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BitMEX is still a popular exchange for leverage trading, how does it compare to the other options on the market? In this BitMEX review, we'll carefully go over the platform's features, fees, and security to determine whether BitMEX is worth using.
BitMEX is a very advanced derivatives trading platform focusing on a few popular coins, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The fees are some of the lowest in the industry, with rebates available for derivatives traders and access to 100x leverage. However, as leverage can increase the potential downside, BitMEX only supports 30 coins, and there is no propriety fiat support, it is only made for advanced crypto traders.
To summarize our BitMEX review, the exchange doesn’t offer many beginner-centric features, but it’s a good margin platform for derivative crypto trading.
- Low trading fees
- Up to 100x leverage
- Advanced charting capabilities
- Founder controversy
- Limited features for beginner and spot traders
- Low trading fees. A platform having low fees is crucial for traders looking to maximize their returns. At 0.1% for users in the basic tier, BitMEX offers some of the lowest fees in the industry. As BitMEX primarily targets experienced users likely to trade frequently, these lower fees are likely a big reason for the exchange's appeal.
- Up to 100x Leverage. Although previously common, many trading companies have reduced the leverage offered. However, BitMEX provides 1:100 leverage meaning that users can open huge positions with minimal collateral. As such, savvy traders can see great returns from small moves.
- Advanced charting capabilities. BitMEX makes it easy to plot detailed strategies. With many drawing tools and even more crypto indicators via TradingView, BitMEX is an excellent platform for technical traders wanting to trade leveraged contracts.
- Founder controversy. BitMEX was originally a non-KYC exchange offering leveraged products. As a result of its past activities, BitMEX has been ordered to pay more than $100 million in damages. While not inherently a negative factor for the exchange itself, such controversy is something to be wary of.
- Limited features for beginner and spot traders. While BitMEX is a solid exchange for those looking to trade with leverage, its lack of spot options and complex interface means it's far from ideal for less experienced users.
BitMEX At A Glance
BitMEX is a highly-focused derivatives trading platform with 30 coins listed. It offers a very well-designed trading interface and access to advanced trading tools, and up to 100x leverage. BitMEX pioneered the perpetual futures trading contract for Bitcoin and was once the top derivatives platform on the market (since eclipsed by Binance, ByBit, and others).
BitMEX also offers spot trading, though its liquidity isn’t as good as other platforms. Users can also earn interest on crypto holdings through short-term staking, supporting both Bitcoin and USDT deposits.
|Features||Spot Trading, Derivatives Trading, Fiat Gateway, Instant Convert, BitMEX Earn, BMEX Token|
|Accepted Fiat Currency||None|
|Deposit Methods||Crypto only|
|Supported Cryptocurrency||10 (BTC, ETH, APE, UNI, MATIC, LINK, AXS and 3 others)|
|Number of Trading Pairs||30|
|Trading Fees||0.1% Spot and 0.075% Derivatives|
|Customer Support||Ticket System, Live Chat|
|Security Measures||Cold Storage, Multi-Sig, Encryption|
|Mobile App||Yes (IOS and Android)|
Founded in 2014, BitMEX is an unregulated crypto derivatives trading platform that offers spot trading and high-leverage contracts. It is one of the more prominent market makers and a widely used margin trading exchange. For derivatives trading, advanced users can buy and sell contracts for cryptocurrencies (not the actual coins) combined with margin trading up to 100 times.
The HDR Global Trading Limited-owned BitMEX only supports ten cryptocurrencies for spot trading, although it offers a more extensive range of futures contracts. However, BitMEX is exclusively a crypto-only trading platform, with fiat currency only supported through third-party crypto-purchasing gateways.
BitMEX was also famously founded by U.S. fugitive Authur Hayes, who recently surrendered to authorities and received a 2-year probation sentence for this part in failing to implement anti-money laundering (AML) policies for BitMEX.
This comparison table lists other top alternatives to BitMEX to consider that offer similar features and products for crypto traders.
|Exchange||Crypto Assets||Trading Fees||Rating||Promotion||Website||Review|
|331 (608 trading pairs)||0% (spot), 0.06% / 0.01% (futures)|
|0% trading fees for 30 days (spot only)||Visit ByBit||ByBit Review|
|229+||0.02% (maker) / 0.04% (taker)|
|Up to $100 welcome bonus||Visit Binance Fu...||Binance Futures Review|
|349||0.08% (maker) / 0.10% (taker)|
|None available at this time||Visit OKX||OKX Review|
MEXC Global Exchange
|1521||Spot: 0% (maker) / 0.2% (taker), Futures: 0.02% (maker) / 0.06% (taker)|
|10% discount on trading fees||Visit MEXC Globa...||MEXC Global Exchange Review|
Review of the Top Features on BitMEX
User Interface & Trading Platform
BitMEX offers a comprehensive exchange platform and intuitive user interface for advanced crypto traders. With a quick-jump menu to navigate between the spot and derivatives platform, access to crypto staking and interest-bearing products, and a quick “Buy Crypto” option through third-party gateways, the BitMEX website is well-appointed.
