Bitfinex.com – Scam or Not?
Bitfinex is a Hong Kong based trading platform that provides advanced services for cryptocurrency traders. The exchange was founded in 2012 by Raphael Nicolle. Their primary focus is on the US market.
*** Bitfinex cannot accept USD payments at the moment, also you can not withdraw USD from Bitfinex. You can exchance all supported cryptos to US Dollar though. ***
In order to trade fiat currencies for Bitcoin, ID verification is needed. Depending on the account type (individual or corporate), the exchange can require additional documents.
Besides personal details, ID verification and proof of residence the Bitfinex verification process also requires bank statement and a signed statement confirming the validity of documents and information provided.
The verification process is a bit more of a hassle than on the other exchanges, but it’s necessary for deposits and withdrawals in fiat currency as well as for the utilization of Tether, an amazing technology that enables fiat currencies on the BTC blockchain. More on Tether can be found here.
There are no limits when it comes to trading.
Currently, Bitfinex accepts only US dollars from fiat currencies. They also accept TetherUSD and the following digital currencies:
Wire transfers are available for 0.1 percent of the amount, with a minimum fee of 20 dollars. Express wire transfers, which are completed within 24 hours on business days, cost 1 percent of the amount, with a minimum fee of 20 dollars.
Bitfinex fee structure is a bit different from the average, because it’s the maker who adds liquidity to the exchange ecology, and a taker is the one who removes it. Trading fees start at 0.1 percent for the maker and 0.2 for the taker. The first decline in fees is at 500,000 dollars traded, which is pretty high amount compared to the other exchanges. As the monthly trading volume rises, the fees steadily decline. The final point, with 30 million dollars or more traded, is 0 percent fee for the maker and 0.1 percent for the taker.
When it comes to deposits and withdrawals, everything except wire transfer is free of charge. Wire transfers cost 0.1 percent of the amount, with a minimum of 20 dollars. Express bank wire transfers which are processed within 24 hours on business days cost 1 percent of the sum with a minimum fee of 20 dollars.
The exchange also charges margin funding fees. The charge on fee collected by Margin Funding Providers is 15 percent of the fees generated by active margin funding contracts. For those who are opened by a hidden offer the cost is a bit higher and totals for 18 percent.
Bitfinex.com Trading Analysis
The trading platform is very sophisticated, and it offers a lot of trading options. The offered types of orders are:
- Trailing stop
- Fill or kill
- One cancels other (OCO)
- Hidden order
- Post-only limit order
Due to the high volume of trades and a good liquidity, bid/ask and order count is resolved in real time, allowing users to choose the best time to place an order.
The exchange also offers margin trading with 3 to 1 leverage, meaning that user has to have at least 30 percent of the sum borrowed in their account.
The margin trading is supported by margin loans. The margin loans are granted through a lending market. Basically, the user can choose to lend the capital needed by margin traders. In return, lenders receive daily interest rate on the Bitfinex platform. This type of arrangement is called Swap.
For more info check Bitfinex FAQ section, it has all the answers under trading section.
Ease of Use
Bitfinex user interface is fantastic. The platform offers quick options to buy or sell digital currencies as well as to place orders.
Support is available 24/7 but only via email. Emails are typically answered within 12 hours, but in some cases, it can take longer. In addition, there’s an official forum where users can ask for help and a limited FAQ page that doesn’t cover all required information.
The Bitfinex support team has a reputation for being extremely unprofessional and rude – but some users claim it’s mostly due to one person who started to get better since then.
There are numerous user complaints online about Bitfinex, but they are mostly related to the hacking incident and the support unprofessionalism. We haven’t found any complaints about trading or funding of the accounts, but we did found complaints about the performance issues Bitfinex has when it’s higher volatility of the currencies. The problems are so frequent and so serious that the exchange even got a new nickname – Glitchfinex.
The exchange claims that 99.5 percent of client funds are kept in cold storage, with other .5 percent stays in hot wallets to ensure needed liquidity. Their cold storage system has a multisig feature and is geographically distributed in multiple secure locations.
On the client side, they offer two-factor authentication for both logins and withdrawals. The exchange claims to have “advanced verification tools” to detect if the account has been compromised, but have avoided saying more to the public.
Despite the “strong” security, the exchange has been hacked multiple times. The first major hack happened in May of 2015 when a hacker was able to steal 1500 Bitcoins from their hot wallet. The exchange was easily able to reimburse the damaged users. But, in another attack in August 2016, reimbursement question became much more delicate as 120,000 BTC worth approximately 72 million dollars were stolen from the trading platform.
The company immediately issued BFX tokens which are meant to make up for the 36 percent losses of the customers after the incident. Five months later, we’re still waiting to see how the company will handle this problem. Bankruptcy is an often-mentioned option.
On the other hand, Bitfinex has already bought back
a decent percentage ALL of their tokens and in comparison to a bancruptcy, which also would have affected all users deposis, this way might turn out as a very successful one. This is makes Bitfinex a extremely trustworthy exchange in our opinion.
The exchange does have SMS and email notifications, but PGP encryption isn’t used in email communication.
Bitfinex Review Conclusion
Even though the future of Bitfinex questionable, the reaction to the hack and the fact that they bought back all of their tokens within less than one year is remarkable. Definitely a great exchange to buy and sell Bitcoin, one of the best in terms of disaster management.
- High USD liquidity
- Low fees
- Full package of order types, margin trading and lending market
- Paid back all the losses from the hack (!)
- Not a very transparent company
- Has been hacked in 2016 (but solved it brilliantly)
The fact that they bought back all their debt-tokens makes Bitfinex one of the best Bitcoin Exchanges again. Their way of handling he hack was very innovative and a great move.
Do you have good or bad experiences with this Bitcoin Exchange? Please share them!