BitFlyer Exchange Review 2021 - Is It Safe?
Account Maintenance Fee: FREE
Bitcoin Transaction Fee: 0.01% ~ 0.15%
Altcoin Transaction Fee: 0.20%
Buy position: 0.04% payment (per day)
Sell position: 0.04% payment (per day)
bitFlyer is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. Liquidity-wise this platform is a leader of the national market and one of the best-performing exchanges in the world. To date, the number of users is over 2 million.
- Currencies Supported by bitFlyer
- Account Types
- Types of Exchanges Provided by bitFlyer
- bitFlyer Fees Review
- bitFlyer API
- How to Use bitFlyer Exchange?
- Customer Support
- Is bitFlyer Safe?
At on a highly competitive market of cryptocurrency exchanges it would be impossible for bitFlyer to become №1 exchange without providing all the popular features, a convenient interface, and having a decent security level. Unlike Bitbank which is one of the biggest rivals of the platform in Japan, bitFlyer is not focused only on the national market and provides easily accessible service overseas. According to the company, more than half of the BTC/JPY trading volume is coming from bitFlyer. Also, users can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies 24/7. Moreover, this platform accepts fiat money. It is considered that bitFlyer meets the needs of high-volume and professional traders the best. All the services can be accessed in the bitFlyer application. The app is available for Android and Apple mobile devices. There are no reasons to question if bitFlyer is safe or not as the platform is considered to be one of the most regulated and protected cryptocurrency platforms on the market.
The exchange was founded in 2014 by Yuzo Kano and Takafumi Komiyama. Prior to the launch of bitFlyer both of them were working for Goldman Sachs. Originally the exchange was based in Tokyo. At this moment bitFlyer has offices in the US and Luxembourg. The website has three versions: a Japanese one, a USA version, and one for the EU residents. The platform has licenses that make it legally available in Japan, EU countries, and most of the states of the USA. bitFlyer has powerful partners such as Mizuho Financial Group, Digital Currency Group, and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.
Currencies Supported by bitFlyer
Currently, bitFlyer supports such fiat currencies as Japanese yen, American dollar, and Euro. Fiat money can be deposited to the exchange through wire transfer. In the EU countries, customers may buy cryptocurrencies directly using a credit card and such payment solutions as Giropay, Sofort, etc. According to user reports, usually, money appears on the account after a time span not surpassing several hours. bitFlyer users from any country can trade all the supported coins although Japanese customers can trade one more coin — XRP. Besides Bitcoin and Ethereum, one can trade Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Lisk, and Monacoin. The minimum amount that can be traded on the Bitcoin Market is 0.00001 BTC.
bitFlyer is supporting Segregated Witness (SegWit) so the transactions are not subjected to malleability. SegWit removes transaction signatures from the hashes of transactions so these signatures are not needed for the creation of transaction IDs. Moreover, SegWit helps to minimize the block size more than two times.
There are two types of accounts on this platform. They provide almost the same opportunities but there are differences, too. In order to create a Trade Class account, the user has to provide such information as full legal name, date of birth, country of birth, address, nationality, identification document number, and phone number. With Trade Class account users can deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies and fiat money. For EU users the limitations are as follows: they can send up to €249.99 worth of cryptocurrencies in one transaction and cannot deposit more than €2,499.99 worth of cryptocurrencies per year. Trade Class account owners have access to the Lightning Exchange and can trade cryptocurrencies there or use a simplified version of the exchange for buying or selling coins quickly. Those users who provide more data and verify their ID and prove the residence location can have Trade Pro accounts. The functionality of this class of account is the same, but it has no annual limitations or transaction amount limits.
Another supported type of account is a corporate account. For registration of such an account, a representative has to provide documentation about the company.
Types of Exchanges Provided by bitFlyer
There are several exchange types on bitFlyer platform. The basic one is Bitcoin Market. It has some unusual features. For example, in the History section, besides the list of withdrawals, deposits, and other standard operations, one can see a record of all losses and profits. It is possible to check the history of orders associated with a certain market. That's a nice feature for those who rely on technical analysis or those who want to estimate possible risks or profits of the markets presented on bitFlyer.
Charts indicate both opening and closing prices and can be customized by users through the use of numerous tools. Traders can communicate via a live chat (although this feature can't be called unique). It is possible to place the market and limit orders on the basic exchange. On Bitcoin Market traders buy bitcoins from bitFlyer and sell bitcoins to the platform. This exchange is free (it means that users don't have to pay fees).
