Bitfinex is a well-known name in the crypto community, but seeing as it has had its fair share of controversy, is this exchange still safe to use? In our review, we will be analyzing the features, security, pros, and cons of the Bitfinex to find out if the exchange is an excellent trading service.
Bitfinex Review: Exchange Overview
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Bitfinex was established in the British Virgin Islands, in 2012, by Raphael Nicolle, a Frenchman that was also part of iFinex.inc. It is based in Hong Kong and first started out as a Bitcoin-only, P2P margin lending platform. Most of the founders of iFinex inc. also own the Tether company, the issuer of the controversial USD Stablecoin. The exchange revealed in 2018 that it will be relocating to Switzerland.
There have been many issues regarding Tether and its connection to Bitfinex, but we will be discussing that aspect later in our review.
It was reported that Bitfinex was built atop of a former exchange called Bitcoinica, which was launched a year prior to Bitfinex. Bitcoinica had a lot of issues, as it was hacked twice in just a few weeks and lost 61,000 BTC, which would be worth $600,000,000 million today.
Bitfinex is one of the most liquid exchanges on the market, usually having high volumes and low spreads (the difference between the best bid and ask prices).
Now we will continue our review by looking into all of the features provided by Bitfinex.
Supported Currencies and Available Countries
The exchange supports a wide number of altcoins and tokens, listing a total of 158 cryptos.
Traders are able to trade with top coins, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), Ripple (XRP), TRON (TRX), Zcash (ZEC), NEO (NEO), Monero (XMR), as well as more exotic coins, such as Augur (REP), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Golem (GNT), Qtum (QTUM), Status (SNT), Bytom (BTM), Verge (XVG), Storj (STORJ), Basic Attention Token (BAT), 0x Project (ZRX), FunFair (FUN), and Tezos (XTZ).
In order to see the entire list of cryptocurrencies available on Bitfinex, go to their site and go down to the “Support” section, click on “Knowledge Base”, and click on the “Currencies & Token” section.
Four fiat currencies are also supported: USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY.
The platform can be accessed by most countries in the world except for:
• United States of America;
The web interface of Bitfinex can be used on most major PC and tablet operating systems, including Windows and Mac, as well as mobile devices that work on Android and iOS.
User Interface and Experience
Bitfinex developed its interface for experienced traders, featuring advanced trading options and chartings. Because of this, its platform might seem confusing to novice traders, so we only recommend expert traders to use this exchange.
The GUI can be customized by the user to fit its trading needs, having a diversity of order types. Advanced charting functionality and API access are also included.
Bitfinex also developed a mobile app that can be downloaded and installed on both iOS and Android devices. Both apps are rated positively on their respective app stores, and it seems that the company is constantly providing new updates for them.
Users have a variety of trading types, including:
• Over the Counter (OTC);
• Limit Order;
• Market Order;
• Stop Order;
• Stop-Limit Order;
• Trailing Stop Order;
• Fill or Kill (FOK) Order;
• Immediate Or Cancel (IOC) Order;
• Scaled Orders;
• “Reduce Only” Order;
• One Cancels Other (OCO) Order Option;
• Hidden Order Option;
• Post-Only Limit Order Option.
Shorting on Bitfinex
Users on the exchange can also short their positions, betting on future crypto price movements.
Margin trading is also available, offering 3.3x leverage through the site’s P2P (Peer to Peer) margin funding platform. The amount, duration, and interest of the borrowing conditions can be set by the user or through Bitfinex.
How to Get a Bitfinex Account
In order to register on the website, you have to follow a few steps:
- Go to the site and click on the “SIGN UP” button from the top right of the page;
- Enter your username, password, time zone, email address and agree to the terms to continue;
- Click the “Open Account” button after completing the captcha and agreeing to the terms;
- Wait for the confirmation from the Bitfinex team;
- Click the “Confirm Email Address” link.
How to Use Bitfinex Exchange
1. Log into your Bitfinex account;
2. Click the “Deposit” link on the top right;
3. Select your crypto and agree to the fee terms;
4. Select any of the wallets (exchange/margin/funding) according to your account;
5. Click on “Click to generate address”;
6. Click “Copy to Clipboard” and paste this address in the wallet from where you will be transferring your funds.
7. In order to deposit fiat currencies, verify your account by submitting the required documents.
How to Make Buys
1. From your account, click “Trading” from the top left;
2. Select the pair you want to trade with;
3. Go to the “ORDER FORM” and select the “Exchange” tab;
4. Select your type of order (eg. Market) the amount you want to buy;
5. Click the “Exchange Buy” button to place the order.
1. Click the “Withdrawal” link on the top right;
2. Select the crypto you want to withdraw;
3. Enter the wallet address you want to send your funds, withdrawal amount, and select the wallet (exchange/trade/funding) from which you will withdraw the funds;
4. Click the Request Withdrawal button.
For crypto operation on Bitfinex you do not have to go through verification; just confirm your email address. But for fiat operations, you will have to present the KYC (Know Your Customer) identity documents (passport, driving license, etc.).
It can take up to 6 or 8 weeks for the verification process to be completed.
