Bybit Review: Is it a good BitMEX alternative?

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In this Bybit review, we compare the pros and cons of this new bitcoin futures exchange.

We have extensively used Bybit and our goal in this guide is to help you decide if the exchange is a good fit for you.

Bybit review: main features

Trading FeesCoinsKYCMax leverage
0.075% taker fee and 0.025% maker rebate.BTC, ETH, XRP and EOSNo100x for BTC and 50x for altcoins.

What exactly is Bybit?

bybit logoBybit is a relatively new cryptocurrency exchange that focuses on cryptocurrency derivatives, offering Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and EOS trading against the US Dollar (USD). 

PROS

  • Up to 100x leverage
  • Multiple supported cryptocurrencies
  • No KYC required
CONS

  • US citizens not accepted
  • Less coins available than on BitMEX

Founded in March 2018 and registered in the British Virgin Islands, the founding team of Bybit is comprised of blockchain investors and financial executives, as well as research and development professionals.

The exchange has headquarters located in Singapore and operational offices located in Hong Kong. Unlike most cryptocurrency exchanges, Bybit focuses on leveraged trading and perpetual contracts, allowing traders to both short and long different cryptocurrencies, and multiply their market exposure to the market.

Bybit serves clients all over the world, offering its services to practically all major countries, except the US and Singapore. As of writing this Bybit exchange review, the exchange had a reported $1B+ in daily trade volume according to Coincodex. The most liquid pair is BTC/USD and its least liquid one is EOS/USD.

volume

Bybit offers 4 perpetual swaps (BTC, ETH, EOS, and XRP). However, only BTC can be traded with 100x leverage. We’ll explore this in more detail in the next section.

Finally, it’s also important to note that the exchange does NOT require users to complete KYC. This is a major advantage to competitors like Deribit and FTX, which do require full identity verification.

That said, the lack of KYC does not mean that the platform allows everyone to join. People living in the following locations are not allowed to sign-up:

  • United States
  • Singapore
  • Québec (Canada)
  • Iran
  • Cuba
  • Crimea
  • Syria
  • North Korea
  • Sudan
  • Sevastopol

The exchange enforces this rule by analyzing the IP of the computer a user makes use of to access the platform.

Bybit coins, leverage and order types

As previously mentioned, Bybit currently offers derivatives for 4 trading pairs: BTC/USD, ETH/USD, XRP/USD, and EOS/USD. It’s important to note that while the BTC/USD pair can be traded with up to 100x leverage, the remaining 3 pairs can only be traded with up to 50x leverage.

bybit leverage

As it stands, Bybit only offers perpetual contracts, which means the contracts have no set expiry date at which they will be automatically settled.

Being a derivatives trading platform, there is no actual transfer of Bitcoin between buyers and sellers on Bybit. However, contracts are settled in the underlying asset, and quoted in USD.  

It is also important to remember that although there are no maximum caps to the amount that you can trade, there is a cap to the maximum risk limit that is allowed for each asset pair. For BTC/USD the risk limit is set to 100 BTC, for ETH/USD it is 1,000 ETH, whereas EOS/USD and XRP/USD are set at 25,000 EOS, and 250,000 XRP respectively.

Finally, one big advantage of the Bybit exchange is the Take Profit and Stop Loss functions on the platform. Only a few platforms actually allow these functions to be set up in one click. Another relatively unique feature of Bybit is the Trailing Stop, which allows the user to track the price of an asset from a specified trailing distance and lock in some profit or minimize loss through the Stop Loss function.

Bybit Platform Fees

For deposits, Bybit does not charge any fees, though you will need to pay the standard mining fee associated with the underlying blockchain. Similarly, the platform doesn’t charge additional withdrawal fees beyond a standard network fee, which is currently set at 0.0005 BTC, 0.01 ETH, 0.25 XRP, or 0.1 EOS. 

When it comes to trading fees, Bybit keeps things extremely simple, which makes it an ideal exchange for those that are unfamiliar with how fee calculations work. Keeping it clear-cut, Bybit simply charges a 0.075% fee for trades that reduce liquidity (takers) and provide a 0.025% rebate for trades that add liquidity (makers). 

