Cryptocurrency exchange is a hot business nowadays.
And given the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and altcoins last year, this was expected to say the least.
But as you know, running a crypto exchange is not an easy business to be in. Moreover, being centralized in nature, these exchanges are prone to numerous attacks and hacks.
However, in all the hullabaloo, some exchanges have left a positive mark on the crypto space. And one of them is Bitfinex Exchange.
Some may say I am biased. Therefore, I am going to review Bitfinex in detail today and leave the decision up to you
Biftinex is the world’s largest and most advanced cryptocurrency trading platform operating since 2013 in this space. It is based out of Hong Kong and serves almost every country in the world (except for few which we are going to reveal further in this article).
For quite some time, it has been the busiest exchange in the world that was pulling the most USD/BTC volume and still ranks number one in this aspect.
Still thinking why to use Bitfinex?
Well, it is because apart from trading BTC, it also trades numerous other altcoins and is a popular multi-coin exchange of the cryptosphere.
It also maintains order books and facilitates P2P trading for an exchange fee. The specifics of the same will be discussed later in this article.
Bitfinex: Multi-coin Exchange
Bitfinex is a multi-coin exchange and has many advanced features that a newbie might not require when starting cryptocurrency trading.
In this section, I will highlight some of the features and facilities that Bitfinex provides.
1. Buy/Sell Walls
The buy/sell walls are clearly visible in the order book. From here, you can select the deal that attracts you. But you can place and complete your order only when you have a verified & approved account.
More on that later.
On the first look, I found their UI somewhat cluttered, but you can dig through and find the relevant options for yourself. It’s just that you have to look with intent.
The one thing I liked about the Bitfinex dashboard is that you can customize it to make your own unique workstation to some extent which is a cool feature in my opinion and is not available on any other exchange yet.
2. Supported Cryptocurrencies
There is more to it:
Bitfinex supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies. As of now, there are over 75 cryptocurrencies/pairs listed on it.
Bitfinex also supports fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, JPY which can be used to trade many cryptocurrencies against fiat pairs.
Note: As of now, fiat deposits are blocked until further notice.
3. Fee Schedule Of Bitfinex
Bitfinex follows the maker & taker fee schedule for the investors trading on their platform based on their volume and here the specific details on the same:
Note: Margin trading is not the same as listed above.
4. Supported Countries
Bitfinex serves all countries except the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Yemen.
5. Margin Trading
Bitfinex also allows you to margin trade and get leverage of up to 3.33X. Let us assume you have USD 1000 in your margin wallet. That 1000 USD will serve as collateral for opening margin positions up to 3.33:1, i.e., a margin position with a USD value up to 3333.33 USD can be opened.
One can borrow USD or BTC on Bitfinex for margin trading. Here is the feed overview for margin trading on Bitfinex.
Read more about Bitfinex Margin trading here: Bitfinex’s intro to margin trading
6. Customer Support
Bitfinex help center has many commonly asked questions and answers in their knowledge base. So you can use that to troubleshoot your issues. But if you are unable to find answers here, you can always drop an email to [email protected] to submit a new help desk ticket.
7. Mobile Apps
As if all this was not enough!
Bitfinex also provides cool mobile apps for both iOS and Android users. One can deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies and fiat through it and trade other crypto pairs.
I find a mobile app easier to exchange and trade cryptocurrencies even if we are not in front of our computer. So it is good to have mobile apps for Bitfinex too (Download Bitfinex Android app | Download Bitfinex iOS app).
8. Advanced Charts
Bitfinex provides seamless trading experience for experienced traders who love to watch crypto charts. It is so because it provides advanced charting features where traders can:
- Visualize your orders, positions, and price alerts
- Drag to change the price
- Tap to modify order properties
- See your position profits
You also get features such as limit orders, stop orders, trailing stop, fill or kill, TWAP, and others, along with different market charts for various intervals.
Last but not the least, Trading View powers Bitfinex’s charts so you can enjoy a complete suite of tools to draw, annotation, download and share your charts.
9. Hack History
Unfortunately, Bitfinex has had a controversial existence so far.
Bitfinex was hacked in August 2016 and lost 120,000 BTCs. It happened because attackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in the multisig wallet architecture of Bitfinex and BitGo. They have recently upgraded their security architecture, a post which there have been no hacks/attacks on this exchange.
Another controversy Bitfinex is associated with is that of USDT (Tether). Tether, a crypto company owned by Bitfinex, has been accused of printing digital fiat USDT token. And it is believed that Bitfinex is using this to pump and dump crypto markets artificially.
Who Is Bitfinex For
Before we go any further, let me tell you Bitfinex is not for beginners or newbies. It is for professionals and intermediate traders who satisfy specific criteria.
Plus, they have certain barriers to entry that makes it difficult for a newcomer to start with which has been politely highlighted on their exchange too.
Here are the pre-requisites to opening an account on Bitfinex:
- PROFESSIONAL PLATFORM: Bitfinex is a platform for professional traders. If you are new to cryptocurrency trading, please consider another, more straightforward platform first and return to Bitfinex later.
- MINIMUM ACCOUNT EQUITY: New accounts will not be able to trade or perform any platform function until they reach minimum account equity of USD 10,000, achieved by depositing cryptocurrency.
- VERIFICATION TIMELINE: If you wish to complete the verification process to gain access to additional features such as fiat deposits and withdrawals, please understand that the verification process is significantly backlogged. New verification requests are taking 6-8 weeks to complete.
- INACTIVITY FEE: Bitfinex is not a wallet service. If you are not participating in Bitfinex markets, please withdraw your funds from the platform. In the future, users who hold balances in their Bitfinex account but do not participate in markets may be charged a small inactivity fee.
Only after accepting these conditions can one initiate the process to open an account on Bitfinex.
So keep these things in mind people who can use this exchange are:
- High net worth individuals
- Professional traders
- Institutional investors, etc.
How To Get Started On Bitfinex
For getting started on Bitfinex, you need to accept all the conditions mentioned above and get started by signing-up using your email ID and other details.
Then you need to submit your valid ID proofs for the KYC and which can take typically 6-8 weeks to get over. That’s why one should plan accordingly if they intend to use Bitfinex
Can You Trust Bitfinex? Is It Safe?
Of course, one can trust Biffinex for trading given its track record. But like I said, it is not for everyone.
Plus, you need to stay on guard against using their inbuilt wallet as your permanent wallet because hacks like August 2016 can happen anytime and nothing is full proof in crypto.
They have taken their security game to another level since the hack and have also repaid the customers who lost their money but you should not take chances. Always store your coins in Ledger Nano S-like device.
I used Bitfinex in my early crypto days when the UI was simple, and there were no minimum limits to get started on it.
Now time to hear from you: Which exchange do you use? Have you used Bitfinex yet? If you have, do share your experience with us in the comments below.
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