Last Updated: October 7, 2021
- Full exchange: Yes
- Demo accounts: Yes
- Mobile apps: Android and iOS
- Number of currencies: 200+
- Margin Trading: Yes
- Ease of use: 3/5
- Customer support: Email ticket, Live chat
- Fees: 0.1%/0.2% maker/taker fees
- Margin funding and trading
- Good security measures
- Many order types
- Wide selection of cryptocurrencies
- High minimum deposit
- High withdrawal fee
- Somewhat checkered past
- Overwhelming for beginners
What Is Bitfinex?
Bitfinex is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Its parent company, iFinex Inc, is based in Hong Kong and registered in the British Virgin Islands.
The site has been around since 2012 and has a popular following. However, as many Bitfinex reviews will warn, there have been a few teething problems along the way.
In 2016, hackers exploited a vulnerability and stole multi-millions in crypto. There have also been accusations of Bitcoin price manipulation and an unclear relationship with the cryptocurrency Tether.
Nonetheless, any Bitfinex exchange review is keen to point out that the site has always compensated users for any problems and has grown to be one of the most advanced platforms out there. It doesn’t just provide comprehensive trading features but also industry-leading security.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect, from your first Bitfinex deposit to the state-of-the-art Bitfinex margin trading.
How To Use Bitfinex
Using the Bitfinex crypto platform is relatively straightforward, though there are many tools that beginners might not understand. Here’s how to get started, buy crypto, and move on to trading.
You can initially open an account, providing a username and email address, and choosing your preferred time zone. However, most features would be unavailable until Bitfinex verifies your account.
To do this, you must provide:
- full name
- phone number (for additional security)
- two scanned photo IDs (i.e., driver’s license and passport)
- selfie to be checked against the ID
- utility bill for proof of address
Basic account status requires just a photo ID, selfie, and verified phone number. However, this limits you to cryptocurrency transfers only.
Notably, you can access the Bitfinex exchange from most countries. Exclusions are:
Making a deposit
Next, it’s time to fund your account. The minimum Bitfinex deposit USD equivalent is $10,000, which comes with a $60 fee. This makes the platform more suitable for high-volume traders than beginners.
You can deposit in the following fiat currencies via bank transfer:
How to buy on Bitfinex
If all you wish to do is buy cryptocurrency at market value rather than trade, you can do so using a debit or credit card.
Simply add your payment card (Mastercard or Visa) and wallet address (if storing outside of Bitfinex), and the process is practically instant.
Note, however, that Bitfinex requires a minimum spend of $25 worth of crypto.
How to trade on Bitfinex
If you hold on to your crypto and want to trade, go to the trading tab and select the currency pair, i.e., the currency you’re holding and the currency you wish to trade it for.
The order form requires you to select the trade type. The Bitfinex crypto platform offers multiple options:
- A basic Market order will complete instantly at the current market price.
- A Limit order allows you to set the amount and price and only completes when the request is met.
- A Limit (Order Book) is an order that can be executed by clicking at a price on the order book.
- A Stop order is only triggered when the market price drops to your chosen amount, at which point a regular market order is instantly executed.
- Similarly, a Stop-limit order requires both a stop price and a limit price, which may differ.
- For further flexibility over a stop order, you can opt for a Trailing stop order, which is executed only once the market goes against you by a defined price distance.
- An Immediate or Cancel order requires all or part of the order to be executed immediately, while any unfilled parts of the order are canceled.
- Fill or Kill (FOK) orders are only executed instantly and entirely at your desired price or better. Otherwise, they’re canceled.
- The Bitfinex exchange also supports Scaled orders. Essentially, this is an algorithm that automatically creates multiple limit orders across a pre-determined price range.
Whatsmore, if you don’t wish your orders to appear in the marketplace, you can place a Hidden order. This has the benefit of not influencing the market itself.
Other order options you can match your order types with are:
- One Cancels Other (OCO)
- Visible on Hit
- Post-Only Limit
- Time in force (TIF)
With Bitfinex margin funding, you can earn from your crypto holdings without actively trading yourself.
In essence, you lend your funds to other traders and earn interest for the privilege. You set your own terms, and when the position is closed, you get your funds and the money from your interest rates. Savvy traders make their profit by playing the market.
As outlined above, the margin trading Bitfinex provides is linked to a patented peer-to-peer system by which traders can use funds from crypto investors.
