Binance is the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, with its rapid expansion over the last two years likened to that of the crypto space itself. The exchange, led by the charismatic Changpeng Zhao, has made it possible for millions of people to buy and trade hundreds of coins and crypto tokens.
Over $1 billion worth of trades are executed every day, with the exchange ranked highest among exchanges that do not inflate their trading volume to mislead the market. What's more, it launched in the US to add to other offshoot platforms in Africa and the UK that have given the company a great deal of legitimacy as services become more streamlined and formalized.
Table of Contents
- 1 3 Steps to Sign Up to Binance
- 2 Pros & Cons
- 3 Binance Compared
- 4 History of Binance
- 5 Regulation and Security
- 6 Is Binance for Me?
- 7 Exchange Wallets: Features, Supported Cryptocurrencies, and Security
- 8 Fees and Costs
- 9 Payment Methods & Limits
- 10 Performance, Features, and Functionality
- 11 Final Thoughts
3 Steps to Sign Up to Binance
1. Register and Verify your ID: Go to the Binance website and register using your email and password. Verify the account by providing a 6-digit code sent to the email. You will get a "success" notification on the screen. For added security to your account, go to your dashboard and enable 2FA.
2. Make a Deposit: The next step is to deposit funds into your wallet. Click on deposit cash and select your currency and payment method. Add Bank card details and press "Verify Now." Follow the instructions given to complete the process. You can also deposit crypto from an external wallet or use your credit card.
3. Purchase your Crypto: Once your wallet is credited with the funds, you can head to the "Buy Crypto" page and select your preferred coin. Add the payment option and follow the simple steps to purchase the crypto. If you don't intend to store the coins on Binance, send them to an offline wallet.
Pros & Cons
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, here is a list of other exchange platforms you can consider.
History of Binance
It 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 the company 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 team announced the launch of Binance Jersey, a fiat-to-crypto platform that operates independently. It caters to European investors and lists EUR and GBP trading pairs.
In June 2019, the company announced it was partnering BAM Trading to launch Binance US. The move was seen as a pointer to seek greater regulatory oversight and dispel any lingering doubts as to its legality and security.
In 2020, Maltese authorities said that the exchange did not have regulatory approval to operate in the country.
It has an extensive team operating offices in over 40 countries across the world, including the UK, USA, France, Singapore, Germany, Uganda, and India.
The company 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, the exchange platform has registered over 15 million users, with its average daily trading volume hitting over $2 billion. The company website and businesses are accessible in multiple languages, including Chinese, English, Japanese, French, and Turkish among others.
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. A US leg was also launched in 2020.
Security is a key feature of the ecosystem, and the company boasts a fairly solid score on this feature. However, it should be noted that the exchange suffered a security breach in May 2019 that resulted in the loss of 7000 Bitcoins after hackers compromised several user accounts. The exchange 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 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. Like many of the top exchange platforms in the space, it is doing everything to ensure user funds are safe.
I'd say that, despite an earlier breach, it 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 it 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 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 the Academy and an updated FAQ page.
If you are an old hand at trading and want something a little more advanced, the platform 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, it 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 they recently acquired, and which users can use to store several coins and tokens. If you don't want to use the wallet, the exchange supports several other top wallets, including hardware devices that you can use to move your coins off the exchange.
The platform 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 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.
The exchange 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)
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 it 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 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 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 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
Binance does not charge fees for crypto deposits, although what you pay as a withdrawal fee depends on the cryptocurrency. Nonetheless, trading and withdrawal fees 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
The platform 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.
It 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 its fee schedule.
Minimum trade size: 0.0001 BTC
Maximum trade size: Up to 100 BTC
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, the platform provides support in 7 languages!
As of now, there is no customer support 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.
The platform 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 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 the exchange and the wider crypto industry on their blog. The 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 their YouTube, or engage with the 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.
The platform announced its 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 a 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.
Binance Account Types
You can use the platform with one main account that gives you access to various services and products in the 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 2 BTC.
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 100 BTC. 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.
The platform 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 to deposit and withdraw collateral (such as margins) per these terms (including the Contract Services Agreement and Platform Rules), as required for contract transactions, leveraged trading and/or currency borrowing services.
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, it is the best exchange if you are new to crypto and want to easily buy or sell digital assets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it offers credit card payments as one of the supported deposit methods.
All Binance deposits are free.
No, once you sign up and activate your account, you can buy up to 2BTC without verification.
Yes, it supports several types of offline wallets that you can use.