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While Coinbase and Robinhood have garnered headline after headline this year, for reasons both good and less than ideal, it is Cayman Islands-based Binance that is the world’s dominant cryptocurrency exchange.
Though U.S. investors can’t tap into the global super exchange, they can access Binance through its San Francisco-based domestic outpost Binance.US, which, despite being targeted toward American users, is still among the top 10 crypto exchanges in the world, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
With comparatively low fees, a wide range of popular cryptocurrencies available to trade and an intuitive platform, it’s not hard to see why Binance.US has become so popular so quickly. If you’re interested in investing in cryptos, the Binance.US platform should offer most, if not all, of what you’re looking for.
But remember that regardless of where you choose to buy your coins, cryptocurrencies all come with a big buyer beware: They are, by their nature, highly speculative and subject to wild volatility on the slightest bit of news. That’s why most experts don’t recommend you invest all of your money in them.
- Low fees, especially compared to its main rivals
- Wide variety of cryptocurrencies supported
- Easy-to-navigate versions of the exchange that correspond to your cryptocurrency comfort and experience
- Not available to all U.S. residents
- Its parent company was recently subject to a major hack
Cryptocurrencies on Binance.US
Currently you can buy the following cryptocurrencies on Binance.US:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- BNB (BNB)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- ChainLink (LINK)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- VeChain (VET)
- EOS (EOS)
- TetherUS (USDT)
- NEO (NEO)
- Miota (IOTA)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Algorand (ALGO)
- Waves (WAVES)
- Dash (DASH)
- Zilliqa (ZIL)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Nano (NANO)
- Enjin Coin (ENJ)
- QTUM (QTUM)
- ZCash (ZEC)
- Ontology (ONT)
- 0x (ZRX)
- ICON (ICX)
- Ravencoin (RVN)
- Augur v2 (REP)
- BUSD (BUSD)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)
- OMG Network (OMG)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- KyberNetwork (KNC)
- Compound (COMP)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- VeThor Token (VTHO)
- Harmony (ONE)
- Band Protocol (BAND)
- Storj (STORJ)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Solana (SOL)
- Elrond (EGLD)
- PAX Gold (PAXG)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Horizen (ZEN)
- Decentraland (MANA)
- Helium (HNT)
- Maker (MKR)
- Dai (DAI)
Crypto-enthusiasts rightly point to stratospheric returns generated over the past few years as digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, have attracted mainstream support and interest. What they don’t quite appreciate, at least as much, are the fees many exchanges charge that slowly erode their potential returns.
While Robinhood helped usher in the era of commission-free trading in stocks, exchanges like Coinbase impose a high cost on investors. One reason Forbes Advisor ranked Binance.US highly, on the other hand, is because it charges relatively low fees.
Binance.US charges a 0.10% spot trading fee (compared to CoinbasePro’s 0.50% and even more for regular Coinbase). For instant buy/sell trades, it charges 0.50%.
The spot trading fee is lower the more you trade. For instance, those with a 30-day trading volume greater than $50,000, but less than $100,000, would pay 0.09%. Fees are also lower when you use the platform’s proprietary BNB coin to pay for transactions.
As any fan of Vanguard and Jack Bogle understand, fees have a big impact on your total return. For instance, if you invested $100 a month in Bitcoin for 20 years using Binance.US and receive a 10% annual return, you’ll end up with almost $68,390 after fees.
That’s about $1,700 more than if you had invested with Coinbase.
Ease of Use
Just as with other popular exchanges, Binance.US makes it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrency. There are four main paths to do this: Buy Cryptocurrency, Basic, Advanced and OTC.
For Buy Cryptocurrency, the design is bright and clear, and you can swiftly select which digital coin you wish to buy and how you’d like to pay. Anyone new to the investing space, and eager to avoid a mistake, will feel comfortable making a trade.
More experienced investors, though, will gravitate toward one of Binance.US’s two trading platforms. The first one shown is the Basic option while the latter is the Advanced.
These features are apt for more sophisticated traders interested in charting functions, real-time price changes and different trade options, like stop-limit orders. You can track several crypto-pairs and create your own dashboard for monitoring their movements as well as other investor demand.
Finally, the OTC feature, seen above, waives fees for trades of at least $10,000, though you will fork over the spread between the buy and sell price. This option, given its high minimum, should be used cautiously.
Binance.US rates highly on the security of its exchange. For instance, crypto exchange security review site CER ranked Binance.US the third most secure exchange, ahead of big names like Coinbase and Kraken.
When you sign up, you’ll be asked to enable two-factor authentication, set up an anti-phishing code (which is how many hacks take place), verify your identity through a government-issued ID and establish a withdrawal whitelist that will restrict who is able to receive funds from your account.
Binance.US also has a preferred crypto wallet partner so you can easily store your crypto cache, though you can use another one if you prefer.
States That Don’t Allow Binance.US
A major drawback of Binance.US is that it’s not available to all U.S. residents. Those living in the following states aren’t able to make accounts currently:
- New York
This is a major disadvantage: There are more than 330 million people in the U.S., almost 50 million of whom live in Texas and New York alone. That means a significant number of potential traders will be shut out.
What about the Original Binance?
While Binance.US hasn’t engendered much controversy, the same can’t be said of its parent company Binance Holdings, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
Earlier this year the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it was investigating Binance over its role in helping American traders buy and sell derivatives that fall under the regulator’s purview; Binance has since purged all American customers and redirected them to Binance.US. (The CFTC is also looking into Coinbase, among others.)
More worrying, perhaps, to crypto traders was a 2019 hack that saw criminals steal more than 7,000 bitcoin off Binance. Thankfully for those victims, Binance reimbursed its clients for their losses.
While no exchange is perfect, Binance.US offers a rich blend of intuitive products, useful charts and low fees that make Forbes Advisor’s pick for Best Overall Crypto Exchange and Best Crypto Exchange for Crypto Enthusiasts. Nevertheless, crypto trading is speculative by nature and should only be undertaken by those willing to lose everything they put in.