Binance Review – Is Binance Legit?
Binance is one of the top-rated crypto exchanges in the world. It’s known for low fees, a massive trading volume, and a lengthy list of coins available for trading — over 340 different coins. There are three platform options for beginners who want simple OTC trades to advanced traders who want things like candlestick charting, futures trading, and to trade crypto on margin. There’s clearly a lot to like about Binance, but it’s also worth noting that it had a major security breach in 2019 and continued issues with U.S. regulators.
At a Glance
What we like
- Low fees compared to other top exchanges
- Intuitive platforms for beginners through advanced traders
- Long list of available coins — 340+ on Binance and 50+ on Binace.US
What Needs Work
- Customer service is often slow
- Past security breaches have left some skeptical customers
- Peer-to-peer crypto traders
- Beginners who want to learn how to trade cryptocurrency
- Advanced traders looking to diversify their portfolio and place strategic trades
Ease of use
Binance is one of the top crypto currency exchanges around, and there are two main things you’ll hear about this exchange: low fees and lots of available coins. Being an inexpensive trading platform with over 340 different coins available definitely makes them stand out, but this Binance review will explore what else you can expect from Binance.
I’m going to cover Binance’s features, including the newly released Stock Tokens. You’re also going to learn about Binance’s fees, what’s the difference between Binace and Binance.US, and whether or not this exchange is worth your time.
Binance Review 2021 | Is Binance Legit?
Binance is a crypto trading platform, and it’s grown to become an industry giant since it was founded in 2017. The platform is built for new and experienced traders, and with over 340 different coins available to trade on Binance, it has one of the largest lists of crypto available for trade.
There are two different Binance exchanges: Binance and Binance.US. And if you’re in the U.S., Binance.US is where you’ll need to trade. The U.S. arm was launched in 2019, and since U.S. traders were blocked from the main platform in 2020, Binance.US has grown exponentially — it now is in the top 10 of largest crypto exchanges by volume, according to CoinMarketCap.
My Binance review will get into it more, but what Binance is really known for is being an innovative exchange with high liquidity, low fees, and quick trading times.
Binance currently ranks #1 on CoinMarketCap for a number of factors (liquidity, weekly visits, available coins, markets), but one of the main reasons is volume. At the time of writing this Binance review, the trading platform is seeing over $16 billion in trading volume.
The trading platform is incredibly intuitive, making it easy for new traders to jump in without feeling too overwhelmed. There are actually three trading platforms for users to choose from depending on the type of trade they want to make, running from beginner-friendly to advanced.
- Binance Convert: Simple, OTC (over-the-counter) platform for converting one type of crypto into another.
- Binance Spot: Spot trading is exchanging one crypto for another, but this platform gives you sophisticated tools to make the kind of trades you want. Spot shows you order books with asks and bids, real-time candlestick charting, and advanced trade types like stop-limit or OCO (one-cancels-the-other) orders. It also shows open orders and order history.
- Binance Advanced: This is a buffed-up version of Spot giving full access to all of the trading tools it offers.
Binance offers margin trading on selected trading pairs, anit has a specific platform for margin trading, with all of the pairs conveniently located on the right hand side of the window.
When you’re getting ready to make a trade on margin, Binance displays the level of margin with its associated risk. Risk level changes based on market movement, and if you’re margin level drops to the point that it becomes too risky, Binance will issue a margin call and have you make a repayment or add collateral. Binance will liquidate your funds if your level drops even lower.
Binance P2P is a peer-to-peer trading platform where buyers and sellers can connect with one another to trade directly. Buyers can also purchase crypto initially on this platform using multiple different fiat currencies.
The P2P platform lets you filter for different currencies, payment methods, and amounts. A list will be generated to show you who’s currently selling what you’re interested in. Buyer and seller are responsible for verifying payments and releasing the crypto for transfer. You can appeal the transaction if there are any issues, and there’s also a chat window to get in touch with the trader on the other end.
Binance Stock Tokens (New for 2021)
Stock Tokens are Binance’s newest feature, and these tokens closely track the performance of publicly traded companies. You can purchase fractional shares of a listed company with stock tokens, and the value of the token increases and decreases with the value of the underlying share.
Binance doesn’t charge any commissions on stock token transactions. And these tokens also payout dividends, when it applies, but buying tokens does not give you company voting rights like you would have with traditional stock shares.
Stock Tokens isn’t available everywhere — US citizens aren’t eligible, and you’ll have to meet certain verification requirements based on where you live.