Beyond this, there’s also a position funding fee that traders need to keep in mind. This fee is exchanged between long and short to fix price deviations away from the index price.

funding rate

However, this can be calculated by using (Quantity/Bankruptcy Price) x Funding rate for long positions, or (Quantity/Entry Price) x Funding rate for short positions, where the funding rate is shown in the contract details. 

Bybit updates the funding rate automatically, so be sure to double check this before opening any positions as this can raise or lower over time, and can affect your profitability. 

Is Bybit safe?

In our review of Bybit, we found that although the CEO of the company is public-facing, the rest of the team is not immediately visible when browsing the website. However, looking at the Bybit company page on LinkedIn, we find a team of at least 22 members, the majority of which are based out of China.

team on linkedin

The platform is owned and operated by Bybit Fintech Limited, a company based in Singapore that has been in operation since 2018. Because the platform deals entirely with digital currencies, the exchange does not need to be regulated, and so operates without any licenses.

Bybit provides a good range of additional security options that customers are able to access in their account settings, giving users the option of additional SMS, email, and Google Authentication options.

This is roughly in line with the industry standard but is missing some of the more advanced security options like IP and withdrawal address whitelisting seen on some other platforms. Beyond this, Bybit ensures the safety of user funds by storing 100% of user funds in cold storage, using offline signatures to conduct customer withdrawals three times per day. 

Further, Bybit also has a reasonably sized insurance fund. This is used to protect against auto-deleveraging, which can happen when there is insufficient liquidity in the market, and liquidated positions are closed at a price lower than the bankruptcy price.

In this event, Bybit will use the balance of the insurance fund to cover the difference between the final liquidation price and the bankruptcy price. The exchange is remarkably transparent about the size of its insurance fund, with Bybit updating the balance publicly on a daily basis

exchange insurance fund

Comparing Bybit vs BitMEX in this regard, it becomes apparent that Bybit’s current 1,300+ BTC insurance fund is absolutely dwarfed by BitMEX’s 35,000+ BTC fund. However, because the exchange’s volume and open interest are currently lower than many of its competitors, this should be sufficient to protect against losses. 

Looking at Bybit vs Deribit, though, we find that despite its small size, Bybit currently has the larger insurance fund, ensuring users are better protected against bankruptcy and are less likely to be forcefully deleveraged. 

Bybit Testnet Platform

One of Bybit’s standout features is its testnet platform, which allows users to test the exchange’s functionality and execute trades without risking any real money. Unlike a cryptocurrency mainnet, which is used for real value transactions, a testnet is a copy of the mainnet that is used for testing purposes.

In the context of a crypto trading platform like Bybit, a testnet is used to make dummy trades that mimic how these would execute if trading live, allowing traders to test the markets.

testnet

Rather than using real cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) for these demo trades, the Bybit testnet instead uses testnet BTC, which can be requested free from one of the myriad testnet faucets, such as the Yet Another Bitcoin Testnet Faucet — which provides a maximum of 0.1 testnet BTC per hour.

After loading testnet BTC to a testnet account, users will be free to test cryptocurrency trading strategies and play around with all of its features, including buying and selling contracts and testing out more advanced order types. This feature is a rarity among cryptocurrency exchange platforms, as it gives even less experienced users a way to test out margin trading and try their hand at the markets, without any risk. 

Bybit Customer Support 

As with most exchange platforms, Bybit has an extensive FAQ as its first line of customer support. Here, basic information about how to use the platform is provided along with some more in-depth articles about the basics of cryptocurrency trading, margin trading fundamentals, and more.

helpcenter

Beyond its FAQ, there are also several different customer support methods available, including Bybit live chat functionality and dedicated emails for both IT and customer support. In our testing, we found the live chat support to be relatively snappy and were connected with an agent in just minutes. 

chat

Unfortunately, Bybit does not offer any telephone support and handles most of its more technical issues through its dedicated e-mail support. 

