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„Wen Binance?“ has become the third most popular question for new crypto projects, right behind „wen moon?“ and „wen airdrop?“. It is a testament to the strength and openness of the exchange. However even though such a listing is a difficult to attain and expensive dream, the exchange has managed to become an ecosystem onto itself which is a considerable achievement.
To start trading on Binance you need to register. If you do not verify your identity, you are not able to do any fiat currency or leveraged trading and your crypto withdrawal limits will be very low. For identity verification you need an ID or passport, a proof of address and a selfie. The proof of address can be a utility or phone bill or any bank document which has your home address. Verification is usually pretty quick and straightforward. Binance has different subsidiaries servicing its customers, e.g. a separate Binance US company. However when going entering Binance you will be automatically redirected to the correct subsidiary‘s website.
Binance is has rapidly grown in recent years, taking the #1 trading volume spot from its competitor, Coinbase. Among the major crypto exchanges it has the largest selection of traded coins. This is a good thing, as you can buy most everything there, but sometimes a bad thing as the more obscure coins listed there can be rather risky for beginners.
Binance also has one of the lowest fees in the business, starting at 0,1% of each transaction. While this is commendable, the system for lowering them based on BNB holdings and trading volume is a bit complex. Also there is no simple way to see how much in fees have you already paid.
Generally the Binance interface is not the simplest. While it is good for more experienced traders, for beginners it seems cluttered. Binance gives users a lot of options - earning money by staking, discount coupons, various fee tiers, futures. If you are new to crypto you can easily get lost.
Binance started its own chain (Binance Smart Chain) and with its growth one major Binance advantage is it enables easy transfer of funds between the two chains. Also it enables withdrawals using other chains, which is very positive. Other exchanges have that too, but Binance has a wider selection.
Binance has the highest liquidity in the world, meaning completing trades is no issue. It enables easy use of leverage, which can be risky. Especially beginner traders have the tendency to over-enthusiastically use leverage to their own detriment. Maximum possible leverage on Binance is x125, which can make or break your wallet. Leveraged trading is not available to citizens of countries where local rules restrict it, e.g. US or Japan.
In the past there have been cases of crypto exchanges being hacked. In terms of fund security, Binance has a big asset - its sheer size. The trading and commission volume means it has enough money to ensure high security standards. The exchange is not insured but its founder claims 10% of their commissions go towards a fund designed to cover the losses in case of hack. The fund has been tested once in a 2019 hack and it delivered, covering all the losses. While such an internal fund is not the same as external insurance, it still enjoys strong reputation in the crypto world.
Another aspect of a crypto exchange is availability in times of crisis. Crypto exchanges have long suffered outages when peak traffic struck. This is especially painful for users as traffic is driven by rapid market movements - which are exactly the times people need access to their money. Binance also experiences these such, and uses Twitter as their main customer service contact channel. You can read more details in our recent blog post on the topic.
Binance is quite original as it is the biggest company in the world which has no explicitly mentioned HQ. It has its subsidiaries for doing business in the US and Europe but the location of its holding unit is not publicly known. The founder himself chooses to sustain this mystery. The best intel available suggests the headquarters are in the Seychelles. While this has not been an issue in the company's operations so far, it might become one in less rosy times.
One thing that needs to be said is Binance is often at the forefront of crypto innovation, to a degree appropriate to its size. It has grown its way to the highest crypto brand recognition and the first trading option of choice for the crypto world. It remains to be seen if it sustains this status. The fate of its Binance Smart Chain will be interesting to watch. Its popularity exploded when Ethereum fees skyrocketed. Now that the ETH fees have returned to Earth, it remains to be seen if the BSC will become a mainstay in the crypto world, or will it fade into obscurity as its numerous centralized forefathers.