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BitMex.com Review – Pros and Cons of Trading on BITMEX 2019
Now for New Accounts: 10% fee discount for the first 6 months!
- high volume
- high leverage
- full package of order types
- good customer support
- major altcoins tradable
- high security
- supports anonymity
- Restricted for US traders
This page is also available in: 日本語
About the Company
Bitmex.com is one of the largest Bitcoin trading sites in the world, founded in 2014 by Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed and Ben Delo. The Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange has gained more and more popularity over the last few years. In summer 2018 the daily trading volume surpassed, believe it or not, 1 million BTC, and as of autumn 2019, the peak 24h trading volume can even reach 5 million USD.
There is one major difference to many other Bitcoin trading sites: It only accepts deposits in Bitcoin, no USD wire transfers or other fiat money deposits. Bitmex.com is specialized in sophisticated financial operations based on margin trading, which is trading with leverage. It’s also considered to be the number one trading platform for so-called “whales” – people who hold positions worth millions of USD daily.
The platform is not only known for its big players but also record-breaking margin call liquidations with the single biggest worth more than $100 million. Unfortunately, being so popular has its consequences, which might lead to some significant controversies. One of them concerned U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission investigating BitMEX. As a result, if you are a resident or citizen of the U.S, the province of Québec in Canada, or Hong Kong, among others, you are not allowed to use the platform.
Above all, the most significant BitMEX controversy up to date was a recent mass email leak, which resulted in an accidental public share of the whole BitMEX email database. The bad news is even more impactful if we consider that for many customers, the leaked BitMEX email addresses can be probed to gain access to other exchanges.
How to Trade Bitcoin on BitMEX
Total Beginner? If you’re completely new to the kind of margin trading BitMEX offers, our more in-depth guide for beginners about BitMEX Bitcoin Trading might be helpful for you. This post explains the BitMEX trading concept from scratch for trading beginners, if you have no clue at all how you should use the platform and it’s orders section.
First, we have to click on the “Register” button. This will take us to the next page asking for email, password, name and country.
Create An Anonymous Account?
Please note: Formerly, at this point we had stated that at BitMEX you could create an anonymous account, which wouldn’t have any connection to your real name, in case you used an anonymous e-mail address for this purpose. But this might have lead to a bit of a misleading information, so we want to make this point more correct this information.
The point is that technically you can do so – creating an account with a fake name and dedicated email address just for this account, but this isn’t recommended as it is against BitMEX’s terms of service and in case they spontaneously ask for an ID you have a problem with that account.
Using an email address you don’t use anywhere else, on the other hand, absolutely makes sense, for data privacy reasons. You might have heard the recent email leak story about BitMEX, when they accidentally sent a campaign and forgot to set the other recipients on bcc in the “to:” field. That way thousands of email addresses were spread among the users who got this email.
As many people used an email address on BitMEX that contains their real name, like email@example.com, they are now of course exposed as BITMEX customers. This can be avoided if you use an extra email address that doesn’t contain your name. Still, you should insert your real name at sign up on BitMEX, not to violate their terms of service.
If you want to use the service without possible limitations, you might be asked to provide genuine information from your ID documents, as any suspicious activity might lead to an account freeze. That can prevent you from withdrawing any funds and immediately liquidating your positions. Please keep in mind that BitMEX operates as a peer-to-peer platform, and the ID verification can be only submitted on a per request basis.
After registration you will receive an email to confirm your sign up, don’t forget to click the confirmation link.
How to Navigate:
This is the main screen. On the left side, there is a panel where you can place an order, check your current position and see contract details. (We’ll be back on that later). In the central platform area the BTC deposit address of your account is placed (BitMEX only accepts deposits in BTC). On the top right, you can access your account & security options, where you can set a two-factor authentication.
On top in the middle, the other cryptos which you can trade on Bitmex.com are displayed as tabs. Your trading history is on the bottom of the platform interface, with the current positions on the first tab and the active orders on the third:
The arrangement of those widgets within your account can be changed by clicking on the button placed right on the top bar (to switch from basic to advanced display). This gives you full control of what you want to display.
Contracts / Trading Products
Perpetual SWAPs: On BitMEX you can trade 3 different derivatives products. Perpetual swaps, which are similar to futures contracts but without settlement date, so they stay open till the trader decides to close them.
Bitcoin Futures: The Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange is one of the few Bitcoin margin trading brokers offering real Bitcoin Futures contracts as well. BitMEX futures contracts are denominated as XBTZ19 and XBTH20. You can read the details about those products within the “contracts” section on the website.
Options: The third type of trading product the cryptocurrency margin broker offers has been added to the platform in 2018: Upside & Downside Profit Contracts. Those are basically call and put options. Pro traders rather use those to get an impression of market sentiment. For trading they are highly risky and really difficult to understand in detail, especially for people who’ve never traded options. Traders who enjoy to gamble might be interested in such instruments.
How To Make A Deposit/Withdrawal:
To make a deposit, select “Account” in the top bar and then “Deposit” within the drop down menu. This will open a QR Code window to complete the transaction.
