Poloniex, which refers to itself as "the legendary crypto asset exchange," on its website homepage, is a Seychelles-based digital asset exchange that initially operated from the US. As one of the oldest cryptocurrency platforms, it offers a growing number of crypto assets and is available across the globe.
What is special about the exchange? Find out in this expert Poloniex review all you need to know about an exchange that US-based payments processor Circle acquired in 2018, and which now counts Tron founder Justin Sun as one of its investors.
Table of Contents
- 02 Pros & Cons
3 Steps to Sign Up to Poloniex
To register for an account on Poloniex, follow these three steps.
1. Register and Verify your ID: Signing up requires your email and password. Check the User Agreement box and click on the ‘Sign Up’ icon. Activate your account via the link sent to your email address. Your account will be set up as Level 1 and you can go on to verify your ID to move to Level 2.
2. Make a Deposit: Once you have created the account, the next step is to fund it. Go to the Balances page and click on Deposit. Select the coin to deposit and amount. If you don't have crypto yet, buy coins with your credit card or bank transfer. Follow the on-screen prompts to deposit funds into your exchange account.
3. Purchase your Crypto: To buy cryptocurrency, go to your wallet and click on Buy with Card. Choose the fiat denomination and select the crypto asset and input the amount to buy. The fees and total transaction charges will be displayed and if you wish to proceed, click ‘Buy Now’. Follow the steps to enter your wallet address and confirm the transaction.
Pros & Cons
If you are looking to use Poloniex to buy/sell or trade cryptocurrencies, then its user-friendly interface and unlimited deposits make it an ideal option. Another reason you might want to use it is its low fees compared to peers within the space. However, after you read about its features, including security and wish to look at other options, there are a few suggestions to compare. Check them out below.
History of Poloniex
Poloniex launched in 2014, one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms still in operation today. The Delaware, USA-based cryptocurrency exchange was founded by Tristan D'Agosta. D'Agosta is an entrepreneur who started with a music company in 2010 before venturing into the crypto space.
In March 2014, it was exploited in a security breach that resulted in the loss of about 97 bitcoins deposited by users. The exchange earned a lot of praise despite the hack as the management team took immediate steps to reimburse those who suffered from the attack.
The exchange then ramped up its presence in the space, when it became the first to list Ethereum (ETH) in 2016. Its liquidity improved significantly and made it one of the most popular platforms in the months before Bitcoin soared to trade at $20k against the US dollar.
In 2018, US-based payments firm Circle acquired Poloniex for a reported $400,000. The Circle acquisition had plans to push Poloniex towards becoming the first cryptocurrency exchange in the United States to acquire full regulatory status. That plan saw the platform delist most of the listed coins to comply with regulatory requirements. It also introduced strict KYC verification checks.
In July 2019, credit card payments were made available for users in more than 60 countries, allowing them to buy cryptocurrencies using debit or credit cards. The feature was made possible via a partnership between Poloniex and the payment processor Simplex.
In November 2019, the parent company Circle announced the exchange was being acquired by an unnamed investment group from Asia. It turned out the investors included Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun.
The change of leadership saw the creation of Polo Digital Assets Ltd as a company to oversee Poloniex, with its headquarters now in the crypto-friendly Pacific island of Seychelles.
Polo Digital made the exchange unavailable for US residents. It also redesigned its UI on both the web and mobile apps.
Regulation and Security
Poloniex was founded in the US over six years ago and was one of the first crypto companies to actively seek regulatory approval from FinCEN. It is also subject to data protection laws as set by various supervisory authorities in Europe and the UK. For the latter, the exchange is subject to regulations of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
The exchange also adhered to various federal and state laws as it offered cryptocurrency services to US citizens. The company has recently moved its operations to Seychelles, but that hasn't meant that the exchange is ready to compromise on the security of its users' funds and information.
If anything, the company has enhanced its security due to the increased international pressure for crypto companies to act on money laundering and terrorism financing.
Is Poloniex Safe?
Poloniex is a safe platform due to its record in the crypto space. Despite its earlier security breach, the exchange has had no major issues over recent years. Having started in the US, and seeking entry into the EU, this crypto-to-crypto trading platform comes out as safe for its users. Aside from using industry-standard encryption technology to protect user data, it maintains all its exchange servers in the US to add to the security of personal details.
The exchange was once the most dominant in the market, its liquidity ‘legendary’ as they say. Although it no longer holds such dominance, the exchange still commands a great deal of respect for its ground-breaking regulatory initiatives and security measures. Today, despite an influx of similar exchanges, Poloniex remains considerably popular among cryptocurrency users, especially after relocating to Seychelles and loosening its KYC verification demands.
Is Poloniex for Me?
Whether you are just starting out in your crypto journey and are looking to pick an established cryptocurrency exchange for your trades, or have traded on other platforms and wonder whether it is good for advanced traders, here is the answer.