Users can trade with up to 10x leverage and set their own desired amounts, rates, and durations. Alternatively, you can open your position, and the platform will automatically attempt to acquire funding with the best terms possible.
Reports and charts
Your personal reports and the various charts on the exchange will always keep you informed in the broader crypto market and Bitfinex currencies.
From the reports section, you can view your trading history, current wallet balances, deposits and withdrawals, funding, orders, and more. Reports can also be exported for use outside of Bitfinex.
And when it comes to coin-to-coin performance and tracking Bitfinex crypto price over time, the platform’s charting tools are some of the best on the market.
If you’re new to trading or want to test out a new strategy, Bitfinex’s Paper Trading system lets you play with a simulated marketplace without having to deposit any real funds.
Advanced traders and developers can use the Bitfinex API to create custom tools and software to interact with the platform’s features and make use of its data.
This helps create advanced trading strategies or completely new interfaces that work on top of the original Bitfinex infrastructure.
Bitfinex boasts a rewarding affiliate program that allows users to earn as high as 55% of the fees of those they refer.
There are many incentives and multipliers, and referrals go three levels deep. In other words, if you convince one person to sign up and start trading, they refer another person, and if that third person joins in, you reap a percentage from everyone in the chain.
UNUS SED LEO (LEO)
UNUS SED LEO is the Bitfinex community crypto token, which financially supports the company and helps build the platform.
Buying LEO is a bit like owning shares. Bitfinex splits 27% of profits among LEO holders, who also receive lower fees. Holding some LEO is an efficient strategy for long-term users.
How much would it cost to make a withdrawal? And are the Bitfinex trading fees on par with those of other crypto exchanges?
Let’s check out!
Bitfinex withdrawal fees
To carry out a Bitfinex USD withdrawal brings a $60 Bitfinex fee. Here’s how much it costs for some other Bitfinex currencies:
Yet, withdrawals to another Bitfinex wallet are free.
Bitfinex trading fees
In addition to Bitfinex withdraw fees, different trades and transactions come with their own Bitfinex fees, as outlined in the tables below. That’s without mentioning the usual blockchain or network charge.
|Crypto to Crypto||to Stable Coin||to Fiat||Derivatives|
|Maker Fee||0.10%||0.10%||-0.02% (Maker rebate)|
Note that the higher your monthly volume, the lower the fees become.
Margin positions fees
Let’s now see what interest rate is charged on margin positions:
Funding provider fees
|Funding Type||Fee for funding earnings|
|On Borrowed Funds||15%|
|On Hidden Offers||18%|
|Fee Type||Fees||LEO Token|
|Borrower Charge||2x Maker Fee||N/A|
|Lender Charge||15%||up to -5%|
|Hidden Offer||18%||up to -5%|
Bitfinex Mobile App
If you’re wondering how to use Bitfinex on the go, it has mobile apps for iOS and Android. These can be found directly in the Apple Store and Google Play, with a 3.7/5 and 4/5 user rating, respectively.
Far from just having a few features from the platform, each app contains Bitfinex’s full functionality. Therefore, you can accomplish everything via the app that you can on a desktop web browser.
Whether you’re straight buying and selling, advanced trading, lending, or Bitfinex margin trading, everything is a few easy taps away.
The only real usability issue is viewing charts. These sometimes need to be in landscape mode to see properly on smartphones with a smaller screen.
Bitfinex Customer Support
You cannot understate Bitfinex’s extensive help pages. It has answers to virtually everything you could want to know, from a beginner’s guide to advanced API documentation.
On top of that, users can make standard email tickets from within their accounts or contact a Bitfinex rep through the live chat option.
Asking a test question about a Bitfinex USD deposit via email, I received a helpful response within an hour during the middle of the day, which isn’t bad. The live chat test also delivered good results. Just know that if you still don’t have a Bitfinex account, the company agent would use the opportunity to sell you one.
Bitfinex is not the only large cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform. It faces some fierce competition.
Although there’s often a Bitfinex vs Coinbase debate, it draws closer comparison with Bybit and Binance. So let’s see how these platforms stack up against each other.
Bitfinex vs Bybit
Bitfinex has the immediate edge on Bybit as it offers many more currencies to trade. However, if you have no interest in some of the more obscure coins, Bybit has the most popular ones available too.
The minimum deposit differences are stark, with Bybit having no minimum, while the Bitfinex minimum deposit is $10,000. That makes Bybit more suitable for beginners, while Bitfinex caters to a more advanced audience. Furthermore, Bybit has much lower Taker and Maker fees.
