What Is Bitfinex?
Bitfinex is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. It was founded in Hong Kong in 2012 by Raphael Nicolle. Initially, it was a peer-to-peer margin lending platform for BTC, but later, other cryptocurrencies were made available and Bitfinex has turned into a cryptocurrency exchange. From the very beginning, the platform was aimed to attract users from the US. Now the exchange is used internationally. Bitfinex provides the opportunity of trading fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies and that's one of the reasons why this platform requires identity verification. The platform is quite popular and has a big trading volume. According to Coingecko, Bitfinex is one of the top 5 exchange by trading volume. The CEO of Bitfinex is JL van der Velde. The location of Bitfinex headquarters is Taipei, Taiwan.
Nevertheless, Bitfinex has experienced serious safety issues including at least two successful hacking attempts resulted in millions of USD worth of cryptocurrencies stolen, allegations of insolvency which were denied by the company, and a lawsuit filed by New York General Attorney regarding the malicious activity in association with Tether. Due to the increasing complexity of work in the sphere of cryptocurrencies in the USA, Bitfinex had to make a decision to stop its service for US customers.
So, is Bitfinex safe to use in 2020? Are they taking all the necessary measures to provide security of users' funds? Are there any problems with using the exchange now? Let us find out.
One of the reasons for the success of this platform is quite a simple interface. Despite being a multi-functional the exchange is quite easy in use. The combination of this user-friendliness and diversity of features makes the exchange suitable both for experienced traders and novices. Users can customize the interface, composing their own layouts of the market information, changing colors, and so on. Both mobile and desktop versions of the website are convenient. More than that, there's an Android and iOS applications available for users.
As it was mentioned, the exchange has a high trading volume, so orders get triggered quickly. The trading process goes quite smoothly in real-time. Moreover, Bitfinex boasts a wide range of trading functions. Probably this exchange has one of the most sophisticated and diverse sets of options. It makes this platform usable for professional traders and helps to secure oneself from losses. The platform provides users with the following spectrum of orders:
— Market orders (this buy/sell order is triggered immediately at the best available current price on the market; such orders are good for those interested in a swift execution rather than the better price)
— Limit orders (a buy (ask) or a sell (bid) order placed for a purpose to match with future market orders posted by someone else. The order will trigger for specified or better price. As limit orders make liquidity, the platform collects smaller fees for limit orders)
— Stop orders (these orders are not active until the market reaches a stop level which is specified by the trader. As soon as the Stop level is reached, stop order turns into a regular limit or market order)
— Trailing stop orders (the price in such order is set with some space left for the current market price to grow or go down. In case if the trend favors the trader this order will bring additional profit turning into a limit or market order as stop level is reached. If the trend changes direction, this order may close)
— Post-only limit order (if the limit order is executed immediately, the trader has to pay a higher (the taker) trading fee. To avoid such a situation, one might place a post-only limit order that won't get triggered immediately even if its price is suitable for that)
— Fill or kill (the trader sets the lifetime of the order. If the order is not filled entirely during this time, it cancels)
— One cancels other (OCO) order (a pair of orders; if one of them is executed, the other one gets canceled immediately)
— Hidden order (hidden orders are not displayed in the order book)
Margin trading is available on Bitfinex (you probably remember that this platform was created for margin trading from the very beginning). The conditions are the following: the user must have at least 30% of the borrowed sum on the account. The loan market provides assets for margin trading as users may lend the funds to margin traders. Margin trading and funding are applicable both for cryptocurrencies and fiat money.
Another nice feature supported on Bitfinex is OTC trading (over-the-counter trading). This feature is especially convenient for those who want to decrease the risks while trading large amounts. OTC trading helps to avoid some of the limitations of the exchange and safeguard the trader from possible negative influences of the current market situation.
This exchange supports several fiat currencies. They are the US dollar, Japanese Yen, Euro, and the British pound sterling. There are over 150 assets that can be traded against USD on Bitfinex while only 10 currencies can be traded against EUR and even less against GBP and JPY. Around 100 currencies can be traded at the Bitcoin market and over 110 assets can be traded against Ethereum. There are around 20 currencies at the USDT market, and much less at the rest markets (EOS, XLM, DAI, XCHF, and CNHt).
If we speak of cryptocurrency, this exchange supports most of the popular assets and was one of the first to add IOTA (MIOTA) to the list. It's understood that such currencies as BTC, ETH, USDT, XRP, EOS, BCH, BSV, LTC, ETC, XLM, ZEC, ZRX, NEO, DASH, and many others are on the list, too.
Like many other platforms, Bitfinex has a referral program.
One of the advanced features is the Co-Location Services. In order to increase the trading speed, the owners of corporate accounts and professional traders might use the special servers in the data centers located in Switzerland. Connecting with Virtual Private Servers provides traders with RAM and CPU power and advanced SSD storage. Also, users might request access to FIX Feed and ISP Links in order to strengthen the security of the traded assets. Institutional connectivity of Bitfinex accounts is conducted with the help of a partner company, Market Synergy.