BitMEX only accepts deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin. If you don’t own Bitcoins yet, you have to purchase them in another exchange. To make a withdrawal, you have to insert the amount and BTC address to complete the transfer.
How To Analyze The Graphs
For each currency pair which they support, Bitmex provides a chart section with a lot of features, making the traders who enjoy graphical analysis as happy as they can be.
You can see the bitcoin chart on the advanced interface; you can expand it, leaving only the left panel visible or even create a new window for it:
The chart section offers all tools you need to analyze the price action. You can set different time periods, change the type (line, candlesticks, and more), apply several indicators on it (in this example, we have Bollinger Bands, and EMA applied on the chart, and Chaikin Money Flow under the graph).
How To Place An Order On BitMEX
After your deposit is confirmed by the Bitcoin network, you arrange the trading platform widgets according to your personal preferences and make chart analysis with the tools available; finally you will be able to actually place orders on the BitMEX.com trading platform.
You Can Use Several Order Types:
- Limit (the order is fulfilled if the given price is achieved);
- Market (the order is executed at current market price);
- Stop Limit (like a stop order, but allows you to set the price of the Order once your Stop Price is triggered);
- Stop Market (this is a stop order that does not enter the order book, remain unseen until the market reaches the trigger);
- Trailing Stop (It is similar to a Stop Market order, but here you set a trailing value that will be used to placing the market order);
- Take Profit Limit (this can be used, similarly to a Stop Order, to set a target price on a position. In this case, you want to gain, and not to cut your losses);
- Take Profit Market (same as the previous type, but in this case, the order triggered will be a market order, and not a limit one)
Where To Check Your Orders And Current Position
All your orders can be easily viewed in the trading platform interface. There are tabs where you can select your Active Orders, see the Stops placed, check the Orders Filled (total or partially) and the history log. On the Active Orders and Stops tabs, you can cancel any order that you want, by clicking the “cancel” button.
You can also see all your currently open positions, with an analysis if it is in the black or red.
How BitMEX.com Price Is Calculated
The BitMEX .BXBT price is tracked every minute, and it’s a fully composite index with the price being calculated from multiple sources. As for now, the platform is using data from nine different exchanges: Bitstamp, Binance, Bittrex, Gemini, Coinbase, Huobi, Itbit, Kraken, and Poloniex.
The index price is calculated and published every 5 seconds as a weighted average of the last known price from each exchange. Does it mean that the price on this platform is similar to other exchanges at all times? It depends. As BitMEX enables its users to use high leverage, sometimes liquidations might lead to short, noticeable price differences despite the controlled liquidation process implemented by the platform, both on the long and short side.
How To Use The BitMEX Leverage Section
Hint: DO NOT USE leverage if you are a beginner. Bitcoin Margin Trading is only recommended for experienced traders, because of the risk of higher losses. You should really know what you are doing when lending money for bigger positions.
The broker platform allows its traders to leverage their position. Leverage is the ability to place orders that are bigger than your current wallet balance. This could lead to a higher profit in comparison when placing an order with only your wallet balance. Trading in such conditions is called “Margin Trading.”
Inside margin trading, you have two sub-types: Isolated and Cross-Margin. The latter type of trading should be made with extreme caution because you can lose all your wallet money, and not only the money used to place the order. In the first type, you can select the amount of your wallet you want to use to hold your position after the order is placed.
On BitMEX trading platform you can set your leverage level by using the leverage slider.
We have to say that for total beginners using the platform can be a bit tricky since the system works differently to other broker platforms. Therefore we’ve created an in-depth beginners guide for how to actually use it. On BitMEX, different to other brokers, you generally always trade on margin, no matter if you choose leverage or not. Our beginners guide shall help you understand why that is.
Another useful guide we’ve written is one particularly about margin trading strategies to use in BitMEX.
Margin Trading Fees:
The taker fee is 0.075% which gets multiplied with the leverage. So 10x leverage would cost 0.75% fees.
Critics Of Bitmex
BitMEX is one of the most controversial trading platforms out there, with many advocates as well as critics. It’s mostly known as the world’s biggest “casino” as trading with high leverage can result in significant gains or loses within seconds.
That being said, most of the negative opinions come from inexperienced traders who lost all their funds. As the platform is suitable for large position trades, can experience liquidations over $100 million while offering iceberg orders, trading in such an environment can be quite challenging, especially if you plan to scalp or day-trade. Therefore, the platform is only recommended to knowledgeable and experienced traders with a high-risk tolerance.
The biggest BitMEX controversy to date is the significant email leak that happened in the first week of November 2019. During that time, most of the platform users received an email that informed them about upcoming changes to the weighting of platform indices. Still, because of mistake, everyone could see other user’s addresses in the “To:” field. Because the email was intended to every BitMEX customer, the majority, if not all, emails were leaked.
On this reddit page you find some criticism and opinions about Bitmex, so be aware of brokers having up and downsides and always some unsatisfied customers as well.
The BitMEX.com platform has a “References” section which covers any questions from a platform overview up to detailed explanation and examples of each order type or trading fees.
I hope this overview helps you to get started quickly on BitMEX.com Bitcoin trading site!