Poloniex review and test: Not the cheapest, but worth using
(4.8 / 5)
Not needed for trading
From 0.000% – 0.125%
Finding the right cryptocurrency exchange to work with is one of the things every crypto trader struggles with. You want the exchange to be easy to use, come loaded with features, keep your data secure, and charge you low fees.
While there’s no such thing as the ultimate crypto exchange, Poloniex does check all of those boxes. But how’s the customer support? Does the company abide by regulations? What measures does it take to protect your data?
Learning the answers to these questions is critical before you decide to use any exchange. We take you over the company’s background, the security measures it takes, its fees, and all of its other features in this Poloniex review. By the end of it, you’ll know whether it’s the right exchange for you.
What is Poloniex? – The exchange presented
Tristan D’Agosta, the founder of the company, worked in the music industry before making a foray into the crypto industry. He established the Polonius Sheet Company in 2010, and four years later, in 2014, he founded Poloniex in Boston. Initially, the exchanges’ offices were located in Delaware. The company had the home advantage and was required to respect the U.S. regulations for cryptocurrency trading.
Poloniex is the first company to hit the one-billion-dollar mark in terms of trading volume. However, Poloniex wasn’t always popular. A few months after launch, the exchange was hacked. The fees were increased temporarily to recover from the hack, and the customers who lost their funds were paid back.
In 2016, though, Poloniex made the right move by enlisting Ethereum. It was the first exchange to enlist the crypto asset, and the company’s trading volume and liquidity both increased substantially in a matter of months.
Towards the end of February in 2018, Circle, the P2P payment technologies company, announced that they had purchased Poloniex. After the acquisition, Poloniex relocated to Seychelles, which allowed the business to adopt a more open and less regulated operation. Post relocation, the company added several services and began offering a wider range of cryptocurrencies. However, the company isn’t any less trustworthy – it still abides by the U.S.’s regulations.
Quick facts about Poloniex:
- Founded 2014 in Boston
- Based in Seychelles
- Offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies
- Recovered from a hack
- Complies with the U.S. regulations
(Risk Warning: Your capital can be at risk)
Who is it for? – Features of Poloniex
Poloniex is one of the most flexible exchanges you can sign up for. It allows you to trade over 80 cryptocurrencies, including popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is accessible from most countries and enables margin trading and crypto lending, making it an excellent platform for experienced crypto traders. The advanced trade types ensure that you can use every tactic in the book to make a profit.
However, the maximum leverage it offers is 2.5x – if you’re looking for an exchange that offers a lot more leverage, Poloniex isn’t for you.
The IEO launchpad enables you to invest in the newest crypto projects and use the company’s decentralized counterpart – Poloni DEX. You do not need to pass a KYC check to use the platform. Signing up is extremely simple, and you can get to buying crypto in a matter of minutes.
Previously, the company did not allow users to buy crypto assets with fiat currencies. But in 2021, Poloniex partnered with Simplex to enables its users to use their credit or debit cards to buy cryptocurrencies.
The interface is intuitive and loaded with features that allow you to apply all the strategies you want. The Poloniex lending feature enables you to buy in larger amounts than you can, and the lending bot enables you to automate your lending – making you money as you sleep. Poloniex is easy to sign up for and use, but at the same time, it comes loaded with some very useful features.
The exchange won’t disappoint whether you’re new to crypto trading or have been trading for years.
- More than 80 cryptocurrencies available
- Maximum leverage of 1:2.5
- No KYC needed
- Margin Trading
- Futures Trading
- P2P Lending
- Soft Staking
How safe is Poloniex? – Regulation and safety
Poloniex is the 13th largest spot exchange by trading volume and accounts for slightly less than 1% of all crypto trading activity. It has, arguably, one of the biggest userbases of any exchange in the industry.
The company takes all the steps necessary to protect itself and its users from security breaches.
Poloniex was hacked in 2014 and suffered substantial losses. However, it has since regained its reputation and upped its security.
