If you’re new to crypto, Bitfinex and Bittrex are both cryptocurrency exchange platforms, used to trade, buy and sell several different cryptocurrencies. Both of these sites are generally considered among the best and are included in the top ten list in terms of the trading volume. Which means they facilitate the trading of a LOT of cryptocurrencies every single day. Although these exchanges are generally praised in the crypto community, they have some flaws that need to be taken into account.
For anyone outside the United States, either option is readily available, however, Bitfinex decided to stop United States customers from using their service way back in 2018. If you’re in the US, you can read on to learn about Bittrex, a US-based company with an emphasis on security. But it can also be useful to learn about the differences between the platforms even if you’re not the target customer. In this review, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at Bittrex vs Bitfinex, and the up and downsides to each.
Bittrex as a trading platform was created in 2013 in the US by previous Microsoft employees and is a US-based company. They pride themselves mainly on having a sound security system, which is one of their main selling points as many exchange users look for when dealing with their money. The platform offers a safe cryptocurrency exchange which reflects the fact the platform was never hacked.
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However, like most things, Bittrex is not all good, since they are notorious for suspending accounts without notice and having a poor customer support experience. It is a problem many security-based companies face, as they have a zero-tolerance policy when detecting red flags. It keeps the exchange secure, but at the cost of good user experience for some (not all) of its customers.
Is Bittrex Safe?
If your main priority is security, then Bittrex is the right place to start looking. The history of Bittrex’s development shows a prioritization of safety above all else, and thus it keeps over 90% of its funds in cold storage. Two-factor authentication is a must for every Bittrex user, which has proven to be active over the years, resulting in a zero loss of customer money stored in the exchange.
The company adheres to the KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) regulations set by the govt and uses whitelisting for withdrawals. The Bittrex verification process is rather extensive and requires all users to provide government-issued identification. All of these factors put together have helped the exchange in keeping its platform impressively secure.
In simple terms, the Bittrex user interface can be described as organized but sophisticated. By that, we mean that the site includes all the features an experienced crypto trader would be looking for, definitely not for beginners, however, the site is set up in a way so that it’s not too confusing or overwhelming.
Unfortunately, this exchange doesn’t have a mobile app, which can be annoying if you want a more convenient user experience, however, the added security of the site arguably outweighs this inconvenience. Bittrex is also customizable, meaning that you get what you’re given and cant adds or take away features you don’t need from your interface.
Like Bitfinex, other exchanges have implemented this feature, and many find it to be beneficial.
Bittrex has a debatably major disadvantage when it comes to payment methods. It is the fact that fiat currencies are not accepted on the exchange.
You’ll either have to use cryptocurrencies you already have, or if you’re new to crypto, trade your USD Euro or another fiat for Bitcoin, and then deposit it to Bittrex.
Which currencies does Bittrex accept?
As it’s been around for so long, Bittrex has accumulated quite the range of currencies. It includes over 190 different cryptocurrencies (but 0 fiat mind you) and is exchanged with one of the largest crypto in the entire industry.
It is a significant advantage for the exchange, especially for users who want to exchange the more obscure currencies, and it attracts many customers purely based on this fact.
One of the great things about Bittrex is straightforward, flat fees for all trading. Many exchanges have strategically confusing fee systems that are a hassle to work out, and thankfully this isn’t a problem with Bittrex. Unfortunately, this rate is 0.25%, which is higher than the industry standard.
So, if you’re trading in higher volumes, it might pay to shop around for an exchange that has lower fees for higher trading volumes. They also have no discounts for maker-taker transactions.
Customer Support and Blocked Accounts
It is the area that Bittrex seems to do the worst. With a pretty poor reputation for suspending accounts without rhyme, reason, or review. There are many negative reviews from people who have had accounts suspended, who report that customer support for these situations is abysmal. Its common knowledge that the loudest voices on the internet tend to be those with negative experiences, and Bittrex itself has spoken on this issue, reporting that only 0.1% of accounts will be affected by suspensions or bans.
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If you want to use the platform for their security measures, it seems that the danger of a banned account is the price to pay. If you run into any issues while using Bittrex, they have an extensive FAQ section that might prove useful, and they do offer customer support, but you’ll probably end up on your own.
Bitfinex pretty different from Bittrex in terms of reputation and operating. They don’t have a security system on the level of Bittrex since they were hacked and lost around 72 million USD worth of customer bitcoin. This event caused the platform to thoroughly review its security measures and are arguably much safer now, with some added upsides. The company also decided to make the bold decision to stop allowing US-based traders to use its platform, and after this happened in 2017 had to limit new funds to 10K USD storage. Let’s take an in-depth dive into Bitfinex, and see how it compares to other exchanges of its caliber.
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Is Bitfinex Safe?
Bitfinex has a pretty abysmal reputation for security, as mentioned before, however, after being hacked, the platform’s security measures were reviewed and improved. In their defense, all the lost money was returned to the victims, and no other security breaches have occurred since. In fact, since facing this steep learning curve, the company rivals Bittrex.
The new list of measures Bitfinex takes to keep its funds safe is a mile long, including two-factor authentication for all users, complying with AML and KYC regulation, the universal second factor, email encryption, and much more. It’s safe to say they have significantly improved their systems.
Bitfinex has a few key advantages over Bittrex when it comes to the user interface. Firstly, they have a great mobile app, something their rival doesn’t have at all, which many business customers require for ease and convenience. And second, they have a fully customizable user interface.
It is great since it allows users to personalize the site for exactly their needs. Whether you’re a new customer who wants to hide the more advanced options to maintain a cleaner, less confusing workspace, or a trader with specific needs, this is a perfect choice.
Which currencies does Bitfinex accept?
Bitfinex has a disadvantage in this area, however. Compared to Bittrex’s 190 plus available coins, their 35 plus pales. However, it’s essential to realize this is still a very high number in the industry since other exchanges only have a handful of currencies.
Bitfinex usefully allows fiat transactions, great for beginners. But if you’re comparing Bitfinex vs. Bittrex, Bittrex comes out on top.
Bitfinex offers a much better fee to its users than their rival. The maximum fee is 0.20% vs. Bittrex 0.25%. They also charge different fee rebates for takers vs makers.
A maker will fill transactions from the books, and a taker will add transactions, so makers are ultimately charged less. It is an attractive prospect for experienced crypto traders and is something Bittrex does not offer.
Bittrex or Bitfinex – Which is the Winner?
In conclusion, both exchanges are pretty reputable, legit, and traded at extremely high volumes daily. Both have attractive and unattractive features. Some might say that Bitfinex, after sorting out their security issues, is preferable. They offer a mobile app, allow fiat transactions, and better fees. But on the other hand, Bittrex has a tighter security blanket with a solid history and a massive array of cryptocurrencies on its platform.
All in all, it comes down to which features are preferable to you and your specific needs. However, either way, you’ll probably have a pleasant experience trading with both Bitfinex and Bittrex. Happy trading!