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Review: Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange

See why Bitfinex is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges for professional high-volume traders.

  • Great for its deep liquidity
  • Not so great for its large/frequent withdrawal fees

Check out our full list of pros and cons or read on.

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4

Fiat currencies

193

Cryptocurrencies

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Details

Product Name Bitfinex Professional Trading Exchange
Fiat Currencies USD, EUR, GBP, JPY
Cryptocurrencies BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, EOS, XRP, NEO, DAI, ZEC, LUNC & 180+ more
Deposit Methods Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Bank Wire
Trading Fee Maker: 0-0.1%
Taker: 0.055-0.2%
Deposit Fees Wire: 0.1% (min 60 USD/Euro)
Cryptocurrency: Free
Withdrawal Fees Wire: 0.1%
Express bank wire (within 24 hours on business days): 1% (min 60 USD/Euro)
Cryptocurrency: Fees vary
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is BitFinex?

BitFinex is an advanced cryptocurrency exchange that specialises in large volume trading and offers major spot and derivatives options. It was founded in 2012 in Hong Kong and is registered as a subsidiary of iFinex in the British Virgin Islands. BitFinex offers traders the options of exchange trading, margin trading, margin funding (P2P lending), over-the-counter markets and derivatives trading.

BitFinex has a muddied history and has been the target of multiple successful hacks resulting in the theft of tens of thousands of BTC. The exchange also found itself as part of a 2019 New York Attorney General investigation into the hiding of 850 million dollars of commingled client and corporate funds from investors.

  • If this is your first exchange. BitFinex is an advanced trading platform designed for experienced and institutional investors. If this is your first exchange it is advised to spend a considerable amount of time learning the tools before investing too heavily.
  • If you're switching exchanges. BitFinex can be a useful upgrade in exchanges if you are looking for margin trading with a deeper liquidity pool.

Pros and cons of BitFinex

Pros

  • Deep liquidity pool
  • Has a history of reimbursing users after a security breach
  • Wide selection of trading options and assets

Cons

  • History of security breaches
  • Difficult to navigate for new users
  • No control over staking governance

Verdict: Is BitFinex any good?

BitFinex is a difficult exchange to master. The complex nature appeals to experienced and institutional traders. However, once mastered, the exchange offers a variety of benefits for users such as staking and lending. Its deep liquidity pools and advanced trading features make it a great trading platform option. Fees can be lowered with high trading volume or by holding the exchange's native asset LEO.

BitFinex's history of security breaches is of some concern, although the breaches have resulted in a much stronger security protocol being installed. The exchange has a reliable history of reimbursing users when breaches occur. It is not the exchange for everyone, but is worth considering if you're thinking about trading on a more serious level.

What to know about BitFinex

BitFinex is an exchange that has been around since 2012. It is designed with seasoned and institutional traders in mind. It offers a wide selection of trading and lending options but can be difficult to navigate for new users. There is a large liquidity pool and tons of trading pairs. The exchange gives traders the ability to stake, lend and borrow digital assets. Trading fees are competitive with other exchanges, as are deposit fees for cryptocurrency and fiat. Withdrawal fees for cryptocurrency can be high depending on the asset, but some digital assets have free withdrawals.

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BitFinex supported cryptocurrencies

BitFinex supports well over 100 different cryptocurrencies for use in trading, lending, borrowing and staking options across the platform, as well as even more trading pairs. The most popular currencies available include BTC, ETH, ADA, SOL, USDT and the exchange's native utility token UNUS SED LEO (LEO).

BitFinex fees and costs

There are no deposit fees for cryptocurrencies or stablecoin deposits and 0.100% on fiat currencies (USD and EURO) via bank wire. BitFinex is primarily a trading exchange platform, sothe majority of the fees and costs are associated with trading and lending. The maker fees range from 0.000% - 0.100% with taker fees ranging from 0.055% - 0.200%. The taker fees can also be subject to a 25% discount when the user holds the BitFinex native utility token UNUS SED LEO.

Bitfinex fig 1

Fiat withdrawal and deposit fees
DepositWithdrawal
0% (stablecoins)0.100% Bank wire (min 60 USD/EUR equivalent)
0.100% (min 60 USD/EUR equivalent)1.000% Express bank wire (min 100 USD/EUR equivalent)
Cryptocurrency withdrawal and deposit fees

The withdrawal and deposit fees depend on which cryptocurrency, and which blockchain the coins are paying gas fees on. The fees can vary with some being high and some being free for withdrawals. There is also no charge for withdrawing cryptocurrencies to another BitFinex wallet.

DepositWithdrawal
FreeFees vary

What is it like to use BitFinex?

BitFinex can be overwhelming for new users, and even experienced cryptocurrency exchange users can find it daunting. It is designed to be an advanced cryptocurrency exchange that offers a plethora of services for borrowing, lending and trading. The user interface can seem cluttered but all of the functions available through more popular exchanges are available on BitFinex in addition to the advanced features.

Getting started / KYC

Signing up for BitFinex is easy and requires no KYC for cryptocurrency trading. Users can begin swapping digital assets as soon as they enable 2FA on their account.

bitfinex fig 2

Bitfinex Trading terminal

BitFinex's trading page can be overwhelming. This is because all trading options are available through a single trading interface; just toggle between tabs to switch to derivatives and margin trading.

bitfinex fig 3
Bitfinex Staking

BitFinex provides staking for certain proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies such as Cardano and Tezos. Users can deposit assets and receive interest paid out to their accounts weekly.

bitfinex fig 4

Bitfinex app

BitFinex has a mobile app for both Android and iOS. This gives traders access to BitFinex's advanced trading features while on the go.

bitfinex fig 5
Live customer support

BitFinex provides users with live customer support. Traders can access live chat on any page via a chat box at the bottom of the screen.

bitfinex fig 6

List of services on BitFinex

BitFinex is a complex exchange to navigate, but for seasoned traders, the ability to seamlessly access margin trading and lending through the P2P marketplace is a major advantage. Having P2P on BitFinex exchange creates a fluid movement of funds between lending, borrowing and trading without the need for a third-party intermediary.