The platform does have a presence on most social media platforms, including Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Telegram. However, it tends to give only cursory support via these channels, instead directing users to its email support. The CEO of the platform, Ben Zhou, is also reachable through Twitter.

twitter page

Being a relatively new trading platform, there are few public customer reviews available, so it is not yet possible to get a good indicator of how its customer support performs on average. However, based on our interactions with the exchange, we have found support to be prompt and courteous. 

How to trade on Bybit 

1. Sign-up and create a Bybit account

To get started on Bybit, simply create an account here and provide an email address and secure password to register. Like most Bitcoin derivatives trading platforms, Bybit does not require users to complete KYC verification when creating an account, which makes the signup process much less of a chore. 

After registering, you will receive a verification code to the email address you provided, you will need to enter this code on the previously opened registration page.

registration form

Once your account is verified, you will then be able to log in using the email address and password you supplied during this step. 

2. Deposit funds into your Bybit account

Once logged in, you will then need to top up your account balance to begin trading. To begin, head over to the top left of the website and click on “Assets.”

ByBit My Assets Tab

Next, depending on whether you are looking to deposit BTC, ETH, EOS, or XRP, select the corresponding ‘Deposit’ button to load up your deposit address and the corresponding QR code.

deposits section bybit

Now, you will just need to transfer the required amount of cryptocurrencies to your unique deposit address and wait until it is reflected in your account after reaching the required number of confirmations

3. Start trading

After your balance is visible in the ‘My Assets’ section of the Bybit site, you will be free to begin trading on the platform. To begin, click the ‘Trade’ button on the website header to open up the trading interface.

website menu

Here, you will be presented with the trading chart, order book and order selection screen, among other things. 

Here, you will need to select which type of contracts you wish to trade using the drop-down menu in the header. By default, the BTC/USD Perpetual will be selected, but you can also select perpetuals for any of the three other supported cryptocurrencies here.

available cryptocurrencies

On the right side of the screen, you will then be able to select your order type, leverage and number of contracts you wish to purchase along with other more advanced order options, before clicking ‘Buy/Long’ or ‘Sell/Short’ to open the position. 

orderbook

After submitting your order, this will either be filled straight away (if a market order) or will be potentially filled at a later date if the conditions for a limit order or conditional order are met.

What are some Bybit alternatives?

Although Bybit is a strong Bitcoin and cryptocurrency margin exchange based on the metrics we used in this review, there are alternatives with very similar functionalities. Two of the most popular platform alternatives are Bitmex and Deribit. Let’s now explore each of the two alternatives in a little bit of detail.

Bybit vs BitMEX

First of all, with a daily volume of close to $6 Billion, BitMEX is by far the most liquid cryptocurrency exchange that exists. The exchange platform offers leverage trading for a variety of coins like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, and more. 

For its altcoin futures, the maximum leverage is 20x, while traders can make use of up to 100x leverage when trading the Bitcoin perpetual swap.

When comparing Bybit vs BitMEX, it quickly becomes apparent that BitMEX has a significantly larger daily trading volume. That said, BitMEX is also plagued by “overload errors” which make the exchange platform unusable during periods of high volatility. This is an issue that we have not noticed with Bybit.

Bybit vs Deribit

The second noteworthy alternative to Bybit is Deribit. With a daily volume shy of $500M, the exchange platform is smaller than BitMEX but still magnitudes larger than most crypto derivatives exchanges out there. Deribit rose to fame due to its elaborate Bitcoin Options offering, which was not available at any other major exchange before Deribit introduced them.

However, the exchange does not offer any derivatives contracts for altcoins aside from Ethereum, unlike Bybit and BitMEX. We wrote an in-depth comparison of Bitmex vs Deribit. Make sure to check it out if you are considering using any of the two bitcoin margin exchanges.

Bybit

8.6

Ease of use

9.5/10

Fees

8.5/10

Security

7.5/10

Liquidity

8.5/10

Customer support

9.0/10

Pros

  • 4 listed coins
  • No KYC required
  • Up to 100x leverage

Cons

  • US citizens not allowed
  • Less coins available than on BitMEX
pascal thellmann

Pascal Thellmann is an algorithmic trader mostly focused on crypto breakout strategies. He started CoinDiligent to share his learnings and give paid access to some of his automated trading strategies. You can get in touch with Pascal on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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