Binance Review (2021)

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Binance Review
  • Ease of Use
  • Beginner Friendly
  • Payment Options
  • Speed
  • Fees
4.2

Summary

Binance allows you to buy and sell more than 250 cryptocurrencies without paying more than 0.1% in trading fees. This is cheaper than most alternative cryptocurrency exchanges.

You can also now deposit GBP, EUR, and USD into Binance with a variety of payment methods. For example, you can send GBP with a UK bank transfer for FREE and it’ll quickly in your Binance account (< 15 mins).

But Binance offers more than just this in 2021.

Create an account and explore it for yourself.

Binance is a popular cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy, sell, and store more than 250 cryptocurrencies. It also allows you to deposit fiat currencies such as GBP, EUR, and USD.

You can also use Binance to earn interest by lending or staking your cryptocurrency, get a loan using your cryptocurrency as collateral, and spend your cryptocurrency anywhere that Visa is accepted using the Binance Card.

 Check out this Binance review for everything you need to know.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Available in most countries around the world.
  • Allows you to buy, sell, and store 250+ cryptocurrencies.
  • Low trading fees (max 0.1% on spot markets).
  • High spot market trading volume.
  • Supports multiple government-issued currencies (GBP, EUR, & USD).
  • Deposit GBP for FREE with a UK bank transfer.
  • Futures contracts with up to 125x leverage available.
  • Easily earn interest on your holdings (with flexible access).
  • Accessible via browser, desktop app, and your mobile phone.

Disadvantages

  • Poor customer support has been reported.
  • Experienced a significant security compromise.
  • Some cryptocurrency withdrawal fees seem quite expensive.
  • Binance Earn offers lower interest rates than alternatives for some cryptocurrencies.

What Is Binance?

Binance was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao (CEO) and Yi He (CMO). It quickly became one of the most popular and largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

And it’s gone from strength to strength. In 2021, it has more than 15 million users around the world and a higher trading volume than any other cryptocurrency exchange (by a significant margin).

It now has more than 1300 employees across more than 40 countries – with dozens and dozens of open positions around the world. It’s clearly continuing to grow at a rapid pace – and is a strong competitor to established names like Coinbase.

Where is Binance headquartered?

Binance was originally based in China, but it became less clear where exactly it was headquartered after it moved its operations from there.

Many believe that it has been based in Malta since 2018, but it seems that the company is actually registered in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles.

However, there’s been no confirmation (that I know of) from Binance about where exactly they consider themselves to be headquartered.

What companies has Binance acquired?

Binance has acquired a number of companies:

  • JEX: Seychelles-registered digital asset exchange acquired in September 2019 for an undisclosed amount (Source).
  • WazirX: Mumbai-based digital asset exchange acquired in November 2019 for somewhere between $5 million and $10 million (Source)
  • DAppReview: DApps (and blockchain projects) data analytics, information, and resources platform acquired in December 2019 for an undisclosed amount (Source).
  • CoinMarketCap: Cryptocurrency price tracking website was acquired in April 2020 for $400 million (Source).
  • Swipe: Cryptocurrency debit card provider was acquired in July 2020 for an undisclosed amount (Source).

Binance Products

Binance is more than just a place to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies.

Here are the main things that they offer:

  • Binance Spot Exchange: Trade 250+ cryptocurrencies without paying high fees (up to 0.1%).
  • Binance P2P Trading: Like LocalBitcoins or Paxful, this allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly with other people.
  • Binance OTC: Personalised way to buy and sell large chunks of cryptocurrencies.
  • Binance Futures: Trade various types of crypto-futures with up to 125x leverage.
  • Binance Earn: Like BlockFI or Crypto.com Earn, this allows you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings by lending them out.
  • Binance Staking: Stake more than 40 different cryptocurrencies to earn yields on your holdings.
  • Binance Loans: Take out a loan using your cryptocurrency holdings as collateral.
  • Binance Pool: Proof-of-work (PoW) mining pool that automatically adjusts what you’re mining to earn the highest profit.
  • Binance Launchpad: Helps launch and promote projects with a “unique and innovative vision”.
  • Binance Card: Crypto debit card that converts your cryptocurrency in real-time to cover purchases you make in-store or online. Powered by Swipe.
What other things do Binance provide?

