The number of cryptocurrency exchanges never seems to end. This can make choosing one more difficult.
Some exchanges are not actually available in the U.S. For those exchanges that do, there is often a big difference in the number of available coins supported and the fees charged for transactions.
Available worldwide, Binance supports over 50 coins in the US with minimal fees. We’ll take an in-depth look at Binance and why you might want to consider it. If you are a US investor, you will use the Binance.US version of Binance.
- The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange
- low transaction costs
- Best for experienced traders
Who is Binance?
Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017 (in China) and headquartered in Malta. It has operations in the US and Singapore. According to CoinMarketCap, Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and weekly website visits.
Binance.US launched in September 2019 and is headquartered in San Francisco.
What do they provide?
Binance allows its users to trade, buy and store cryptocurrencies. For individuals, its trading services are divided into basic version and advanced version. It also offers institutional trading with a volume-based fee structure.
In addition to cryptocurrency trading, Binance also offers staking (0.5% to 10% annual return) and a mining pool for its US customers.
Binance.com vs. Binance.US
Binance.com seems like the place to start trading on Binance. However, US customers need to use a different website, Binance.US. Unfortunately, US sites support far fewer currencies and available features.
While there are more than 350 cryptocurrencies available for trading on the global platform, Binance.US currently offers over 50. However, that’s still more currency than many other US exchanges offer, and on par with Coinbase.
Aside from the differences in available currencies, here is a list of some other features that are conspicuously missing from the Binance.com US site.
- Crypto Savings Account
- crypto loan
- Equity tokens (new)
- margin trading
- debit card
- liquidity swap
It should also be noted that Binance.US is not yet available in seven US states: Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Vermont.
Binance offers its own software wallet called Trust Wallet. It supports 40 blockchains and 160k+ assets. It also currently has very high reviews on iOS and Android. However, users are not required to use Trust Wallet. You are free to transfer your assets to any cryptocurrency wallet of your choice.
Like many cryptocurrency exchanges, customer service is lacking. To submit an inquiry to Binance, you start with the chatbot and end up with a link to submit a question. Responses are via email, but you may have to wait a while for a reply.
Binance uses two-factor authentication (2FA), which is fine when the company knows how to use it without being a hindrance. Binance seems to fall into the unfortunate latter group, as many users struggled with their 2FA implementation.
Is the platform safe?
The global Binance website was hacked in May 2019. Hackers stole 7,000 bitcoins, worth $40 million at the time. Binance says its users are intact. It should be noted that the US website has never been hacked.
Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance is not insured by the FDIC or SIPC. However, it does have SAFU, an emergency asset fund that compensates users if their funds are stolen from the exchange. SAFU is funded from 10% of all transaction fees on the platform. Funds for SAFU are stored in a separate cold wallet.
Is there any fee?
Yes – Binance charges a spot trading fee of 0.1% on most currency pairs, which is lower than many other exchanges. The instant buy and sell transaction fee is 0.5%.
Binance has its own blockchain and token — Binance Coin or BNB. The cost of transacting with BNB will be lower than other methods. If you use BNB, you get a 25% discount on transaction fees.
There are no fees for deposits made via ACH transfers. However, there is a rather hefty 4.5% fee on all debit card deposits.
How do I open an account?
US residents can open an account by visiting the Binance.US website. Until you verify your identity, there will be restrictions on using the platform, such as withdrawal limits.
Level 2 verification unlocks all features and requires the following information: full name, country, gender, passport photo or government issued ID
Is this worth it?
Binance is probably best suited for more experienced traders. With a focus on fast transaction times, users should be able to take advantage of some of the best cryptocurrency prices on the market. It also has low fees and is one of the few exchanges that supports NEO.
However, beginners may find Coinbase easier to use despite the higher price. It should be noted that while Binance does not offer crypto savings accounts or rewards crypto debit cards to its U.S. customers, other platforms do.