Cryptocurrencies are more popular than ever, and it doesn’t look like the buzz surrounding them is going to die down anytime soon. If you’re looking to get started in the crypto world, you might feel overwhelmed when deciding on a marketplace to buy, sell, and trade with.
Which platforms are safe?
Where is the platform located?
Which have the lowest fees?
And, most importantly, which one is right for your needs?
To take some of the guesswork out, we’re going to share what we know about Bittrex in this in-depth review.
The platform was founded in 2014 by self-proclaimed cryptocurrency enthusiasts Bill Shihara, Richie Lei, Rami Kawach, and Ryan Hentz. Headquartered in Las Vegas, NV and boasting senior security experience at companies like Amazon and Microsoft, the team at Bittrex set out to create the fastest, most secure trading site in the world.
True to their vision, Bit trex has stringent security measures in place and provides users with the fastest transactions and verification available in any crypto marketplace. They’re also fully compliant with all US money laws and have applied for a BitLicense, issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
As we’ll discuss further in this review, Bittrex is different from other trading sites in a few ways, but what really sets them apart is the number of altcoins it supports: over 250!
That’s one of the largest ranges among US-regulated marketplaces. No matter which crypto you’re looking to invest in, you can almost definitely find it on this digital exchange platform.
Some of the 250 altcoins you can buy, sell, and trade on Bittrex are:
It’s important to note that Bit trex is focused on crypto trading and only offers USD for a dozen trading pairs. USD is only available in pairs with the following altcoins: Bitcoin (including Cash and Gold), Ethereum (and Ethereum Classic), Dash, NEO, Ripple, Monero, Zcash, Litecoin, and OmiseGO.
Even if you’re dealing with those trading pairs, you are still unlikely to be able to deposit or withdraw USD to or from your bank account. Only users who have passed advanced verification and are making purchases of over $10,000 can buy crypto using fiat currency.
The company reports that they’re looking into making it possible for all users to deal in fiat currency but the regulations are complex, making it difficult to know if and when this feature may come to the platform.
Margin trading is a hot topic when it comes to crypto marketplaces, and many users look for sites that allow them to trade on credit. At this point, it’s not available on Bittrex. Again, they state that they’re working toward adding this feature to the site but doesn’t give any other information about the status of this addition.
As a security measure, this platform stores most of its funds in cold storage, with only around a third of its assets held online. Compared to other marketplaces, that’s a pretty impressive ratio. Cold storage, or offline storage, means that your altcoins are more secure since they’re less vulnerable to hackers.
The flip side of this is that it can take longer for high-volume trades to go through since there is so little liquidity held online. If you’re not trading in large amounts, this isn’t likely to impact you.
What will it cost you to use Bittrex? While other exchanges (see our list here) operate on a maker-taker fee schedule and charge you based on your trading volume over a 30-day period, Bittrex has a much simpler system. The straightforward fee system is definitely one of their strong points.
Since the exchange site doesn’t allow deposits or withdrawals of fiat currencies, all of your fees will be in the altcoin(s) you’re dealing in.
You’ll be charged a flat fee of 0.25% on each transaction, calculated by multiplying the amount of your purchase x the purchase price x .0025. You’ll be charged as soon as your transaction is processed, so it’s important to make sure that you have enough in your Bittrex account to cover the sale and the fee.
Bittrex doesn’t charge a fee for deposits. Keep in mind that if it’s necessary for a coin to be moved to another address before being credited to your Bittrex account, you will be charged a fee by the coin’s network. This charge doesn’t come from Bittrex, and it’s not avoidable.
When it comes to withdrawals, Bittrex is committed to keeping the fees as low as possible. They only charge enough to cover the network transfer fee built into each altcoin (if there is such a fee).
You can see the fee on each coin before trading by going to your withdrawal window and choosing the crypto you’re going to be withdrawing. When you initiate an order, the total plus your fee will be displayed before you confirm the order.
Signing up for Bittrex is pretty straightforward. In fact, it might be a little too easy. In December of 2017, the company reported an influx of new users at their location, forcing them to make some upgrades to support all of their new traders. Because of this, they stopped accepting new users and as of January 2018, you’re still not able to create a new account.
When you click “Sign Up,” you’re taken to a support article explaining everything. Right now, there’s no ETA on when the upgrades will be completed and they’ll start accepting new users.
When you’re able to create a new account, you just need to provide your email address and create a password. You’ll get an email asking you to verify your address and enable your account. Simply click the link in the email and you’re ready to start depositing and trading crypto.
When you have your account set up, it’s highly recommended that you enable two-factor authentication. Doing this will not only keep your account safe at sign-in, but it also gives you the option to use other security measures across the site.
At this point, you’ll need to verify your identity. Verification times are pretty fast, ranging from just a few minutes to one business day and Bit trex only asks for the documents required by US law, allowing you to keep some degree of anonymity when trading.
Basic verification requires your real name, date of birth, and address. This information must be able to be verified by public records. Enhanced verification requires you to provide scans of official government IDs and a selfie, so the photo on your ID can be checked against a current photo.
Enhanced verification probably isn’t necessary for most users. Basic verification allows up to $3,000 worth of withdrawals per day while enhanced will allow you to withdraw up to 100 BTC (nearly $1 million at current prices) each day.
As you’ll see in this review, using the site is a little more complicated than other exchanges. To deposit funds into your account, you’ll go to the homepage and search for the altcoin you want to deposit. When you find it, you’ll get your deposit address and copy it to your clipboard for the next step.
Once you have the deposit address, go to your wallet and send the funds to your Bittrex address. Once you’ve done that, you should see the pending deposit in your Bittrex.com account. This may take several minutes to show up.
When the deposit has shown up, you’re ready to trade! Simply select your trading pair from the market page. When you click your pair, you’ll see charts and information related to the altcoins in the pair. On this page, you can create your order by filling in the quantity of the coin you’d like to purchase and selecting your order type and time in force.
Before you submit your order, it will automatically calculate your fee and show you the amount you’ll owe in the currency you’re paying with. Click “confirm” and your order is on the books, which you can see on the bottom half of the screen.
You’ll follow the same steps when buying, selling, and trading any coins. The process is a bit clunkier than other marketplaces and the inability to deal in fiat currency is inconvenient.
If you want to remain safe in your investment and you’re not looking to trade more obscure cryptocurrencies, look into other sites like Kraken or CoinBase. Those sites offer the most common coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as a few lesser-known coins.
Bittrex is just one option when it comes to finding a location to call your own inside the many crypto marketplaces. Before jumping in, it’s important to take in the information we presented here in this review, as well as what you find when you do your own research. Read otherreviews, look around the Bittrex site, and read the news regarding cryptocurrencies to make sure Bit trex, or any platform, is the right choice for you.
When you do read news stories about specific marketplaces, you’ll probably find that the most prominent story regarding Bittrex is the fact that they’re not currently accepting new accounts.
As far as the public knows, they’re still working on the updates needed to accommodate the new users they acquired in December 2017. The support article that explains the situation hasn’t been updated since mid-December, so it’s unclear when they’ll open up to new customers. If you’re really interested in Bittrex, keep an eye on the website and their social media channels for any updates.
If you’ve decided Bittrex isn’t for you because you want to deal in fiat currencies or you’re just not willing to wait an undetermined amount of time to be able to create an account, look into the other sites we mentioned, Kraken and Coinbase, as well as Binarycent and Coinmama.
All of those exchanges are currently accepting new users and allow you to deposit, withdraw, buy, sell, and trade fiat currencies. All are safe and secure according to reviews.