US readers, be warned that while you can use Bittrex (ranked ninth in our cryptocurrency exchange list), it’s complicated and inadvisable. Bitfinex (ranked fifth) is not so complex in this regard because US traders are entirely forbidden, directly and indirectly. If you’re not a resident of the United States, keep reading this exchange comparison.
Compare Bittrex vs Bitfinex
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Bittrex Trading Fees
Bittrex offers a 0.2% fee for both makers and takers. A maker provides liquidity to a cryptocurrency exchange by ordering above market price, and a taker removes liquidity from an exchange by purchasing at the current market price. 0.2% for both makers and takers is more or less the industry average; however, they also add a 0.25% commission on their trades, so the actual fee is 0.45%.
Bittrex has kept their fee schedule super simple, with just five tiers of trading and no native utility token to unlock discounted trades. Crypto withdrawals bring about a small charge.
Bitfinex Trading Fees
As we said, the difference in trading fees is marginal. In the case of Bitfinex, their taker fee is also 0.2%, but their maker fee is half at 0.1%. It’s typical for maker fees to be lower as a reward for providing liquidity.
Along with Kucoin and Binance, here you can find a high trading volume, increased withdrawal limits, multiple order types, hundreds of tokens, low withdrawal fees, and cheap transaction fees.
Holders of LEO coins can be rewarded with 25% trading fee discounts, as shown below, or on this page:
Winner: Bitfinex is cheaper.
Sign Up & KYC Experience
Bittrex and Bitfinex are complicated for US users. Bittrex is unregulated in the US, and Bitfinex completely prohibits American usage.
Getting Started On Bittrex
You can get your account set up and verified in under 30 minutes, here’s how:
- Visit Bittrex.com and click the ‘Sign Up’ button.
- When asked to choose between a Personal or Corporate account, choose Personal.
- Give your email address where indicated.
- Click ‘Create Account.’
- Head to your email inbox, open the verification email and click the link inside.
- Confirm that you accept the terms and conditions.
- The KYC process begins here, asking for your name, date of birth, address, and country of residence.
- In the next stage of the KYC process, you’ll be asked to provide a clear scan or photo of your passport.
- Wait 15 minutes (on average) for your identity checks to be completed and your verification to be confirmed. When it’s done, you’re good to go!
- Don’t forget to set up two-factor authentication to protect your account.
Opening A Bitfinex Account
As we mentioned in the intro, Bitfinex is fifth in our rankings for the best exchange; one reason for that is their easy onboarding process:
- Head to Bitfinex.com and tap ‘Open Account.’
- Think of a username, supply your email address and add a secure password.
- Check your emails, open the unread message and click the verification link inside.
- A new window will open asking for your username and password
- Now comes the KYC verification, which will ask for your name, age, contact details, and address.
- In the next section, you will need to provide two forms of Government ID via mobile or webcam, a selfie of you holding your ID, a scan of your bank statement, and a document that proves your residential address.
- Confirmation can take up to three days.
Winner: Bittrex offers faster verification and fewer paperwork requirements.
Ease Of Use & Feel Of Website/App
Bittrex – Is It Helpful Enough?
We have a soft spot for Bittrex due to their fantastic Zendesk customer support system. For any perceivable issue on the platform, Zendesk acts as a Q&A to guide you towards a solution. It seems Bittrex wants to support its users with quality information.
Another nice feature is how traders glide from their dashboard straight to the trading platform with the market pairing open. Input your amounts into the order form and hit buy or sell, and that’s it. However, we ran some tests and found that the trading interface, while visually pleasing, is buggy and slow.
Bitfinex – Hospitable?
Bitfinex is a high-liquidity marketplace with massive trading volumes, where novices, advanced traders, and institutional customers could all feel welcome. They are one of the few exchanges that offer a ‘Paper Trading Account,’ which is a demo account with imaginary funds so that users can feel comfortable with their platform before risking funds.
Winner: Bitfinex is faster and better-designed overall. We ran a load-up test of their trading interface, with Bittrex taking seven seconds and Bitfinex starting up in four.
Making Deposits On Bittrex
There are three types of Bittrex accounts, each with different limits.
