BitMEX Review 2019
Bitmex is a P2P cryptocurrencies trading platform established in 2014 by co-founders Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo and Samuel Reed, who have respective backgrounds in finance, trading, and web-development. The holding company HDR (Hayes, Delo, Reed) Global Trading is registered in Seychelles but also has operational centers in Hong Kong and in the US.
Unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges, either traditional or P2P, Bitmex is focused on cryptocurrencies derivatives trading such as futures and margin trading and notional trade volumes of between $1 and $2 billion take place on the platform daily.
With a focus on leveraged trading and derivatives, Bitmex is an exchange most suited to more experienced traders and not beginners who simply want to buy or sell relatively small volumes of cryptocurrencies.
Bitmex offers contracts on a wide variety of different cryptocurrencies, including:
Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Qtum, Monero, Ripple, Tezos, Zcash
Bitmex regularly changes and updates the contracts available so if there is a particular cryptocurrency that a trader is interested in it always makes sense to check the current contracts offering.
While cryptocurrency/fiat currency pairs can be traded on Bitmex, the exchange’s base currency is Bitcoin and it does not support fiat currency deposits or withdrawals. Profit or loss on trades, regardless of which fiat or cryptocurrencies make up the pair, are also always denominated in Bitcoin.
Leveraged margin trading is a big part of Bitmex and leverage of up to x100 is available on Bitcoin contracts. Ethereum contracts can access leverage of up to x50 and Monero x25. Futures and perpetual contracts are also available. Because Bitmex is a P2P exchange, the counterparty to contracts are always other traders on the platform or market makers. The platform itself is similar to trading platforms used by hedge funds and institutional investors.
Because account holders trade relatively anonymously on Bitmex, while significant leverage is offered, the trader must always have enough funds in their account to cover the total exposure. At the point the account’s value cannot cover a trade’s maintenance margin level, it is liquidated so the account can never end up in debt at the end of a trade.
BitMEX doesn’t currently offer mobile app versions of the platform.
Fees and Charges
Because Bitmex only operates with Bitcoin as a base currency, no fees are charged for either making a deposit into a Bitmex account or for withdrawals.
Trading fees are low but vary between contracts, depending on which crypto or fiat currencies are involved and also on the nature of the contract eg. Futures, perpetual contracts etc. Because Bitmex is a P2P platform, fees are broken down into a ‘taker fee’ ‘ maker fee’ and a ‘settlement fee’.
Privacy and Security
BitMEX security is extremely high and the exchange both takes great pains to maintain security levels and pride in the fact that it has never been compromised by hacking. Security measures on the exchange are broken down into four categories:
Wallets: all BitMEX wallet addresses are multisignature so even in the case of an extreme hack that compromised servers, the trading engine and database the attacker would not be able to access the keys necessary to steal funds. All withdrawals are also manually checked by staff and no private wallet keys are kept on cloud servers that could potentially be vulnerable.
System Security, Trading Engine Security, and Communications Security are also all based on highly sophisticated technology and multiple defense layers. Full security information can be found at BitMEX website.
Privacy levels are very high on BitMEX because the exchange does not deal in fiat currencies so is not subject to international money laundering regulations. Personal identity does not need to be provided to open a trading account and there are no geographical restrictions on where account holders are based.
Customer support is provided through both a rich resource of information available on the trading platform and company website itself as well as via email ticket. User reviews suggest that while a telephone line would be appreciated for more pressing issues, response times to inquiries are good.
There’s also a chat functionality that facilitates traders talking among themselves which means the BitMEX trader community does a good job of solving most queries or issues internally without having to revert to support staff.
Pros and Cons
- High-Security Levels
- Margin trading of up to x100
- Futures and other derivates offered
- Minimum red tape and no identity documentation requested
- Very good selection of cryptocurrency and fiat pairs can be traded
- Low trading fees and no deposit or withdrawal fees
- Deposits and withdrawals can be made only through Bitcoin
- Not suited for beginners
How do I deposit and withdraw funds into and from an account?
All deposits and withdrawals are made via Bitcoin so must be made from or into your Bitcoin wallet.
Does BitMEX offer leverage?
Yes, all contracts offered on BitMEX offer the potential for leverage
What is a Futures contract?
A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell a contract at a fixed price at a defined time in the future.
Can I Just Buy Some Bitcoin on BitMEX?
No, BitMEX is a cryptocurrency derivative trading platform rather than an exchange where users traditionally buy and sell cryptocurrency units.
For experienced traders looking for a professional level futures and derivatives exchange-type platform for cryptocurrency markets, BitMEX is the obvious choice. This is the closest cryptocurrency markets currently get to a pro-trading environment and the zero-level red tape will also appeal to many. The fact that the entire exchange operates on the only Bitcoin as a base currency brings advantages and disadvantages but the former are what hold much of the appeal for traders on this exchange – low fees, plenty of products and trading formats and anonymity.
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