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BitMEX is a cryptocurrency exchange for those interested in trading derivatives, including futures and perpetual contracts with a big leverage of up to x100. In terms of spot trading, the choice of currencies at the platform is rather modest. The company’s daily trading volumes reach an equivalent of several billion US dollars.

The crypto exchange was established in 2013. It is owned and operated by HDR Global Trading Limited, a company registered in the Seychelles. The authors were unable to obtain information about the exchange holding an international or a local license at the time this article was written. However, the information about the place of registration of the owner of the exchange points to its offshore jurisdiction. Accordingly, its operation is not regulated by any authorities.

BitMEX provides a wide range of services to its clients, including spot trading, contracts and also passive income options. The platform offers access to a small number of trading pairs, while deposits and withdrawals are possible only in Bitcoin (they are marked at the website of the exchange as XBT). No fees are charged on these kinds of transactions.

According to coinmarketcap.com/rankings/exchanges/, the clients of the exchange have access to 32 markets and 15 types of currencies. The average liquidity value is 427, which is considered an average indicator. The weekly traffic on the crypto exchange is over 520,000 people.

One of the key features of the cryptocurrency exchange is that in the majority of trading options, Takers are charged with a rather low fee of 0.075%. At the same time, Makers can expect to receive a cash back of 0.01%. In terms of Bitcoin margin trading, traders can use a leverage of up to x100. For other currencies, the indicator is somewhat lower.

BitMEX site

BitMEX rating

Total score 7
Commissions 8
Security and regulation 6
Markets 7
Passive income 6
Deposit and withdrawal 6
Trading platforms 9
Analytics 7
Education 8
Customer support 6
Bonuses 6

BitMEX Pros and Cons

Pros
Trading volume in the market is higher than average
Leverage of up to x100
Low Taker fee
Cash back for Makers
Flexible interface customization
Multilingual interface and customer support
High level of security (2FA), and users’ funds are held in cold wallets
No deposit/withdrawal fee
Support of an insurance fund
Availability of a demo version
Cons
Mandatory verification
Complex interface for a beginner
Deposits and withdrawals exclusively in bitcoins
Limited options for contacting customer support service
Small choice of cryptocurrencies and contracts for trading

Basic information

Name BitMEX (Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange)
Website www.bitmex.com
Exchange type Centralized
Regulation N/A
Taker fee Up to 0.1% for spot trading, 0.075% for trading derivatives
Maker fee Up to 0.1% for spot trading, 0.01% cash back for trading derivatives
Demo account yes
Minimum deposit 0.0001 BTC (10,000 Satoshi)
BTC withdrawal limits Not provided
USD withdrawal limits No USD withdrawal
Withdrawal in fiat Prohibited
Time frame for account opening Verification takes from 30 minutes to several days
Leverage From x20 to x100 (depending on the chosen currency)
Markets 32
Passive income options BitMEX EARN
Technical support languages English, Russian, Chinese
Withdrawal fee The exchange does not charge a withdrawal fee, but you will have to pay the Bitcoin Network fee
Deposit methods Cryptocurrency wallets and specialized services
Withdrawal methods Cryptocurrency wallets and specialized services
Account currencies XBT (Bitcoin)
Promos Affiliate program, Refer-a-friend program, promo codes
Author of the review
Alex Brown
Alex Brown

Alex Brown is a financial consultant and analyst with over ten years of experience. He has been an active trader in the cryptocurrency market since 2017. Brown specializes in building and diversification of investment portfolios.

“I am confident that the financial risks must be calculated mathematically, otherwise it’s not investing, it’s gambling,” he says.

BitMEX Commissions and Fees

8

BitMEX offers rather loyal conditions in terms of commissions and fees. The crypto exchange does not charge deposit and withdrawal fees. The trading fee in most cases is less than 0.1% for takers. Makers are not required to pay a fee on transactions involving derivatives. In spot trading, the fees are up to 0.1% for Takers and Makers.

There is an opportunity to receive a discount and reduce the fee you have to pay for each type of trading. This requires increasing your daily trading volume. We will discuss this below.

Comparing the fees of the exchange with those of competitors, it is worth noting that they may not seem as low for beginners. However, with the increase of the trading volume, you will be able to receive better conditions and make trading more profitable.

Pros
No deposit and withdrawal fees
Low Taker fee in the spot market
Cash back for Makers when trading derivatives
Low rates on margin lending
An opportunity to reduce fees thanks to availability of certain discounts for large traders.
Cons
Average level of fees for spot trading

Trading fees

The amount of trading fees at BitMEX depends on the chosen type of trading. There are the following conditions for trading derivatives and contracts:

  • Taker fee is always 0.075%;
  • Maker receives a rebate in the amount of 0.01%.

