Bitmex vs ByBit Review: Which Crypto Margin Exchange Is Better?

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As the cryptocurrency space continues to grow, so does the number of crypto margin exchanges.

When choosing a cryptocurrency margin exchange, it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room: BitMEX.

However, how does it compare to newer alternatives like ByBit?

BitMEX vs ByBit

In this review, we compare BitMEX vs ByBit to help you decide which exchange you should trade at.

BitMEX vs ByBit Comparison Table

 BitMEXByBit
bitmex logobybit logo
Available contractsPerp. swaps and futuresPerp. swaps
Fees0.075% taker fee0.075% taker fee
Available coinsBTC, ETH, EOS, LTC, ADA, TRX, XRPBTC, ETH, EOS, XRP
KYC/AMLNo identity verificationNo identity verification
Excluded jurisdictionsUS citizens not allowedCitizens from USA and Singapore not allowed
Customer SupportFast response via email. Good help center.Quick response via email. Excellent help center.

Background

BitMEX was founded back in 2014 by an experienced group of traders. Today, with a daily trading volume of over $3 Billion, BitMEX is the most liquid Bitcoin futures exchange.

The exchange rose to popularity after offering its “perpetual swap” contract for Bitcoin. As the name suggests, the perpetual swap is a contract with no expiry date. 

The price of the perpetual swap is determined by an index price calculated from the average of 3 major Bitcoin spot exchanges, and funding fees incentivize market makers to keep the peg as tight as possible.

Although BitMEX offers futures contracts for several altcoins, including Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Cardano, the exchange only has perpetual swap contracts for Bitcoin and Ether.

ByBit is a significantly newer exchange than BitMEX, having been founded in 2018. However, with a daily average volume of over $850 Million, the margin exchange is quickly catching up with BitMEX.

Similarly to BitMEX, ByBit also offers up to 100x leverage for its Bitcoin perpetual swap contracts. That said, it differentiates itself significantly from BitMEX by also offering perpetual swap contracts for Ripple and EOS, in addition to Bitcoin and Ether.

Trading experience

Before diving into more technical details of the trading experience, it’s important to note that both BitMEX and ByBit do not allow US Citizens to use its platform. 

Although this rule is not enforced through an identity verification system, if any of the two exchanges suspect that a particular user is a US citizen then it will immediately close all positions and close the account.

Both exchanges have an excellent user interface that shows at a glance the price chart of your asset of choice, order book, recent trades, contract details and the interface to create a buy or sell order.

Further, in both exchanges, this interface can be easily customized by dragging and dropping elements. This is a small but valuable add-on that enables you to personalize your trading dashboard.

An important aspect of every crypto margin exchange is the liquidation process and insurance fund.

On a top-level, the liquidation process in BitMEX and ByBit is fairly similar: when the price gets close to the bankruptcy price, the exchange will automatically close the order. 

That said, ByBit has more checks in place to make the liquidation process more just. Namely, the fact that it uses a price that is very close to the bankruptcy price and also that it uses a dual-price mechanism to avoid liquidations caused by market manipulators.

If an order is liquidated, there is the possibility that it gets closed at a price lower than the bankruptcy price due to slippage. In those cases, in order to avoid auto deleveraging, most margin exchanges have an “insurance fund”.

Generally, the larger the insurance fund of a margin exchange is, the lower the probability is that your orders will be auto deleveraged in big price moves.

At the time of writing, the BitMEX insurance fund is worth 30,000+ BTC, while ByBit’s insurance fund only holds around 350 BTC.

Finally, a major advantage of ByBit over BitMEX is that it processes withdrawals at all times, while BitMEX only processes withdrawals at 13:00 UTC once every 24 hours.

BitMEX

  • Very large insurance fund to protect users
  • US Citizens not allowed
  • Withdrawals processed once every 24 hours

ByBit

  • Withdrawals all around the clock
  • Fairer liquidation process than on BitMEX
  • US Citizens not allowed

Available coins and contracts

BitMEX offers a combination of perpetual swaps and regular futures contracts. 

Although BitMEX only offers perpetual swaps for Bitcoin and Ethereum, it also offers futures for EOS, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Tron, and Ripple.

On the other hand, ByBit’s trading contracts offering is composed of perpetual swaps for Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, and Ripple.

So, although ByBit offers fewer coins overall, it offers perpetual swap contracts for coins that BitMEX does not.

In terms of leverage, both BitMEX and ByBit offer up to 100x leverage for the Bitcoin perpetual swap. All other contracts are capped at either 50x, 30x or 20x maximum leverage.

BitMEX

  • Most liquid Bitcoin trading pair in the world
  • Up to 100x leverage for Bitcoin
  • Perpetual swaps for only BTC and ETH

ByBit

  • Up to 100x leverage for Bitcoin
  • Perpetual swaps for BTC, ETH, EOS, and XRP
  • Only perpetual swaps, no regular futures

Trading fees

Both BitMEX and ByBit charge 3 types of fees: trading fees, withdrawal fees, and funding fees.

The trading fees of both BitMEX and ByBit consist of a 0.075% taker fee and -0.025% maker fee. So, when providing liquidity to the market through a maker order, the trader gets paid 0.025% of the order’s value.