Another advanced feature available for corporate and verified professional traders is the opportunity to create several sub-accounts managed by a single entity. There are some possible benefits of using sub-accounts. Bitfinex considers the biggest trading volume of all sub-accounts to provide lower fees to all the accounts associated with the person. The owner of sub-accounts doesn't have to verify all of them. The only account that should be verified is the master account.
Moreover, corporate account holders can enjoy the assistance of the tier one customer support. The help is provided by the best professionals of Bitfinex who are capable of solving queries associated with the high-volume trading activity. According to the website, this team includes specialists in trading and analysts with a deep understanding of the Bitfinex functionality.
If using WebSocket, traders can work with Snapshots. To avoid the latency of the network, Bitfinex sends the full data snapshot once and then only sends the updates. The initial data is updated by the trader on his/her side.
Through the use of CRC checksums and sequencing, the trader can make sure that the data is comprehensive and relevant. These features are managed via the messaging in the configuration channel.
Registration and Verification of the Account
The registration process on the Bitfinex exchange is simple. The user is required to provide a username, email address, set (and confirm) the password, and choose the time zone. After clicking on the Open Account button the potential user needs to check the mail and tap on the confirmation link from the email sent by the exchange. The user should confirm that she/he is not a US citizen because the US residents are not allowed on the Bitfinex exchange.
Without verification of the account, users can trade and make transactions but enjoy fewer opportunities. There are two types of account verification on Bitfinex: intermediate verification and full verification.
Users with intermediate verification cannot do any operations with fiat money but allowed to deposit and withdraw Tether tokens (USDT) and other stablecoins. Also, the intermediate level gives users access to UNUS SED LEO which provides the opportunity to participate in fee discounts associated with different currencies. Deposits and transactions are processed quicker with the verification. Intermediate verification is requested via email.
Full verification provides more benefits. Probably, the most prominent feature is the opportunity to deposit, trade, and withdraw fiat currencies although there are strong limitations — the minimum deposit and withdrawal amount is 10,000 USD, EUR, or GBP or 1,000,000 JPY.
As the registration of the account is complete, the user should take care of security. It's understood that the password that the user sets should be as strong as possible, but there are many other things to do to increase the level of security. The platform provides many options that are supposed to make the use of Bitfinex safe.
2-factor authentication (also known as 2fa) is one of the most popular protection measures on the Internet now. Usually, 2fa means nothing but the use of Google Authenticator that generates temporary one-time passwords on the user's device so a hacker wouldn't be able to enter the account without the access to a certain device. In the case of Bitfinex, there are more options for 2-factor authentication. Google Authenticator option can be applied to such actions as confirmations withdrawals, logins, changes in security settings, changes in sensitive account settings, API key creation, and password changes. Besides the Google authentication option, there is an opportunity to use an unhackable USB Physical Security Key provided by FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F). This key safeguards the same set of actions. The only difference is that with such protection the account access cannot be obtained without the physical possession of this device.
Another useful feature is email encryption. This security measure is realized through the use of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) program using cryptographic means to secure the data. To encrypt the email communication with Bitfinex, one needs to provide the exchange with the personal public key of PGP.
Also, there are options for keeping sessions alive. Users can choose the option of automatic log out from the account after 30 minutes if the account is not active. More than that, the user might turn on email notifications informing about every login to the account. These emails contain IP addresses used while logging in and the time stamp. What is especially useful, it is possible to freeze the account using the special link that can be found in such an email. Another option is to set the automatic termination of all sessions in the case when the new IP address is used for logging in. The user can add one or several IP addresses to the whitelist and forbid all the other addresses from logging ins. Also, there's a login history so it's possible to audit the account visits.
Another way how users can avoid stealing their money is by setting the Withdrawal Addresses Whitelist. The user can disable withdrawals of chosen currencies if the withdrawal of these assets is not necessary for the nearest time. Changing these preferences aiming to reduce security will automatically block withdrawals for 5 days in order to prevent malicious activity.
Finally, there are so-called "Withdrawal Settings" that help to increase the safety of the user funds. One of these settings is a Monitor WIthdrawals by IP option. All requests for withdrawal made from new IP addresses trigger the platform to send the user an email in which he/she should verify the withdrawal. In 24 hours, the funds cannot leave the account. Moreover, the account owner might add a secret phrase that should be used to confirm the withdrawal of funds.
It's safe to say that the Bitfinex exchange did a lot of work to provide users with diverse, convenient, and efficient security measures. Some of these options were provided after the series of infamous hacks. It means that the current level of security is much better and the company is working to improve its service.
How to Use Bitfinex?