I'm a Beginner
The Poloniex crypto exchange offers a simple user interface, with an appealing design that presents all the features in an easy to spot layout. Although it might be a little daunting for a complete beginner, all you need is to be a quick learner to master the workings of the platform.
If you are a seasoned hand, it offers a complete trading platform. Access a wide range of cryptocurrencies, view the right charts and graphs, or use technical tools to analyze trades. Access your order books quickly via a well-designed ‘Markets’ dashboard. Aside from that; margin trading, funding, and futures are available to increase your trading opportunities.
Exchange Wallets: Features, Supported Cryptocurrencies and Security
Poloniex offers a centralized wallet system for its users, with various coin wallets available for crypto deposits. When you send crypto to your account, the exchange holds the public keys, meaning that the control of the coins isn't in your hands. Some of the crypto assets are kept in hot wallets for ease of access for trading.
However, security is important to Poloniex, and the exchange holds over 90% of users' funds stored in cold storage wallets. It means that in case of a security breach, most of the funds will not be online where vulnerability to theft is higher.
The exchange also runs an audit program where its monitoring technology tracks all exchange activities. The aim is to stem any malice by identifying suspicious transactions before they become a risk factor.
Again, the use of strong encryption technology and running their website on SSL adds to the privacy and security of users online and closes any loopholes that malicious entities could use to exploit. Additional security measures include protection against DoS attacks, anti-bot infiltration, and the implementation of a registry lock that prevents any malicious and unauthorized modifications on its website.
Users also have to enable 2-factor authentication (2FA), which is really important for any user seeking to trade crypto on any exchange.
The exchange supports more than 110 cryptocurrencies. Note, that some of the assets are unavailable in some countries and jurisdictions due to varying regulatory restrictions. What assets Poloniex restricts to customers depends on the verified address you provide to the company.
Visit the exchange's website for a full list of supported cryptocurrencies, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ador, Cosmos, Basic Attention Token, yearn.finance, Tezos, Monero and 0x.
How to Transfer your Crypto Funds From/To Poloniex
Users can transfer funds to and from Poloniex in two ways:
- By depositing crypto on-chain
- By purchasing Bitcoin with credit card using Simplex
Once you transfer your funds to your Exchange Account, you will be free to move them into any of your other accounts - Margin Account or Lending Account.
Transfer funds to Poloniex on-chain
Log in to Poloniex.com and go to Balances. Select Deposits & Withdrawals and click on ‘Deposit.’ You will then select the crypto to transfer to the exchange, generate your wallet address and add the payment ID if required.
Go to your wallet and select the amount to send and crypto. Copy and paste or scan the QR code to enter the Poloniex address.
Confirm the transaction amount and destination wallet address and click ‘Send’. A confirmation message indicating a successful transfer will be sent once the transaction is complete.
Transfer funds from Poloniex
To transfer crypto from Poloniex, go to your account page and click on the ‘Wallet’ icon. From the resulting menu press on ‘Withdraw’ and input the cryptocurrency you want to transfer from the platform. Next, enter the wallet address to which you want to transfer your crypto assets. You may also be required to add the payment ID. Select the crypto and confirm the amount. The funds will be transferred to the address.
Note: Poloniex allows you to transfer funds to your account both via desktop and on mobile.
Fees and Costs
One reason Poloniex continues to attract a huge user base is its overall fees compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges. If you are a trader, it offers one of the lowest fee schedules in the industry.
You pay a fee on Poloniex for spot and margin trades, as well as for withdrawals.
What fees and costs users incur on the exchange are based on whether you are a taker or maker. It also depends on your 30-day rolling trading volumes and the level or type of account.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Deposits are free and withdrawal fees depend on the cryptocurrency or underlying network. An example is Bitcoin (BTC) which costs 0.0005 BTC per transaction.
Simplex charges a 3.5% fee for purchases made via credit card.
Check the exchange's fees and costs schedule.
Trading fees for unverified accounts are 0.1% for makers and 0.2% for taker accounts. Users with verified or VIP accounts pay 0% and 0.04% for maker and taker trades respectively.
For margin trading, Poloniex charges 0.09% per trade. There is also a fee for margin funding that can increase the costs so it's good to take note of this before opening leveraged positions.
Overall, the fees are some of the lowest in the space among exchanges that support crypto-to-crypto trading. You can find out how they compare in our review of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry here.
Payment Methods & Limits
The platform has support for various payment methods customers can use to fund their accounts and buy cryptocurrency. It is one of the exchanges that currently accept credit card, bank transfer and cryptocurrency transfers.
Payment methods available
- Credit card
- Bank transfer
- SEPA (EU banks)
- Faster Payments (UK banks)
- Crypto transfers
Transaction limits depend on the verification level.
