Proclaimed the world’s biggest and most advanced cryptocurrency trading platform, Bitfinex is indeed an industry leader and it has been in that position for a while. It was founded way back in 2012, and it is easily one of the crypto exchange pioneers.
iFinex Inc. is the corporate entity behind the Bitfinex brand. The address of the company is 13/F, 1308 Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road Central, Hong Kong. The entire board of directors of the operation is presented in detail on the About Us page of the official Bitfinex website. The CEO is Jean-Louis van der Velde, while the CFO is Giancarlo Devasini.
Just how dominant a force is Bitfinex in the world of crypto though? As far as trading volumes go, it is indeed the biggest and one of the most powerful out there, by quite a margin no less. Its trading volumes registered through the first quarter of 2017 were twice as big as those of its highest-profile peers/competitors, Kraken and Coinbase.
Being what in essence qualifies as “ancient” in the world of crypto, Bitfinex had its fair share of rough times through its existence.
One of its biggest problems struck in April 2016, when a hack resulted in the loss of almost BTC 120,000 from the virtual coffers of the exchange. Second, only to the Mt. Gox meltdown (which resulted in losses exceeding 750,000 BTC), the April heist was handled quite professionally, although not everyone would’ve called it that in the beginning.
Bitfinex gave all their users a seemingly arbitrary 36% “haircut” while issuing BFX tokens as a sort of IOU for everyone. Those who held on to these tokens for a year eventually got fully compensated.
A year later, in April 2017, disaster struck again. Wells Fargo, the bank handling Bitfinex’s accounts, decided to freeze these accounts, resulting in weeks of uncertainty and poor service by the exchange. Eventually, the service was restored yet again, but the incident left a lasting mark on Bitfinex’s business model. Due to it, the site no longer accepts traders from the US and USD support was dropped, leading to all sorts of difficulties concerning fiat deposits.
As far as features directly related to trading are concerned, Bitfinex is indeed shaping up as one of the best. It offers a very liquid order book and a wild range of order types that can be placed. Let us not forget about Margin Trading either: Bitfinex’s users can trade with a leverage of 3.3x – quite attractive in the world of crypto trading indeed.
The operation also has the other side of the Margin Trading equation covered: through Margin Funding, users can earn interest on their crypto holdings, by providing funding for those interested in trading with leverage.
Like most crypto exchanges, Bitfinex features a single account type. Those looking to register an account with the exchange, have to be aware of a few things.
The Bitfinex platform is designed with professional traders in mind. The site does, in fact, warn beginners to head elsewhere for their trading needs.
One cannot use Bitfinex as a wallet service. There is an inactivity fee leveled on those who fail to perform the activity they presumably joined Bitfinex to perform.
Those who do not fulfill the minimum required account equity, cannot really make use of any of the features offered by the exchange. This account equity is currently set to $10,000, so it is not cheap at all.
By going through the account verification procedure, one can gain access to extra features, such as fiat deposits and withdrawals. The bad news is that completing such a procedure is very time-consuming; it takes some 6-8 weeks as it currently stands.
The Bitfinex trading platform is indeed very impressive. Featuring a customizable user interface, its order types and tradable pair selection are second to none. The features do indeed add up to make it a destination for professional/advanced traders, rather than rank-and-file crypto beginners. The trading engine guarantees minimum slippage.
Deposits can be made in any of the cryptos supported by the exchange. These deposits are free, though “small deposits” are in fact subject to a fee (depending on the currency used). Those who fulfill the required conditions can also make bank wire deposits.
Bitfinex supports a staggering range of cryptos. TetherUSD and TetherEUE offer an anchor to the fiat markets.
Bitfinex features a support center, which lets users simply ask a question, or contact support through a ticket-based system.
While on the surface, Bitfinex is as safe as it could possibly be, the above said 2016 fiasco definitely keeps raising some uncomfortable questions and doubts.
Bitfinex is indeed the biggest and most successful in regards to crypto trading. Past security issues keep haunting it on the trust front though.