When the account is set and the security measures are enabled, one can start trading. First, the user should deposit some money on the account. There's a horizontal menu in the upper-right part of the Bitfinex home page. The user should tap on the Deposit button and specify the currency that should be deposited (there are the following options: USD, USDT, and the list of cryptocurrencies). Then, it's required to follow further directions depending on the type of deposit (there are differences depending on, for example, if the deposit is executed via the wire transfer, or is it a cryptocurrency transaction, and so on).
The next thing that one should learn after funding the account is how to trade on Bitfinex. The process is actually very intuitive. In the upper-left part of the website interface, the user should tap on the Trading button. The pop-up menu will provide a list of accessible trading assets. The user should specify a trading pair and the type of order. It was already described above what are the differences between the types of orders. As Bitfinex was developed by quite an experienced team, it provides a stable and quick trading process.
The withdrawal of funds is designed similar to the deposit option. One can find the Withdraw button next to the Deposit button, choose the currency, set the quantity, and insert the wallet address. There's absolutely nothing special about the withdrawal of funds on Bitfinex.
It's important to remember that the platform charges users with fees. Just like on most other cryptocurrency exchanges, deposits on Bitfinex are not charged with fees. Trading fees depend on a couple of factors. First off, the fee depends on the trading volume the trader had in the last 30 days. Those who trade more, pay fewer fees. Also, Bitfinex incentivizes the users another way by charging takers (those who fill the orders from the order book) a bigger fee than makers (those who increase liquidity on the exchange by posting new limit orders). The maximum trading fees start with 0.1% charged from makers and 0.2% charged from takers.
Bitfinex traders can benefit from derivatives trading. The makers can receive a rebate for posting limit orders while takers have to pay fees. Margin trading fees vary from 15 to 18% on Bitfinex. Withdrawal fees are flat and different for each currency. Withdrawal of Bitcoin costs 0.0004 BTC, the Litecoin withdrawal fee is 0.001 LTC, Ethereum withdrawal is 0.00135 ETH, Monero is 0.0001 XMR, Ripple is 0.1 XRP, and so on. In general, we can say that Bitfinex withdrawal and trading fees are not that high and are quite competitive.
Is Bitfinex Legit?
There are different views on how legit and safe Bitfinex exchange is. On one hand, the exchange is accused of participation in manipulation of the Bitcoin price in late 2017. The alleged manipulation was made in partnership with Tether, the company that has strong ties with Bitfinex, moreover, companies are partly governed by the same people. According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, Bitfinex was using Tether to cover up the losses of the user funds worth $850 million. The company is accused of insolvency, and this question is not properly addressed by Bitfinex. The scandalous hacks that took place in 2015 and 2016 are not making the reputation of Bitfinex look better. On the other hand, some lessons were learned by the Bitfinex team, and the security level was improved. Despite many troubles experienced by the platform and its users, many people still trust Bitfinex, although on the Internet there are many unsatisfied users, as well. Some of them even claim that Bitfinex is a scam because they cannot withdraw their money from the exchange for a long time. It seems that the company still has a lot of work to do to improve its service.
Write your review
usdt is a scam
I guess, many guys have faced the same problem that I have. My account was frozen, and funds were blocked as well. I was demanded to prove my personality, but as I understand it's not enough. The platform dev team have no idea how to deal with that issue, or probably they do that on purpose.
Bitfinex has a large number of different tools of traiding like leverage, margin and etc. Everyone could find something suitable for him. Either way, the support is very responsive and helpful. Nice work, guys.
I've spent on this platform almost 2 years. Frankly, I didn't trade on the exchange a lot. But in my opinion, everything was great. I contacted the supports just a couple of time, and the used to give helpfully advises and instructions. No reasons to criticize the exchange.
Since October 3 my withdrawal in the waiting status, I received the email confirmations but all of them meant nothing, still waiting status. Waiting for what? The support can't approve it manually and I'm still waiting for smth.
My withdrawal was disabled, without having the reasons, but I haven't received my funds back. Money has just Dissapered. That's a disaster, what should I do right now?
I was aware about the long verification process here,but i couldn't imagine that it can be that long. It's been a month, but I still don't have the opportunity to trade. I am able to understand the points of some procedure but that verification beyond my comprehension.
There are way too many shared user experiences of funds being stolen, withdrawals being delayed or held in hostage using kyc and long verification times. Once you send ID to Bitfinex, or any non-government entity, they can be used against you! Extremely unsafe. In the terms of service they say that verification is not needed to deposit and trade (crpyto only), then ask for kyc to withdraw! This is ridiculous! Stay away.
Got funds stolen from their address. Wouldn’t recommend.
Bifinex has some advantages. You can find a big range of high quality assets, good fees and quite good and professional support. Also, it has deep liquidity and mobile app support.
An extremely long verification. I’ve sent the large numbers of my id,photos and docs and it took 3 weeks to have my account fully verified. I kinda like trading here but the verification process is really long.