Poloniex Review

An in-depth look into crypto investing and fees at the Poloniex exchange

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Poloniex

Poloniex

Investopedia’s Rating
4.0

Our Take 

Poloniex is a cryptocurrency exchange that combines low trading fees with a list of over 350 supported cryptocurrencies. Additionally, we like that Poloniex is a decentralized exchange, and offers margin trading, lending, and other crypto products. With its low fees, a wide selection of assets, and useful features, this exchange could potentially meet all needs of many crypto traders. However, it’s not available to U.S. users.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low fees at any trading volume

  • Basic and active trading platforms available

  • More than 250 currencies supported

Cons
  • No advanced order types

  • Poor support

  • History of hacking issues

Key Takeaways
  • Poloniex offers low fees and many supported cryptocurrencies.
  • Advanced features are available, including margin trading and crypto lending.
  • Poor customer support and a past security incident are major drawbacks.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2014
  • Official Website https://poloniex.com/
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 272
  • Customer Support Help page, ticket

Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.

Pros Explained

  • Low fees at any trading volume: Poloniex’s highest fee tier starts at 0.155%, which is very low among crypto trading platforms.
  • Basic and active trading platforms available: You can use a simple buying form, active trading platform, or connect to Poloniex’s decentralized exchange with a compatible wallet.
  • More than 350 currencies supported: Buy and sell 350+ different currencies at the current market rate.

Cons Explained

  • No advanced order types: In the active trading platform, you can enter buy and sell orders with market, limit, or stop-limit parameters only.
  • Poor support: Reports of mediocre customer support responses from current and past customers.
  • History of hacked accounts: Polniex was hacked in 2014, and again late in 2020, hackers stole 12.3% of the exchanges coins the first time, and about $4 million in Bitcoin (approximately 6% of exchange assets) the second time.

Introduction

Poloniex may seem like an ideal cryptocurrency exchange for nearly any investor. Low trading fees and a list of 350+ cryptocurrencies make this platform an attractive option. It also offers margin trading products, cryptocurrency lending, and multiple trading platforms to buy and sell the long list of supported currencies.

However, Poloniex also has a mixed reputation. The site was hacked in 2014 losing around 12% of the company’s holdings. This happened again in 2020 accounting for around 6% of the exchange. It also receives poor marks for customer service.

If you trust Poloniex to keep your account and assets secure, it’s a compelling platform that’s worth considering.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

Founded in 2014, Poloniex is a cryptocurrency exchange and service provider based in Delaware. The exchange supports a long list of cryptocurrencies with highly competitive trading fees. If your main priorities are trading a large number of digital currencies with low pricing, you’ll find what you’re looking for with Poloniex.

Poloniex lets users buy crypto with a bank account, Visa, Mastercard, or Apple Pay. It also features trading platforms suitable for beginner to expert traders and works with decentralized financial products, including a decentralized exchange.

Despite Poloniex’s useful options and features, there are a few drawbacks on the security and regulatory side. The site has poor customer service reviews. Even more concerning, it’s been subject to two hacks and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulatory action in the past. This might lead you to look at other crypto exchanges that offer better customer reviews and stronger security overall. Per the Poloniex customer agreement, it’s not available in the United States.

Cryptocurrencies Available on Poloniex

Poloniex offers a long list of 350+ cryptocurrencies and tokens. Noteworthy currencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Stellar, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and more.

Users can also trade some volatile currencies like Baby Dogecoin, Dogelon, and Dogs of Elon. There’s a good mix of well-supported utility tokens and lesser-known currencies. It’s important to mention the exchange’s relationship with the Tron (TRX) currency. Holding and using Tron may qualify you for discounted fees.

Trading Experience

There are several platforms on Poloniex available that may be appropriate for different trading experience levels. Beginners should start with the simple buying and selling form, while experienced traders can jump to the active trading exchange.

Basic Cryptocurrency Exchange Form

If you’re inexperienced with crypto or want to fund a Poloniex account with fiat currency, you can start with Poloniex’s simple cryptocurrency exchange form. This form lets you easily buy and sell currency using a bank account, debit card, or credit card.

The simple crypto purchase form at Poloniex.
The simple crypto purchase form at Poloniex.

If you purchase with a debit or credit card, you’ll pay a 3.5% fee ($10 minimum) to the card processor, Simplex. You may also need to pay an additional spread fee.

Active Trading Platform

Poloniex’s active trading platform includes a chart with a number of indicators. You can also view recent trades, a summary of the outstanding order book, your open orders, and a quick trading form.

Experienced traders who have prior experience with cryptocurrency, stock trading, or other active markets will likely prefer the active trading platform.

Mobile Apps

Poloniex has apps available for iOS and Android devices. You can get the Apple version in the App Store, and the Android version is listed in Google Play or offered as a direct download. The apps allow you to manage your account, view crypto balances, and trade supported currencies.

