What is Poloniex?
Poloniex is a cryptocurrency trading site that has been around since 2014.
It quickly became one of the most popular exchanges around, but it has slipped down the rankings in recent years.
It’s quality of service has also been downgraded from AA to BB, but despite this, it still kept a healthy amount of 24-hour trade volume.
Poloniex has had its fair share of trouble, but we’ll go into more detail about this shortly.
Poloniex doesn’t support any fiat currencies, so bear this in mind before you spend time creating an account.
Let’s begin by learning about Poloniex’s history!
The history of Poloniex
Poloniex is a cryptocurrency trading site that launched back in 2014.
It quickly became popular with American traders, but it was bought by Circle in February 2018.
Around 18 months later, its legal HQ was moved to Bermuda and it stopped servicing American clients.
Shortly after that it was acquired by a group of other companies, involving Justin Sun, the founder of Tron.
Soon you’ll see why this is a big problem for Poloniex and its users.
This impressive journey has been fraught with danger, accidents and scandals.
Just 2 months after its launch in 2014, Poliniex was hacked.
Around 12% of its Bitcoin holdings were stolen, directly from customer’s wallets.
The money was never recovered, but the exchange somehow did.
In August 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued Poloniex with a $10 million fine for operating an unregistered crypto exchange in the USA.
The charges state that it operated unlawfully in the USA between 2017 and 2019.
Poloniex didn’t deny or admit to the claims, instead opting to pay the fine.
How to buy cryptocurrency at Poloniex?
Enough doom and gloom as Poloniex is actually a solid crypto exchange.
So, let’s look at how you can create an account, pass KYC and start trading at Poloniex.
A word of warning, however.
Poloniex does not natively support fiat currencies.
It does have an integration with Simplex where you can buy crypto using fiat, but it gets deposited to your Simplex account.
You then have to send the funds from your Simplex account to your Poloniex account.
You will also need to pass KYC and AML procedures with Simplex.
We know that signing up at crypto exchanges can be confusing and frustrating.
So, to make life easier for you, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to creating an account at Poloniex.
It takes around 30 minutes to get completely verified, so make a pot of tea, get your documents ready and sign up at Poloniex!
To make life easier for you, we’ve got a list of the documents that you’ll need at Poloniex.
You will need one of the following items:
- Government issued ID card
- Driver’s License
That’s all you need as there’s no additional AML checks owing to the fact that Poloniex isn’t a fiat on or off ramp.
Ready to create your Poloniex account?
Step 1 – registration
When you’re all ready to get started, head on over to the Poloniex website.
Once there, you can opt to remain on the website or use the mobile app, if you’re on mobile.
We opted to download and use the iOS app, which worked flawlessly.
Once you’ve picked the website or app and you’re set to go, hit sign up.
You’ll then be asked to provide an email address and password.
Pop that information in and then you’ll have to complete a verification to prove you’re human.
We had to slide a puzzle piece into a slot, which was a lot more fun than ticking boxes that contain a traffic light.
An email will then be sent to the email address you entered.
You will need to click the verification link in the email.
Once you’ve done that, your account will be up and ready for you to begin the verification process!
You can opt to skip verification, but you will have lower daily limits.
If you opt to skip verification, you can withdraw up to €10,000 per day and trade up to 10x leverage.
If you do opt to verify your account, you’ll be able to withdraw up to €500,000 per day and trade with 100x leverage.
For most people, skipping KYC is totally fine.
But, if you want a bit more freedom, it’s a short KYC process and gives you a lot more wiggle room.
Step 2 – verification
If you want to crank up your limits to the max, then you’ll want to complete KYC.
To start the process, click on settings, then go to security.
Next, hit verify identity and you’ll begin the KYC process.
First up, you’ll need to input your name, date of birth, phone number and address.
Make sure that this information matches the details on your chosen identity document that you’re going to use in the next step.
Once you hit next, you’ll be asked to pick which ID document you’re going to use.
It will then use the device’s camera to scan the front and back of your documents as well as take a selfie.
You can do this from a computer with a webcam, or by uploading images if you don’t have access to a camera.
It’s best to do this on a mobile phone as it works a little better, but it is possible on a computer if that’s all you have access to.
