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Binance review - Binance logo

Binance review - overall score 4.5

Before reading the review, please take a moment to read our disclaimer.

Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges currently operating, based on the trading volume. The exchange was originally based in Hong Kong, and Binance's terms are still governed by Hong Kong law. It is not listed on any stock exchange, and the corporate structure is not transparent. It is hardly possible to find the location of Binance's headquarters. Binance currently is not available in the United States. From the US you can use Binance's partner site, Binance.US, which uses matching engine and wallet technologies licensed from Binance, however its product selection, the number of trading pairs offered is limited compared to Binance.

The company/exchange itself has 2800 employees, a 15m client base, with a quarterly trade volume of 180 billion in USD. It is in the same league as Coinbase, and the latest data suggest that it has even larger volumes than Coinbase.

Employee, client base, trade volume at Kraken and its competitors
  Kraken Coinbase Binance
# of employees 175 2100 2800
Client base (in millions) 6 56 15
Traded volume on exchange (in USD, billions) 1.83 335 180
Latest available data as of June 2021

Why is this important? Well, it is not easy to determine how safe a cryptocurrency exchange is. In most cases cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs, so you have to be even more thorough while selecting your provider. It is a good sign if the exchange

  • has a sizable client base
  • has a relevant traded volume per quarter
  • is established, e.g. is it is founded a while ago and has a great number of employees
  • if the company that operates the exchange is listed on a stock exchange

Binance is one of the largest, if not the largest exchange by trading volume. It has a large client base, but a shorter track record compared to reviewed peers.

Binance overall Pros and cons

Pros

Cons

• Low non-instant and instant buy fees

• Hiccups in account verification

• Extremely large coin selection

• Not available in the US

• Numerous extra services

• Non-transparent corporate structure

Binance main features and highlights

🗺️ Country of origin

Hong Kong

💰 Trading fees class

Low

💰 Inactivity fee charged

No

💰 Withdrawal fee amount

$1-30 or 1% to card

💰 Minimum deposit

$0

🕖 Time to open an account

Less than 15 mins

💳 Deposit with bank card

Available

👛 Depositing with electronic wallet

Not available

💱 Number of coins supported

400+

🛍️ Products offered

Stablecoins, altcoins, futures on coin, options

Binance review
Binance fees - 4.7

Binance has the lowest trading fees among reviewed exchanges. Non-trading fees are also low.

Pros

Cons

• Lowest trading fees

• Withdrawal fees

• Low non-trading fees

 

How we ranked fees

We ranked Binance fee levels as low, average, or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed crypto service exchanges.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to crypto service fees. Just as with brokers, what you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These are mostly commissions. 

  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like deposit and withdrawal fees, inactivity fees, conversion fees, and bank transfer fees for example.

In this review, we used two different calculation methods to represent the exchange’s fee structure in a comprehensive value. This means that we replicated the two most popular buy scenarios for cryptocurrencies, suggested by our clients. In this review, we calculate the 

  • Fees of an instant purchase

  • Fees of a non-instant purchase

Instant purchase means a model scenario where we bought a coin straight for example with a credit card or other instant deposits. A non-instant purchase means a model scenario where we first deposit in a FIAT currency (USD, EUR, etc.) then convert the deposit into a coin.

For both scenarios, we calculated with a $2,000 trade value, assuming 50,000 BTC/USDT as the market price, which means trading 0.04 BTC per transaction.

Binance trading fees

Binance trading fees are low. Like at most exchanges, the fee you pay depends on your traded volume. Binance offers discounted trading costs depending on your traded volume and your Binance coin (BNB) holding and whether you take or make liquidity.

The standard trading fee of trading crypto assets on Binance is 0.1%. If you have any positive BNB balance at your Binance account, trading fees are reduced to 0.075%.

Binance fees for instant purchases

Binance has the lowest instant fees among competitors. Binance only charges a 2% fee for credit/debit instant buy orders, which is the lowest among reviewed peers.

