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Founded by HDR Global Trading Limited (which in turn was founded by former bankers Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed and Ben Delo) in 2014, BitMEX is a trading platform operating in Hong Kong and registered in the Seychelles.

Meaning Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, BitMEX is one of the largest Bitcoin trading platforms currently operating, with a daily trading volume of over 35,000 BTC and over 540,000 accesses monthly and a trading history of over $34 billion worth of Bitcoin since its inception.

BitMEX Review

Unlike many other trading exchanges, BitMEX only accepts deposits through Bitcoin, which can then be used to purchase a variety of other cryptocurrencies. BitMEX specialises in sophisticated financial operations such as margin trading, which is trading with leverage. Like many of the exchanges that operate through cryptocurrencies, BitMEX is currently unregulated in any jurisdiction.

Visit BitMEX

How to Sign Up to BitMEX

In order to create an account on BitMEX, users first have to register with the website. Registration only requires an email address, and therefore an anonymous email address can be used for registration. However, the email address must be a genuine address as users will receive an email to confirm registration in order to verify the account. Once users are registered, there are no trading limits. Traders must be at least 18 years of age to sign up.

BitMEX Registration

However, it should be noted that BitMEX does not accept any US-based traders and will use IP checks to verify that users are not in the US. While some US users have bypassed this with the use of a VPN, it is not recommended that US individuals sign up to the BitMEX service, especially given the fact that alternative exchanges are available to service US customers that function within the US legal framework.

How to Use BitMEX

BitMEX allows users to trade cryptocurrencies against a number of fiat currencies, namely the US Dollar, the Japanese Yen and the Chinese Yuan. BitMEX allows users to trade a number of different cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, Tezos and Zcash.

The trading platform on BitMEX is very intuitive and easy to use for those familiar with similar markets. However, it is not for the beginner. The interface does look a little dated when compared to newer exchanges like Binance and Kucoin’s.

Once users have signed up to the platform, they should click on Trade, and all the trading instruments will be displayed beneath.

Clicking on the particular instrument opens the orderbook, recent trades, and the order slip on the left. The order book shows three columns – the bid value for the underlying asset, the quantity of the order, and the total USD value of all orders, both short and long.

The widgets on the trading platform can be changed according to the user’s viewing preferences, allowing users to have full control on what is displayed. It also has a built in feature that provides for TradingView charting. This offers a wide range of charting tool and is considered to be an improvement on many of the offering available from many of its competitors.

BitMex Trading View

Once trades are made, all orders can be easily viewed in the trading platform interface. There are tabs where users can select their Active Orders, see the Stops that are in place, check the Orders Filled (total or partially) and the trade history. On the Active Orders and Stops tabs, traders can cancel any order, by clicking the “Cancel” button. Users also see all currently open positions, with an analysis if it is in the black or red.

BitMEX uses a method called auto-deleveraging which BitMEX uses to ensure that liquidated positions are able to be closed even in a volatile market. Auto-deleveraging means that if a position bankrupts without available liquidity, the positive side of the position deleverages, in order of profitability and leverage, the highest leveraged position first in queue. Traders are always shown where they sit in the auto-deleveraging queue, if such is needed.

Although the BitMEX platform is optimized for mobile, it only has an Android app (which is not official). There is no iOS app available at present. However, it is recommended that users use it on the desktop if possible.

BitMEX offers a variety of order types for users:

  • Limit Order (the order is fulfilled if the given price is achieved);
  • Market Order (the order is executed at current market price);
  • Stop Limit Order (like a stop order, but allows users to set the price of the Order once the Stop Price is triggered);
  • Stop Market Order (this is a stop order that does not enter the order book, remain unseen until the market reaches the trigger);
  • Trailing Stop Order (it is similar to a Stop Market order, but here users set a trailing value that is used to place the market order);
  • Take Profit Limit Order (this can be used, similarly to a Stop Order, to set a target price on a position. In this case, it is in respect of making gains, rather than cutting losses);
  • Take Profit Market Order (same as the previous type, but in this case, the order triggered will be a market order, and not a limit one)

The exchange offers margin trading in all of the cryptocurrencies displayed on the website. It also offers to trade with futures and derivatives – swaps.

