Few other crypto exchanges rose to prominence as quickly as Binance did. Though Binance is a brand new crypto exchange, it already ranks among the most popular crypto exchanges in the world. Deep support for altcoins, good availability and low fees have attracted crypto traders to Binance’s marketplace. Though Cryptopia is a much smaller exchange compared to Binance, it’s similar to Binance in many ways. Both exchanges offer low fees and support a wide variety of crypto coins.
Cryptopia could become more popular than Binance in New Zealand if it can manage to resume supporting New Zealand dollar deposits. Cryptopia once offered this feature, but had to suspend it after its bank became concerned about the murky regulatory situation surrounding cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cryptopia and Binance both have excellent worldwide availability. The fact that Cryptopia offers a deeper menu of altcoins may help it compete with larger crypto-focused exchanges like Binance. Cryptopia uses an innovative coin ratings system to inform its customers about its available coins. Binance’s coin listing policy is also liberal, but it doesn’t approve as many coins as Cryptopia– so if you plan on investing in a brand new coin (or a controversial one that isn’t available via Binance) Cryptopia could be the better choice.
Keep reading to find out more about how Cryptopia and Binance compare.
Cryptopia’s history began in 2014, when two cryptocurrency enthusiasts from New Zealand– Rob Dawson and Adam Clark– decided to found a small new crypto exchange and run it in their spare time. Dawson and Clark both kept their full-time jobs for three years while they got Cryptopia off the ground. Then, 2017 happened.
Last year, the price of bitcoin soared to never-before-seen highs. The sudden price spike caused a new wave of newcomers to join crypto exchanges. This surge helped Cryptopia expand from just 30,000 users to 1,200,000 users in the span of a few months.
During the time when Cryptopia’s user base was ballooning, its customer service response time lengthened and the interface slowed due to increased traffic. In order to lighten the load, Cryptopia had to temporarily suspend its litecoin and dogecoin markets.
Perhaps realizing that they were now in over their heads, Cryptopia co-founders Dawson and Clark brought in business consultant Alan Booth to serve as Cryptopia’s new CEO. Booth brought over 50 years of experience helping New Zealand-based businesses.
Shortly after Booth came on board, he published a message to the Cryptopia community in the Cryptopia blog. In the statement, Booth took ownership of the customer support issues and promised a rapid turn around.
“Cryptopia will continue to evolve from a counter-culture start-up into a global player in the Fintech industry.”
Though Binance is just over a year old, it’s already a powerhouse crypto exchange. According to CoinMarketCap, Binance is one of the world’s most popular crypto exchanges. Only the Hong Kong based exchange OKEx has a higher trading volume.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s rapid rise to fame and fortune was highlighted when Forbes awarded Zhao a spot on the cover of its magazine in February of 2018.
The fact that Binance was founded during an extremely big year for cryptocurrency may have given the exchange an edge, since rapid growth was likely part of the original plan from the beginning.
Before starting Binance, Zhao served as the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) of OKCoin. Zhao told CoinDesk that watching OKCoin experience rapid growth shaped his approach to starting Binance.
“Having that firsthand experience of growing an exchange, I was one of the three co-founders and I was the chief technical officer (CTO), so having that kind of experience is extremely valuable. Binance avoided a lot of mistakes we had to figure out by trial and error back then.”
A major hurdle for Binance occurred when China banned all cryptocurrency exchanges. In the interest of stability, Zhao decided to move his exchange to Malta. An official blog post explains the logic behind the move.
“After reviewing several different locations, the company decided to invest in the European nation due to its existing pro-blockchain legislation and the stability that it offers financial technology companies through its regulatory framework.”
Supported Currencies and Listing Policies
Though both Cryptopia and Binance support an impressive number of altcoins, Cryptopia’s altcoin menu is more robust. Cryptopia’s listing includes over 400 different coins. Most of these altcoins can be traded for either bitcoin, dogecoin or litecoin. Binance supports around 100 altcoins.
Neither exchange currently supports fiat deposits. Cryptopia used to allow its users to deposit New Zealand dollars, but this feature was suspended when Cryptopia’s bank closed one of its accounts. Though Binance is in the process of adding euro trading pairs, the exchange has yet to release any specific information about when it will open its euro markets.
Cryptopia is far more transparent than Binance when it comes to revealing how it decides whether or not to list coins.
Cryptopia uses a detailed rating system to determine the merits of a coin. These ratings are accessible on the Cryptopia site, so customers can quickly absorb information about a coin before they invest. There are a number of factors that can affect a coin’s Cryptopia rating. Lack of transparency, for example, can drag a coin’s rating down.
