Bitfinex consistently has the highest or second-highest daily trading volume out of any cryptocurrency exchange, and there’s good reason why. The platform offers a wide coin selection with numerous trading pairings, low fees, and a robust interface.
Unfortunately, if you’re living in the U.S., you may be out of luck. Bitfinex recently decided to discontinue service to U.S. residents and have not made any statements on whether or not this decision will be reversed.
In this Bitfinex review, I’ll be covering:
- Key Information
- How It Works
- Trading Fees
- Available Cryptocurrencies
- Transfer Limits
- Company Trust
- Fund Security
- Customer Support
Bitfinex Review: Key Information
|Site Type||Cryptocurrency Exchange|
|Company Location||Hong Kong|
|Available Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, +16 more coins|
How It Works
The Bitfinex interface can be a bit overwhelming. There are several options and tabs on the main dashboard that could confuse you if you’re new to investing. The platform is best suited for traders who have some experience.
To get started, you first need to fund your account. Tapping on the “Deposit” button in the upper right-hand corner brings you to the deposit page. From here you can choose from a list of cryptocurrencies to deposit.
With funds in your account, you can now begin trading. Select which pairing you’d like to exchange between by hovering over the “Trading” button.
The trading interface displays several pieces of analytical information such as a candlestick chart, graphical order book, and the most recent trading data. You’re able to make simple limit, market, and stop orders as well as more advanced stop-limit, trailing stop, and fill or kill orders. You’re also able to trade on margin, although I highly recommend against doing so unless you’re an experienced trader. Margin trading brings an additional level of risk to the already risky nature of cryptocurrency investing.
Like most exchanges, the trading fees on Bitfinex vary for each trade and are determined by a fee schedule. The two factors used to calculate your fee are your:
- Trading volume over the last 30 days
- Maker/taker status
To be a maker, you must add liquidity to the order book by placing an order above the ticker price if selling or below the ticker price if buying. Takers do the opposite – filling an order that’s already in the order book.
The Bitfinex maker fees range from 0.0% to 0.1% while the taker fees range from 0.1% to 0.2%.
All cryptocurrency deposits are free, but deposits via bank wire are charged a 0.1% fee. The withdrawal fees (listed here) vary from currency to currency.
Bitfinex has several coins available that are paired with U.S. dollars, Bitcoin, and Ethereum for trading. The available coins are:
- Ethereum Classic
- IOTA (Bitfinex is one of just two major exchanges that allow you to buy IOTA)
- Bitcoin Gold
To help inexperienced traders, Bitfinex provides an overview of each coin that’s available on the exchange. The company is constantly reviewing and vetting coins to add to the exchange, so if you can’t find the coin you’re looking for today, check back in a few weeks to see if it’s been added.
There are no listed deposit or withdrawal limits on Bitfinex and several investors on different forums have stated that they’ve had no issues with limits.
Cryptocurrency withdrawals can take up to 12 hours but having certain security features set-up on your account can speed up this process. If you don’t have two-factor authentication enabled, each withdrawal that you make is manually reviewed and could take even longer.
Owned and operated by iFinex, Inc., Bitfinex is one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. The exchange was founded in 2012 and is currently headquartered in Hong Kong.
In 2016, a security breach caused $72 million worth of Bitcoin to be stolen from accounts on the exchange. To repay funds, the company issued BFX tokens to the affected customers which were worth $1 each and represented the amount that each investor lost. Over time, they purchased back those tokens and finished buying them back in April of 2017.
Overall, Bitfinex has the trust of the community, but their decision to discontinue service to their U.S. customers has caused many traders to look at alternatives.
To further secure your account, you can enable two-factor authentication strengthened by the universal 2nd factor open authentication standard. The exchange also uses verification tools such as IP address detection and alerts for malicious activity to ensure that “you are actually you” when you log-in.
Only 0.5% of crypto assets are held online to maintain day-to-day operations. The remaining majority are held offline in cold wallets out of the reach of hackers. Even better, the cold wallets require manual authentication by several members of the management team to make the wallets accessible.
The customer support area on Bitfinex is impressive. The company has an entire help center dedicated to answering any common question that you might have. The sections in the help center cover everything from “Getting Started” and “Security” to “Currency Overviews” and “Order Types”.
If you’re having trouble with your account or can’t find an answer to your question in the help center, you can submit a support ticket via email. Like many other exchanges, though, Bitfinex is commonly criticised for having slow response times to these tickets.
If you’re an experienced trader who’s comfortable around candlestick charts, order books, and margin trading, Bitfinex could be a great option for you. The platform offers a wide array of coins (even some like IOTA that aren’t listed on many other exchanges) with low trading fees.
Unfortunately, this exchange is limited to non-U.S. residents for the time being.