Poloniex Review

Low-fee crypto trading platform not available in the U.S.

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Poloniex

Poloniex

overall rating
3.8

Our Take 

Poloniex is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the Republic of Seychelles and is not available in the U.S. This exchange offers over 200 supported cryptocurrencies, margin and futures trading, and the ability to lend your crypto to earn interest. While Poloniex offers low fees and discounts for high-volume traders, it has suffered several security breaches over the years. It has also has received numerous user complaints around account lockouts and lost funds, so new users should tread with caution.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large selection of crypto

  • Margin and futures trading

  • Competitive fee structure

Cons
  • Trading interface may be too complicated for new users

  • Not available in the U.S.

  • Security concerns

Key Takeaways
  • Poloniex is a cryptocurrency exchange partially owned by Justin Sun, founder of TRON crypto platform.
  • Poloniex offers limited customer support via email, with no phone or chat support available.
  • Poloniex does not require identity verification for most users to trade.
  • Poloniex is not available to U.S. users, or anyone in U.S. Territories.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2014
  • Official Website www.Poloniex.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 204
  • Customer Support Email

Introduction

Poloniex is an international cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, and trade supported cryptocurrency. It also offers to lend certain crypto, allowing users to stake their crypto on the platform, earning interest in return. Poloniex offers crypto-to-crypto trading, with over 204 support crypto (and more being added regularly). 

We’ve reviewed Poloniex’s platform, fees, user experience, customer service, available crypto, and more to determine if it’s a good option for crypto investors and traders.

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

Poloniex was founded by Tristan D’Agosta in 2014 and was sold to online payments company, Circle, in 2018. It was subsequently spun off into its own entity, owned by a group of investors, including Justin Sun of TRON.network fame. In 2019, Poloniex headquarters moved from the United States to Bermuda for more regulatory flexibility. Today, this exchange is available in most countries around the world, but it does not support a few countries, including the U.S.

Poloniex focuses on crypto-to-crypto trading, with a wide selection of supported cryptocurrencies and very low fees. Designed with active traders in mind, Poloniex offers limit orders, margin and futures trading, and live order books. 

U.S. residents cannot trade on Poloniex, due to charges from the SEC that Poloniex was operating as an unregistered digital asset exchange.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on Poloniex

Poloniex offers access to over 200 cryptocurrencies, giving users a larger selection than most centralized exchanges. Popular crypto offerings include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), Ripple (XRP), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Polkadot (DOT). New cryptocurrencies are being added regularly, and you can view Poloniex’s full list of supported assets.

Poloniex is heavily connected with TRON.network, and it offers its native token, TRX, as a trading pair for most of the popular crypto on the Poloniex platform. It does not support some notable cryptocurrencies, such as Solana (SOL), and Fetch.ai (FET).

Trading Experience

Poloniex offers a basic spot trading experience for users who want to trade crypto pairs, and a margin trading option for those who want to use leverage. For spot trading, users can select a trading pair, create a market or limit order, and submit. For margin trading, users can select from a much smaller selection of crypto, and borrow funds to buy more. For futures trading, Poloniex offers perpetual swaps, which is a type of derivatives contract

Margin trading requires identity verification, but the other types of trading are available to all users. 

Fees

Poloniex offers some of the lowest fees around for trading cryptocurrency, but users will pay a large fee (through a third party) to purchase crypto directly with fiat currency. Poloniex is not a fiat onramp and does not handle fiat purchases directly. Instead, it outsources buying crypto with fiat currency to a third-party called Simplex.

Payment Method Poloniex Fee 
Bank Account N/A
USD Wallet  0.00% to 0.1550% (maker-taker) 
Debit/Credit card  3.5% or $10 minimum (through Simplex) 
ACH Transfer  N/A 
Wire Transfer  N/A 
Crypto Conversion  0.00% to 0.1550% (maker-taker) 
Purchases  3.5% or $10 minimum (through Simplex) 
Trades  0.00% to 0.1550% (maker-taker) 

Here is the fee statement by Poloniex in regards to Simplex fees:

"Simplex charges a 3.5% or $10.00 fee (whichever is greater) for processing card transactions. The price of BTC is quoted by one of Simplex’s 3rd party liquidity providers and might include a spread. You may incur "international transaction" or "cash advance" fees from your own bank or card issuer.”

Poloniex Trading Fees

Poloniex charges fees based on a maker-taker fee model, with discounts available to higher-volume traders. There are also discounts for those that pay transaction fees with the TRX coin. A ‘taker’ is someone that places an order that gets filled immediately, while a ‘maker’ places an order that’s added to the order book until a match is available. Different fees are charged based on whether you are a maker or a taker in the transaction.

Here is a breakdown of the Poloniex trading fee structure:

Tier 30 Day Trading Volume  TRX Balance  Maker / Taker Fee  TRX Maker / Taker Fee 
1 < $50K < $49 0.1450% / 0.1550% 0.1015% / 0.1085%
< $50K  > $49  0.1150% / 0.1250%  0.0805% / 0.0875% 
$50K - $1M  N/A  0.1050% / 0.1200%  0.0735% / 0.0840% 
$1m - $10m  N/A  0.0700% / 0.1150%  0.0490% / 0.0805% 
$10m - $50m  N/A  0.0500% / 0.1100%  0.0350% / 0.0770% 
$50m+  N/A  0.0200% / 0.1000%  0.0140% / 0.0700% 
Poloniex Plus Silver  SILVER  N/A  0.0000% / 0.0600%  0.0000% / 0.0420% 
Poloniex Plus Gold  GOLD  N/A  0.0000% / 0.0400%  0.0000% / 0.0280% 

Clients that apply for Silver or Gold Poloniex Plus status also receive a further discount. Qualifications for the Poloniex Plus accounts aren’t listed publicly, and user applications are reviewed on an individual basis.

