Deribit vs BitMEX: Which One is Better in 2020?

BitMEX or Deribit, for any trader the choice is difficult, as both are equally good options and are the leading derivatives exchange platform for trading cryptos.

Both these exchanges are operating since when cryptocurrency trading was itself in its initial stage. And, both these exchanges have come a long way, setting standards for other crypto exchanges and helping traders to make profitable trades in the crypto derivative segment.

While these two exchanges have a similar style of operation and offer similar products, they are very different from each other. In this guide, we will compare both these exchanges and find out which offers the best trading experience.

The following factors will be considered while comparing both the exchanges:

  • Leverage & trading pairs available
  • Trading fees
  • Liquidity 
  • Trading platform
  • Order Types 
  • Funding option and Payout
  • Security Features 
  • Customer Support
  • Countries Supported

Let’s get started with a quick overview of both the platforms.

BitMEX VS Deribit Overview 2020

Features Deribit BitMEX
Lowest Trading Fee No (0.075%) No (0.075%)
Highest Leverage Yes (100x BTC & ETH only) Yes (20-100X, multiple assets)
Aggregated Liquidity Yes No
Customizable UI Yes No
Sign-up Bonus No Yes (10% Fee rebate)
Sign-up Link Trade Now Trade Now

Founded in 2014, BitMEX or Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange is a P2P cryptocurrency derivative exchange platform. It is the world’s largest bitcoin futures market by volume and gets an average daily trading volume of $2 billion. It offers up to 100X leverage on bitcoin futures contracts and up to 50X on futures contracts of other cryptocurrencies.

Launched in June 2016, Deribit’s name is derived from the combination of initials of two words “derivatives” and “bitcoin”. It offers perpetual, futures and options in bitcoin and Ethereum. It has the world’s fastest trade matching engine with a latency of less than 1 millisecond.

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Leverage and Trading Pair Comparison

BitMEX offers perpetual swaps in Bitcoin (XBT), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).  It also offers 8 different traditional futures contracts in Bitcoin (XBT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), EOS, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Tron (TRX).

It offers leverage of up to 100X on XBT perpetual and traditional futures contracts, 50X on ETH perpetual, and traditional futures contracts.

For XRP perpetual swaps and LTC traditional futures, the leverage offered is up to 50X and 33.33X respectively. And, on other coins, the leverage offered is up to 20X. Deribit offers perpetual swaps, traditional futures, and options only in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

For Bitcoin perpetual, it offers leverage of up to 100X and for an option contract, the leverage offered is up to 10X. BitMEX is having an edge over Deribit in both, availability of different trading pairs and leverage. 

(Winner: BitMEX)

Trading Fees Comparison

BitMEX has a maker-taker fee model with a flat fee pricing structure for both of its offerings, perpetual swaps, and traditional futures contracts.

For all perpetual swaps and BTC futures contracts, it offers a maker rebate of 0.025% and charges a taker fee of 0.075%.

And, for other coins, the maker rebate is 0.05% and a taker fee is 0.25%

Deribit also has a maker-taker fee model. Following are the trading fee of different contract types:

  • BTC perpetual and futures has a market rebate of 0.025% and a taker fee of 0.075%
  • ETH perpetual and futures have a market rebate of 0% and a taker fee of 0.05%
  • For BTC and ETH Options, it charges a 0.04% of the underline or 0.0004BTC/ option contract. The fee will never be higher than 12.5% of the contract value.

Verdict: Both the platforms have a little variation in trading fees and at par with each other.

(Result: Tie)

Liquidity Comparison 

While selecting an exchange, always pay close attention to the past 30-day liquidity figures. For placing a successful trade, a lot depends on the liquidity in the platform.

BitMEX is the largest crypto derivative platform in the world, with an average daily volume of more than $2 billion. Higher liquidity translates in a lower risk of slippage (trade executed at given quote) and tighter spreads. In the past, there were allegations of BitMEX inflating liquidity numbers but it was never proved.

Whereas, Deribit lacks this market dept. On average, its 30-day average trading volume is less than $200 million, which is quite less. Verdict: In this comparison, BitMEX is the clear winner as Deribit lags by a huge margin. 

