Poloniex Review: Read This Before Using Poloniex

Poloniex Review: Is Poloniex Safe?

Based out of Wilmington, Delaware, USA, Poloniex consistently has some of the highest trade volume of all cryptocurrency exchanges.  Despite the exchange’s wide spread use, there are a number of red flags you should be aware of before using this site to trade cryptocurrencies.

Because this Poloniex review is a cautionary tale, it will take a different format than some of the other exchange reviews on this site.  In addition to giving you the “key information” about Poloniex, I’d also like to address a number of concerns.  For those of you short on time and just looking for a trustworthy option for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, you can view some of our recommended options here.

Covered in this review:

Poloniex Review: Key Information

Key Information Poloniex
Site Type Cryptocurrency Exchange
Beginner Friendly
Mobile App
Company Location Wilmington, DE, USA
Company Launch 2014
Deposit Methods Cryptocurrency
Withdrawal Methods Cryptocurrency
Trading Pairs 90+
Community Trust Very Bad
Security Okay
Fees Very Low
Customer Support Very Bad
Site

Poloniex.com

Poloniex Customer Support

While the issues of Poloniex potentially reach further than poor customer support, this alone was enough for me to personally stop using the exchange.

Poor customer support is a huge issue for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.  If you’ve read other reviews on CoinCentral, chances are you’ve already heard this brought up numerous times.  With that being said, it’s important for me to convey Poloniex customer support issues go far deeper than most.

Poloniex users have experienced customer support issues taking weeks or even months to be resolved.

Clearly, this level of customer support is unacceptable from a company holding millions or possibly billions of dollars’ worth of users’ cryptocurrency.

Withdrawal Issues

In many of the above customer support issues, Poloniex users were inquiring about withdrawal problems they had on the exchange.

Some users have experienced withdrawals “awaiting approval” for prolonged periods of time, despite their accounts appearing to be in good standing.

Even if a new account is able to withdraw funds, it may be tough to increase your withdrawal limits above $2,000 per day.

If using Poloniex, you could end up with an unprocessed withdrawal and month long wait times from customer support.

Terms of Use Changes

On August 1st, 2017 Poloniex made changes to their “Terms of Use” that worried many users.  While some users’ concerns were eased after Poloniex’s official statement on Bitcoin Cash, there’s still a number of interesting changes.  That being said, I think the majority of these changes were much needed updates any company in the industry should have.

Disclaimer:  I am not a lawyer and any interpretation of the following “Terms of Use” should not be taken as legal advice.  

Lack of Terms of Use Updates

When researching their past “Terms of Use”, something very quickly caught my eye.  Using the “Wayback Machine” provided by archive.org, the last edit I could find to Poloniex’s Terms of Use was dated August 8th, 2015.  The Wayback Machine showed this being the case in a snapshot as of Jun 19th, 2017.  

While this is NOT necessarily a cause for concern, this struck me as odd.  Poloniex, a company in a quickly growing industry, with an ever-changing legal landscape, had not updated their terms of use for almost 2 years.  By comparison, competitors Coinbase and Gemini had made a number of updates to their legal terms pages in this time.

August 1st, 2017 Poloniex “Terms of Use” Highlights

Reddit User NLNico attempted to summarize many of the August 1st changes on the Bitcoin Markets SubReddit:

  • “No services to people from New Hampshire, New York, Washington
  • Your commentary on social media about Poloniex is now sole property of Poloniex. [Section 13]
  • You will not: Use a web crawler or similar technique to access our Services or to extract data” [Section 14]
  • .. you will not be using this site for any illegal activity, including but not limited to illegal gambling, money laundering, fraud, blackmail, extortion, ransoming data or the financing of terrorism, or other violent activities.” [Section 1]
  • Stop orders might not execute. [Section 6]
  • Emphasizes that trading is risky and that you are responsible for complying with applicable law. [Section 5]
  • Poloniex does not allow Users to exchange Tokens for money” [Section 2]
  • Added “unclaimed property” section [Section 29]
  • More info about “arbitration” [Section 23 and other areas of the Terms of Use]
  • Address change [Section 8.  This appears to only be a change of where to file notification of copyright infringement.]
  • Typos fixes
  • “snow storm” is added as excuse of interruption [Section 27]
  • etc. etc. etc.
  • Use archive.org and text-compare.com for full comparison.
  • I didn’t read all new text, so make your own comparison.”

