BitMEX (Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange) is one of the largest exchanges for trading derivatives of a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
The platform was founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs and bitcoin advocates Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Benjamin Delo, all former executives of the company.
HDR Global Trading Limited, a financial entity based in the Republic of Seychelles, is the company behind BitMEX. By 2016, BitMEX had established itself as the leading Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives platform due to its perpetual swap contracts, which allow users to trade BTC futures with 100x leverage and no expiration date.
However, things started going downhill in 2019, with legal issues arising, customers complaining about poor customer service, and a clunky, outdated charting and trading interface.
Due to a lack of regulatory compliance and proper license to conduct business in the United States, alongside other criminal charges against their founders, BitMEX had to pay a penalty of $100 million to the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2021.
Legal issues arose in 2019 when former BitMEX customers started filing lawsuits against the exchange for misleading information, market manipulation, trading against customers, and more.
Thus, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started an investigation that year against BitMEX for conducting business outside of the US while allowing US citizens to trade on the platform, and also violating anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.
BitMEX is now trying to shake off its past and it’s operating in most countries worldwide.
The exchange is a decent option for anyone keen to trade derivatives on its platform.
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BitMEX’s platform might be overwhelming for beginners, so if you’re new to trading, you might be better off with a more user-friendly exchange.
Pros & Cons Of BitMEX
BitMEX pros and cons can be outlined as follows:
- Advanced derivatives trading
- Low trading fees
- Sufficient liquidity for cryptocurrency perpetual contracts
- 100x leverage for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH)
- Several trading tools and resources for advanced users
- Unavailable to US customers
- Limited amount of available cryptocurrencies for trading
- Lack of regulatory compliance
- Poor customer support
- The interface is not user-friendly
Our Take On BitMEX?
Not quite —despite the fact that the exchange is trying to regain some ground in the crypto derivatives market and shake off its bad reputation, the platform and its interface seem quite dull and outdated.
I’d recommend some better options that suit both beginners and advanced traders like Binance, OKEx, FTX, or Huobi.
Plus, the poor customer service, constant delays, and the exchange’s past drive away potential customers.
There’s a constant inflow of customers on Trustpilot —nearly 100 reviews— complaining about the exchange, and most of these complaints are about mismanagement, bad user experience, trades against clients, and market manipulation.
BitMEX applies fees whenever you deposit, trade, or withdraw cryptocurrencies.
The exchange, just like the majority of exchanges, uses a market-taker system.
Explained simply, this model relies on users placing buy and sell orders at a quoted price (the makers) and the ones who take those orders (the takers).
One of the perks of the exchange is that it provides really low fees for its customers.
A 0.075% fee is charged to price takers and 0,025% is refunded to price makers on each trade.
Depending on your trading volume, you can qualify for discounted fees, which are based on a 30-day average daily volume. You can check the list here.
Is BitMex Safe?
BitMEX leverages numerous security protocols and two employees are in charge of auditing all withdrawals on the exchange.
Most of the crypto assets from the exchange are held in cold multi-signature cold storage —physical wallets that store crypto offline—, and two-factor authentication (2FA) is available for all users when opening an account.
BitMEX provides professional traders with a wide range of tools for trading crypto derivatives, such as perpetual and futures contracts.
The platform is designed for institutional-grade clients, so seasoned customers can find all the necessary resources they need to test their strategies in the crypto derivatives market.
Only 16 cryptocurrencies, including the largest coins by market cap market, are available for trading, mainly:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Solana (SOL)
- Shiba INU (SHIB)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Avalanche (AVAX)
- Polkadot (DOT)
While the number of cryptocurrencies is limited, BitMEX provides traders with a lot of features to make the most out of their strategies.
The exchange offers high-speed execution trades and low-latency market data to provide users with accurate market reactions.
BitMEX also features margin trading with 100x leverage for Bitcoin and 50x for Ethereum.
But if you’re not actively trading, you can put your funds to work by placing them into the platform’s yield-generating program: BitMEX Earn, and receive up to 10% APR (Annual Percentage Rate). You can also convert cryptocurrencies with zero fees.
Banking At BitMEX
BitMEX only allows deposits in the form of cryptocurrency, so if you haven’t got any crypto, you will need to create an account on a crypto exchange that allows you to buy crypto with a credit or debit card and then deposit your funds at BitMEX.
BitMEX Site Experience
BitMEX’s interface feels outdated, simplistic, and poorly organized, and new traders might feel overwhelmed by it, especially with the live order book and charting.
As you can see in the image above, at the top bar of the platform we have six tabs, the main
one, Trade, is shown in the image. Next, we have:
- Buy Crypto: where you can buy several currencies and choose one of BitMEX payment providers;
- Earn: the yield-generating program where you can stake your funds and earn passive interest for you.
- Information: here you can find educational content to help you better understand the derivatives markets with two sections: Perpetual contracts Guides and Futures Guides.
- Support: BitMEX offers customer support via email and tickets. Phone support is not available, like most exchanges.
BitMex App Experience
BitMEX has a mobile version that allows trading, buying crypto, converting crypto, and staking BTC and USDT.
You can access your portfolio and manage your funds within the app.
The interface is fairly more intuitive than the desktop version and it’s much better organized.
However, the app seems to be quite limited compared to BitMEX’s competitors, and certain functions have been delayed for years now.
The app was issued in early 2020 and still some features are missing, including biometric login and a broader set of cryptocurrencies available for staking.
This is probably the reason why the app isn’t that popular among investors.
Registering on BitMEX is quite straightforward and intuitive. You need to provide an email and password, and then verify your account by submitting an identity document —this could be: a passport, ID, or driver’s license, and then a selfie.
Afterward, you need to provide some details about yourself, such as trading experience, income stream, etc.
Once done, you are free to trade on the exchange and make use of most of its features.
BitMEX Restricted Jurisdictions
As we previously outlined, BitMEX does not operate in the US, at least for now.
If you’re a US customer, you’re pretty much prohibited from opening an account or using the exchange anyhow, so you might want to look for other trading platforms.
It’s unknown if the exchange plans to operate in the country any time soon.
BitMEX has a list of restricted jurisdictions, mainly:
- North Korea
- Hong Kong
- Ontario Canada
Support tickets and live chats are available via BitMEX’s official website.
However, the exchange doesn’t disclose its business hours, and phone support isn’t available.
Corporate accounts receive certain support benefits as institutional accounts receive dedicated client coverage with the platform’s manager.