Poloniex is a crypto-to-crypto global exchange operating in the US. It registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money service business (MSB) on August 29, 2016. However, it has been in operation since January 2014.
While the bureau lists the location of exchange’s offices in Wilmington, Delaware, research shows the address belongs to an agent. Little information is available online—including on the company’s website—about ownership. On LinkedIn and company profiling website Owler, someone named Tristan D'Agosta identifies himself as the founder and CEO of Poloniex. According to information he shares on these pages, D’Agosta is a music composer and a former freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in music from Rutgers University.
Signing up for an account on Poloniex is easier than on most other major digital asset exchanges. While it observes some level of Know Your Customer requirements, the process is less stringent partly due to the fact that the exchange accepts only crypto deposits.
Users are only allowed one account, and registering more than one could result in suspension or expulsion from the platform. Each account, however, offers exchange, trading and lending services. You automatically have access to all three services when you sign up for any of them.
The exchange service facilitates the movement of value from one crypto to another. On the other hand, the margin trading service enables you to leverage your cryptos and earn gains from price changes.
If you are risk averse but still want to make a profit on the platform, you can put up your cryptocurrencies for others to borrow and trade with. In exchange, you will receive a guaranteed interest rate.
When you engage in margin trading, you essentially have access to the three sections available on Poloniex. You access exchange, a margin trading and a lending/borrowing section. You can borrow funds from the lending section to invest through the margin trading section.
In the event you want to move your value to another type of crypto, you will need to use the classic exchange section. It is also through the exchange section that you make deposits.
When compared to trading platforms such as Coinbase’s GDAX, or Bitstamp/Kraken, I feel that Poloniex is the easiest to start using. Once your signup is complete (this takes less than five minutes) you are ready to deposit and start trading. The most differentiating feature from the rest of the trading platforms, however, is the fact that Poloniex offers more risk-averse crypto holders the option of lending out their coins.
As with all centralized exchange audits, I would like to remind readers of this Poloniex review that the exchange controls all private keys to the wallets holding your cryptocurrencies. The exchange assures users that it stores much of their deposits in offline "air-gapped" cold storage. It offers 2-factor authentication for account holders, as well as browser recognition tools.
While Poloniex’s promises of security may be based on sound capacity, users must trust that the measures in place are tight enough and that individuals in charge of funds are honest.
In 2014 the exchange suffered a minor security breach where 12% of all customer bitcoin deposits were stolen. In an unprecedented move (at the time), a statement was issued assuring users that all funds would be reimbursed. Poloniex carried through their promise to its users several months later.
As the Bitcoin project itself has shown, lack of information about a founder is not always a sign of bad intent. However, as a precaution, it is advisable to keep on the exchange only as much value as you need to lend, trade or exchange at any given time, especially considering Poloniex is a centralized platform with a high custodial risk.
As with all centralized exchanges, you should always send whatever funds you don’t immediately need on the platform to a wallet you control.
|Rank||Site||Margin trading||Fiat||Safety||API||Referral||Location||Languages||Buy with||User Vote||Score|
|1||A||San Francisco, USA||EN||bank transfer, card|
|3||A||No||Hong Kong||EN||EUR, USD|
|4||No||A||Europe||EN, CZ, SK||USD, EUR|
|5||A||No||San Francisco, California, United States||EN||USD, EUR, JPY, CAD|