Overview and History
Bittrex is one of the most well known exchanges in the world especially for people who are in the crypto space before 2018. Bittrex was the number one destination among crypto exchanges. Founded in 2014, Bittrex is a U.S. based crypto exchange that was built by three cyber security engineers – Bill Shihara, Richie Lai, and Rami Kawach. They came from varying backgrounds from companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Blackberry. They were not satisfied with the current exchanges in the market and wanted to create a more stable and reliable one. Bittrex was built from the ground up and has a steller security history. This is the reason why it is still commonly used by both regular customers and institutional clients. The company is headquartered near the financial center of Zurich, in Liechtenstein.
Like all kings, their reign came to an end after a few years at the top. Their dominance failed during the bear market along with the unstoppable rise of Binance. Stricter regulations (especially for U.S. citizens), overload issues and also closing of new registrations caused their demise. At its peak, they were handling $1B to $1.5B in daily volume. This volume has dropped significantly over the past years and their trading volume hovers around $30m USD daily as of March 2020. It was definitely a steep fall but they still have loyal clients who use their products daily. RIght now, there are 366 trading pairs available for 237 coins. The 4 main markets are USD, USDT, BTC, and ETH markets.
Bittrex takes regulations very seriously. They are compliant with all current EU and Liechtenstein regulations regarding digital currencies. Some people like it because they are deemed safer but some people also do not like the extra regulatory hurdles.
Currently, Bittrex Global accepts customers from around the world, except the United States and countries subject to various sanctions or legal prohibitions. With stricter regulations popping up in the U.S., Bittrex is slowly focusing on a more global audience and maybe why they renamed to Bittrex Global.
KYC and Registration
Bittrex Global complies with 4th EU Money Laundering Directive (EU) 2015/849, the Law on Measures concerning Economic Transactions with Foreign States (Sanctions Act) and other economic sanctions laws.
After signing up, you’ll be guided through the KYC process. The process is relatively easy and like most KYCs in other exchanges. You just have to upload a valid government ID (e.g. passport, national ID or driver’s license). After that, fill out the form with basic identification such as name address and birthdate. After that, you’re good to start trading.
Bittrex Main Exchange
Bittrex’ exchange has evolved over the years. The current version offers a sleek and user-friendly interface. The chart is seen right in the middle, ordering options are on the right side while order books and trade history are seen at the bottom. Bittrex’ main chart has all the bells and whistles as well. You can draw directly on the chart and choose from dozens of different indicators available. The chart loads quickly and data doesn’t lag.
Bittrex offers different order types for you to use. This allows more flexibility for users in executing their orders.
Limit Order – The basic order type is the limit order which fills your order after you specify your price and quantity. If it is not immediately filled, it will be placed on the order books and wait until it is filled or cancelled.
Market Order – This is a type of order that buys or sells a certain number of cryptocurrency at the best available price in the market.
Stop Limit – This is similar to the limit order but the order will be placed only after the trigger price indicated by the user is hit.
Ladder Limit – Instead of buying or selling at a single price, you can set an incremental buy or sell limit orders up and down the order book, buying when the price goes down and selling when the price goes up.
While Bittrex does not offer leverage trading yet (like margin trading or futures trading), they have released news that this product is in the works with some news of recruiting beta testers.
Bittrex allows users to deposit USD straight into their accounts. While this is available, it is a manual process that is subject to review by Bittrex. KYC must be done beforehand. Just fill out the form at Bittrex | Request for FIAT (USD) Trading. Afterwards, you will now be able to trade the USD trading pair.
Like many other exchanges that want to encourage users to increase their trading volume, Bittrex offers a tiered trading fee system. The more volume you trade on a 30 Day session, the lower your trading fees will be. Entry level starts at 0.2% Maker and 0.2% taker fee. This is higher than other top tier exchanges. However, as your volume increases, the rates become more and more competitive. Maker fees are also usually lower than taker fees.The difference between the two is the taker fee is taking liquidity from the exchange while the maker fee is providing and adding liquidity. If you place an order and it is filled instantly, you are on the taker side. If you place an order and it floats on the exchange, it means you’re on the maker side. Bittrex also runs trading fee promotions from time to time as seen in the chart below.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
Bittrex does not charge fees for USD deposits or withdrawals. However, your bank may charge a fee for wire transfers both for send or receiving. This fee varies depending on the bank you use.
Like most exchanges, Bittrex will not charge you any deposit fees for depositing any crypto currency.
Bittrex charges a small fee everytime you make a crypto withdrawal. This covers the network fee of the blockchain. The fee varies depending on the cryptocurrency you are withdrawing. Major crypto currencies like BTC, ETH and USDT will have fees of 0.0005BTC, 0.01 ETH and 1 USDT respectively.
Bittrex launched their own IEO platform in April 2019 at the start of the IEO craze. Their first project was OCEAN protocol. Since then, they have done 4 more different IEOs for STP, VDX, VBK, and XRD.
For some background about IEOs, the predecessor of the IEO is the ICO which is also known as an Initial Coin Offering. An ICO is the first time that a crypto token has been made available for sale to the public. This is akin to an IPO in traditional markets. Before the IEO, projects that did an ICO had to make their own website, their own funding mechanism. But with the advent of the IEO, the crypto exchange handles this for you. Bittrex raises funds on behalf of the company while listing it for trading shortly right after.
Bittrex Mobile App
Bittrex currently has an app for both Android and iOS. The user interface is very straightforward. What you’ll see are basically just the charts, markets and your wallet. It works smoothly and is very responsive without any delay. However, you won’t be able to draw or pull out other indicators.
Bittrex runs a rewards program called Bittrex Credits. It rewards active users with commission Bittrex credits which users can use for commission-free trading. You earn Bittrex Credits based on the commissions you pay on your trades. One Bittrex Credit is worth $0.01 (USD) towards trading commissions. As for expirations, Bittrex Global airdrops credits normally have a 30-day expiration period from the date of the airdrop while Bittrex Credits that are earned by making trades will expire only if you are inactive for a period of one year. This incentivizes users to continuously be active on Bittrex.
Bittrex Customer Support
Bittrex offers two basic ways to help you resolve your customer service inquiries. The first is through their support center which includes a very comprehensive list of questions and commonly asked questions. If your problem has not yet been solved, you can send them a request and you will receive the email reply through your email.
Bittrex takes pride in the amount of effort they put into making the website safe for users. To date, there have been no major reports of any breaches to the company’s servers. Here are some of the ways they ensure safety of users’ funds.
2FA – This has been a standard form of account protection for most crypto exchanges. This involves using a separate device that generates a unique code or combination every few seconds. You will be asked to enter this code upon signing in.
Email verifications – Whenever you would like to withdraw funds, an email will be sent to your email address for you to confirm if this transaction is legitimate.
Hot and Cold Wallets – This is a standard procedure that separates revolving funds (hot wallet) and most user funds (cold wallet). The cold wallet is disconnected from the internet so it is less likely to be hacked. It is akin to banks not having all of their money locked in a giant safe. They only hold what they expect to be transacted that day.
Bittrex has gone through a lot over the years. They went from the top and are now somewhere nearer to the bottom. Their exchange works well but does not stand out compared to the rest. However, Bittrex does have a good following and they have been trying to reinvent themselves over the past years since their fall. They continue to be a well trusted exchange by many users. There are definitely things that they can still improve on such as user interface and their mobile app. In the end, Bittrex is still a decent exchange on its own rights.