In the cryptosphere, the selection of trading platforms or exchanges matters a lot due to obvious reasons, i.e., liquidity and security.

But, when selecting between the two most popular exchanges, Kraken and BitMEX, the choice becomes difficult, as both are leaders.

So, in this comparison guide, we will check which exchange will best match your needs and how they stack up against each other.

Introduction: Kraken Vs. BitMEX

Kraken is a US-based margin trading cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011 and launched its exchange services in 2013. It is one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in terms of bitcoin to Euro trading volumes and liquidity.

The exchange operates in the United States (except New York), European Union, Canada, and Japan. And, also it is known for having the lowest trading fees in the industry and is also the most well-funded exchange.

It specializes in spot trading, but its margin trading features for popular cryptocurrencies aren’t short of any other exchange.


BitMEX stands for Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange and is a crypto derivatives trading platform. It was founded in 2014 and registered in Seychelles, offering services worldwide, except in the United States.

The platform is not suitable for beginners as it specializes in the derivative segment based on decent leverage trading features.

It offers deep liquidity to users and has a daily trading volume of over 35,000 BTC with over 540,000 monthly accesses.

Trading instruments

Kraken offers trading opportunities in 50+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, EOS, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Iconomi, Zcash, Augur, Gnosis, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, Melon. The exchange registers huge volumes in Bitcoin and Ethereum to EUR and USD markets.

And, in the derivatives segment, it offers perpetual futures contracts in XBTUSD, ETHUSD, LTCUSD, BCHUSD, and XRPUSD.

BitMEX offers various contract types in the derivatives segment, and all the contracts are bought and paid out in bitcoin. The contract type includes:

  • Perpetual swaps on XBTUSD pair
  • Traditional Futures contract 
  • And Quanto Futures 

BitMEX Offer: Crypto traders who sign-up using this exclusive link will receive a 10% fee discount for six months and believe me, 10% is a lot when you see it over a period of time. 


Kraken offers a leverage of up to 50X to go long or short on crypto futures pairs. It charges a rollover fee ranging from 0.01% to 0.02% for leveraged trading, based on the instrument, and is applied every four hours.

Whereas BitMEX offers up to 100X leverage on varied trading instruments, rollover charges are applied once every 8 hours.

Kraken Vs. BitMEX Fees

Kraken implements a volume-based fee structure, where the fee structure is linked to your trading activity in the past 30 days. The more you trade, the lesser the amount you pay as trading fees.

The maker fee ranges from 0 – 0.16%, and the taker fee ranges from 0.12- 0.26%, depending on the trading volume in the past 30 days.

BitMEX charges a maker fee of -0.0250% and a taker fee of 0.0750% for the perpetual contract. And, for future contracts, the maker fee ranges from -0.050 to -0.0250%, and the taker fee ranges from 0.0750 to 0.25%.

Additionally, it charges a settlement fee of 0.050% for bitcoin contracts. For upside/downside contracts, there is no maker fee, taker fee, and settlement fee.

There are no charges on deposits and withdrawals, and all withdrawals are processed in Bitcoin.

BitMEX Offer: Crypto traders who sign-up using this exclusive link will receive a 10% fee discount for six months and believe me, 10% is a lot when you see it over a period of time. 

Withdrawals & Deposit Fee Comparison

Kraken doesn’t charge any fees for deposits, apart from charging the payment gateway charges for the cash deposit option, wherever applicable. For instance, it charges $10 to deposit cash into a Kraken account using SWIFT.

There are no minimum requirements for withdrawals but charges a flat fee for each withdrawal to cover the transaction cost to move the cryptocurrency out from your Kraken account to your own wallet. For instance, the withdrawal fee for Bitcoin is 0.00015 BTC, whereas, for Ethereum, it is 0.0035 ETH. 

BitMEX, too, doesn’t have any deposit and withdrawal charges on the platform. It charges the minimum Bitcoin network fees, which are set dynamically based on blockchain load. 

Kraken Offer: Get upto 5X Leverage for US citizens using this link to sign up.

Kraken Vs BitMEX: Trading platform


Kraken offers its web-based trading interface, which offers complete access to short-term market dynamics that include a bid-ask spread column. It also offers a graphical indication of the same on the left side of the screen when opted for. Further, it has integrated TradingView for the charting functionality.

