bitFlyer Review 2020: Pros, Cons, Fees, Features, and Safety

Founded in 2017, bitFlyer is a famous cryptocurrency exchange in Japan that is also licensed to operate in Europe as well as in 42 US States.
Author: cate ellen
Last Updated: 25 February 2020


As the leading Bitcoin exchange in Japan, BitFlyer has become the poster exchange for the viability of regulated crypto exchanges since Japan became the first country to regulate virtual commodity exchanges in 2017. The Tokyo-based exchange is a top 10 exchange globally in Bitcoin volume. The popular exchange has been at the forefront of regulatory and self-regulatory initiatives. So the Japanese regulatory crackdown on crypto exchange security that has caused BitFlyer to halt new registrations since June 2018 was an unexpected development.

We have conducted an in-depth review of fees, features, and pros and cons to assess whether BitFlyer is a safe and fair market to trade crypto. Although large investors have remained loyal to BitFlyer, the exchange is losing market share as other crypto exchanges aggressively add services for institutional traders. 

Our Recommended Crypto Exchange

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What is bitFlyer?

BitFlyer operates the Bitcoin Easy Exchange to quickly swap BTC and the Japanese Yen and the Lightning Exchange built for the Wall Street trader. Founder Yuzo Kano, a former Goldman Sachs trader, endeavoured to create a cryptocurrency trading platform on par with a Wall Street Trading system. When big banks, hedge funds and other high volume traders want to buy cryptocurrency, many of them choose BitFlyer.

How does the bitFlyer exchange work?

The Lightning Exchange offers Spot and FX Futures Trading. The trading tools, margin trading, crypto derivatives and fast execution professional traders seek are provided. BitFlyer’s registration closure is badly timed. Gemini, Poloniex, and other major exchanges are upgrading their trading platforms to attract institutional business.

BitFlyer has a first mover advantage. The exchange not only has the liquidity in Bitcoin trading but also Bitcoin futures. At the end of 2018, the average daily value traded in BitFlyer Bitcoin futures (XRB) was USD 1.5 billion, more than the next top three exchanges (Bitmex, CBOE, CME) combined. Lightening FX Futures offer up to 15x leverage for established traders.

What cryptocurrencies does BitFlyer support?

In 2017, bitFlyer had the world’s highest volume in Bitcoin trading. Today, investors can buy ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and several other coins. The good news is the majority of Europeans polled in a recent BitFlyer survey expect Bitcoin to be around in a decade, but 63 percent believe other cryptos will become more popular than Bitcoin. Here is the current coin offerings:

BitFlyer Japan Pairs traded:

    • BTC/JPY
    • ETH/BTC
    • BTC/USD

BitFlyer Europe Pairs traded:

    • BTC/EUR
    • BTC/USA
    • BTC/JPY

BitFlyer US Pairs traded:

    • BTC/EUR
    • BTC/USA
    • BTC/JPY

BitFlyer Japan cryptocurrencies:

    • BTC
    • ETH
    • ETC
    • LTC
    • BCH
    • MONA
    • LISK

All three exchanges trade Bitcoin Futures (XRB).

BitFlyer is expected to add Litecoin (LTC), Ether (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and more coins to bitFlyer Europe and US.

Supported countries

BitFlyer is a cryptocurrency exchange licensed to operate on three continents. Its head office is in Tokyo, Japan. The exchange is licensed in the following countries. Investors from other countries can trade on the Japanese and European exchange. bitFlyer US is only open to US residents.

  • Japan
  • Europe
  • United States

bitFlyer is licensed to operate in the following 42 states and territories:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • France
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Fees & limits

bitFlyer’s flat buy and sell fees have been ranked the lowest among global crypto exchanges. bitFlyer Japan and bitFlyerUS provide the lowest fees to institutional investors (The Block). For retail traders, only Binance and Kucoin offer lower fees than bitFlyer. No fees are charged for buying and selling Lightning Futures.

Withdrawal fees are:

Wire transfer – USD 10, EUR 0.30–10

Virtual currencies

Bitcoin: 0.0004 BTC flat transaction fee
Altcoins: 0.005 ETH, 0.005 ETC, 0.001 LTC, 0.0002 BCH, 0.00 MONA, 0.1 LSK.

MethodDeposit FeeWithdrawal FeeDeposit/Withdrawal Limit (min-max)
Bank Transfer GBP (UK) 1 GBP 1 GBP 5 GBP/5 GBP - No limits
Bank Transfer GBP (International) 25 GBP 25 GBP 30 GBP/30 GBP - No limits
Bank Transfer EUR (SEPA) Free 35 EUR 40GBP/5 EUR - No limits
Bank Transfer (SWIFT) Service not offered Service not offered Service not offered
Debit/Credit Card 2.5% 0.80 GBP/1 EUR 10 GBP/EUR - Variable/Up to value of previous deposit
Neteller 3.2% Service not offered 20 GBP/EUR -5000 GBP/EUR/Service not offered
Bitcoin Free Variable No limits/No limits

bitFlyer Dashboard

The bitFlyer Lightning dashboard is highly rated by its users. All your favourite advanced trading tools are at your fingertips in an easily navigable interface. Underneath the price chart (1), the basic volume, volatility and moving average indicators are provided. All the leading technical indicators are also a click away. From left to right are the order book (2), order form (3), and trade history (4) in the displayed pair. Your open orders (5), order history (6), and chat window (7) are in the bottom row.