Bitfinex Exchange Fees
The fee system of Bitfinex is based on a maker-taker structure, which applies to the trading volume of a 30 day period.
Source: bitfinexSource: bitfinex
- Fiat deposit: 0.1% fee;
- Cryptocurrency deposit: Free for deposits above US$1,000. Nominal (less than US$1) fees apply otherwise;
- Tether (USDT) deposit: Free for deposits above US$1,000 equivalent. 20 USDT otherwise.
- Fiat withdrawal through bank wire: 0.1%;
- Fiat withdrawal through express bank wire: 1%;
- Fiat withdrawal through high frequency/volume bank wire: 3%;
- Cryptocurrency withdrawal: depends on crypto, usually less than US$1 equivalent;
- Tether (USDT) cryptocurrency withdrawal: 20 USDT.
Margin trading fees
- Charge on fees collected by margin trading providers: 15%;
- Charge on fees collected by margin trading providers when opened by a hidden offer: 18% fee;
- Charge on funding that is borrowed and returned without being used in a margin position: Up to 1 full day’s interest.
Bitfinex users have two available payment methods: bank wire and crypto.
Through bank transfers, users are able to deposit the following fiat currencies: EUR, JPY, GBP, and USD. No credit/debit card payments are supported.
Bitcoin deposits can take up to 30 minutes or more depending on the network traffic.
Fiat deposits have no minimum or maximum limits. When making fiat withdrawals, there is a minimum amount limit of $200, and a fee limit of US$20. No trading limits are available on Bitfinex.
Bitfinex has been embroiled in a slew of hacks and controversies that make their security implementations questionable.
The Exchange used the seriously flawed code of Bitcoinica to base its platform on. As we mentioned at the start of our Bitfinex review, prior to its closing, Bitcoinica suffered multiple hacks.
This may explain why, in 2015, the website suffered a hack of 1500 BTC. But the following year in August 2016, it lost, even more, 100,000 BTC, in another hacking incident – an amount estimated at around $1 billion by today’s standards.
More problems ensued as the exchange was incapable of handling the losses without making its customers to suffer. In order to cover for the losses, the platform took 36% from its users’ balance, including those that were not affected by the attack. Bitfinex gave customers in exchange for a revenue share token called BFX. The swaps were forced, and many users were not happy with the predicament, many claiming that the platform faked the entire ordeal to get their money.
It was alleged that one year later, all clients received full compensation if they held on to their BFX tokens.
After this, Bitfinex had issues with its banking partners, Wells Fargo and a Taiwanese bank, as the both of them ceased relations with the exchange in 2017, which over time snowballed into one of the biggest crypto news of 2019. Unable to secure a normal banking relationship, the exchange deposited $1 billion with a Panamanian payment processor called Crypto Capital Corp. It was alleged that in 2018, Bitfinex knew or suspected that Crypto Capital had run away with the money, but never informed investors of their loss.
In April 2019, New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, accused Bitfinex using money from Tether’s reserves in order to cover up a $850 million loss.
US dollars and US customers were no longer accepted by the exchange because of banking issues.
Bitfinex claims that 99.5% of client funds are stored in a cold wallet that uses a multi-signature function in which the keys are geographically distributed in various secure locations.
Users’ accounts have 2FA and U2F, as well as PGP email encryption. The accounts are also monitored and have implemented advanced verification features, such as:
• analysis of the saved login data;
• system that discovers IP address changes and averts session hijacking;
• email notifications with a link to instantly freeze your account in case of suspicious account activity;
• IP address monitoring.
The support team of Bitfinex can be contacted on a 24/7 basis through a ticketing system. To access this, scroll down and go to the “Support” section. Tickets are responded within 12 hours, but some have reported that it sometimes takes more for them to respond. There is no live, chat, or phone number.
The site also features a Knowledge Base that covers almost subjects related to account functions and trading.
Bitfinex Exchange Reputation
The crypto space is full of speculations regarding Bitfinex and Tether’s involvement in price manipulation. There have been many users that have pointed out a correlation between the two entities and bitcoin price fluctuations, pumps and dumps, as well as fake volumes.
On April 24th, 2018 the exchange was accused by New York’s attorney general’s office of covering $850 million losses:
“Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a coverup to hide the apparent loss of $850 million of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”
The company denied these accusations, but users are now wary of the exchange’s trustworthiness.
Many sites or individuals have published their own review detailing their experiences with Bitfinex. The general opinion is divided, so we cannot determine if the exchange is truly bad or good.
Bitfinex Review: Verdict
Bitfinex is an exchange for advanced traders, with a wide variety of crypto options and relatively low fees, but you have to take into account its past security issues and its surrounding controversies before going on with this exchange. We hope that our review has helped you in deciding if Bitfinex is a suitable exchange for you.
Featured image: bitstat.top
Bitfinex Exchange Review
- Supports a wide variety of cryptos
- Low trading fees
- Advanced platform
- Many order types
- No live chat support
- Limited payment options
- Long verification process
- Controversial reputation
- Supported Currencies
- Rates and Fees
- Transaction Speed
- Ease of Use
- Customer Support
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