Bitfinex Review: Is It Still Safe After The Hack?

Posted: Oct 26th, 2021Updated: Nov 30th, 2021
bitfinex review
Bitfinex is a top cryptocurrency trading platform in the world that is heavily used by experienced and professional traders. The exchange features an innovative trading experience and a wide selection of markets to trade with excellent liquidity. In this review, we will take a closer look at the exchange to carefully assess its products and services, features, supported markets and coins, trading fees, security and customer support.

Bitfinex

Trading Fees:0.1% / 0.2%
Country:Global (USA not allowed)
Currency:USD, EUR, GBP & JPY
Promotion:None available at this time

Key Features

  • Professional trading experience for astute investors and traders
  • Spot, margin, derivatives and OTC markets
  • Leading exchange for trading volume and liquidity
  • Bitfinex Leaderboard to view and follow the best traders
  • Unique orders to scale into positions with multiple limit orders
  • Integration of charting features by Tradingview
Bitfinex is a global powerhouse in the cryptocurrency industry that is best known for its sophisticated trading platform with distinct features for speculating on the markets. A top-tier exchange based on site traffic, trading volume and liquidity, Bitfinex is a liquidity provider to other digital currency platforms in the world.
Featuring state-of-the-art features such as an advanced trading platform, peer-to-peer (P2P) financing, an OTC market and margin trading, Bitfinex is a serious crypto exchange for experienced investors and traders.

Key Features

  • Professional trading experience for astute investors and traders
  • Spot, margin, derivatives and OTC markets
  • Leading exchange for trading volume and liquidity
  • Bitfinex Leaderboard to view and follow the best traders
  • Unique orders to scale into positions with multiple limit orders
  • Integration of charting features by Tradingview
Bitfinex is a global powerhouse in the cryptocurrency industry that is best known for its sophisticated trading platform with distinct features for speculating on the markets. A top-tier exchange based on site traffic, trading volume and liquidity, Bitfinex is a liquidity provider to other digital currency platforms in the world.
Featuring state-of-the-art features such as an advanced trading platform, peer-to-peer (P2P) financing, an OTC market and margin trading, Bitfinex is a serious crypto exchange for experienced investors and traders.
Ease of useStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
ReputationStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Deposit methodsStarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star
FeesStarStarStarStarEmpty Star
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What Is Bitfinex?

Bitfinex is a digital currency exchange that was founded in 2012 that is best known for its advanced trading platform with cutting-edge features. Since its inception, Bitfinex has been a top exchange in the world in terms of trading volume which allows users to trade BTC, ETH, EOS, LTC, XRP and many other assets with minimal slippage. The high trading volume allows Bitfinex to be a top-tier liquidity provider to other crypto exchanges. Bitfinex are also the owners of the stablecoin Tether which is backed 1 to 1 with the US Dollar.

Quick Overview

Exchange NameBitfinex
MarketsSpot, margin, derivatives & OTC
Fiat CurrencyUSD, EUR, GBP & JPY
Cryptocurrency152
Trading FeesSpot (0.1% / 0.2%), Derivatives (-0.02% / 0.075%
Advanced OrdersMarket, limit, stop-limit, OCO & others
Mobile AppYes
Demo AccountYes

Is Bitfinex Legal In The US?

According to the Bitfinex Services Agreement, US residents are not allowed to use the services of Bitfinex. Individuals from the United States are strictly prohibited from creating an account and will not be able to complete ID verification. Users will need to find a cryptocurrency exchange in the US that is licensed by FinCEN. This also includes residents in Canada that are not allowed to use the platform.

Bitfinex Compared

Bitfinex is a world-class cryptocurrency exchange that features an innovative and advanced trading terminal with deep liquidity. Other exchanges with similar products, services and trading volumes are listed below.
ExchangeCrypto AssetsTrading FeesRatingPromotionWebsiteReview
Binance Logo

Binance

300+0.1%
Overall 4.8/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
20% off trading feesVisit BinanceBinance Review
Coinbase Logo

Coinbase

200+0.5%
Overall 4.8/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
$5 BTC bonus (USA only)Visit CoinbaseCoinbase Review
FTX

FTX

2580.02% / 0.07%
Overall 4.7/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
5% off trading feesVisit FTXFTX Review
Bitfinex logoBitfinex logo

Bitfinex

1520.1% / 0.2%
Overall 4/5StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
None available at this timeVisit BitfinexBitfinex Review

What Features Does Bitfinex Offer?

