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Bitfinex Exchange Review

Bitfinex is a Hong Kong based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2012 by Raphael Nicolle. The cryptocurrency exchange is both owned and operated by iFinex, Inc. Bitfinex is one of the largest in the world and is generally popular with traders across the globe, with a host of fiat currencies accepted and advanced trading options, however, the exchange recently decided to stop their services to U.S. customers due to banking issues. Bitfinex has their own proprietary token called UNUS SED LEO (LEO) that provides benefits to users who hold the digital asset. Our Bitfinex review will help you determine if it is the right exchange for you.

Bitfinex Overview

Bitfinex

Bitfinex

  • One of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges with plenty of liquidity
  • Better for advanced users
  • Very competitive trading fees
  • Large variety of cryptocurrencies to buy
Funding Methods Crypto, Credit & Debit Card, Bank Wire, Express Bankwire
Cryptocurrencies 140+ (Bitcoin, Tether, Polkadot, Tron)
Headquarters Hong Kong

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lots of trading pairs

  • High liquidity

  • UNUS SED LEO provides benefits to users

  • Low fees

Cons

  • Not available to US customers

  • History of security issues

  • Not beginner friendly

Bitfinex Funding Methods

Method
Deposit
Withdraw
Speed
Bank Wire
Yes
Yes
1-5 days
Card/Debit Card
No
No
Instant
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Yes
Nearly Instant

Bitfinex Trading Volume (USD)

Bitfinex

Volume (24H) $1,846,483,803.49
Volume (7D) $6,118,427,293.76
Date Launched October 11, 2012

Setting Up a Bitfinex Account

It is easy to set up an account on Bitfinex, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Bitfinex homepage and click Sign Up in the upper right corner
  2. Pick a username, enter an email, pick a password, accept their terms, pick your time zone, and finally enter the captcha, before clicking Open Account
  3. Open your email and confirm your account via the email they send you
  4. Login to your account once account is confirmed
  5. Accept the terms of service
  6. Set up Two Factor Authentication (2FA) or Universal Second Factor (U2F)
  7. Start using Bitfinex! You will need to fund your account through one of the methods listed below in order to begin trading on their platform. If you want to fund your account with a bank wire then you will need to undergo full Know Your Customer verification before continuing.

What Can You Buy on Bitfinex?

Bitfinex offers some of the most trading pairs of any exchange on the market, with tons of altcoins and pairs with multiple fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP and JPY. Overall, they offer over 140 different cryptocurrencies for trade on the exchange. Here are some of the main assets they offer:

For a full list of available cryptocurrencies on Bitfinex please visit their website.

Supporting Operating Systems

Bitfinex offers not only a desktop website, but a mobile app as well. The Operating Systems (OS) that Bitfinex supports are Linux, OSX, Windows, Android, and iOS. The browsers they support are Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, and IE.

Is Bitfinex Safe?

Bitfinex has an unfortunate history of security issues. In 2015, they lost somewhere around 1500 Bitcoin from their hot wallet, or so that is what was reported. It is likely less than that, but there is actually very little information about the incident, affected users were reimbursed. Then in 2016, a much bigger hack occurred where 120K BTC was stolen. Affected users were reimbursed within 8 months but it was another strike against the exchange. There is rumors of issues with funds being tied up, and that is the main reason that they no longer allow US customers.
Apart from shaky history, Bitfinex is actually quite good when it comes to security. They offer both Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and Universal Second Factor (U2F), and actually require users to set it up on their accounts before they can do anything on the exchange. They only hold 0.5% of funds in hot wallets, meaning hackers have little to access if they are somehow successful, and they monitor IP address activity for all users in order to watch for irregularities. They have learned from their mistakes and aim to offer top class security, making it a safe place to trade cryptocurrency.

Fees

Bitfinex fees are actually fairly low. For trades, maker fees start at 0.1% and go down to 0% when you reach $7.5 million in trading volume in the past 30 days. Taker fees start at 0.2% and go down to as low as 0.055% when you reach $30 million in trading volume over the past 30 days. These are quite low compared to some other top exchanges.

There are no fees for crypto deposits, though withdrawals vary by asset. Depositing and withdrawing fiat currencies costs 0.1% regardless of amount, though there is a minimum of 60 USD/EUR for both deposits and withdrawals.

You can reduce your fees on Bitfinex by holding their proprietary token UNUS SED LEO (LEO). LEO is used by Bitfinex’s parent company iFinex in order to reduce their budget deficit. Each month they burn LEO equivalent to 27% of the company’s profits. Owners of LEO tokens save commissions on Bitfinex, get discounts on monthly fees, and also get discounts on withdrawal and deposit fees for cryptocurrencies. The amounts vary depending on how much LEO you hold, but you can save fees by holding just 2 LEO, with greater benefits when you hold over 5000 or over 10,000.

To see how this exchange stacks up against its competitors, check out our in-depth look at Bitfinex vs Kraken.

Bitfinex Frequently Asked Questions


No, Bitfinex is not a good place to get started with crypto. This is because they only accept bank wire and other crypto as funding methods, there is no way to instantly buy crypto and start trading. There are many other exchanges that are better suited for beginners such as Coinbase.


No, you are not able to trade gold and silver on Bitfinex.


In 2016 Bitfinex was hacked for 120k Bitcoins. They were able to reimburse affected customers within 8 months and were quite transparent about the incident. But they were hacked before that as well, in 2015, they lost 1500 Bitcoins, though that incident is a little murky as far as what actually transpired. As a result of the hacks they have become much more security conscious than they were before and have not been hacked since.


Yes, Bitfinex is similar to Binance Exchange because they both offer many cryptocurrencies for trading, buying and selling, and they both have their own proprietary token (Binance Coin /BNB). The only real difference is that US customers can use Binance but cannot use Bitfinex.


Bitfinex and its parent company iFInex Inc. are based out of Hong Kong. iFinex Inc. is also the parent company of Tether (USDT).


No, Bitfinex is not a decentralized exchange.


No, as a result of a recent change by the trading platform in order to focus on their other customers, US residents can no longer use Bitfinex.

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About the Author

Evan Jones

Evan Jones was introduced to cryptocurrency by fellow CryptoVantage contributor Keegan Francis in 2017 and was immediately intrigued by the use cases of many Ethereum-based cryptos. He bought his first hardware wallet shortly thereafter. He has a keen and vested interest in cryptos involving decentralized backend exchanges, payment processing, and power-sharing.