Bithumb was founded in 2013 and it’s a South Korean digital currency exchange headquartered in Seoul and operated by an entity registered as BTC Korea.com Co. Ltd. South Korea is one of the crypto-friendly countries, having been receptive to the digital asset movement early on in its development. It is also home to other crypto exchanges such as Upbit, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax.
More recently, there’s been a slight shift in the country with regulators pushing exchanges to be a little less risk tolerant in their practices and offerings causing exchanges to delist some altcoins, particularly privacy coins such as Monero and shitcoins issued on protocols with little to no development. Bithumb offers a range of crypto assets for trading on their platform and these include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Litecoin, EOS, BitcoinSV, Stellar Lumens, Tron, Ripple, Chainlink, 0x, and others.
Aside from crypto-to-crypto transactions, Bithumb offers an on and off-ramp platform for traders and investors looking to buy and sell crypto assets using South Korean won (KRW) – the only fiat currency available on the exchange. Bithumb provides users with a mobile app that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and that can be easily downloaded from the respective app stores.
According to Bithumb, they plan on introducing modern kiosks that could be situated in restaurants and cafes across South Korea to promote and enable the use of cryptocurrencies for everyday payments, thereby helping to spur adoption. Although a noble agenda, it is yet to be seen if cryptocurrency payments will see significant uptake since most consumers and merchants consider them too volatile to be sustainable for the payments use case.
Volumes on Bithumb’s exchange have grown over the years and they currently do over a billion dollars in transaction volumes daily. It is therefore considered a very liquid digital asset marketplace. It’s seen as the market leader in South Korea based on trading volumes.
Bithumb caters to a large retail investor and trader base but also provides accounts for institutional investors. The exchange platform has a user-friendly interface that even beginner’s can easily interface with. Bithumb’s website supports a variety of languages including English, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Spanish.
Bithumb Cash transfer and payment service
Bithumb Cash is defined as the amount of the total assets held by Bithumb users converted into KRW. Bithumb has its own version of a payment service that users can use to make payments offline or online using a desktop or mobile device. In addition, it supports the sending and receiving of funds using QR code and SMS.
- Good volumes which makes it the platform highly liquid
- Offers live support
- Offers a variety of crypto assets (over 100+ tokens available for trading)
- Apparently has a large cash reserve and has billions of KRW in capital funds
- Supports auto trading
- Offers staking services
- Offers lending, savings and interest earning services
- Platform offers margin trading on Bithumb Pro
- Verification processes are reportedly slow at times.
- Security has been questionable in the past. In 2017, the exchange was hacked and customer information was apparently stolen and in 2018 around $32 millon was reportedly stolen from the platform in another hack.
- Bithumb has also been accused of faking trading volumes.
- Although Bithumb offers support for most countries, it still doesn’t cater to residents or citizens from countries considered high-risk according to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) such as North Korea, Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Ghana, Iran, Jamaica, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, and Uganda.
Fees (Source: Bithumb)
Bithumb’s fees are competitive and it offers transaction fee discounts for its members. Platform users can enjoy fee discounts for digital asset transaction services once they purchase flat rate coupons, up to the stipulated limits.
For the KRW and BTC market, fees on Bithumb do vary between 0.004-0.25%. The 0.25% rate is considered standard.
Even though users are still able to make small deposits internally without having to pay any fees, a fixed fee is almost always applicable each time a user makes deposits and withdrawals.
Although Bithumb doesn’t have the top-tier reputation that other crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex, or Luno can be said to enjoy, it is still without doubt a key player in the crypto space, in particular, the South Korean market where it’s most dominant.