 

 

Summary of NLNico’s Comment

Most of the above changes seem fairly straightforward and reasonable from a cryptocurrency exchange.  Many of Poloniex’s competitors have similar wording in their terms of use/terms of service/user agreement.  However, considering Poloniex’s poor customer support and community trust, I think you should be aware of at least a few parts of their Terms of Use:

  • You waive your right to take Poloniex to court for many issues that may arise while using their service.  These issues will instead be handled through arbitration. [Section 23]
  • You waive your right to participate in class action lawsuits or class-wide arbitration. [Section 23]
  • Poloniex may deactivate your account if they suspect you or others to be using your account for illegal activity.  You will however be able to permitted to transfer your “Tokens” for 90 days after account deactivation or cancellation, unless prohibited by under the law or by a valid subpoena or court order.  [Section 17]
    • Considering some users have been unable to reach customer support for as long as 90 days, this could be an issue if you’re wrongfully accused of using your account for illegal activity.
  • “Placing contingent orders, such as “stop-loss” or “stop-limit” orders, will not necessarily limit your losses to the intended amounts, since market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders.” [Section 6]
  • “If Poloniex is unable to return your Tokens to a third party Account for you after a period of inactivity, Poloniex may report and remit the Tokens to an applicable government agency pursuant to applicable escheatment or unclaimed property laws.” [Section 29]

Another Reddit user, BehindTheGreenDoor , commented:

“Check out section 16.

‘Poloniex does not own or control any of the underlying software through which blockchain networks are formed and Tokens are created and transacted. In general, the underlying software for blockchain networks tends to be open source such that anyone can use, copy, modify, and distribute it. By using the Services, you acknowledge and agree (i) that Poloniex is not responsible for operation of the underlying software and networks that support Tokens and that Poloniex makes no guarantee of functionality, security, or availability of such software and networks; and (ii) that the underlying protocols are subject to sudden changes in operating rules (a/k/a “Forks”), and that such Forks may materially affect the value, function, and/or even the name of the Tokens you store in your Account. In the event of a Fork, you agree that Poloniex may temporarily suspend the Services (with or without advance notice to you) and that Poloniex may, in its sole discretion, (a) configure or reconfigure its systems or (b) decide not to support (or cease supporting) the Forked network entirely, provided, however, that you will have an opportunity to withdraw Tokens on at least one of still existant underlying networks. You acknowledge and agree that Poloniex assumes absolutely no responsibility whatsoever in respect of any underlying software protocols, whether Forked or not.’

The fact that they had to add it before the BCH fork makes the possibility of them crediting BCH balances look quite bleak.”

Summary of BeHindTheGreenDoor’s Comment

As mentioned above, this initially led to users worrying that they wouldn’t receive Bitcoin Cash after the fork, something most exchanges honored.  These concerns were eased after Poloniex made an official Bitcoin Cash Update, announcing they would credit users Bitcoin Cash.  

While Bitcoin Cash will be credited, it appears this addition to Poloniex’s “Terms of Use” will allow them to not support future cryptocurrency forks if they so choose.

Poloniex FAQ

If, after reading the above warning, you still want to know how to use Poloniex, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the exchange.

How to deposit USD or other fiat currencies onto Poloniex?

Poloniex does not support deposits, withdrawals, or trading in any fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, Etc).  They are a cryptocurrency only exchange.  If you’re hoping to purchase cryptocurrency with fiat currency, check out our list of the best options.

How to Buy on Poloniex?

In order to buy cryptocurrency on Poloniex, you must already have another cryptocurrency that they support.  

Deposit your cryptocurrency by clicking Balances > Deposits & Withdrawals.  Locate the wallet you wish to deposit to, then send your cryptocurrency to that address.

deposit on poloniex

Once your deposit has hit your account, go to the exchange page.  Here you can trade a variety of cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, or USDT.

Locate the pair you wish to trade on the right-hand side of the exchange page.  You can then set your buy price, the amount you wish to purchase, and then place your buy order.  Your order will only get filled if other Poloniex users are willing to sell their cryptocurrency at the price you placed your order

how to buy on poloniex

What are Poloniex’s Fees?

Trading fees are typically below .25%.  You can see more information on their site here.

There are no deposit fees, although withdrawal fees will vary depending on the cryptocurrency you’re withdrawing.  These withdrawal fees are charged by the cryptocurrency’s network, not Poloniex.

Poloniex Review Summary

In the time I used Poloniex, I personally never had any issues with the exchange.  Still, the widespread issues brought up on forums and from friends were enough to make me withdraw my funds and use different sites.  

If you’re looking for a site very similar to Poloniex, I’d recommend using Bittrex instead.  If you’re just looking for a simple way to buy your first cryptocurrency, I’d recommend Coinbase or another option from this list.

 

  • Beginner Friendliness
  • Customer Support
  • Community Sentiment
  • Fees
  • Payment Methods
  • Available Cryptocurrencies
2.7

Summary

I would strongly caution those of you thinking about using Poloniex. Their customer support has been known to take as long as 90 days to respond.

Casey Brewer