Gianluca Longinotti Reviewed by Gianluca Longinotti
Updated: 8 may 2024
7 minutes

Cryptocurrencies can’t be bought at the bank (at least not yet)! In fact, the vast majority of banks don’t offer crypto products. Therefore, if you’re looking to dive into crypto trading, you need to turn to the services of a crypto exchange or a broker. But which one to choose? In this Bitfinex review, we present all the basics of the Bitfinex exchange, exploring its history, ecosystem, and strengths and weaknesses.

Bitfinex logo

What is Bitfinex?

Before delving into the details of crypto trading on Bitfinex, let’s get a general overview of the exchange.


  • Comprehensive platform
  • Enhanced security
  • Suitable for experienced traders


Bitfinex is on a mission to simplify access to crypto trading for its users. To achieve this, the exchange provides advanced trading tools, implements innovative technology, and maintains high levels of customer service (the security aspect will be addressed later in this article).

bitfinex landing page

As mentioned on its homepage, the crypto space is evolving rapidly, and Bitfinex aims to be part of the ongoing transformation. The platform emphasizes its “forward-thinking and agile approach.” It’s worth noting that Bitfinex also has its own mobile application available on Android and Apple.

As a crypto exchange, Bitfinex offers services for trading digital assets. With Bitfinex, you can buy, sell, and exchange cryptocurrencies. Bitfinex is owned by iFinex Inc, with its headquarters located in the British Virgin Islands. The leadership team includes:

  • JL Van der Velde, CEO
  • Giancarlo Devasini, CFO
  • Claudia Lagorio, COO
  • Paolo Ardoino, CTO
  • Peter Warrack, CCO
  • Stuart Hoegner, Advisor

“We firmly believe that the best cryptocurrency trading experience should be accessible to everyone.” – Bitfinex

History of the Bitfinex Exchange

Bitfinex traces its origins back to 2012, specifically December 2012, when the platform was officially launched. In its early days, the platform exclusively facilitated the exchange of Bitcoin. However, over the years, it diversified its assets.

The history of Bitfinex is marked by several attacks or difficulties, impacting its reputation. More details on these unfortunate events will be provided in the security and reliability section below.


  • Comprehensive platform
  • Enhanced security
  • Suitable for experienced traders

Bitfinex Ecosystem

In addition to cryptocurrency trading, Bitfinex offers several services. Let’s explore them.

Cryptocurrency Trading:

The core activity of Bitfinex revolves around crypto trading. One of Bitfinex’s notable strengths is its extensive selection of cryptocurrencies. Currently, more than 170 cryptocurrencies are available, including major players in terms of market capitalization such as:

In addition to these “classic” cryptocurrencies, you can also invest in metaverse coins like The Sandbox (SAND) or Decentraland (MANA). Bitfinex also facilitates trading of DeFi tokens such as Uniswap (UNI), SushiSwap (SUSHI), or PancakeSwap (CAKE). Lastly, for those who enjoy taking risks and investing in recently launched tokens with highly volatile prices, Bitfinex offers tokens like ApeCoin (APE).

bitfinex exchange trading features

Beyond traditional trading, Bitfinex provides the option for margin trading. This means you can use leverage (up to 10 times) to maximize your gains. It’s important to note that this type of trading is designed for experienced users. Without prior knowledge, you expose yourself to potentially significant losses.

Bitfinex Leaderboard

The Bitfinex Leaderboard section allows you to check the results of the platform’s traders (for those who have agreed to make their names and results visible). At a glance, you can review the best traders of the week and month, as well as identify those who performed less favorably.

Bitfinex Reporting

Bitfinex offers a dedicated application, Bitfinex Reporting, to meticulously track your results. This application is available for desktop use on Windows, Linux, and Mac. In addition to providing a detailed report of your activities, this application assists you in preparing your tax declaration.

UNUS SED LEO (LEO): The Native Token of the iFinex Ecosystem

Similar to other exchanges, Bitfinex has its native token: UNUS SED LEO (LEO). By purchasing this token, you gain certain conveniences and advantages. For instance, your transaction fees are reduced, and it allows you to contribute to the development of the iFinex ecosystem.

The UNUS SED LEO token was launched in May 2019. The token is notably used by the platform in a burn mechanism. Essentially, each month, iFinex repurchases a certain quantity of LEO tokens from the market and burns them (removes them from circulation). The quantity of burned tokens is equivalent to 27% of the revenue generated by iFinex. The UNUS SED LEO token has the unique feature of operating on two blockchains. Thus, 64% of the LEO tokens were launched on Ethereum, while the remaining 36% were launched on the EOS blockchain.