In addition, there are discounts for users. By increasing their rolling daily trading volumes (ADV), traders are assigned new tiers. For example, upon reaching the trading volume of USD 1,000,000 or higher, the second tier (Tier I) becomes available to a trader. In this case, Taker fee discount is 33.33% for trading derivatives. The third tier (Tier T) becomes available once you reach an ADV that is equal or higher than USD 5,000,000, etc. There are a total of six tiers. Once you’ve reached the last tier, the discount will amount to 66.67%. Users also receive discounts for staking BMEX, the native token of the cryptocurrency exchange. By using all offers, a trader’s maximum discount may reach 71.6695%.

The other option is spot trading. With minimum investment, Taker and Maker fees are fixed at 0.1%. However, you can receive a discount by increasing your trading volume. For example, once you achieve a daily trading volume of USD 100,000, you will move to the next tier and reduce your fee by 0.01% for Taker and 0.05% for Maker. Once you reach the sixth tier, the Taker fee will be 0.03%, and Maker fee – 0.00%. Similar to derivatives, there are additional discounts for staking BMEX. By staking BMEX you can reduce the Taker fee up to 0.0255%.

Market Rolling ADV Taker Maker
Spot < 100,000 USD 0.1% 0.1%
> 100,000 USD 0.09% 0.05%
> 500,000 USD 0.08% 0.03%
> 1,000,000 USD 0.07% 0.02%
> 10,000,000 USD 0.05% 0%
> 25,000,000 USD 0.03% 0%
Derivatives (futures and perpetual contracts) < 1,000,000 USD 0,075% 0% (rebate 0.01%)
> 1,000,000 USD 0.075% + 33.33% discount 0% (rebate 0.01%)
> 5,000,000 USD 0.075% + 46.67% discount 0% (rebate 0.01%)
> 10,000,000 USD 0.075% + 53.33% discount 0% (rebate 0.01%)
> 25,000,000 USD 0.075% + 60% discount 0% (rebate 0.01%)
> 50,000,000 USD 0.075% + 66.67% discount 0% (rebate 0.01%)
*The data is provided without discounts for the increase of BMEX staking amount.

Non-trading fees

The exchange does not charge a deposit or withdrawal fee on its users. In case of withdrawal, however, you will have to only pay the Bitcoin blockchain fee.

Before you become a client of this crypto exchange, users should know that all transactions at the exchange are performed exclusively in XBT (Bitcoin). You cannot use fiat money, for example US dollars for deposits or withdrawals. At the same time, such currencies are available for trading derivatives.

Average fee compared to competitors

BitMEX Binance Huobi Global
Taker 0.07% 0.09% 0.08%
Maker 0.03% 0.07% 0.08%

In this case, the average indicator is used for both categories in spot trading and without taking into account the discounts.

Margin lending

BitMEX provides leverage for all types of trading. The maximum leverage is available on transactions with Bitcoin, which is x100. For other currencies, the leverage is lower. For example, for Ethereum, it is x50, Cardano – x20, etc. You can find out the details on the exchange’s website.

When using leverage, traders need to remember about the margin. Specifically, there is an initial market, which is a specific percentage of the lending amount. There is also a supporting margin, which is always lower. The first figure indicates the amount of funds that must be available on the user's account in order for him/her to be able to open a position. And the second value is the amount that must remain on the account throughout the entire lending period. If the available cryptocurrency on the account turns out to be lower at some point, the position may be liquidated. The margin value depends on the peculiarities of the transaction and is controlled directly by the exchange.

Reliability and regulation

6

BitMEX is positioned as a reliable and absolutely secure supplier of trading services. However, we should look into this issue a bit deeper. The exchange is owned by HDR Global Trading Limited, which was established in 1994. The company is registered in the Seychelles. All products of the exchanges are registered under the BMEX brand.

There is no information about the official license on the website of the crypto exchange. If you ask customer support this question, they do not provide an answer. All of this indicates that the company operates from an offshore territory and does not have any official documents. Accordingly, it is not regulated.

In terms of technical security of the exchange, it is at a rather high level. The website employs two-factor authentication (2FA) that allows the exchange to protect personal information of users. However, each client of the exchange must turn this feature on independently. There is a detailed guide on how to do it on the website.

In addition, all users pass verification, providing relevant information about their identity. Thanks to this, the exchange minimizes the number of scammers among clients and also protects the system from the appearance of double accounts, which is often done to launder money.