Another type of exchange is Lightning FX. Also, there are such exchanges as Lightning Futures and Lightning Spot. All of them can be used for trade of different assets although the interface is the same. On the left, there is a menu containing Trade, Chat, History (profits and losses), News, Settings, API, and other sections. Right on the exchange dashboard, there's a box displaying the latest news related to the cryptocurrency industry. That's quite a rare feature.
In order to use any of these exchanges, traders must upgrade their accounts. Those who only start to use Lightning FX, Futures, or Lightning Spot can first try a demo version (tutorial mode) of the exchange. The overview of the exchange is quite standard. It contains the graph, order book, the bid/ask list, and prices, and the section with the Buy and Sell boxes. At the bottom of the page, there are sections with the open orders, the execution history box, and the live chat. The interface is quite intuitive and convenient.
FX exchange supports margin trading (please note that this feature is not available for the EU residents). The leverage on bitFlyer is 1:4. The minimum deposit sufficient for margin trading is 0.01 BTC. Margin trading on FX Lightning has a protection measure named "margin call". This measure triggers a cut-off mechanism in the cases when the free margin on the trading account drops below the margin requirements for maintaining the open positions.
Unlike Bitcoin Market, Lightning FX supports such options as stop-loss and take-profit orders. Stop-loss orders secure traders from losses (such orders get canceled automatically if the price becomes unprofitable). Take-profit orders are similar to limit orders and get closed as soon as it reaches a specific level of profit (if not, it gets closed at market price). Other options are trailing orders, Fill-or-Kill, Good ‘Til Cancelled, Immediate or Cancel. Such diversity in order type options helps professional traders not to lose money and get some profit regardless of the market trends. It’s understood that these orders should be used wisely.
What is really unique is that besides the choice of order types and sophisticated flexible graphs the Lightning FX exchange uses sound. So even if the trader is focused on some visual information in the next tab, he/she will never miss the critically important news if the sound is on. Of course, those who don't like to hear the sound signals can easily turn them off.
bitFlyer Fees Review
The fee system on bitFlyer is quite complex as the company hosts several platforms. It's hardly a surprise but the creation of the account is free. Also, there is no maintenance fee. Both of these facts are mentioned on the bitFlyer website.
Trading fees are different for each currency. It can vary depending on the platform. On Lightning Spot and Bitcoin Easy Exchange, the fee is 0.01 to 0.15%. The bigger monthly trade volume is, the smaller is the fee. On Bitcoin Market and Lightning FX/Futures exchanges, users don't have to pay trading fees at all.
Altcoins trading fees are not the same on different bitFlyer platforms, too. The Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash trading fee on Lightning Spot is around 0.2% while on Altcoin Market the fee is not charged. Also, trading ETH against JPY is free of charge.
Transactions on bitFlyer are not free. The bitcoin transaction fee is 0.0004 BTC. The Ethereum and Ethereum Classic transaction fees are 0.005. The Litecoin transaction fee is 0.001 LTC. The Bitcoin Cash transaction fee is 0.0002 BCH. The Lisk transaction fee is 0.1 LSK. Traders using bitWire can make Bitcoin and altcoin transactions for free. More than that, Monacoin transactions are free, it doesn't matter if the trader is using bitWire or not.
JPY deposit fee is zero for those who deposit via SBI Sumishin Net Bank. Depositing through other banks costs 330 JPY. JPY withdrawals vary from 220 JPY to 770 JPY depending on the bank and the amount of money to be withdrawn. The Mitsui Sumitomo Bank customers pay less than others.
bitFlyer Lightning has two APIs: HTTP API and Realtime API. It is worth mentioning that in certain regions the functionality of these APIs can be reduced. The full documentation is available here.
How to Use bitFlyer Exchange?
To create an account on bitFlyer one needs to proceed on the homepage of the website, insert the email address in the "your email address" box and click on the SignUp button. Then the user needs to confirm the registration request and verify the email address. The next step is to provide a portion of personal data in order to confirm the identity. The use of the platform without limitations is possible only after submitting the documents.
The information requested by the exchange includes verified ID, place, and date of birth, residence, citizenship, phone number, and other information. The review of the documentation by bitFlyer takes up to several days. These data are needed as the company is following the KYC/AML rules and is focused on security and legitimacy.