After the hack, the company implemented automated auditing on their exchange, making it much more secure. Furthermore, server security was bolstered, and internal processing of commands was redesigned entirely, making a similar breach impossible.
The exchange’s servers are protected from DoS attacks and also boast protection against robot infiltration. The DNS of the exchange system is protected using encryption technology, and the registry lock prevents any authorized changes to the website.
Most of the exchange’s funds are stored safely in inaccessible cold wallets – even if the exchange were to get hacked, the hackers wouldn’t have access to ≈98% of the funds. The role accounts implemented to protect your private information, and measures like session log history, email confirmations, two-factor authentication, and IP lockouts help keep your account safe.
- Cold store wallets
- Two-factor authentication
- IP lockouts
Hacking attempts and security slip-ups
On 4th March 2014, only two months after launch, Poloniex was hacked. The hacker discovered that when the exchange processed several withdrawals in one go, it allowed anyone to withdraw more funds than there are in your account.
This can be compared to using an ATM and finding out you can withdraw more than what’s in your account. Poloniex lost 12.3% of its assets from the hack. However, the founder paid every affected user back in a few months. The funds were recovered by raising the trading fees, and Tristan also pitched in.
The company got lucky – at the time, a Bitcoin was worth around $500, and 97 coins were stolen from the exchange. If Poloniex were to be hacked in December of the same year, it would have required to refund $20 million to its customers rather than $50,000. But what’s important to note is that the exchange has not been hacked after the 2014 incident. This proves that Poloniex prioritizes security. Also, the fact that every affected customer was compensated makes Poloniex that much more trustworthy.
Since Poloniex was founded in the U.S., it inherently feels more reliable than other cryptocurrencies that offer similar features. It was one of the first companies to seek regulatory approval from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Besides having its stamp of approval, the company also abides by the many data protection laws that Europe imposes.
Furthermore, Poloniex’s operation is subject to the regulations of the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). While the company operates in most states in the United States, it is not operational in New York since it does not have the BitLicense.
Trading conditions – How high are the trading fees?
Most exchanges require you to prove your age and place of residence by supplying a state-issued ID. However, you don’t have to do any of that to use Poloniex.
You can access the exchange using your phone or laptop, create an account, and start trading in minutes. However, if you want to trade large volumes and typically invest more than $2000 a day, you will need to verify your identity with the company. But if you don’t, you can trade anonymously.
Poloniex trading fees
The exchange employs the maker/taker system to make money. The taker is the person that buys, and the maker is the person that sells a crypto asset. Both of these individuals are charged for the transaction.
|Tier||30-day trading volume||Transaction balance||Maker/Taker fee|
|1||smaller than $50k||smaller than $49||0.125%/0.125%|
|2||smaller than $50k||higher than $49||0.0950%/0.0950%|
|3||$50K – $1M||/||0.0850%/0.0900%|
|4||$1m – $10m||/||0.0500%/0.0850%|
|5||$10m – $50m||/||0.0300%/0.0800%|
|Poloniex Plus Silver||/||/||0.0000%/0.0600%|
|Poloniex Plus Gold||/||/||0.0000%/0.0400%|
|Poloniex Market Maker||/||Custom fee schedules||Custom fee schedules|
As you can see from the table above, the maximum you’ll need to pay is 0.125%, which is quite competitive. However, it’s not the lowest in the industry – Binance is another respected exchange that charges a low 0.1% fee to its customers.
- The more you trade over 30 days, the lower you’re charged.
You should also know that while buying crypto with your cards is possible, Simplex will charge you either 3.5% or $10 per transaction – whichever’s higher. Poloniex doesn’t charge these fees. Simplex charges the fees to facilitate the transaction. On top of this, your bank or card issuer may charge you “international transaction” or “cash advance” fees. In some cases, using a spot exchange and transferring the crypto to Poloniex makes a lot more financial sense.
