Crypto Exchanges

Poloniex Review 2020: A Safe Crypto Exchange Or Scam?

Poloniex crypto exchange started in 2014, and by 2016, it was one of the most popular and preferred bitcoin exchange. What happened after 2016 that saw the crypto exchange fall off the leader’s post into near-oblivion? More importantly, can we really trust Poloniex crypto exchange with our crypto assets and personal information?

To answer this and more questions regarding the effectiveness of Poloniex, we have come up with the Poloniex crypto exchange review. Here, we will be looking at all things Poloniex, from its mode of operation, trading fees, level of customer support, and everything in between.


We will also look at the amount of customer data the company collects and how it protects it to see if it has learned anything from its March 2014 hack that saw them lose 12.3% of Bitcoin held in their reserves. We will also be looking at its new Parent company – Circle – and the effectiveness of the strategies it is using to help Poloniex regain its market leader position.

We start by gaining a deeper understating of the crypto exchange.

What is Poloniex?

Poloniex is an unregulated crypto-to-crypto exchange that started in 2014. It remains one of the few unregulated exchanges operating in the United States and maintains its headquarters in Boston. Unlike most other-fiat to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto exchanges operating in the U.S, Poloniex doesn’t bar membership from international clients. Today, Poloniex is ranked among the top 100 exchanges in the world – a major fall from the top 10 list back in 2016 – with an estimated market capitalization of $14 million.

At the height of its crypto exchange market dominance, Poloniex was considered the most liquid platform. History even has it that it was the first crypto exchange to post more than $1 billion in daily trading volumes. And while it may have fallen short of the crypto market’s favor, Poloniex is still widely respected for its innovativeness. And all these explain why it attracted the interest of Circle – a Goldman Sachs owned social payment services provider – that acquired it early 2018.

Since its acquisition, Circle has initiated a raft of measures within the crypto exchange – all of which are aimed at helping restore the exchange to its former glory. These include adding a card and bank transfers to its deposit and withdrawal processing methods. Circle is also bending Poloniex towards compliance with different regulations as it hopes to make it the first fully regulated crypto exchange in the United States. This, according to Circle, would help give it more credibility, especially after the launch of a Poloniex based over the counter (OTC) platform that facilitates crypto trading and payments for hedge funds and big banks.

How does Poloniex crypto exchange work?

Poloniex is a pure crypto-to-crypto exchange where you can buy and sell different cryptocurrencies. Unlike most crypto-to-crypto exchanges, however, that will only accept crypto deposits, Poloniex makes it possible for their clients to make credit card and bank wire deposits. Once the fiat currency hits the Poloniex account, it converted into either the USDC or USDT stable coins. This helps the exchange maintain its integrity as a pure crypto-to-crypto exchange without locking out first-time crypto traders.

In addition to trading existing cryptocurrencies, Ploniex allows for the listing of new coins and tokens on its platform via Circle Invest and Circle Trade exchanges. Ideally, any verified Circle-Poloniex platform user can apply to list their tokens on the exchange.

Setting up a Poloniex trader account

We find it interesting that despite being a U.S based crypto exchange, Poloniex is still open to memberships from 100+ countries across the world. This implies that virtually anyone except China, Germany, and Pakistan residents can register on the platform. New York, New Hampshire, and Washington State residents are also barred from accessing Poloniex because the crypto exchange is yet to comply with the BitLicense regulations passed in these three states.

You will also want to note that despite being a crypto-to-crypto exchange, Poloniex doesn’t allow for anonymous trading. You will thus be required to verify your account by uploading identification documents, proof of address, and a selfie before you can deposit or transact on this platform.

Cryptocurrencies supported on Poloniex

Once you register and verify your identity on Poloniex, you will have access to 60+ cryptocurrencies and over 100 crypto trading pairs. These supported cryptocurrencies include all the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero against which most other altcoins and tokens are priced. There also are stable coins USDT and USDC.

We believe that the inclusion of the stable coins on this platform is advantageous to both the first time and expert traders in two primary ways. First, it helps attract newbies and by making it possible for them to make fiat currency deposits that are automatically converted into stable coins for use within the platform.

Secondly, they come in handy during periods of high market volatility. If you don’t wish to trade the highly volatile markets or simply aren’t sure of the trade decision you want to take, you only have to convert your assets to stable coins and wait for the best market entry point.

How to trade on Poloniex

We were especially drawn to Poloniex exchange’s well laid out and easy to use dashboard. Predominantly featured on this page are the price chart and graphical representation of the price history while on the right hand of the screen is the real-time market price of different coins. The buy and sell boxes are featured at the bottom of the page.

