Bitfinex vs BitMEX: Which is Better in 2021?

Bitfinex and BitMEX are both giants of the cryptosphere. And, they are counted among the very few crypto exchange platforms that recognized the potential of crypto trading in its very initial phase. 

Both the exchanges offer unparalleled services in the crypto exchange market and offer a host of other advanced features, which makes trading cryptocurrencies effortless. 

However, you should note that both the exchange platforms are quite different and serve different purposes. And, many tend to miss this point.

Therefore, let’s compare both the exchanges to understand which exchange you should use and is a better option in 2020.

Following factors on which both the exchange platforms will be compared:

  1. Exchange use cases
  2. Leverage and trading pair available
  3. Trading fees
  4. Liquidity
  5. Order Types
  6. Trading platform
  7. Deposit limits and funding options
  8. Customer support

Bitfinex vs BitMEX Overview

Bitfinex was founded in 2012 and is one of the well-known crypto exchange platforms in the market and is a global liquidity provider.

It offers its services to all types of traders, including beginners, professional and institutional traders. In addition to this, it provides access to P2P financing, OTC market & margin trading for a wide range of digital assets. 

Founded in 2014, BitMEX is a leading P2P crypto derivatives platform, and it is the world’s largest bitcoin futures market by volume. It gets an average daily trading volume of over $2 billion, which is two-to-three times higher than its nearest competitor.

It offers up to 100X leverage on perpetual bitcoin swaps and up to 50X on futures contracts of other listed coins. 

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Exchange Use Case Comparison

Bitfinex, through its state of the art trading platform, offers full-featured spot trading, margin trading, and short-selling of major cryptocurrencies. 

Plus, with an option of the P2P margin funding market, it provides you a secure way of earning from digital assets other than trading. Under this feature, you can earn interest on fiat and crypto deposits by providing funding to traders who want to make leveraged trade.

BitMEX, on the other hand, only specializes in margin trading and offers futures contracts of some of the major cryptocurrencies and is settled in BTC. Verdict: BitFinex has an edge with its versatile platform that offers multiple earning avenues

Leverage and Trading Pair Comparison

Bitfinex allows leverage margin through its P2P margin funding market, allowing users to trade with up to 5X leverage. 

It offers margin trading on almost all the major cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, and many others. 

Whereas BitMEX offers perpetual swaps in three different cryptocurrencies, including  XTB, ETH, and XRP. And traditional futures contracts on eight different cryptocurrencies, including XTB, ETH, LTC, TRX, LTC, BCH, EOS, and ADA.

It offers up to 100X leverage on XTB perpetual and traditional futures contracts, up to 50X on the other two perpetual swaps and ETH traditional futures. And, for the rest of the traditional futures contract, you get up to 20X leverage except for the LTC futures contract, where it is 33.33X. Verdict: Though Bitfinex offers a wide range of trading pairs, it loses out of leverage comparison. BitMEX is way ahead in the race.

(Winner: BitMEX)

Trading Fees Comparison

Bitfinex follows a maker fee-taker fee pricing model. The charges are based on the last 30 days trading volume. It offers a maker rebate of 0.02% and charges a taker fee of 0.075% for traders having a trading volume of less than $1 million in the last 30 days. Higher the trading volume, the lower will be the trading fee. 

Further, all traders with LEO holding are eligible for a taker discount of up to 2bps. 

BitMEX also follows the maker fee-taker fee pricing model but has a flat-fee pricing structure. For all perpetual contracts and XTB traditional futures, it offers a maker rebate of 0.025% and charges a taker fee of 0.075%. And, for other coins in the traditional futures segment, it offers a maker rebate of 0.05% and charges a taker fee of 0.25%.

(Result: Tie)

Liquidity Comparison

Bitfinex is the most liquid spot exchange for BTC and ETH trading pairs in the cryptosphere. It gets an average daily trading volume of around $2 billion, in which it handles trades worth $600 million for BTCUSD pair only. With its deep liquidity, it allows traders to trade with confidence and has minimal slippage.

Bitfinex constantly updates its trading list by removing illiquid trading pairs. 

BitMEX is the world’s largest crypto derivative platform and gets around an average daily trading volume of $2 billion. Higher liquidity translates in minimum slippages and tighter spreads. 

However, in the past, there were allegations on BitMEX of inflating the trading volume figure, but it was never proved and the exchange also denied it.

(Winner: BitMEX)

Order Types Comparison

Bitfinex offers its users with eight different order types to make the most out of every market scenario. The different order types it offers are market, limit, stop, trailing stop, fill or kill, one cancels other (OCO), post only, and hidden order.

BitMEX also offers seven different order types to its users to make the most out of crypto futures trading. The different order types it offers are limit, market, stop-limit, stop-market, trailing stop, take profit limit, and take profit market order. Verdict: BitMEX order types are more useful in futures contracts trading

(Winner: BitMEX)

Trading Platform Comparison

Bitfinex offers its services on both the web-based platform and mobile application. It has a decent trading platform with charting features from Tradingview.com that supports advanced technical analysis, fully-transparent and easy to interpret order book, and current liquidity status widget.

The platform has a customizable interface that helps to organize and set up your workspace according to your preference.

Further, the order form, order position, order history is well-placed in the middle of the platform, which gives you the complete view and position of all your trades placed. The platform is suitable for both professional traders as well as beginners.

On the other hand, BitMEX offers a simple, intuitive, and only web-based trading platform. The platform features a vertically arranged order book, charting feature from Tradingview.com, depth chart, and recent trades. 

Despite the nice visual setting, BitMEX users encounter difficulty in analyzing the trade data due to excessive blinking and flashy order book. Further, BitMEX is integrated with two leading futures trading platforms, Ninja Trader and Sierra. All these factors make BitMEX less user-friendly among beginners. 

Deposit Limits and Funding Options Comparison

There are no deposit limits with Bitfinex, and you can fund your account via multiple cryptocurrencies. It also supports buying cryptocurrencies via debit and credit card, which makes it very user friendly.

Whereas, BitMEX being a fully crypto-centric platform, it supports funding only via five different cryptocurrencies, which include BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, and USDT. And, there are also no deposit limits.

Verdict: Bitfinex is the winner as it offers multiple funding options including fiat

Customer Support Comparison

Bitfinex has a 24/7 customer support team offering an email-based issue resolution system to its users. However, there is a huge lag in response time and can extend beyond 12 hours. 

In addition to this, it has a knowledge base section, which helps out users with common issues and also acts as a guide.

BitMEX also offers an email-based issue resolution system to its users, and also its response time is slow, ranging from a few couples of minutes to hours. 

Both the exchange has social media accounts on Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, where you can reach them for any query. Apart from this, Bitfinex has its community page called Pulse, where Bitfinex and its users share all the updates and experiences. 

(Result: Tie)

Final Words

Both the exchanges have their share of positives and negatives while one leads with a multifaceted trading platform and another with its specialized trading interface. 

And, as far as for crypto margin trading is concerned, BitMEX is a natural choice and way ahead of Bitfinex in terms of the offering. High leverage combined with deep liquidity, competitive trading fees, and stable trading platform, makes it a suitable choice for traders dealing in derivatives.

If you want to share any points or your experience, do write it in the comment box below.

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Jack Bailey

I am John, a veteran trader turned into a trading coach. Especially in the realm of cryptocurrency derivatives which is now booming and expected to grow big.