Binance has taken a completely different approach to listing coins. Rather than rate each coin and let its customers decide which one to buy, Binance evaluates coins on a case-by-case basis. According to a blog post, Binance rejects 97% percent of its new coin applications. Promising coins can receive assistance and advice through Binance Labs.
Security and Hacks
Cryptopia and Binance are about even when it comes security. Neither exchange has been compromised by cyber criminals.
The fact that Cryptopia remained small until 2017 may have made it a smaller target for hackers. In addition, Cryptopia’s focus on 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) early on may have helped it avoid significant incidents involving individual accounts. Most other exchanges let their customers access their accounts without 2FA, but Cryptopia forces everyone to set it up and use it.
Binance doesn’t have a mandatory 2FA policy. Instead, it uses an automated threat detection system to prevent bad actors from abusing the exchange. This system kept Binance secure when a group of hacked accounts tried to pump up the value of viacoin. The affected accounts were shut down before they could affect the markets. Following the thwarted attack, Binance set up a bug bounty program. This program lets white hat hackers earn money from successfully identifying weak points in Binance’s security system.
Availability and verification
Both exchanges have excellent availability.
Anyone around the world that’s older than 18 years of age can use Cryptopia. Binance is available nearly everywhere except China. Friction between Chinese regulators and Binance motivated Binance to leave China in 2017.
Cryptopia and Binance both have flexible verification policies.
An email is all that’s needed to begin using Cryptopia. Verifying your email address unlocks Level 1 verification, which allows unlimited cryptocurrency deposits and trades. Withdrawing more than the equivalent of $5,000 New Zealand dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency isn’t possible, though, unless you provide a government-issued picture ID.
Unverified Binance users can also trade crypto anonymously and withdraw up to two bitcoins worth of cryptocurrency per day. Verifying your account will extend that limit to five bitcoins.
Trading, Fees and Apps
Cryptopia and Binance both offer sophisticated tools for analyzing crypto markets.
Binance’s interface comes in two flavors: basic and advanced. The key differences between the two versions boils down to how the currency pairs are displayed.
In the basic version of Binance, the trade pairs appear on the right side of the screen. All you have to do is select the market you want to access and then place an order using the buy/sell box in the middle of the screen.
The advanced version of Binance is actually quite similar to the basic interface. The charts in both interfaces are the same. You have to use a drop-down box, however, to select a market.
With Cryptopia, markets are displayed on the left hand part of the interface. There’s also a “Featured Market” box in the center of the page, a “Market Summary box” and a “Top Markets” box that gives you a quick view of Cryptopia’s most popular coins.
You can bring up detailed charts and graphs on Cryptopia by clicking on an individual market.
The buy/sell boxes are very similar to Binance’s, with one key exception: you can’t choose between several different order types. Limit and stop-limit orders allow advanced traders to find better deals.
Both exchanges have similar methods of calculating fees. Neither exchange offers fee discounts to high volume traders. Instead, they use flat rates to calculate commission fees.
Cryptopia charges a flat 0.2% fee on all trades made on the exchange. Binance applies a 0.1% commission fee for all trades.
Binance only has an Android app, but it currently has a four-star rating. Cryptopia hasn’t developed any official apps yet.
Customer Support and Community
Cryptopia and Binance offer the same type of customer support options. Both exchanges interact with customers through self-service ticket systems. Cryptopia has the edge when it comes to help articles. Some Binance knowledge base entries are hard to understand because they contain translation-related mistakes.
As is the case in most parts of the world, New Zealand’s government is still working out how to regulate cryptocurrencies. The uncertain regulatory environment impacted Cryptopia when it was forced to suspend fiat deposits.
Cryptopia was able to offer New Zealand dollar deposits to its customers until its bank abruptly closed one of Cryptopia’s accounts. The account in question was tied to NZDT– a “tether coin” that’s tied to the New Zealand dollar. Uncertainty about how NZDT would be regulated motivated the bank to make the policy change.
Despite these difficulties, Cryptopia seems willing to play ball.
Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth told CoinCentral that “working with regulators is critical, in my opinion, and we’re doing that very well…. In New Zealand, in particular, we have a great relationship with the regulators and all the powers that be, right down to the banks….”
Binance has also taken a pro-regulation stance. Binance is located in Malta and has helped the government develop cryptocurrency regulations. Over the past several months, Binance has been working with european regulators and exploring the possibility of adding support for fiat trading pairs.
Cryptopia and Binance are similar in that they both offer reasonable fees and deep support for altcoins. But unless you’re looking for a rare coin, Binance is likely the better overall choice. Binance ranks among the most popular exchanges in the world, and it will likely continue growing at a rapid rate if it manages to add support for fiat deposits. Neither exchange offers fee discounts or margin trading functionality, though. If you’re a professional trader, there are better options out there.