The mobile trading app is available on both Android and iOS platforms. To know more about the exchange, you can check this comprehensive Kraken tutorial


BitMEX, too, offers a web-based trading platform that helps you to quickly tap between six futures markets and also offers easy customization of the screen layout. The charting functionality is provided by TradingView.

The right side of the screen shows a detailed Orderbook, and the left side is dedicated to recent trade data. It has also integrated two leading futures trading platforms, NinjaTrader and Sierra, but comes at a monthly fee. You can also learn more about the exchange by checking out this quick BitMEX tutorial

Kraken VS BitMEX: Account Opening Process

In both exchanges, users need to fulfill the mandatory KYC verification requirements to access the full range of exchange features and services. 

Kraken has a pretty simple account creation process and takes a few minutes. The following are the steps involved in the account creation process:

  • Go to Kraken and click on the “Create Account” button
  • Enter your email address and create a username and strong password on the sign-up form
  • Select country of residence, agree to the terms and conditions, and then click on “create an account.”
  • You will receive an account activation key in your email address, which you need to enter the account activation form. Alternatively, you can click the verification link in the mail.
  • Next, you need to confirm your password, enter the captcha, and click on the “Activate Account” button to complete the account creation process.  

You can now go to the account section to complete the KYC verification process to enable withdrawals and other platform’s advanced features. 

For BitMEX, the account opening process is a bit longer due to the complete identity verification process. The following are the steps involved in opening an account with BitMEX:

  • Go to BitMEX and click on the “Register” button
  • Enter your email id, create a strong password, and choose your country of residence
  • Agree to the terms and conditions and click on the “Register” button
  • Now, click on the verification link sent to your email ID to complete the registration process

Before starting to trade, you need to complete the user verification process. You need to upload a photo ID, take a selfie, and answer multiple-choice questions relating to your source of funds and trading experience. 

Funding options

Kraken offers multiple funding options, including bank transfers and cryptocurrencies. Following are the different modes of fund transfer:

Bank transfer options

  • Fedwire transfer (USD)
  • SWIFT wire transfer (USD)
  • SEPA bank transfer (EUR)
  • International wire transfer (EUR)
  • Canadian wire transfer (deposits), Canadian EFT (withdrawals) for CAD


  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Litecoin
  • Quantum
  • Cardano
  • Zcash
  • Monero

BitMEX only allows Bitcoin transfers and offers no support for credit cards or fiat withdrawals.

Kraken Offer: Get upto 5X Leverage for US citizens using this link to sign up.

Customer support

Kraken follows a ticket-based issue resolution system and has a live chat support feature to resolve issues quickly. Apart from this, it has a knowledge base that contains well-documented processes and functions of Kraken that a new customer may find helpful before trading on the platform.

BitMEX has a ticket-based support system and does not offer any live chat support feature. Further, the knowledge base on its website is sufficient to take care of common issues that a customer might encounter.

Verification process

The initial verification process is very simple, as you need to create an account with an email id. For depositing and withdrawing funds in fiat, you need to verify your identity and upload the necessary documents.

Kraken has four verification levels, and each level unlocks the ability to withdraw a higher amount of funds. Tier 1 and Tier 2 are relatively easy and quick, but the Tier 3 level requires five business days to process the request.

You can also link your bank account for easy deposit and withdrawal of funds.

BitMEX, on the other, does not deal with fiat currencies. Therefore it escapes the boundaries of regulations. Also, you need an email id to create an account and start trading.


As you have noticed, both Kraken Kraken and BitMEX are completely different crypto trading platforms and serve different user groups. For instance,

Kraken offers trading opportunities in listed cryptocurrencies against fiat and is a suitable option for those who want to do spot trading with decent levels of margin access.

Whereas, BitMEX is for seasoned crypto-traders as it offers many sophisticated trading instruments in the derivatives segment. Also, the experienced traders need to go through manuals and the knowledge base before using this complex platform.

The other advantages of Kraken are its fiat compatibility, margin trading, and availability for users in the United States.

Whereas, in BitMEX,  you can profit from the price movements of the crypto market with very minimum investment, but the risks are very high because these are highly leveraged derivatives products.

So, if you’ve any thoughts or want to share your experience, do share it in the comment box below.

Check how Kraken & BitMEX compares to other similar crypto exchanges: