Bitfinex Review

Relatively low fees and advanced features, but a concerning history

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Bitfinex

Bitfinex

overall rating
4.3

Our Take 

Bitfinex is an established cryptocurrency exchange designed for professional traders. This exchange offers several advanced features, relatively low fees, and around 250 supported cryptocurrencies. While Bitfinex may be a good option for experienced traders, new crypto investors may want to look elsewhere.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide range of features and services

  • Relatively low fees for trading and withdrawals

  • Large selection of cryptocurrencies

Cons
  • Has suffered two major hacks

  • Not designed for beginners

  • Long waiting times for account verification

Key Takeaways
  • Bitfinex offers features that appeal to professional traders.
  • Fees are competitive yet not the lowest around. 
  • The exchange boasts some of the highest BTC/USD volume in the industry.
  • The Bitfinex Reporting App provides comprehensive monitoring of one’s portfolio.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2012
  • Official Website Bitfinex.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 171
  • Customer Support Help page, email ticket

Introduction

Bitfinex was founded in 2012, making it among the oldest crypto exchanges available. Designed for professional and institutional traders, this exchange boasts some of the highest BTC/USDT volume in the industry thanks in part to the 100x leverage it offers traders.  

Bitfinex supports a variety of order types, margin trading, and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, making it an ideal platform for experienced traders looking for advanced options and relatively low fees. However, it’s not available in the United States.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

Founded in 2012 by Giancarlo Devasini and Raphael Nicolle, Bitfinex was one of the first crypto exchanges to offer peer-to-peer margin trading. Though this feature helped Bitfinex stand out among an ever-growing list of competitors, Bitfinex has been the subject of multiple hacks and was recently fined by U.S. regulators. 

Despite its history, Bitfinex remains a popular exchange among professional traders and institutional investors. However, potential users may want to proceed with caution given its past security and regulatory issues.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on Bitfinex

Bitfinex supports over 250 cryptocurrencies, including popular options such as:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ethereum (LTC)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • EOS (EOS)

At the time of writing, the most commonly traded currency pairs on Bitfinex were:

  • Bitcoin/U.S. Dollar (BTC/USD)
  • Luna/U.S. Dollar (LUNA/USD)
  • Luna/Bitcoin (LUNA/BTC)
  • Bitcoin/Euro (BTC/EUR)

Trading Experience

For advanced traders, the Bitfinex dashboard is intuitive. Trades can be placed from the order form in the left-hand sidebar, where users can also select different markets and see their balances. The dashboard can be customized to a user’s preference and also includes charts from TradingView, a popular charting tool. 

For those who want to buy crypto, payment methods include bank transfer or wire transfer, cryptocurrency deposit, and the following third-party payment processors:

  • Mercuryo
  • Ownr wallet
  • Simplex

Deposits and withdrawals via bank transfers are only available for verified Bitfinex accounts. Fiat currency withdrawals typically take up to ten business days.  

Bitfinex is one of the few platforms that allows for shorting of cryptocurrencies and leveraged trading strategies. Professionals will enjoy features like these in addition to the Bitfinex Reporting App, which provides detailed portfolio tracking tools.

Fees

Bitfinex’s fees are competitive, though not the lowest in the industry. While most traders will find themselves paying between 0.1% to 0.2% per trade, those with high trading volumes could see their fees fall toward zero. Users trading over $7.5 million per month can place maker trades for free. Discounts also apply for those holding USDt LEO in their accounts.

Action Bitfinex Fee 
Bank deposit 0.1%, minimum fee of $60
Crypto & stablecoin deposits  Free 
Crypto withdrawals  Depends on cryptocurrency 
Crypto-to-crypto, crypto-to-fiat, crypto-to-stablecoin  0.1% maker, 0.2% taker 
Trades  0% - 0.2% 
Derivatives order execution  0.02% maker, 0.065% taker 
Margin funding  15% - 18% 
OTC trades  0% - 0.1% 

Security

Bitfinex has ramped up security after suffering several major breaches in the past. It supports two-factor authentication (2FA) and wallet address whitelisting, and 99.5% of user funds are held in multi-signature cold storage. 

