Bitfinex Review (Jul 2022): Why We Don’t Like It

June 13, 2022
Reviews

Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the British Virgin Islands that was originally founded in 2012, making it one of the oldest crypto exchanges currently around. It has many advanced features and order types that most advanced crypto traders will find useful, but I’d be hesitant to recommend it because the platform has a history of issues with regulatory entities across the world and Canadian users in Ontario can’t use it.

Instead, I recommend CoinSmart, Bitbuy or Newton, since they all offer more features and charge lower fees than Bitfinex. For the best possible crypto trading experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these three platforms.

CLAIM MY $50 BONUS
Trusted by 400,000+ Canadians.

What Is Bitfinex?

Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the British Virgin Islands that was originally founded in 2012, making it one of the oldest crypto exchanges currently around. The platform is closely associated with Tether (USDT), as they have both their management and many shareholders in common, but this has given the exchange quite the list of issues with regulators in the past.

Currently, it supports 270 different cryptocurrency tokens, and the platform will grant its users access to many convenient features, such as margin trading and margin funding that lets its users earn interest on funds that other people will use to trade with leverage.

To start off this Bitfinex review, let’s take a deeper look at Bitfinex’s pros, cons, and features.

Why you should trust me

  • Experienced
    I bought my first cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in 2013, bought Ethereum in 2017, and have held active accounts with at least 5 exchanges since 2018.
  • Unbiased
    All of my selections are supported by multiple data points, including crypto thought leaders, security experts, and TrustPilot reviews.
  • Deep Research
    My team and I spent more than 100 hours researching exchanges before choosing our top picks, and we update them almost daily as the industry continues to change.
My top pick →

Bitfinex Pros & Cons

Bitfinex Pros

  • High liquidity.
  • A wide array of order types to choose from.
  • Solid security measures.
  • A very wide array of supported cryptocurrencies (270).
  • Low trading fees (0.1% and 0.2% for maker and taker fees on its lowest tier respectively).
  • Paper trading feature for beginners to learn to use the platform.
  • Has a Bug Bounty Program that will reward you for spotting bugs and security vulnerabilities on the platform.

Bitfinex Cons

  • Not available to Canadian users in Ontario.
  • Still somewhat complicated to use despite the paper trading feature.
  • Has a history of fines and issues with regulatory entities.
  • Its assets are not insured.
  • Full verification takes a long time to complete.

Bitfinex Features

1. Bitfinex Desktop Platform

Although Bitfinex’s desktop platform tries its best to be as user-friendly as possible, it’s evident that its plethora of advanced trading features will benefit experienced crypto traders the most. With this platform, you’ll be able to trade crypto with other users directly through its OTC desk, gain access to thorough order books and advanced charts that will aid you in your crypto trading, and you’ll even be able to engage in margin trading with up to 10x leverage.

Another feature that makes this platform unique is that you can also engage in margin funding, which will let you earn interest on funds that you can lend to other traders to use in the margin trading platform, and the paper trading feature that will let newer users get acquainted with the exchange’s trading experience risk-free.

Bitfinex also supports a very wide array of order types: for instance, there are the classic market and limit orders at your disposal, but you’ll also be able to use stop, stop-limit, trailing stop, fill or kill (FOK), immediate or cancel, and even scaled orders. You’ll also be able to combine these order types with other order options, such as one cancels the other (OCO), hidden orders, visible on hit, post-only limit, reduce-only, and time in force.

The platform also has competitive fees on its lowest tier (0.1% and 0.2% for maker and taker fees respectively), and you’re allowed to make crypto-to-crypto trades, which is great considering just how many crypto exchanges lack such a basic feature.

2. Bitfinex Mobile App

Bitfinex also has a well-designed and slick mobile app that will let its users do everything that you can do on the desktop platform through a simplified interface. This includes the multiple order types that you can use in the desktop platform, as well as the advanced charting and both the margin trading and margin funding platforms too.

As for the app’s ratings, you can expect to see a 3.4 out of 5 stars based on 2,000 reviews on the Google Play Store, and 4 out of 5 stars based on 115 reviews on the Apple Store respectively, indicating mixed customer satisfaction with the app. Common critiques include lag when looking at the platform’s advanced trading charts, as well as being able to log in without a PIN code confirmation, which is very alarming.

