jurisdictions.
Opening a Binance Account
The process of opening a Binance account is fairly straightforward. New users will need to enter an email and password and then verify their email address. Binance also requires that users submit a valid government-issued photo ID. You can choose to submit a scanned photo of your ID or take a picture of it using your phone or webcam. To verify that your ID belongs to you, Binance then needs to use your webcam or smartphone camera to scan your face.
Once this process has been completed, users can either deposit crypto or link a payment method and start trading.
Binance offers two support options—email ticket and chatbot. Users can submit a request for help via the Binance Support page or engage with a chatbot by clicking the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of that page. Those with an existing case ID can also reach out to Binance’s Customer Support team via Twitter.
Overall, customer support is limited on Binance. Users won’t be able to access phone support or live chat with a person if they run into any urgent issues.
Binance receives fairly poor customer reviews overall and has several one and two-star ratings across popular consumer review sites. The most common complaints among dissatisfied users are related to lack of customer support and issues with site functionality.
Despite the poor feedback from certain users, some had positive things to say. Many reviewers noted that they appreciate the wide selection of cryptocurrencies Binance offers as well as its low trading fees.
Binance lets users manage their accounts through either a web-based portal or its mobile apps, available for Android and iOS. Through its web portal, Binance displays a user’s crypto portfolio allocation in the form of a circle chart, illustrating the amount of each asset a user currently holds in terms of a percentage of total funds invested. This chart is shown on the Dashboard page.
On the Dashboard page, users can see their portfolio balance and allocation, their VIP level, open orders, and any recent announcements made by the exchange. At the top of this page, there’s also a banner asking users to add a payment method. Payment methods can also be added from the “identity verification” page.
Binance offers a variety of payment methods, including:
- Bank transfer
- Credit card
- Debit card
The Binance mobile apps offer much of the same functionality as the web portal. Binance released an updated version of its mobile app in December 2020 that includes the ability to automate recurring buys, live price tracking, and other customizable features.
How Binance Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies
Binance has competitive trading fees, especially for those who hold Binance Coin (BNB) in their exchange wallets. Competitors like Coinbase and eToro may charge over five times as much as Binance for spot trading fees.
While Binance offers low fees, it also has limited options for customer support. Email and chatbot are available, but this can be troublesome when trying to solve urgent issues. Those new to crypto may also prefer a simpler platform than what Binance offers.
Binance vs. Coinbase Pro
Binance and Coinbase Pro are among the largest crypto exchanges available, and both offer advanced trading features. However, Binance has greater flexibility in terms of what features people can choose from.
Here are some other differences between the two:
- Traders can choose from over 150 coins on Coinbase Pro and over 400 on Binance.
- Binance users can receive fee discounts for holding BNB, while Coinbase Pro does not offer a similar option for fee discounts. That said, similar to Binance, high-volume traders can receive discounted trading fees on Coinbase Pro.
- While Binance only has customer support in the form of an email ticket and a chatbot, Coinbase Pro also offers phone support.
Read our full Coinbase Pro review.
Binance offers low trading fees and a wide selection of cryptocurrencies. However, user feedback is primarily negative and customer support is limited on this platform. Additionally, the trading interface could be too complex for those who are new to crypto.
Overall, Binance could be a good option for experienced global traders who are interested in a platform offering advanced trading tools and hundreds of digital assets. If you’re just getting started with cryptocurrency investing and trading, you may want to consider a different exchange.
The Balance is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.
Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the data collection and review processes and weighted data points, is available for review.
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