Binance vs Binance.US: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on April 26, 2022

The crypto industry is still very young. Bitcoin, the most well-known and first viable cryptocurrency, is only 12 years old. Even the biggest companies in crypto are often recent start-ups. One of these companies is Binance. Founded just 4 years ago in 2017 Binance has grown to become a leader in cryptocurrency exchange. However, there is more than one Binance. Read on to learn how Binance relates to Binance.US.

Difference Between Binance and Binance.US

The comparison of Binance vs Binance.US ultimately comes down to financial regulations in the United States. 

What is Binance?

Binance is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao. Zhao’s professional experience before that point was in the development of advanced financial software, such as high-frequency trading software. He also served in an executive position at another cryptocurrency exchange, OKCoin. 

Since 2017 Binance has grown quickly to reach its current position. However, the rise of this crypto giant was not smooth. In the quickly changing environment of cryptocurrency, government regulations are often several years behind the cutting edge. This was the case for Binance, which came into repeated conflict with government regulations of multiple countries in the years after it was founded, including, eventually, the United States. Originally founded in China, Binance has since moved its headquarters several times.

Binance relocated from China to Japan and Taiwan, then eventually Malta. Eventually, founder Zhao—often referred to by insiders simply as CZ—declared that Binance had no headquarters, in the same sense that bitcoin has no headquarters. 

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What is Binance.US?

Binance.US was founded in 2019 in response to regulations that impacted Binance’s business in the United States. U.S. regulators believed some of the crypto assets that Binance’s trading platform allowed a user to trade were essentially securities. A security is a category of financial products which includes stocks, bonds, and specialized derivatives like futures. Trading in securities in the United States requires extensive licensing. Rather than change its main exchange to suit U.S. regulations, Binance instead created a separate exchange for U.S. customers, called Binance.US. 

The United States has many crypto users and owners within its borders. That means that it is a valuable market for Binance. That is why the company was willing to take the steps and suffer the expense of creating a version of the exchange just for one country.

What’s the Difference?

Binance owns Binance.US’s name and intellectual property. However, Binance.US is managed independently. The main differences between the two relate to financial regulations in the United States. Binance.US cannot legally offer all the same crypto assets that the main Binance exchange can. 

Besides these broader differences, there are also some practical differences when comparing Binance vs Binance.US.

Currencies Offered

The Binance international exchange offers a huge variety of cryptocurrencies. This includes the top 20 coins such as Bitcoin, Ether, and Ada. In addition, Binance also offers several hundred less well-known altcoins. Binance also offers many trading pairs. In total, Binance offers exchange in over 500 cryptocurrencies and trading in more than 1200 trading pairs. This number is lower than on leading decentralized platforms like Uniswap but is still among the highest centralized exchanges.

These numbers are far greater than Binance.US. U.S. regulations limit the number and types of cryptocurrency that a U.S.-based company can sell to U.S. customers. As a direct result of these rules, Binance.US only offers about 53 cryptocurrencies for exchange to U.S. residents. This number is much lower than Binance’s international exchange but is on par with other U.S.-based exchanges.

Trading Fees

Binance has become a favorite among traders because of its low trading fees. Exchanges charge trading fees for actions such as exchanging currency and margin trading. Binance fees are structured in levels so that the higher volume you work at, the less you pay per trade. In addition, Binance offers fee reductions for referrals of new users.

Since trading fees do not directly relate to the products traded, U.S. regulations do not apply to the fees Binance.US charges. As a result, Binance.US offers the same low fees and discounts as its parent company. Binance.US is one of the market leaders in the United States in terms of low fees, even without considering the discounts. 

Liquidity

Besides the products offered, one of the effects of the split of Binance.US from Binance was on the liquidity pool. 

The liquidity pool of a crypto exchange is important because it determines what kind of crypto can be exchanged or traded and how much each trade will change the price. The liquidity pool is the total of all of the currency deposited on the exchange by every trader. If this pool is small, then every transaction can have a noticeable effect on the price of the crypto in the exchange. This instability makes it very difficult for a trader to predict how much of each currency they can get at any given time. 

You can think of the liquidity pool as a body of water that people are constantly taking from and adding to. If the pool is the size of a bucket, even a few cupfuls in or out affect how much water is left, and therefore how much you pay for it. If the pool is the size of a lake, even thousands of cupfuls in or out have no measurable effect on the water level in the lake. 

Binance represents the collection of a huge number of customers all over the world. Naturally, this means that the Binance international exchange has a very large liquidity pool. As the world leader in centralized exchanges, Binance also has a world-leading liquidity pool. In May of 2021, the crypto exchange recorded a spot trading volume of $1.5 trillion.

On the other hand, Binance.US only has U.S. customers. The size of its liquidity pool is limited to the number of U.S.-based traders. However, operating in one of the largest crypto markets in the world, Binance.US still has a large enough liquidity pool to satisfy the needs of any small-scale trader. In April 2021, the trading volume on Binance.US was more than $28 billion. Binance.US has a much smaller liquidity pool than Binance, but it is enough for all but the very largest traders. 

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Conclusion

The choice of Binance vs Binance.US is quite a simple one. Binance.US is for residents and citizens of the United States. It is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the U.S. by trading volume. To comply with U.S. regulations, not all the functions of the international Binance exchange are available on Binance.US. However, the fees are equally low, and the liquidity is more than enough for most users. If you are in the United States and want to use Binance, Binance.US is the only fully legal way to do it.


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