BitMEX is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows for trading using Bitcoin (BTC). All accounts also provide users with an online wallet in which to store their coins. The platform offers investors access to sophisticated derivative trading products, such as perpetual contracts and futures contracts for cryptocurrencies using bitcoin. It also offers margin trading for cryptocurrency, which allows for its users to trade with leverage, sometimes up to 100x for specific cryptocurrencies.
The company was launched in 2014 by HDR Global Trading Ltd and is currently boasts of a trading volume of about £22.5 billion, with over 540,000 people accessing the platform on a daily basis.
Unlike a regular exchange, which facilitates the peer-to-peer buying and selling of different coins, BitMEX offers peer-to-peer trading. You can’t therefore buy cryptos on BitMEX, but you can earn bitcoin by making good trades.
Pros & Cons
What can I do on BitMEX?
You can trade using contracts paid for in bitcoin and hold your coins in a secure online wallet. BitMEX specialises in the peer-to-peer trading and exchange of derivative trading assets for cryptocurrencies. This means that as an experienced trader, you might want to buy or sell assets like perpetual and futures contracts to trade bitcoin against other commodities in the global financial markets. The exchange is also paired with a multi-signature cold storage wallet in order to keep your crypto safe while you trade.
What cryptocurrencies are supported?
The only method by which you can deposit into your BitMEX account and wallet is with Bitcoin. However, the platform allows you to take out contracts against the value of other cryptos. Here’s a quick summary.
You can deposit:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
You can take out contracts relating to:
Currently, BitMEX only allows users to deposit bitcoin, which can be used to open positions for futures or perpetual contracts.
What devices can I use BitMEX on?
You can access the BitMEX site on any device that has access to a web browser. At present, there is no mobile app, but you can still access the platform by using:
- Smartphones (Android and iOS)
How easy is it to use BitMEX?
BitMEX’s exchange user interface is not easy to use for beginners, as it only provides a complex trading platform for intermediate or experienced traders. Unlike a regular exchange, BitMEX do not facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrency, but peer-to-peer trading using bitcoin. For this reason, the exchange only advised that users who understand what derivative trading is proceed with using the platform.
However, advanced traders might find BitMEX’s interface quite useful as it comes with standard data analysis tools including candlesticks, technical indicators, and depth charts. You can also set up your own trade viewing preferences through customisable widgets. BitMEX also gives you Tradingview charting that comes with a wide variety of charting tools to improve your analysis.
Overall, the platform requires a steep learning curve for those just starting out but is an intuitive platform for expert traders.
BitMEX is available worldwide with an exception to users in the US, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Sevastopol, Sudan and Syria. Here is the full list of supported countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Hong Kong
- Isle of Man
- Marshall Island
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Russian Federation
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
- Virgin Islands
BitMEX Account verification
Account verification is not compulsory on BitMEX, and simple email verification still gives you full access to BitMEX’s trading platform.
BitMEX Customer support
BitMEX’s features round the clock customer service. Even though there is no call-based support available, the customer support team strives to be helpful and responsive most of the time. You can expect a response in about an hour with the customer support, which compares favourably to other exchanges.
You can contact them through email at [email protected], sending in a ticket through their support page, or through their social media pages. Alternatively, users may be able to find low-level queries answered already on the FAQ page.
BitMEX’s exchange platform offers a robust set of tools for margin trading. Products on the platform include futures, perpetual contracts, and both upside and downside profit contracts. Since this is a peer-to-peer exchange, you get to buy and sell contracts directly to other users on the platform users to trade bitcoin against fiat currencies or altcoins. This is all fully automated and secured on the platform.
Is BitMEX a secure exchange?
Yes, BitMEX accounts are secured with a variety of features. First, you can opt for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to give your account increased security. This gives you an extra layer of authentication in addition to the usual username and password.
In addition, BitMEX also uses a PGP encryption for all communications on its platform. The encryption protocol is built with a software database that is similar to what you will find with major high-frequency trading institutions.