In 2021, Binance has quite a few other things it offers:

  • Binance Labs: Funds cryptocurrency-related startups which are looking to help expand the decentralised Internet. Currently supports 30 projects.
  • Binance Charity: Non-profit organisation that uses blockchain technology to make charity donations more efficient. Has raised more than 1300 BTC for multiple causes.
  • Binance Academy: More than 200 articles focused on helping beginners understand the cryptocurrency space.
  • Binance Research: Produces freely available reports about blockchain projects, as well as insights and analysis about lots of different cryptocurrency-related topics.
  • Binance Cloud: Provides the backend infrastructure so that companies can quickly launch their own cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Binance Smart Chain (BSC): Launched in September 2020, this blockchain project has smart contract functionality and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility.
  • Trust Wallet: Binance’s cryptocurrency mobile wallet. Includes a Web3 browser that allows you to easily interact with DApps on the Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain networks.
  • Binance USD (BUSD): This is a 1:1 USD-backed stablecoin project – similar to Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).

Binance Exchange

The Binance Exchange allows you to buy and sell lots of cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Cardano (ADA).

You can access the exchange using the ‘Classic’ or ‘Advanced’ trading views.

The classic view is what Binance originally looked like when it launched in 2017. It includes everything you’d expect – including an order book, charting functionality, advanced order types, and more.

The advanced interface contains all the same things, it’s just been organised in a different way. I tend to prefer using this interface, as it feels less cluttered.

There’s also the ‘Convert’ interface. This allows you to easily exchange cryptocurrencies – without having to worry about using Binance’s normal trading interfaces.

However, there are two key downsides:

  • You won’t be able to buy or sell all the cryptocurrencies available on Binance. For example, you can only use GBP to buy four cryptocurrencies – but there are three times as many GBP trading pairs available on the exchange.
  • There are no explicit trading fees, but you’ll be quoted prices that are above the real exchange rate (i.e., fees are hidden in the priced you’re quoted). This spread varies depending on what you’re buying/selling.

While it’s easier and quicker, I stay away from it for these reasons.

Supported Countries

Binance is available in more than 180 countries around the world.

I couldn’t find a list of every country supported on Binance, but it seems like most places are. The only exceptions are going to be residents in sanctioned countries.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

The Binance Exchange currently supports more than 250 cryptocurrencies – which is more than other cryptocurrency exchange.

This includes larger cryptocurrencies, but also smaller and newer cryptocurrencies which are more difficult to find in other places.

Here are a few of the cryptocurrencies supported by Binance:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)

You can explore all the cryptocurrencies available on Binance here.

What cryptocurrency trading pairs are available on Binance?

The following cryptocurrency trading pairs are available on Binance:

  • Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Ripple (XRP)

There are also trading pairs for the following stablecoins on Binance:

  • Tether (USDT)
  • Binance USD (BUSD)
  • Trias (TRY)
  • TrueUSD (TUSD)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Paxos Standard (PAX)
  • BIDR (BIDR)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Rupiah Token (IDRT)
  • Vai (VAI)
  • Binance VND (BVND)
What fiat currencies are available on Binance?

Binance also has trading pairs available for the following fiat currencies:

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Brazilian Real (BRL)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • British Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • Nigerian Naira (NGN)
  • Ukraine Hryvnia (UAH)
What GBP trading pairs are available on Binance?

There are currently 12 GBP trading pairs that are available on Binance.

This includes:

  • BNB/GBP
  • BTC/GBP
  • ETH/GBP
  • DOT/GBP
  • GBP/BUSD
  • GBP/USDT
  • LINK/GBP
  • ADA/GBP
  • SXP/GBP
  • XRP/GBP
  • DOGE/GBP
  • CHZ/GBP

Payment Methods

You can deposit GBP into Binance using the following payment methods:

  • UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments)
  • Debit Card
  • Credit Card

You can deposit EUR using a SEPA bank transfer, debit or credit card, iDEAL, Advcash, and Etana. You can also deposit USD with a SWIFT transfer, but it’ll be credited to your account as Binance USD (BUSD).

Caution: Funding your Binance account with a credit card will probably be considered a cash advance. In this case, your card issuer will likely charge you additional fees and a higher interest rate.

In the UK, the cheapest way to deposit GBP into your Binance account is with a UK bank transfer (currently FREE). After my initial deposit, I’ve also found that GBP sent with a UK bank transfer is credited to my Binance account within about 15 minutes.

What fiat currencies can you deposit into Binance?

You can deposit the following government-issued currencies into Binance:

  • British Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • United States Dollar (USD)
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Brazilian Real (BRL)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT)
  • Norwegian Kroner
  • Peruvian Sol (PEN)
  • Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • Ukraine Hryvnia (UAH)
  • Uganda Shilling (UGX)

What you’re able to deposit will depend on your country of residence. As a UK resident, I was restricted from depositing a few of these.

