Today, let’s compare two of the oldest exchanges in the crypto space – Bitfinex and BitMEX.
Bitfinex is a spot and derivatives trading exchange launched in 2012 in Hong Kong. BitMEX, on the other hand, is a derivatives-only exchange launched in 2014 and headquartered in Seychelles.
Both the exchanges are globally renowned and used by numerous beginner and professional traders.
While the exchanges share a lot in common, there are a few disparities that you should know about before deciding which one to use.
Here is a detailed comparison between Bitfinex and BitMEX based on attributes like product and leverage offerings, fees, platform, security, and more.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX: Crypto Derivatives Product Offerings & Leverage
BitMEX is primarily a derivatives trading platform. It offers perpetual swaps on three trading pairs – XBTUSD, ETHUSD, and XRPUSD. Additionally, it supports traditional futures in XBT, ETH, LTC, TRX, BCH, LTC, EOS, and ADA.
BitMEX has a 24h derivatives trading volume of USD 1.4 billion – the 13th-highest in the market. BitMEX doesn’t support spot trading.
Talking about leverage, BitMEX offers up to 100x leverage on all XBT contracts, up to 50x leverage on XRP and ETH perpetual swaps and ETH traditional futures, and 20-33.33x leverage on other contracts.
Bitfinex, on the other hand, is primarily a spot trading exchange that allows you to buy, sell, lend, and borrow cryptocurrencies. It enables margin trading through its P2P lending market.
Coming to derivatives, Bitfinex offers perpetual swaps for the following trading pairs: BTCUSD, ETHUSD, LTCUSD, DOTUSD, LINKUSD, DOGEUSD, EOSUSD, ADAUSD, UNIUSD, XLMUSD, and IOTUSD.
Bitfinex supports 263 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, ERC-20 tokens, and more.
Bitfinex has a 24h derivatives trading volume of USD 216 million – the 22nd-highest in the market. Its 24h spot trading volume is USD 1.91 billion – the 5th-highest in the market.
When it comes to leverage, Bitfinex on all its trading products, which is significantly lower.
Verdict: It’s a tie. While Bitfinex offers more trading options, BitMEX provides better leverage.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX Trading Fees
Both Bitfinex and BitMEX follow a market maker-taker fee model. However, Bitfinex has a tiered fee structure, whereas BitMEX uses a flat fee structure.
On Bitfinex, the trading fee depends on two factors: last 30-day volume and UNUS SED LEO holding. Traders with the last 30-day trading volume of less than USD 1 million get a maker rebate of 0.02% and have to pay a taker fee of 0.075%.
The maker rebate increases and the taker fee reduces by 0.0025% at USD 1 million, USD 10 million, USD 100 million, and USD 1 billion.
On the other hand, BitMEX has a straightforward fee structure. It offers a 0.025% maker rebate and charges a 0.075% taker fee on perpetual swaps and XBT traditional futures contracts. The maker rebate is 0.05% for other futures contracts, and the taker fee is 0.25%.
Verdict: BitMEX is the winner, as it charges lower fees and has a more straightforward fee structure.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
Bitfinex doesn’t charge any deposit fee for crypto and stablecoins. However, a flat 0.100% fee is applicable on bank wire transfers, with 60 USD/Euro being the minimum deposit amount.
Bitfinex charges a nominal withdrawal fee on certain coins, such as 0.0004 BTC for Bitcoin and 0.0057 ETH for Ethereum.
BitMEX doesn’t charge any fees on deposits and withdrawals. However, the blockchain network fee may be payable.
Coming to deposit methods, Bitfinex supports crypto, stablecoin, and fiat deposits, whereas BitMEX allows crypto deposits only.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Though Bitfinex charges a small withdrawal fee, it also offers broader deposit options.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX Trading Platform Comparison
Both Bitfinex and BitMEX offer powerful trading platforms. However, there are some differences that you need to know. Let’s delve into a quick comparison between the two trading platforms.
Bitfinex has one of the best trading platforms in the crypto space. The trading panel is intuitive and easy to get used to.
On the left side of the panel, you get the following options:
- Tickers: Available spot and derivatives trading products with real-time trading volume and funding rate.
