With a market cap of over $90 billion, Binance is the leading crypto exchange platform in the world. Based in China, Binance is run by crypto mega-influencer Changpeng Zhao, or CZ. Across the pond, Binance.US serves customers stateside with a limited suite of features thanks to U.S. regulations.
What is Binance Coin?
The BNB token is the native token of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and the unit of payment required for on-chain activities such as using the Binance DEX or making a transaction. Binance also discounts trading fees by 25% when paid in BNB.
The Binance Smart Chain uses a proof of staked authority (PoSA) consensus mechanism wherein the top 21 users with the largest amount of staked BNB are selected every 24 hours to validate blocks onto the chain for 1 day.
Theoretically, anyone is capable of becoming a validator — as long as they meet the hardware requirements — and have a minimum of 20,000 BNB staked ($11.2 million as of writing). The network also allows for delegators, making it possible for investors to delegate their BNB tokens to a validator, even if they don’t own 8-figures worth of BNB. This way, everyone can get a piece of the network reward system.
Brief History of Binance Coin
Binance’s BNB token had its initial coin offering on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017 but pivoted to become the native asset of Binance’s own blockchain network, the Binance Smart Chain, which launched September 1, 2020.
As of writing, 1 BNB trades hands for a little over $550, making it the 3rd largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Step 1: Open an online account.
You can purchase the BNB token from, you guessed it, Binance! If you’re a U.S. resident, however, you’ll have to use a VPN to get on Binance or sign up for a Binance.US account and comply with know your customer (KYC) standards. This means uploading your Social Security number, driver’s license and some biometric information to confirm your identity.
Step 2: Buy a wallet (optional).
Once you’ve set up your Binance or Binance.US account and before you purchase your desired amount of BNB tokens, you’ll have to choose where you want to store them based on your use case.
If you’re a frequent user of Binance and transact in BNB frequently, then it makes sense to store some of your position on your BNB exchange wallet. However, the best practice is to move any large sums of money to a wallet that you manage the private key for.
There are a few options for BNB, all of which happen to be software wallets.
Best Software Wallet: MetaMask
MetaMask is the go-to wallet for anyone who’s spent time in the crypto space. MetaMask has a mobile app and browser extension that allows you to get quick access to a huge variety of tokens. Traditionally, MetaMask is used for Ethereum-based tokens (which is the vast majority), however, there is a way to connect your MetaMask wallet to the Binance Smart Chain to store your BNB.
You’ll have to add the Binance network to your MetaMask by following the instructions on Binance’s forum post about the topic.
Step 3: Make your purchase.
Now that you’ve gotten your account set up and your wallets picked out for your use case and security preferences, it’s time to make your purchase.
There are a few options when it comes to placing an order on Binance for BNB and other tokens alike. You can either place a market order, which will scoop up your desired number of BNB for the going rate, or you can place a limit order, which will wait until the price reaches a certain limit to execute the trade.
Which type of order is right for you depends on your level of FOMO self-control.
Trade, Sell or Convert your Binance Coin
You can trade BNB on Binance’s exchange or stake it on the BSC network to earn interest. But, the options don’t end here. Binance also has its own decentralized exchange, the Binance DEX where you can trade for a network fee.
You can also convert or swap your BNB for other BSC-based tokens, and even tokens from other chains (primarily Ethereum) through PancakeSwap.
Current Crypto Prices
As the 2021 bull run begins to take shape, BNB has undoubtedly been an early winner, climbing to the No. 3 spot. Binance and its BNB token still have a lot of ground to cover to catch up to 2nd place Ethereum, however, it has outperformed other smart chain projects such as Cardano and Polkadot.
Is Binance Coin a Good Investment?
Binance is the largest exchange in the world, and that probably won’t change anytime soon thanks to real advantages over U.S.-based exchanges afforded by lax Chinese crypto regulations.
The Binance Smart Chain, released in 2020, gives the BNB token infinitely more use cases and the ability to have its own DeFi system run on top of it. On the other hand, this chain is validated by 21 stakers each day, which means it’s not far from centralized. If you are not comfortable trusting the PoSA network, then you might want to look for a more decentralized blockchain like Ethereum.
Barring some extreme external influence, BNB appears to be primed for steady growth through the rest of this market cycle.
If you are bullish on the future of Binance as an exchange and blockchain provider, then BNB may be a good investment for you. Just remember that all investments in cryptocurrencies are subject to some massive volatility, so don’t invest any money you can’t live without.
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