Binance vs Poloniex
Crypto Exchange Comparison

Making Crypto Simple
Liam Kemp — Last Updated on June 10, 2021

In the last couple of years, cryptocurrencies have turned into the biggest risk and reward assets on the market. What some people thought to be a short-lived crypto craze in the early 2010s, continues to drive the financial market forward ten years later.

If you’re interested in making your move on the market as well, first you need to weigh out and lower the risks. In order to do so, it’s paramount to choose a trustworthy, high-liquidity crypto marketplace. Crypto marketplaces or cryptocurrency exchanges are online platforms for buying, selling, and trading digital currencies. They can be custodial or non-custodial, centralized or decentralized, altcoin or Bitcoin-only. The list keeps growing by the day.

You’ll probably agree that the best way to choose one is to compare a couple, right? That’s why we set out to make a list of exchange reviews and comparison guides for your benefit. This time, we’ll be comparing two global altcoin exchanges, Binance and Poloniex, their features, fees, and overall performance.

binance logo

VS

Poloniex logo

Let’s get started!

About the Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Binance

Binance is a global cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform founded in 2017. The exchange was initially headquartered in Shanghai, China before relocating to Japan in the wake of the new regulatory regime imposed on crypto-related businesses by the Chinese government.

However, even the Japanese Financial Service (JFSA) demanded that Binance get a license which would’ve restricted the availability of most of its services. Instead, the company’s founder, Changpeng Zhao, popularly known as CZ, relocated Binance once more to the crypto-friendly island of Malta. The company was first registered in the Cayman Islands and then in Seychelles, in 2019, as Binance Investments Company.

Binance homepage

The founder CZ has an impressive background and previous working experience in various crypto projects. Prior to Binance, he developed software for futures trading, built high-frequency trading systems for brokers, and worked as a chief technology officer at OKCoin, a popular spot trading platform. His own trading platform, Binance, attracted over 6 million crypto traders in less than a year!

Today, Binance is the number-one trading platform based on daily trading volume. It features all sorts of trading services for beginners and experts alike and offers highly competitive fees.

In September 2019, the platform launched Binance.us, its American trading arm, made with the idea to be accessible to more US traders by complying with local regulatory frameworks. In the rest of this guide, we’ll be reviewing the original Binance exchange, so keep in mind that some features might be different for US traders.

Poloniex

Poloniex is an American trading platform launched in 2014 by Tristan D’Agosta and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. Before diving into the world of cryptocurrency trading, D’Agosta studied Music at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and founded his own music company Polonius Sheet Music after graduating. On top of that, he’s a published poet!

Nevertheless, D’Agosta became carried away by the initial hype surrounding crypto assets shortly after Bitcoin’s launch. He gathered a team of experts and started working on his own crypto platform. In 2016, D’Agosta made a smart move by adding trading support for Ethereum at a time when only a few other platforms dared do so. This immediately increased Poloniex’s popularity as well as its trading volume.

Poloniex homepage

From there, things started to go downhill for Poloniex and its users. In 2018, the exchange was bought by Circle, a leading payments company, for $400 million. Circle aimed to make Poloniex comply with US regulatory rules. However, in order to do so, Poloniex had to (1) delist almost 50% of its supported assets and (2) make KYC verification checks mandatory. You can imagine its customers weren’t happy about it. On top of that, Poloniex was frequently called out for its poor customer support. Little by little, the exchange was losing its spot among the best crypto platforms.

In 2019, Poloniex spun out of Circle and loosened up its regulations under the new leadership. This means that Poloniex no longer strives to be fully compliant with US regulatory frameworks but focuses on its customers’ needs and demands instead.

Poloniex vs Binance: The Comparison

Bitcoin and Other Supported Cryptocurrencies

Now, let’s take a look at the platforms’ cryptocurrency selections.

Both Binance and Poloniex belong to that category of cryptocurrency exchanges known as altcoin exchanges. This means that apart from Bitcoin (BTC) and some other big crypto players like Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP), you also get to trade alternative coins, i.e. altcoins. The list includes tokens like Dash (DASH), Monero (XMR), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and Tron (TRX), stablecoins like Tether (USDT), and some DeFi tokens as well.

If you’re a beginner, you probably don’t have any crypto assets to begin trading with. Therefore, you need a fiat gateway that lets you deposit fiat currencies and buy digital ones. Luckily, Binance offers a number of these fiat gateways: bank deposits, card payments, P2P trading, and third-party payment providers. To top it off, the exchange supports over 60 different fiat currencies! (Yes, you read that right.)

If you want to make a bank transfer, you can use SEPA, SWIFT, PayID/Osko, Faster Payments, or Silvergate, based on what works best for your bank and in your country. If you prefer paying with plastic, use your Visa or MasterCard to purchase one of the 20 available digital assets. However, while bank deposits are usually free, card purchases come with high service fees (up to 3.5%).

If you already have experience with third-party payment channels like Paxful, ADVcash, Etana, or Simplex, you can deposit fiat money via these platforms too. Finally, Binance facilitates direct peer-to-peer trading where the buyers and sellers agree on the payment method among themselves.

In comparison, on Poloniex you can only purchase crypto with fiat via Simplex, either by linking your bank account to withdraw money from it or using your debit or credit card. You can buy only a small portion of the platform’s crypto assets using EUR (not USD!). If you use another currency, Simplex automatically converts it into Euros. The fee is 0.5% for a bank transaction or 3.5% for a card purchase.

