Bitfinex Exchange Review 2018 (UPDATED!)

Want to make a lot of money trading Bitcoin? Bitfinex is the place.

But there’s a lot you need to know before you sign up. Find out all about fees, verification, limits, and features. And then learn the important factor for why the community is starting to get worried about this popular exchange.

I found a lot of misleading, vague, and flat out false information about this complex exchange. That’s what lead me to create this guide. Read it first before trading on Bitfinex.

Bitfinex homepage

Bitfinex is one of the world’s most advanced, liquid, and exclusive exchanges. With a non-stop order book, advanced trading tools, margin trading, and generous spread of coins, you can make some serious money here. But its barriers to entry are high, so you better be serious. It’s the #2 exchange in the world, with 24-hour volume in excess of $2 billion dollars (February, 2018), so get ready for some action.

Bitfinex does NOT ACCEPT US CUSTOMERS.

The shadow of the 2016 hack still looms, but Bitfinex made good on its promise to repay. Since then, the exchange has rehabbed its image and reclaimed its position at the top.

Pros:
  • High Liquidity
  • In-Depth Trading Features
  • Well Respected and Established
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    Margin Trading
Cons:
  • Not Beginner-Friendly
  • No US Customers
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    Major Hack in 2015

Features

Security

Bitfinex takes security seriously and employs numerous advanced security features. However, its lack of transparency and previous hacks prevent me from giving them a higher grade.

Trading

Advanced tools, charts, and trading options go hand-in-hand with a fast engine and lots of trading pairs. Bitfinex is a favorite among advanced traders for its incredible trading experience.

Beginner-Friendlines

The exchange is difficult to grasp for beginners, and you can’t even use it unless you have $10,000 USD in equity in your account! Not the best place to start.

Fees

Bitfinex employs a trader-friendly maker/taker fee schedule and charges modest withdrawal fees compared to competitors. Fiat deposit fees are also low (.1%).

Support

Customer support is generally respected and is available 24/7, but only via email. They aren’t active on Bitfinex Reddit, however, and I didn’t find much activity on Twitter, either.

Verification

Bitfinex requires verification for fiat and the process can be a nightmare. Questionnaires, documents, and weeks of waiting time make Bitfinex less than fun to deal with. However, you are free to trade crypto without verification (subject to limitations).

Overall

Bitfinex is a great platform for serious traders doing heavy volume, but even then it has its flaws. It’s not a place to start your trading journey, and its punitive rules keep pleb traders out.

Exchange Information

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    Founded: 2012.
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    CEO: J.L Van Der Velde.
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    Currencies: 70+ Trading Pairs (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, IOTA, etc.)
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    Payment Options: Crypto, USD, EUR, USDT *.
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    Verification: Heavy for Fiat | No Verification for Crypto
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    App: Yes.
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    Margin Trading: Yes.
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    HQ: Hong Kong.
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    Fees: Maker (.1%)/Taker (.2%).

MUST READ: What is United State Dollar Tether (USDT) and Why is Everyone Worrying About Bitfinex?

Tether price on Coinmarketcap

February, 2018 - Tether is a company that pegs is cryptocurrencies to existing fiat currencies (USD, EUR, etc.). Bitfinex has a heavy USDT volume. Essentially, this company’s digital currency is pegged to the value of the USD and each USDT is backed by a real USD in reserve. This lets you trade USD as if it were a digital currency (instant transfers, no banks, low fees, etc.). However, the company is under scrutiny from the community in regards to its reserves and recently cut ties with its auditor. That and other banking issues are beginning to raise eyebrows in the community. Please read Tether’s announcement to get a better understanding of the situation. Tether and Bitfinex have been subpoenaed by the US government to provide answers.

 

About Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a richly-featured cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong. This exclusive exchange caters to professional, high-volume clientele.

Bitfinex is a richly-featured cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong. This exclusive exchange caters to professional, high-volume clientele.

Its trading experience comes complete with 70+ trading pairs, a full-spec wallet, sophisticated trading tools and options, and margin trading. And its sleek layout, trader-friendly fees, and hectic order book have made it the 2nd largest exchange by volume . It gives traders the ability to quickly and fluidly trade popular coins, fiat currency, USDT, and a range of rare altcoins.

The fact that it is one of the largest and most advanced exchanges on the market makes it ideal for serious professionals. Anyone looking to make serious money trading cryptocurrency and fiat needs to pay it attention. Aside from its rich trading options and range of currencies, Bitfinex offers a customizable interface.

Since its inception in 2012, the company has had a tumultuous life rife with drama, panic, and worry; however, it has rehabilitated its image in the wake of the 2nd-largest hack in Bitcoin history.

