bitFlyer Review

Supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, but few other cryptocurrencies

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bitFlyer

bitFlyer

overall rating
4.3

Our Take

bitFlyer is a cryptocurrency exchange offering a low-fee way to purchase Bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies. Designed for both beginner and advanced crypto traders, bitFlyer offers some of the lowest fees available, as well as advanced charting and trading tools. While its low fees are attractive, this exchange offers fewer coins than many competitors, so users seeking more selection may want to look elsewhere.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very low fees

  • All customer crypto stored offline in cold storage

  • Buy crypto for as little as $1

Cons
  • Only supports five cryptocurrencies

  • Trading platform is a bit dated

  • High withdrawal minimums

Key Takeaways
  • bitFlyer is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Japan.
  • bitFlyer offers low trading fees, but only when using its “Lightning” exchange.
  • bitFlyer supports very few cryptocurrencies, focusing on Bitcoin and Ethereum for most of its trading.
  • bitFlyer is open to traders in Europe and the U.S., though is not available in 12 U.S. states.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2014
  • Official Website https://bitflyer.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 5
  • Customer Support Email

Introduction

bitFlyer is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers buying, selling, and trading of a few cryptocurrencies. It has some of the lowest trading fees in the industry, with discounts available for high-volume traders. bitFlyer only supports five cryptocurrencies, as well as several types of fiat currency.

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

bitFlyer was founded in 2014 in Japan, and it launched bitFlyer USA in 2016. bitFlyer boasts that it is the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world by volume, transacting over $250 billion in Bitcoin per year. While bitFlyer operates in Japan, Europe, and the United States, it’s not currently available in 12 U.S. states, including California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

bitFlyer has some of the lowest fees available for trading crypto, with transaction fees as low as 0.03%. While it only supports a small number of cryptocurrencies, the fees are far lower than what you’d see with many large exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on bitFlyer

bitFlyer only supports five cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). bitFlyer supports a few other cryptocurrencies in certain countries, such as XRP and MonaCoin in Japan only.

Popular cryptocurrencies such as Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), and Avalanche (AVAX) are not available on bitFlyer.

Trading Experience

For users that want to buy crypto, bitFlyer offers a simple purchase experience through its desktop and mobile dashboards. Customers can make instant purchases by depositing fiat currencies into their accounts via wire or ACH transfer, free of charge. Users can also deposit crypto via a digital wallet to trade on the bitFlyer platform. 

bitFlyer allows customers to buy crypto with as little as $1, though there are minimum withdrawal amounts for each cryptocurrency. Users can make spot purchases of crypto using limit orders, or purchase at current market prices using a market order.

Fees

bitFlyer offers some of the lowest fees available for buying and trading crypto. Fees for crypto trades are as low as 0.03% for the highest-volume traders, which is far lower than many centralized exchanges. But debit card purchases tack on an additional transaction fee, so be wary of buying crypto on bitFlyer with a debit card.

Users can also receive a 25% discount on trading fees if they pay those fees using the bitFlyer native token, bitFlyer Coin (BNB).

Action bitFlyer Fee 
Debit/Credit card purchase  1.95%
ACH Transfer  Free deposit and withdrawal 
Wire Transfer  Free deposit - $20 withdrawal 
Crypto Conversion  0.03% to 0.10% 
Trades  0.03% to 0.10% 

bitFlyer Lightning Fees

bitFlyer offers much lower fees for those who use its Lightning Exchange for purchases. This is more like a typical crypto trading platform, and offers fees from 0.03% to 0.10%, depending on the user’s monthly trade volume.

Here is a breakdown of the bitFlyer fee structure for Lightning Exchange trades:

Past 30 day volume Lightning Spot 
$0 - Less than $50,000 0.10%
$50,000 - Less than $500,000  0.09% 
$500,000 - Less than $1 million  0.08% 
$1 million - Less than $5 million  0.07% 
$5 million - Less than $10 million  0.06% 
$10 million - Less than $50 million  0.05% 
$50 million - Less than $500 million  0.04% 
Over $500 million  0.03% 

bitFlyer does offer instant purchases of crypto, but charges a spread of 0.1% up to 6%, depending on market conditions. These spread fees can be high, so users may be better off trading directly on the Lightning Exchange instead.

Security

bitFlyer follows the standard crypto exchange security protocols, including requiring photo ID verification and recommending two-factor authentication (2FA) for accounts. All exchange servers are encrypted with SHA-256, and most crypto assets are kept in offline cold storage.