Derivatives & futures trading
Binance has a growing list of advanced options for traders, including:
- Coin-M Futures: Offered as perpetual or quarterly contracts settled in cryptocurrency
- USDS-M Futures: Perpetual or quarterly contracts settled in USDT or BUSD
- Binance Leveraged Tokens (BLVTs): Derivatives that give you leveraged exposure to an underlying asset
- Binance Options: American-style options that are cash settled
- Binance Vanilla Options: This is a newer feature that allows users to buy European-style options
- Binance Battle: Another new feature that combines gaming and crypto, and users predict the future direction of a contract within a 5-minute window.
Lite Mode is a brand new feature on the Binance app. It was introduced in early 2021 to offer brand new users a way to quickly and easily start buying cryptocurrency. It’s basically a stripped down and simplified version of the regular Binance trading app, and there is a button in the app to switch back and forth between the apps.
This is a 1:1 USD-backed stablecoin issued in partnership with Paxos and approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Binance doesn’t charge any fees for purchasing, converting, or trading BUSD on its platform..
Binance Academy is a dedicated learning platform where everyone from brand new traders wanting to learn the basics to seasoned traders can hone their skills and learn to strategize. Academy gives you step-by-step guides and explainer articles labeled by skill level.
Some of the recent guides include: What Is a Short Squeeze?, How to Calculate Return on Investment (ROI), Custodial vs. Non-Custodial NFTs, and What is Polygon (MATIC)?
This is Binance’s exclusive token launch platform. You can take and earn new tokens through Launchpad. One of the most recent Launchpad projects is Tokocrypto (TKO), which is the first Indonesian local cryptocurrency project.
The Binance Trust Wallet is the official wallet for Binance users, and it’s free to store crypto in the Trust Wallet. You don’t have to use the Trust Wallet, but it is highly rated in the app store for it’s ease of use and security.
Binance Visa Card
The Binance Visa card allows users to spend the crypto in their spot wallet. There are $0 administrative or processing fees, and you can earn up to 8% cashback on eligible purchases made with your card.
As I’m sitting down and writing this Binance review, there are 374 different coins that Binance supports. It includes all of the well-known coins like Bitcoin, Paxo tandard, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Tether, etc. There’s also a long list of other altcoins.
One of the main differences between Binance and Binance.US is the number of coins they offer. Binance.US trades 55 different coins. That includes Bitcoin and all of the major altcoins, but it is a fraction of what’s actually out there. However, most U.S. users will find that Binance.US will have the crypto they need.
Regular Binance also supports credit and debit card transactions with over 40 fiat currencies. There’s also a growing list of fiat-to-crypto trading pairs, including recently added ones: ENJ/GBP, EOS/TRY, LTC/GBP, LUNA/EUR, ADA/RUB, ENJ/BRL, ENJ/EUR, MATIC/EUR, and NEO/TRY.
One of the reasons Binance is a top crypto exchange is that it has inexpensive and simplified trading fees. This is true for Binance and Binance.US.
Binance charges are based on trading volume (measured in Bitcoin amounts), and it’s a flat 0.1% spot trading fee for low volume trades and dropping down to 0.02% for super high volume trades. I’m talking 150,000 BTC or more.
The original Binance platform charges an additional 4.5% fee for debit card transfers, but there are $0 fees for cash deposits or ACH withdrawals. Users can also take a 25% discount on trading fees if they use their native token (BNB) to pay the fees.
It’s worth noting that Binance.US has some of the most inexpensive trading fees across U.S. exchanges.
Binance customer service
Unfortunately, this is the area that Binance lacks. Its support center is run through the app and desktop, and it’s a series of self-service options and articles answering FAQs.
Now, the articles and self-service options are useful, but if you need to contact support for any reason, Binance is known for it’s slow response time. Read many Binance app reviews and you will see a number of complaints about customer service issues.
Is Binance safe?
Binance has a history of strong security, but in 2019 it suffered a large-scale security breach and hackers stole 7,000 bitcoin — it was equivalent to over $40 million at the time. The hackers went after high-net-worth accounts kept in hot wallets.
Since the breach, Binance has done an extensive review of its systems and data to ensure its customer’s safety. It uses two-factor authentication via Google Authenticator or SMS. Binance security also includes address whitelisting, device management, and users can restrict device access.
The majority of the funds held at Binance are kept in cold storage, meaning it's much more difficult for hackers to gain access to.