Once you’ve taken the pictures and they’ve uploaded, you’re all done.
It will take anywhere between 10 minutes and 3 working days to complete.
But in our experience, it took around 30 minutes to be verified.
Now your limits have been raised, it’s time to make a deposit!
Step 3 – deposit
Now you’ve made your account at Poloniex and you’re ready to deposit, it’s time for the action to begin!
As we mentioned earlier, Poloniex doesn’t technically support fiat currencies, so you will need to deposit a cryptocurrency or stablecoin.
Doing this is incredibly simple, so don’t worry.
Tap on wallet at the bottom of the screen.
You’ll then be presented with a large list of all the currencies that are supported.
You can scroll through or use the search bar to select the crypto you wish to deposit.
We opted for Bitcoin, so searched BTC and opened up the Bitcoin deposit page.
Now, this is where the fact that Justin Sun is involved with Poloniex becomes a pain.
By default, the deposit address shown is on the Tron blockchain, not the Bitcoin blockchain.
This goes for every other cryptocurrency on Poloniex as well.
So, before you scan that QR code or copy the address, make sure you select the correct blockchain.
For example, if your Bitcoin is on the Bitcoin blockchain, select BTC.
If you’re using Ethereum and it’s on the Ethereum blockchain, select ETH.
If you send it to the Tron blockchain by accident, it will be lost forever.
This is horrible and one of the worst deposit “features” that we’ve ever seen.
It’s on the verge of being scammy, if we’re being totally honest.
Anyway, once you’ve selected the correct blockchain you can go ahead and either copy the address or scan the QR code and pop it into the wallet where you’re sending funds from.
Triple check the address is correct before you send, and when you’re happy, hit send.
Depending on the currency that you’re depositing, there will be a range of confirmations required.
For Bitcoin, it requires 2 confirmations, which takes around 20 minutes if you’re included in the next block.
And that’s it.
Just sit back and wait for your deposit to be credited and you’re done.
Sending cryptocurrency to your external wallet
Due to the fact that Poloniex only allows you to trade cryptocurrency, rather than sell it, you’ll always want to send your crypto to an external wallet.
It’s also a wise move to move any crypto out of an exchange.
If an exchange gets hacked, it’s the hot wallets that get emptied first, and this is your hard earned crypto.
So, to move your crypto to your own wallet, you’ll first need a wallet.
If you just bought Bitcoin for the first time and you are using Poloniex to trade into other cryptos, then you’ll definitely need to do this.
Make sure that the wallet you’re planning on using supports the crypto you are looking withdraw from Poloniex.
You can check out the various types of wallets here.
Once your wallet is ready, then you’re ready to withdraw.
Tap the wallet button and then select the crypto you wish to withdraw.
Select the correct chain, which will be the original blockchain.
For example, Ethereum will be ETH and Bitcoin will be BTC.
Make sure that you don’t pick TRON as you’ll lose everything.
It’s sneaky how this is the default option, but that’s what happens when Justin Sun gets involved.
Type in or paste the address you wish to send your crypto to, then double check the address.
Sometimes we can make mistakes while typing and sometimes paste bins can get corrupted.
It takes a few seconds to check and will save you the heartbreak of sending your crypto to the wrong address.
Finally, pop in the amount and hit withdraw.
Withdrawals are processed within a few minutes, so will hit the blockchain shortly.
Then, you just have to wait for enough confirmations before your crypto makes it to your wallet of choice!
Poloniex has a strong range
When it comes to the cryptocurrencies that you can use at Poloniex, you won’t be disappointed.
Poloniex has gone out of its way to list as many of the most popular cryptocurrencies around.
Thanks to the fact that it’s not regulated in the same way that other major exchanges are, it can get away with listing more obscure cryptocurrencies.
This means that it doesn’t need to apply the same vetting that the New York Bit License requires as it doesn’t have one.
So, you’ll find just about all of the top cryptocurrencies available to trade at Poloniex.
There are currently more than 200 listed cryptocurrencies spread out over more than 350 markets.
This gives you plenty of choice if you’re looking to trade cryptocurrencies.
Why is Poloniex one of the largest trading venues?
Poloniex has always been a fairly popular crypto exchange, but it’s never really been the biggest.