Here are some of the security features bitFlyer offers:

  • Bitcoin cold storage: bitFlyer keeps 100% of all customer-owned Bitcoin in offline cold storage. This protects these assets from online hacks.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): bitFlyer recommends two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS, email, or the Google Authenticator app. This allows user logins and withdrawals to be protected.
  • Account freeze email link: bitFlyer sends a confirmation email each time you log in, with a direct link to freeze your account. If a hacker logs into your account, you can immediately freeze the account.

Opening a bitFlyer Account

You can sign up for a bitFlyer account using your email address and a password. Once you verify your email address, you’ll then be required to go through account verification before you can buy and sell crypto. 

Account verification may include submitting a picture of a government-issued photo ID, providing proof of address (using a utility bill), and providing your Social Security number. Once your account is officially verified, you can buy, sell, trade, deposit, and withdraw cryptocurrency on bitFlyer.

Customer Service

bitFlyer only offers email support, and users can only contact the support team by filling out the bitFlyer contact form. The platform also offers a small library of help articles, as well as user education materials on its blog. There is no phone or live chat support available, but bitFlyer typically responds to social media support requests through its dedicated Twitter account.

Customer Satisfaction

bitFlyer hasn’t received many customer reviews, so it isn’t easy to assess if users have had a good experience on the platform or not. A limited number of customer complaints seem to be in relation to the bitFlyer referral program not paying out as advertised. There aren’t many reviews praising the company either, so customer satisfaction is a mixed bag overall. 

Account Management

bitFlyer offers a web-based platform as well as a mobile app that allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto, though only a handful of digital assets are supported. Users can manage their accounts from web browsers, with the ability to secure their accounts, deposit funds, purchase crypto, and withdraw funds to a supported wallet.

bitFlyer also offers a mobile app that operates much like the web-based platform. The mobile app offers a dashboard where users can view their portfolio and trade history, as well as buy, sell, and trade crypto. App users can also set up recurring purchases and monitor market prices of supported cryptocurrencies.

How bitFlyer Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

bitFlyer is a low-fee option for those who want to invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum. It only has five supported cryptocurrencies, but it offers lower fees than most exchanges (when using its Lightning Exchange). 

bitFlyer keeps all user assets offline, with trading liquidity provided by the exchange, and user assets are held in cold storage. It also allows purchases for as little as $1, making the barrier to entry very low for beginners. 

Here’s how bitFlyer compares to a large crypto exchange in the U.S.

bitFlyer vs. Coinbase

bitFlyer and Coinbase both offer access to Bitcoin and Ethereum. These exchanges also keep most crypto assets in cold storage, with multi-signature wallets for safekeeping. And both are regulated, following know-your-customer (KYC) identity verification to keep the platforms safe.

Both bitFlyer and Coinbase operate in multiple locations around the globe, but Coinbase is by far the larger crypto exchange (by volume).

Here are a few other differences between bitFlyer and Coinbase:

  • Coinbase offers crypto custodial services, securing users' digital assets in offline storage with insurance coverage, while bitFlyer does not.
  • bitFlyer offers extremely low trading fees, as low as 0.03%, while Coinbase fees are 1.49% or more.
  • Coinbase allows users to stake or lend their crypto not earn interest, while bitFlyer does not.
  • bitFlyer is available in 38 U.S. states, while Coinbase is available in 49 U.S. states.

bitFlyer is designed for Bitcoin and Ethereum investors that want access to low-fee trading, while Coinbase is a full-fledged crypto-exchange aimed at beginner investors. While bitFlyer offers a small selection of crypto assets, Coinbase supports over 100. Coinbase also offers the ability to earn interest on crypto assets, or even borrow against them.

Final Verdict

bitFlyer is a low-fee option for U.S. traders, but only when using its Lightning Exchange. Users that opt for the “Buy Now” feature may pay up to 6% spread fees, making it one of the most expensive exchanges. bitFlyer focuses on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a few other cryptocurrencies, and it offers very few extras, with no staking, lending, or advanced trading available.

Overall, bitFlyer is a decent option for crypto traders who want extremely low trading fees when buying Bitcoin. But users who want more functionality and a larger selection of crypto will want to look elsewhere.

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. 

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
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  2. bitFlyer. "bitFlyer Homepage Footer." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  3. bitFlyer. “About Us.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  4. bitFlyer. “Fees.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  5. CoinMarketCap. “bitFlyer.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  6. bitFlyer. “What Is the Minimum Crypto Withdrawal Amount for Each Token Listed on bitFlyer?” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  7. bitFlyer. "Buy Bitcoin with a Credit Card or Debit Card on bitFlyer." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022. 

  8. bitFlyer. “Security.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  9. bitFlyer. “Where Are Your BTC Stored?” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  10. CoinMarketCap. “Exchanges.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  11. Coinbase. “Coinbase Pricing and Fees Disclosures.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.