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There’s a lot of disparate information in various Bitfinex reviews, so it’s easy to get confused about its reputation as a company. One could end up thinking it’s either the world’s most famous or infamous cryptocurrency broker.
With its significant trading volumes and a variety of coins on the one hand, and a couple of historical hacks on the other, Bitfinex certainly isn’t lacking the public attention.
To decipher all the ongoing buzz, we decided to uncover some of the most relevant facts.
In this Bitfinex review, we will:
- Go over the platform basics
- Explain its usage
- Cover the fees and service models
- Explore your alternatives
Bitfinex is one of the major cryptocurrency trading platforms that enables users to buy and sell a wide range of digital coins. Aside from crypto deposits and withdrawals, the platform supports bank transfers of fiat money.
It is also one of the rare crypto exchanges that make shorting cryptocurrencies and leverage trading strategies possible.
The platform came into life in 2012 in Hong Kong. The Bitfinex headquarters have remained there ever since. In the meantime, you can find Bitfinex users in almost every part of the world.
Countries like Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Venezuela are exceptions due to regulatory concerns. In addition to these, Bitfinex refuses US customers for the same reason. So, if you are planning on doing an exchange from the States, consider what are some of the best online crypto platforms available there.
How to Use Bitfinex
In their Bitfinex reviews, most investors characterize the platform as highly user-friendly. Many of them claim, though, that it’s more suited for experienced traders due to its advanced trading options and tools. But let’s look into Bitfinex usage in more detail.
Setting up a Bitfinex account
Anyone can open a Bitfinex account in a few easy steps. However, bear in mind that there’s a KYC verification freeze period that can take up to three days. During these three days, you won’t be able to deposit or withdraw your funds. Also, if you are still new to the market, you may want to consider some of the brokerage accounts for beginners.
Once you set your mind on Bitfinex exchange, these are the steps to follow:
- Visit the official Bitfinex website and choose the sign-up button.
- Enter your email, create a username, and a strong password.
- If you wish to deposit any of the fiat currencies, you’ll need to complete identity verification.
How to start your trade
You can make your first Bitfinex deposit through a deposit option on the right-hand side of the screen once your account is verified.
Keep in mind that the minimum deposit and withdrawal amount for fiat currencies is $10,000. The minimum withdrawal amount for crypto is $5 equivalent, which is much smaller and manageable.
The fiat currencies suitable for deposit are EUR, USD, GBP, and JPY. The waiting period for the funds to be showing in the account is between 7 and 10 days.
Bitfinex coins and services
On Bitfinex, you can find over 100 leading cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and EOS. Popular altcoins like TRON and Stellar are available too.
The services are as follows.
Advanced exchange trading
Bitfinex order book is among the most comprehensive and liquid order books available. Users can deposit, withdraw and trade digital currencies with ease thanks to this. Aside from that, traders can place limit, market, stop, fill or kill, iceberg, hidden, and various other types of orders.
Bitfinex margin funding and trading
Qualified users can trade the borrowed assets with up to 3.3 times leverage. The Peer-to-Peer (P2P) margin platform automatically determines the borrowing terms (interest and duration).
If you are lending funds to traders for interest, you, as a user, choose the conditions. Margin Bitfinex funding involves more risks, and it is, therefore, recommended for more experienced users. Besides, the funds get locked on the platform until the loan expires.
For larger trading sums, $100,000 and above, Bitfinex allows traders to deal with each other directly. OTC desk ensures the ultimate privacy away from public order books. The service helps to match and secure all major private deals.
Credit or debit card purchase
Third-party payment processors such as OWNR or Mercuryo enable direct purchases of cryptocurrencies with credit or debit cards on Bitfinex. This is not such a common feature among the bitcoin trading platforms that it’s hard to find a Bitfinex exchange review that doesn’t mention it.
Tools are there to make the usage of each trading platform or robo-advisor more practical and time-effective. This Bitfinex review singles out the two most distinctive platform tools:
- Changelog — Helps you keep up with all platform innovations, releases, and news. In-depth observation of the Bitfinex features is available to all users through it.
- The lightning network — Puts the light on all the latest trading opportunities. The Bitcoin second layer technology ensures the boost of transactions with faster deposits and withdrawals.
The platform applies several categories of charges which mostly depend on the user’s activity and monthly trading volume.
The Bitfinex trading fees are based on a taker-maker fee model. Maker fees are paid by the users who add liquidity to the order book by placing a limit order. And, those who realize the existing orders of the order book pay taker fees.
Additionally, Bitfinex charges deposit and withdrawal fees.
|Trading fees||These can go up to 0.2% for the takers and 0.1% for the makers.
The fees drop as the trading volume increases.
The maker fee drops to 0% once the trading volume passes $7.5 million.
|Deposit fees||The fee for bank transfer deposits is 0.1%, with a $60 minimum.
The fees are usually lower if you deposit in cryptocurrency.
In that case, they depend on the coin.
|Withdrawal fees||The same Bitfinex fixed withdrawal fee of 0.1% applies for cash-out via bank wire with a minimum of $60.
Expeditious withdrawal (within 24h) fee costs 1% for fiat currencies.
If you are withdrawing in cryptocurrency, fees vary from coin to coin.