The bitFlyer Lightning dashboard provides a number of customizable features, including the sounds. These include:

Set your own order size increment buttons (up to four). Increments of 25,50, 75, and 100 are not reasonable for many traders who want to bet a more prudent 1–10 percent of their holdings. Considering that large hedge funds claim to never put more than 10–20 percent of their assets at risk, the former allocations seem foolhardy.
Choose among more than a dozen colour themes
Choose your chat, confirmation and chart layout options
When you are ready to make a trade, the novice trader will want to use the Simpletrade order (Limit, Market, Stop, Stop-Limit, Trailing). Trading with the big boys means you also get trailing stops and other features the advanced trader cannot life without. The other three order options are:

IFD– An If-Done order is a two-stage order. When the first trade condition is fulfilled, the second condition executes.

OCO- One-cancels-the-other order. If one order executed, the second is automatically cancelled.

IFD-OCO– Similar to an IFD. The second order is an OCO.

How to Buy Cryptocurrency on BitFlyer: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Here is the business-as-usual process for setting up a bitFlyer account. Expect some changes when the exchange reopens registrations. Note that the two main classes of accounts are different in Japan, the US and Europe.


Wallet Class – Cannot buy, sell or trade virtual currencies. JPY/virtual currency deposit, withdrawal and payment limits of 100,000 JPY / 7 days.

Trade Class – Full access to Lightning exchange to trade Spot, FX and Futures


Trade – Receive/ send USD and virtual currency or purchase/sell virtual currency on Lightning Exchange for up to $50,000 per day

ProTrade – Buy, sell and trade on Lightning Exchange with no limits


Trade – Buy, sell and trade on Lightning Exchange. Deposit/withdrawal EUR/virtual currencies up to EUR 250 per transaction for a rolling limit of EUR 2,500 per year

ProTrade – Buy, sell and trade on Lightning Exchange with no limits

Trade cryptocurrency on BitFlyer

Step 1: Register your account

BitFlyer is currently closed to new registrations. Following is the regular sign up process for BitFlyer.

On the Sign Up screen, enter your email address, or sign up using Facebook, Yahoo or Google. Open the email confirmation link and copy the keyword into the Sign Up window. You now have a Wallet Class/Trade account.

Step 2: Verify your account

To buy, sell and trade, click on Proof of ID from the homepage and provide personal identification information to upgrade your account to Trade/ProTrade Class.

Step 3: Fund your account

To fund your account, under Settings, register a bank account and Bitcoin wallet address. From Account Funding, choose a deposit method. To Deposit BTC, select Deposit BTC and get your registered BitFlyer address and send Bitcoin to this wallet address.

With bitWire in Japan – a merchant service – you can send bitcoin instantly, without using Bitcoin addresses.

Step 4: Buy cryptocurrency

This example is for the Bitcoin-Japanese Yen pair. Select Buy/Sell from the left menu. Enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy, or select the amount from your preset levels (+1, +0.1, +0.01). Click Buy Bitcoins and then Submit Order.

Step 5: Withdraw cryptocurrency

Withdrawals can be made by bank ACH or wire transfer, or virtual currency. For a cryptocurrency withdrawal, register an external wallet address under Settings or Account Funding (BTC Withdrawal tab). Go to the Withdrawal page and choose Bitcoin. Select the registered withdrawal address and enter the amount to withdrawal. Click Withdrawal.

Is BitFlyer regulated?

Yuzo Kano has described his exchange as “the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world.” Traders have continued to place their trust in the exchange as it works to implement the changes demanded of the Japanese regulatory authorities, as is evidenced by its high trading volume. BitFlyer is regulated in all three regions it operates in.

Japan – BitFlyer is regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA) where both retail and institutional traders use its platform.

Europe – BitFlyer Europe is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg.

US – In the US, BitFlyer services institutional investors trading USD 100,000 or more. BitFlyer has a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

The exchange is active in self-regulatory initiatives. BitFlyer is a member of the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) – the first verified cryptocurrency self-regulatory body in Japan. BitFlyer USA is a founding member of the Virtual Commodities Association (VCA), together with the Gemini, Bitstamp and Bittrex exchanges.

Is BitFlyer safe?

In ICO Rating’s Exchange Security Report, BitFlyer scored number 37 of 100 exchanges. The trading platform scored low on code errors that could expose vulnerabilities and registrar and domain security. It received a perfect score on web protocols security.