There are two levels of verification on the cryptocurrency exchange: Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 is the default verification level of every new account after sign up. Users access unlimited deposits and spot trading. However, there is a daily limit of $20,000 on purchases/withdrawals and the account has no margin trading support.
Level 2 requires additional information and data from users and allows one access to features available on Poloniex. The daily withdrawal limit is $750,000.
- Minimum Bitcoin Buy: $50
Performance, Features, and Functionality
Poloniex offers an all-around trading experience for its users, the only exception being the absence of fiat-to-crypto trades. However, users can still buy cryptocurrency via credit card and trade several fiat-pegged stablecoins.
The exchange offers multi-platform access as its users can log in to their accounts on desktop and on mobile. The mobile app is available on Android and iOS.
Additionally, an upgrade overhauled the Poloniex website and trading platform in 2019. The upgrade resulted in the exchange becoming extremely fast, with user withdrawals that previously took between 5-10 minutes to confirm now taking just 1-2 minutes.
The 5x improvement in speed has meant that users can benefit from enhanced deposits and withdrawals, with users depositing and withdrawing BTC, ETH, EOS, BCH, BSV, LTC, XMR and USDC the first to benefit.
Poloniex introduced the LaunchBase in May 2020 and has attracted a large number of users interested in Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs). Here users can access a large pool of new IEO projects, which are providing an entirely new way of investing in the crypto space. If you wish to be part of Poloniex's IEO-allowed users, the first step is to register for an account and have it verified.
Poloniex for Institutions
Institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies is one of the big steps the cryptocurrency space is looking out to mainstream the industry. Poloniex knows this, and they offer all types of institutions access to select cryptocurrencies and trading pairs. They also provide a dedicated customer support service, including an API.
Poloni DEX Decentralized Exchange
The world of crypto has changed so much that the new normal is the use of decentralized exchanges (DEX). Poloniex offers the Poloni DEX a decentralized exchange built on the Tron blockchain and was formerly called the TRXMarket. Here users can access and trade decentralized digital assets, which have gained a lot of attention over the last couple of years.
The Poloniex trading platform features a slick design that makes it easy for its users, whether complete beginners or advanced professionals, to navigate, monitor and execute fast trades.
The dashboard layout shows the trading pair, base currencies and assets pairs available for trading. The platform features TradingView-powered charts, with most of the key technical indicators. Other than that, the platform allows the user to view buy, sell and Stop-Limit orders.
As highlighted, Poloniex is available across platforms - on the web and on mobile - with features like ‘Maker Depth’ and trading history also accessible.
Poloniex Futures debuted in July 2020, where users accessed demo accounts before the company quickly added mobile support and API functionality. On August 5, Poloniex Futures beta officially launched. Users can now set up accounts and trade with up to 100x leverage.
The exchange offers its users access to educational resources about cryptocurrency and trading via its blog, a help centre and its support team. Tutorials and videos on how to verify accounts or buy crypto with card payments are also available for free on the exchange's support page.
The exchange also has a robust presence on Social media, including Twitter, Telegram and Facebook. For users on its trading platform, there is a tool called Trollbox that one can use to engage with other users for some trading insight.
Poloniex offers a cryptocurrency exchange that allows for spot trading. Buy and sell cryptocurrencies when the price is right - low for buys and rising for sales.
Apart from spot trading, it is one of the exchanges that allow for margin trading as well as margin lending. However, the extra features are only available to verified account users.
It supports margin lending for most of the top cryptocurrencies and is continually looking to add support for new coins.
Poloniex supports a tiered account system where your level of verification allows for higher limits and lower fees. When you open an account, you begin at level 1, which has no verification demands but limits your transactions.
Other than that, regular users have access to three accounts: exchange account, margin trading account and lending account. You use funds in your margin account as collateral for borrowed funds, while the lending account allows you to loan others for interest.
Institutional investors and other large-volume traders have the option of requesting for special Poloniex Plus accounts. These are Poloniex Plus Silver, Poloniex Plus Gold and Market Maker. These accounts offer benefits like increased limits, account managers and low fees.
Few crypto exchanges would experience the beginning Poloniex had and then go on to be considered among the safest by its users. After suffering a breach just a month after it launched, it surmounted the unfortunate event and went to become a very popular cryptocurrency exchange, offering services such as crypto margin trading and lending.
Notably, though, it has become largely unregulated, and so be wary and don't leave significant amounts of crypto assets on the exchange for prolonged periods.
Frequently asked questions
No. It doesn't support fiat currency deposits but you can buy crypto via credit card.
Yes, the exchange has a built-in wallet for storing user crypto.
Yes, the more you trade, the lower the fees you pay i.e. trade more to save on fees.
Yes, there are some restrictions based on country or jurisdiction.