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Binance is an exchange previously based in Hong Kong and is one of the absolute giants in the industry. It launched in July 2017 and has then really developed into the market leader among cryptocurrency exchanges. The business department at Binance did however ask us to specify that the company was based in Malta, and not Hong Kong. Malta is together with Estonia and Gibraltar one of the few countries in Europe that has developed explicit license requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges.
Binance is the biggest crypto exchange in the world. On the date of last updating this review (9 April 2021), Binance had a reported 24 hour trading volume of USD 29.1 billion (approx. 400% more than the number two - Huobi). Binance is the dragon among dragons when it comes to crypto exchanges.
On 17 September 2019, Binance officially launched their futures trading. Futures are also known as option contracts. An option contract is a contract that gives the holder of the option a right – but not an obligation (thus an “option”) – to buy (call option) or sell (put option) a certain asset at a certain price. Certain options give you the right to exercise the option whenever (before expiry of the contract), and other options are only permitted to exercise during a specific date. The former are known as American Options, and the latter are known as European Options.
You can trade both Perpetual Futures and Quarterly Futures here. The following shows the fees charged for each such contract category, with specifications of how it changes due to your VIP-level (0-9):
The fees charged by Binance for its futures trading are a bit below industry average, as the standard taker fee is 0.075% and the standard maker fee is 0.025% according to our research.
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Trading Alternatives – Basic & Advanced
Binance-users have the opportunity to choose between two different trading alternatives. The first one is called basic, and does not cater as good to people interested in more detailed technical analysis as the advanced version does. None of them can really be considered extremely easy-to-use though. The basic version’s trading view looks like this:
As is evident from the picture, the basic trading view is quite straight-forward and inherently easy to understand. Most of the crucial information is included in one page. Prices are to the left, graphs in the middle (with buy and sell options), and the history to the right.
The advanced version’s trading view looks like this:
In the advanced version, the charts take up more space. As in the basic version, the trade history is on the far right. The buy and sell boxes however, are here in the low right corner (instead of in the bottom center as in the basic version). It is of course up to each individual to decide which trading view suits him/her best.
Binance Supported Cryptocurrencies
Binance supports a very large number of cryptocurrencies, several hundred of them. This makes it one of the exchanges in our Cryptocurrency Exchange List with the most supported cryptocurrencies overall. Apparently, the platform also has some form of quality assurance system. This system ensures that projects that have once qualified to be listed but later fails to meet such qualification requirements are delisted.
To see all of Binance's supported cryptos, please visit this page.
Binance OTC Trading Portal
In an email to its users on 14 April 2020, Binance announced the release of its OTC-desk. With an OTC Trading Portal (OTC is acronym for Over The Counter), you can execute larger trades without any risk of “slippage”, which is what we call price movements due to large transactions.
In this OTC Trading Portal, there are no trading fees and quick settlement. The minimum trade size for the OTC Trading Portal is an equivalent value of 10,000 USDT, and 25 different coins and tokens will initially be available for trading. Users simply need to have a KYC verified (level 2) account on Binance.com to begin trading.
Binance has for a long time accepted US-investors for trading at the exchange. However, on 13 June 2019, they announced that they were launching a an American version of the trading platform. Later the same year, Binance.US was launched.
Binance.US is a separate company from Binance that this review covers. Binance.US is a licensed and regulated digital asset marketplace in the United States. That platform was created with the mission to expand access to crypto for Americans and in November 2020, they recently added their 42nd state they are allegedly "working tirelessly to expand coverage to the entire US". Binance.US offers 40+ cryptocurrencies, 100+ trading pairs, 6 staking coins and recently launched SEN integration to help our institutional customers.
Binance Lending Product
Binance also has so called “Binance Lending Products”. With the use of these, you can lock certain assets in for a certain period and then receive an interest on the locked in assets. On 19 September 2019, Binance released 14-day fixed term lending products, where you receive interest by locking in the assets for just 14 days. The following shows a few return figures with respect to locking in the BNB, BTC and USDT-tokens for 14 days:
This exchange has a very strong team in all possible aspects. The CEO of Binance is actually one of the forefront figures of the entire cryptocurrency industry (together with Satoshi Nakamoto and Vitalik Buterin).
The fees at any exchange are very important to consider. Every trade occurs between two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. We call makers “makers” because their orders make the liquidity in a market. Takers are the ones who remove this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own. The maker-taker model encourages market liquidity as the makers providing the liquidity often receives a fee discount compared to the takers.
There are also a number of top crypto exchanges who don’t charge different fees between takers and makers. Usually, we call such exchanges’ trading fees “flat”.
Binance Trading fees (Spot Trading)
Binance offers a flat trading fee of 0.10%. Accordingly, Binance does not care about whether you are a taker or a maker. For investors who prefer to pick-up existing orders from the order book, this might be an attractive trading fee model. Binance’s trading fees are far below the industry average which is arguably around 0.25%.
The trading fees are also reduced based on trading volume and holdings of Binance’s native token, the BNB, as set out in the below table:
Binance Withdrawal fees
Withdrawal fees are usually fixed and vary from crypto-to-crypto. If you withdraw BTC, you pay a small amount of BTC for the withdrawal. If you withdraw ETH, you pay ETH.
Binance charges 0.0005 BTC per BTC-withdrawal, which is below the global industry average (being 0.00059 BTC per BTC-withdrawal according to this report) and a quite competitive fee.
Previously, Binance only accepted deposits of cryptocurrencies and it did not accept any deposits of fiat currency. New crypto investors could then not trade at Binance. However, the exchange announced on 31 January 2019 that credit card deposits were then possible under certain circumstances.
The exchange has joined forces with a payment service firm from Israel named Simplex. This makes it possible for Binance-users to purchase cryptocurrencies with Visa or MasterCard-credit cards. This deposit method is however not possible for countries on Sanctions lists (such as Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, Lybia), nor residents of any of the following six US-states: New York, Connecticut, Washington, New Mexico, Georgia and Hawaii.
Simplex charges 3.5% per trade. So if you want to buy Bitcoin for USD 10,000, Simplex will take US 350 (plus a minium flat fee of USD 10) for enabling the purchase.
Furthermore, on 26 December 2019, Binance shared that they now allow users to bind Visa cards to their accounts and purchase crypto using this card, directly on the Binance platform (then presumably without having to use Simplex and pay the 3.5% Simplex-fees). For now, this only applies to VISA-cards issued in the EEA, and only for card holders in the following countries: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Most recently though, on 9 July 2020, the exchange announced that wire transfers were also available. This was through their partnership with a company called Clear Junction. Through this partnership, Binance now accepts direct EUR bank transfers via SEPA and GBP transfers via Faster Payments.