Wire: 0.1% Express bank wire (within 24 hours on business days): 1% Cryptocurrency: Fees vary
What is BitFinex?
BitFinex is an advanced cryptocurrency exchange that specialises in large volume trading and offers major spot and derivatives options. It was founded in 2012 in Hong Kong and is registered as a subsidiary of iFinex in the British Virgin Islands. BitFinex offers traders the options of exchange trading, margin trading, margin funding (P2P lending), over-the-counter markets and derivatives trading.
BitFinex has a muddied history and has been the target of multiple successful hacks resulting in the theft of tens of thousands of BTC. The exchange also found itself as part of a 2019 New York Attorney General investigation into the hiding of 850 million dollars of commingled client and corporate funds from investors.
If this is your first exchange. BitFinex is an advanced trading platform designed for experienced and institutional investors. If this is your first exchange it is advised to spend a considerable amount of time learning the tools before investing too heavily.
If you’re switching exchanges. BitFinex can be a useful upgrade in exchanges if you are looking for margin trading with a deeper liquidity pool.
Pros and cons of BitFinex
Deep liquidity pool
Has a history of reimbursing users after a security breach
Wide selection of trading options and assets
History of security breaches
Difficult to navigate for new users
No control over staking governance
Not available in the USA
Verdict: Is BitFinex any good?
BitFinex is a difficult exchange to master. The complex nature appeals to experienced and institutional traders. However, once mastered the exchange offers a variety of benefits for users such as staking and lending. Its deep liquidity pools and advanced trading features make it a great trading platform option. Fees can be lowered with high trading volume or by holding the exchange’s native asset LEO.
BitFinex’s history of security breaches is of some concern. The breaches have resulted in a much stronger security protocol being installed. The exchange has a reliable history of reimbursing users when breaches occur. It is not the exchange for everyone, but is worth using if considering trading on a more serious level.
Finder ratings for BitFinex
Transferring money or assets
Fees and costs
Ease of use
Finder's editors objectively assess each platform across a spectrum of performance metrics using a system of 1 to 5 stars, which are designed to help you assess a crypto platform's strengths and weaknesses. You can read our full methodology here.
BitFinex is an exchange that has been around since 2012. It is designed with seasoned and institutional traders in mind. It offers a wide selection of trading and lending options but can be difficult to navigate for new users. There is a large liquidity pool and tons of trading pairs. The exchange gives traders the ability to stake, lend and borrow digital assets. Trading fees are competitive with other exchanges, as are deposit fees for cryptocurrency and fiat. Withdrawal fees for cryptocurrency can be high depending on the asset, but some digital assets have free withdrawals.
BitFinex supports 174 different cryptocurrencies for use in trading, lending, borrowing and staking options across the platform. The most popular include BTC, ETH, ADA, SOL, USDT and the exchange’s native utility token UNUS SED LEO (LEO).
Fees and costs
There are no deposit fees for cryptocurrencies or stablecoin deposits and 0.100% on fiat currencies via bank wire. Where BitFinex is primarily a trading exchange platform the majority of the fees and costs are associated with trading and lending. The maker fees range from 0.000% – 0.100% with taker fees ranging from 0.055% – 0.200%. The taker fees can also be subject to a 25% discount when the user holds the BitFinex native utility token UNUS SED LEO.
Fiat withdrawal and deposit fees
0.100% Bank wire (min 60 USD/EUR)
0.100% (min 60 USD/EUR)
1.000% Express bank wire (min 100 USD/EUR)
Cryptocurrency withdrawal and deposit fees
The withdrawal and deposit fees depend on which cryptocurrency, and which blockchain the coins are paying gas fees on. The fees can vary with some being high and some being free for withdrawals. There is also no charge for withdrawing cryptocurrencies to another BitFinex wallet.
What is it like to use BitFinex?