- Order Form: Place Buy and Sell orders
- Balances: Real-time balance details
- Summary: Initial and maintenance margin specs
- Liquidations: Real-time liquidation data
In the center, you’ll find the TradingView charting system that comes with all the essential chart visualization features, such as chart types, indicators, timeframes, drawing tools, etc.
Below the chart, there’s a section for open positions, open orders, and order history to manage your traders effortlessly. You also get a depth chart and a live order book.
Coming to order types, Bitfinex supports various types of orders, including limit, market, stop, stop-limit, trailing stop, fill or kill, and immediate or cancel (IOC). It also supports advanced order types, such as OCO, hidden, post-only, TIF, and reduce-only.
Bitfinex has a mobile app and offers an amazing mobile trading experience.
From the first looks, BitMEX’s trading panel looks slightly outdated. Users have also reported some instances of crashes, downtimes, and other performance issues.
On the left side of the panel, you only get the Order Form section to place Buy and Sell orders. Under the Order Form, there’s a Contract Details section that provides real-time data on the open contract.
On the top, you get the Tickers section that provides price data on all the listed cryptos. Under that, you’ll find the Orderbook and Recent Trades.
Below the Order Book, a section allows you to see your open positions, closed positions, active orders stops, fills, and order history.
Towards the end of the page, you’ll find the price chart. BitMEX uses the TradingView charting system, just like Bitfinex. Under the chart, there’s a Depth Chart that enables you to analyze the real-time trading volume of the opened asset.
BitMEX also supports many orders, including market, limit, stop-limit, trailing stop, and take-profit orders. Advanced order types available on BitMEX are hidden, iceberg, post-only, close on trigger, and pegged orders.
BitMEX also has a mobile app, though it’s not as intuitive as Bitfinex.
Verdict: Bitfinex is the winner, as it has a more intuitive platform and better mobile app.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX Account Opening Process
Both Bitfinex and BitMEX have a seamless account opening process.
Bitfinex has mandatory KYC requirements. Hence, users must verify their account with a government-issued identity to start trading and investing on Bitfinex.
BitMEX also requires its users to complete an identity verification process to use the platform.
The KYC process is quick on both exchanges and only takes a few hours to complete.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges require KYC.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX Customer Support
Customer support is an essential factor new traders should consider before choosing a cryptocurrency exchange. Let’s compare the customer support available on the two platforms.
You can reach out to the Bitfinex team through email. Bitfinex offers 24/7 customer support. However, the response time can be as high as 12 hours in some cases. Additionally, Bitfinex has a knowledge base where you can find answers to common queries.
BitMEX also offers support primarily through email. The response time is slow in the case of BitMEX and can sometimes take up to hours. BitMEX also has a knowledge base that answers various frequently asked questions.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both exchanges offer similar customer support services.
Bitfinex vs. BitMEX Security Features
Security is another important consideration to keep in mind before finalizing a cryptocurrency exchange. Since most crypto exchanges are unregulated, users need to ensure that the exchange they choose deploys essential security measures.
Bitfinex is a renowned exchange and implements industry-leading security features. These include a multi-sign cold wallet, withdrawal authorization, encryption, IP whitelisting, and more. It requires mandatory KYC to make sure all users are verified.
Bitfinex also has an effective liquidation mechanism to protect traders from losses arising due to malicious market fluctuations.
BitMEX offers similar security features to Bitfinex. It uses a multi-signature cold wallet system to store users’ funds. It also requires mandatory KYC verification and authorizes withdrawal requests.
Verdict: It’s a tie, as both the exchanges implement similar security features.
There’s no clear winner between Bitfinex and BitMEX. The two exchanges share a lot in common when it comes to security, customer support, and KYC requirements,
However, there are some differences that a trader must consider.
BitMEX offers up to 100x leverage on XBT futures contracts and up to 50x on other perpetual swaps. Bitfinex, on the other hand, provides max leverage of 5x only. That is a huge difference and can be a dealbreaker if you prefer leveraged trading.
In contrast, Bitfinex offers more trading products and a better platform. If performance is your priority and you want more options but can adjust with low leverage, Bitfinex can be ideal for you.
In all, both exchanges are good, and there’s no clear winner. The exchange you choose will depend on your individual requirements.
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