- 1 Bittrex Features
- 1.1 Great Liquidity
- 1.2 Large Selection of Cryptocurrencies, Especially Altcoins
- 1.3 Tether Trading Pairs
- 1.4 Active Maintenance of Cryptocurrency Selection
- 1.5 Easy Signup Process
- 1.6 Support for Many Cryptocurrency Forks
- 1.7 Clean, Fast Interface
- 1.8 Good Security
- 1.9 Support for Algorithmic Trading and Third-Party Trading Platforms
- 1.10 Multiple Order Types and Technical Charting Tools
- 1.11 Active Social Media Presence
- 1.12 Limited Fiat Currency Support
- 1.13 No Margin Trading
- 1.14 Relatively Higher Fees
- 1.15 Slow Customer Support
- 1.16 Random Account Freezes, Closures and Bans
- 1.17 Closure of New User Registrations
- 2 Conclusion
It can be daunting navigating the cryptocurrency world as a beginner. One of the biggest concerns that users have is picking the right exchange to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
One of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges today is Bittrex, the #9 cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume (April 13, 2018).
Based out of Seattle, Washington in the United States, Bittrex was founded in 2013 by current CEO Bill Shihara, Richie Lei, Ryan Hentz and Rami Kawach, three of whom previously worked at Microsoft and Amazon as security professionals.
Shihara says that the founding team was motivated to create Bittrex due other cryptocurrency exchanges’ lack of reliability and security.
Bittrex has quickly become one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges and boasts great liquidity and an extensive selection of cryptocurrencies for users to choose from.
In this review, we’ll go over Bittrex’s various features, both good and bad.
As the #9 cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume ($525.5 million) as of April 13, 2018, Bittrex offers great liquidity for users looking to get in and out of various cryptocurrencies, even those that might be considered more obscure than the usual popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
In fact, Coinmarketcap.com lists 276 different cryptocurrencies that have trading volume on Bittrex as of April 13, 2018. While some of them don’t have significant trading volumes, many do, which means greater liquidity for them than on most cryptocurrency exchanges.
Large Selection of Cryptocurrencies, Especially Altcoins
As well as having great liquidity, Bittrex also has an extremely vast collection of cryptocurrencies on offer (at least 276 have some trading volume).
This selection includes coins and tokens, namely altcoins (cryptocurrencies that aren’t Bitcoin), that might be harder to find elsewhere. Indeed, Bittrex, along with rival Binance, are the two titans when it comes to altcoin selection.
All of Bittrex’s cryptocurrencies can be traded for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT).
Tether Trading Pairs
As of April 13, 2018, Bittrex has 16 Tether trading pairs and accounts for a significant portion of Tether trading volume.
This is great for cryptocurrency investors and traders that want to hedge against volatility in cryptocurrency prices.
Basically, the value of 1 Tether is tied to the US dollar, meaning that users can trade other cryptos for Tether on Bittrex to protect against price swings in cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum and thus protect their gains.
Active Maintenance of Cryptocurrency Selection
Though Bittrex’s cryptocurrency selection is already vast, the Bittrex team is not resting on its laurels as it is constantly looking for new and promising cryptos to add to its collection. However, not all cryptos are added as Bittrex claims to employ a rigorous review process for any potential additions.
Not only that but the team also removes inactive cryptos from its exchange, meaning that Bittrex always has a relevant, up-to-date selection of popular cryptocurrencies for its users.
Easy Signup Process
Since Bittrex does not deal with a lot of fiat currency, users don’t have to jump through various hoops to sign up like they do for other exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini that are known for dealing with a lot of fiat currency, such as the United States Dollar (USD).
With just a name, date of birth, email address and phone number (for phone number verification), users can be up and running with a basic verified account in minutes (unverified accounts are limited to withdrawing 1 BTC worth of digital currency per day).
However, users will have to provide more information like scans of identification documents and selfies if they want an upgraded account with features like bigger withdrawal limits (up to 100 BTC worth per day vs. 3 BTC worth).
Support for Many Cryptocurrency Forks
A hard fork in a cryptocurrency is when there is a split in a cryptocurrency, resulting in two different cryptocurrencies.
Two of the more well-known forks were the forks of Ethereum into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Bitcoin into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
While other exchanges don’t always support forks in cryptocurrencies, Bittrex has supported many forks after determining that forks are safe and viable for its users. For example, Bittrex supported the Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash forks, allowing its users to benefit from the receipt of free ETC and BCH (if they held ETH or BTC on Bittrex at the time of the forks).