It was hacked in its 2nd month of operation back in 2014, which has really hampered its efforts to become popular.
The exchange has spent most of its life ranging between the 10th and 30th most popular exchange by 24-hour trade volume.
It’s trade volume remains strong thanks to the fact that you don’t need to complete KYC in order to trade.
You can withdraw up to €10,000 daily without KYC, which is enough for most crypto traders.
This gives people a fantastic opportunity to trade and take advantage of the relatively low fees and the lack of government oversight.
You can also still trade Monero at Poloniex, which is popular amongst crypto enthusiasts looking to remain anonymous.
That being said, Poloniex is a massive hot spot for Tron trading.
Currently, Tron is the most traded cryptocurrency at Poloniex, with more than €23 million in 24-hour trade volume.
This market and tie to Justin Sun is likely the reason that Poloniex has remained fairly popular.
The good, bad, and ugly at Poloniex
Poloniex is a nice crypto exchange, but it does have some major flaws.
So, to help you make a more informed decision about Poloniex before you deposit there, we’re going to run you through the pros and cons of Poloniex.
Let’s do this!
The pros of Poloniex
Poloniex has a great range of supported cryptocurrencies, meaning that you should be able to find everything that you’re looking for.
Also, the ability to skip KYC and still use the exchange as normal is fantastic.
You can even get access to leverage trading without passing KYC, which is nice to have as most exchanges block this until you pass KYC.
The support crew at Poloniex are on top of their game, responding well to questions in a quick and timely manner.
There’s also a pile of guides and FAQs to help you if you get stuck and can’t reach a live support agent.
The Cons of Poloniex
Justin Sun had a major involvement in the buyout of Poloniex, which means that it’s laden with Tron promos.
Whenever you make a deposit or withdrawal, the default network is always set as Tron, which is annoying.
This means that it’s easy to make a mistake and send crypto to the wrong blockchain and lose it forever, which feels scammy.
You can’t buy crypto with fiat or sell crypto for fiat at Poloniex directly.
Instead, you’re directed to Simplex, which is a 3rd party exchange.
You have to pass KYC and AML procedures, which is annoying.
Finally, there’s also a major lack of security features.
There’s no option to whitelist addresses or set a 2FA device to your account.
Instead, you’re stuck with email 2FA and we all know that’s not very secure.
Is Poloniex safe?
All cryptocurrency exchanges come with a degree of risk, and Poloniex is no exception to the rule.
In fact, it got hack in 2014, 2 months after its initial launch.
While Poloniex has grown and implemented more security measures since, it’s still never wise to store your crypto on an exchange for a long period of time.
After all, not your keys, not your crypto.
So, you’d do well to get yourself a good wallet and withdraw your crypto as soon as you can.
There are a few security features available at Poloniex, but they’re just not good enough.
If you’re trying to secure your account and make it as safe as possible, you’ll likely be disappointed.
There’s only email 2-factor authentication (2FA) available, which isn’t enough in our opinion.
As we just mentioned, email 2FA is the only security feature that you can enable, aside from biometrics on mobile devices that support it.
It’s enabled by default for withdrawals, which you’d expect.
However, it would be nice to see support for a dedicated 2FA app or hardware device as these are infinitely more secure.
In this case, you should definitely be using an email address specifically for Poloniex.
You can learn the best security tips to keep you safe with our guide to crypto security.
If you follow most of these tips and apply them to your Poloniex account, you should have no troubles on your end.
However, this still doesn’t mean it’s safe to store your crypto at Poloniex for a long period of time.
Do you pay fees at Poloniex?
Virtually all cryptocurrency exchanges have a fee schedule.
This means that yes, at Poloniex, you have to pay fees when you trade.
Now, these do vary with how much you’re trading every month, but even if you are trading €50 million you still have fees to pay.
If you go above €50 million you can join the premium member list and cut the fees down to as little as 0.06%, but that’s a big ask for your average trader.
If you trade less than €50,000 a month, you’re looking at 0.145% fees, which is still pretty decent.
Obviously, the more you trade, the lower that gets, so it pays to stick to a single exchange for all your trading needs.
Trade with leverage at Poloniex
If you want to trade with leverage, then Poloniex is the perfect crypto exchange for you.