BitFinex can be overwhelming for new users, and even experienced cryptocurrency exchange users can find it daunting. It is designed to be an advanced cryptocurrency exchange that offers a plethora of services for borrowing, lending and trading. The user interface can seem cluttered but all of the functions available through more popular exchanges are available on BitFinex in addition to the advanced features.
Getting started / KYC
Signing up for BitFinex is easy and requires no KYC for cryptocurrency trading. Users can begin swapping digital assets as soon as they enable 2FA on their account.
Bitfinex Trading terminal
BitFinex’s trading page can be overwhelming. This is because all trading options are available through a single trading interface; just toggle between tabs to switch to derivatives and margin trading.
BitFinex provides staking for certain proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies such as Cardano and Tezos. Users can deposit assets and receive interest paid out to their accounts weekly.
BitFinex has a mobile app for both Android and iOS. This gives traders access to BitFinex’s advanced trading features while on the go.
Live customer support
BitFinex provides users with live customer support. Traders can access live chat on any page via a chat box at the bottom of the screen.
List of services on BitFinex
BitFinex is a complex exchange to navigate, but for seasoned traders, the ability to seamlessly access margin trading and lending through the P2P marketplace is a major advantage. Having P2P on BitFinex exchange creates a fluid movement of funds between lending, borrowing and trading without the need for a third-party intermediary.
Earning on BitFinex
Staking. Staking rewards are distributed weekly based on a midweek account balance snapshot. There is no minimum to begin staking but if rewards are less than US$0.50 for the week then the reward will not be distributed. BitFinex offers staking on TRX, EOS, XTZ, ATOM, ALGO, SOL, ADA, DOT, ETH and KSM.
Margin trading. Users can trade up to 10x leverage through funding from the peer-to-peer (P2P) margin funding platform. BitFinex supplies the P2P marketplace which allows users to access their desired amount of funding at the rate and duration of their choice.
Margin lending. This is the other side of the P2P marketplace where users can lend out their funds and digital assets to traders wanting to trade with leverage. Users utilising the margin lending tool can offer funding on a wide range of currencies and assets and pick the rate and duration of their choice.
Exchange. BitFinex exchange allows users to easily exchange their cryptocurrencies and digital assets. There are a variety of trading options including stop limit, trailing loss, limit, kill and market. Traders can easily switch between exchange and margin trading.
Derivatives. BitFinex enables derivatives trading through the use of the BitFinex Derivative Wallet. To engage in derivatives trading a user will need to convert USDT into USDt0. Derivative trading allows traders to mitigate some of the risks that are associated with the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
Borrowing on BitFinex
Borrowing is straightforward on BitFinex. Users can borrow BTC, USDT, ETH, LTC, DOT, XRP, EOS, ADA, UNI, LINK, XTZ, IOTA, ATOM and SOL through providing collateral and paying interest. Users can tailor their borrowing by duration and rates (variable vs fixed rate), which will impact the amount of interest owed on the loan.
Promotions on BitFinex
Affiliate program. This is a commission-based promotion by BitFinex. If someone you refer signs up to use BitFinex and holds UNUS SED LEO tokens in their account you are eligible for a percentage of the trading and margin funding fees they incur.
UNUS SED LEO token. This is the utility token for the BitFinex exchange. Users that own UNUS SED LEO tokens are entitled to a variety of benefits when trading.This includes reduced trading fees.
How Bitfinex financing and margin trading works
All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.
Warning: Bitfinex offers cryptocurrency derivatives which the regulator banned from sale to UK consumers in January 2021.
Spread bets are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed deposits. The value of shares, ETFs and ETCs bought through a share dealing account, a stocks and shares ISA or a SIPP can fall as well as rise, which could mean getting back less than you originally put in. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and take care to manage your exposure.
Bitfinex margin trading is financed peer-to-peer on the platform. Users can trade with up to 3.3x leverage or offer funding to other users for a potential profit.
Margin trading funding is done through an open marketplace and with the funds a user deposits onto the exchange. Users can choose to either automatically match with open funding offers or to place bids for funding.
