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Binance Review: An International Crypto Exchange for Advanced Traders

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Binance is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, boasting low fees, access to hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and advanced features for experienced investors. However, Binance is not available to U.S. customers -- if you live in the U.S., you'll need to use Binance.US, though it does have less functionality. Read our full Binance review to determine whether it's the right trading platform for you.

Ratings Methodology

Bottom Line

Binance is a low-fee platform with a wide range of cryptocurrencies and a lot of functionality. However, its full product is not available in the U.S., and it is dealing with regulatory issues in various countries.

Fees:

0.02% to 0.1%

Account Minimum:

Varies by deposit method

Full Binance review

This cryptocurrency exchange is a good fit for: Advanced cryptocurrency traders around the world who want access to a broad range of currencies and features designed to maximize profits.

Pros

  • Low fees
  • Several ways to earn passive income
  • Wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • Advanced trading tools
  • Several ways to deposit money
  • Crypto-to-crypto or fiat-to-crypto trading

Cons

  • Not beginner friendly
  • Regulatory issues
  • Not available in the U.S.

Top perks

Low fees

Binance doesn't offer fee-free trading. However, its fees are low compared to even the best crypto exchanges that charge fees and commission. The highest spot trading fee is 0.1%. Given that the costs on some crypto platforms to first deposit money and then buy crypto can total over 5%, the low fees are one reason I use Binance for a lot of my crypto investments.

Earn passive income on crypto assets

Binance offers various ways to earn passive income, with varying degrees of risk. You can earn 30% APR or more on certain cryptos in its staking program, or put assets into a flexible savings account for lower but more consistent rates. The platform has more staking options and pays higher rates than most other exchanges. As a result, about half of the assets I hold on Binance are staked. More advanced investors might try to earn income via adding liquidity on pairs of tokens, but this can carry different risks. With any interest earning options, it's important to understand the risks involved before jumping in.

Large crypto selection

Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency platforms in the world. It gives users access to almost 600 currencies and thousands of trading pairs. This includes decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens, stablecoins, Bitcoin (BTC), and altcoins.

Advanced trading tools

Binance makes it easy to set a limit order to buy or sell crypto at a specific price. It has a "convert" function for beginner users, and an advanced trading interface with charting tools for more experienced traders. Its Bitcoin futures section lets people speculate on whether the price of Bitcoin will rise or fall. It also sells leveraged tokens, which let customers multiply their positions in a particular currency. Trading with leverage is a risky strategy, because it can amplify losses and, in some cases, cause traders to lose their entire position.

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What could be improved

Not available in the U.S.

Binance has a separate platform in the U.S. with fewer features and cryptocurrencies. Binance.US trades over 120 cryptocurrencies, and does not offer futures trading or leveraged tokens. Binance.US accounts are not available in Hawaii, New York, Texas, or Vermont.

Regulatory attention

Binance has found itself in regulators' crosshairs in a number of countries. These include Japan, the U.K., Canada, Singapore, and Thailand. Plus, U.S. authorities are investigating potential money laundering, tax evasion, and insider trading. Binance denies any wrongdoing, and no charges have been filed.

I am a U.K. customer and found it quite worrying last year when I couldn't deposit or withdraw money because of the platform's regulatory issues. The situation was later resolved, but it is unnerving to suddenly find you can't withdraw your assets. Binance has taken steps to beef up its compliance team and keep regulators onside. The challenge is that the breadth of products that attract so many customers is also one of the things that's attracting regulatory attention. Binance will find it hard to square this circle.

Not for beginners

Binance is a complex platform, designed to help experienced traders maximize profits. Its huge market selection and in-depth dashboards could be overwhelming and difficult to navigate if you're just getting started in crypto investing. As a regular user, I have gotten used to the platform and find it easy to manage my assets. Plus, Binance does have a simpler interface designed for first-timers, as well as a wealth of educational resources. It also asks users to complete a quiz that shows they understand specific dangers before accessing riskier products. However, if someone simply wants to buy Bitcoin for the first time, there are several more accessible platforms.

Alternatives to consider

If you want to diversify your investments to include stocks and crypto: SoFi Active Investing has a decent selection of cryptocurrencies as well as fractional shares, ETFs and other products.

If you're new to cryptocurrency investing: Gemini is an extremely accessible platform with a good range of cryptocurrency products and educational resources. Its Gemini Earn feature lets users earn interest on their assets, and it has a compliance-oriented ethos.

How Binance works

Binance is a fully functioning cryptocurrency exchange with a huge range of services. You can use Binance to:

  • Buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrency
  • Set up recurring buys
  • Earn passive income
  • Access advanced features such as crypto derivative products, limit orders, and peer-to-peer trading
  • Trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • Participate in Binance's Launchpad and Launchpool to get exposure to new cryptos
  • Access portfolio insights, plus live tracking and alerts
  • Keep track of your tax obligations with its tax reporting tool

Be aware that Binance's broad range of products have gotten it into hot water with several regulatory bodies around the world. Binance does warn users of the risks involved. It also has an anti-addiction setting to temporarily suspend a person's account if they make a number of consecutive losing trades using advanced functions such as leverage in a short time.