Kraken fees for an instant $2,000 trade
  Binance Kraken Coinbase

Description of fees

2.00% fee charged for credit/debit card payments 3.75% + €0.25 fees charged for credit/debit card payments 3.99% fee charged for credit/debit card payments

Fees for an instant purchase

$40 $105 $90

Binance fees for non-instant transactions

Binance has low trading fees for non-instant purchases, the lowest among reviewed competitors, Kraken and Coinbase. You can lower your trading fees further by trading more or having a large BNB balance in your account.

Binance trading fees for a non-instant $2,000 trade
  Binance Kraken Coinbase

Description of fees

Between 0.012% to 0.10% depending on cumulative trade volume, whether you provide/take liquidity, and BNB balance Between 0.00% to 0.26% depending on cumulative trade volume in the last 30 days and whether you provide/take liquidity Coinbase Pro: between 0.0% to 0.5% of trade value depending on trade value and whether you provide/take liquidity
Fees for a non-instant transaction $2 $5 $10

Binance non-trading fees

Binance does not charge an inactivity fee or any account management fees. There are no deposit fees unless you deposit by credit/debit card, but there is no free withdrawal option available in fiat currencies.

Binance deposit fees and options

Binance charges a 1.8% fee if you deposit by credit/debit card, which is by the way a unique feature among reviewed competitors. At other exchanges you can initiate only instant buy orders by your credit/debit card, depositing fiat is not possible. Otherwise, there is no deposit fee. SWIFT, Wire, SEPA transfers, and both BTC and ETH deposits are available. ACH deposits or electronic wallets are not available.

Binance deposit fees and options
  Binance Kraken Coinbase

ACH

NA NA 0

SWIFT

$0 $0 $6
Wire $0 $0 $10

SEPA

0 EUR 0 EUR 0 EUR

Credit/debit card

1.80% NA NA

Electronic wallet

NA NA Paypal 2.5%

BTC deposit

$0 $0 $0

ETH deposit

$0 $0 $0

Binance review - Deposit & withdrawal

Binance withdrawal fees and options

There is no free withdrawal method available at Binance.

You have to take into consideration that withdrawal might take 0-5 business days depending on the chosen method.

Kraken withdrawal fees and options
  Binance Kraken Coinbase

ACH

NA NA $0

SWIFT

$30 $35 $6
Wire NA $0

$25

SEPA

0.8 EUR 0.09 EUR 0.15 EUR

Credit/debit card

1% NA 2%

Electronic wallet

NA NA Paypal 2.5%

BTC withdrawal

0.000011 0.00015 BTC Not disclosed in advance, just right before the transaction

ETH withdrawal

0.00022 0.0017 ETH Not disclosed in advance, just right before the transaction

 

Binance review
Account opening & deposit, withdrawal - 4.1

Binance's services are available for most residents globally, with the quite important exception of US clients. There is an enterprise account available as well. Depositing by credit/debit card is a unique feature at Binance.

Pros

Cons

• Debit/credit card deposit

• Not available for US clients

• Enterprise account

• Issues with account verification

Binance is available in many countries worldwide, but not in the United States. From the US you can use Binance's partner site, Binance.US, which uses matching engine and wallet technologies licensed from Binance, however its product selection, the number of trading pairs offered is limited compared to Binance.

The availability of Binance's services varies from country to country. As an example, instant buy orders are not available for all supported jurisdictions.

Minimum deposit amount

Binance's minimum deposit amount is $0. There’s no minimum deposit at Binance. 

Account types

Binance provides many account types. You can use many services with the base account, but if you want to trade more complex derivatives, you have to open a futures or an options account. 

Besides these, you can open a business account as well.

Binance account types
Account type Description
Base account A Binance base account used for personal trading
Futures account An account used for futures trading
Options account An account used for options trading
Enterprise account A Binance base account for corporates

How to open an account

Opening an account at Binance is fairly easy, and fully digital. Verification takes minutes. However we had issues with verificationthe system had troubles with recognizing photos or understanding ID cards.