This exchange has also implemented ongoing account monitoring to help identify any suspicious activity. It monitors login data and IP addresses, and users can freeze their accounts if they suspect their information has been compromised.

Bitfinex also employs several back-end security features, like DDoS protection and real-time data backups. 

Opening a Bitfinex Account

If you’re a serious trader dealing with large amounts of capital, then Bitfinex could be worth considering. 

Bitfinex restricts access to users in the following countries: Crimea, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and the United States.

To begin, visit Bitfinex.com and select "Open Account." You’ll be taken to a signup form where you’ll need to provide your email, username, password, and time zone. After that, you’ll be asked to confirm your email. Follow the link in the confirmation email to finish creating your account.

At this point, your Bitfinex account has been created. But to make your account more secure, you will need to enable two-factor authentication (2FA). 

To deposit or withdraw fiat currencies like USD or Euro, you will need to verify your account, which takes 2-3 days for most users. 

Options for both verification and 2FA can be found in the upper-right corner under the “Manage Account” drop-down menu. To verify your account, you’ll need to submit documents to confirm your identity, name and address, bank information, and fill out a know-your-customer (KYC) form. 

Customer Service

Bitfinex offers 24/7 support via email ticket. This is the only support option available to users other than an extensive help page. While many exchanges offer a live chat or chatbot option, Bitfinex offers neither. 

Customer Satisfaction

Despite its limited support options, Bitfinex has better-than-average user reviews when it comes to customer support. Positive reviews related to customer service are rare for crypto exchanges, which helps set Bitfinex apart from some of its competitors. The company has also taken the time to respond to many customer reviews, highlighting its commitment to customer satisfaction.

Account Management

In addition to its online dashboard, Bitfinex also has a mobile app available for iOS and Android. Users can log in to the app using either their username and password or an API provided by Bitfinex. Both web and mobile users can access advanced charting tools and features like order book customization. 

To keep track of their trading activity, users can access the "Orders" and "Orders History" options at the bottom of the dashboard. 

How Bitfinex Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

Bitfinex’s fees are comparable to competitors' fees, though not the lowest available. Most traders will encounter fees of about 0.2% on Bitfinex. Compare this to 0.1% for exchanges like Binance and KuCoin or 0.6% for exchanges like Coinbase. With over 250 cryptocurrencies available, the selection offered by Bitfinex is also larger than some competitors. 

Bitfinex has received more positive user reviews than some competitors. And while they only offer one support option (email ticket), users generally report positive experiences with customer support. 

Bitstamp vs. Bitfinex 

Bitstamp and Bitfinex are both established crypto exchanges geared towards more advanced traders. While the exchanges are quite similar in many ways, there are some important differences to be aware of:

  • Bitstamp offers just over 50 cryptocurrencies while Bitfinex offers at least 250.
  • Bitfinex offers more advanced order types than Bitstamp.
  • Bitstamp is available in the U.S., while Bitfinex is not.
  • Bitfinex offers leverage of up to 100x.
  • Bitstamp has slightly higher fees than Bitfinex. Most Bitstamp users can expect to pay 0.50% for trades, while Bitfinex charges between 0.1% to 0.2% for most users.

While professionals could find either exchange useful, most are likely to prefer Bitfinex for its slightly lower fees, additional order types and trading features, and a wider selection of currencies. 

Final Verdict

Bitfinex is known for being the exchange of choice for professional traders and institutional investors. This exchange offers many features that appeal to this user base. Up to 100x leverage, several different order types, and sophisticated performance tracking tools are just the beginning. 

Those new to crypto trading might be better off with an exchange like Coinbase, which offers a more user-friendly platform and fewer advanced features and tools.

Methodology 

The Balance is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.


Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the data collection and review processes and weighted data points, is available for review.