For traders, the Bitmex crypto exchange features Tradingview integration, providing users with various cryptocurrency indicators, time frames, charting tools, and charting tools. Furthermore, Bitmex offers a range of order types, including market, limit, or stop orders. A screenshot of the default Bitmex trading platform is shown below.
Active positions are displayed at the bottom and monitored easily. The asset, position size, entry price, margin, and unrealized P&L are all shown and updated in real-time. In addition, pending orders can be displayed by clicking on the ‘Active Orders’ tab, which provides the option to review, modify or delete the order.
More experienced traders will benefit from the market depth chart and order book on the left. The BitMEX margin calculator feature is also great for risk management. For placing orders, the BitMEX system allows traders to set up their take profit and stop loss using limit orders such as limit order, market order, stop limit order, stop market order, trailing stop order, take profit limit order, and take profit market order.
In a nutshell, the trading experience on BitMEX is designed for intermediate to professional-level crypto traders and boasts a good selection of trading tools. However, for newer leverage traders with less experience, the user interface may be too complicated.
Derivatives Trading (with Leverage)
BitMEX is a more established crypto margin trading platform with up to 100x leverage available on a traditional futures contract. Here are the types of markets available for derivatives trading:
- Perpetual contract - Both perpetual and traditional futures contracts with up to 100x leverage are available. Users can enter both LONG and SHORT positions.
- Forex (FX) trading - Perpetual foreign exchange swaps, with up to 50x leverage available on 12 trading pairs.
BitMEX processes almost $400 million in daily derivatives trading volume, making it one of the most popular platforms available for derivatives traders. In addition, the high amount of leverage available is one of the reasons BitMEX is an excellent day trading platform for crypto.
That said, the user interface is quite dated and does not offer the same modern look as the BitMEX spot platform. However, BitMEX does allow users to fully customize the interface, with the ability to rearrange trading windows and hide trading tools they no longer wish to see. Overall, BitMEX gives active traders the tools they need to build an advanced leveraged trading strategy.
BitMEX offers a simple crypto conversion order form that allows users to quickly convert one crypto to another with no additional fees (other than the spread). BitMEX lets users convert XBT (BitMEX BTC), USDT, and USDC with 23 supported cryptocurrencies, including ETH, LINK, and ADA. Transactions process instantly with funds deposited into a user’s BitMEX account immediately. While this is a valuable feature to swap cryptos fast, the lack of supported cryptocurrencies hinders its usefulness.
While BitMEX is a crypto-only trading platform, it does offer a way to buy crypto with fiat currencies through third-party gateways. Users can purchase hundreds of different cryptocurrencies using a selection of 30+ fiat currencies. There are a few gateways to choose from, including MoonPay, Transak, and Mercuryo. It should be noted these platforms charge processing fees, which can be very high. The costs can be compared side-by-side on the BitMEX “Buy Crypto” page to choose the best one. The purchased crypto will be deposited directly into a user’s BitMEX account and used for trading or earning interest.
Another interesting feature we found when creating our BitMEX review is a simple interest-earning platform for Bitcoin or USDT holdings. Users can deposit tokens (or purchase through a third-party partner) into BitMEX and choose an Earn product. However, the Earn accounts have a required lockup period of 31 days, meaning users will only be able to withdraw their assets once the contract matures.
There are only two Earn products, Bitcoin (1.50% APR) and Tether (2.50% APR), but interest rates are relatively low. As such, there are far better exchanges to earn interest on crypto holdings, meaning we can't recommend the BitMEX Earn product.
BitMEX Token (BMEX)
BitMEX has a native exchange token (BMEX), which provides various benefits to BitMEX users. BitMEX offers BMEX airdrops to users who participate in promotions and utilize the spot trading platform. Currently available on the BitMEX exchange, the BMEX token comes with the following benefits:
- Trading Fee Discounts
- Fee Reimbursement on Withdrawals
- BitMEX Privileges, Experiences, Community Access, and Merchandise
- BitMEX EARN Benefits
- Exclusive Product Access & IEO Tickets
- Token Burn to Drive the Growth of the BMEX Ecosystem
- BMEX Token as Collateral
Trading Volume & Liquidity
At the time of writing our BitMEX review, the exchange is the 10th largest derivatives platform for crypto, with a 24-hour trading volume of just under $400 million. As for liquidity on spot trading, BitMEX has a daily volume of $350,000, which is very low. As such, buying crypto assets could result in higher spreads than other exchanges. As for derivatives trading, the amount of activity suggests that BitMEX is a strong exchange with sufficient liquidity. However, there are better such as Binance Futures and ByBit with larger trading volumes.