(Winner: BitMEX)

Trading Platform Comparison

BitMEX has a fast UI but lags on several fronts. Like the platform is prone to outages due to overload, login issues, single UI for all types of traders (beginners to professionals) which marks down the trading experience.

One more disadvantage of BitMEX is, it does not have its native mobile application, which severely impacts the trader’s ability to place trade while on the go.

Whereas, Deribit has a proprietary trading platform and claims to be the fastest exchange in the industry. Its trade matching engine has a latency of fewer than 1 milliseconds, which signifies ultra-fast trade execution and has less downtime.

Recently, Deribit has completed a major platform upgrade, which has significantly enhanced the scalability of the platform and improved order matching algorithm.

Deribit provides the option to trade via web, mobile, or via the API. Verdict: In this factor, Deribit has a clear edge over BitMEX with its highly stable and scalable platform. 

(Winner: Deribit)

Order Types Comparison

BitMEX offers seven different order types to make the most out of crypto futures trading on its platform. It offers limit order, market order, stop-limit order, stop-market order, trailing stop order, take profit limit order, and take-profit market order. 

Whereas Deribit offers only four different types of order, limit order, market order, stop market order, and stop-limit order. 

(Winner: BitMEX)

Funding option and Payout Comparison

As compared to traditional futures, which comes with a fixed expiration date. perpetual swaps have no expiration. Therefore, BitMEX calculates funding payout every 8 hours. It calculates the contract’s traded price vs the spot price.

If it is trading at a premium, long traders pay the short trader, and if trading at discount, short traders pay the long traders. 

Whereas, in Deribit, the funding payout calculation happens every 24 hours, but the calculation of premium and discounts happens continuously. The moment you enter a trade, you are either making or receiving payments as the contract price deviates from the spot price.

In BitMEX, anyone can enter a trade anytime, even right before the calculation. Therefore, the adjustment mechanism is not very smooth. But, Deribit’s adjustment mechanism is very smooth.

(Result: Tie)

Privacy & Security Features Comparison

BitMEX does not require its users to complete KYC or identity verification to access their trading platform or to make deposits and withdrawals. Therefore, it supports full anonymity.

In regards to security features, BitMEX follows the best security practices to safeguard its platform and its users. They offer offline wallet storage and multi-signature deposit and withdrawal schemes. And, each withdrawal request is audited by two BitMEX employees to guarantee its authenticity. 

In terms of platform security, it uses Amazon Web Services world-class security system. Its trading engine is coded kdb+, a database used by major banks to support their high-frequency trading.

In Deribit, to prevent illegal activities, it has two different KYC levels (Level 0 & 1). Level 0 requires basic information and Level 1 requires proof of your identification. Level 1 KYC is required for portfolio margining. 

In terms of security, the platform has incorporated 2 FA for all its users, 95% of the fund is held in cold storage. Further, it uses the IP pinning method as an additional security measure to identify the change in IP address during a session. Verdict: Both exchanges follow the industry best practices and have a robust platform but in terms of privacy, BitMEX is the winner as it supports anonymity. 

(Winner: BitMEX)

Customer Support

BitMEX offers email-support ( in 5 major international languages), Wechat, Twitter, Weibo, and Telegram (Russian). It also has a PGP communication channel, which is a fully encrypted channel for communicating sensitive issues.

It also has a FAQ page, explaining all their products, services, and key issues in detail. 

The Deribit team can be contacted via email, Telegram, and Twitter. The Deribit website is available in seven major international languages. It also has an FAQ page discussing all the common key issues and a YouTube channel that contains explanatory videos. Verdict: Both exchanges have good and responsive customer support service.

(Result: Tie)

Conclusion

In this comparison guide, BitMEX has a clear edge over Deribit, in terms of the number of trading pairs available, trading experience, and availability of liquidity. The three most crucial factors for traders to look after before choosing an exchange. 

Deribit is also a good and robust platform, but the issue of low liquidity in the platform is a major issue, as you never know when a trade will get filled or not. Whereas, in BitMEX, order size is not a matter due to huge liquidity availability and trades are filled instantaneously.

And, also crypto traders want anonymity, which Deribit fails to ensure because of its KYC policy.

However, you should choose an exchange that suits your needs. If you have any questions or want to share your experience, 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.