Binance review - Account opening

What are the steps for account opening?

  1. Go to binance.com
  2. Click the Register button
  3. Provide your e-mail address and choose a password
  4. Solve a simple puzzle
  5. A code will be sent to your e-mail address to verify it
  6. And you are done! Verification is not mandatory for an account set-up

However, if you want to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrency, you have to provide basic personal info. If you want to deposit and withdraw fiat currency, you have to upload a government ID and make a selfie for facial verification.

Binance review - Account verification

 

Deposit and withdrawal 

Deposit fees and options

You can deposit fiat currencies and digital currency to your account. Binance offers many payment options to send your money to the exchange. The simplest is to use your credit card or debit card, however, it is the most costly one.

Other deposit methods are free of charge at Binance.

All in all, Binance charges no deposit fees unless you use your credit/debit card. Another drawback is, that you can deposit USD via SWIFT transfer only.

Withdrawal fees and options

You can initiate withdrawals from your Binance account in fiat currencies and digital currencies as well. Binance offers several options for both. The cost of withdrawal depends on the currency you want to transfer and the method you use. 

For cash withdrawals, the cost of withdrawal and the minimum amount would depend on the 

  • Chosen fiat currency
  • Chosen method (SEPA, Bank Transfer, card, etc.)

For example, a EUR withdrawal can cost:

  • SEPA (ClearJunction) costs €0.8
  • Bank card (VISA) costs 1%

You can check available withdrawal methods and costs if you click on Wallet -> Fiat and Spot -> Withdraw when logged into your account.

You can make withdrawals in more than 400 different cryptocurrencies from Binance. The fee depends on the chosen cryptocurrency and the used network as well. You can find a detailed list at binance.com

Available fiat currencies

At Binance, there are 31 fiat currencies available, see the table below. The listed currencies though are not available for all clients, and it is not transparent whether you are allowed to use them or not. You can find out only by logging into your account.

Binance fiat currencies
AED ARS AUD BRL
CHF CZK CAD DKK
EUR GBP GHS HUF
HKD INR JPY KZT
KES MXN NGN NOK
NZD PEN PLN RUB
SEK TRY UGX USD
UAH VND ZAR  

Binance review
Research & platform - 4.1

Binance has multiple trading platforms, incluiding a simple one and more complex ones (Classic and Advanced) with great charting tools. They also have extra features, like multiple order types, and an order book as well. Besides that there is platform for options trading as well. Binance has two different mobile trading platform within the same app, Lite and Pro. Pro has advanced features like order types.

Pros

Cons

• Many different platforms available tailored to different needs

• Wide platform selection could be confusing

• Extra features, like multiple order types, order book, charting tools

 

 

Binance has many trading platforms, where you can buy and sell digital currencies. There is a simple one for beginners which is designed to convert fiat to crypto or one crypto to another on the spot market quickly and easily. There are advanced platforms (Classic and Advanced) as well serving the needs of more experienced crypto traders. There is a dedicated page for options trading, Binance Options.

Binance's trading platforms are available from your desktop via your browser or as a standalone application. The latter is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. There is a native app for iOS and Android which makes it easy to buy and sell crypto assets directly from your mobile device. You can select a basic (Binance Lite) or an advanced (Binance Pro) layout in the mobile app.

Web Platform

Look and feel 

Binance's base web trading platform could be confusing at first sight. There are many platforms available to trade. However, if you manage to find it, the base trading platform is quite easy to use. You should click on Trade and then Convert.Binance review - Web trading platform - Base platform

 

It is a quite simple and intuitive page. You can select the currency you want to sell and the currency you want to buy. You can convert fiat to crypto and vice versa or a cryptocurrency to another cryptocurrency. Basically, it is a market order.

On the other hand, Binance provides advanced trading platforms as well. On the Classic or the Advanced platform you can trade at a terminal style interface with many charting tools and advance order types.