Trading Fees

As far as trading fees are concerned, both Binance and Poloniex are some of the most affordable platforms on the market. Binance charges a 0.1% flat fee per transaction which is way below the industry average. On top of that, anyone who owns the platform’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB), gets a 50% discount on his/her trading fees during the first five years on the platform! Isn’t this amazing?

Poloniex, on the other hand, uses a volume-based fee schedule with different fees for makers and takers. Based on your trading volume during the last 30 days, you pay the following:

Tier30-Day Trading VolumeMaker FeeTaker fee
1< $50K0.125%0.125%
2< $50K0.095%0.095%
3$50K – $1M0.085%0.09%
4$1m – $10m0.05%0.085%
5$10m – $50m0.03%0.08%
6$50m+0.00%0.07%

With the highest fee for makers and takers being as low as 0.125%, Poloniex’s fees are on par with those incurred by Binance.

Security

In the crypto world, Binance is rated as a high-level security platform. The exchange encrypts all sensitive data and stores customer funds separately from operational funds in offline wallets known as cold storage.

Binance encourages its users to activate two-factor authentication (2FA) to add a second layer of security to their accounts. They can also activate the withdrawal address whitelist and make a list of all the IP addresses allowed to request withdrawals from their account. If an IP address that’s not on the list tries to make a withdrawal request, Binance automatically blocks it and informs the user via email.

Another amazing feature pioneered by Binance itself is the platform’s Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU). Binance allocates 10% of all its trading fees to SAFU and uses these funds as an emergency safe-deposit box in case of security breaches and thefts. For instance, in May 2019, the platform was hacked, affecting the balances of its users. Thanks to SAFU, Binance was able to immediately repay the loss.

Poloniex users can activate 2FA and withdrawal address whitelist as well. On top of that, there’s a feature called Self Freeze Email that when activated sends an automatic email to the user in case of an unauthorized login. The user is sent from do-not-reply@poloniex.com, with the subject “Successful Login from New IP”, and contains a link to instantly freeze your account.

Most of these measures were introduced after the infamous CLAM flash crash in 2019, when over 1,800 BTC worth $13.5 million at the time were compromised. The hackers stole these assets from users engaged in margin trading (in the CLAM/BTC margin pair explicitly). In order to cover the loss, the company borrowed customer funds affecting other Bitcoin traders. By 2020, the company has repaid a major part of the affected customers and actively works on regaining the trust of the crypto community.

Customer Support

Both platforms provide superb customer support, although Poloniex used to be lacking in responsiveness in the past. Online reviewers claim that their support tickets remained unanswered for over a month!

These days you can either send a support ticket via email or use the live chat bot (although some of the answers are automated). You can follow the platforms on social media for the most recent updates or browse through their FAQ section which you can find on their separate Help Center/Support page. Binance, for instance, features educational guides on all crypto-related topics for traders who want to get more acquainted with the industry.

Pros and Cons

Binance pros:

  • A variety of supported cryptocurrencies and trading pairs
  • Fiat deposit options and a range of payment methods
  • Below average trading fees and a discount with BNB tokens
  • High-level security plus its Secure Asset Fund for Users
  • Advanced trading features
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS users

Binance cons:

  • The original platform isn’t available in the United States
  • Not beginner-friendly

Poloniex pros:

  • Supports over 100 altcoins
  • No deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Two-factor authentication, withdrawal address whitelist, and self free email
  • Advanced trading features
  • Supports mobile trading

Poloniex cons:

  • Lack of additional fiat depositing methods
  • A history of security breaches and a lousy customer support team

Binance and Poloniex vs Other Crypto Exchanges

Let’s see how Binance and Poloniex compare to other popular crypto exchanges.

Coinbase

Coinbase, together with Gemini, is probably the best cryptocurrency brokerage in the United States. It’s one of the crypto veteran platforms that have stood the test of time. Coinbase differs from both Binance and Poloniex in that it only allows its customers to buy the most prominent cryptocurrencies: BTC, BCH, ETH, and LTC. The reason for this is that the platform assesses each new currency against its Digital Asset Framework before adding it for purchase. Coinbase has industry average fees, basic to advanced trading features, and supports fiat deposits via bank transfers, credit or debit card, and third-party payment providers.

Bittrex

When Poloniex was dealing with security and customer support issues, altcoin traders flocked to other altcoin trading platforms such as Binance, Kraken, and Bittrex. Bittrex supports all sorts of crypto tokens, from the most popular to the most obscure ones and pairs them against fiat currencies too. However, what made traders choose Binance, in the end, was the fact that Bittrex charges two times as much per transaction.

Final Thoughts

As Binance and Poloniex are both altcoin cryptocurrency exchanges with a decent amount of crypto tokens on offer and the ability to buy them with fiat currencies too (although Binance has far more fiat payment options), it might be hard to choose between the two.

While it’s true that Poloniex has struggled in the past, this doesn’t mean that we need to discard the platform altogether. Everyone deserves a second chance and from the looks of it, the Poloniex team is working at full steam to get back on track and win their customers back.

On the other hand, Binance has slightly lower trading fees and a more elaborate fiat gateway functionality. It’s available in more countries in the world and its US subsidiary is even compliant with the more restrictive US regulatory frameworks.

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