On the other hand, Bybit’s 0.0005 BTC/equivalent withdrawal fee is slightly higher than Bitfinex’s 0.0004 BTC charge.
Bitfinex also has a bigger set of trading types, though both support margin trading and lending markets. In fact, Bybit allows leveraging of 100x, compared to Bitfinex’s 10x.
Bybit is newer, has less liquidity, and more to prove, while Bitfinex has been around much longer and has built a large, trusted following despite past issues.
Ultimately, most Bybit vs Bitfinex reviews give the edge to Bitfinex because of its extensive set of features and longevity. If you can meet the minimum deposit, it’s certainly worth your time. However, you should also not ignore Bybit for lower-volume trades.
Bitfinex vs Binance
Bitfinex and Binance offer similar services. For example, each allows you to trade in over 200 cryptocurrencies and buy directly at market value with a card. You can also deposit fiat and easily withdraw. However, as discovered during this Bitfinex review, they differ in some of the finer details.
Binance has a lower 0.10% taker fee, compared to Bitfinex’s 0.20%. Moreover, Binance has a lower minimum deposit than Bitfinex.
On the other hand, Bitfinex has more tools for experienced traders and mobile apps that offer the same functionality. Furthermore, Bitfinex rewards high trading volume in numerous ways, including fee reductions, where Binance does not. There’s also a demo account and API access from the older company.
Another area Bitfinex stands out is fiat-to-crypto trading on the exchange. Binance only lets you make fiat deposits directly to purchase crypto at market value from the site.
Both have the same customer support options. Only that with Binance you must jump through a few hoops before being transferred to the live chat, which can be annoying.
To conclude, it comes down to what you want out of an exchange. Binance is more accessible to newbies. However, experienced high-volume traders will get more out of the Bitfinex exchange.
Bitfinex Review – Verdict
Despite former negative Bitfinex reviews, this is one of the longest-running exchanges and has tightened security, allowing it to become one of the best. Although it does not suit all users, particularly small newer investors, those looking to trade big amounts of crypto will soon fall in love.
From all possible trading options to full API access, high-volume experienced users have everything they need on desktop or mobile to be successful.
It’s no secret that Bitfinex has had problems in the past, and it’s reasonable to ask, ‘is Bitfinex legit?’ In short, yes, parent company iFinex has proven itself trustworthy to its users despite previous security breaches and run-ins with regulators.
Crypto is still an emerging phenomenon, and there were always going to be hiccups along the way. Bitfinex stands out by taking the right steps toward security improvement.
Not officially. US regulators have attempted to stifle virtual currency exchanges, particularly those that support riskier derivative trading like Bitfinex. While there’s nothing stopping users from the United States from opening accounts via a VPN or acting as a non-citizen, technically, it would be a breach of Bitfinex’s terms. Despite supporting USD deposits, the platform does not actively support US users.
One reason the company does not want to openly deal with the US is that it settled $18.5 million with the New York Attorney General after allegedly moving funds around to cover $850 million in losses.
Due to prior security breaches and an investigation by US regulators, you may wonder: is Bitfinex safe? Having tested the service extensively as part of this Bitfinex review, the answer is yes, especially in comparison to other sites.
Almost all user funds are secured offline in what is known as cold storage. This is physical hardware that’s not only secured by encryption and multiple signatures but also distributed across different physical locations with traditional security measures.
In other words, if someone breaks into the building and room where your funds are held, they still need multiple keys to access your cryptocurrency wallet.
The site itself uses SSL encryption, and you are free to use your own hardware wallet outside of the Bitfinex exchange. In addition, two-factor authentication can protect your account.
To further keep Bitfinex safe and secure, the system continuously monitors logins and transactions to identify suspicious behavior. For example, suppose you usually log in with a particular IP address, but this suddenly changes, or you enter wrong passwords one too many times. In that case, your account may be temporarily locked, and you’ll receive an email to verify it’s you.
Of course, as with all crypto platforms, users should expect some risk level because of the market’s volatility and criminal activity. It’s always wise to move funds you are not actively trading away from the site as soon as possible.
Likewise, using a secure browser and practicing your own safety habits is a good idea.
As per our Binance vs Bitfinex review, both offer a formidable service. Binance caters better to low-volume crypto traders and those that just want to buy some cryptocurrency quickly. However, Bitfinex has the more advanced features and is more suited to those regularly trading in amounts worth thousands of dollars.