What is Bitfinex?

May 8, 2019

Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Hong Kong, but registered in the British Virgin Islands due to the China’s restrictions regarding cryptocurrencies. In 2012, Ginacario Devasini and Raphael Nicolle founded the exchange.


At first, Bitfinex was a P2P margin-lending platform for Bitcoin only, but with time they added support for more cryptocurrencies. The company offers its service worldwide except for several countries, which include:

  • United States of America
  • Bolivia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Ecuador
  • Bangladesh

Bitfinex has had some controversial episodes in its past, including hacking and losing customers’ money, difficulties with its banking relationships, and of course, the infamous Tether cover up. Let’s take a deeper look at the last one.

What about Tether?

Tether is a cryptocurrency, initially called a stablecoin. This means that Tether is a cryptocurrency with a fixed price and backed by one US dollar. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, Tether is supposed to have low-volatility in price. It’s important to mention that Bitfinex and Tether have the same operator – iFinex Inc, and they share management and shareholders.


In April 2019, the New York Attorney General’s office announced that using Tether reserves, Bitfinex covered up an $850 million loss. Allegedly, Bitfinex didn’t reveal this massive loss to its investors and the exchange took $700 million from Tether to hide the loss.

Before the announcement, the entire crypto industry experienced a $10 billion drop in the market cap.

Bitfinex trading volume – the world’s biggest exchange by trading volume?

Bitfinex is considered to be one of the top exchanges when it comes to daily trading volumes. The exchange’s 24-hour trading volume is around $146,405,274.

bitfinex ieo

In March 2019, Bitwise submitted a report to the SEC, claiming that 95% of all Bitcoin spot trading is fake and that only 10 exchanges, including Bitfinex, have real trading volume. This shed some positive light on the exchange.

Does Bitfinex offer IEOs?

Apparently, Bitfinex is about to stand alongside with other crypto exchanges offering IEO, such as Binance, KuCoin, and Huobi. Recently, there were some rumors about Bitfinex offering an IEO.

Zhao Dong, a shareholder of Bitfinex, shared in a tweet details about the exchange’s upcoming IEO for up to $1 billion. To be more precise, Zhao Dong posted Bitfinex IEO white paper details. At the moment, Bitfinex’s exchange tokens, called LEO are only available to private investors, but they are expected to be open to the public after May 10.

Bitfinex services: what options do you have for trading?

On the exchange you can find a variety of services, including:

  • Margin trading and funding. The exchange has P2P margin funding platform that enables you to borrow and trade with up to 3.3x leverage. Also, there is a margin trading available for crypto owners who can lend their funds.
  • Platform for advanced traders. On this platform you can get access to advanced charting functionality and API access, plus over 50 trading pairs are available.
  • Over-the-counter trading platform. This service is for those wanting to trade large amounts of cryptocurrency ($100,000+). Moreover, you can do it privately.

When it comes to payment methods, Bitfinex accepts fiat deposits in EUR, JPY, GBP, and USD, but only through a wire transfer. Cryptocurrency deposits are mostly free of charge (unless you’re depositing less than $1000).


Bitfinex has had some controversial moments. But still, it remains one of the most well known cryptocurrency trading platforms. With its high trading volumes and low fees, the exchange is preferred among advanced traders.

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