Binance review - Web trading platform - Classic platform

Login and security

For logins, there's a mandatory 2FA system. The platform sends you an SMS or email or both with a code every time you log in from a new device. You can use a security key or Google Authenticator to make your account even safer. Besides that, you have to solve a simple puzzle. We can say that Binance puts effort into making log-in to your account safe.

Placing trades

On the base platform, you can place only a market order to convert between different currencies. Both the Classic and the Advanced platforms have the same order types available, which are the following:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop Limit
  • One-Cancels-the-Other (OCO)

 

Binance review - Web trading platform - Classic order types

Charting tools

Binance has a huge number of charting tools available, we counted more than 80, including more famous ones, like RSI, MACD, Volume, Linear Regression and so.

Mobile Investment Platform

Binance is available on both iOS and Android. In this review, we tested Binance on iOS.

Look and feel 

Binance's mobile platform has two different layouts. Binance Lite and Pro. Switching between the two layouts is extremely easy. You should simply touch on the top left corner of the screen (the account menu) and there is a switch to enable or disable the Lite layout.

Binance Lite

The first one is Binance Lite, which is an easy-to-use platform providing the most popular functions only, however it still has many things to offer. There are simple price charts, a newsfeed, you can check your wallet (i.e. your balance at Binance) and you can make conversions just as at the web platform.

Binance review - Mobile trading platform

Binance Pro

Binance Pro is a much more sophisticated layout. It offers the same order types as the web platform, better charting tools, more products (e.g. futures, margin trading). Basically, it is a mobile-optimized version of Binance's advanced trading platforms.

Binance review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

As on the web platforms, the first-time login requires a two-step authentication. After logging in, you can use convenient features, like fingerprint sensors. However during our test, we had issues with FaceID, we had to re-enable it many times, which was quite uncomfortable.

Placing trades

At Binance Lite you can only convert, which means placing a market order. At Binance Pro you can place the same order types as on the web platform.

Binance review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Charting tools

Binance Lite provides a simple line chart of the price of the selected coin. However, at Binance Pro you can use a more sophisticated charting tool with a limited number of technical indicators as well.

Desktop Investment Platform

Binance offers native platforms for Windows, macOS, and Linux. We have tested the platform on macOS. It has the same functionalities as the web platform, but it is a bit more customizable. Some less popular services though are implemented in an embedded browser window only.

Binance review
Customer service - 3.3

Binance has a 24/7 support with the live chat as the only option. On the other hand, live chat starts with a chatbot, which was unable to provide meaningful answers. Binance also has a  forum presence.

Pros

Cons

• 24/7 availability

• No meaningful answers from the chatbot

• Forum presence

• No e-mail channel

You can only contact Binance via live chat, though it is available 24/7.

There are two ways to reach the chat. There is a yellow chat (Support) button in the bottom right corner of most of the pages. The second option is that at the end of all pages under 'Support' you find 'Submit a request'. Clicking on it will guide you to the chat function. Firstly you can select from many pre-defined questions and a chatbot tries to answer your question. If you are not satisfied with the answer, you can continue with a live agent.

We have mixed experience with the relevancy of the answers of the chatbot. But after a few minutes of waiting time, a live agent was able to answer our questions.

Binance review - Customer support

An alternative way to reach a cryptocurrency exchange is via a forum (either their own forum or a subreddit). Binance has a forum presence, however, there is room for improvement in this respect.

Binance review
Product selection - 5.0

Binance has by far the largest selection of cryptocurrencies among reviewed exchanges, and has also derivative, margin and options trading.

Pros

Cons

• Abundant selection of cryptocurrencies

 

• Derivatives, margin, and option trading

 

There are hundreds of coins available at Binance. You can check the available trading pairs by logging into your account.

Number of coins available at Binance vs. competitors
  Binance Coinbase Kraken
# 400+ 54 56

Derivatives, options, and futures on coins

Binance has a separate trading platform to trade futures on coins. Head to www.binance.com/en/futures/ to check this feature out. You can trade perpetual or quarterly contracts, settlement can happen in coins or in USD stable coins.

