As we mentioned in the beginning of our Bitstamp review, after testing their services, we transferred some coins to Bittrex in order to experience more exotic coins. While Bitstamp only offers four of the major cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, Bittrex supports over 190 digital assets.
What was highly unusual at Bittrex was the vast number of wallets available. There were pages and pages, but then again all trading assets must be supported. We were very careful to transfer our recently acquired Litecoin to the appropriate address. We chose Litecoin, as the network fees (not charged by the exchange, but by the actual blockchain) for a Bitcoin transfer felt a bit too high.
Once we received the coins we started trading, after going through Bitcoin several times, as most altcoins are traded against it. After a couple of days we realized we had some Bitcoin “change” left over. This was obviously due to partial executions.
While the 29 pages may seem scary at first, there are several filters, including the option to “hide zero balances”.
Bittrex is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Its main advantage against major competitors, like Kraken or Bitfinex is the diversity of coins available for trading. Basically every coin you can think about is traded on Bittrex.
The company, security of funds
Bittrex, INC is based in the US, more specifically in New York. It is one of the few companies which has applied for the controversial “BitLicense”. If you are not familiar with the story, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) had plans to regulate bitcoin exchanges in 2015, which one may argue backfired. A lot of companies opted not to go through the stringent regulatory process, and simply moved out of New York. While at least nine applied for a license, only three were approved for two years. The fact, reputable companies decided to back-out, combined with the slow process, makes the entire law appear to be ineffective. While the regulation may not make New York a crypto-trading hub, Bittrex is still in the application process.
When it comes to the security of your funds at Bittrex, the company offers and recommends using two-factor authentication, which is a standard measure in the industry. The exchange hasn’t yet suffered a major hack, unlike others. However there are a few alleged reports by individuals, who claim their accounts were hacked. It is hard to verify their claims or if they aren’t to blame for mistakes like having a weak password or not enabling two-factor autentication.
The user reviews for Bittrex are fairly positive. Traders like the feel of the actual trading platform (which we’ll cover shortly) and the diversity of altcoins. That being said, given the number of assets available for trading, one must be careful when transferring coins to Bittrex. Some of the user issues with the exchange involve the company’s policy on recovering coins transferred to the wrong wallet, which we will get to in the Methods of Payment section. The other frequent complaint people have invoves slow responses from the customer support, but the amount of negative post is nowhere near the ones for Poloniex.
Update: While the majority of reviews on Bittrex were positive, the company apparently locked-out a lot of accounts in the days around the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. This prevented customers from selling their Bitcoin as the market rallied. While we had no issue, with our testing account a lot of other traders had. Check the comments section below this review for complaints. We have lowered the otherwise solid score of this exchange as a result.
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)
As we mentioned in the beginning, the major advantage of Bittrex comes from the plethora of alternative coins it provides. Currently there are over 190 digital assets available for trading. There are two types of markets at Bittrex – USD and Bitcoin. As their names suggest, at one of them you are trading coins against the US dollar, while in the latter you are trading them against Bitcoin. The more exotic assets are only available in the second market type.
Minimum initial deposit
Bittrex does not provide any information on the minimum deposit level. While this is a common practice with cryptocurrency exchanges, we are used to forex brokers providing this information freely. Some even point out the low levels they have as a competiive advantage. For instance, you can open a cent-account at FXTM with only $5.
There is no margin trading at Bittrex, at the time of writing of this review. That being said, the company has announced it is working on its implementation. Forex brokers, who provide bitcoin trading (like IG) always provide margin trading. Additionally, almost all of their offers involve CFD trading, which is slightly different than exchange-based trading. For a full description of the differences between the two, read this review.
The trading fee at Bittrex is 0.25%. This is in-line with the current offers provided by other exchanges, although such a flat value is not often applied. For instance, some exchanges offer a different fee for market “makers” and takers”, encouraging people to provide liquidity to their order book. A market maker (in this context, not to be confused with forex market makers) is a trade who places a bid or ask on the exchange. A “taker” is somebody who buys directly from the best available ask (or sells at the best bid). Furthermore, discounts for large traders are also provided at some exchanges, based on the monthly trading volume.
As most other crypto-exchanges, Bitttrex offers a web-based platform. It feels fairly easy to use, while offering multiple capabilities. The charting package is average – worse than the one provided by let’s say MetaTrader4 (MT4), but a lot better than the ones which other exchanges offer. There are several technical indicators available, but again not as much, as these available at the leading forex trading platforms.
The order book also feels very intuitive and as if it was developed by somebody who is familiar with trading. The “star” column on the inner-side of both the bid and ask tables fills up wit a … star, once you have placed an order. This makes it easy to visually recognize the price levels at which you are willing to buy or sell.
Overall the Bittrex trading platforms is one of the better ones we have seen, with no major downside to it.
Methods of payment
Payments to and from Bittrex can only be made via cryptocurrencies. Given the plethora of available wallets, one must be careful not to deposit to the wrong one. We found a comment from an individual, who mistakenly transferred his Bitcoin Cash into his regular Bitcoin wallet. The support team managed to help him, but you must be aware of the official company policy on this matter. It is to review such transactions only if they involve coins worth over $5,000 and charge a 5% fee for fixing the issue.
While relatively inexperienced users will like to deposit via Credit/Debit Card or on-line solutions such as Skrill or PayPal, they will have to go through another party before trading at Bittrex.
Bittrex is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Its main advantage over the competition is the availability of multiple alternative coins – over 190 and counting. That being said, the company does not accept fiat money deposits – instead they only operate in the cryptoverse. This is a limitation for inexperienced people, but if they want to venture into the assets available at Bittrex, they would have to do some research anyway. The trading platform feels solid. Overall Bittrex is a top-contender for people who are looking to trade more exotic alternative coins.
Bittrex Review Conclusion
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