You will also have access to the exchange’s market order book that lists the selling and buying prices of different crypto coins. You will, therefore, have the option of trading at the prevailing market price or investing in the long term or short term through the limit order trading tool.

Poloniex exchange trading costs

Poloniex crypto exchange maintains some of the most affordable trading fees and commissions. The exchange maintains a graduated fee structure for different transactions based on traded volumes. Maker (buyer) fees start from 0.15% for orders below $25,000 and decrease gradually to zero fees for orders above $20 million. Taker (Seller) fees, on the other hand, start from 0.25% for orders below $25,000 and decline gradually to 0.10% for orders exceeding $20 million. Lenders will also be charged 15% on any interest accrued.

Deposits and withdrawals

For the longest time, traders and investors on Poloniex could only deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies from the fund. The exchange has, however, added both credit card and bank wire transfers on to the list of deposit and withdrawal processing methods. Your deposits will, however, be automatically converted into either USDC OR USDT stable coins during the cash transfer while your stable coin withdrawals are automatically converted to your preferred fiat currency before hitting your bank account.

There are no deposit fees for both crypto and fiat deposit. Withdrawals will, however, vary from one cryptocurrency to another and the volume of the transactions.

Security and digital assets protection on Poloniex exchange

2FA and Email verification:

At Poloniex, crypto exchange, security starts on the signup page. Here, you are required to activate the two-factor authentication (2FA) by downloading the Authy or Google Authenticator apps. And in addition to these, you will also have email confirmations for new and suspicious trader account logins.

Cold storage:

You might want to note that Poloniex, unlike most other crypto exchange companies, doesn’t provide its clients with free crypto wallets. However, the exchange claims that all the client funds held in the trader accounts are securely held in cold storage with just a fraction of these funds available to facilitate the exchange’s day-to-day operations.


Poloniex also claims to have all their customer deposits invested with the FDIC for up to $250,000 per user. The need for insurance and all these other security measures seems to stem from the fact that Poloniex has already suffered one major hack that saw it lose more than 12% of its client Bitcoin deposits.

Registration and regulation

Poloniex is an unregulated pure crypto-to-crypto trader. Its parent company, Circle, is, however, heavily regulated both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. And while Circle has made public its intention of making Poloniex the first regulated crypto exchange in the United States, it is yet to embrace the different federal and state-based virtual currently regulations in place today, especially the BitLicense that originated in New York.

Poloniex customer support:

Poloniex crypto exchange’s dedication to quality customer support starts with a multilingual website that is currently available in five languages. You can also access the customer support team by raising a ticket on their website or directly via their twitter and Telegram handles.

We take fault in the Poloniex crypto exchange’s lack of an elaborate FAQ section that means that even the most basic customer queries have to be resolved via a customer care ticket. We also are disappointed by the fact that, despite their adoption of advanced technologies and innovativeness claims, the exchange doesn’t have a live chat option.

Everything else you need to know about Poloniex crypto exchange

Mobile apps:

Poloniex crypto exchange recently launched an app-based crypto trading platform that is available on both the Android and iOS versions. This is a mirror of the desktop trading app as it has all the trading features needed to execute a crypto trade.

Poloni DEX:

Poloniex is gradually edging towards decentralization and recently launched Poloni DEX for ICO. On this platform, Poloniex clients can request to have their tokens for different blockchain projects listed. One of the most significant tokens listed on Poloni DEX is ATOMS token for the COSMOS project that seeks to bridge the gap between different blockchains by encouraging interoperability.

Crypto lending:

Poloniex crypto exchange’s innovativeness manifest in its industry’s first lending platform. This makes it possible for Poloniex traders to lend their crypto assets to other traders who promise to refund the advanced coins and a predetermined interest.

Verdict: Is Poloniex crypto exchange a scam?

In this Poloniex crypto exchange review, you have seen that the platform can be a lot of things. It is a pioneer when it comes to innovativeness in the crypto space, as evidenced by the Poloni DEX, mobile trading app, and lending option. We, however, consider its customer support as inefficient, as evidenced by the long wait time when it comes to responding to client queries and lack of a live support feature. It may have fallen victim to the acts of cybercriminals and lost customer funds in the past, but it seems to have learned a lesson and strengthened their systems by embracing cold storage, 2FA, and such other browser-based security features as IP address whitelisting.


By Edith M.

Edith is an investment writer, trader, and personal finance coach specializing in investments advice around the fintech niche. Her fields of expertise include stocks, commodities, forex, indices, bonds, and cryptocurrency investments.

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