Bitfinex platform enables staking. As a reminder, staking is a crypto service that allows you to earn passive income. Simply choose the cryptocurrency you want to stake, buy it, and you’ll receive weekly returns.

For example, the platform communicates the potential annual returns based on different cryptocurrencies:

  • Tron (TRX): 6% – 8%;
  • EOS (EOS): 0% – 3%;
  • Tezos (XTZ): 3% – 5%;
  • Cosmos (ATOM): 1.5% – 3%;
  • Algorand (ALGO): 3% – 5%;
  • Solana (SOL): Up to 6.5%;
  • Polygon (MATIC): 12% – 16%;
  • Cardano (ADA): 4% – 5%;
  • Polkadot (DOT): Up to 7%;
  • Ethereum 2 (ETH 2): Up to 10%;
  • Kusama (KSM): Up to 8%.

Lending Crypto

Bitfinex allows you to lend your cryptocurrencies and be compensated for it. This involves locking your crypto funds for a certain period. This service is available with many cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.

Crypto Loans

Bitfinex also offers crypto lending solutions. You can get a loan in the following cryptos:

  • Bitcoin;
  • Tether;
  • Ethereum;
  • Litecoin;
  • Polkadot;
  • XRP;
  • EOS;
  • Cardano;
  • Uniswap;
  • Chainlink;
  • Tezos;
  • IOTA;
  • Cosmos;
  • Solana;
  • Tether Gold.

Depending on the amount of crypto requested and the loan duration, you’ll need to deposit a collateral amount in fiat currency. For example, if you want to borrow 0.006 BTC for 32 days, you’ll need to deposit the equivalent of €206.99 in collateral.


  • Comprehensive platform
  • Enhanced security
  • Suitable for experienced traders

How to Trade Crypto on Bitfinex?

Interested in making your first moves in crypto trading on Bitfinex? Learn the steps to buy cryptocurrencies on the Bitfinex app and website.

Open an Account

  • Visit the official website’s homepage and click on “Sign up.”
  • Fill in a simple form with your username, password, country of residence, and any promo code if applicable.
  • Activate two-factor authentication (2FA) through Google Authenticator.

Verify Your Account

  • Bitfinex adheres to anti-money laundering (AML), counter-terrorism financing (CTF), and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.
  • The platform has four account levels: Basic, Basic Plus, Intermediate, and Full. Each level has specific verification requirements, conditions, and potential deposit/trading/withdrawal limits.
  • After creating a Basic-level account, enhance your account by undergoing more thorough verifications on the Verification page. Upload the necessary documents to achieve your desired account level.

Getting a Basic Plus Account on Bitfinex

  • Provide an official photo ID: passport, national ID card, driver’s license, residence card, work visa, etc.
  • A selfie.
  • Your phone number.

Getting an Intermediate Account on Bitfinex

  • Fulfill all requirements for Basic Plus.
  • A second official photo ID with a picture.
  • Proof of address: utility bill (gas, electricity, water, internet, or phone), government-issued correspondence, etc., dated within the last 3 months.
  • A financial questionnaire.
  • A KYC declaration.

Getting a Full Account on Bitfinex

  • Submit all required documents for Intermediate.
  • A bank statement in your name.

After uploading the necessary documents for a level, click “Submit” to initiate the verification process. Verification typically takes 2 to 3 business days.

Deposit Funds (Optional)

Before buying cryptos, you can fund your account, though it’s not mandatory. This step allows you to have funds readily available, reducing transaction time and fees.

Bitfinex supports deposits in fiat (Euro, USD, GBP, JPY, CNH) and cryptocurrencies.

Fiat deposits require a registered bank account in your name, Full-level verification, and a minimum deposit of €10,000.

Fiat Deposit

Deposit funds in Euro, USD, GBP, JPY, or CNH via bank wire transfer.

Your bank account must be registered in your name. You need to have achieved Full-level verification.

The minimum deposit in euros is €10,000.

Crypto Deposit

Import your existing cryptocurrencies to your Bitfinex account. Choose the crypto you want to deposit and the wallet (Exchange Wallet, Margin Wallet, Funding Wallet) based on your trading preference.

Obtain the Bitfinex wallet address for your deposit.

Buying Cryptocurrencies

Visit the “Trading” tab on your Bitfinex account. Depending on your situation, you can buy cryptos with fiat, deposited crypto, or directly with a credit card.