Clean, Fast Interface
Bittrex’s interface is known for its simplicity and speed. Users often commend Bittrex for its fast loading times and complaints about lag are usually unheard of, which is good since cryptocurrency prices can change both quickly and drastically.
Bittrex uses a custom trading engine that uses elastic computing, which has the effect of eliminating trading delays because of processing issues that other exchanges might face.
Deposits and withdrawals are known to be quick as well.
Perhaps because of the founders’ extensive background in cybersecurity (collectively spanning over 40 years), Bittrex is a safe and secure exchange compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges out there and has never suffered from a security breach.
Some of Bittrex’s security features include cold (offline) storage of most funds, two-factor authentication (2FA) for users, withdrawal freezes for 24 hours after password changes and more.
Support for Algorithmic Trading and Third-Party Trading Platforms
Through its extensive Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Bittrex supports algorithmic trading and third-party trading platforms. However, orders are restricted to 200,000 orders and 500 open orders per day (as of April 13, 2018). If users wish to discuss these limits with Bittrex, they must open a support ticket.
Bittrex’s API documentation can be found here.
Multiple Order Types and Technical Charting Tools
Bittrex offers order types that go beyond simple market orders, with Bittrex users being able to use more advanced orders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like good ‘til cancelled (GTC) orders and stop-loss orders.
Furthermore, technical charting tools are available for more advanced users who wish to analyze the market in further detail.
Active Social Media Presence
Since everyone is on social media these days, Bittrex maintains an active social media presence on platforms such as Twitter, where the team frequently posts news and updates for its users.
Limited Fiat Currency Support
As mentioned previously, Bittrex does not deal with fiat currencies like the dollar in the amount that exchanges like Coinbase do.
While this means that Bittrex has to deal with less regulatory red tape than exchanges that deal with a lot of fiat currency, this can prove inconvenient for users who are looking to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using the dollar, as it adds one extra step for users. This means buying Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether elsewhere with fiat first for buying and selling cryptocurrencies elsewhere to cash out in fiat for selling.
However, if users undergo more verification, they are able to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether using $10,000 or more via bank wire transfers.
No Margin Trading
Though other exchanges, such as Poloniex, offer margin trading or trading with borrowed funds to potentially increase gains, Bittrex does not offer it, which could turn off some people, especially more experienced traders who like to use leverage.
Relatively Higher Fees
Though Bittrex’s fees are still low when compared to traditional financial exchanges, they are still high relative to other cryptocurrency exchanges.
All trades incur a 0.25% fee. Moreover, unlike other exchanges, there is no lower fee for higher trade volumes and is there no lower-fee incentive for market makers.
Slow Customer Support
As with many cryptocurrency exchanges, Bittrex does not have the best reputation when it comes to customer service. However, this could be due to the recent surge in interest in cryptocurrencies and subsequent increase in user signups for exchanges, resulting in an increased strain on exchanges’ customer support teams.
Response time to customer support tickets is known to be slow, which is more than inconvenient when tickets relate to important issues like account verifications, freezes, closures, and bans. Nevertheless, response times aren’t as slow as response times for exchanges like Poloniex, where users complain about waiting months for responses to support requests.
Random Account Freezes, Closures and Bans
Though only a small percentage of Bittrex accounts are frozen, closed or outright banned, some Bittrex accounts do suffer from these problems.
Also, as stated previously, inquiries about freezes, closures and bans are responded to slowly, leaving many with these problems in the dark and not knowing why their accounts are under review. However, many complaints about freezes, closures and bans seem to come from developing countries.
Closure of New User Registrations
Due to the aforementioned surge in cryptocurrency interest and new user signups for exchanges like Bittrex, Bittrex has closed its doors to new users as it struggles to meet increased demand on its infrastructure.
While Bittrex could open its doors again, this could be an inconvenience for users looking to sign up for an otherwise generally favorable exchange.
In the 4 years or so since its founding, Bittrex has quickly surpassed other exchanges like Poloniex, once considered the king of altcoin trading volumes.
Features like a large, up-to-date cryptocurrency selection, Tether trading pairs, an easy signup process, hard fork support, fast interface, strong security, API support and various order types have won over the hearts of many cryptocurrency investors and traders.
However, limited fiat currency support, no margin trading, relatively high fees, slow customer support, random account suspensions and closure to new user registrations leave a bit to be desired.
Regardless, Bittrex currently shows no signs of stopping and will likely remain one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges for the foreseeable future.