Futures and Swaps

A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell a given asset in the future at a predetermined price. On BitMEX, users can leverage up to 100x on certain contracts.

Perpetual swaps are similar to futures, except that there is no expiry date for them and no settlement. Additionally, they trade close to the underlying reference Index Price, unlike futures, which may diverge substantially from the Index Price.

BitMEX also offers Binary series contracts, which are prediction-based contracts which can only settle at either 0 or 100. In essence, the Binary series contracts are a more complicated way of making a bet on a given event. The only Binary series betting instrument currently available is related to the next 1mb block on the Bitcoin blockchain.  Binary series contracts are traded with no leverage, a 0% maker fee, a 0.25% taker fee and 0.25% settlement fee.

Leverage

BitMEX allows its traders to leverage their position on the platform. Leverage is the ability to place orders that are bigger than the users’ existing balance. This could lead to a higher profit in comparison when placing an order with only the wallet balance. Trading in such conditions is called “Margin Trading.”

There are two types of Margin Trading: Isolated and Cross-Margin. The former allows the user to select the amount of money in their wallet that should be used to hold their position after an order is placed. However, the latter provides that all of the money in the users’ wallet can be used to hold their position, and therefore should be treated with extreme caution.

Margin Trading

The BitMEX platform allows users to set their leverage level by using the leverage slider. A maximum leverage of 1:100 is available (on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash). This is quite a high level of leverage for cryptocurrencies, with the average offered by other exchanges rarely exceeding 1:20.

BitMEX Fees

For traditional futures trading, BitMEX has a straightforward fee schedule. As noted, in terms of leverage offered, BitMEX offers up to 100% leverage, with the amount off leverage varying from product to product. However, it should be noted that trading at the highest leverages is sophisticated and is intended for professional investors that are familiar with speculative trading. The fees and leverage are as follows:

 BitcoinBitcoin CashEthereumDashEth. Classic
TickerXBTBCHETHDASHETC
Initial Margin1%1%2%5%5%
Maintenance0.5%0.5%1%2.5%2.5%
Maker Fee-.025%-.025%-.025%-.025%-.025%
Taker Fee.075%.075%.075%.075%.075%
Settlement Fee.05%.05%.05%.05%.05%
LeverageX100X100X50X20X20

 

 LitecoinMoneroRippleTezosZcash
TickerLTCXMRXRPXTZZEC
Initial Margin3%4%5%50%20%
Maintenance1.5%2%2.5%25%10%
Maker Fee-.025%-.025%-.025%00
Taker Fee.075%.075%.075%.25%.25%
Settlement Fee.05%.05%.05%.25%.25%
LeverageX33.33X25X20X2X5

However, there are additional fees for hidden / iceberg orders. A hidden order pays the taker fee until the entire hidden quantity is completely executed. Then, the order will become normal, and the user will receive the maker rebate for the non-hidden amount.

Deposits and Withdrawals

BitMEX does not charge fees on deposits or withdrawals. However, when withdrawing Bitcoin, the minimum Network fee is based on blockchain load. The only costs therefore are those of the banks or the cryptocurrency networks.

As noted previously, BitMEX only accepts deposits in Bitcoin and therefore Bitcoin serves as collateral on trading contracts, regardless of whether or not the trade involves Bitcoin. The minimum deposit is 0.001 BTC. There are no limits on withdrawals, but withdrawals can also be in Bitcoin only. To make a withdrawal, all that users need to do is insert the amount to withdraw and the wallet address to complete the transfer.

BitMex Deposits

Deposits can be made 24/7 but withdrawals are processed by hand at a recurring time once per day. The hand processed withdrawals are intended to increase the security levels of users’ funds by providing extra time (and email notice) to cancel any fraudulent withdrawal requests, as well as bypassing the use of automated systems & hot wallets which may be more prone to compromise.

Is BitMEX Safe?