Also, special security technologies are used to keep the funds of the cryptocurrency users safe, for example cold wallets, which are not connected to the Internet. As of now, it is the most reliable option for storing cryptocurrencies. Representatives of BitMEX claim that the exchange has not been hacked in the entire time of its existence.

Markets and products

7

It cannot be said that BitMEX offers a wide choice of assets. However, both beginners and experienced traders will be able to find suitable and profitable markets on the platform. For each of the categories, good conditions, including low fees and an opportunity to earn additional discounts will be an advantage.

In terms of the choice of available cryptocurrencies, the exchange is behind its competitors. The platform offers only 15 altcoins, including Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Chainlink, Litecoin, etc. However, the main focus is on Bitcoin (XBT) as the conditions of working with it turn out to be most favorable.

Pros and Cons of Market Diversity on BitMEX
Pros
An opportunity to trade the majority of cryptocurrencies
Access to futures and perpetual contracts markets
Spot trading
A possibility to use high leverage for most cryptocurrencies
Cons
Small choice of altcoins
The number of available markets is smaller than offered by many competitors
Minimum number of fiat money available for trading

BitMEX markets

BitMEX Binance Huobi Global
Cryptocurrencies 15 393 581
Trading pairs 32 1,681 1,081
Bitcoin Yes Yes Yes
Etherium Yes Yes Yes
Altcoins Yes Yes Yes
Futures
and options
Yes Yes Yes
Cryptocurrency funds (a basket of cryptocurrencies in one lot) No No No
NFT Yes Yes Yes
*We used the latest available information in this review.

Cryptocurrencies (spot)

In spot trading, you can choose between two order types: Limit and Market. The difference between them is rather simple. If you choose a Limit Order, the stop transaction is prepared in advance. A user sets not only the amount, but also the desired price of the chosen currency. A trade is triggered once the currency reaches the specified price. As for Market Orders, the trade is performed instantly at the price that is relevant at that specific moment of time.

For spot trading, BitMEX offers only the most popular cryptocurrencies. Less popular options, and also new altcoins are not available. As for available trading pairs, there were only 7 at the time this review was being prepared.

Cryptocurrencies (derivatives)

Derivatives trading offers an opportunity to buy perpetual or futures contracts offered by the exchange. The most popular option is XBT/USD. There are also other offers, for example ETH/USD, XBT/USDT and others. There are a total of over 90 options. At that, the buyer does not get to use the purchased assets, but an equivalent amount is written off his/her account. When the contract term expires, the following happens:

  • If the bought currency grows in price over this period, the buyer is paid the difference between the original price and the latest (current) price;
  • If the currency price declines, the buyer must cover the difference.

Notably, leverage can change depending on the type of trading for certain cryptocurrencies.

Passive income on BitMEX

6

You can earn passive income on the exchange by using the BitMEX EARN option. It is available to all users, but requires a separate registration. In order to gain access to this option, you need to click EARN in the top menu of the website. You can also use a direct link: www.bitmex.com/earn. There is also a short guide on how to use this earning option featured on the page.

This is how BitMEX EARN works:

  • First you deposit a certain amount in cryptocurrency, or you can buy cryptocurrency directly at the exchange.
  • Next, you need to choose the product of the list of available ones: XBT or USDT.
  • Now, all you need is to confirm your action.

After that, a user needs to wait for the maturity date to come and redeem his/her principal back together with earnings. The indicative APR is 1.25% for XBT and 2.00 for USDT. You can use these indicators in order to calculate potential profitability of the offer. However, you need to keep in mind that APR is not a constant number, because the final redemption amount is always determined at the time of the purchase.

It is important to keep in mind that only verified users can use BitMEX EARN. In addition, the invested money cannot be assigned to repay the margin, as it will be rejected in this case.

Overall, the exchange does not provide too many offers that allow you to earn passive income.

Account opening on BitMEX

8

In order to start trading on BitMEX, you will need to register at the cryptocurrency exchange. You will need to fill out a small electronic questionnaire, which won’t take you longer than a minute. And then, you will need to pass the verification procedure, i.e. verify your identity. This is a mandatory step to ensure proper level of security at the cryptocurrency exchange.

The verification form opens automatically, which makes the process much easier. Verified users have access to all features of the cryptocurrency exchange, including quick withdrawal and participation in promotions.

Pros
Simple registration form
Automatic redirect to the verification form
Minimum deposit is 0.0001 Bitcoin
No withdrawal limits
Cons
Mandatory verification for using the services of the exchange
Registration is prohibited for residents of certain countries

Residents of which countries can trade at the exchange?

