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Binance.US Review {{ year }}: Low Fees, But Investors Should Take a Pass – NextAdvisor

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Ryan Haar is a former personal finance reporter for NextAdvisor. She previously wrote for Bloomberg News, The…
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No matter where you buy it, cryptocurrency is a highly volatile, speculative investment. Only invest in crypto what you’re prepared to lose, and make sure you have other financial priorities in place first: save money in an emergency fund, contribute to retirement savings, and pay off any high-interest debt balances.
Binance.US can grab investors’ attention with lower fees than many other cryptocurrency exchanges, but we’d recommend paying a bit more for added transparency. 
Binance.US is an American partner of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, and which was founded in China in 2017. The original platform stopped accepting U.S. users in 2019, and announced it would instead partner with a U.S.-based version of its platform called Binance.US.  
Since the 2019 introduction of Binance.US, which Binance has referred to in the past as a U.S. partner, the international Binance has faced regulatory scrutiny — though that scrutiny has not extended to Binance.US. For example, Italian regulators announced on July 15 Binance was no longer authorized to operate in the country. 

As recently as May 2021, Binance was under investigation by the U.S. government for tax fraud and money laundering, according to reporting by Bloomberg. 

We reached out to Binance and Binance.US in an attempt to confirm details about reported regulatory investigations, as well as to better understand the relationship between the international and U.S-based platforms. We didn’t hear back from officials at Binance or Binance.US, though a spokesperson contacted us on behalf of Binance.US after our review published to provide additional context on the relationship between Binance and Binance.US. They operate as separate companies, the spokesperson said in an email, with Binance.US licensing software, trademarks, and wallet technology from Binance.
United States investors still cannot use the original Binance today, but Binance.US offers over 50 cryptocurrencies for investors to choose from. The biggest draw of Binance.US is its low fees compared to some other exchanges. It also has an easy-to-use buy/sell option for beginners, while more advanced traders can get the benefit of its in-depth “basic” and “advanced” trading platforms. 
Despite those benefits, Binance.US is much less transparent than many competitor exchanges when it comes to security, storage options, and customer assistance. For most long-term, retirement-minded investors, we’d recommend sticking with exchanges such as Coinbase or Gemini, which are much more transparent about these key operations. 
Low fees compared to other exchanges
25% trading fee discount if you pay fees using Binance Coin (BNB)
Not available in all states
$10 minimum trade
Site can be difficult to use
Lack of information on security
U.S. partner of Binance, which has a history of regulatory scrutiny
You can buy and sell over 50 cryptocurrencies on Binance.US, including:
Binance.US also offers a large number of trading pairs. This includes options to trade two cryptocurrencies without the need to cash out one for USD, as well as options to trade between crypto and a fiat currency like USD. Different exchanges offer different trading pairs based on the cryptocurrencies they offer. 

Binance.US Fees

Binance.US has an option to automatically buy and sell crypto using U.S. dollars, using a simple interface that’s similar to what you’ll find on Coinbase and other competitors. Each of these buy/sell transactions charge a 0.5% fee.  
But to take advantage of its competitive 0.1% standard fee, you’ll need to spot trade through the Binance.US trading platform. This can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with exchange lingo; on other exchanges, this type of trading and fee structure is typically used in more advanced platform options, such as Coinbase’s Coinbase Pro or Gemini’s Active Trader.  

Spot trading means you’re not technically “buying” the cryptocurrency, but instead trading your USD for it through either a market or a limit order. A market order means you agree to trade for the currency at the current market price. A limit order lets you put in a designated price at which you want the trade to occur, and when the currency reaches that price, the trade happens automatically. These orders then incur “maker” (for limit orders) or “taker” (for market orders) fees — though on Binance.US, there’s just a standard 0.1% fee.
Take Bitcoin for example, if you want to get Bitcoin on Binance.US, here’s how you would do it to make sure you only pay that 0.1% fee, and not the 0.5% fee:
That can mean serious savings for investors, especially compared to some other exchanges. For example, if you want to buy $100 worth of Bitcoin on Coinbase, you’d actually end up with about $96.51 in Bitcoin, after fees. On Binance.US, you’d still have $99.99 to purchase Bitcoin after accounting for the 0.1% fee. 
If you outright buy Bitcoin with USD, you will pay a 0.5% fee on Binance.US. If you want to spend $100 to buy Bitcoin using this option, you’d end up trading about $99.50 after fees.

There is also a 25% discount to your fee if you use Binance Coin (BNB) to pay your transaction fee. To do this, you just have to hold Binance Coin in your Binance.US account, and your trading fee will be automatically deducted from your Binance Coin balance. 
If you use a dollar cost averaging method to regularly invest, these savings can be significant in the long run. But while it’s important to pay attention to an exchange’s fee structure, experts say that it may be worth it to pay more in fees for more advanced security, usability, or other features.
Before you trade money for crypto, you’ll need to deposit — and when you sell, withdraw —  U.S. dollars into and out of your Binance.US account. The fees for this are minimal, especially if you transfer from your bank account using ACH. 
There are also individual withdrawal fees for moving your crypto holdings from your Binance.US account into your own crypto wallet. These fees vary based on the type of cryptocurrency.
We couldn’t find any information from Binance.US about its security measures and protections, and the company did not respond to a request for comment. The most descriptive information on the Binance.US site is the following statement, from its homepage: “We use state-of-the-art storage technology to protect your cryptocurrency and USD assets.”

There is no publicly available information about what percentage of assets held by the exchange are kept in secure, offline cold storage vs. online hot wallets, or if there is an insurance policy that protects investors. You must have a Binance.US account to send queries to the help desk, so we were unable to get more information that way.
Binance.US does not provide information on an internal wallet offering, but you can keep your coins within your account on the exchange. It also partners with Trust Wallet, a third-party hot wallet option. You can withdraw your coins from your account onto your own hot or cold storage option at any time (for a fee). 
There have been previous reports that Binance.US keeps users’ USD in FDIC-insured accounts, but posts on the Binance.US site containing that information have since been deleted. While it doesn’t guarantee the same in case of a Binance.US hack, the international version of the exchange, Binance, covered all consumer losses after a $40 million hack in 2019. 
We reached out to Binance.US for more information about its security measures and received no response. We’ll update the review if Binance.US gets back to us.
You can earn rewards through the exchange by holding certain coins in your Binance.US account — a strategy called “staking.” According to Binance.US, staking helps support the operations of these coins’ blockchains.

Coins supported currently are: VET, XTZ, ATOM, EOS, ONE, and ALGO. You can earn up to 10% annually through staking with Binance.US, and you may still make trades while taking part.
Binance.US is not available in Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, or Vermont. For people outside of those states looking to invest in crypto, Binance.US offers both an easy buy/sell interface and more advanced trading views. It has low fees, and further fee discounts for using its native currency, Binance Coin, and does offer some educational content through its on-site blog.
Despite its low fees, we do not recommend Binance.US, especially for beginners. Binance.US doesn’t offer any information about how your investment will be secured, stored, or protected by the firm, unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges. Plus, there are many other active exchanges that offer simple buy/sell interfaces for long-term investors. We believe that transparency about the safety of your investment is worth paying a bit more in fees. 
Binance.US formed in 2019 after Binance stopped accepting U.S. investors. The interface and many features are the same, but there are differences such as the amount of cryptocurrencies available to trade in the U.S. vs. elsewhere, as well as which states Binance.US is allowed to operate in. United States users cannot buy crypto using the international Binance platform.
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