If you are interested in buying or selling a cryptocurrency, there are few better places to look than one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, Binance.
Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao – who earned the number-one spot on BitcoinMonsoon's 2018 Most Influential list – Binance rose to prominence during the historic crypto market-wide bull run in 2017 by supporting a wide array of cryptocurrencies in what was, and perhaps still is, one of the fastest and most reliable trading platforms.
In fact, Binance became so popular, so quickly that CZ and Binance both became worth more than $1 billion in less than one year, officially making it one of the first companies to achieve "unicorn" status in the cryptocurrency industry.
Yet despite its reputation as a destination for crypto traders, it's not exactly easy for users who lack a traditional trading or investment background to navigate their way around.
In this piece, we take a step-by-step look at how to use Binance and conduct a trade on the exchange.
This includes citizens of the member countries in the UN Security Council Sanctions list, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department (OFAC), among other groups.
The terms also state each user must be at least 18 years of age. Binance reserves the right to cancel or freeze any account If the terms are disobeyed.
If the restrictions do not apply to you, to sign up simply navigate to the homepage and click register.
You will then be asked to enter a minimal amount of personal information such as your email address, password, and a referral ID if you have one.
As per Binance's referral system, you will receive 50 percent of your referrals trading fees.
After you fill in the required fields, click "Register" and complete the captcha, a confirmation link will be sent to your email address.
Once the link is clicked, your Binance account is ready to be used.
Now that your account is activated, but before exploring the rest of the exchange, you’ll need to add funds to your account if you wish to buy or sell any cryptocurrencies.
Pay with credit card
Binance has a feature that allows users to purchase certain cryptocurrencies directly with their Visa or Mastercard credit card. If you are a qualified candidate, navigate to the "Funds" tab and select "Buy With Credit Card."
You will then be required to enter the purchase amount of the desired cryptocurrency and whether you will be paying with the US dollar or euro. Cryptocurrency purchases by credit card are limited to BTC, ETH, and LTC at this time.
There is a minimum processing fee of $10 or 3.5 percent of the total order - whichever is more expensive. After completing this step, you will need to confirm your billing information, email address as well as your identity.
A valid government issued form of ID is required to be submitted to confirm your identity.
Once all of the required steps have been completed, the newly purchased cryptocurrency should reach your Binance wallet within 10-30 minutes.
Deposit from wallet
You can also make a deposit by sending funds from a separate cryptocurrency wallet into your Binance account.
In order to do this, navigate to the “Funds” tab once again and click “Balances.”
On this page, you will see all of the cryptocurrencies available for trading on Binance. To deposit the corresponding crypto into any of these, simply click the “Deposit” button next to the crypto asset of your choice.
Next, either scan the QR code from your cryptocurrency wallet or paste in the address and then send.
Once that’s complete, wait for the transaction to process and you’ll be ready for trading.
Placing a trade
Let’s go back to the home page now that your funds are ready to be used.
Here, you will again see all the cryptocurrencies that are tradable on Binance and their respective markets.
For this example, let’s say you previously deposited 0.0024 BTC (~$10) into your account and now wish to trade it for NEO.
First, you’ll need to find the right NEO market.
Since you want to spend BTC in order to get NEO, click the "BTC Markets" tab and then type NEO into the search bar.
Click the appropriate row and the page where trading takes place will open.
This page may look intimidating, but you can easily get the hang of it with a bit of practice.
Plus, most cryptocurrency exchanges have a similar trading interface so what you remember here, in all likelihood, will be relevant elsewhere.
The left section of the screen is known as an order book.
Here, you will see all active buy and sell limit orders. A limit order is simply an order that will only be placed at the user’s desired price, given there are buyers or sellers interested at that level.
If you would like to learn the “in’s and out's” of an order book, check out our comprehensive guide, but for now all you need to know is that the top of the order book (red) is where the limit sell orders wait to be filled and the bottom section (green) is where the limit buy orders wait to be filled.
The right side of the page is more simple – the above section shows the other cryptocurrencies that can be traded and the lower section shows the public trade history of the market currently being viewed.
Trade example: Buying NEO
The center of the page is where the real magic happens.
Here lays a chart feature that shows real-time price action and technical analysis indicators. Just below the chart is where you will actually execute the trade, so let’s buy some NEO.