3. Bitfinex Security Features

Bitfinex has a fair amount of solid security features in place. For instance, you’ll need to set up 2-factor authentication (2FA) before you can use your account (which adds a layer of protection between a hacker and withdrawal confirmations), and the exchange will also send you an email every time you log into your account, which includes a link to suspend your account in case you notice anything strange going on.

Additionally, Bitfinex’s security team constantly audits protocol implementation at all levels of the platform in order to maintain a hostile environment for hackers. The security team also conducts routine external security audits, which only adds even more layers of protection to the platform, and their servers have DDoS protection in place, complete with real-time malicious traffic detection and automatic inline mitigation measures to decrease latency and increase uptime.

The exchange also keeps around 99.5% of user funds in an offline, multi-signature wallet, and as if that weren’t enough, this multi-signature wallet requires the approval of all transactions via three of five hardware security modules (HSMs) held by internationally scattered management team members. This level of security is something that other exchanges should aspire to achieve.

However, not all is perfect in terms of security for Bitfinex: for one, the platform’s digital assets are not insured, and the platform also has a noticeable lack of regulation in Canada. In fact, you won’t be able to use the platform if you’re an Ontario user, mainly because the platform ceased operations there as regulatory pressure continued to build up. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why the platform is not a registered Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), nor is it a registered firm under the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

4. Bitfinex Customer Support

Bitfinex has a pretty thorough Help Center at its disposal, and it should be able to answer nearly any question you could have in regards to using the platform. In case you had a more complex inquiry, you’d be able to reach the platform’s customer support team through ticket submission and through its Live Chat feature, but they don’t offer any phone or email support.

  • Phone: Not Available
  • Email: Not Available
  • Live chat: Available

The platform also has a pretty extensive social media presence, and you’ll be able to reach them through Telegram, Instagram, Pulse, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, and CoinGecko. However, the customer support you’ll get here will simply not be the same as you would on the main customer support page, mainly because these channels weren’t made with customer support in mind.

5. UNUS SED LEO, iFinex’s Own Crypto Token 

Bitfinex also supports a unique cryptocurrency token, known as UNUS SED LEO, which is used across the iFinex (BitFinex, EthFinex and Tether) ecosystem. Having holdings of this unique token will allow you to reduce your trading fees even more, which is always a welcome addition to have.

Not many cryptocurrency exchanges offer their own crypto token, and the fact that having it will allow you to lower your trading fees even lower makes it difficult not to like a feature like this one.  

Cryptocurrencies On Bitfinex

Bitfinex currently supports around 270 different cryptocurrencies, which is a huge list of supported crypto coins to have. Some of the most common tokens you’ll find on the platform include Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Dogecoin (DOGE), Solana (SOL), Polkadot (DOT), Uniswap (UNI), XRP (XRP), and Tether (USDT).

Bitfinex Fees

Trading Fees

Bitfinex follows a tiered fee structure that lowers your trading fees depending on your daily trading volume and your UNUS SED LEO holdings. That fee schedule looks like this:

As you can see, these fees are very low even on their lowest tier, so the fact that you can lower them down even further is quite awesome. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about any deposit fees unless you use a bank wire, and even then, the bank wire deposit will only incur a 0.1% fee, which is very small.

As for withdrawal fees, here is what you can expect to incur when trading some of Bitfinex’s most popular cryptocurrencies:

CryptocurrencyWithdrawal Fee
Bitcoin (BTC)0.0004 BTC
Ether (ETH)0.00126 ETH
Litecoin (LTC)0.001 LTC
Cardano (ADA)0.3 ADA
Dogecoin (DOGE)Free
Solana (SOL)Free
Polkadot (DOT)Free
Uniswap (UNI)0.4451 UNI
XRP (XRP)0.1 XRP
Tether (USDT)Free

3 Exchanges I Recommend Over Bitfinex

Bitfinex isn’t a bad exchange, but it’s also not the best in Canada: the platform can be very complicated to use, it has a history of fines and issues with regulatory entities across the world and, perhaps more importantly, Canadian users in Ontario can’t use it, which leaves nearly a third of all of Canada unable to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies on the platform.

That’s why I recommend any of these three exchanges over Bitfinex:

  1. Bitbuy: With trading fees as low as 0.1%, tight spreads, and a well-rated mobile app, Bitbuy is my go-to exchange for making large purchases due to its extremely low fees. Get your $50 signup bonus with Bitbuy here.
  2. CoinSmart: With trading fees of just 0.2%, quick deposits and withdrawals, and best-in-class customer support, there’s no questioning why CoinSmart is one of the most popular exchanges in Canada. Get your $50 signup bonus with CoinSmart here.
  3. VirgoCX: With support for more than 50 cryptocurrencies, instant account verification, and a beautiful website and app, I recently signed up with VirgoCX and have been pleasantly surprised every step of the way. Get your $$30 signup bonus with VirgoCX here.