The BitFlyer system built by former Goldman Sachs’ developers boasts cryptography more advanced than that used by many financial institutions. Security measures include:

Stores more than 80 percent of bitcoins in offline cold wallets

Uses two-factor identification (2FA) with Google Authenticator

Secures transactions with multiple signatures

Secures data with DigiCert’s next generation encryption

Conducts know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) verifications

Confirms deposits and withdrawals with human verification

If you want the option to invest in more cryptocurrency pairs and portfolios, Coinbase is a trusted exchange designed for beginner traders who want to trade a wide selection of the majors and alt coins. 

Is the BitFlyer wallet safe?

Founded in 2014, BitFlyer is one of the oldest exchanges. The online site and wallet have never been hacked. Touch ID provides an added security measure.

If you have doubts as to what the best service for storing your cryptos is, you can compare the best cryptocurrency wallets here.

Does BitFlyer have an app?

BitFlyer has an Android and IOS app. The wallet is integrated into the app. All the exchange features are available on the app – buy/sell, send/receive, transfer and store bitcoins. The app provides a fast, convenient way to send bitcoin to friends and family. Use the QR code to transmit your bitcoin address.

Is BitFlyer customer service reliable?

If you have a question or need guidance, start here:

Telephone support – Only available in Japanese

Help Center – FAQs are provided from account creation to using the Lightning exchange.

Email support – Submit a Request online

BitFlyer Pros and Cons


  • Instantly buy crypto from a regulated cryptocurrency broker
  • Low fixed fee of 1 percent
  • All-in-one service for buying/selling, sending/receiving, and storing crypto
  • Full-featured wallet


  • Only a handful of coins traded
  • No crypto-to-crypto exchange
  • High bank deposit fees outside UK
  • High bank withdrawal fees outside UK (non-SEPA)
  • Cannot send/receive ETH, XRP, LTC
  • Currently closed to new sign ups

BitFlyer VS Alvexo

When it comes to bitcoin trading, BitFlyer has developed the fair, reliable, transparent and scalable exchange Satoshi’s blockchain was built to deliver and it does. However, we consider Alvexo to be a better option due to the innovative functions and trading features it has to offer. As well as this, the broker offers 20 cryptocurrency pairs, and a wide selection of financial instruments, making it more varied than BitFlyer.

These are just a few of the advantages offered by Alvexo. To find out more about it, visit Alvexo .


BitFlyer is making a lot of changes to comply with both stricter regulation and self-regulation protocols. It has newly complied with the self-regulatory body JVCEA’s stricter margin leverage and calls requirements. While new safeguards will instill more trust and confidence in the cryptocurrency market and help secure the long-term viability of bitFlyer, the exchange has yet to comply with tighter regulatory standards. If you want to sign up today to trade cryptocurrencies and portfolios, and trade on margin, Alvexo is a regulated broker by CySEC and FCA.

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What is Lightning FX?

Lightning FX allows traders to margin trade using leverage and trade futures. Margin trading allows a trader to trade more than they have on deposit. For example, with 15x leverage, a trader with a margin deposit of USD 100,000 can trade a value of USD 1.5 million.You may also use margin to trade Lightning Futures. Bitcoin Futures (BF) include weekly, biweekly and quarterly futures.

What’s the difference between a hot and cold wallet?

Hot wallets store your crypto assets online and face a higher risk of cyber hacking. Cold storage involves storing your crypto assets offline on a USB drive or paper wallet, for example. BitFlyer cold storage wallet places crypto assets in a safety deposit box in a bank vault. The following risk measures should be taken to protect your hot and cold crypto assets:☑️ Generate and store your private keys offline☑️ Use two-factor authentication to access your wallet☑️ Use biometric identification

What is a decentralized exchange (DEX)?

A decentralized exchange does not use an intermediary to hold customer funds and accounts. Peers trade directly amongst each other (peer-to-peer) and funds are transferred between their cryptocurrency wallets. Trader money and ID are at lower risk of being hacked. A downside of DEXs is the current lack of liquidity.

What is a centralized exchange?

A centralized exchange accepts and holds users’ deposits. Most exchanges also conduct ID verification to comply with know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules. As a repository of client money and personal identification information, centralized exchanges have a higher risk of becoming a victim of cyber hacking and theft.

Do I need a digital wallet to exchange crypto-fiat with BitFlyer?

No, you can exchange crypto-fiat on the website. The BitFlyer free mobile wallet available on Android and IOS provides a conceiving way to exchange, send/receive and spend crypto.

I make purchases above USD 100,000 on BitFlyer?

BitFlyer US is set up for institutions and professional traders seeking to trade USD 100,000 or more.Yes, BitFlyer ProTrade has no limits on how much you can deposit or withdrawal.

A-Z of Bitcoin Exchanges



Remember, all trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.

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