Depending on the deposit method the user should register a bank account or send BTC from his/her own BTC wallet address to the address generated by the exchange. Japan residents can avoid using the regular Bitcoin address and fund their accounts via bitWire.
Entry-level traders can opt to buy cryptocurrencies via Bitcoin or Altcoin Market and trade them on FX Lightning. Besides the standard feature of withdrawals of cryptocurrencies, bitFlyer allows withdrawing funds in fiat currencies. It can be executed with the help of bank ACH or through the wire transfer.
bitFlyer is a company that tries its best to provide a quality service. No wonder, it has a strong support center consisting of email support, telephone support (for Japan residents only), and a detailed FAQ section with the info about each step the user makes on the exchange. One can find the needed info using a search box. Besides the Help Center, there are blog articles providing more information on certain topics.
The support team members are usually regarded as polite and helpful. The response time is better than on many other cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Is bitFlyer Safe?
bitFlyer provides users with multi-layered security. Starting with a simple fact that all the users on the platform have to verify their identities makes using bitFlyer safer than the platforms which don't oblige users to identify themselves. Transparency helps to identify fraudsters as well. The main task for such a platform is to safeguard access to each account and protection of the user data. As bitFlyer is a regulated kind of exchange, it does all best to provide security with the help of the law.
It's fair to say that bitFlyer features enough protection measures to prevent malicious activity in the first place instead of pursuing violators. This exchange boasts the early adoption of the multi-signature feature. It helps to avoid malevolent manipulations from the participants of the transactions. 80% of cryptocurrencies are stored in a cold wallet, separate from the network.
All the data associated with the user is encrypted. The platform uses the same encryption as financial institutions. bitFlyer uses DigiCert SSL servers. It has an Extended Validation level (one can see it in the address string, the green address is standing for Extended Validation). It's a sign of powerful server protection. The fact that there is no info about successful bitFlyer hacking attempts only confirms that. Moreover, the exchange uses the SHA-2 function that improves the security of the platform.
Another measure against attacks and unwanted access to the company servers is a firewall. There are internal and external access limitations to the network servers and the address conversion function (NAT) that conceals the addresses of those who interact with the server. All logins are monitored and analyzed. Every day the system is scanned with diverse programs in order to detect a virus. The company is updating its system each time they learn about new viruses, etc.
It is highly recommended not to store money on any exchange. But as long as the user's assets present on the exchange account it's better to take care of their safety. As for the protection measures that can be enabled by the user, there are many options, too. First off, the user is not only encouraged to set a strong password but also can get automated assistance in this task. When setting the password the user can go through the password strength check. The users are required to set the password 9 to 100 characters while commonly used strings of characters are counted as one character. The password can include lower and upper case letters, symbols, and numbers. The use of only one of these categories is not allowed. If anyone puts an incorrect password several times in the row attempting to enter the account, the account gets temporarily blocked.
More than that, there's a quite common for cryptocurrency exchanges security measure as 2-factor authentication. When enabled this protection option requests a one-time password from anyone who is trying to enter an account. These passwords can be found only on one of the user's mobile devices and expire in 30 seconds. There's no need or ability to write such a password down to use it later, it won't work. To enable 2-factor authentication the user should install Google Authenticator or a similar app to the mobile device. Access to the account without this device will become impossible. Alternatively, it is possible to set 2-factor authentication via the email address or SMS-code.
Another convenient feature is that each time when one logs in to the account, the owner is getting an email informing her/him of that. These emails contain a link that immediately freezes the account. So if the account gets accessed by the intruder, the true owner can secure her/his assets in one click. Moreover, the account is logging out automatically if the user doesn't perform any actions in a certain amount of time.
Some actions on bitFlyer result in more checks. Any critical actions (such as serious changes in settings) trigger additional identity verification. For example, the user cannot change the personal registration info without additional identity verification. Moreover, transactions cannot happen without the confirmation of the user identity through emails. As soon as the withdrawal is initiated, the account owner gets an alert email with verification request. This makes it harder for fraudsters to steal one's money.
bitFlyer is a heavily regulated and secure entry-level fiat-to-crypto exchange. Traders who value anonymity and diverse sets of supported currencies won't be delighted by the way bitFlyer is. But the general public, people who don't mind to get identified and those who feel more comfortable using a legit and safe platform will probably regard bitFlyer as a convenient exchange.
I use the API feature and it Surprisingly works great. I got some suspicions, but the exchange is ok.
I really like the exchange, everything works great.