Variety of Markets & Assets

Bitfinex is best-known for its spot exchange that supports 328 markets and 152 cryptocurrencies. In addition to the trademark spot exchange, Bitfinex has expanded its core offering to include margin and derivatives trading products using its advanced trading engine. Bitfinex is continually added new markets and has recently listed 11 new margin trading pairs that can be traded with a maximum leverage of 3.3x such as Solana (SOL/BTC), Avalanche (AVAX/BTC), Cardano (ADA/BTC) and others.
Bitfinex supported markets and assetsBitfinex supported markets and assets

Deep Liquidity In Order Books

Bitfinex is a world-leading exchange with high trading volume and liquidity across its markets and trading pairs. At the time of writing, Bitfinex is ranked #9 in the world based on traffic, trading volumes and average liquidity which is in-between other popular exchanges such as Huobi Global and FTX.US.
Bitfinex trading volume and liquidityBitfinex trading volume and liquidity
For example, the volume BTC/USD and ETH/USD are the most heavily traded pairs on the platform with 121 million and 79 million traded within the last 24 hours. This means large size positions can be filled at the desired price with minimal slippage. While the trading volumes on the smaller altcoins are less compared to Binance, Huobi or Kraken, the liquidity for Bitcoin and Ethereum is advantageous for professional traders to spot arbitrage opportunities on other exchanges.
The trading volumes of each support pair listed on Bitfinex can be verified by viewing the market statistics. This is advantageous for serious crypto traders to fill large orders easily. In this way, Bitfinex is a recommended exchange for day traders and high net-worth individuals.

Advanced Orders & Calculator

Experienced retail crypto traders that rely on technical analysis have access to several order types that execute an order and manage active positions. The supported orders will suit different trading strategies (e.g. break-out, moving average and traditional patterns). The supported order types available to Bitfinex include limit, market, stop, stop-limit, trailing stop, Fill or kill (FOK), One-Cancels-the-Other (OCO) and Immediate or Cancel (IOC).
bitfinex orders and position calculatorbitfinex orders and position calculator
To calculate position size accordingly, the Bitfinex calculator is a very useful tool that is ideal for beginners. Traders can determine the correct size based on pre-defined take-profit and stop-loss entries before entering a position. The P/L% can be used to adjust the size to meet a maximum risk level. For example, a trader with a maximum loss tolerance of 5% of capital can adjust the amount of collateral accordingly. The calculator is quite complicated at first and could be designed with a better interface for newbies.

Competitive Trading Fees

Low trading fees are an important aspect when comparing cryptocurrency exchanges. Bitfinex offers different rates using a maker and taker model for its spot market and derivatives products. The trading fee for crypto-to-crypto trades is 0.1% and 0.2% for makers and takers. The fees are very competitive in the industry and comparable to the best exchanges such as Binance (0.1%), Huobi (0.2%) and Crypto.com Exchange (0.2%).
ExchangeSpot Trading Fees
Binance0.1%
Bitfinex0.1% / 0.2%
Coinbase Pro0.5%
Crypto.com Exchange0.2%
Kraken0.16% / 0.26%
KuCoin0.2%
Huobi Global0.2% / 0.2%
PrimeXBT0.5%

Bitfinex Leader Board

The Bitfinex Leaderboard allows individuals to view and follow the most profitable traders on Bitfinex that give their permission. The traders can be ranked by unrealized profits, total profits or volume in US Dollars. The feature shows the profitability of the largest traders on Bitfinex who can also be followed on social media such as Twitter. The leaderboard can be a powerful tool for retail traders if the top traders provide insights into their trading strategies or commentary on the crypto markets.
Bitfinex LeaderboardBitfinex Leaderboard

Earn Interest By Funding

Bitfinex has established a funding program that allows investors and traders on the platform to pledge their assets to other users to borrow for leveraged trading. It was one of the first crypto platforms where funding became mainstream to earn interest on their crypto. There are a wide variety of currencies and assets that can be loaned to earn funding rebates in the form of interest payments.

