FTX vs BitMEX: Which Is Better For Crypto Derivatives Trading ?

FTX and BitMEX are the leading crypto derivatives trading platforms in the market, but they are quite different in terms of product offerings and services. 

BitMEX has revolutionized the entire crypto derivatives segment and was one of the first exchanges to offer margin trading. It enjoys the first-mover advantage in the market. 

On the other hand, FTX, a new-age crypto exchange, has introduced depth in the market by bringing in a wide range of innovative trading products and has made it easier for users to trade in crypto derivatives.

In this blog, we will understand both the exchange and check which one is better.

FTX vs. BitMEX: A Comprehensive Review

FTX was founded in 2018 by Sam Bankman-Fried, a veteran trader at Jane Street Capital, and Gary Wang, an ex-Google executive. 

The exchange is backed by Alamanda Research, a leading liquidity provider to crypto exchanges and several other leading crypto VC firms, including Binance.

 

BitMEX, also known as Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, is a peer-to-peer crypto derivative platform co-founded by Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Ben Delo in 2014 from Hong Kong.

The platform has highly liquid markets globally, and its XBT/USD perpetual swap contract is the most traded derivative product in the market of all time.

FTX vs BitMEX: Product Offering & Leverage

FTX offers to trade in a wide range of crypto derivatives products, this includes:

  • Futures Allows trading in over 150 perpetual and quarterly expiry futures contracts. 
  • Leveraged Tokens: Allows to take leveraged positions in 45 ERC-20 tokens with a maximum leverage of 3x on both directions
  • Options: BTC options contract- settled to USD
  • MOVE: FTX’s innovative industry-first Bitcoin futures contract comes with daily, weekly, and quarterly expiry. The MOVE contracts represent the absolute value of the amount a product moves in a period. The MOVE contract expires to the absolute value of the difference between the TWAP value of the first hour of the trade and the last.

FTX offers maximum leverage of up to 101X. However, you need to set your default leverage level (50X, 100X, 101X) based on your trading preference and risk appetite. 

 

BitMEX offers to trade in Perpetual Contracts, Traditional Futures, and Quanto Futures. The Perpetual Contract segment offers trading in 13 different markets, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, etc., all settled in USD. 

While in the Traditional Futures and Quanto Futures market, you can trade in 8 different markets, including all leading cryptocurrencies. 

The maximum leverage of up to 100X is offered on XBT/USD (Perp) and XBT/USD (Traditional) contracts. Whereas, on the rest of the futures contracts, the leverage offered ranges between 50X-20X.

Winner: FTX offers a wide range of trading product and higher leverage

FTX vs. BitMEX: Trading Fees

FTX has a tiered fee structure for all futures markets, based on the last 30-day trading volume. The fee structure is divided into six levels (Tier 1-6).

The initial level (Tier 1) with a cumulative trading 30-day trading volume of less than $2,000,000 has a maker fee of 0.020% and a taker fee of 0.07%.

For the last level (Tier 6), with a cumulative 30-day trading volume of greater than $50,000,000, it has a nil maker fee, and the taker fee is 0.04%. 

For using the leverage of 50X, you have to pay an additional 0.02% on the trading fee, while 100X or higher increases the trading fee by 0.03%. The increased trading fee is not applicable on BTC-Perp and ETH-Perp. 

FTT token holders are offered a discount on trading fees.

BitMEX has a flat fee rate structure. It offers a maker rebate of 0.025% to market makers and charges 0.075% as a taker fee from all market takers.

Winner: BitMEX has a lower trading fee. 

FTX vs BitMEX: Trading Platform

FTX has an institutional-grade trading platform that incorporates top-class features like deep liquidity and order book, charting system from tradingview, unlimited withdrawal, multiple order types, and a state-of-the-art liquidation engine. 

The liquidation engine uses intelligent and efficient values to manage the liquidation process and close position before it becomes negative. It sends warnings to users to close open positions if the maintenance margin falls below 4.5%

Order types include limit, market, stop-market, stop-limit, trailing stop, take-profit, and take-profit limit.

 

BitMEX’s trading platform is unique and first of its kind. The platform is written in kdb+, a database used by major banks in high-frequency trading applications, and has a clean interface, which can be changed according to the user preference.

The platform includes a charting system by tradingview, depth chart, order book, advanced order type capability, and trade monitoring window. 

BitMEX uses auto-deleveraging that enables closing positions even in a volatile market. 

Winner: Both exchanges have stable and responsive trading platforms with adequate risk-management tools. 

FTX vs. BitMEX: Account Opening Process

FTX has a pretty simple and easy to get through account opening process, but it offers only limited non-verified account status services. It allows withdrawing only up to $1,000 in the lifetime of the account. 

For greater access to the platform, you need to complete the full-identity verification and other required KYC procedures mandated by the exchange. 

BitMEX, too, requires its users to complete the detailed user verification process that includes uploading a photo ID, proof of address, taking a selfie, and answering a few questions about the source of funds. 

Winner: Both platforms have an easier account opening process. 

FTX vs BitMEX: Security Features

Security is the foremost and most important factor in a crypto exchange. The security features in FTX includes:

  • Mandatory password strength and 2FA requirement
  • 2FA for login, withdrawals, and changing password
  • Withdrawal lock after 2FA removal or password change
  • SSL encryption, whitelisting IP address, and wallet addresses
  • Subaccount function restricts login access on other devices with configurable permissions

The security features incorporated into the BitMEX platform are:

  • Multi-sig deposit and withdrawal scheme and all storage is kept offline
  • Manual audit and approval of all withdrawal request by two BitMEX employees
  • Uses Amazon Web Services for system security
  • PGP encryption for all automated mail communication to keep communications secure

Winner: Both exchanges ensure their platform has top-of-the-line security features

FTX vs. BitMEX: Customer Support

FTX has multiple channels through which you can connect to the customer support team. It includes:

  • Email support 
  • File a support ticket
  • Dedicated FTX Telegram communities for 13 countries
  • Various social media channels

BitMEX provides help and support in five languages (English, Chinese, Russian, Korean, and Japanese) through email support. You can also refer to the knowledge base and FAQs for commonly encountered issues.

 

Winner: FTX has a wide range of options to connect to the customer support team

Conclusion: Which is Better?

Both the exchanges stand out to be a good trading platform for crypto derivatives. But, FTX has an advantage here in terms of a wide range of product offerings and customer support. 

Therefore, if you are looking to start trading in the crypto derivatives segment and are completely new to the segment, you can consider FTX. The ability to set the default leverage level will lower the risks associated with crypto derivatives trading.

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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.