Binance.US vs. Binance
If you’re in the U.S., you’ll have to use the U.S. arm of Binance. The main difference is that it’s a much smaller version, with just over 50 supported coins compared to Binance’s 370+. The trading volume is much lower too, but Binance.US is still a big fish in the overall crypto market.
The reason there are two different platforms is that Binance began shutting its doors to U.S. clients in 2019 after the U.S. banned Binance over regulatory concerns.
In the news
At the time of publication, Binance was in the news for a couple of issues. Because I want this review to be as transparent as possible, I want to bring them up to you.
- Barclays stopped allowing its customers to send funds to Binance, saying the exchange is not allowed to do business in the UK. Customers can still withdraw funds.
- The U.S. Justice Department and the IRS started an investigation to find illicit behavior.
One of the issues that Binance (and other crypto exchanges) face is that this is still a relatively new and unregulated industry. The decentralized nature of crypto means it can potentially be used for unsavory things, and that’s concerning to officials.
Binance pros & cons
- Low fees: At a flat 0.1% spot trading fee, Binance fees are difficult to beat
- Intuitive platforms: Binance has worked hard to develop a platform that works for newbies through advanced traders. Its solution is to divide its platforms up by use to ensure that everyone has the tools they need and understand.
- Long list of available coins: With over 340 different coins, there is something for everyone
- Customer service: Binance, unfortunately, has slow customer support
- Past security issues: The 2019 breach that involved the loss of over $40 million in crypto was a big blow to Binance’s security reputation
As the crypto market has grown, so have the number of exchanges. Below are some of the top Binance competitors and how they stack up.
Binance vs. Coinbase
Coinbase is a leading exchange that’s available in and over 100 different countries, including the U.S. Coinbase has a more complicated fee schedule that’s generally more expensive than Binance.
You can read my full comparison to learn more: Coinbase vs. Binance | How Do These Crypto Exchange Compare?
Binance vs. Gemini
Gemini has a strong trading platform, with cheaper debit card fees compared to Binance. Binance charges 4.5% if you’re transferring with a debit card while Gemini charges 3.49%. Gemini has an Earn feature where you can earn interest on your crypto. But overall, Gemini charges slightly higher and more confusing fees based on which of its platforms you’re using.
Binance vs. Kraken
Kraken is one of the most well-established and oldest crypto exchanges, and the only states it’s not allowed in the U.S. are New York and Washington.
There are over 60 coins available to trade on Kraken, and it uses a maker and taker fee schedule. The result is slightly higher fees that what you’ll pay on Binance.
The final word: Is Binance legit?
Cryptocurrency is still a new industry, and Binance has made a name for itself in a short amount of time. Sure, it's had an issue with security and has frustrated regulators in the U.S., but Binance is a legit crypto trading platform.
Binance has worked to ensure the future safety of it’s customers, and it's working hard to remain accessible to as many customers as possible.
The low fees alone are a reason to pick Binance. You can save a significant amount of money in the long-term, and those are funds you can use to invest in more crypto or something else.
One fundamental question to consider is whether or not the cryptocurrency trading platform you want to use is safe. You need to know your funds are safe from hackers and that the platform is utilizing top-level security practices.
Binance experienced a significant hack back in 2019, but they have since upped their security protocols. They now use a combination of two-factor authentication, address whitelisting, device management, and you can also restrict device access.
One of the benefits of having multiple trading platforms is that Binance has something for everyone, regardless of your experience. Newbie traders will find Binance Light (the new app Binance released in 2021) the easiest place to start.
Binance also has educational resources to help you learn to use their platforms and improve your trading skills.
Both Binance and Coinbase are highly reputable crypto exchanges. Coinbase has been around for a little longer, and it was originally based in San Francisco, although they closed their doors in 2021 and will no longer have a physical location.
Binance offers more coins to trade than Coinbase, unless you’re in the U.S. and need to trade on Binance.US, which offers 50+ coins compared to Coinbase’s 80+. You can get a full comparison of these to crypto giants in Binance vs. Coinbase | How Do These Crypto Exchanges Compare?
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About Millennial Money Man
Bobby Hoyt is a former band director who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in 18 months on his teaching salary and then left his job to run Millennial Money Man full-time. He helps other Millennials earn more through side hustles, save more through budgeting tools and apps, and pay off debt. He is a personal finance expert who has been seen on Forbes, Reuters, MarketWatch, CNBC, International Business Times, Business Insider, US News, Yahoo Finance, and many other personal finance and entrepreneurship media outlets.