For traders with deep pockets and the drive to make serious money, Bitfinex is a match. For everyone else, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Check it Out!: Bitfinex offers a truly personalized trading experience. Check out the different trading themes:

ATTENTION: Is it Safe to Use Bitfinex? | Bitfinex Hack 2016

On August 2nd, 2016 Bitfinex announced that hackers had stolen roughly 120,000 BTC ($72 million dollars at the time) from users segregated wallets. It remains the second-largest hack in Bitcoin history, and rattled the industry. The price plummeted 23% and customers were on edge wondering if Bitfinex would go under. Bitfinex survived and repaid the losses in an ingenious but controversial manner.

The company socialized the losses among all users (36% haircut each) and issued BFX tokens in exchange for lost BTC. These tokens were redeemable and tradeable. Bitfinex placed a value on each token and promised to repay the balance in time.

Thankfully, all users have been repaid as of April, 2017.

Bitfinex has rehabbed its reputation, and I found them to be incredibly focused on security. It’s everywhere you look on their website, probably to compensate for user distrust. It has tight security measures including:

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    Standard 2FA
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    Universal 2nd-factor security
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    Log-in data scrutiny and IP change detection
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    Withdrawal protection
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    Email encryption​​​​
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    99.5% cold storage (offline away from hackers)

Read up on their security policy and see how you feel for yourself. Interesting that they “can’t disclose” many details to us.

Can't disclose security protocol for "security reasons"

Privacy and security are well-maintained by Bitfinex, but the hack shows why you should never trust your BTC to a wallet where you don’t own the private keys. Make sure they are in your control.

Pro Tip: Never keep more than what you need for trading on an exchange. Think of it like cash in your wallet. Keep your savings in a bank, not in your back pocket. Make sure you know how to keep your Bitcoins safe before you start trading.

What Are Bitfinex Fees? | Trading, Depositing, and Withdrawing

Bitfinex’s fees are low and very trader-friendly. They are in line with most of the competition.

It doesn’t cost you much to trade on the platform.

Trading Fees

Bitfinex employs a maker/taker fee schedule.

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    Maker: .1%.
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    Taker: .2%.

Fees can go as low as 0% with enough volume!

Here’s the chart.

Taker and Maker fees varies

Maker/Taker Explanation: If you add liquidity to the order book by placing a limit order above the ticker price for buy or under the ticker price for sell, you are charged the maker fee. If you take liquidity away by placing an order that is executed, you are a taker.

Bitfinex Deposit Fees | How Much Does it Cost to Deposit USD/EUR on Bitfinex?

Depositing crypto is free. A bank wire to deposit USD or EUR costs .1% ($20 minimum).

What Are Bitfinex’s Withdrawal Fees? (February, 2018)

Withdrawal fees for crypto and fiat are competitive and not as anti-human rights as Binance.

Bank Wire: .1% ($20 min).

Express Bank Wire (24 hours): 1% ($20 min).

Crypto:

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    BTC: .0008
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    ETH: .0027
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    XRP: .02
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    LTC: .001

For the full fee schedule, visit Bitfinex’s fees page.

Bitfinex Fees Compared

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    Bitstamp: .25% Trading Fee | 5% Credit Card Fee
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    Bittrex: .25% Trading Fee.
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    LocalBitcoins: No “fees” | 1% Commission on Sales | Higher Coin Prices
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    CEX.IO” Maker Fee - .16% | Taker Fee - .25%  

How to Trade Bitcoin on Bitfinex | Signup, Verification, Exchanging, and More

Bitfinex is one of the most advanced and liquid markets for trading fiat currency and crypto. Crypto trading requires NO VERIFICATION.

How to Create an Account?

Go to Bitfinex.com, click Sign Up in the top right corner, and enter a few details.

Go to Bitfinex.com, click Sign Up in the top right corner, and enter a few details.

Next, click the verification link in the email you registered with Bitfinex.

Next, click the verification link in the email you registered with Bitfinex.

That was easy.

How to Secure My Account?

First, add some security protections to your account. At the bare minimum, you should enable 2FA. Here’s how to find your account’s security settings.

How to Fund My Account?

Depositing is easy. You must already have crypto in a wallet. Choosing a reputable wallet is the most important thing you can do. Know which wallets to trust BEFORE you trade.

Once you login, you’ll be prompted to fund your account. Choose your coin from the list and select Exchange Wallet.

Generate the address and send your BTC to THIS ADDRESS.

Generate the address and send your BTC to THIS ADDRESS.

If you want to deposit, trade, and withdraw fiat, you’ve got to get verified.

How to Verify My Account on Bitfinex?

