Summary: Founded in 2014, bitFlyer is Japan's biggest cryptocurrency exchange that has amassed over 3 million users and holds over $5 billion in assets. It is tailored to service Japanese traders, but is also accessible to residents in the US and Europe. As a global platform, it is available to use in Japanese, English and French and supports several fiat currencies for depositing, such as JPY, USD & EUR.

Table of Contents

What is bitFlyer?

bitFlyer is a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange that has gained significant recognition for its secure and user-friendly platform. Founded in 2014 by Yuzo Kano, a former Goldman Sachs trader, the exchange has expanded its operations to include the United States and Europe. It offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies for trading, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, among others. 

The platform employs multi-signature authentication and cold storage solutions to protect users' assets. Additionally, bitFlyer has earned regulatory approval from financial authorities in Japan, the U.S., and the EU, further solidifying its reputation as a trustworthy and reliable exchange. It caters to traders of all experience levels, offering a simplified interface for casual users and a pro trading platform with a suite of advanced trading tools for professionals.

bitFlyer Exchange.
bitFlyer Exchange.

bitFlyer Features

bitFlyer does not offer a large selection of features on its platform as it is more focused on customer support, security, and fees. Refer to the list below of available services and products offered on bitFlyer.

  1. Beginner and Advanced Trading Platforms: BitFlyer offers both a beginner and advanced trading platform. It can be tailored to all users no matter their experience, the default exchange has a simple UI and a straightforward buy/sell option. 
  2. bitFlyer Lightning: It offers more advanced trading tools such as stop losses, limit, market, and special orders on two spot pairs. The spot pairs are BTC/EUR & BTC/JPY. 
  3. Mobile App: The bitFlyer exchange is offered on mobile for both iOS and Android devices. The application has a rating of 3.6 stars from 4.8K reviews on the Google Play store and 4.3 stars on the Apple App Store. It offers the same functionality as the web version.
  4. Referral Program: The platform offers an enticing referral program, if you refer a friend and they deposit/trade up to €100, you will receive €10 worth of BTC. There is no limit to the number of referrals you can have, and rewards are distributed within 24 hours of referrals completed trade.
  5. Instant Verification: When you sign up to the exchange, your identity will be verified within 10 minutes of submitting documentation.
  6. bitFlyer Credit Card: Spend any of the supported tokens on real life purchases like online shopping and earn cash back in the form of Bitcoin.
  7. T Point Exchange: Swap your T Points directly for Bitcoin (BTC) through the platform’s interface.
  8. Live Customer Support: Contact the customer service team 24/7 through live chat, email, phone and online form. 
bitFlyer: Features.
bitFlyer: Features.

Is bitFlyer Regulated? 

Yes, bitFlyer is regulated by the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom. These regulatory bodies ensure that bitFlyer complies with laws and regulations related to the operation of a financial services company, including those related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). 

Supported Cryptocurrencies

The asset selection on bitFlyer is extremely limited, here’s what Japanese, European and US residents can invest in:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • NEM (XEM)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • MonaCoin (MONA)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Lisk (LSK)
  • Symbol (XYM)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Zipangcoin (ZPG)
  • Flare (FLR)
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB)
  • Palette Token (PLT)
  • Sandbox (SAND)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Please note that EU and EEA users can trade Lisk (LSK) and MonaCoin (MONA) while Japanese and US investors cannot.

Fee Schedule

bitFlyer is the only exchange worldwide to offer 0% fees on trades. For its simple buy/sell feature, they charge 0% fees, and for the Lightning feature, they start from 0.2% and get as low as 0.1%. The deposit and withdrawal fees are a little more complex, refer to the list below for a breakdown of the additional costs on the exchange:

  • Sepa Deposits: Free.
  • Japanese Bank Deposits: Free.
  • Crypto Deposits: Free.
  • PayPal Deposits (Inside EU): 4.9% + €0.35.
  • PayPal Deposits (Outside EU): 4.9% + 1% + €0.35.
  • SEPA Withdrawals:  €0.30 for under €250,000.00 & €10.00 for above €250,000.00.
  • Crypto Withdrawals: Vary depending on the cryptocurrency.
bitFlyer: Fee Schedule.
bitFlyer: Fee Schedule.

Customer Care

One of bitFlyer’s issues is its lack of customer support for users outside of Japan. The company offers support through live chat but it is AI and the only way to contact a human support member is through an online ticketing system or email. The customer service team can be reached via Twitter and Facebook. Simply send them a direct message, and the team will get back to you within 24 hours. For Japanese investors, there is phone support available 24/7.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, bitFlyer is an overall good platform and is considered a high-security exchange with low fees. However, it lacks a comprehensive token selection and doesn’t provide live customer support to users outside of Japan. More advanced users will find the selection limited, and it can be a deal breaker if you are interested in investing in smaller emerging projects. However, the great fee structure and simple design could be enough for Japanese beginners.