bitFlyer Review: A Japan based cryptocurrency exchange

Founded in January 2014, bitFlyer is a Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange that finds itself at #14 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 exchanges of 2017 list.

bitFlyer offers both a regular exchange where orders are filled by other traders and a direct market where your order is filled directly by bitFlyer. The exchange has a total of three trading pairs while the direct market allows you to buy and sell BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, BCH, MONA, and LSK.

The direct exchange makes it great for novice traders or anyone looking to quickly buy cryptocurrency, while the more advanced exchanges are good for mid to high tier traders. The addition of an API makes arbitrage and other programmatic trading methods a possibility.

bitFlyer

bitflyer cryptoURL: bitflyer.jp and lightning.bitflyer.jp
Deposit fees: No
Withdrawal fees: Yes
Trading fees: Yes, 0%-0.15%
Verification: Yes, for all trading
Margin trading: Yes

Registration

Registration on bitFlyer requires only an email address. Once you have entered it and have submitted your email address, you will be asked for a confirmation code, which will be emailed to you alongside a password.

Separate exchanges

bitFlyer has three separate markets where you can buy and sell cryptocurrency. The first two are under bitFlyer’s main page, and the third is under the name Lightning. On the main page, of the two markets, one is a direct market where you buy and sell cryptocurrency with bitFlyer directly. And the other is a simplified trading page for bitcoin. The ‘real’ exchange is called Lightning and is linked on the main bitFlyer page, this exchange page is where you can set more complex trades and all around has a cleaner interface.

Fees

There are no deposit fees, and for withdrawal, you will pay a fee based whether or not you are using the Japanese bank SMBC, and how large of a withdrawal you are executing.

For trading, there is a fee based on your last 30 days of trading. On the low end (less than 100 thousand JPY), you will pay fees of 0.15%, and on the high end (more than 500 million JPY) you will pay fees of 0.01%.

Interface

bitFlyer has two interfaces, one on the main page, for the direct market and simple bitcoin exchange, and one for the lightning exchange.

The simpler interface is white with blue highlights and black text. It has well-defined and organized sections. Usually, that is past trades on the left, a chart on the right, order setup in the middle (possibly with an order book), and your order history on the bottom.

Lightning’s interface is more complex and has a crisp dark theme with pale red highlights. The usual green for strengthening in the market has been swapped for a calmer yellow, though the chart remains green/red. On the left are a chart and your current open orders. In the middle is an order book and order submission form, with completed orders listed below it. On the right is past trades for the currently selected trading pair, a news feed, and a chat window. The entire interface updates rather quickly, making it difficult to read during times of extreme activity.

Verification

bitFlyer has four verification levels, called “Wallet”, “Trade lite”, “Trade”, and “Trade pro”. All accounts receive the “Wallet” level upon registration.

Level Requirements Benefits
Wallet Register an account None
Trade lite Name, phone number, date of birth, address $2000 USD daily max deposit and withdrawal. $3000 USD max single transaction.
Trade Government ID $50 000 USD daily deposit and withdrawal limit. Unlimited maximum single trade.
Trade Pro Filled out questionnaire Unlimited deposit, withdrawal, and maximum single trade.

Security

bitFlyer has some questionable security practices as well as some good ones. Thankfully, 2FA is enabled by default on a new account. Unfortunately, by default, it is email based, but you can select other second factors.  Otherwise, when registering, a password is emailed to you. Due to the insecure nature of email, sending passwords over it is not the best idea.

Armin Davis

Armin is a cryptocurrency mining and computer security enthusiast. Writing is fun too.

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