What Is Poloniex?

Founded in early 2013, Poloniex emerged as an important and polarizing name in digital asset exchanges, mainly for its relationship with users and transaction security. However, in December 2019, it shut down its services to U.S. users, though it’s still accessible by users outside the U.S.

At its core, Poloniex is a digital asset exchange. It provides a platform for trading cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, and crypto futures if your country allows access. However, it is slowly becoming more than an exchange, expanding its footprint in the digital space to become involved in the development of the metaverse and all things decentralized finance.

Learn more about Poloniex and how it is positioning itself to take a significant role in the digital future.

Key Takeaways

  • Poloniex was one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in the world at one time. 
  • After being purchased by Circle in 2018 and spun out on its own in 2019, its trading volume declined significantly.
  • Poloniex shut down access to U.S.-based users in December 2019.
  • Poloniex has come under fire by regulators from the U.S. and Canada for illegal securities practices.

Understanding Poloniex

Poloniex is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy or sell digital assets, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), TRON (TRX), and other altcoins. The exchange guarantees that users will experience safety and security while conducting transactions.

History of Poloniex

Poliniex has had a succesful but somewhat turbulent history. It was founded in 2013, then purchased by Circle, a digital asset and financial service company, in February 2018. In November 2019, Circle spun out Poloniex into a new company.

The current Poloniex exchange is now owned by the entity Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., which is backed by an Asian investment agency. As part of the spin-out, Poloniex stopped supporting U.S.-based users, giving them until Dec. 15, 2019, to move their funds from the platform. 

Poloniex offers trading in the cryptocurrency spot and futures markets, non-fungible tokens purchasing and trading, and buying or selling cryptocurrency.

In May of 2021, Poloniex was charged by the Ontario Securities Commission for violating Ontario securities law. In August of 2021, Poloniex settled charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it was operating as an unregistered national exchange and offered products considered securities under the Howey test. Poloniex paid $10 million in fines to the SEC.

In January 2022, Poloniex ceased all trading in Ontario, announcing that the territory had become a restricted jurisdiction. On March 9, 2022, the exchange began shutting down its margin and lending products as it worked to build a better trading experience for its users.

How Is Poloniex Different From Coinbase?

Poloniex and Coinbase are both cryptocurrency exchanges. However, Coinbase is much larger based on market cap than Poloniex, with a $2.5 billion 24-hour trading volume. Poloniex has about $65 million in 24-hour trading volume.

Coinbase is registered with the SEC to operate in the U.S., while Poloniex no longer does. Poloniex lists 16 cryptocurrencies, which is the main reason its trading volume is so much lower than Coinbase and many other exchanges.

Coinbase, on the other hand, lists 174 tradable cryptocurrencies—which is less than half of the coins trading on Binance. In other words, Poloniex is much smaller than many other popular exchanges. However, the exchange is setting goals other than just facilitating cryptocurrency trading.

Poloniex also offers ApeCoin perpetual futures trading. Perpetual futures are futures contracts without expiration dates.

Goals of Poloniex 

Poloniex strives to become one of the most used cryptocurrency exchanges and evolve into an agent of influence and change for the cryptocurrency and digital space. Banking on its experience and longevity in the cryptocurrency arena, Poloniex has positioned itself to act as a mentor and partner in the industry as well as an active exchange.

For example, in May 2022, it announced a partnership with APENFT, a popular NFT marketplace. This partnership signifies the outlook Poloniex has on the future, which is to be a driving force behind the metaverse, cryptocurrency, GameFi, and NFTs.

In March 2022, Poloniex partnered with the Fantom Foundation, a dApp-focused blockchain, to help it develop its highly scalable ecosystem that supports smart contracts. Additionally, the exchange began publishing its Polopedia, a "knowledge base for the crypto-verse" that aims to inform users and interested parties about everything from cryptocurrency basics to trading crypto using a candlestick chart.

What Does the Future Look Like?

While cryptocurrencies are popular and there is a need to facilitate transactions, there is much more going on in the digital landscape than investing and trading. Companies that embrace emerging advancements using blockchain technology will be at the forefront of future developments across many industries.

Because cryptocurrency prices and popularity are uncertain, an exchange that assists or takes part in the development of digital advancements is much more likely to endure than one that only focuses on the money to be made by facilitating cryptocurrency trading. Poloniex appears to have realized this and is taking steps to remain relevant in a rapidly changing and volatile digital environment.

Is Poloniex Available in the US?

Poloniex is not available for consumers and investors located in the U.S.

Who Is the Owner of Poloniex?

Poloniex is owned by Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. and operates out of Eden Island, Seychelles.

Why Is Poloniex Shutting Down?

Poloniex is still operating and expanding, but it is no longer available to those in the U.S.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.

Article Sources
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  1. Poloniex. "Poloniex Spins Out from Circle with New Backing & Global Focus."

  2. Capital Markets Tribunal. "In the Matter of Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. Statement of Allegations."

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

  4. Poloniex. "Poloniex to Halt Trading in Ontario."

  5. Poloniex. "Margin and Lending Announcement."

  6. Coingecko. "Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges Ranking by Trust Score - Spot."

  7. Poloniex. "ApeCoin (APE) Perpetual Futures is Now Open for Trading."

  8. Poloniex. "A Vision for 2022...This Is Gonna Be Big."

  9. Poloniex. "Poloniex Joins with APENFT to Integrate the Platform’s One-stop NFT Marketplace and Further Deliver on Its Metaverse Strategy."

  10. Poloniex. "Polopedia."

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