BitMEX is widely considered to have strong levels of security. The platform uses multi-signature deposits and withdrawal schemes which can only be used by BitMEX partners. BitMEX also utilises Amazon Web Services to protect the servers with text messages and two-factor authentication, as well as hardware tokens.

BitMEX also has a system for risk checks, which requires that the sum of all account holdings on the website must be zero. If it’s not, all trading is immediately halted. As noted previously, withdrawals are all individually hand-checked by employees, and private keys are never stored in the cloud. Deposit addresses are externally verified to make sure that they contain matching keys. If they do not, there is an immediate system shutdown.

BitMex Security

In addition, the BitMEX trading platform is written in kdb+, a database and toolset popular amongst major banks in high frequency trading applications. The BitMEX engine appears to be faster and more reliable than some of its competitors, such as Poloniex and Bittrex.

They have email notifications, and PGP encryption is used for all communication.

The exchange hasn’t been hacked in the past.

BitMEX Customer Support

The trading platform has a 24/7 support on multiple channels, including email, ticket systems and social media. The typical response time from the customer support team is about one hour, and feedback on the customer support generally suggest that the customer service responses are helpful and are not restricted to automated responses.

BitMex Customer Support

The BitMEX also offers a knowledge base and FAQs which, although they are not necessarily always helpful, may assist and direct users towards the necessary channels to obtain assistance.

BitMEX also offers trading guides which can be accessed here.

Conclusion

There would appear to be few complaints online about BitMEX, with most issues relating to technical matters or about the complexities of using the website. Older complaints also appeared to include issues relating to low liquidity, but this no longer appears to be an issue.

BitMEX is clearly not a platform that is not intended for the amateur investor. The interface is complex and therefore it can be very difficult for users to get used to the platform and to even navigate the website. However, the platform does provide a wide range of tools and once users have experience of the platform they will appreciate the wide range of information that the platform provides.

BitMEX

BitMEX
8.2

Ease of Use

7.0 /10

Reputation

9.0 /10

Fees

9.0 /10

Customer Support

9.0 /10

Payment Methods

7.0 /10

Pros

  • Well Established
  • Trustworthy & Secure
  • High Volume Exchange
  • Margin Trading Options
  • Advanced Trading

Cons

  • No Fiat Payment Options
  • Not for Beginners

Posted by Andrew Norry

All content on Blockonomi.com is provided solely for informational purposes, and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate.

3 Comments

  1. Crytocurrency TraderJanuary 8, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Bitmex is for advanced traders anyways

    Reply

  2. I guess the writer did not use the platform….

    Otherwise, he would have noticed that everything is done to steal money from customers..andblow off accounts..

    here are the last examples… In 2 words : platform unavailable when you need it the most….ie.. when pricesmove quickly against you…

    I will not add to the list of complaints on how they use their customized liquidation price to blow off your account regularly… Yes, this is a scam…!!

    Now they found a new way to steal your money : Unable to get access to your account or to the platform in high volume or quick price moves.. and if you are luckily ON the platform, your order cannot be executed.. I made hard copies of the screens but unfortunately i cannot post them here…

    So, if you are unlogged, you will get the following message when trying to connect:
    “API Timeout – Please re-enter your information and try again”….
    or
    “Form security failed. Your session may have timed out.Please re-enter your information and try again”
    or
    “We are experiencing a server error. We have been notified. BitMex will be back up very shortly. please try again soon.”

    I tried successively during 15 minutes… and then my account blew off in between.. obviously… and despite I had a very low leverage

    Better…. :
    If you are connected.. suddently the market moves agaisnt you quickly… then you want to close your position… here is what will happen :
    “Order submission error – Order could not be submitted. The system is currently overloaded. Please try again later”

    If you try again ..and again.. and again… :same message… I let you image the consequences on yr position….

    SO,these guys are thieves… they are based in Seychelles to avoid any court trial and being sued

    AVOID THIS COMPANY and SPREAD THE MESSAGE

    Reply

  3. Totally agree with Pat.
    The platform is horrendous – Any more or less sizable increase in activity and you either cannot submit orders due to “The system is currently overloaded” or cannot even login. All you left to do is to watch hopelessly the price creeping against you.

    Reply

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