If certainty of execution is your priority, select market order. If you are interested in only buying at a specific price level, select either limit or stop-limit order.
For the purposes of this example, let's place a market order, which will be placed immediately at current market prices.
Now, just enter the amount of BTC desired to be spent and how much NEO you want to purchase. Binance has a useful shortcut for entering the purchase amount and it is based on a percentage of your bitcoin balance (or any other appropriate trading pair).
Let's spend 50 percent of the BTC balance so there is some left over, perhaps for another trade.
The last step is to click the big green button “Buy NEO.” Since this is a market order, the trade for 0.58 NEO should have completed instantly, but that is most likely not the case if you selected limit or stop-limit order.
To check on the status of your order, look towards the bottom of the page where it says “Open order.” As the title would suggest, if your order has not yet executed, in other words, is still “open,” it will appear in this box until it has either been canceled or filled.
When it has been filled, it will show up in the lower box highlighting your 24-hour order history, just as how this order has below.
In order to sell, simply follow this same process but execute a market or limit sell order.
While Binance does have a decentralized exchange in the works, the existing platform is centralized and susceptible to hacks like many other websites, so it’s recommended funds are only held on the exchange for as long as necessary.
In order to withdraw, navigate back to the “Balances” page. If you would like to see only the cryptocurrencies you have a substantial balance in, check the “hide” box.
Now select the withdrawal button in the NEO row and have your destination address or QR code handy. Paste the address and select how much you want to withdraw.
Last but not least, click submit and wait for the transaction to complete.
The Binance Launchpad is a token launch platform exclusive to Binance and plans to offer token sales for new projects.
Binance handpicks which tokens to launch based on a number of factors including project maturity, scalability and adoption readiness, team quality and the ability of the project to benefit the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.
To ensure the sales are being conducted in compliance with regulatory regimes around the world, each user must verify his or her Binance account.
Completed token sales, as well as those scheduled for a future date, can be seen on the home page of the Binance Launchpad. It's worth noting that the token sales operate on a "first come, first serve" basis and usually sell out in just minutes, so be sure to do your due diligence.
If you successfully participate in a Launchpad token sale, the tokens will be automatically credited to your Binance account.
Like most modern cryptocurrency exchanges, two-factor authentication (2FA) is enabled on Binance and is highly recommended to be set up in order to add an extra layer of protection to your account.
In order to do so, navigate to your account summary by clicking the user avatar in the top right of the home page.
Once directed to your account page, a prompt will likely appear suggesting you to enable 2FA, which happens to automatically pops up when a new user accesses this page.
Binance allows two methods for enabling 2FA, via SMS or Google Authenticator.
With the SMS version, simply enter your mobile phone number and the verification code sent to the corresponding phone and you will be all set.
If Google Authenticator is your 2FA of choice, download the mobile application, open it and scan the QR code provided by Binance. Next, you will be asked to write down a 16-word recovery phrase to be used as a backup in case you lose access to this google authentication.
Lastly, you will be prompted to enter your account’s login password and the authenticator code found in the Google Authenticator mobile app. Once complete, this form of 2FA security will be complete.
Pros and Cons
- If you're constantly on the go, Binance’s mobile application may be perfect for you. It's compatible with iOS, Android, as well as Mac and PC operating systems so just about anyone can place a trade or monitor their account from virtually anywhere.
- Binance offers a large selection of tradeable cryptocurrency markets. As of May 1, 2019, 467 different markets are supported on the exchange.
- Binance has it own native exchange token, BNB, which can be used to supplement trading fees and boost the overall liquidity on Binance.
- Binance was a pioneer of the Initial Exchange Offerings, and It’s Launchpad facilitates sales once a month for those who are interested in being early holders of new tokens.
- Higher trading volume that most other cryptocurrency exchanges.
- If following government regulations like that of the US is important to you, then you may want to try out exchanges such As Coinbase or Gemini, because at this point Binance is still an unregulated exchange.
- Many of Binance’s markets, specifically those of the lesser known altcoins, offer low liquidity which can make trading large altcoin positions difficult.
- The somewhat complex user interface can be challenging for novice traders and investors to adjust to.
Images via Binance website