Account verification is strict, and Bitfinex’s is the most comprehensive in the universe.

To get started, click Verification under the profile icon in the top right corner.

To get started, click Verification under the profile icon in the top right corner.

Choose Begin Verification and buckle your seat belt.

Select Individual Verification and you will find the requirements. You’ll be required to download a form, sign it, and upload it along with 2 proofs of ID, a bank statement, proof of residency, and a vile of blood (kidding!).

You need to pass this verification process.

BE ADVISED!: Expect to wait 6-8 weeks (February, 2018).

Verification is deadly long

How to Buy Bitcoin on Bitfinex

Once your account has been verified, go the Trading screen, choose the Exchange tab on the left side and click the big green Buy button. It’s pretty simple. To keep things simple, stick with the “Limit” order.

Limit buy order example on Bitfinex

Bitfinex Reviews 2018 | Is Bitfinex Legit Trustworthy Now?

For a company that went through the 2nd-largest hack in history, Bitfinex has high-community trust. Generally, I found that community opinion was high, and that the company was reputable. Most users like how they handled the crisis, and like the transparency in their leadership (they are run by iFinex). There is still a lot of distrust hanging around and doubts about Tether, but in general, reputation is high.

A quick Google search shows how worried users are about security.

A quick Google search shows how worried users are about security.

But actually reading up on forums and review sites reveals high community trust.

A review site approves of how they handled the hacking.

A review site approves of how they handled the hacking.

Level-headed users shoot down an idiot who's probably being paid to badmouth Bitfinex.

Level-headed users shoot down an idiot who's probably being paid to badmouth Bitfinex.

Just Google reviews of Bitfinex and you see how the community feels. There are stars all up on this results page.

Bitfinex SERP reviews
Positive Reviews Like
  • Reputation
  • Security
  • Trading Options
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    Professionalism
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    Liquidity
Negative Reviews Don't Like
  • Verification Headaches
  • The Hack
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    Not Beginner-Friendly

Case in point:

One of the reviews of Bitfinex exchange

General sentiment is that Bitfinex is a reputable exchange that is good for pro traders and has great features. However, it isn’t a good place for beginners, and its troubled history raises alarm bells.

Can I Trade Bitcoin Without Verification on Bitfinex? | What Are Bitfinex’s Limits?

Bitfinex allows you to trade cryptocurrency without verification. However, you will be subject to certain limits and not be able access all features.

Verification is only required for fiat currency. If you want to deposit, trade, and withdrawal USD/EUR, you must get verified.

There are no limits to trading or withdrawing when using Bitfinex (verified), another reason it is so popular with advanced traders.


Top 3 Beginner-Friendly Bitfinex Alternatives

How much money do I need to start? How many weeks do I need to wait for verification? What on Earth is a Fibonacci what’s-it-called? Bitfinex is not for the green and raw. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly alternative to Bitfinex, these are your 3 best bets.

1) Coinbase: Credit Cards + Easier Verification

Coinbase exchange logo

Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin broker. It’s the most convenient way for newbies to get Bitcoin fast. It’s usually the portal through which new traders enter the crypto realm. If you’re looking for a trusted, regulated, and secure way of purchasing Bitcoin with a credit card, it is by far the most convenient method. The fact that you can buy quickly with a card and then use GDAX (their exchange) makes it a smooth, and beginner-friendly experience. Read our full review of Coinbase to get a better feel.

2) LocalBitcoins: No Verification Necessary.

LocalBitcoins.com logo

I’m hesitant to call LocalBitcoins “beginner-friendly” because of the risks involved. However, trading their is so easy and the barrier to entry so low that I had to include it. LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer network where users trade Bitcoin directly with each other. It requires no verification and you can buy BTC with any means of payment 100% anonymously. Since the exchange doesn’t get involved, the risk is high. But if you follow some safety precautions, you will be safe. Make sure to read our full review  of LocalBitcoins first so you know how to trade safely.

3) CEX.IO: Fast, Clean, Easy

CEX.io exchange logo

Bitfinex has a smooth interface, but it can be a bit intimidating for beginners with all of its tools and options. Cex.io has a simple and smooth interface. All relevant information is just a click away. It loads quickly, is easy on the eyes, and the UX is great. It’s a much simpler way to trade crypto than Bitfinex. And you don’t need a fortune to get started either.

Bitfinex Vs. Binance: Which is the Better Bitcoin Exchange in 2018?

Binance exchange logo


vs.

Bitfinex logo

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Binance vs. Bitfinex, that’s what happens. Both of these heavyweights routinely top the trading volume list, and dominate their respective markets. But which one is better? The answer is difficult. You might not even have a choice. Let’s get this rumble started.