Instant crypto purchases can be made through various networks: OWNR, Mercuryo, Simplex, and happyCOINS. Available networks depend on your verification level.

about bitfinex

What are the Fees on Bitfinex?

The Bitfinex fee structure is as follows:

Transaction Fees:

  • Crypto to crypto: 0.1% (Maker), 0.2% (Taker);
  • Crypto to stablecoin: 0.1% (Maker), 0.2% (Taker);
  • Crypto to fiat: 0.1% (Maker), 0.2% (Taker);
  • Derivatives: 0.02% (Maker), 0.065% (Taker).

Execution Fees (Excluding Derivatives):

  • Up to $500,000 trading in the last 30 days: 0.1% (Maker), 0.2% (Taker);
  • Beyond $500,000 trading in the last 30 days: Decremental fees.

Execution Fees (Derivatives):

  • Up to $2,000,000 trading in the last 30 days: 0.02% (Maker), 0.065% (Taker);
  • Beyond $500,000 trading in the last 30 days: Decremental fees.

Deposit Fees:

  • Crypto, stablecoin, securities: Free;
  • Bank wire transfer: 0.1% (minimum €60).

Withdrawal Fees:

  • Free or chargeable (depends on each asset).
  • Example withdrawal fees for major cryptos:
    • Bitcoin: 0.0004 BTC;
    • Ethereum: 0.00126 ETH;
    • Shiba Inu: 184,330 SHIB;
    • Solana: Free;
    • Zcash: 0.003 ZEC.

If you own UNUS SED LEO tokens, you can benefit from transaction fee reductions based on the following scale:

Crypto to Crypto:

  • Over the equivalent of 1 USDT in LEO: -15% on Taker fees;
  • Over the equivalent of 5,000 USDT in LEO: -25% on Taker fees;
  • Over the equivalent of 10,000 USDT in LEO: -25% and up to an additional -0.06% on Taker fees.

Crypto to Stablecoin:

  • Over the equivalent of 1 USDT in LEO: -15% on Taker fees;
  • Over the equivalent of 5,000 USDT in LEO: -25% on Taker fees;
  • Over the equivalent of 10,000 USDT in LEO: -25% and up to an additional -0.06% on Taker fees.

Crypto to Fiat:

  • Over the equivalent of 5,000 USDT in LEO: -10% on Taker fees;
  • Over the equivalent of 10,000 USDT in LEO: -10% and up to an additional -0.06% on Taker fees.

Is Bitfinex Safe?

Let’s address it upfront—Bitfinex doesn’t have a spotless history when it comes to attacks or financial scandals. Here are some “issues” the platform has faced since its inception:

  • May 2015: Lost 1,500 bitcoins in a hack;
  • June 2016: Fined $75,000 for illegal transaction proposals;
  • August 2016: Lost 119,756 bitcoins in a hack, dubbed the “heist of the century”;
  • April 2019: Faced a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General for concealing a loss of $850 million;
  • October 2021: Fined $1.5 million for illegal transactions recognized by the CFTC.

While its history may not be in its favor, the platform is not a scam. Despite challenges, Bitfinex remains in the market.

Regulations of the Bitfinex Platform

Limited information is available about Bitfinex’s regulations. However, it seems the platform is licensed with the financial authorities of Bermuda. Despite being lightly regulated, the platform is not authorized to operate in the following countries:

  • United States;
  • Canada;
  • British Virgin Islands;
  • Austria;
  • Italy.


  • Comprehensive platform
  • Enhanced security
  • Suitable for experienced traders

Pros and Cons of Bitfinex

  • Mobile availability with an app for Android and Apple.
  • A wide variety of available cryptocurrencies.
  • Ecosystem offering staking, crypto lending, etc.
  • Very high minimum deposit amount via wire transfer: €10,000 minimum.
  • No interface available in French.
  • History marred by scandals and regulatory issues.

FAQs about Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a centralized crypto exchange that enables the buying, selling, and trading of cryptocurrencies.
The Bitfinex platform is owned by the parent company iFinex Inc, headquartered in the British Virgin Islands.
Bitfinex is not a scam. However, the platform has a history marked by attacks and legal issues with regulatory agencies.
Bitfinex has the advantage of offering a large variety of cryptocurrencies for trading. In total, approximately 170 cryptocurrencies are available on Bitfinex.
Bitfinex primarily offers crypto trading. The exchange also provides crypto lending, staking services, and the option to lend your cryptocurrencies to earn passive income.