Trading at the BitMEX exchange is allowed for residents of all countries, except for the United States of America, and also people who hold a U.S. passport, as specified directly in the registration form.

Notably, if a user tries to enter false information relating to his country of registration at this stage, it will be discovered during verification, as he/she will have to provide a copy of their passport with proof of address.

How to open an account on BitMEX:
a step-by-step guide

Users are offered a step-by-step registration guide that makes the registration process much simpler for a novice trader. It is better to review it beforehand, in order to avoid making mistakes that will prevent you from using the features of the exchange fully.

Step
1

In order to open the special registration form, click Register at the top right corner of the website. www.bitmex.com

Registrations on the BitMEX website
Step
2

On the next page, enter your email and password. A password must consist of at least 12 symbols of any type. You will also need to tick the box accepting the Terms of Service and confirming that you understand the Privacy Policy. Once you’ve done that, click the blue Register button.

Opening an account on the BitMEX exchange
Step
3

Right after that, you will receive a letter with a link to your email. Click on it to continue the procedure. Once you click on the link, you will be taken to the website of the exchange, where the system will offer you to log in. The data is entered automatically, you only need to click Log In.

Creating an account on the BitMEX exchange
Step
4

In order to complete the process you need to pass verification. The instructions for it are offered in the next electronic form that opens automatically. A user needs to provide certain personal information and also verify his/her identity with a copy of a passport or other ID.

BitMEX Registration Confirmation

Once you’ve entered the required information, you will need to wait for your personal information to be verified. If you’ve submitted the documents correctly and they raise no doubts or questions, you will become a full-fledged client of the exchange and will be able to start trading.

Minimum deposit

BitMEX Binance Huobi Global
Minimum deposit 0.0001 Bitcoin $5 $20

Account types

Once you’ve successfully registered and got verified, you have access to your main account. You can only deposit Bitcoin to the account. It is a universal account for all types of trading.

Also, every user of BitMEX can use a demo account. You don’t need to put money on it, as there is virtual money already there. Trading on a demo account is an excellent opportunity to discover the platform, test your knowledge of the cryptocurrency market, train and test the strategies by changing the settings of the interface and specific processes. The features of the demo account are absolutely the same as on the main account, although you cannot earn real money on it.

Deposit and withdrawal

6

Only XBT (Bitcoin) is available for depositing funds to BitMEX. Also, it is the only cryptocurrency you can withdraw. However, trading pairs with other cryptocurrencies are available for trading. Payment instruments include cryptocurrency wallets and other specialized services.

The minimum deposit is – 0.0001 Bitcoin or 10,000 Satoshi. No withdrawal limits are set, although the exchange’s administrators reserve the right to regulate those amounts. Deposit and withdrawal fees are not charged (except for the Bitcoin Network fee). The money is deposited to the account almost instantly. Withdrawal also does not take longer than a few minutes. In certain cases, some delays may be observed, but they are due to the choice of the payment channel.

Pros
Low minimum deposit
No withdrawal limits
Quick deposit and withdrawal
The exchange does not charge deposit/withdrawal fee
Cons
Deposits and withdrawals are only in Bitcoin
It is not possible to deposit fiat money and withdraw it

It is quite clear that the exchange offers a very small choice of deposit and withdrawal methods. Convenient limits and no fees could compensate for this drawback.

Trading platforms

9

The official BitMEX website is the main resource of the cryptocurrency exchange. You can visit it by entering the name of the exchange in any search engine. In addition to the main website, users also have access to its mobile version. You can open it on any gadget (smartphone or tablet) using the same link.

If a user wants to have permanent access to the exchange, he/she can download the official Android or iOS app. It can be quickly done at the app stores. The sections and features for all trading platforms of the exchange are identical. It is not required to register separately on each of them. In addition, history of actions, deposit amount, etc. are all stored.

Pros and cons
Pros
Web and mobile versions, as well as apps for different operating systems are available
Quick download without blocking
Cons
No desktop version
Complex interface for a beginner

Each of the specified resources offers the entire set of instruments offered at the exchange. If a trader is experiencing difficulties with using a feature, he/she can use brief instructions available in the FAQ section and Knowledge Base. If necessary, you can also contact the support service for clarifications.