Binance Trading Fees

Binance has extremely competitive trading fees.

You’ll pay a maximum of 0.1% in trading fees on the spot market. You can easily unlock a 25% discount if you pay your trading fees using Binance Coin (BNB). If you trade more, you’ll unlock further discounts.

Here’s how that compares to some popular alternatives:

Cryptocurrency ExchangeTrading Fees
BinanceUp to 0.1%
CoinbaseUp to 0.5%
KrakenUp to 0.26%
GeminiUp to 0.35%

Binance Deposit Fees

You won’t be charged anything to deposit a supported cryptocurrency into your Binance account. This is the same in most other places.

The cost of depositing government-issued currencies (like GBP, EUR, and USD) depends on what payment method you select.

UK residents won’t be charged anything to deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer, but you will be charged a fee of 1.8% if you want to use a debit card or credit card to deposit GBP into your Binance account.

Binance Withdrawal Fees

You’ll be charged a fee whenever you withdraw cryptocurrency from your Binance account. What you’re charged depends on what cryptocurrency you’re looking to withdraw.

In some cases, this doesn’t cost much. For example, Monero (XMR) costs less than £0.02 to send and Cardano (ADA) costs less than £1.00 to withdraw.

But for other coins, it can be quite a chunk of change. For example, Bitcoin (BTC) costs about £20 to withdraw and Ethereum (ETH) costs about £10 to send.

You’ll also be charged a small fee to withdraw fiat currencies (like GBP, EUR, and USD) from your Binance account. This is quite marginal though – right now, it costs just £1.50 to withdraw GBP (with a UK bank transfer) or €0.80 to withdraw EUR (with a SEPA bank transfer).

Check out the full fee schedule for more details. They can (and do) change without notice.

Binance Limits

If you haven’t completed identity verification, then you’ll have a withdrawal limit of 2 Bitcoin (BTC) every 24 hours (equivalent in any cryptocurrency). Unless you verify, you won’t be able to deposit or withdraw much government-issued currencies either.

Once you have verified your identity, you’ll be able to withdraw the equivalent of 100 Bitcoin (BTC) every 24 hours. You’ll also unlock much higher GBP deposit and withdrawal limits.

Binance Futures

It’s also possible to trade options with up to 125x leverage using Binance’s derivatives section.

When trading futures, you’re not buying the underlying asset. Instead, you’re speculating on the future price of a cryptocurrency. You can find out more about futures contracts here.

A decent number of cryptocurrency futures are available – including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and a range of DeFi projects. At the time of writing, there are more than 80 different Tether (USDT) perpetual futures available.

But while it’s possible to get up to 125x leverage for Bitcoin (BTC) futures, the same leverage is NOT available for other cryptocurrencies. For instance:

  • Ethereum (ETH): Max leverage of 100x.
  • Ripple (XRP): Max leverage of 75x.
  • Terra (LUNA): Max leverage of 50x.

You’ll be charged different fees if you trade futures on Binance. Fees start at 0.02% for makers and 0.04% for takers, but you’ll be charged lower rates if you trade more and hold Binance Coin (BNB) in your account.

You’ll also have to pay a funding rate. You can find out more about this here and see the real-time funding rate here.

Binance Earn

Binance Earn is equivalent to what’s being provided by BlockFi and Crypto.com Earn.

In short, it allows you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency holdings. When I checked, you could easily and quickly start earning interest on more than 55 cryptocurrencies.

The amount of interest that you earn depends on what cryptocurrency you’re depositing. When I checked, the highest interest you could earn was 9.99% APY if you deposited BakeryToken (BAKE). The interest rates available do regularly change though.

With Crypto Earn, you have two options:

  • Locked Savings: Lock-up your cryptocurrency for up to 90 days to unlock better interest rates.
  • Flexible Savings: Allows you to earn interest on your cryptocurrency, but without having to lock it up for a fixed duration. You can withdraw it at any time.

Only Tether (USDT), Binance USD (BUSD), and USD Coin (USDC) can be added to ‘Locked Savings’. The benefit of this is quite slim though – you’ll only get a 1% lower interest rate if you kept flexible access to these funds.

Some cryptocurrencies don’t earn you must interest either. At the time of writing, you’d only earn 1.2% APY on your Bitcoin (BTC) deposits and 0.39% APY on your Cardano (ADA) deposits.