What Countries Are Supported?
BitMEX allows users to register and start trading worldwide. However, United States residents cannot use the platform due to regulatory requirements largely outside of BitMEX's control.
There are reportedly ways around this for U.S. customers using a secure VPN. However, we must note utilizing a VPN is prohibited by BitMEX policy, and we do not recommend this option. Instead, US-based investors can check out our guide reviewing the best crypto exchanges USA.
Creating and Verifying a BitMEX Account
To create our BitMEX review, we completed the registration and verification process. Users need to provide an email address and name, then verify the email address. This will complete the initial registration process. However, to begin using the exchange, users are required to pass KYC identity verification.
To access the BitMEX platform, a user must complete Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification). Thankfully the process is relatively quick. A user needs to provide a form of photo ID (passport, driving license), proof of address (bank statement, utility bill), and confirm the source of their funds.
Supported Fiat Currencies and Deposit Methods
Unfortunately, BitMEX does not offer the ability to deposit using fiat directly. While users can purchase crypto using fiat via a third party, there are typically high fees assisted with this payment method. As such, users wishing to deposit using their local currency should check out our article discussing the best fiat-to-crypto platforms.
Like most crypto exchanges, BitMEX supports deposits via crypto. There are 30 supported assets for depositing, including BTC, LINK, and USDT. There are no fees for depositing crypto, though users may need to pay network fees to transfer crypto from their wallet to BitMEX.
Supported Crypto and Trading Pairs
BitMEX supports 30 cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and other popular altcoins. However, the selection offered by BitMEX is minimal compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, with popular assets like Bitcoin Cash missing.
As such, we can't recommend BitMEX to users aiming to trade multiple altcoins. That said, the cryptocurrency exchange is primarily a Bitcoin and derivatives trading platform, and the coins offered by BITMEX are some of the most popular coins for trading with leverage.
BitMEX offers some of the lowest trading fees in the industry, with maker and taker fees starting at just 0.1% and rebates available for high-volume traders. It also offers discounts to BMEX token holders, though those are still rolling out to users. The trading fees on BitMEX are similar to platforms such as Binance. Moreover, BitMEX offers different fee schedules for both spot trading and derivatives trading. Here are the trading fees for both.
|30D Rolling ADV (USD)||Trading Fee (Maker / Taker)|
|< $100,000||0.10% / 0.10%|
|< $500,000||0.09% / 0.05%|
|< $1,000,000||0.08% / 0.03%|
|< $10,000,000||0.07% / 0.02%|
|< $25,000,000||0.05% / 0.00%|
|≥ $25,000,000||0.03% / 0.00%|
There are Taker trading fee discounts available for staking BMEX tokens on the platform.
|BMEX Stake||Additional Taker Discount|
Derivatives trading offers a simplified fee schedule, with a BitMEX market Maker rebate of -0.01% available on all trades and a Taker fee of 0.075% for all transactions. Taker fee discounts are available to traders with over $1 million in 30-day trading volume, with a maximum fee discount of 66.67% for trading $50 million (or more).
Fees for Deposits and Withdrawals
There are no deposit fees for depositing crypto onto the platform. And while BitMEX does not charge a fee for withdrawing Bitcoin or other altcoins, there will be a small network fee determined by the blockchain, not BitMEX. However, USDT (ERC20) withdrawals incur a fee of $25.
BitMEX Fees Compared
Compared to other exchanges that offer perpetual swap contracts, BitMEX has very low fees. While the volume-based structure makes it difficult to attain the lowest costs, even the basic tier aligns with titans like Binance. Overall, the fees offered by the BitMEX exchange are very reasonable, especially for a platform that offers leveraged contracts.
|Exchange Name||Trading Fees (spot)|
BitMEX Ease of Use
The interface on BitMEX, while clearly signposted, leaves a lot to be desired. There is no centralized homepage, with the default page after logging in being the order book. Furthermore, this screen throws a lot of information at the user, making it difficult for beginners to get comfortable.
While slightly confusing, the interface contains all Bitmex services, making finding a specific area quick and simple. Placing a trade is simple for anyone familiar with the commonly-used order book-style screen, thanks to the green and red color scheme highlighting important areas.
While BitMEX will feel familiar for anyone used to advanced trading platforms, the interface isn't the easiest to get used to. As such, while BitMEX will likely be easy to use for experienced traders, those looking for a more simplistic platform will be better off using an exchange like Coinbase.
BitMEX recently launched a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It offers users a quick view of their accounts, including balances and trade history, as well as the ability to deposit or withdraw crypto directly in the app.
