Ease of Use
Platform & Account Security
If you’re a cryptocurrency trader you may have heard of Bittrex. Bittrex is a U.S. based cryptocurrency exchange that has a wide variety of trading pairs along with more features. Is this the exchange you’ve been waiting for? Before you sign up, make sure to read our review of Bittrex and learn the truth.
For cryptocurrency traders living in the United States searching for a U.S.-based exchanged that offers a large amount of trading pairs, their search will inevitably turn up the platform, Bittrex. But what are the advantages to this exchange, and is it a legitimate and trustworthy exchange to be placing trades?
A Brief History of Bittrex
Bittrex was founded by previous Microsoft employees, Bill Shihara, Rami Kawach, and Richie Lai, in 2014. All three of the founding members have extensive history in cryptographic security, with a combined 33 years at Microsoft between them. Shihara, Lai, and Kawach also held online security positions at Amazon previous to founding Bittrex. Shihara also spent time building security and anti-malware protection for Blackberry, while Kawach had spent time building anti-malware software as Director of Engineering at Qualys. The three founded Bittrex in 2014 with the intention of being at the forefront of innovation and emerging technologies. The exchange is currently located in Seattle, Washington.
Opening an Account at Bittrex
As of 2019, Bittrex is available to most countries world-wide, with the exception of North Korea; Cuba; Syria; Crimea; Iran; as well as any countries on the United States Sanctions List. Bittrex also has state-to-state limitations within the United States, as the United States requires countries to obtain proper licensure within each state. To see state specific guidelines, and if your state is eligible for service, visit the State Licensure and Disclosure page, found here.
The process of opening an account on Bittrex is relatively simple and straightforward. Click one of the “Sign Up” buttons found on Bittrex’s front page. From there, enter a valid email address and a password. Bittrex will send an email to the provided email to verify that the address is valid. A clickable link embedded in Bittrex’s email will verify the email, and take the customer to another page, where the customer is given the option to read the Terms of Service, and decide whether they agree or disagree with the provided conditions. If agreed, Bittrex will then require the customer to enter personal details to comply with KYC/AML regulations. These details cover simple information such as the customer’s address and birthdate.
One more step is required before users can begin trading, and that is the uploading of Identifying Documents. For this, Bittrex will allow ID’s, Drivers Licenses, and Passports, but recommends Passports for a quicker process.
The terminal will only allow for JPG and PNG format files to be uploaded, but allows users to use their webcam to take a photo of their ID. The terminal box may be slightly finicky depending on which browser is used; for instance, the uploading of the JPG and PNG files may have errors on one browser, yet uploads with no problems on another. From there, once the images provided have been verified to meet their requirements (a process that can take up to 5-10 minutes), customers will be able to deposit funds into their account and begin trading.
For security, Bittrex allows users to have 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) applied to their accounts to better thwart off any possible hijackers. The platform also has an IP Whitelist to which users can add trusted IP addresses, effectively rendering the account impossible to access from any other address(es). Similarly, Bittrex also offers a Withdrawal Whitelist, offering users to add trusted wallet addresses. This would mean that funds can only be withdrawn to the address(es) added to the whitelist.
One of Bittrex’s biggest advantage over other exchanges is the absolute massive amount of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs offered on the platform. Currently, Bittrex offers well over 400 different cryptocurrencies, available to trade in multiple pairs including Crypto/USD, Crypto/BTC, Crypto/ETH, and Crypto/USDT. The list of coin offerings for every trading pair can be found on Bittrex’s Markets page.
Bittrex Commissions and Fees
Like most exchanges, in order to create profit and maintain their business, Bittrex charges fees for every trade placed on the platform. Bittrex operates on a Maker/Taker model, with fees varying on a sliding scale based on volume traded over a 30-day period. Essentially, the more volume traded over 30 days, the less amount of fees one will have to pay per trade executed. To calculate the amount of volume one has traded, Bittrex will take a snapshot of the user’s account between 00:30 and 01:30 UTC, everyday. To start, a 0.25% fee will be taken for volumes of $0-$200,000 traded over a 30-day period.
Bittrex does not charge fees for Bittrex deposits. Conversely, withdrawals from the platform do incur a small built-in fee, each dependent on the cryptocurrency being withdrawn. Bittrex also does not charge fees for Fiat deposits/withdrawals, though the customer will want to check with their bank to ensure their bank does not charge fees for such services.
Bittrex Platform and Tools
Trading on Bittrex is relatively straightforward. To enter a desired trading pair market, click on the desired trading pair found on the Markets page. This will take the user to the trading window for that particular currency pair.
One will notice that the trading window offers a chart with candlesticks, available in different timeframes, as well as multiple tools (found in a dropbox) that can be applied to the chart. A depth chart, that allows users to see the volume of assets being traded at various price points in the orderbook, is also featured. A panel on the side shows market information of different markets, as well as a tab that allows a user to search and navigate to another trading pair.
As far as types of trades offered on the platform, Bittrex currently only offers spot-trading. Limit and Stop-Limit buy/sell trades are offered on the platform, with Good-’til-Canceled and Immediate-or-Kill functions offered for each trade. Bittrex does not offer leveraged margin trading, or options trading, as of 2019.
Bittrex Customer Service
For customer service, Bittrex offers a repository of questions and answers found in their FAQ section, located on their Support page. The Support page also features News and Information regarding Bittrex; information on the various coins offered on Bittrex; information regarding the exchange; as well as a link to open a support ticket with Bittrex’s support team.
Public sentiment regarding Bittrex’s Customer Service has been poor, with many users claiming that their accounts have been frozen for seemingly no reason at all. Many have claimed long wait times while waiting for their issues to be resolved. It may be reasoned that many of the flagged accounts did not have proper/verified personal information. Regardless, these are issues to take into consideration before deciding to open an account with Bittrex.
Bittrex Key Differentiators
The biggest key differentiator that sets Bittrex apart from its contenders is the sheer amount of cryptocurrencies available for trade, as well as the many different trading pair combinations. This, combined with high liquidity in certain markets, and a fast User Interface on the trading window, could make this a worthwhile trading platform in the eyes of some traders. The fiat on-ramp is a nice addition for anyone that may need access to such a service.
How Trustworthy is Bittrex?
While Bittrex does have a customer service team, and a support page offering a vast FAQ of many commonly asked questions, Bittrex’s trustworthiness is so-so. As mentioned previously, many users have had their accounts locked, with no hope of regaining access to their accounts. It is hard to say how much the total amount of the frozen accounts is worth, but it is easy to see how such an occurrence can be a tragedy to anyone’s life. For this reason, it is highly recommended that, should one want to conduct trades on Bittrex, they do not deposit more than they are willing to lose.
Bittrex can be a go-to exchange for many traders looking for a wide range of token offerings, available to trade in multiple trading pairs. Their platform is relatively straightforward to use. However, their customer service has left many people with a lot to be desired. Their website is also a little clunky: where most exchanges are able to condense all of the necessary trading information (orderbook, trade history, buy/sell terminal, chart, etc.) on one un-scrollable page, Bittrex’s trading window requires multiple scrolls to view all of the given market information. Little details such as these can become cumbersome and time consuming.
Large amount of cryptocurrencies offered in many trading pairs; Fiat on-ramp available; Multiple security tools offered, including IP Whitelist.
AML/KYC required before users can even access accounts; Many users have had accounts frozen with funds consequently locked up indefinitely; Website is clunky and trading window is not condensed; Image upload is tricky regarding AML/KYC (some browsers may not upload images, and the terminal is small and doesn’t allow for user to verify that the image uploaded/captured via webcam is sufficient).