Before You Start
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. Binance.US was started under a partnership with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)-registered BAM Trading Services as part of its move into the U.S. market.
Since the 2019 introduction of Binance.US, the international Binance has faced regulatory scrutiny. For example, regulators in the U.K. and Italy have banned Binance from operating in their countries, while officials in Hong Kong and Japan have warned investors about the exchange. Binance was also under investigation by the U.S. government for tax fraud, money laundering, and insider trading as recently as September 2021, according to reporting by Bloomberg.
That level of scrutiny was recently extended to Binance.US, which Binance has referred to in the past as a U.S. partner. The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating the relationships between Binance.US and two firms owned by Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, the Wall Street Journal reported.
We reached out to Binance and Binance.US last year and again in February 2022 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 after we first reached out, though a spokesperson contacted us on behalf of Binance.US after our review originally published in 2021 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 80 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 offers limited crypto options and 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.
Pros and Cons of Binance.US
Low fees compared to other exchanges
25% trading fee discount if you pay fees using Binance Coin (BNB)
Educational resources available
Identity verification process
Tax statement portal to help prepare crypto taxes
Not available in all states
$10 minimum trade
Site can be difficult to use
Lack of information on security
History of regulatory scrutiny
Limited customer service options
Binance.US At A Glance
- 80+ currencies available
- Not available in Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, or Vermont
- 0.5% fee for instant buy/sell
- $10 minimum trade
- Option for recurring investments, for dollar-cost averaging
Cryptocurrencies Available on Binance.US
You can buy and sell over 80 cryptocurrencies on Binance.US, including:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- PAX Gold (PAXG)
- Harmony (ONE)
- Orchid (OXT)
- Helium (HNT)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Tether (USDT)
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. Trading pairs vary between exchanges depending on the various cryptocurrencies offered.
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.
Up until recently, Binance.US was charging a flat 0.1% fee on spot trades, a type of trading and fee structure typically used in more advanced platform options. But the crypto exchange announced it is eliminating its spot trading fees on bitcoin, allowing users to make spot bitcoin trades for the U.S. dollar and stablecoins tether, USD Coin, and Binance USD for free. The flat 0.1% spot trade fee still applies to other tokens, but Binance.US said it has plans to eliminate the charges for more tokens in the future.
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 now no fee for bitcoin.
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. If you want to spend $100 to buy Bitcoin using this option, you’d end up trading the same amount since there are no fees to purchase it. Keep in mind if you outright buy Bitcoin with USD, you will still pay a 0.5% fee on Binance.US.
There is also a 25% discount 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.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
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.
|Method||Minimum Withdrawal||Deposit Fee||Withdrawal Fee|
|ACH (automated clearing house)||$1||$0||0|
|Wire transfer||$100||$0||$15 domestic, $35 international|
We found limited information from Binance.US about its security measures and protections, and the company did not respond to a request for comment. Binance.US says the following statement on its homepage: “We use state-of-the-art storage technology to protect your cryptocurrency and USD assets.”
In a blog post, Binance said the “vast majority” of its user funds and assets are stored in offline, cold storage facilities. Though it’s unclear exactly what percentage of assets held by the exchange are kept in secure, offline cold storage vs. online hot wallets. 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, and ALGO. You can earn up to 6.5% annually through staking with Binance.US, and you may still make trades while taking part.
Binance Academy is Binance’s education platform featuring hundreds of hours of content on blockchain, cryptocurrency, cryptoeconomics, security, and more. It essentially serves as a one-stop-shop for all things crypto and can be a helpful resource for beginner investors.
Binance.US launched a new free tax portal to help customers prepare their crypto taxes. According to its site, the portal allows users to access their transaction history and sync their crypto activity to “most” third-party, though it doesn’t specify which platforms it is compatible with except for TaxBit. The portal offers two tools to help customers generate, export, and download their Binance.US transaction history: a tax API key tool and an export statement tool. The Tax API Key tool directly shares crypto transaction data, while the export statement tool allows users to generate and download their own transaction history.
Who Is Binance.US Best For?
Binance.US is not available in 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 Compared to Others
|Coins||80+ cryptocurrencies||70+ cryptocurrencies||150+ cryptocurrencies|
|Fees||0.1% trading fee; Can get a 25% discount on your fee if you hold Binance coin||0.50% convenience fee; $0.99 to $2.99 transaction fee; 1.49% transaction fee for trades over $200||0.50% spread; Trading fee between 1.49% and 3.99% (or $0.99 to $2.99 flat fee)|
|Wallet storage||Keep coins in Binance.US account or transfer to your own wallet||Keep coins on Gemini account, Gemini Wallet option, or transfer to your own wallet||Keep coins on Coinbase account, Coinbase Wallet option, or transfer to your own wallet|
|Minimum Trade||$10||Equal to the smallest amount of each coin that can be traded (0.00001 BTC)||$2|
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Binance and Binance.US the same?
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.
Is Binance legal in the US?
In 2019, Binance was banned in the United States on regulatory grounds and is no longer accessible for U.S. citizens. In response, Binance partnered with a U.S. branch called Binance.US, which the company says is a separate exchange. Binance.US is legal, but it is not available in all U.S. states.
Is Binance.US safe?
There have been no reported breaches at Binance.US, but hackers stole $40 million worth of Bitcoin in 2019 from the global Binance exchange. The company said it paid the losses in full to affected users. Though Binance.US promotes itself as a secure exchange, it lacks full transparency on its security and user protection measures compared to its competitors.