Binance.com: good alternative to Bitfinex after recent changes

Until recently, Bitfinex was my preferred exchange. However, after recent changes ($10,000 deposit or withdrawal limit) and the uncertainty surrounding Tether – USDT, maybe it’s time to find a different exchange. Read on to find out why I recommend Binance.com.

Binance.com is a cryptocurrency only exchange based in China. This means that you can’t deposit or withdraw fiat (USD, EUR…), but it also means that it doesn’t have to be as regulated as others. It brings on quite a few benefits for small traders / investors:

 

  • no verification – you can open an account and start trading within minutes
  • deposit and withdraw up to 2 BTC worth (in various cryptocurrencies) without verification and quickly
  • over 100 cryptocurrencies and tokens you can trade (very good for ICOs)

Some of their other benefits are:

  • good security – you can use either 2FA (Authy / Google authenticator) or SMS verification – and at login, you can always choose one. This is very handy and more secure than others. Why? Here’s my experience with Kucoin, who only have 2FA (like many others):
    • I have set up my account and enabled 2FA using Authy, scanned the 2FA barcode
    • Authy showed Kucoin 2FA code, which I verified, but it kept behaving in a strange way (I closed the code view in Authy and it opened itself again). I then closed Authy.
    • later, I wanted to log in to Kucoin again, entered my login details, then went to Authy to get the 2FA code
    • bad news – no Kucoin entry. Somehow, it wasn’t stored. This meant I can’t login to Kucoin, no matter what I try.
    • I have written to Kucoin about this at least a month and a half ago – no response.
    • I only had about $50 worth of KCS (Kucoin) in the account, so no big deal, but imagine if I had much more.
    • This won’t happen with Binance – if you lose your 2FA code for some reason, you can switch to SMS verification. And there’s a clear link to help pages “Lost your 2FA?” at the login too, meaning they are prepared for this possibility.
  • withdrawals need to be confirmed via your registered email
  • because withdrawals can be made in crypto only, it’s pretty anonymous. Because it’s in China, it’s even more anonymous for EU / US users
  • fees are low (flat 0.10% on all trades) and can be made 50% lower if you use their own token BNB to pay them. You have to have enough BNB token in your account to cover the fees of course.

They haven’t been hacked yet since they started operating in

 

Disadvantages:

  • they have a strange policy of cutting off small digits for all coins (think it’s anything after 0.000 – three decimal points, but not sure if it applies in the same way for all coins). Anyway, this means that you are left with small amounts of various coins (like 0.0000156 BTC) which you can’t withdraw or sell.
    • most of them can be traded for Binance’s own token BNB, but not all (for example BTC). Plus you need to know this and find it first, therefore I assume there’s many users with small leftover amounts (called dust) that might never get sold
  • Most balances are shown in BTC, which I find very unusable. (I don’t spend hours looking at BTC prices to have a price converter in my head – 0.0054 BTC means nothing to me and I need to Google the conversion). USD balances would be much better.
  • Even the basic exchange mode might be a little overwhelming for some users

 

Risks:

  • being based in China could prove risky – we all know that China isn’t the friendliest place towards blockchain technology, decentralisation and freedom.
  • USDT usage – a lot of pairs are traded with Tether – USDT. With current uncertainty surrounding Bitfinex and USDT, Binance might face issues too, should USDT face strong problems or stop working.

 

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