Note that larger OTC orders include no trading fees.
Bitfinex Mobile App
On top of the mobile-friendly and responsive trading website, the platform offers mobile apps suitable for both Android and iOS. Through these, you can trade and utilize Bitfinex wallet and margin funding on the go.
Thanks to mobile app customization, you can now secure your account with API keys and PIN protection.
Furthermore, the available trade execution notifications and Bitfinex price alerts help you stay updated with the daily exchange trends and on track.
Bitfinex Customer Service
In case you have some inquiries or difficulties, the only way to contact Bitfinex customer service is through email. There is no live chat option or phone support for the users available. On the plus side, the email answering team operates 24/7.
Aside from this, the investing platform regularly updates its Twitter account. So, contacting a Bitfinex support agent via Twitter may be an option too.
The extensive Bitfinex help center base contains well-organized and comprehensive documentation and FAQ.
After experiencing two serious cyber-hacks in the past, the platform keeps extending and improving its security levels.
The first security breach happened in 2015 when somebody stole 1,500 bitcoins. Bitfinex managed this hack within a few days and recovered quickly.
However, the next Bitfinex bitcoin heist ended up being one of the largest in history, surpassed only by the Mt. Gox hack. The theft happened on April 6, 2016. That second time, the loss reached 120,000 BTC, and it was much more difficult to offset. The final decision came to spread the loss among all the investors. It took one year, but the exchange managed to compensate all its clients.
These examples show how fragile online trading platforms can be, but also that Bitfinex management does what it takes to regain its clients’ funds and trust.
Although the Bitfinex exchange is not under any regulatory body, it employs safety measures with each transaction. Some of them are the following:
- Two-factor authentication (including U2F authentication)
- Cold storage for 99.5% of customer funds
- Protection from DDoS breaches
- IP address changes and limited access
- Daily backups and system updates
All these measures reduce the investment risks significantly. And, although the platform doesn’t employ insurance for the user funds, it had proven itself worthy of users’ trust during critical situations.
Review of Bitfinex Alternatives
Whether planning on trading stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies, or any other type of assets, choosing the right brokerage can make all the difference. In that process of selection, however, one shouldn’t forget to check the alternatives and examine the competition.
Bitfinex vs Kraken
Both exchanges have been present for a while now and, therefore, offer well-rounded service. However, there are some notable differences. Kraken insists on legal regulations, with a final goal of turning into an actual bank. On the other hand, Kraken’s fees are slightly higher, and it has fewer coins available for trade.
Coinbase vs Bitfinex
To begin with, Bitfinex excludes US users. So, if you are planning to trade from the States, Coinbase is your only choice between the two. Additionally, most users find Coinbase more suitable for beginners and claim that it offers a safer trading environment. Still, with lower fees, more coins, and a variety of trading options, Bitfinex continues to attract experienced investors.
Bitfinex vs Poloniex
Poloniex is exclusively a cryptocurrency trader, while Bitfinex allows bitcoin/fiat cash trade as well. Both are among the world’s top 20 trading platforms. The main differences are that Poloniex operates within the US, it’s slightly more expensive, and more beginner-friendly. Currently, Poloniex offers more than 60 different cryptocurrencies.
Bitfinex vs Gdax
Gdax is a Coinbase branch with lower fees and margin trade available. It works with three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The exchange enables you to trade these for USD and EUR. Gdax holds New York BitLicense, and it didn’t have any major hack in the past.
Bitfinex Review Summary
All in all, Bitfinex is a renowned investment platform that has been around for a while now. It had its ups and downs, but it managed to keep its reputation as a major international exchange with numerous trading options and currencies.
The platform is suitable for advanced trades outside the restricted countries.
- 100+ different coins available
- Almost 10 years in the market
- Advanced trading
- Variety of order types
- Not available in the US
- Suffered major hacks
- No insurance
- Customer support via email only
How do I buy on Bitfinex?
Once you have successfully registered and deposited enough trading funds, you can purchase any crypto by selecting one of many Bitfinex currencies and the amount.
Where is Bitfinex based?
Bitfinex’s headquarters are located in Hong Kong.
How do I trade on Bitfinex?
Click on the trading page on the official Bitfinex website or app. Next, choose the pair you want to trade and the type of order. Finally, press the “Exchange Buy” button. The order tab will show your order after that.
How do I withdraw money from Bitfinex?
Start by opening the withdrawal page on the platform. After that, select the currency, the amount you want to withdraw, the wallet, and finalize the withdrawal request.
What are Bitfinex fees?
Bitfinex applies different deposit, withdrawal, and trading fees that mostly depend on your monthly trade volume and the coin type. The Bitfinex trading fees can go up to 0.2%.
Can US citizens use Bitfinex?
No, US citizens can’t use Bitfinex. The USA is on the list of the Bitfinex restricted countries.
Is Bitfinex legit?
As one of the leading crypto trading platforms by volume, Bitfinex is a legit exchange option.
Is Bitfinex safe?
Bitfinex suffered a couple of safety breaches by hackers in the past. However, the security levels of the platform have kept increasing ever since. Today, satisfied customers vouch for its safety in almost every Bitfinex review.