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Hitbtc.com Review 2019 – Pros and Cons of Trading on Hitbtc
- anonymous accounts
- intuitive interface
- more than 50 cryptocurrencies supported
- multi-language chat / trollbox
- relatively low fees
- strong security
- Demo interface is not fluid
- Difficult and time consuming verification process
- Lack of a mobile app
- Shady structure
- Slow withdrawals
This page is also available in: 日本語
HitBTC is an exchange based in Estonia, founded by Dave Merrill, which has been operating since late 2013. It started as a joint venture between developers, expert traders and finance professionals with a €6 million funding.
The company is focused in the Estonian, and the European market in general, but it offers its services anywhere that rigorous enough AML/CFT laws are enforced. According to Coinmarketcap, the daily trading volume on HitBTC is roughly 28,000 BTC.
Using The Site: Signing Up
Few exchanges have simpler signup processes: you just need to provide an email address and set a password. There are minimal requirements for the latter, while for the former even temporary email services are valid.
Verification is not mandatory unless you want to trade with fiat. After registering, you receive a General account with unlimited cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals.
Using The Site: Funding Your Account
The range of accepted payment methods is limited, including only SEPA and wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies.
In order to be able to transact with fiat, users must verify their accounts by providing proof of their identity, residence and ownership over the bank accounts they will use to move funds. A complete list of the required documents and data is available here, which you must submit via email to the compliance manager.
Verification takes no less than 3 business days. After a successful outcome, customer’s limits are set to 2,000 €/$ per week and 10,000 €/$ per month. If any particular user deems higher limits necessary, he can contact HitBTC via email and request his status to be raised to Qualified.
If a user transfers more than his allowed limits, the money will be credited in parts, in successive weeks after all the funds are added to his account. A user can alternatively contact customer support and request a full refund if he is not happy with such policy.
Fees depend on the amount deposited and the currency used. For EUR, there is a flat fee of €5 for deposits of less than €50,000, and 1% after that. Fees for customers using USD are simpler, with 1% charged regardless of the sum (limits: minimum – $6, maximum – $45).
Deposits in digital currencies are unlimited and incur in no fees. Besides Bitcoin, more than 50 altcoins are accepted at the moment.
Withdrawals also generate fees which condition the minimum amount that can be retrieved from HitBTC. For cryptocurrencies only the respective network fee is charged, while fiat withdrawals come with a 2% fee (€30 flat fee for deposits of less than €50,000).
Using The Platform: Trading
HitBTC offers the following type of orders: market, good-til-canceled, good-til-date/time, day, immediate-or-cancel and fill-or-kill. The site also offers a wide range of trading pairs and support for EUR, USD, Bitcoin and more than 50 altcoins including some of the most popular ones (Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash).
There is a demo interface which allows newcomers to test the site and their API without compromising real money. We tried using it but it did not work as expected as it failed to load the data.
Anything related to trading is listed under the exchange tab. The first that can be found is a chart, displayed at the top right-most side of the page. The user can switch from a native HitBTC chart to a TradingView one; both offer a high degree of interactivity and customizability.
Under the chart (or further below, depending on the screen size of the device), there are two boxes for buying and selling with the current pair. Opening an order is as simple as choosing the desired type, filling the parameters and clicking a button to actually place it.
Near those boxes there is a third one containing a list of all the orders the user has placed. Such orders are classified in active, closed or filled, and trades. Active orders can be managed from this tab, offering the possibility of editing or closing them.
An order book for the current pair is also presented and a trollbox with rooms in more than 10 languages included.
To the date, the site does not offer margin trading, but a recent blog entry indicates that they are working on having the feature up and running.
Using The Site: Mobile Phones
Currently there is no in-house app offered by HitBTC nor do they support third-party platforms such as MetaTrader. The site is responsive to some extent, so users can still access and trade from their phones with some difficulties.
Security On HitBTC
Security is an important concern for HitBTC as their support team has publicly stated more than once in different forums over the net.
The first step towards a secure environment is 2FA for accounts, the extra security layer is offered separately to protect both login and withdrawals. Besides the chance of adding a second step for signing in, HitBTC keeps a login history where all his connections are shown to the user and, notifies via email of logins from new IPs.
While emails are not encrypted, email verifications are sent after a withdrawal is requested and a confirmation is required to proceed. The data within the site does travel encrypted as HTTPS is available through the site.
The database is backed up daily, as a measure of caution against any eventual damage or loss. HitBTC also has a bounty program, which perhaps is not too appealing to anyone that is not already a customer of them (or interested in becoming one).
There are also cold wallets to store the coins, many of them for each of the supported crypto currencies. Perhaps, no public information is disclosed about those wallets and their addresses remain unknown.
HitBTC has not been hacked so far, which suggests that their security scheme does actually work. Some users have claimed that their accounts have been hacked regardless of having 2FA enabled, perhaps it would be difficult to tell if the accusations are legit or not.
User Experience With HitBTC
The interface is intuitive, responsive and easy-to-use, friendly with trading newbies but complex enough for advanced traders. The demo page seems to be experiencing problems, at least by the time we tried it.
The withdrawal process is known to be slow, and many claims about fund retention and scamming have been raised.
Customer support is available through three different channels: a forum that operates in business hours (where the support team tries to address issues within a day), a support email and a ticket system. There is also a FAQ, which is not too comprehensive but covers most topics with enough detail.
- Anonymous accounts.
- Intuitive interface.
- More than 50 cryptocurrencies supported.
- Multi-language chat / trollbox.
- Relatively low fees.
- Strong security.
- Demo interface is not fluid.
- Difficult and time consuming verification process.
- Lack of a mobile app.
- Shady structure.
- Slow withdrawals.
HitBTC is a good alternative for casual traders, people with no need to move their money frequently in and out. It is also an option for altcoin enthusiasts, as it lists more than 50 currencies. Investors wanting good volumes and agile movements will definitively find better places to go.