Binance review - Futures trading platform

Binance offers an options trading platform as well. There you can trade European-style vanilla options on crypto-currencies.

Margin trading/leveraged trading available

On Binance you can also trade with margin. Margin rates and borrowing limits depend on your BNB balance and trade volume.

 

Binance review
Safety

Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges out there by trade volume. They have a short track record though, they are not based in a developed economy and they corporate structure lacks any transparency.

Pros

Cons

• Large trading volume and client base

• Lack of transparency in corporate structure 

 

• No FDIC / SIPC insurance

  • Based outside of developed economies 

Is Binance regulated?

Before we go deeper into this question, please take a moment to read our disclaimer.

Cryptocurrency exchanges do not qualify for deposit insurance programs, as they are not savings or financial institutions. Therefore no, this service is not regulated in the same sense as broker services are. Crypto exchanges are under increasing regulatory scrutiny. In a recent consumer warning, issued by UK's FCA, the regulator stated that no entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorization, registration, or license to conduct any regulated activity in the UK. This means that you cannot lean on regulators when you deal with crypto exchanges. They do not help you to assess how safe there are, and they will not help you if any issue arises. There are also a few signs out there that might help a bit and are worth considering. This question is the following, whether the service:

  • is exchange-listed
  • has a long tracking list 
  • has significant volumes traded on the platforms 
  • a big client base and employees
  • vows to guarantee FDIC / SIPC insurance on deposit

Binance is not exchange-listed, and it has a short tracking record. It is running since 2017, making it the service provider with the shortest track record compared to Coinbase (2012) and Binance (2017). 

See also the company fundamentals below in our table.

Kraken and its competitors' fundamentals
  Kraken Coinbase Binance
Revenue (USD, in millions) 16.4 1277 -
Year of revenue data NA 2020 -
Client base (in millions) 6 56 15
Foundation date 2011 2012 2017
Volume traded (USD, in billions) 1.83 335 180
Guarantees of an investment protection scheme (for staking, or any service) FDIC, SIPC for staking FDIC for cash NA

Background

Binance was found in 2017. It is one of the newer crypto exchanges. However, when it comes to usage data, number of clients, and trading volume, it performs well. Binance originally was based in Hong Kong, however now it operates in different jurisdictions, but the governing law of the terms is still Hong Kong law. The corporate structure is opaque, we cannot find out what is the legal entity at which you open your account.

Is Binance secure and safe?

Regarding safety, you should be aware that in most cases crypto exchanges face less stringent regulations than brokers. Investor protection schemes like SIPC in the US or FSCS are not available for investors of cryptocurrency exchanges.

 

Binance review
Education - 4.0

Binance provides many educational matrials, most of them via a dedicated part of the website, Binance Academy. There are educational articles, videos, a glossary and you can test your knowledge by solving quizzes.

Pros

Cons

• Plenty of educational materials available

• No demo account

• Quality texts in a structured form

 

At Binance, you have access to the following educational tools:

  • Quality educational text, videos, and quizzes at academy.binance.com
  • Webinars on Binance's Youtube channel
  • FAQ page in the support center at binance.com

Binance provides a large set of different educational materials. They touch upon crypto-related issues but besides that general topics related to trading or investment are also covered. The materials are of high quality.

You can also test your knowledge by solving quiz questions. It is a fun way to learn, however, currently there is only a limited number of them available.

Binance review - Education - Binance Academy

Binance review - Education - FAQ

Binance review
Extra features

Binance offers a large and continuously growing selection of extra services. You have many options to trade derivatives at the futures or the options trading platform, you can use trade on margin or use leveraged tokens to trade with leverage without the risk of being wiped out by a margin call, you can use staking to earn reward on your tokens and many more. You can also get a crypto debit card.

Pros

Cons

• Futures and options trading platform

• Hard to get an overview of all the available extra features

• Staking

 

• Crypto card  

Derivatives trading

Binance has a separate trading platform for futures and another one for options trading. It is common among exchanges to have such a separate place to trade cryptocurrency futures. Binance provides further products to trade with leverage, for example, leveraged tokens. This selection is great but could be hard to understand for beginners. Be careful with leveraged products, make sure that you understand all the associated risks.