Margin & Derivatives Markets

Bitfinex offers a secure cryptocurrency margin trading market for users to use borrowed funds to access greater capital. Leverage up to 10x can be used on the most liquid and popular crypto-assets such Bitcoin and Tether, while the rest of the coins such as Solana, Luna and Dogecoin can be traded with a margin up to 3.3x.
Traders can also access the derivatives market which is a useful tool to hedge against volatility. The only downside is a digital token called USDt0 is used as collateral instead of USDT which needs to be converted.

Bitfinex Staking

Lending assets is a popular way to earn staking rewards. The Bitfinex soft-stake feature allows users on the exchange to delegate their coins to a staking wallet to earn rewards as high as 10% APY. The 10 assets that can be currently staked on Bitfinex which include Tron, EOS, Algorand, Tezos, Cosmos, Solana, Cardano, Polkadot and KSM. The staking rewards are paid out weekly to the respective wallet. The rates are estimates and subject to change, users should always visit the website for further details.
CoinEstimated Staking Reward
Tron (TRX)6-8% APY
EOS (EOS)0-3% APY
Tezos (XTZ)3-5%
Cosmos (ATOM)1.5-3%
Algorand (ALGO)3-5%
Solana (SOL)Up to 6.5%
Cardano (ADA)4-5%
PolkadotUp to 7%
Ethereum 2.0Up to 10%
KusamaUp to 8%

Is Bitfinex Safe?

Since Bitfinex was hacked in 2016, the exchange takes a security-first approach to ensure its customer's personal information and funds are safe with holistic measures. Examples include 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), cold wallet storage with 99.5% of funds held offline and wallet address whitelisting. The remaining 0.5% of assets are held on hot wallets to use for day-to-day operations.

Has Bitfinex Been Hacked?

Bitfinex has been involved in a few incidents since the exchange was founded in 2013. A major hacking incident occurred on August 2, 2016 where an unauthorized transfer of approximately 120,000 Bitcoins was made from Bitfinex. The value of the Bitcoin at the time of the incident was nearly $623M as reported by Coindesk. The funds have slowly started to move since the hack and a reward of 5% of the total property recovered (or equivalent funds or assets at current market values) has been offered to anyone that can identify the hackers.

Is Bitfinex Free To Join?

There is no cost involved to create a new account with Bitfinex or maintain a Bitfinex wallet. There are some fees involved to use a Bitfinex account such as depositing money to the exchange, buying and selling, trading between assets and withdrawing to an external wallet. To create an account with Bitfinex, new users will need a valid email address, password, password and identity documentation.

Bitfinex Verification Requirements

Like most cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitfinex has a strict verification process to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) laws and regulations. Individuals that create an account will need to submit their personal details. The four levels of verification that provide access to the different products and services.
Bitfinex verification levelsBitfinex verification levels
Individuals that create a basic account can deposit crypto, trade crypto and withdraw crypto without advanced verification. However, the account has restrictions on limits and cannot access any derivatives products. An official Photo ID and Government document, selfie, phone number and proof of address will be required for leverage trading which is standard for centralized exchanges.

Trading With Bitfinex

Selecting a cryptocurrency platform depends on the trading interface for many investors and traders. This is where the majority of time will be spent analyzing the charts and looking for trading opportunities.

User Interface

Bitfinex is best-known for its advanced trading and charting platform. The overall layout and design are clean, responsive on all devices and easy to navigate. The trading pairs are organized on the left volume in USD. Sorting by alphabetical order would make it easier to find a particular market, however, there is a search function available. Pairs can also be added to favorites for quick access.
bitfinex charting user interfacebitfinex charting user interface
Clicking on a recent trade will auto-fill limit orders. Changing trading pairs or logging out of Bitfinex does not remove any drawing tools or patterns overlaid on the chart which is useful and time-saving. This is a major frustration on other exchanges when overlays are removed when switching between the available trading pairs.
Within the ticker window, users can switch between the available markets to select spot, derivatives, funding and securities which is similar to other platforms such as Binance and KuCoin. Active positions, pending orders, recent trades are positioned underneath the charts which is ideal.
Bitfinex order bookBitfinex order book
For advanced traders, the order book, recent trades and market depth charts can be assessed. These features are for experienced investors to spot any buy and sell walls. Overall, the trading experience may be overwhelming for beginners with the variety of advanced features and options. For experienced traders, we would recommend trading on Bitfinex based on the advanced orders, deep liquidity, near-instant execution speeds and responsive charts.