Poloniex limits and liquidation
Poloniex, like most other exchanges, has two account levels: Level 1 and Level 2. Getting a Level 1 account doesn’t require any work. Every user that signs up on Poloniex gets a Level 1 account by default.
These accounts allow unlimited spot trading and deposits. However, they have a withdrawal limit of $20,000 per day. Additionally, these accounts cannot use the margin trading feature and do not have access to IEO LaunchBase.
If you want to use any of those features or want to trade more than $2000 a day, you must upgrade your account to Level 2. You must submit your phone number, your date of birth, proof of address, and any state-issued ID to upgrade the account.
Level 2 users have unrestricted access to all of the company’s features, and the withdrawal limit is raised to $750,000 per day. If you trade in larger volumes, you can apply for Poloniex Plus Silver, Gold, or Market Maker accounts. These accounts offer several advantages, including lower fees, added features, whitelisting priority, and more.
Regardless of the account level, the minimum purchase amount when buying crypto with fiat currencies is $50. Also, the company imposes a buying limit of $20,000 per day and $50,000 per month.
- Level 1 account has limited spot trading and deposits
- Level 1 account has a withdrawal limit to $20,000 per day
- Level 1 account has no margin trading feature
- Level 2 account has nearly no limits
- Level 2 account has a withdrawal limit to $750,000 per day
(Risk Warning: Your capital can be at risk)
Test of The Poloniex Trading Platform
While Poloniex’s interface isn’t the easiest to use, it is intuitive and doesn’t require much effort to get used to. If you’ve never used an exchange before, you will struggle to figure out the functions of the various windows and boxes. However, if you’ve used an exchange before, there’s a good chance you will enjoy the flexibility the interface offers.
See the main trading platform of Polonies below:
After you log in, you can access the “Wallet” section right from the dashboard, make a deposit, and manage your funds. The “Transfer Balances” section enables you to move funds between your exchange and lending accounts.
See the Poloniex wallet section:
The first thing you’ll notice when you open it up, though, is the chart. The chart is powered by TradingView, making it robust and customizable at the same time. You can switch to using the indicators that help you the most and pick from the several supplied analysis tools.
On the right, you will find the “Markets” section. Here, you can sift through the available cryptocurrencies and find the one that interests you. You can also sort through them. Below Markets, you will find the “Notices” box, which notifies you about the company’s latest developments and offers some details about your account.
Under that section, you will find three windows that enable you to buy, place stop-limit orders, and sell, respectively. The screen will also have buy and sell order books, a market depth chart, an open orders section, and trading history. The Trollbox will enable you to chat with other traders that are using the platform.
The spot trading dashboard and the margin trading dashboard look very similar. However, the summary of the open position will be different, and on the margin trading dashboard, the margin account summary will appear. But perhaps the best thing about the interface is the chart. You can use any of the several indicators available, zoom in or out, change the timeframe, and a lot more.
Mobile app: trade with any device
While the website works just fine on the phone, if you trade on the move a lot, you can download the Poloniex app for a smoother experience. It is available on both Android and iOS.
You must keep in mind that margin trading, debit, and credit card purchases, margin leading, and the IEO platform are not available on the mobile app. You will need to access the website from the browser to access these features.
How to trade with Poloniex?
In the next steps, we will talk about how to trade with Poloniex and purchase your first cryptocurrency.
Step #1: Add funds
The first thing you need to do is add funds to your account. You can pick from the vast range of coin wallets Poloniex supplies to make a deposit. Alternatively, you can buy crypto from fiat currency using your debit or credit card. You must keep in mind that there is a minimum deposit amount.
Step #2: Select a trading pair
The trading screen will give you access to several markets. Every market has its own tab, and every tab will have coins listed under it with the latest prices quoted.
You must pick the coin from these tabs – you will indirectly be selecting a trading pair.
Step #3: Enter the amount
After selecting the coin you want to buy, you must enter the number of coins you want to purchase in the appropriate box. There are three ways of entering the price – you can enter it manually, select the lowest price, or select a price from the order book.