Staking

At Binance you can stake coins and stable coins as well. You can earn staking rewards on your holdings. However, staked assets are not covered by insurance against losses or subject to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protections. 

Crypto card

By Binance's crypto debit card, you can spend your crypto when you buy something with your debit card. Your crypto will be instantly converted to the fiat currency of the spending.

 

Binance review
Bottom line

Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges by trading volume and it has a very wide product range compared to other reviewed crypto exchanges, Coinbase and Kraken. It has a good and growing offering of additional services. It is originally based in Hong Kong. It is not listed on any exchange, and its legal structure is opaque.

The company/exchange itself has more than 2000 employees, a client base of more than 10 million users, with a quarterly trade volume of 180 billion in USD. Compared to other reviewed exchanges, these numbers are at the high end.

Binance has advanced trading platforms, the lowest fees, and the widest product selection among reviewed exchanges. It offers many other products beyond spot trading, e.g. derivatives trading, staking, or a crypto debit card.

However, Binance's legal structure is opaque. It operates outside of developed markets, under Hong Kong law. It is hard to find out, who is the entity with which you have a contractual relationship when you trade at Binance. This makes assessing the risks of dealing with Binance hard and can make your life difficult if you have an issue to solve with Binance. Binance is not available in the United States, and the British regulator, FCA has recently issued a customer warning on one of Binance's subsidiaries. 

Feel free to try Binance but be very careful, as such exchanges are not overseen by financial regulators

If you find anything, that'd nice to have in this review, let us know at [email protected].

Please take a moment to read our disclaimer below:

Disclaimer: Neither BrokerChooser nor any of its partners accept any responsibility, duty of care or other liability however arising to You or any other third party in relation to this material provided however that nothing in this disclaimer excludes or restricts any liability or duty which BrokerChooser may have under applicable law or regulation which is not capable of being so excluded.

This material and any information contained herein is provided to You for information purposes only. BrokerChooser is not making any recommendation or soliciting any action based on the information contained herein or making any offer, solicitation or recommendation to invest in a particular investment or undertake any course of action.

This information is furnished to You with the express understanding that it does not constitute investment or any other advice and You will determine, by seeking your own independent advice, the economic risks and merits as well as the legal, tax and accounting consequences of taking any course of action, adopting any investment strategy and/or investing in any asset. Furthermore, BrokerChooser does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice either, hence if You require advice in relation to such matters, You should consult your respective tax, accounting or legal advisers.

Recent performance of several crypto currencies might make it tempting to start trading digital currencies. However, You should be aware that these assets are extremely risky, they tend to be much more volatile than more traditional investments such as stocks, bonds or fiat currencies etc., hence it is of utmost importance that You seek your own independent advice with respect to the economic risks and merits as well as the legal, tax and accounting consequences of taking any course of action, adopting any investment strategy and/or investing in any crypto currency, crypto asset and/or crypto commodity.

You should also be aware that in most of the cases crypto exchanges face less stringent regulations than brokers and other regulated financial intermediaries and investor protection schemes such as schemes of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in the United States or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the United Kingdom are not available for investors using crypto exchanges.

 

Please note that this material and all the information contained herein are derived using various proprietary and non-proprietary sources deemed by BrokerChooser to be reliable. It is not necessarily comprehensive and its accuracy cannot be assured. In addition, the information and analysis contained in this material are based on professional judgement and may vary from conclusions or analysis provided by other qualified professionals asked to perform similar analysis. Moreover, this material and the information contained herein are subject to modification, change or supplement without prior notice to You.

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés

Author of this article

Gyula has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He is eager to leverage his knowledge to guide you through the world of brokerage.

Gyula Lencsés

Broker Expert

Gyula has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He is eager to leverage his knowledge to guide you through the world of brokerage.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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