Furthermore, the platform uses world-class security systems from Amazon Web Services. This enables the requirement of multiple forms of authentication to access all systems. This means that individual systems on the platform can only communicate with one another through a monitored channel thus preventing attacks from hackers.
Are there trading fees on BitMEX?
Yes, BitMEX usually charges a taker fee, depending on the contract you take. Makers also get a small rebate from this taker fee. There are no fees associated with upside or downside profit contracts. For perpetual contracts, the makers receive a rebate of 0.025%, whereas the taker is charged a fee of 0.075%. In regards to traditional futures contracts, all coins except for bitcoin (BTC) rebate makers 0.05%, and provide a 0.25% taker fee. BTC traditional futures contracts return makers with a 0.025% cut, whereas the taker is charged a fee of 0.075%.
What are the withdrawal and deposit limits?
There are no withdrawal or deposit limits for funding your account on BitMEX.
Summary of BitMEX exchange
BitMEX’s exchange provides advanced tools and products for expert cryptocurrency traders, as well as a selection of different contracts to buy and sell. The platform is fully automated and allows for true peer-to-peer trading. However, deposits are only limited to BTC. This might be a bit restrictive for users.
The trading fees are minimal, but it is advised that investing in such assets requires a considerable amount of experience, which makes the platform not particularly recommended for beginners.
The BitMEX wallet is a solid option for storing bitcoin in order to trade on the exchange platform. The wallet connects directly to the exchange but unlike most exchange wallets, it is not a standard online wallet. BitMEX claims that all Bitcoins on its platform are stored offline in cold wallets through a multi-signature function. The only trade-off with this is the decreased flexibility, as withdrawal processing comes with a cutoff time set at 13:00 UTC daily.
What are the security features?
BitMEX wallets come with a variety of security features. They are run on a multi-signature deposit and withdrawal system that stamps out unauthorised access from third parties, such as hackers. Further, withdrawals are checked manually (a mismatch in the public keys leads to an automatic shutdown of the transaction), and funds are stored offline in cold storage.
Are there fees?
BitMEX does not charge any fees for deposits or withdrawals to the BitMEX Wallet. However, a small Bitcoin network fee (typically under £2 worth of BTC) applies when transferring your bitcoin to an external wallet. This is a fee applied by the blockchain and not BitMEX; it is used to pay the miners who verify transactions.
What are the deposit and withdrawal limits?
There are no limits as to how much you can fund or spend from your wallet. This is because BitMEX’s wallets only accept bitcoin deposits and withdrawals. However, a cutoff time for Bitcoin withdrawals processing is set at 13:00 UTC.
Summary of BitMEX wallet
The BitMEX wallet is a practical choice especially if you intend to use the trading platform. Thanks to its multi-signature feature, and the website’s general option of having Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), the BitMEX wallet becomes a particularly secure wallet, especially compared to other wallets that alternative/rival trading platforms provide.
To keep your coins safely offline, there are time restrictions on using your BitMEX wallet. This means it would be recommended to pursue your own cold storage wallet option, as you will have more control over your coins and their security.
BitMEX offers one of the most reliable peer-to-peer bitcoin trading services and wallets, in a platform that has much lower fees than most CFD trading platforms. If you are an expert trader, you will appreciate the various trading products offered on the platform, as well as the trading analytics features that are provided on the website interface.
You can also feel secure in storing your bitcoin for the purpose of trading with BitMEX, as they offer a cold storage wallet, which separates them from other platforms.
Ultimately, however, BitMEX is not a recommended trading platform for inexperienced users, given that they only allow for the buying and selling of complex contracts, and only allow deposits in bitcoin.
How to open an account with BitMEX
Decided to register a BitMEX account? Well, here’s how it’s done:
- Sign up for an account with an email address and a password. Make sure you set up a strong password.
- You will then receive an email with an activation link. Click on the link to confirm your registration after which you will be redirected to your profile page.
- Thirdly, enable Two-Factor authentication (2FA) by clicking on the top right panel of the dashboard. Download Google Authenticator and link your BitMEX account by scanning the barcode on the website with the authenticator app.
- That’s it. Now you can deposit Bitcoin to your BitMEX account and start to trade.