There are factors that separate quality crypto trading platforms from mediocre offerings. More often than not, reputable exchanges have one or two unique selling points that have established them in the top echelon of the crypto exchange market. In the case of Binance, it is its relatively low fees and the vastness of its crypto ecosystem that set it apart. Here, we will explore the functionalities of Binance and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.
What is Binance?
Binance is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. It currently supports a wide variety of crypto-to-crypto trading and has incorporated selected fiat-to-crypto trading options. The exchange was launched in 2017 and it has rapidly grown to become the world's largest exchange.
The development of the exchange was funded via an ICO where its native token, BNB, was sold to raise $15 million as capital. Traders can hold this token to enjoy a 50% reduction in trading fees. Also, the exchange is available in multiple languages. Therefore, it is safe to say that it is striving to offer its services to a global network of crypto traders.
Currently, Binance ranks as one of the top 10 largest crypto exchanges with over $20 billion worth of trades processed daily. Besides, it features 295 coins and counting and provides the tools to trade over 1,000 crypto pairs.
Remarkably, the exchange has designed its platform in such a way that the trading infrastructure supports both inexperienced and experienced crypto traders. It provides 3 trading interfaces, namely the classic, advanced and basic interfaces.
The classic interface offers a quick view of the Binance market, the trading pairs, and order books, while the advanced interface features advanced charting tools suitable for professional traders. The basic interface delivers a quick trading option without all the complexities that come with order books, price charts, and charting tools. In essence, newbies can simply convert coins at a fixed market rate set by Binance.
Binance was originally based in Hong Kong before opting to relocate its headquarters to a more crypto-friendly location, which is the Island of Malta. The CEO and Founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, explained that this move allows the company to be free of restrictive regulations imposed by the Chinese government:
“In response to China’s decisions, we are moving our IP’s from Hong Kong to an offshore location. So, we are registered in multiple locations and we have people in multiple locations. That way we will never be affected by one regulatory body.”
Subsequently, Binance has since expanded its business scope such that the Binance ecosystem is not only known for its exchange services. Below are some of the added functionalities available on the Binance website.
Like most established crypto exchanges, Binance allows users to trade with X10 leverage on selected coins. Depending on their risk appetite, users have the option of choosing between cross margins or isolated margins.
Futures and Derivatives
Additional trading options include Futures and derivatives trading service, which was launched in 2019. This solution allows traders to speculate on the prices of crypto assets instead of buying and selling physical cryptocurrencies. Here, traders can receive up to 125X leverage on their initial fund to trade popular cryptocurrencies like BTC, LTC, ETH, and BCH.
Note that Binance Futures deposits are held in separate accounts and are funded with USDT. Also, the profits and losses realized can only be withdrawn in USDT.
Apart from its trading services, Binance also provides a passive earning opportunity, which entails the locking of idle funds in savings accounts to receive interest. Think of it as a savings account designed for cryptocurrency. Users can either opt for flexible or locked savings. Note that the latter offers higher interest rates than the former.
Another investment option is the staking solution targeted at Proof-of-Stake and DeFi tokens holders. Here, Binance offers variable interest rates for staking specific digital assets via Binance nodes. In other words, Binance removes the technicalities involved in staking for a share in the profit generated from such ventures.
Binance smart pool
Like its staking service, Binance removes the barriers of crypto mining by encouraging users to contribute their hash power to a large mining pool controlled by the exchange. The platform automatically directs the pool’s hash power to the most profitable cryptocurrency and splits the reward between contributing members.
The platform also features a loan solution that allows users to collateralize BTC or ETH to receive BUSD or USDT loans. This helps crypto holders to avoid paying taxes for selling their crypto to raise capital.
Binance Visa Card
Furthermore, Binance introduced a crypto debit card service designed to enable seamless fiat payment processes for crypto holders. With this, Binance users can pay for services and products without having to convert their coins to fiat manually.
Binance liquid swap
Much like a centralized automated market maker, Binance liquid swap allows users to swap coins directly or provide liquidity to receive a percentage of trading fees.