Earning on BitFinex

Staking. Staking rewards are distributed weekly based on a midweek account balance snapshot. There is no minimum to begin staking but if rewards are less than US$0.50 for the week then the reward will not be distributed. BitFinex offers staking on TRX, EOS, XTZ, ATOM, ALGO, SOL, MATIC, ADA, DOT, ETH and KSM.

Margin trading. Users can trade up to 10x leverage through funding from the peer-to-peer (P2P) margin funding platform. BitFinex supplies the P2P marketplace which allows users to access their desired amount of funding at the rate and duration of their choice.

Margin lending. This is the other side of the P2P marketplace where users can lend out their funds and digital assets to traders wanting to trade with leverage. Users utilising the margin lending tool can offer funding on a wide range of currencies and assets and pick the rate and duration of their choice.

Exchange. BitFinex exchange allows users to easily exchange their cryptocurrencies and digital assets. There are a variety of trading options including stop limit, trailing loss, limit, kill and market. Traders can easily switch between exchange and margin trading.

Derivatives. BitFinex enables derivatives trading through the use of the BitFinex Derivative Wallet. To engage in derivatives trading a user will need to convert USDT into USDt0. Derivative trading allows traders to mitigate some of the risks that are associated with the volatility of cryptocurrencies.

Borrowing on BitFinex

Borrowing is straightforward on BitFinex. Users can borrow certain fiat currencies, as well as BTC, USDT, ETH, LTC, DOT, XRP, EOS, ADA, UNI, LINK, XTZ, IOTA, ATOM and SOL through providing collateral and paying interest. Users can tailor their borrowing by duration and rates (variable vs fixed rate), which will impact the amount of interest owed on the loan.

bitfinex fig 7

Promotions on BitFinex

Affiliate program. This is a commission-based promotion by BitFinex. If someone you refer signs up to use BitFinex and holds UNUS SED LEO tokens in their account you are eligible for a percentage of the trading and margin funding fees they incur.

bitfinex fig 9

UNUS SED LEO token. This is the utility token for the BitFinex exchange. Users that own UNUS SED LEO tokens are entitled to a variety of benefits when trading. This includes reduced trading fees.

bitfinex fig 10

Is Bitfinex safe? / Trust rating

BitFinex has had a troubled history since its founding in 2012. It has been the target of numerous successful hacks, its bank accounts were frozen by its correspondent bank, Wells Fargo in 2017, and it was the target of a New York Attorney General investigation in 2018. Despite these issues, affected users have been reimbursed and the exchange is focused on improving security.

Past hacks

BitFinex has been successfully hacked on 2 separate occasions. In 2015 the exchange was hacked successfully for 1,500 BTC. A year later in April 2016, BitFinex was successfully hacked for 120,000 BTC. The 2016 hack remains the second-largest Bitcoin heist in history, second only to the Mt.Gox hack of 2014 which made off with 750,000 BTC.

Users were reimbursed for losses. BitFinex is also still working to get back lost BTC. On 14 December 2021 BitFinex announced that it had recovered over 6 BTC that had been lost in 2016 and that affected users would be repaid proportionally.

Security audits

One of the biggest ongoing headaches for BitFinex is its association to iFinex and the legal claim against USDT that it is not backed fully by the same amount of USD. There was another lawsuit filed against USDT as recently as 4 December 2021. Due to the ongoing legal battles the exchange faces, it has undergone multiple audits. These include audits of its LEO token by Callisto Network Security.

Bitfinex is registered in Australia with government regulator AUSTRAC.

Insurance

BitFinex provides no insurance for users' funds. However, BitFinex has a history of reimbursing its users when hacks occur. BitFinex has upgraded its security protocols and is holding even more cryptocurrency in its offline cold storage units.

Does BitFinex have good customer support?

BitFinex has multiple forms of customer support available for users. This includes a contact us form, which can take days to receive a response from. It offers a help centre with solutions to common problems. There is instant live chat available on every page and it provides bug bounties for users that find errors in code. Responses can be slow but are helpful.

Support offeredWait times
Contact us formcheckdays
Help Centrecheckinstant
Live chat (virtual assistant)checkinstant
Bug Bounty (self-report for rewards)checkweeks

Signing up on BitFinex

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Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Julius
    October 26, 2017

    I am new to bitcoins.
    What do you suggest if I would like to buy 100BTGold?
    Thanks.
    Julius

    • Default Gravatar
      Liezl
      October 27, 2017

      Hi Julius,

      Thanks for visiting Finder.

      While we are unable to provide you a financial advise nor recommend a particular exchange to deal with, before you buy bitcoin gold (BTG), it would be a good idea to gain knowledge on how digital currency exchange works. Understanding the mechanics of cryptocurrency will give you ideas on what features to look for in choosing the right exchange or digital wallet and when’s the right time to buy or sell.

      You can start with our learning guides on cryptocurrency and on how to buy bitcoin gold. You can also compare the exchanges listed on that page, their details, and features. When you’re ready to make a purchase simply click the “Go to Site” of your chosen exchange.

      I hope this has helped. Please feel free to message us if you have any questions.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

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