Comparative table of features
Web Mobile version Mobile apps
Two-factor authentication + + +
Time frame range 5 hours – 1 year 5 hours – 1 year 5 hours – 1 year
Order types Buy, Sell, Stop Market Buy, Sell, Stop Market Buy, Sell, Stop Market
Quote history + + +
TradingView charts + + +
Trading platforms. Comparison with competitors
BitMEX Binance Huobi Global
Desktop No Yes No
Mobile version Yes Yes Yes
Android Yes Yes Yes
iOS Yes Yes Yes
Trading platform features

The main website of the exchange has a rather reserved design with a minimum number of elements on the homepage. Often, users say that navigation of the website seems not very clear at first, because you have to search for some features for quite some time. However, once you spend several minutes on the website, you get used to its interface and understand where everything is.

BitMEX Trading Platforms

The mobile version design is slightly different, as it is optimized for devices with small vertical screens. At that, all the features stay the same, with only their location changed.

BitMEX mobile trading platform

As for the apps, they are very similar to the mobile version of the platform. The only difference is that the loading speed is slightly higher on the apps.

Notably, each user is required to pass verification regardless of the version he/she uses. That is the only way to gain access to all features of the exchange: deposit funds to the account, start trading and withdraw profits.

Analytics

7

There is no separate Analytics section on the BitMEX website. The main sections on spot trading and derivatives provide minimum additional information. You can see here current transactions, charts, etc.

However, if a user wants to learn additional information about the exchange, its operation and also cryptocurrency news, the Blog section is the place to go. You can simply click Blog on the right at the bottom of the homepage. Also there, you can find a link to YouTube. The official channel of the exchange features a lot of interesting analytical information.

Pros and cons
Pros
Many interesting articles and news in the Blog section
Cons
No expert analysis with full-fledged research, explanations, etc.

It can be reasonably noted that the exchange is lacking detailed reviews, databases and archives, as well as a newsfeed as a separate section.

Education

8

Education materials for the users of the crypto exchange are available in a separate section titled BitMEX Academy available at academy.bitmex.com. It features many articles by famous traders.

You can also find explanatory articles in the Knowledge Base section. You can find the button also at the bottom of the homepage. Also there, you can find guides on certain types of trading. If a client of the exchange still has some questions, you can check out the FAQ or contact customer support.

In addition, users can visit the pages of the exchange on social media, which also often feature various informational materials.

Pros
Special educational section BitMEX Academy
Users can find guides on all features of the exchange
You can receive answers to your questions from customer support service
Social media pages with informational materials are available
Cons
Educational section is available only in English

Customer support

6

The quality of customer support service of the crypto exchange can be considered average. There are not many channels of contacting the support operators. There is a short feedback form in the Contact Support section, where you can ask any questions. However, as practice shows, the answers do not always come quickly.

BitMEX customer support

There are no other options for contacting the support service.

Pros
You can use a short feedback form
Cons
Answers don’t always come quickly and sometimes don’t come at all
It is not possible to contact customer support by phone or email

The FAQ section could be considered an alternative way to get answers to your questions. You can read the available information, and also leave your question there.

Communication channels

At the moment, only a feedback form is available to BitMEX users for contacting customer support, asking questions and describing your problems.

Customer support languages

You can ask a question and receive a response in English, Russian and Chinese. In all other cases, you can only use the feedback form.

Bonuses and promos

6

BitMEX does not offer a very big choice of valid offers and bonuses. Right after its launch, the first 10,000 registered users had an opportunity to receive special offers, but these are no longer available. Referral program is the only promo. Its conditions are rather simple:

Under the conditions of the programs referrals received up to 45% of the fees paid by their affiliates. At that, the more new clients you bring, the higher the percentage of your rewards. You can check out the details of the program below.

BitMEX Bonuses and Promotions

You also should not forget about the possibility of using promo codes. Partners of the crypto exchange often publish them on their websites. In order to find these promo codes, you need to reach the reviews of the exchange, news about it and analytical reports. The promo codes are frequently offered in these kinds of materials.

Summary

7

Summing up, one can say that the BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange offers rather attractive conditions for trading in the spot market, although not all of its features are at the top level. You can appreciate the choice of contracts, as the company is focused on trading derivatives. XBT/USD is the most popular option, but other offers are also available, which is why traders can choose the most suitable contract for them.

In terms of drawbacks, the exchange does not provide information about its license, which reduces the level of its security. In addition, the platform has a very limited choice of payment systems, as Bitcoin is the only option for deposits and withdrawals. The exchange also does not offer many trading pairs and currencies.

As for the benefits, the exchange charges low trading fees and does not charge deposit and withdrawal fees. The leverage is rather high, although when trading small amounts, this feature cannot be considered as a particular advantage, as it leads to increase of risks. Also, due to a bit of a confusing interface, one can say that the exchange requires learning its options and features and therefore is more suitable for experienced traders.

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