BitMEX (Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange) was founded in 2014 by Arthur Hayes (CEO), Ben Delo (CSO) and Samuel Reed (CTO). The headquarter is located in Hong Kong and the entire company is being operated from here. BitMEX is not just a normal exchange, like Binance or Bitvavo, it is a Margin trading exchange.
This means that BitMEX you never really buy Bitcoin, but you always speculate with derivatives. A derivative is derived from the actual price of Bitcoin and correlates with it. You buy derivatives in the form of contracts.
The advantage of BitMEX is the fact that you can use a leverage when purchasing contracts, which means you can make profits faster (but you can also lose money very fast). At BitMEX you can use a leverage of 100x (max.). Margin trading is not suited for every trader and can be really tricky. The availability of BitMEX is subjected to regulation.
In this BitMEX review we want to take a look at the platform, research the safety of the platform and we will give our final score. On this page you also have the possibility to share your own experience with our rating system.
10% discount on all fees at BitMEX
BitMEX suddely announced mid-august that they are going to implement complete ID verification checks. Every trader on the platform have to perform a KYC check before 12 February 2021. A lot of traders are now looking for a BitMEX alternative. Luckily there are two top derivative exchanges which support margin trading and don’t perform a KYC.
How to create a BitMEX account?
You can easily create your own account using the official website of BitMEX. If you use our promotion, you can save 10% on all trading costs within the first 6-month. Make sure you sign in with your real email address, so you can verify your account.
Before August 2020 it was possible to trade at this exchange without specify any personal information. BitMEX changed their policy and every trader needs to perform a complete ID check.
In case you are an US resident (or you are on vacation in America), it isn’t possible to trade on this platform. At least, not directly. There are multiple ways of bypassing the BitMEX security. You can use a VPN or the TOR-browser. This is applies for when you are registering, but also when you are trading on the platform. Your account will get blocked (temporarily) when you accidentally log in on your account from the United States. Even when you are on vacation in the United States. To unblock your account, you will have to send a lot of your personal information to proof you don’t actually live in the the United States.
How does BitMEX work?
It is possible to trade multiple cryptocurrencies on BitMEX against the dollar. So, it isn’t possible to start trading with euros or dollar. If you don’t own any cryptocurrency, we recommend to buy cryptocurrency using a broker like Bitvavo if you are living in Europe. You can buy easily crypto with euros using these payment methods: iDEAL (free), Bank Transfer (free), Bancontact (free), MyBank (1.5%), EPS Überweisung (1.75%), SOFORT (2.25%) and Giropay (1.75%)
Bitvavo is the cheapest exchange in Europe and only charges a maximum trading fee of 0.15%.
When you live outside of Europe you can use Binance to buy your crypto.
Depositing Bitcoin at BitMEX
You can’t buy cryptocurrency at this platform. If you own BTC, you can send your Bitcoin from your wallet to the unique recipient address of BitMEX. There is also another option: buying Bitcoin with an easy payment method and send this to the BitMEX platform.
We made a small guide how to do this (for Europeans, if you’re from another continent use Binance):
- Go to Bitvavo (Bitvavo only charges a fee of 0.25% and you can trade your first € 1.000 for free).
- Buy Bitcoin and pay with your preferred payment method (a step-by-step guide on how to buy crypto at Bitvavo).
- Log into BitMEX, go to Account & Security and click on Deposit.
- You will see your unique Bitcoin wallet address that often starts with 3BMEX
- Switch to Bitvavo and go to your Bitcoin overview and click on Withdraw
- Enter how much you would like to send to BitMEX and your Bitcoin Deposit address of BitMEX (the address that often starts with 3BMEX). Copy the address carefully. Any mistakes could mean you will lose your Bitcoin forever.
- Click on Continue and verify your transaction.
Within 30 minutes everything should be send and verified by BitMEX and you can start trading. At the moment it is possible to open positions for the following cryptocurrencies:
For users with experience with exchanges, like Binance, it won’t be difficult to understand this exchange. All tools are mostly the same. Below the Trade tab, you can view the dashboard with all its trading tools.
All widgets in the dashboard can be moved the way you like. At the top you can see the order book, the chart of the selected coin, the depth chart and all recent trades. When you made a trade, it’s possible to view and edit the position you opened at the bottom of the page. You can also view your closed positions, active orders, stops, fills and your order history.
Placing an order
On the left side you can place your order. Before you can place your order, you are required to deposit Bitcoin funds. It’s important to know what sort of order you would like to open:
- Limit Order: The order will be filled when the specified price is reached.
- Market Order: The order will be filled against the current market price.
- Stop Market Order: The order will be filled when the stop level is reached. The order won’t be viewable in the general ledger.