Here’s a quick summary of these three exchanges:

Best Overall

Trading fees: 0.1% – 0.2%
Security: 99% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Serving over 400,000 Canadians

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

Low Fees

Trading fees: 0.2%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

$50 bonus ending soon.

★★★★★

Rated 4.8/5

Best For Altcoins

Spreads: ~0.5%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $30

Low spreads, great platform.

★★★★

Rated 4.5/5

How To Withdraw From Bitfinex

To withdraw crypto from Bitfinex, follow these steps:

  • Firstly, log in to your Bitfinex account
  • Go to Wallets
  • Go to Withdraw.
  • From the list of currencies on the left-hand side, select the token you wish to withdraw.
  • Enter the information specific to your withdrawal.
  • Once all the information is filled in and selected, press Request Withdrawal.
  • Confirm your withdrawal request via 2FA and email confirmation.

In Summary

Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the British Virgin Islands that was originally founded in 2012, making it one of the oldest crypto exchanges currently around. It has many advanced features and order types that most advanced crypto traders will find useful, but I’d be hesitant to recommend it because the platform has a history of issues with regulatory entities across the world and Canadian users in Ontario can’t use it.

Instead, I recommend CoinSmart, Bitbuy or Newton, since they all offer more features and charge lower fees than Bitfinex. For the best possible crypto trading experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these three platforms.

CLAIM MY $50 BONUS
Trusted by 400,000+ Canadians.

Bitfinex FAQs

Is Bitfinex Safe & Secure?

Yes, trading with Bitfinex is completely safe and secure. Their servers have DDoS protection in place, they have a 99.5% cold storage policy, and they have obligatory 2-factor authentication and email confirmations.

Is Bitfinex Legit?

Yes, Bitfinex is legit for several reasons: it has been around since 2012, their security team conducts regular security audits, and they have obligatory 2-factor authentication and email confirmations.

Is Bitfinex Legal In Canada?

Yes, Bitfinex operates legally in Canada. However, keep in mind that it’s not a registered Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and it’s also not a registered firm with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

Is Bitfinex Trustworthy?

Yes, Bitfinex is a trustworthy exchange for several reasons: it has been around since 2012, its servers have DDoS protection in place, and its security team conducts regular security audits.

Does Bitfinex Verify Accounts Instantly?

Yes, Bitfinex does verify some accounts instantly, though if your account needs to go through the manual verification process for some reason, these are the documents you’ll need to provide:

  • A photo of a government-issued ID (such as a passport).
  • Biometric photo (selfie).
  • Your phone number.

Is Bitfinex Good For Canadians?

Bitfinex is a decent exchange for Canadians, though if you’re looking for the best overall trading experience, I recommend using CoinSmart, Bitbuy, or Newton instead. Each of them offers quite a bit more than Bitfinex, and I’m confident you’ll have a better experience with them.

How Well Is Bitfinex Reviewed On Reddit?

Reddit’s review of Bitfinex is uncertain: some Redditors have good things to say, while others don’t. Of course, Redditors are known for their brutally honest opinions, so take what they say with a grain of salt.

Can I Buy Dogecoin With Bitfinex?

Yes, you can buy Dogecoin with Bitfinex. If you want to buy Dogecoin with lower fees, though, I suggest using CoinSmart, Bitbuy, or Newton instead.

Is Bitfinex Insured?

No, Bitfinex’s crypto holdings are not insured.

Bitfinex Referral Code

You don’t need a referral code to get your signup bonus with Bitfinex. Simply sign up using our signup bonus link and then deposit $100 or more into your account.

Does Bitfinex report to the CRA?

No. Considering Bitfinex isn’t a Money Services Business (MSB) registered in the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), you’ll have to report any income you make from the platform to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) yourself.

The Best Crypto Exchanges In Canada

Best Overall

Trading fees: 0.1%
Security: 99% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Serving over 400,000 Canadians

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

$50 Signup Bonus

Trading fees: 0.2%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Trusted by 200,000+ Canadians.

★★★★★

Rated 4.8/5

Best For Altcoins

Spreads: ~0.5%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $30

Low spreads, great platform.

★★★★

Rated 4.5/5