Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, or BitMEX, is a trading platform owned by HDR Global Trading Limited. HDR was founded in 2014 by three experts in the market – Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Ben Delo. Since then, investors have traded a combined $26.5 billion, which amounts to more than a fourth of the total bitcoin market cap. The company is based in the Republic of Seychelles and they offer a margin-trading service for experienced, professional Bitcoin traders.
Up to 100x leverage is available to users for Bitcoin, up to 50x for Ethereum, and up to 33.3x for Litecoin. There is also a selection of altcoins for spot and futures markets.
Who Should Use BitMex?
For the seasoned professional trader who would like to trade cryptocurrency futures and swaps, BitMex is a great option. On the other hand, the BitMex interface will pose a steep learning curve for the casual trader.
BitMEX is a cryptocurrency-only service, meaning that deposits and withdrawals via fiat wire transfers are not allowed. The exchange supports the following cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin (XBT)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Zcash (Zec)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Monero (XMR)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Factom (FCT)
- Augur (REP)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Status Token (SNT)
- Bitcoin/Yen (XBJ)
- EOS Token (EOS)
Bitcoin trades have both spot and futures trading options. On the other hand, all other currencies have only futures markets. They accept no fiat deposits and use Bitcoin as the engine for their platform, which means that profits and losses are shown in Bitcoin even when you’re working with altcoin contracts. It’s important to take this into account when you choose your trading platform.
For now BitMex only has adequate liquidity on Bitcoin trading, while the liquidity of altcoins isn’t always reliable. Also, you’ll need to make deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin.
BitMex itself is a registered company in the Republic of Seychelles, but is available worldwide. Thanks to the cryptocurrency nature of the site, the exchange doesn’t limit access for any locations. It’s important to note that local laws may affect your use of the service. However, this is out of the company’s control.
BitMex has very competitive fees and most users will find them almost negligible relative to the chunky profits to be made if you’re a savvy operator. The fees on Perpetual Swaps (and some of the futures) are currently -0.025% for the market makers and 0.075% for the market takers, so the marker actually grabs a little rebate on trades.
Deposits and withdrawals are free of charge, which is always very pleasing. Once you’re done trading, you shouldn’t be left with any hidden costs (other than the Bitcoin network fees).
Overall, the fees make for an appealing read on BitMex, when compared to most crypto-exchanges.
Generally, it seems like customer support at BitMex is amongst the most knowledgeable in the market. Their team is polite, courteous, speak English well, and they try to cater to the expanding market and attempt to take the pressure off their customer service.
Customer support is offered via an email ticket, and the support even responds to social media messages. The exchange has a great website that is packed full of useful information and features. They also offer a knowledge base that gives a slick rundown of the exchange and helps to educate users on complex trades.
Live updates fill the site too, and an announcement box keeps users up to date with any updates and issues. A live chat between traders is also available. This may not be a direct line to BitMex. However, it’s still really cool to be able to interact with other Bitcoin traders from within the exchange.
Security information is loaded into the website. The exchange hasn’t been hacked in the past and the withdrawals are processed by hand once a day for an added layer of security.
BitMex takes security very seriously, and you can quickly find out who owns the exchange and how they’re keeping funds secure. Cold storage, multisig withdrawals that only partners can sign, and Amazon Web Services’ security that is used to protect the servers with SMS and two-factor authentication, as well as hardware tokens are the highlights when it comes to security. BitMex also has a system for risk checks, email notifications, and PGP encryption is used for all communication.
The BitMex user interface is very professional, and was designed to be as simple and streamlined as possible.
On the platform across the top, you can see the assets which are available and by clicking on any one of them you can pull up the relevant chart and view the expiry information. At the bottom, you can view your positions, both closed and open, your order history, fills, stops, and active orders.
There is also an ‘advanced UI’ feature for those who have experience with trading. This feature can be activated to make use of all of the platforms features, including an aesthetically pleasing ‘night-mode’.
BitMEX is one of the few exchanges to have built-in full featured TradingView charting, which means the technical analysis aficionados will be pleased.
There are not many complaints about the BitMex online, and users are mainly complaining about the complex website. There isn’t too much to read on the big review sites like Trustpilot, and the issues are usually of technical nature. No horror stories have offered themselves despite a decent hunt, which presents a positive sign for the trading exchange, because we all know that bad reviews usually spread like wildfire. Some older complaints are related to low liquidity. However, that goes to the time when the exchange was new on the market.
BitMex is a great choice for those who know what you’re doing and want a market-leading cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. On the other hand, this site is not the best fit for beginners.
The BitMex team use their financial and web-development experience to create a slick platform that enables high octane cryptocurrency trading. Live update features provide that little extra bonus in making sure you never miss out on crucial news. The competitive fees and the widest spectrum of trading services offered round things off to make the platform an attractive all-around package.
BitMex Pros and Cons
- Low fees
- Futures and derivates trading
- Many advanced features available
- Nice trading platform
- Maximum leverage of 1:100 is available
- Not for beginner traders
- No fiat deposits / withdrawals available