Founded back in 2014, by cryptocurrency industry standards, Poloniex is indeed one of the older exchanges. While its reputation is mixed (Poloniex-bashing has developed into a sort of sport in crypto-circles), the operation offers a fairly impressive range of services and it seems to uphold some more than decent operating standards too.
Based in the US (the operation is currently located in Boston, MA), regulatory compliance is obviously a top priority for Poloniex. The main attraction of the exchange is in its rather phenomenal altcoin trading volumes and selection. Indeed, many consider Poloniex hands-down the best destination for altcoin trading. It is also a widely known fact that the operation is not exactly beginner-friendly.
Why would you want to move your trading to Poloniex, as an experienced trader? What sort of advantages does the exchange offer?
There is no fiat money trading/support at Poloniex. It is a purely crypto-based exchange, which means that it does not have to conform to any banking regulations. This gives the operator a great deal of freedom, allowing it to stay true to the main crypto mantra to a greater degree than other regulated exchanges. The anchor to “reality” is provided by USDT.
Poloniex is keen on security. They boast air-gapped cold-storage capability, which is in fact how they allegedly keep the majority of the crypto funds deposited with them. Only the amount strictly needed for trading purposes is kept online.
Weeding out suspicious trading activity is another priority for the exchange. To this end, they have special monitoring programs running around the clock, looking for out-of-the-ordinary trading patterns.
The operator does not take liberties of any sort with users’ funds. There’s no fractional reserve action going on. Crypto funds deposited by one trader are only ever used for his/her specific trading needs.
Usually, crypto exchanges only feature a single account type in terms of features and facilities offered to traders. At Poloniex, the situation is quite similar, though the operator features Margin Trading too, which comes with a separate Margin Account. This account can be accessed from within one’s main account though, so it does not really qualify as a separate account type.
The exchange requires identity verification on all its newly created accounts. A while ago, this requirement has been expanded to legacy accounts too.
The Poloniex platform features a Lending section as well, where loan offers and demands can be posted.
The Poloniex trading platform can be accessed directly from the homepage of the official site, at a single click. It is web-based, therefore it does not require downloading and installing. While the platform itself does its job perfectly and displays all the information one could possibly need to place a trade or to derive an idea about the general condition of the market, there’s nothing really special about it. It looks OK and it works the way it should – suffice to say that much.
As far as depositing goes, Poloniex has really simplified the equation. They only support cryptos, thus deposits can only be made from one crypto wallet to another. That’s it. If you really have your mind set on trading at the site, but you do not have cryptos, just buy some at another exchange, which accepts USD (like Gemini) and transfer your coins to Poloniex.
As already mentioned above, market-coverage is one of the strengths of the operation. Scores of altcoins are supported, though the main markets are BTC (obviously), ETH, XMR and USDT. The USDT market provides an idea about how the featured cryptos relate to the good-old greenback.
Poloniex features a support center, complete with a knowledge base, where all the frequently asked questions are answered. The database is very handy and searchable. There’s a separate page for support resources, which includes detailed documentation on the APIs, on fees as well as on Stop-limit orders and margin trading. To submit a support ticket, one needs to have a registered account with the brokerage, and he/she needs to be logged in.
As far as safety goes, Poloniex should, in theory, be among the best destinations. New accounts now require ID verification and there’s two-factor authentication used. Theoretically at least, nothing could possibly go wrong at Poloniex, safety-wise.
Poloniex is loved by many and hated by quite a few. The operation logs huge trading volumes and its altcoin coverage is indeed the best in the industry. Trader complaints do leave a bitter taste though and there is little doubt that the Poloniex customer service is not the best it could be. Given the massive number of clients and the huge trading volumes though, this is hardly surprising.