BitMEX or Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange is a peer-to-peer trading platform. It offers Bitcoin powered leveraged contracts for purchase and sale. The exchange beautifully combines derivatives of crypto assets with margin trading to make a bigger profit for crypto trading.
In other words, you don’t actually trade BTC for USD or another crypto on BitMEX. Instead, you trade actual Bitcoin and altcoin contracts, which derive their value from actual BTC and altcoin assets. Such contracts are known as derivative and the BTC/USD market on the platform is a derivatives market. You won’t get spot trading here like with other exchanges.
This quick guide will touch upon the pros and cons of BitMEX while detailing its background, trading fee, funding options, and other features.
Why Should You Choose BitMEX?
Lots of Derivative Products
High Volume Exchange
What’s not to like?
Not for Beginners
No Phone Support
No Fiat Payments
Brief Background of BitMEX
BitMEX is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDR Global Trading Limited, which was incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles. The platform operates out of Hong Kong currently.
What is the Trading Fees on BitMEX?
The fee system of BitMEX is as complicated as its derivatives products. To top the structure, all deposits and balances get expressed in Bitcoin. This means you never know what you are paying and when.
All trading fees utilize a market maker/taker system on the platform unless you are trading an Up or Down contract. Market makers receive a rebate for creating liquidity while market takers pay a percentage variable trading fee.
The fee schedule on their site can be quite confusing to the beginner. The key points to BitMEX trading fees are explained below.
Market takers interested to trade in BTC/USD or ETH/USD perpetual contracts would have to pay .075% per trade. Market makers get a 0.025% rebate. An important thing to know is that perpetual contracts come with funding rates. Market forces shall determine whether or not the funding fee applies to you.
The fees paid by makers and takers for trading on Bitcoin futures are 0.0250% and 0.0750%, respectively. The fee changes to 0.05% and 0.250% for all other crypto assets. There is also a settlement fee of 0.05% on BTC/USD futures.
BitMEX Up and Down Contracts
There is no trading fee or settlement fee for Up and Down contracts.
How to Deposit and Withdraw Funds?
BitMEX does not charge any fees for depositing or withdrawing funds. However, there is a minimum network fee levied when withdrawing Bitcoin based on the blockchain load. You still need to consider the costs charged by cryptocurrency networks and banks.
The only deposit method acceptable on the exchange is Bitcoin, which serves as collateral for other trading contracts. This is regardless of whether the trade involved bitcoins or not. You need a minimum deposit of 0.001 BTC. Withdrawals have no limits, but can only be in bitcoins.
Deposits can be made round the clock. However, withdrawals are manually processed only once during the day. This helps in increasing the security level by giving ample time to cancel fraudulent withdrawal attempts.
Is BitMEX Versatile in Terms of Trading?
BitMEX allows trading of cryptocurrencies against several fiat currencies, such as the Japanese Yen, US Dollar, and Chinese Yuan. You can trade many crypto assets as well, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, Tezos, and Zcash.
BitMEX offers both Isolated and Cross-Margin trading. You can set your leverage level by using the easy leverage slider. Where Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are concerned, you can benefit from a maximum leverage of 1:100. This is really high with other platforms offering maximum leverage of just 1:20.
How User-Friendly is BitMEX?
The trading platform is highly intuitive and very easy to use. However, you need to be familiar with margin trading and similar markets. Unfortunately, the interface would not come off as easy for a beginner. It also looks a bit dated when compared to KuCoin or Binance.
BitMEX Customer Service
There is no telephone support line. Though you do have the option to raise an online ticket in five languages - covers English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Russian. You can also get help through Wechat, Telegram (Russian only), Weibo, Twitter, and Reddit.
The Bottom Line
BitMEX may be one of the most popular crypto exchanges in terms of the trading volume. However, the complexities involved with trading options and the interface makes it a tough choice for beginners. Also, BitMEX made a huge blunder in October 2019 when it revealed the email information of all its registered users.