- No personal information required
- No trading or depositing
- Essentially obsolete
- Requires: name, date of birth, address, country of resilience
- Can deposit and trade 4 BTC per day
- No fiat currency services
- Requires Basic account, plus: scan/photo of your ID (passport ideally) and a selfie holding this document
- US users: provide banking information and proof of residential address
Enhanced US traders can then deposit via:
- Debit card, with 3% deposit fees
- Wire transfers, at a minimum of $50
- Cryptocurrency, for free
Enhanced non-US users can opt to deposit through:
- SEPA Credit Transfer (Europe)
- Wire transfers
- Credit and Debit Card Deposits (3% deposit fees)
- Cryptocurrency, for free
Bitfinex – Huge Minimum Deposits
Bitfinex claims that its huge deposit limits reduce fraudulent behavior. Regardless of the reason, it sets them apart from other exchanges that want new traders to send their money to the platform to get involved in crypto. To use your fiat money, deposit the following minimum amounts below (wire transfers are charged at 0.1% + €0.60), or you use their brokerage service:
- 10,000 USD, EUR, or GBP
- 1,000,000 JPY
It’s a win-win situation. Either they get high-volume traders, or they broker crypto with high commission fees. Cryptocurrency exchanges can be very savvy.
Depositing crypto is free.
Winner: Bittrex is clearly more accessible.
Instant Buy Options (Buying with Credit or Debit Card)
Making Purchases On Bittrex
Bittrex has no brokerage service. This means that users who made a deposit will have to trade it on a crypto-fiat pairing, like ETH/EUR or GBP/BTC.
Bitfinex Quick-Buy Options
So, 10,000 dollars, euros, or pounds is the minimum asking price to make a deposit, but what about making a purchase? Fortunately, verified users can purchase a minimum of $25 worth of crypto by credit card.
These cryptocurrencies are for sale:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Tether (USDT)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Tron (TRX)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- DASH (DASH)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Tether Gold (XAUt)
- Selected other ERC-20 altcoins
Charges and commissions are based on an algorithm, so we cannot give any exact figures.
Winner: Bitfinex, of course.
Trading On Bittrex
When we overlook past trading experiences, we find a quality platform for beginners who want a simple user experience. Uncomplicated, seamless trades and over 600 trading pairs (550 for US users) offer diversity and versatility, though lacking a brokerage service is going to drive many first-timers elsewhere. Lacking a margin trading feature will turn away many advanced traders.
The mobile app is often criticized for freezing, full of errors, and lack of customer support when something goes wrong. Reviewers suggest avoiding the app altogether.
Bitfinex: Advanced & Accessible
Bitfinex has won over beginners, professionals, and institutions despite the deposit issue. Their low fees, plus user-friendly designs, intuitive layouts, 260+ trading pairs, and margin trading capabilities, make them an excellent all-round option.
The ‘Market Order’ function on both the web and their excellent mobile app allows for rapid trades. Another great function is the ability to purchase crypto with a credit card instantly.
Reputation & Security
Bittrex has not been hacked or compromised during their seven years in business, with their watertight security thanks in part to the work of their founding team, a group of cybersecurity engineers from Microsoft, Amazon, and Blackberry.
Bittrex is having some troubles in the US at the moment. They’re unregulated, the authorities are out to get them, and US users can sense that the end is near as Bittrex develops their European products.
Bitfinex may have won most of the previous categories; they’re about to take a massive L. In 2016, their hot wallet was hacked for 120,000 BTC, the second-biggest hacking in cryptocurrency’s relatively short history. They managed to recover very little of the funds, as an expert team of cyber criminals quickly and efficiently laundered it.
That figure of 120,000BTC was worth only around £55m at the time but is now worth billions, which would cause the majority of businesses to fold and probably see some execs go to prison; however, the management team was resolute that they could recover from this. They were right: read about their improved security measures here.
Bittrex vs Bitfinex: Who Is Our Overall Winner?
Bittrex and Bitfinex both offer a lot, but Bitfinex was a clear winner in this exchange comparison, despite their majority-excluding deposit method and an unenviable security reputation. With Bittrex seemingly ready to exit the US, we can’t justify giving them this win.