Finding the best cryptocurrency exchange platform is what helps traders succeed. Ideally, they will need a wide-reaching service that can support many different tokens.
For many users, that service is Bithumb. Originating from South Korea, this service has become on of the most-used platforms in the entire crypto-world. In fact, this platform has one of the highest number of trades made every day, as we will discuss later.
This is not the only reason that is keeping Bithumb in the news. Last year, they lost $31 million to hackers, as reported by Coindesk, and this is probably one of the biggest cases of cryptocurrency hacking in recent years.
This has left many active, and potential users wary of using the platform, and for good reason: the hack has left them wondering if Bithumb is safe for use.
This Bithumb review will attempt to answer this by highlighting the different features that made the platform so popular in the first place. It will also try to address the platform’s current security protocols in order to give potential users an idea of what they can expect.
This way, you can determine for yourself if the platform can handle your cryptocurrency needs despite what other people might think.
What Is Bithumb?
Bithumb is a cryptocurrency exchange platform, developed in Seoul, South Korea. The program stands as the largest in South Korea, not to mention one of the top 10 in the whole world.
Before the hack, Bithumb ran smoothly since its launch in 2013 by BTC Korea.com Co. LTD. Bithumb still rates as a top crypto-exchange in 2018, averaging over an equivalent of $100 million in trades per day.
It supports many different cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. However, all transfers are paired only to the Korean won.
Interface and Registration
Logging in to Bithumb means you need to create an account on their website. There are many information spaces you will need to fill out in addition to providing your address and phone number.
Once the account was created for this review, logging in was easy. One would think that since the app is Korean, navigation for non-Koreans would be problematic, but it isn’t.
The interface itself isn’t a problem, since there are multiple language settings available. If you are in different countries, you can choose between Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Hindi. The site also has a FAQ that comes in Korean, but with an English translation.
Navigation throughout the site is easy, and there are different command buttons for exchange, cashing in, and even notifications. You can also see a graphical tracker of cryptocurrency prices, which can be seen in different currencies.
Transactions on the Platform
When you start trading tokens on Bithumb, you will notice a chart trade box. It lists down all the available cryptocurrencies you can use.
Once you decide on how many coins to buy or sell, there is another table detailing market status. Here, you can find out how much you will get by trading in the desired cryptocurrency or fiat currency.
There are three different transaction types you can choose from. These are general trade, easy trade, and reserved trade.
General trade is for immediate transactions, with the most control of the three. Easy trade is automatic, tracking the transaction value in real time. Reserved trade is a trickier choice for those wanting to invest. It allows you to make trades, provided that it reaches a specific base price.
The fiat currency for Bithumb is limited only to KRW (Korean won). This setting severely affects the way those outside of South Korea can get to their coins.
You can exchange the KRW to your fiat currency of choice at a bank or forex service, but a faster solution involves going through another exchange platform and turning over your coins/won to the account. Still, there are no plans to add new fiat currencies to the service at the moment.
Bithumb fees for transaction are remarkably affordable, where takers and makers are charged 0.15% per trade. You can even use a coupon system, which can reduce the amount by half.
Because people still use this worldwide, transferring and exchanging tokens to won may seem challenging for foreigners. Here is a handy guide on how to use Bithumb trading:
Security and Support
Aside from its 2017 hack, another issue with Bithumb with regards to security is the ever increasing number of users. The site has grown in size and popularity, so much so that it got raided by the government agencies for inspection, as detailed by this Quartz article.
Admittedly, this makes it difficult to provide all these users with technical support. Even with a staff strength of 300, Bithumb still struggles to provide adequate support for users. This is probably why the registration process requires users to provide important personal details.
While this is also instrumental in maintaining account security, however, the 2017 hack has cast some doubt on the service’s reliability. The best way to go around this is to be cautious; most advanced users do not keep all their tokens on the exchange for too long. Even though the hack was a one-time affair, it is not a guarantee that it cannot happen again.
If you do lose your money from hacking, Bithumb is willing to pay you back. For example, they promised 100,000 won to all affected users of the 2017 hack.
Admittedly, 100,000 does not seem much since it equates to $85. For the South Korean user base, however, it is a valid insurance alternative.
You can also set a disposable password to verify various transactions, which changes every time. This helps users conduct transactions without leaks or loss, although it can get difficult trying to remember multiple passwords.
Should you have trouble navigating through the site, we mentioned earlier that there is a detailed FAQ with an English translation on starting an account. There is also a verification help center that can assist you in password recovery.
You can set different alarms and notifications for your account. These alarms can keep you posted on everything, from transactions to price ratings, and possible intrusions in your account.
You can also use their 24/7 phone service to help you with any technical problems. For those without phone service, Bithumb does allow one-on-one inquiries. You can also reach out to them on their various social media sites.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Through this Bithumb review, you will find that it is a remarkable exchange platform filled with nearly all the possible cryptocurrencies you can imagine. It has a wide reach, allowing trades from different tokens to occur within minutes.
The rate for every transaction is very affordable, and you can even use special coupons to make trades cheaper. Customer support is also responsive and thoughtful, though the growing traffic can cause delays.
A big issue with Bithumb is its restrictive fiat currency. Unless you live in South Korea or have a bank account, converting tokens to cash can become an issue.
Bithumb is safe to use, despite the issue raised by the 2017 hack. The platform prioritizes security via two avenues: registration and password verification. There is also a new password in almost every transaction, which is great for security, but can leave you confused at times.
- Straightforward interface and command buttons.
- In-depth registration process.
- Over thirty different tokens available for transfer, including:
- Disposable transaction passwords.
- Multiple language settings, including English and Spanish.
- Price and transaction alert system.
- Affordable trading fees.
- FAQ for account creation and site navigation.
- 24/7 phone support.
- One-on-one inquiries upon request.
- Coupon system for reduced transactions.
- Three different, unique trading options.
- KRW-only fiat currency.
- Currently lacking support for growing population of users.
- Hacking concerns, both for cryptocurrency and personal details.
- South Korean-specific user base.
Bithumb has an incredible reach in cryptocurrency trading. The platform arguably has some of the best features for making token transactions, a claim that is backed up by the large amount of trades taking place on the platform on a day-to-day basis.
You can move a large amount of coins between currencies, and in different order types. Fees are not exhirbitant, and can even be reduced by half.
Security is also technically good, but the recent hacking is causing others to be wary. While disposable passwords help, Bithumb might need to improve its security measures further to alleviate other user concerns.
A big setback to the platform is its native user base-focus. South Koreans will have little to no problem trading with this app, but those abroad will have to work harder to change their KRW to USD (or any other fiat currency).
For those interested in a fast-paced, easy-to-learn exchange platform, Bithumb is the right choice. Just be sure to keep your account to yourself.