But ultimately, it gives retail investors access to risky products like margin trading. It is users' responsibility to manage the risk.

Trust Wallet

Binance offers a custodial wallet on its platform. It also recommends Trust Wallet, a hot (internet-connected) wallet that supports thousands of cryptocurrencies on most major blockchains. It is easy to withdraw assets from Binance to a Trust Wallet or other external crypto wallet. I find it easy to withdraw from Binance to both my MetaMask and Trust wallets. Unless there are issues with a specific blockchain, it usually completes withdrawals in less than 10 minutes and the costs are minimal.

You can use Binance via desktop, mobile, or its web-based app. It's a centralized exchange, so you need to provide some personal information to verify your account before you can get started.

Fees overview

Binance charges fees for trading, buying, and selling, as well as some withdrawals and deposits.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

Deposit fees depend on the currency and method of payment. It's often free to make a bank transfer, but there's usually a fee for a debit card payment. In many countries, Binance allows credit or debit card payments, bank transfers, and peer-to-peer payments.

You can withdraw money to a bank account in a fiat currency, or withdraw crypto to a wallet or another exchange. Minimum withdrawal amounts and fees vary, based on your withdrawal method and currency.

Trading fees

Your trading fee percentage depends on your trading volume in the past 30 days and the amount of BNB you hold. Maker orders -- those that add liquidity to the market -- also get lower fees than taker orders, which remove liquidity.

Anyone can get a 25% discount on the trading fee by paying in the platform's native currency, Binance Coin (BNB). Binance also offers 0% trading on selected Bitcoin and Binance USD (BUSD) pairs.

VIP 30-day Trade Volume (BUSD) Maker / Taker
0 Less than 1,000,000 0.10% / 0.10%
1 1,000,000 to 4,999,999 and at least 25 BNB 0.09% / 0.10%
2 5,000,000 to 19,999,999 and at least 100 BNB 0.08% / 0.10%
3 20,000,000 to 119,999,999 and at least 250 BNB 0.07% / 0.10%
4 120,000,000 to 199,999,999 and at least 500 BNB 0.07% / 0.09%
5 200,000,000 to 499,999,999 and at least 1,000 BNB 0.06% / 0.08%
6 500,000,000 to 999,999,999 and at least 1,750 BNB 0.05% / 0.07%
7 1,000,000,000 to 2,499,999,999 and at least 3,000 BNB 0.04% / 0.06%
8 2,500,000,000 to 4,999,999,999 and at least 4,500 BNB 0.03% / 0.05%
9 More than 5,000,000,000 and at least 5,500 BNB 0.02% / 0.04%

Cryptocurrency selection

Binance users can access almost 600 cryptocurrencies. For me, this is one of the biggest appeals of Binance's platform -- I can find even small cryptos on the exchange and buy them with minimal hassle. It also allows me to stake relatively new coins and tokens, often at high APYs. Binance also has its own Binance Coin, and its own stablecoin, BUSD.

You'll find thousands of trading pairs on the site, including various fiat-to-crypto options. It has all the popular cryptocurrencies, including almost all the top 50 by market capitalization. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Cardano (ADA).

LEARN MORE: Cryptocurrency Availability: Where Can You Buy Your Favorite Tokens?

Binance is quick to list new cryptocurrencies. It also offers customers early access to new projects through its Launchpool product. Newer cryptocurrencies do carry more risk, so investor caution is recommended.

Is your cryptocurrency safe with Binance?

Security is important when you're trusting your funds to a crypto exchange, especially given the number of hacks we've seen over the years.

Here are some key security features on Binance:

  • It keeps the majority of funds offline in cold storage.
  • It has created its own insurance fund by storing 10% of all trading fees in a secure fund meant to cover any losses from hacking. This is not the same as having third-party insurance, but does give users some protection.
  • User-level features such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and withdrawal address whitelisting. Whitelisting means you can restrict withdrawals to only pre-approved addresses.

Binance checks a lot of boxes in terms of the security features I look for, but it would be nice to see a little more transparency. For example, Binance says it has a $1 billion fund that it's built up by taking a percentage of trading fees over the years. But there's no links to that or other security features on its home page.

Plus, its regulatory issues are not ideal. The company is working to change its reputation for acting first and seeking forgiveness later. It says its compliance team grew by 500% in 2021. But from a user perspective, if your country bans Binance, you might find yourself unable to access your funds. Binance used to be the only centralized platform I used, but I am no longer comfortable relying completely on a platform that could suspend deposits and withdrawals again.

Binance is right for you if:

  • You have intermediate to advanced crypto trading experience.
  • You're looking for low fees, a wide range of currencies, and advanced features.
  • You're an institutional trader, or have high or ultra-high net worth.
  • You live outside the U.S.

RELATED: Check out The Ascent's list of the best places to buy Binance Coin.

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