In contrast, you’ll earn 6% APY on the first two Bitcoin (BTC) held in your BlockFi Interest Account. You’ll get 5.5% APY on any Chainlink (LINK) held in it too.

Here’s the full list of interest rates that BlockFI is currently offering:

CurrencyAmountInterest
BTC0 - 2.56.0%
BTC> 2.53.0%
LINK> 05.5%
ETH> 05.5%
LTC> 06.5%
USDC> 08.6%
GUSD> 08.6%
PAX> 08.6%
PAXG> 05.0%
USDT> 09.3%
BUSD> 08.6%

Binance Staking

Staking cryptocurrencies helps to support the normal operations (and security) of blockchains that are using Proof of Stake (POS) to establish consensus.

You can usually stake cryptocurrencies using a cryptocurrency wallet. Binance Staking is just a simpler and easier way of going about it. Just transfer your coins over, lock them up for a defined period, and they’ll handle the rest.

You’ll receive rewards based on what cryptocurrency you’re staking and how long you’re locking it up for. Head over here to check the latest rates.

More than 40 cryptocurrencies are currently supported on Binance Staking. When I checked, the staking rewards for some cryptocurrencies seemed higher than what you were able to get by lending them out using Binance Earn.

For example: I was able to earn 5.09% APY by staking Cardano (ADA), but was only offered an APY of 1.45% for lending it out via Binance Earn.

Binance Loans

Binance Loans allows you to use your cryptocurrency holdings as collateral for short-term loans (up to 180 days).

The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio depends on what cryptocurrency you’re using as collateral. Currently, the lowest LTV is 50% and the highest is 65%. Head over here to find the current LTV rates for different assets.

What is the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio?

The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio summarises the difference in value between your collateral and the loan that you’re asking for.

For example: If you deposit £1000 of a cryptocurrency and get a £500 loan, then the LTV is 50%. You can calculate this by dividing the loan value by the collateral value (e.g., 500/1000 = 0.5).
What cryptocurrencies can be used as collateral using Binance Loan?

You can use any of the following 13 cryptocurrencies as collateral on Binance Loan:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Binance USD (BUSD)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Eos (EOS)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Tezos (XTZ)

You’ll currently be charged a minimum of 18.98% APR for a 180-day loan, but you’ll be charged higher rates to borrow some cryptocurrencies:

CryptocurrencyLoan TermAPR
Binance Coin (BNB)180 Days120.45%
Binance USD (BUSD)180 Days56.94%
Tether (USDT)180 Days56.94%

These interest rates are higher than Crypto.com Credit and BlockFi – both of which charge a maximum of about 12% APR.

Binance Card

The Binance Visa Card allows you to spend your cryptocurrencies in-store and online. It’ll normally be accepted in places that process Visa card payments (i.e., millions of places).

This crypto debit card is linked to your Binance account, with a separate card wallet that can be topped up with a few cryptocurrencies.

When you use the Binance Visa Card in-store or online, it’ll automatically convert the cryptocurrencies you’re holding in your card wallet in real-time to cover the purchase amount. Pretty cool.

You can also get up to 8% cashback on your purchases, depending on how much Binance Coin (BNB) you’re holding in your Binance wallets.

Binance Coin (BNB) AmountBinance Visa Card Cashback
01%
102%
503%
2004%
5005%
20006%
60008%

Because Binance Coin (BNB) has recently appreciated in price so much, it’d cost more than $2500 to unlock even 2% cashback! Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has recently said that it’d make sense to adjust these requirements in the future.

There aren’t any other benefits of the Binance Visa Card – which is a little underwhelming considering what the Crypto.com Visa Card is offering.

Full list of countries that can get the Binance Visa Card

Residents in the following countries can get the Binance Visa Card:

  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Reunion Romania
  • Saint-Martin
  • Sint Maarten
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
What cryptocurrencies can I add to the Binance Visa Card wallet?

You can currently add the following cryptocurrencies to your Binance Visa Card wallet:

  • Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Binance USD (BUSD)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Swipe (SXP)
How are refunds handled on the Binance Visa Card?

If you get a refund from a merchant, it’ll be refunded back to your card wallet in fiat currency – NOT the cryptocurrency you paid with.

Find out more here.

Can you withdraw cash at an ATM using the Binance Visa Card?

Yes, you should be able to withdraw cash at most ATMs (according to this).

More Information

The Binance Visa Card is powered by Swipe, which Binance acquired in July 2020 for an undisclosed sum.