Step #4: Place the order
To place the order, you must click on the “Buy” button. The exchange will then look for a counterparty that’s willing to sell at your price or for lower than your price.
If your price is lower than the price traders are selling for, your order will remain open in the order book until it matches your asking price or lower. Only then will your order fill.
The orders you place do not expire. You can find all of your open orders at the bottom of the page, and while you cannot change orders, you can cancel them and place new ones with ease. After your order is filled, it will appear under the Trade History section on Poloniex. To view your trades, visit the My Trades tab.
How to open an account with Poloniex?
You can open an account with Poloniex in a matter of seconds. All you have to do is:
- Go to https://poloniex.com/signup/.
- Enter your email address and set a password.
- Confirm your email with the company by clicking on the link in the email you receive.
You can start trading right after confirmation.
Poloniex privacy for customers
One of the best things about Poloniex is that you don’t have to submit any details to use it. Since you don’t give the company any data, there is nothing for the company to sell to third parties. However, if you do decide to upgrade your account, you still have nothing to worry about.
(Risk Warning: Your capital can be at risk)
Does Poloniex Offer Demo Accounts?
No, unfortunately, the company does not offer demo accounts. However, Poloniex had held a “Trade Futures” competition recently, in which level 2 verified users got access to 10,000 USDT in demo money.
Those who made the most profits won real USDT. The competition ended on 27th July 2020. You can read about it in more detail here.
Is there a Negative Balance Protection in Poloniex?
While the company does not protect your account’s balance from diving into the negative, it does have an insurance fund set up for all customers. It is a pool of funds that enables the company to address unfilled liquidations before Poloniex’s auto-deleveraging system resolves them. When liquidations occur in the market, the fund is filled back up at a better price than the bankruptcy price.
Poloniex deposits and withdrawals
The company does not charge any fees for deposits. However, if you want to buy crypto on the platform, you will need to pay Simplex a 3.5% fee or $10, whichever’s higher. Also, Poloniex charges you a fixed fee per asset whenever you withdraw crypto from your wallet. These fees cover the cost of broadcasting a transaction into the network.
You can buy cryptocurrencies with Fiat on Poloniex:
The network fee fluctuates with time due to changes in network congestion. You can view the fee you have to pay for different currencies by visiting the “Wallets” section and finding the currency. The company also allows you to transfer funds to other Poloniex users for free using Off-Chain Transfers.
Deposits are possible with:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Simplex bank account
Withdrawals are possible with:
- Simplex bank account
Support and service of Poloniex:
The extensive knowledge base answers most questions you may have. However, if you need to reach the support team, you can open a ticket via the help center. The Trollbox gives you access to other traders on the platform, and you can ask them any questions you have too.
Poloniex also has active social media channels, so you can complain to them there if you run into an issue. While the exchange does not offer any phone support, we don’t find it a dealbreaker since most crypto exchanges don’t offer telephone support. Chatting with Trollbox moderators is the fastest way to get issues resolved.
Accepted countries and forbidden countries
Poloniex is accessible from all countries except:
- North Korea
Conclusion of the Poloniex review: No scam – it is a user-friendly exchange
While the exchange initially had lapses in security, it has only had one breach, and the customers were taken care of. After all, we can say that Poloniex is not a scam for your money. Poloniex offers some of the lowest trading fees in the industry, gives you access to margin trading, a loaning feature, and also trading automation bots.
KYC is not required, and while customer support is not the best in the industry, the interface’s ease of use more than makes up for it. It’s undoubtedly one of the best crypto exchanges you can use in 2021.
Advantages of Poloniex:
- No KYC needed for trading
- Buy cryptocurrencies easily with fiat
- User-friendly trading platform
- Margin trading
- Competitive fees
- High-security measures
- Over 80 cryptocurrencies to trade
Poloniex is a good exchange for traders who want a huge variety when trading cryptocurrencies. (4.8 / 5)
(Risk Warning: Your capital can be at risk)