Indicators & Drawing Tools

The charts are provided by Tradingview which is renowned for providing excellent trading tools and charting features for crypto. The charting platform includes all the modern-day tools that retail traders will be familiar with such as chart patterns, technical indicators and drawing tools. Examples of indicators that can be applied include:
  • Simple Moving Averages
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI)
  • Ichimoku
  • Bollinger Bands
  • Average True Range
  • MACD
  • Volume, Stochastics; and others.

Placing Trades

Bitfinex's order window is quite small, although is packed with a variety of orders such as limit, market, stop-limit and trigger orders. A standout feature is One-Cancel-the-Other (OCO) which allows individuals to place two trigger orders that can be used for take-profit or stop-loss entries. This order type is common on Forex platforms however is not standard with crypto exchanges. While the order should not be confused as a guaranteed stop loss, having this option on Bitfinex is great for managing multiple trades.
Placing orders on BitfinexPlacing orders on Bitfinex
Using the order window is intuitive and has an auto-fill function which is useful to avoid mistaking typos when entering a price. However, its positioning at the bottom of the charts makes this difficult to do. There are also pre-populated fill buttons (e.g. 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) to auto-populate the trade size based on available funds. In summary, entering orders on Bitfinex is clunky and could be modernized with better features to improve the user experience for retail traders.

Bitfinex Fees

Spot Trading Fees

Bitfinex uses a maker and taker structure to determine the fees for buy and sell transactions. The spot fees start from 0.1% (makers) and 0.2% (takers) which can be reduced with higher volume trading over a 30 days in USD.
Volume (30 day)Trading Fee (Maker / Taker)
$0 - $500,0000.1% / 0.2%
$500,000 - 1 million0.08% / 0.2%
2.5 million - 5 million0.04% / 0.2%
The trading fees are slightly higher when compared to Binance for traders that use market orders. However, Bitfinex's fees scale better with higher trading volumes that exceed $500,000 for makers (i.e. using limit orders).
Overall, the fees on Bitfinex are reasonably competitive for retail traders however there are cheaper alternatives to use. For institutions, fund managers and high net-worth individuals with high trading volumes, the fees on Bitfinex are cheaper when compared to Binance and Coinbase Pro.
Bitfinex trading feesBitfinex trading fees

Derivatives Trading Fees

The trading fees on Bitfinex's derivatives exchange are -0.0200% and 0.0750% for makers and takers. The fees can be reduced with higher volumes above 1 million USD, which will not be accessible for most retail traders. Holding LEO tokens will provide traders with up to a 2 basis point discount.
In short, the margin trading fees are competitive in the market. In comparison to other Futures exchanges such as FTX and Bybit, fees are 0.02% / 0.07% and -0.025% / 0.075% respectively.
Bitfinex derivatives feesBitfinex derivatives fees

LEO Token Fee Discounts

Retail traders on the platform can obtain a fee discount of up to 25% by holding Bitfinex's native token, LEO. The fee discount applies to traders that remove liquidity from the exchange order books and vary on the user's level. Holding LEO tokens is beneficial to Bitfinex and traders that use the platform.
In comparison to Binance which also offers a 25% discount for using its native token, the rebate applies to maker AND taker participants. Therefore, Binance is a cheaper option to Bitfinex for new accounts that hold the exchange's native utility token.
Bitfinex LEO token fee discountBitfinex LEO token fee discount

Security

After the exchange hack in 2016, Bitfinex has prioritized its security focus to ensure industry-leading safety systems are implemented. The level of protection systems includes strict security policies, user account protection, advanced cold wallet storage and security systems to mitigate online attacks. Bitfinex appears to be a safe exchange that is leading the industry against security threats.
The default measures in place to secure customer's accounts are quite advanced compared to other exchanges. These include advanced verification tools to ensure correct login access, 2 Factor Authentication (2FA), robust API key restrictions and withdrawal protection measures.
Bitfinex stores 99.9% of assets in offline and remote cold wallets. This is very high compared to other exchanges which don't specific or hold up to 90% off their hot wallet systems. This can cause delays for withdrawing funds from Bitfinex, however, a security-first approach is a preferred approach given the professional traders and institutions that use the platform.