There are separate trading fee schedules for margin trading, options trading, and perpetual contracts. View Poloniex’s full fee schedule.

Security

Poloniex offers standard security features for crypto exchange, including two-factor authentication (2FA), email authentication, and identity verification.

That said, Poloniex has been compromised in the past, and the exchange once lost 12% of its users' Bitcoin holdings. Its founder was able to repay the lost funds and update security measures on fund withdrawals, including the ability to require email or 2FA confirmation.

Here are the details of a few of the security features offered by Poloniex:

  • Session history: Poloniex keeps track of devices that have logged in to your account, and allows you to end sessions or block devices you don’t recognize. 
  • Account freeze email: When a device logs in to your account from a new IP address, Poloniex sends a verification email to your account, and you can freeze your account immediately from a link within that email.
  • 16-digit backup account password: Poloniex allows users to set up an account recovery password in case they lose access to their login information or 2FA authentication.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): Users can enable 2FA using Google Authenticator or another third-party app that randomly generates an expiring six-digit code for account verification.

Opening a Poloniex Account

To sign up for a Poloniex account, you’ll need to provide an email address and password. You also need to be 18 years of age and not located in a prohibited country. Once your account is verified via email, you’ll be asked to set up two-factor authentication (though you can opt out if desired).

Poloniex has two different account verification levels, which offer different access to features on the exchange.

  • Level One: This verification level simply requires providing an email address and password, and verifying the account by email. Users can withdraw up to $10,000 daily, or up to $50,000 if they have 2FA enabled. Users at this level also don’t have access to margin trading.
  • Level Two: This verification requires users to verify their identity with photo identification and proof of address (using something like a utility bill). Users are also required to perform facial verification by submitting a selfie. This improves the daily withdrawal limit to $500,000 or up to $1,000,000 for 2FA-enabled accounts. Level Two users also gain access to margin trading and expedited customer service.

Customer Service

Poloniex offers customer service primarily through email only, and there’s no direct support email address. Instead, users must submit a contact form on the Poloniex support center to get in contact. Poloniex users can also reach out to the company via Twitter with basic questions.

Poloniex offers a library of help articles in the support center and educational articles and tutorials on its blog.

Customer Satisfaction

Poloniex receives a concerning number of complaints, with many users detailing loss of account access, and the inability to withdraw funds from their accounts. Some users report that losing access to a two-factor authentication (2FA) password for the account means losing access for months, or in some cases, years until support could assist. This is concerning for anyone that intends to invest or trade with Poloniex.

There are no formal rating agencies for cryptocurrency exchanges. All user reviews are self-reported and may not be authentic or accurate.

Account Management

Poloniex allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto through its web-based platform. Users can log in to their dashboard, deposit crypto funds, and start spot or margin trading. Poloniex also has a “Lending” option where users can lend out certain cryptocurrencies to the exchange to earn interest. 

In addition to its desktop platform, Poloniex offers a mobile app—available for Android and iOS—for access to live trading and account management. Users can log into the mobile app, and access all of the trading tools available on the regular website, including market and limit orders, margin trading, and futures trading.

How Poloniex Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

Poloniex is available for crypto traders who want access to spot and futures trading with minimal identity verification requirements. It also offers margin trading to verified accounts and discounts for high-volume traders.

Poloniex provides a huge selection of cryptocurrencies to trade and also offers the ability to lend crypto to earn interest. This exchange is not available in the U.S. but is available in many countries around the globe. Here’s how Poloniex compares to a large crypto exchange in the U.S.

Poloniex vs. Gemini

Poloniex and Gemini both offer a selection of popular crypto available to trade, as well as the ability to earn interest by lending supported crypto. Both also charge high fees for purchasing crypto with a debit or credit card.

But while Poloniex offers margin and futures trading, Gemini is a simple trading platform designed for beginners, with no access to margin or futures trading. Poloniex also does not require users to verify their identity to trade, while Gemini is one of the most highly-regulated exchanges in the U.S. and requires full user identification.

Here are a few other differences between Poloniex and Gemini:

  • Gemini offers an insured hot wallet for supported crypto, while Poloniex does not offer any insurance.
  • Poloniex supports over 200 cryptocurrencies, while Gemini only supports just over 75.
  • Gemini is available in the U.S., and Poloniex is not.
  • According to some user reviews, Poloniex customer service can take months to respond, and Gemini offers a 24-hour response time.

Poloniex gives active crypto traders access to a huge selection of crypto with very low fees, but it receives poor marks for customer service and support. On the other hand, Gemini offers simple trading and a smaller selection of crypto, making it an excellent option for new crypto investors.

Final Verdict

Poloniex is a decent exchange for non-U.S. residents who want access to a wide selection of crypto with very low fees. It offers margin and futures trading, as well as the ability to lend crypto to earn interest.

That said, Poloniex has been hacked in the past, and users also report being locked out of their accounts for months, or even years, with very little support. Poloniex has also run into regulatory issues in the U.S., and it doesn’t require identity verification, so using this exchange could come with some risks.

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 .
  1. Tron. “About.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  2. Poloniex. “Prohibited Countries.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  3. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “SEC Charges Poloniex for Operating Unregistered Digital Asset Exchange.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  4. Poloniex. “Buy Crypto.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  5. Poloniex. “Level 1 vs Level 2 Verification Features.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  6. Gemini. “Our Story.” Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  7. Gemini. "Gemini Wallet." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  8. Gemini. "Cryptocurrency Prices." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.

  9. Gemini. "Gemini Launches Improved Help Center, Bolstering Customer Support." Accessed Jan. 25, 2022.