Binance Pros and Cons:

Pros:
  • Low Fees
  • High Liquidity
  • Rare Coins
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    Unique Giveaways
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    High Community Sentiment
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    Extremely Fast
Cons:
  • Crypto Only
  • High Withdrawal Fees on Some Coins

Binance is a high-volume exchange specializing in rare altcoins, Maserati giveaways, and bullet-train trades. In less than one year it has gone from unknown startup to the leader in 24-hour volume. The ability to cheaply speculate on a range of coins (~ 200) and trade instantly (the matching engine is capable 1.4 million trades per second!) have made it a monster in the industry. It’s without a doubt prime money-making territory for crypto traders. Users routinely complain about overburdened customer service and extortionate withdrawal fees (.002 BTC for Bitcoin as of February 2018 = $12).

Head-to-Head

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    Coins: Binance
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    Trading: Bitfinex
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    Verification: Binance
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    Fun: Binance
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    Beginner-Friendly: Binance
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    Security: Bitfinex
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    Liquidity: Wash
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    Fees: Bitfinex
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    App: Wash
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    Fiat: Bitfinex

It’s a draw. It’s unfair to say which one is better, though I prefer Binance. They both serve two separate demographics. It depends on what you want.

Bitfinex: If you want a secure, liquid, and feature-rich platform for heavy-volume trading and fiat.

Binanne: If you want lower barrier trading of crypto and don’t plan on making many withdrawals.

Winner: Draw.


Bitfinex FAQ: US Residents | Verification | Limits | Processing Times

Q: Do I Need to be Verified to Trade Cryptocurrency?

A: No, verification is only necessary if you want to trade fiat.


Q: How Long Does Verification Take?

A: Verification can take up to 8 excruciating weeks.

It may take pretty long time.

Q: How Long do Withdrawals Take?

A: Withdrawals should be processed within 12 hours. Having 2FA enabled may help speed the process up.


Q: Bitfinex Has Been Hacked. Is it Safe Now?

A: Since hackers stole approximately $72 million dollars worth of Bitcoin, Bitfinex has rehabilitated its image and doubled down on security. It is again respected in the community. Is Bitfinex safe? Yes.


Q: Does Bitfinex Accept US Customers?

A: No.


Q: What Are the Fees on Bitfinex?

A: Bitfinex employs a volume-tiered maker/taker fee schedule. In general, you will probably only incur the .1% maker/.2% taker fees. Margin funding provider fee: 15%.


Q: Does Bitfinex Accept Credit Cards?

A: No.


Q: What is Bitfinex’s Minimum Deposit?

A: Bitfinex has no minimum deposit; however, deposits under $1,000 USD will be charged a small fee.


Q: What are Bitfinex’s Limits?

A: There are no limits on Bitfinex for verified users.


Q:Is Bitfinex Safe?

A: Bitfinex employs many advanced security features and takes its security protocols very seriously.


Cryptopositive Really Likes

There’s a lot to like about Bitfinex if you can actually use it.

Trading Options

You can chose from 6 types of orders

A range of options, a detailed and tool-rich interface, a seamless price chart, and margin trading options make Bitfinex one of the best trading experience on the market.

Smooth Interface

The options make it a bit difficult to navigate, but the interface looks as smooth as Tennessee Whisky.

Low Fees

Hard to argue with their low fees. It’s possible to trade and pay 0%.


Cryptopositive Really Dislikes

Bitfinex is a bit elitist. I get why they are, but I still don’t like it.

$10,000 to Trade

You’ve got to have $10K to even use the platform.

Verification is a Nightmare

Bitfinex wants everything except your first-born. Oh, and they want 2 months to get back to you.


Verdict

Bitfinex is a feature-rich platform that has recovered from the hack in 2016. Now it is one of the market leaders and a go-to place for advanced traders. If you’re looking to trade high volumes of fiat currency and other altcoins for cheap, it’s a great exchange. Just be prepared to deal with verification nightmares.

It is not a place for beginners, and you might not even be able to use it (if you’re in the US). The community holds it in high regard but is beginning to question its integrity and ties to Tether.

The final verdict is Bitfinex is a great exchange if you’ve got deep pockets and know what you’re doing. For everyone else, look elsewhere.

Bitfinex Exchange Review 2018 (UPDATED!) | Cryptopositive
5 (100%) 1 vote
Kevin Meng
 

Writer, musician, and world wanderer from the USA. After years of writing and traveling, I happened upon a group of crypto traders in Thailand and was fascinated with the ideas of decentralization, transparency, and accessibility. The crypto revolution is in full swing and we can’t escape its power…..but this is just the beginning.

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