Binance US was launched on September 19, 2019, as a centralized cryptocurrency exchange. It was designed with the main purpose to serve US citizens. As its name and the information on the website suggest, the platform is powered by the same technology that runs the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange – Binance. The venue is operated by BAM Trading Services and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Before getting into details about the exchange, it is worth taking a moment to look at the company behind the project. BAM Trading Services, a Delaware corporation, isn’t directly associated with the owners of Binance. It is a separate business entity, operating in the US and registered as a money services business with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on June 13, 2019. However, the FCEN clarifies that the inclusion of the company on its network “is not a certification of legitimacy, or endorsement of the business by any government agency.” At the time of this writing, the public information regarding BAM Trading Services is very limited. The business doesn’t have a website, nor a LinkedIn page, and its Twitter account isn’t very active. However, it is worth noting that BAM Trading Services works in close cooperation with Koi Trading, an OTC cryptocurrency trading firm that is backed financially by Binance (an investment worth $3 million, made in January 2019). Koi Trading is registered on address 1 Market Street, Spear Tower, Suite 3600, San Francisco, CA 94105. The address is the same, like the one listed in BAM Trading Services’ application to the FCEN.
Binance.US should be analyzed as the American arm of the cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance. The exchange comes as the latest addition to the portfolio of entities (Binance, Binance Jersey, Binance Uganda, and Binance DEX), designed to bring Binance’s services closer to users from all across the world. The platform uses Binance’s established infrastructure - the wallet service and the matching engine technology (claimed to be supporting up to 1 400 000 orders per second). The exchange is run by Catherine Coley, former Head of Institutional Liquidity at Ripple, with roles at institutional FX at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong and London, and international payments and global treasury management for start-ups at Silicon Valley Bank. Catherine Coley is described by Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, as “passionate, versatile, and hardworking.”
Binance.US was opened for registration to new users on September 18, 2019. Cryptocurrency investors, willing to become clients of the exchange, are required to go through a thorough identity verification procedure in adherence to Binance’s KYC and AML policies. Binance.US supports different tiers of account verification and offers both individual and corporate accounts. The basic verification for personal accounts requires the submission of three names, date of birth, address, and Tax ID/SSN. The advance verification though, requires some additional information, such as a proof of address (bank statement or a utility bill from the last three months), a phone number, and a copy of an ID, passport or a driver’s license (Jumio Corp. processes the data). Corporate account holders are required to fill in a Google form and provide accurate details about their business. However, in addition to that, the platform points out that business owners may be contacted by the Onboarding Team at Binance.US for “additional dialogue.” Those, who wish to engage in fiat-to-cryptocurrency transactions are required to fill in a separate form and submit it for approval.
It is worth noting that, at the time of this writing, Binance.US isn’t fully operational across the whole country. Citizens from states like Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Vermont, and Washington are restricted from using the platform’s service at first. Fortunately, Catherine Coley revealed that Binance.US aims at opening its services to every citizen of the USA in the course of its development.
Regarding security, the platform points out that it employs SMS and Google authentication. However, judging by the performance and the history of the other trading venues, part of the Binance group, the exchange will maintain a high-level of security and platform stability.
Binance.US also has its own referral program that allows both referrals and referees to earn $15 after their first trade on Binance.US. However, the program has some rules that clients should comply with, in order to be eligible to receive the reward. For example, users should pass through the complete account verification and generate a trading volume of at least $100. Aside from that, the Binance.US team reserves the right to check for fake accounts periodically. Duplicate or shared finances are claimed to result in direct disqualification. The program isn’t available to corporate account holders.
The Binance.US team states that its mission is to provide “an inclusive gateway to cryptocurrencies in America for new and experienced traders alike, with the lowest fees in the market.” To achieve that, it started by offering its clients zero fees until the period of November 1, 2019. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, also tweeted that after the zero-fee period had passed, users could use the BNB token as a fee discount mechanism.
When it comes to customer support, it is worth noting that Binance.US offers several social media channels, and also a ticket system. The platform also provides an extensive FAQ section where users can find the answers to their questions, before reaching out to the exchange’s representatives. At the time of this writing, Binance.US has open positions for customer support representatives for several languages. Combined with the fact that Binance.com supports a live chat feature, we can assume that, at some point, Binance.US clients will also have access to such flexible support channels.
At the time of this writing, Binance.US supports several of the leading cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP, XLM, ETC, ADA, USDT, as well as ZRX, BAT and its own token – BNB. The digital currencies can be exchanged against fiat and other cryptocurrencies. On its “Disclosures” website section though, Binance.US makes it clear that it is not an exchange, regulated by the SEC and that users’ accounts are not subject to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or Securities Investor Protection Corporation protections.
As a part of the Binance group of exchanges, Binance.US should be considered as the next step in the evolution of the leading cryptocurrency trading service provider worldwide. That is why it is safe to assume that the platform will step on the solid fundament and business history and will try to provide an improved service, that is finally open to US-based customers.