- Stop Limit Order: A Limit Order will be placed when the stop level is reached.
- Trailing Stop Order: A moving Stop Market Order, the movement depends on the specified trailing value.
- Take Profit Limit Order: Looks a lot like a Stop Limit Order, only is the position closed to maintain profitable.
- Take Profit Market Order: Looks like a Stop Market Order, but a market order gets triggered.
Depending on the chosen order, you can specify the number of contracts you want to buy and whether you want to go Long or Short. Long means you expect the price to go up and Short means you expect the price to go down. Next, you can set up a leverage. In the next chapter of this BitMEX review we will go more in-depth into this topic.
BitMEX provides traders the possibility to place their position with a leverage. A leverage gives traders the option to place orders that are bigger than their own balance. This can result in a higher profit in stead of placing an order with your own balance. This way of trading is also known as Margin Trading.
It goes without saying that you should only use leverages when you actually know what you are doing. It can result in more profit, but you can also rapidly lose all your money in the order. It is a very risky instrument and trading with very high leverages is more gambling than wise trading. You can never lose more money than your initial order.
10% discount on all fees at BitMEX
Leverages for different coins
The leverage makes BitMEX a popular exchange for traders. With Bitcoin you can even set up a 100x leverage. Below you can see the maximum leverages for all cryptocurrencies:
The BitMEX fees
BitMEX has listed all their fees in an overview on their website. For traditional future-trade, BitMEX has a simple fee schedule. Bitcoin has a maker fee of -0.0250% and a taker fee of 0.0750%. For all other coins a 0.0500% maker fee and a -0.2500% taker fee is applied. When you register an account with our link, you will receive the first 6 month after your registration a 10% discount on all fees.
Depositing and withdrawing
BitMEX is solely focused on cryptocurrencies and you can’t pay with traditional fiat money (euro or dollar). You can only deposit funds into your account with Bitcoin. The deposition of funds is completely free, and the speed depends on the amount of mining fee that is being send with it. The minimum amount you can deposit is: 0.001 BTC.
The withdrawal of profits or not invested Bitcoin is possible if you click on Account and then go to Withdraw. Withdrawing funds is also free, with exception of the fee that has to be send with it. Withdrawals are being sent once a day in batches and are being checked manually. Make sure your withdrawal is placed before 15:00, so your BTC will be sent the same day.
Is BitMEX safe?
BitMEX is estimated highly by investors and is one of the biggest exchanges for cryptocurrencies with Margin Trading. Although, there is no real trading here, there is Bitcoin being deposited on the platform. Therefore, it’s essential that the company has taken the required security measurements. So, you can assume that BitMEX is safe and reliable.
Up to this day, there have not been any reported hacks on this company, and we expect that isn’t going to happen in the future. That BitMEX is really popular can be retrieved from the daily trading volume. Almost every day, BitMEX takes the first position on the list of CoinMarketCap with the biggest trading volume. Although the volume is not taken into consideration with the calculations (by CoinMarketCap), because it also includes leverages, it does say something about this exchange.
Update 2020: BitMEX has implemented a KYC verification and the platform is giving a lot of traders technical problems. We see a lot of users switching exchanges and the volumes of BitMEX are getting lower.
The statements made by CEO Arthur Hayes
The founders of this exchange are famous and appear on the website with their names and with pictures of themselves. The CEO Arthur Hayes even regularly visits shows like CNBC and makes remarkable statements about Bitcoin. For example, on May 2018 he said that he expected the Bitcoin price to be 50,000 dollar at the end of 2018. Whether you should believe him or not is of course up to you.
BitMEX has also built in a number of checks for risk management. The total sum of balances of all accounts on the website should always be zero. If this is not the case, all trades are shut down. All transactions are also checked manually by employees and there are no private keys being stored in the cloud. Bitcoin addresses are being verified externally to make sure they contain the corresponding private keys. If this is not the case, the system will be shut down immediately.
10% discount on all fees at BitMEX
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What are the trading costs at BitMEX?
For every currency you pay a maker fee of -0.0250% and a taker fee 0.0750%. If you use or link you will get an extra 10% discount. You also have to pay to fund your longs or shorts, this differs per currency.
How can I deposit at BitMEX?
BitMEX is a Bitcoin in and out exchange. You can't use fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies. So you first have to have Bitcoin before you can start trading at BitMEX.
Is BitMEX suitable for beginner's?
Definitely not, you really need to know what you're doing. Trading with leverage is very risky and can result in losses. Please use the demo environment if you are a beginner.
Can I trade anonymously at BitMEX?
Yes, there is no KYC whatsoever. Just use a name and email address and you can trade here. Please note that they don't accept US IP-addresses.