A user can accept a financing offer for up to 70% of the value of a cryptocurrency purchase. They are not under any obligation to use the financing, may repay the financing plus interest at any time without penalty and may replace existing financing with a more favourable offer.
Users can also provide margin funding to others without necessarily doing any trading themselves.
Jack deposits £30,000 into his Bitfinex account and then wants to buy as much Bitcoin as possible with the maximum amount of financing possible.
Jill is offering the best financing rates, so Jack gets financing from Jill.
The maximum amount of Bitcoin he can purchase with his £30,000 deposit is now £100,000 because 70% of the purchase is equal to £30,000, the amount Jack deposited. This is roughly equivalent to 3.3x leverage.
If the price of Bitcoin goes up
Jack’s in luck. He might sell the Bitcoin and pocket the full profits minus the £70,000 owed to Jill plus the cost of outstanding interest.
Let’s say Jill charges 2.5% per day in interest (£1,750 per day in this case) and Jack held the financing and Bitcoin for 2 days during which the price of Bitcoin rose by 20%, then he decides to sell it.
Jack’s Bitcoin was worth £120,000 when he sold it and he owes Jill £70,000 plus a total of £3,500 in interest.
With financing: When everything’s settled Jack’s £30,000 deposit turned into £46,500.
Without financing: If he had done everything the same, except without Jill’s financing, his initial £30,000 deposit would only have turned into £36,000.
If the price of Bitcoin goes down
If the price of Bitcoin falls too much while Jack is borrowing money from Jill, he might be liquidated.
Specifically, if Jack’s share (the £30,000 that he deposited) falls to 15% or less of the total financed Bitcoin purchase, the Bitcoin will automatically be sold on Bitfinex to ensure Jill gets her money back.
Let’s say he gets the same 2.5% per day loan and buys the same amount of Bitcoin as before, except this time Bitcoin prices fall.
In line with Bitfinex’s 15% rule, Bitcoin prices would only need to fall by 12.5% before Jack gets liquidated.
This is because a 12.5% drop would mean Jack’s £100,000 Bitcoin purchase is now worth £88,500 but Jack still owes Jill £70,000 in principal and £3,500 in interest.
£88,500 minus £73,500 is £15,000 so Jack’s remaining share of the deal is 15% of the total. Now that prices have hit this point the entire bundle of Bitcoin is sold off, Jill is paid back in full and Jack is left with only £15,000
With financing: Jack’s £30,000 deposit was cut in half to £15,000 even though Bitcoin only fell 12.5%.
Without financing: Jack’s £30,000 of Bitcoin would still be worth £26,250.
Bitfinex’s financing system can magnify both the risks and rewards for people who trade on margin the way Jack did, as well as serve as a comparatively safer source of revenue for people like Jill who provide the financing.
As Jack’s experience with falling Bitcoin prices illustrates, margin trading can be much higher risk for users.
And as Jill’s experience with Jack illustrates, providing financing to other Bitfinex users can be relatively safe compared to using it.
Is Bitfinex safe to use?
Not registered in the UK. Whilst crypto trading isn’t regulated in the UK, the FCA keeps a cryptoasset register of firms that have passed AML and counter-terrorism checks. However, you won’t find Bitfinex on that list because it has no UK-based entity. Bitfinex offers cryptocurrency derivatives which the regulator banned from sale to UK consumers in January 2021.
Verification process. Fiat currency deposits and withdrawals are for verified users only. Bitfinex describes it as a “standardised compliance measure” consisting of an online questionnaire, supporting documentation such as passport and driver’s licence and a signed declaration confirming the accuracy of the submitted information.
Security features. Bitfinex supports 2FA and strongly recommends everyone use it. Users can take further control of their security with features such as IP whitelists and a range of customisable security and self-account-audit measures. Approximately 99.5% of user funds are maintained in an offline multisignature hardware wallet with 7 separate physical keys, known as hardware security modules, at least 4 of which are required to unlock it. It maintains an extensive security team, employs comprehensive DDoS protection and performs regular penetration testing.