Secondly, funding fees depend on current market conditions and it’s not possible to assign an average value to each exchange. You can check the current funding fees for BitMEX here and the current funding fees for ByBit here.

Finally, the withdrawal fees of both exchanges are also very competitive. BitMEX charges a fixed 0.001 BTC withdrawal fee and ByBit charges a fixed fee of 0.0005 BTC, 0.01 ETH, 0.25 XRP or 0.1 EOS, depending on the asset that you are withdrawing.

BitMEX

  •  -0.025% maker fee (you get paid)
  • 0.075% taker fee
  • Higher withdrawal fee than ByBit

ByBit

  • -0.025% maker fee (you get paid)
  • Low withdrawal fee (0.0005 BTC)
  • 0.075% taker fee

Security

BitMEX and ByBit both take security very seriously and neither has been compromised since their launch. 

That said, although both exchanges have never been hacked, BitMEX has been around for significantly longer than ByBit which makes its security systems much more battle-tested.

Further, by only processing withdrawals once per day, BitMEX can monitor suspicious activity in more detail which decreases security risks further.

Needless to say, the two exchanges enable their users to make use of advanced security settings like two-factor authentication, email verification, and IP whitelisting.

BitMEX

  •  Battle-tested security
  • Manually monitors every withdrawal
  • Optional 2FA, email verification and IP whitelisting available

ByBit

  • Optional 2FA, email verification and IP whitelisting available
  • Exchange still relatively new and security not battle-tested

Customer support and education

Cryptocurrency exchanges are not precisely known for their great customer support. With exchanges like Coinbase often taking days to reply to a support inquiry.

However, BitMEX and ByBit challenge that status quo. Both exchanges have an excellent help center and also a highly qualified support team that quickly resolves support tickets.

Although it’s hard to pronounce a clear winner on the customer support front, BitMEX sets itself apart by also creating extremely valuable research reports about the crypto ecosystem as part of its “BitMEX Research” initiative.

BitMEX

  •  Fast and competent customer support
  • Excellent research resources
  • Good help center

ByBit

  •  Relatively fast customer support
  • Excellent help center
  • No social media support

Bottom line: Bitmex vs Bybit

Ultimately, the exchange that works best for you depends on your individual needs as a trader, and the features that you emphasize as important for you. With that in mind, we’ll briefly summarize the two to help with your decision. 

Trust in a company is important in any industry, particularly when money is concerned. Fortunately, both BitMEX and ByBit have done an excellent job of maintaining that trust—for the most part.

Neither BitMEX or ByBit have ever been hacked or compromised, while customer funds have always been protected by robust security procedures in addition to the healthy insurance fund operated by both platforms.

However, back in November 2019, BitMEX did suffer a data leak that saw the email addresses of more than 30,000 users revealed. This was actually the result of an employee error, rather than a deliberate breach, but nonetheless needs to mentioned.

Comparatively, ByBit is a relative newcomer to the cryptocurrency trading scene, having launched in March 2018. Because of this, it can be argued that it isn’t as battle-tested as BitMEX. 

As by far the largest cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform in operation, BitMEX does benefit from excellent liquidity for all of its contracts.

In terms of volume, BitMEX’s XBT/USD perpetual racks up well over $1 billion in 24-hour trade volume, whereas its other contracts are also highly liquid, with even its lowest volume contract (ETHZ19) seeing over $1 million traded each day.

Although ByBit isn’t quite as popular as BitMEX, it’s certainly no slouch in terms of daily trade volume. As of writing, ByBit achieves close to $1 billion in 24-hour trade volume for its BTC/USD perpetual, whereas its other contracts typically achieve around $50 to $100 million in daily volume. 

Looking at the available crypto assets to trade on each platform, we find that ByBit offers perpetual contracts for Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS and XRP. Each asset is natively supported by the platform, which means ByBit contracts are sold and bought in the same cryptocurrency tracked by the contract.

BitMEX, on the other hand, trades and settles all its contracts in BTC. This means that the exchange platform technically only supports deposits and withdrawals in BTC, despite the fact that it offers contracts for Bitcoin and seven other altcoins.

This can be a confusing concept for new traders, since BitMEX is one of the few platforms to do it this way.

This isn’t the only confusing thing about BitMEX either. The platform was clearly designed with more advanced traders in mind and has a rather cluttered, clunky user interface that has a Windows 98 aesthetic to it.

With that said, BitMEX does compensate for its dated UX by providing a variety of guides and a solid FAQ that should help less experienced users navigate the platform.

On the flip side, ByBit was clearly designed with beginner traders in mind and features a bright, modern user interface that makes navigation simple. Beyond this, the platform features a wide variety of helpful tooltips that explain any potentially confusing tools, buttons, and features.

Despite this, ByBit still maintains a wide range of advanced trading tools, ensuring experienced traders aren’t left wanting. 

Overall, both BitMEX and ByBit are highly capable platforms that are well worth considering.

BitMEX clearly has the edge in terms of liquidity, but ByBit is the more user-friendly of the two, because of this, we’re edging towards ByBit for less experienced traders, while hardcore traders will likely appreciate the industrial feel of BitMEX.

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