Binance fee structure
Like most other crypto exchanges, Binance uses a tiered fee structure that reduces the charges deducted as the User’s 30-day trading volume increases. The standard trading fee for a 30-day trading volume below 50 BTC is 0.1%. This drops gradually as the 30-day trading volume rises to 15,000 BTC and above. The futures trading platform offers even lower fees as 30- day trading volumes below 250 BTC incur 0.020% and 0.040% as maker and taker fees respectively. However, if a user holds BNB, they will receive up to a 50% discount on all trading fees.
Deposit and withdrawal fees
There are no incurred fees when depositing funds on Binance. In contrast, the platform deducts withdrawal fees depending on the status of the market. As such, Binance ensures that it adjusts its withdrawal fees schedule to reflect the on-chain fees of its supported coins.
The withdrawal limits depend on the KYC level of users’ accounts. Level 1 accounts have a daily withdrawal cap of 2 BTC, whereas level 2 accounts can withdraw up to 100 BTC every 24 hours.
Supported payment methods
There are over 200 cryptocurrencies adopted as payment gateways in the Binance ecosystem. Some of the cryptocurrencies include
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Dash (DASH)
- EOS (EOS)
- Nano (NANO)
- Paxos Standard (PAX)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
In contrast to the variety of crypto payment options, the fiat payment methods are limited to credit/debit cards, SEPA, and Bank transfers.
In terms of security, any issues which have been faced have been dealt with effectively and promptly by the team. One of the most notable security incidents recorded was the 7,000 BTC hack of 2019. While this security incident exposed the Binance management team to a lot of criticisms, the decision to refund affected users with the platform’s emergency insurance fund, SAFU, indicates that the exchange has a working user protection architecture against such incidence. Users can enable two-factor authentication on their accounts for an extra level of security.
Binance has a comprehensive FAQ page where users can find articles detailing the concepts and processes involved in the Binance ecosystem. Other than the FAQ page, users can also access generic answers from the platform’s bot chat option or submit complaints via an email ticketing system. Binance is also active on social networks.
However, like a majority of crypto exchanges, users often complain about the unresponsiveness of Binance to queries. Some claim that they have to wait for days to receive helpful responses from customer support. The widespread of such claims seem to indicate that Binance is not doing enough to respond quickly to complaints.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Binance?
What Are the Pros of Binance?
It is one of the largest and prominent crypto exchange
With over $20 billion worth of trades processed daily, Binance accounts for a significant share of the crypto exchange market. This also indicates that Binance is one of the most reputable and top-performing exchanges in the market currently.
It offers relatively low fees
As mentioned at the beginning of this guide, one of the most compelling selling points of Binance is its low fees. Binance offers a 0.1% standard fee for a 30-day trading volume worth less than 50 BTC. Remarkably, traders can receive up to a 50% discount on trading fees when they hold a certain amount of BNB.
The Binance ecosystem features a variety of services
Additional services available to Binance users include crypto loans, savings accounts, staking solutions, a crypto debit card service, a futures and derivatives trading platform, and so on. As such, there is a long list of income-generating opportunities available on the Binance website.
It supports a broad range of cryptocurrencies
There Are over 250 cryptocurrencies tradeable on the Binance platform. This vast array of options is ideal for traders interested in profiting off the price fluctuations of established coins and lesser-known digital assets.
It has an insurance fund set aside to refund users affected by hacks
Binance has an emergency insurance fund designed to help the exchange repay users who lose their digital assets as a result of hacks caused by flawed security infrastructure. Note that the exchange is not bound to refund losses caused by the carelessness of individual users.
Binance is available globally
While researching this website, we discovered that there were no restrictions placed on traders from certain jurisdictions. Even traders located in the US can access Binance services via Binance US.
What Are the Cons of Binance?
Poor customer support
Having encountered several negative reviews about the customer support culture of Binance, it is safe that the exchange is not doing enough to provide instant responses to complaints.
It was hacked in 2019
Binance suffered a hack in 2019 that resulted in the loss of 7,000 BTC. While the exchange has since refunded affected users, this incidence remains a major talking point when analyzing the historical performance of Binance.