Other: The Blockchain Transparency Institute assessment of Bitfinex believes it to be 100% real trading volume, without any of the wash trading that’s common elsewhere in cryptocurrency.
Bitfinex has an eventful history, even by cryptocurrency standards.
It was founded in 2012 and was first hacked in 2015 when 1,500 Bitcoin was stolen. This relatively minor heist quickly paled in comparison to a monumental hack in 2016 when over 100,000 Bitcoin worth US$72 million at the time disappeared from the exchange, causing prices to plunge by about 20%.
Following the incident, Bitfinex socialised the losses among its users, cutting people’s account balances by up to 36%. This “haircut” was ostensibly applied to all its users, although credible sources suggest that Coinbase, which had funds on Bitfinex at the time of the loss, was able to strongarm Bitfinex into a more favourable deal.
Bitfinex still reimbursed its users though, as the Bitcoin taken from users in the haircut was replaced with tokens that track Bitcoin prices. Bitfinex purchased these tokens back from users over the next year.
Bitfinex has also found itself at the centre of price-manipulation allegations, largely thanks to its close ties to the even more opaque Tether (USDT) cryptocurrency. Tether and Bitfinex share much of the same management. These price-manipulation allegations have never been settled.
During its tenure as one of the world’s most trafficked cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitfinex has been subject to allegations of just about any kind imaginable, from insolvency to money laundering to theft, although these are mostly just rumours with scant evidence.
The most recent oddities in Bitfinex’s storied history are centred around its unconventional banking arrangements. It has had a slew of accounts shut down and for a time was reportedly doing its banking under the radar through shell-like companies. Those tumultuous times eventually culminated in the so-called “distributed banking solution” that Bitfinex uses today. This system is why it can sometimes take so long to make fiat deposits onto Bitfinex.
Despite all the controversies, Bitfinex is by the numbers one of the world’s most popular and liquid cryptocurrency exchanges, with entirely real and unadulterated volume according to industry experts.
Does BitFinex have good customer support?
BitFinex has multiple forms of customer support available for users. This includes a contact us form, which can take days to receive a response from. It offers a help centre with solutions to common problems. There is instant live chat available on every page and it provides bug bounties for users that find errors in code. Responses can be slow but are helpful.
Contact us form
Live chat (virtual assistant)
Bug Bounty (self-report for rewards)
Signing up on BitFinex
On the home screen of the BitFinex website, the sign-up tab can be located in the top right corner next to the login tab and the language settings.
You will then be prompted to create your new account. You will need to create a unique username, enter an email and create a secure password. Your password must include at least 8 characters, both upper and lower case letters, 1 number and 1 special character. You will also need to declare your country of residence.
Once you have registered your new account with your email address you will be sent a verification link. Click the link to continue with the sign-up process.
Once you have verified your email address you will be able to log in to your new BitFinex account. It will prompt you to add 2-factor authentication (2FA) as an added layer of security. Many features of the exchange are inaccessible until 2FA is enabled.
Once you have completed 2FA you will be able to send funds and begin utilising the tools on the exchange. The different options can be toggled on the top and left tabs on the home page below.
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Crypto is unregulated in the UK; there's no consumer protection; value can rise or fall; tax on profits may apply*.
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Frequently asked questions
Bitfinex supports users from all countries, with a handful of exceptions, most notably the United States.
Yes. The Bitfinex app can be downloaded on Android and iPhone.
Bitfinex conducts a thorough verification process, as is typical of more-compliant cryptocurrency exchanges. This includes getting some personal information and identification from you.
Bitfinex offers an online help centre and has active customer support on a range of social media channels.
*Cryptocurrencies aren't regulated in the UK and there's no protection from the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your capital is at risk. Capital gains tax on profits may apply.
Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Andrew Munro was the global cryptocurrency editor at Finder, covering all aspects of cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales.
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