Users can trade spot and derivatives with access to advanced mobile charting and up to 100x BitMEX leverage. The BitMEX app is relatively new but has been downloaded over 10,000 times on the IOS store, with the BitMEX reviews having an average rating of 5 stars. To find out which apps are best for crypto, read this article.
In contrast to many trading mobile apps, BitMEX offers all of its desktop features to mobile users. The home screen features an overview of the user's wallet balance, quick links to buy/sell/convert, and basic information on the user's favorite assets.
Users access both the spot and derivative market via the trade section. The trading screen boasts a familiar order book-style interface that allows users to choose the assets or perpetual contracts they want to trade. Furthermore, the BitMEX app has full charting capabilities built-in, making it a great trading platform for mobile users.
BitMEX offers an extensive help center with helpful articles and videos to show users how to use the platform. Users can also submit a support ticket directly from the help center, allowing them to track the status and get updates on raised issues.
Recently, BitMEX launched live chat support, allowing users to chat with a customer support representative. Upon our initial testing, the chat response from the BitMEX team was slow, but overall, the support is much better than it used to be. While it would be nice to see a dedicated phone support line, the combination of a ticketing system and live chat support should be enough for most people.
Is BitMEX Safe?
BitMEX features bank-grade security to ensure the highest safety standard for its customers. The exchange has implemented multiple protection layers, including multi-sig withdrawals and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). However, BitMEX was previously comprised, with attackers emptying over $150 million from the exchange.
To ensure that our BitMEX review provides the most value to our readers, we've drawn comparisons between the exchange and other platforms that provide access to cryptocurrency markets.
BitMEX vs. Binance
Two heavyweights in the cryptocurrency trading arena, Binance, and BitMEX, generally focus on different cryptocurrency trading products. Binance has recently introduced margin and futures trading to its exchange to compete with BitMEX. Most will know that Binance offers a wide selection of altcoins and stablecoins to trade, whereas BitMEX accepts far fewer.
Traditionally, BitMEX has been the preferred exchange for professional traders to maximize their returns using up to 100 times leverage and its advanced trading tools. However, we expect the competition to increase in the near future as Binance continues to innovate and introduce new trading experiences and products to attract new users.
BitMEX vs. Bybit
Both exchanges compete in the Bitcoin derivatives trading space and are often compared to each other. There are similarities between the two companies; however, we will focus on the main differences.
Firstly, BitMEX has a much larger daily volume to boast with, commands significantly more users, and has an established reputation in the market. However, it can have server overload issues, which can be frustrating. Furthermore, minimal new features or innovations are being introduced to keep traders interested.
On the other hand, the Bybit exchange is a new platform that has over 100,000 traders in a short time. Moreover, the platform offers unique features that are very attractive such as trading competition, price manipulation control, fast trade speed, low latency, insurance fund, and up to 100 times leverage on Ethereum contracts. In short, Bybit has the upper hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
BitMEX spot fees of 0.1% per trade are in line with major competitors such as Binance, ByBit and KuCoin. For derivatives contracts, the fees of -0.01% (maker) and 0.075% (taker) are reasonable for traders that use limit orders. Traders that execute market orders will be charged slightly higher fees than the top platforms.
Bitmex is the 9th largest derivatives exchange for cryptocurrencies with a current 24-hour trading volume of 879 million across its trading pairs.
Yes, it does. Although BitMEX used to be a crypto exchange that let anyone trade without needing identity verification, it has recently updated its policy for increased security and regulatory purposes, requiring all users to pass Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification. Identity verification is a quick process and requires submitting your identity info and documentation, as well as location information, as BitMEX is unavailable in some locations.
BitMEX has a testnet that allows its users to demo trade cryptocurrency without risk. Beginners are able to become familiar with using the exchange and learn how to trade cryptocurrency with leverage using the BitMEX paper trading account.
Final Verdict and Scores
BitMEX used to be one of the largest derivatives trading platforms in the market and was the first to offer Bitcoin perpetual futures contracts. With more competition coming into the crypto space, and the legal issues of its previous CEO, BitMEX has slowed its growth and volume of trading over the years.
However, while updating our BitMEX review, we noticed that the platform had modernized most of its features, adding a spot trading option, integrating a fiat gateway, and interest-bearing accounts. BitMEX is still one of the best platforms to trade contracts and offers up to 100x leverages on a few popular coins.
Below, we've summarized our ratings for each section of the cryptocurrency exchange.
|Review Criteria||HWC Score|
|Features||3.2 / 5|
|Supported Fiat and Deposit Methods||3 / 5|
|Supported Crypto & Trading Pairs||3.5 / 5|
|Fees||4.5 / 5|
|Ease of Use||3 / 5|
|Customer support||3.5 / 5|
|Security Measures||3.5 / 5|
|Mobile App||4 / 5|