Customer Support

The customer service on Bitfinex has mixed feedback from its clients. Based on 276 comments, registered users have scored Bitfinex as 3.7/5 star with an average rating. The negative comments are mostly related to deposits not arriving in a Bitfinex wallet, although the support team were quick to reply.
bitfinex customer reviewsbitfinex customer reviews
It is unclear if these issues are user errors or Bitfinex's fault, however, the overall commentary for the team's customer support was reliable and fast to respond. This is quite impressive given the number of users on the platform but there are some recurring issues that do not look favorable for Bitfinex.
For troubleshooting queries, Bitfinex has an extensive support center with articles to help new users get started. There is a comprehensive range of topics such as creating an account, depositing funds, trading, and withdrawals. The support within these guides is comprehensive and will benefit all users.
bitfinex lost deposit support systembitfinex lost deposit support system
Customers can contact Bitfinex directly using a ticket system that is well organized by the troubleshooting topic. This allows the team to prioritize urgent tickets such as missing deposits, bugs and security. Overall, the customer support on Bitfinex is quite reasonable compared to other exchanges of similar size which are not responsive.

Bitfinex Alternatives

Bitfinex is a world leader for digital currency trading that is famous for its innovative and advanced trading platform. Alternative exchanges like Bitfinex that are renowned for sophisticated user interfaces and high liquidity are Binance, Kraken, FTX, Huobi and KuCoin.
  • Binance. The world's largest and more popular crypto exchange in terms of customers, trading volume and liquidity. An exceptional platform for altcoin traders with its wide support for over 300 coins. Similar to Bitfinex, the assets can be traded across multiple markets such as spot, margin and derivatives.
  • Kraken. A popular crypto trading platform that is available worldwide including the United States. Kraken features an advanced trading terminal for exchanging crypto and margin trading. The user interface is a little dated, however is more suited for beginners and intermediate traders compared to Bitfinex.
  • FTX. One of the fastest-growing crypto trading platforms with an excellent mobile app, FTX has surged in popularity that began with its derivatives products. The exchange has launched a spot market that is top 5 in the world in terms of highest trading volume and liquidity.
  • Huobi. A long-established cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi is a good exchange for altcoin trading. Similar to Bitfinex, the exchange has an intuitive and reliable trading platform.
  • KuCoin. A trusted platform used by millions of customers, KuCoin has established itself as a good platform to buy, trade and sell cryptocurrencies. The exchange has an advanced trading terminal that is suited for beginners and experienced traders. The trading fees are slightly cheaper compared to Bitfinex.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bitfinex is owned and operated by the company iFinex Inc, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Bitfinex is a global cryptocurrency exchange that is supported in over 52 countries and jurisdictions worldwide. As of 2017, Bitfinex banned residents from the United States from using their services due to strict US regulations. Countries that are accepted include Australia, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and several parts of Europe.
Bitfinex has partnered with an AUSTRAC licenced digital currency provider called Biteeu. This allows residents in Australia to access its trading platform which offers more than 70 cryptocurrencies. The exchange is yet to not gained widespread adoption and are better cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia to choose from.
Users on Bitfinex can create a sub-account and select the 'paper trading' option to demo trade cryptocurrencies on the platform. The demo account does not simulate actual markets and live prices, however does give beginners the opportunity to practise trading without depositing funds. There are better alternatives to demo trade crypto such as eToro and Plus500.
The Bitfinex app is supported on iOS and Android devices and provides its full functionality and features while on the go. The app has an overall rating of 3.9/5 based on customer reviews on Google Play.

Conclusion

To conclude our review on Bitfinex, the trading platform is best suited for trading firms and professional traders that trade millions in volume per month. However, Bitfinex is still a good exchange for retail traders that can benefit from the advanced trading platform, variety of markets and coins and other services.
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Kevin GrovesKevin GrovesKevin GrovesKevin is the founder and chief editor at hedgewithcrypto that he started in 2019 which has reached over 1.5 million visitors worldwide. He is passionate about cryptocurrency as an emerging technology and is heavily involved in the fast-growing fintech space. A professional trader growing his portfolio since 2016, he has a strong understanding of investing in the market using exchanges, brokers and derivatives platforms. After leaving his full-time job at the start of 2021, his mission today is to share information guides on crypto and to find the best exchanges via hedgewithcrypto through detailed reviews and comparisons. To stay up to date with the latest exchange reviews and guides on Bitcoin, trading, DeFi, staking and more, follow us via our newsletter and social media channels.
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