If you don’t want to pass KYC, you’ll be capped at 10x leverage.
But if you ask us, this is more than enough if you’re not used to leverage trading.
It gives you a bit more wiggle room to learn and adapt to the risks and perils of leverage trading.
If you want to crank it up to the max, you’ll need to complete KYC.
Doing so will increase your max leverage up to 100x, which is the upper limit on margin trading in the crypto world.
Do note that leverage trading is incredibly risky and dangerous, so only use it if you know what you’re doing.
Even a €0.01 drop in price can wipe out your balance if you’re using 100x leverage, so be cautious.
Our advice is that you leave leverage trading to the people that know what they’re doing and have years of experience at this stuff.
Poloniex customer support
If you get stuck, it’s always nice to know there’s someone that you can reach out to and get help from.
Poloniex has absolutely nailed this and their live support is second to none.
We spoke to several live agents during our testing and every time we got quick replies that were clear and helpful.
If the support crew isn’t available for some reason, there’s also a library of FAQs and guides to help you get back up and running.
Poloniex has clearly spent a lot of time perfecting this part of its business.
Is Poloniex legal?
In the crypto world, the issue of being legal and regulated can be make or break for some.
Poloniex isn’t exactly regulated in the same way or sense that Coinbase or Kraken is.
But, that doesn’t mean that it’s an untrustworthy crypto exchange.
It has been around since 2014 and there’s been no reports of funny business in that time.
Yes, Poloniex does have some problems with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but that’s for operating in the USA without the necessary licenses.
Poloniex looks to follow the rules that the majority of countries follows, but it has made no attempts to get regulated and licensed anywhere.
This could prove an issue later down the line as more countries look to enforce these rules, but we’re still a long way from that.
So, even though Poloniex doesn’t have a regulatory certificate, it’s still a safe crypto exchange to use.
Are profits from Poloniex taxed?
Whenever you trade cryptocurrency, you are opening yourself up to the possibilities of paying taxes.
Now, Poloniex isn’t going to run to the tax man and snitch you up.
But, that doesn’t mean that the exchange that you use as a fiat off ramp wont.
So, take note of every trade that you make so that you can pay the correct amount of taxes.
Tax rates vary from country to country, with some countries charging 45% and some charging 0%.
It all depends on where your tax domicile is.
You can learn all about crypto tax with our guide to crypto taxes.
But whatever you do, make sure you fully understand the implications of crypto taxes before you decide to trade.
Not declaring and paying the correct taxes can lead to jail time.
You can also claim money back from your taxes if you lose money on trades in a lot of countries, so the whole tax system can play into your hands nicely!
Poloniex is Riding the Crypto Wave
Poloniex isn’t really doing anything fantastic.
It feels very much like it’s just riding the crypto waves and seeing where the current takes it.
It’s not pushing out new features and promotions to boost trade volume and get it up in to the top 10 for 24-hour trade volume.
But, that’s actually pretty smart as it allows it to fly under the radar of regulatory authorities.
Poloniex is a trustworthy exchange with a ton of crypto trading pairs.
You can happily deposit and trade at Poloniex if you’re happy to settle for an average trading experience.
Frequently asked questions and answers
What currencies can I use at Poloniex?
Poloniex currently supports more than 200 cryptocurrencies, spread out over 350 markets.
It doesn’t natively support fiat currencies, so you’ll have to buy those through Simplex.
It’s better to use a different exchange for fiat purchases as the Simplex fees are fairly high.
Is Poloniex available in my country?
Poloniex doesn’t abide by regulations, meaning that it operates just about everywhere in the world.
If you’re happy to just use Poloniex to trade cryptos, you can even use it in banned regions, such as the USA, using a VPN.
This is risky, but the lack of KYC allows for traders to use this loophole nicely.
Do note that this isn’t something that we here at CryptoMeister suggest you do, we’re simply saying that it is possible given their setup.
Will Poloniex list more currencies?
Poloniex already has a great range of cryptocurrencies, but it’s always working to add more.
As new cryptos launch and some become more popular, Poloniex will add them.
If the trade volume is there and the demand is strong, then we will see most cryptocurrencies added to Poloniex over time.