Fees

You can qualify for lower costs if you pay for exchange fees with Tron and hold a Tron balance of at least $49 USD.

Once your account is funded with crypto, fees are a major selling point for Poloniex over competitors. If you trade less than $50,000 per 30 days, fees are 0.0145% for maker trades and 0.155% for taker trades. You can also access fee discounts if you pay with Tron. If you hold a sufficient Tron balance ($49 or more), you qualify for a lower fee tier.

Trading fees at Poloniex as of 1/3/2022
Trading fees at Poloniex as of 1/3/2022.

Other costs to consider include:

Payment Method Poloniex Fee 
Bank Account 0.5% + Variable Spread Fee
Debit/Credit Card  3.5% ($10 minimum) + Variable Spread Fee 
Futures Trades  0.01% Maker / 0.075% Taker 
Lending Fees  15% 
Margin Interest Fees  Varies 

Security

Poloniex has been hacked in the past and recently settled charges with the SEC. Proceed with caution.

Security isn’t Poloniex’s strong suit. While it appears everything has been brought up to industry standards, the company has a history of security and regulatory problems.

The exchange was hacked in 2014, and hackers stole approximately $4 million in assets. In response, the exchange reduced customer account balances by 12.3%. This is a serious issue and could be reason enough to avoid Poloniex. In addition, it was hacked again in 2020. While the platform survived the incidents, you may want to use caution when holding significant balances with this exchange.

Poloniex has also run afoul of United States securities regulators. The SEC charged Poloniex for operating an unregistered digital asset exchange in August 2021, and Poloniex paid over $10 million to settle with the SEC. While Poloniex’s problems may be in the past, this is another red flag.

Opening a Poloniex Account

Poloniex operates a centralized exchange and a decentralized exchange. For the centralized exchange, which we are reviewing here, you’ll need an account. As mentioned above, Poloniex is only available to users outside of the United States.

The signup process at Poloniex is similar to that of other cryptocurrency exchanges. You’ll start by creating an account with your email address and a password.

To unlock all account features and higher limits, you need to complete the Level 1 and Level 2 verification process. Level 1 includes unlimited trading, unlimited deposits, and $10,000 per day in withdrawals. Level 2 allows up to $500,000 in daily withdrawals, margin trading, and faster customer service if you get locked out of your account.

Know Your Customer (KYC) verification requirements include adding your contact information, a picture of your government photo ID, and a selfie.

Customer Service

Poloniex offers customer support primarily through email. Users can submit a basic contact form to open a customer support ticket. The exchange also offers a help section that answers commonly asked questions.

For the most part, Poloniex is a self-service platform where you take care of your own account maintenance. If you don’t feel comfortable searching for answers to questions with help sections, you may prefer an exchange that offers more options for customer support.

Customer Satisfaction

While Poloniex receives low marks from reviewers, it’s worth noting that poor customer support is a problem industry-wide. If your account is hacked or you accidentally send cryptocurrency to the wrong address, you are unlikely to recover your funds regardless of the exchange.

Account Management

Poloniex users can manage their accounts through its online dashboard and mobile apps. You can use the account dashboard to navigate through account settings and the primary account features, including the trading platform, futures trading, and lending.

Anyone with experience using an online stock brokerage or online banking should have no trouble navigating Poloniex’s dashboard and apps.

How Poloniex Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

When compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, Poloniex offers low fees and a large number of cryptocurrencies. However, you may prefer an exchange with a stronger reputation and history.

Poloniex vs. Coinbase

  • Poloniex’s fees are just 0.145% or 0.155% at the highest tier. Coinbase’s fees range from 0.00% to 0.60% depending on trade volume.
  • Poloniex features lending, margin, and futures trading products, while Coinbase only offers spot trading at current market rates.
  • Coinbase has a better reputation for security and regulatory compliance.
  • Coinbase is available to users in the United States, while Poloniex is not.

Ultimately, there’s no perfect cryptocurrency exchange for everyone. That’s why it’s crucial to spend time getting to understand the features that are most important to you. Also, consider shopping around for the lowest fees and best account security features.

Read our full Coinbase review.

Final Verdict

Poloniex offers low costs and an extensive list of cryptocurrencies, including some cutting-edge and lesser-known coins. Despite this, there are some security and regulatory questions that are a cause for concern. It’s also not available in certain countries. 

If you’re considering opening an account with Poloniex, research what the exchange offers to help determine if it’s right for your crypto goals and needs.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.


Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the review process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Coindesk. "Poloniex Loses 12.3% of Its Bitcoins in Latest Bitcoin Exchange Hack."

  2. CoinDesk. "UK Crypto Exchange EXMO Says $4M of Hacked Funds Was Through Poloniex."

  3. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "SEC Charges Poloniex for Operating Unregistered Digital Asset Exchange."