For more information about the Binance Visa Card, check out this page on their website or their FAQ pages about it.

Binance Coin (BNB)

At the time of writing, Binance Coin (BNB) has the 4th largest market capitalisation on CoinMarketCap.

Binance Coin (BNB) was launched in July 2017 as part of Binance’s initial coin offering (ICO). The supply was capped at 200 million, with 100 million Binance Coin (BNB) offered in the ICO. At the time, this helped them to raise $15 million.

It was originally an ERC-20 token (i.e., running on the Ethereum network), but was migrated over to the Binance Chain in April 2019.

One of the biggest benefits of Binance Coin (BNB) is that you unlock a discount when you use it to pay your trading fees on Binance. This discount is currently 25% on spot markets, but it’s slowly being reduced over time.

Every quarter, Binance has also committed to using 20% of their company’s profits to buy Binance Coin (BNB) and destroy (i.e., ‘burn’) it. They’ll keep doing this until they’ve destroyed half of the total supply (i.e., 100 million BNB).

In their 13th quarterly Binance Coin (BNB) burn, Binance destroyed about 2.2 million Binance Coin (BNB). This had an approximate value of $68 million.

You can find out a little more on their website here or in its original whitepaper.

Security

Binance has a range of security features that can be turned on in your account.

This includes:

  • U2F support (i.e., YubiKeys).
  • 2FA support (e.g., Google Authenticator).
  • SMS and email address verification.
  • Address whitelisting (i.e., only allow withdrawals to designated addresses).
  • Anti-phishing codes (small code that will be included in all Binance emails).

Once these features are turned on, you’ll have to verify each withdrawal you attempt to make from Binance.

According to the CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark (February 2021), Binance has a security rating of 11.1 out of 20 (scored A). This is the 10th highest security rating given to a cryptocurrency exchange in this report.

However, Binance did suffer a significant security compromise in May 2019. In this breach, hackers were able to withdraw 7000 Bitcoin (BTC) – which, at the time, was valued at about $41 million.

Binance used their Secure Asset Fund for Users (i.e., SAFU fund) to completely cover the loss of funds – so no one was left out of pocket. This SAFU fund is a separate cold wallet that contains 10% of all the trading fees generated on Binance. It was created in 2018 to cover cases like this.

In another incident, some Binance users had the information they’d submitted to verify their accounts leaked. The source of this leak appears to have been a third-party vendor that was used for a few months between 2017 and 2018, according to Binance.

Customer Support

Customer service is something that cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance seem to struggle with – especially during bull markets.

You can only contact customer support on Binance via live chat (accessible via a widget in the bottom right of the browser). Support requests will be closed if you don’t add a reply every 24 hours – which really sucks.

It has a 2-star rating on Trustpilot (1000+ reviews), but many of the ones I read through seemed like spam – so this is a distorted picture.

Nonetheless, people seem to be consistently reporting issues with their support.

There have also been multiple threads on Reddit about this (e.g., here and here).

In recent Clubhouse sessions, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has said that improving customer support is “not an easy problem to solve” but that’s is something he’s personally prioritised.

Binance Alternatives

Alternatives to Binance include Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini – each of which has AA rankings in CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark Report (February 2021).

Of these four options, Binance has the largest number of cryptocurrencies available for trading. But although they’ve recently added several GBP trading pairs, they’ve still got less available than Coinbase or Kraken.

Cryptocurrency Exchange# of Cryptocurrencies (UK)# of GBP Trading Pairs
Binance250+12
Coinbase40+22
Kraken50+23
Gemini82

Check how it compares to these alternatives in my roundup of the best cryptocurrency exchanges.

Summary: Best Cryptocurrency Exchange?

There’s a lot to like about Binance.

Here’s what stood out to me:

  • It supports more cryptocurrencies than any other cryptocurrency exchange (250+).
  • You’ll be charged lower trading fees than popular alternatives like Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini (max 0.1%).
  • Deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments) for FREE. After my initial deposit, the money I’ve sent has been credited in about 15 minutes.

It’s more than just a cryptocurrency exchange, too.

It allows you to earn interest (via Binance Earn), generate yields by staking 40+ cryptocurrencies (via Binance Staking), use your cryptocurrency to get loans (via Binance Loans), and more.

You can explore what Binance has to offer yourself – without needing to verify your identity or address. Just head over to its website to quickly create an account.

Binance Website

Any Questions?

Thanks for reading this Binance review!

Have a question about Binance or the Binance Card that I haven’t touched on?

Just comment below and let me know!

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