Five High Volume Exchanges – A Comparison

in INVESTING IN CRYPTOCURRENCIES/TRADING CRYPTOCURRENCIES

We recently discussed Bittrex vs Binance and got many emails in regards to that post. Many people asked us to review other exchanges as well, but hey – this a can of worms once you open it. There are many really shitty exchanges with low volume and liquidity, why bother with them? We don’t feel any groove in testing those lame guys. Instead we want to compare 5 high volume exchanges in this post. Exchanges with an actual amount of assets (not just $BTC, $ETH and $LTC), exchanges where you can trade the alt markets and where your orders are likely to get filled. Of course this list is not complete, it is just a pick of the top 5. Let’s take a look at each of them under the microscope.

Table of Contents:

  1. Bittrex
  2. Binance
  3. Bitfinex
  4. Poloniex
  5. Kraken
  6. Overview

BITTREX


Status

It is not keen to say that Bittrex is the dinosaur of all those crypto exchanges, compared to the FX world they compare well to IG Markets. It is the status quo for many traders and their selection of trading pairs is top notch – they are very picky in their selections of the tokens / coins they let in (and expensive by the way: They charge 5K USD just for reviewing your token / coin in terms of compliance and another  3 BTC to highlight it) and are very well setup with over 270 assets. We assume that this is the reason, how Bittrex achieved their market leader status, as the tech can’t be it. Bittrex has a great liquidity and they seem to have the largest user base, unfortunately their tech stands way behind their growth. They are obviously pros when it comes to new coin listings and gathering the needed liquidity to trade them. If the volume for a particular coin dries out, they delist it. They do tidy work in having a proper asset portfolio.

Platform Features

Performance issues, lagging charts, ect. Recently they are often under DDOS attacks and they do their thing to stay up, however the platform takes a hit and recently the problems with lagging transactions and order execution times increased. The fees with 0.25% are pretty steep but most traders seem to be ok with it to pay them, so shrug.

In terms of innovation and progress of their platform, they seem to be in a “consolidation phase”, for years now. Their “lab” doesn’t offer anything working, beside the Auto-Sell Feature, which is not relevant for the usual trader. The profit/loss calculator would make a leg up if they ever release it. The API works well, but we hear often that the orders executed via API are queued behind the direct orders on the platform.
There are no official apps for Bittrex available.

The charts provided are ok and deliver with the basic trading tools like some indicators, drawing opportunities, ect. However, you will have to redo everything with a refresh, as thus are not saveable. One of the biggest disadvantages is that you can only put a stop loss or a take profit order but not both at the same time, something urgently needed and quickly adopted by Binance.  The order books are working good and you can review the buy/sell walls for the current sentiments.

Verification Process & Support

If your account is not yet in enhanced verification mode, we urgently recommend to do so, as Bittrex is known for freezing accounts. Despite the fact also enhanced accounts can be frozen, you are a bit more on the safe side by doing this better now. This can take some time, as many have experienced. Their support is constantly overwhelmed and reaction times of up to 2 weeks are not uncommon.

Link: https://bittrex.com
Help: Bittrex Guide


BINANCE


Status

Binance has been one of the most successful exchange – ICOs. They created the BNB token, which can be used on their platform to pay the trading fees. They are quite new but let the competition eat dust by constantly adding new features – here we can see a thriving community and customer-focused exchange. Yeah, it pays if you don’t sh#t on your customers and sell it to them as fancy hat. We would love to see the growth rate of Binance, it must be exploding. The fees of 0.1% are some of the cheapest around and can be further reduced by using BNB.

Platform Features

Beside a confusing UI, the tech by Binance is top-notch. Fast order execution, constant progress and a steady stream of new features – very nice. Recently they added the feature of stop loss and take profit limit orders – both can be set at the same time. Furthermore they offer a solid working app and a neat desktop tool, that brings back some Metatrader feeling. Good stuff, just the user interface should be polished and reorganized to attract more novice traders as it can be difficult if you are not experienced. Binance offers advanced charting tools and several styles. The charts don’t lag and react fast.  A cool thing is that you can use your BNB funds (the actual Binance coin that has been sold on the ICO) to pay the trading fees. By doing this, the fees get a 50% discount from 0.1% to 0.05% – which is the ultimate deal. With the growing success of Binance it might be a good idea in general to hold BNB, why not using it for the fees? You can see how well planned this project is. Their active reddit community constantly requests features, and guess what – they do care about it!

Verification Process & Support

The verification is plain and simpl explained on their site, but if you don’t plan to withdraw more than 2 BTC daily, you can stay unverified. The staggered levels increase the possible daily payout amount. The verification works fast if you provide proper documents and the support has been one of the fastest in our test – we got a reply time of under 1h.

Link: https://www.binance.com
Article: Bittrex vs. Binance


BITFINEX


Status

Bitfinex is one of the major players in the exchange game, but took a hard hit recently. Their dollar-pegged USDT Tether currency (Read here about the connection between Tether and Bitfinex) had some bad press and is even said to have a massive negative impact to the whole cryptocurrency world (read here as well), as they print it of thin air (it is not really Fiat backed). Additionally they got hacked big time in the past and seem to be loved by hackers as target for cyberattacks. With just a mere 60+ assets the offering is not really teasing to trade there if you are an active day trader. Bitfinex fees are based on a Make / Taker calculation, where you get rewarded if you add liquidity (buy going long) with low fees, based on your overall trading volume within the last 30 days (between 0.1% and 0.0%). For taking money out (by going short) you pay 0.2% – 0.1%, also calculated based on your trading volume. See the full model here.

Platform Features

From the tech-side Bitfinex has something to offer. They use the charts by Tradingview, which leaves no wishes open – they are the best you can get chartwise (check the Bittrex Guide on how to apply Tradingview charts for Bittrex).  The API shall work nice and but is limited to 60 requests per minute / IP.  With the great charts by tradingview you can’t go wrong with Finex, the order book however is reported to be spoofed sometimes (read here or here). Beside the usual market orders, Bitfinex offers margin trading as well as lending and OTC (off-the-counter) trades. What makes a big difference to Bittrex for example is that Bitfinex offers Fiat deposits and Fiat trading pairs, which means you deposit for example USD or EUR and trade the markets against this currencies. Bitfinex offers Stop orders, Stop Loss orders and trailing stops. If the platform is not under one of the many DDOS attacks it works pretty flawless.

Verification Process & Support

The verification process is quite extensive – from normal document submission to the whole KYC program, Bitfinex makes use of everything until you get your account verified completely. Our account took 3 weeks to verify. The support is very slow and took right about 3 weeks to answer our test request.

Link: https://www.bitfinex.com


Poloniex


Poloniex is quite popular and overall a good platform to trade. The US-based exchange started in 2014 and gained in liquidity and volume. The major advantage of Poloniex is the very good selection of altcoins. Beside that the platform has been hacked quite a few times and had bad press with frozen accounts, disabled markets and postponed withdrawals. However, it is quite positive that they fully refunded their traders, that have been affected by a minor security breach. Poloniex fees are based on a Make / Taker calculation, where you get rewarded if you add liquidity (buy going long) with low fees, based on your overall trading volume within the last 30 days (between 0.15% and 0.00%). For taking money out (by going short) you pay 0.25% – 0.05%, also calculated based on your trading volume. See the full model here. Poloniex does not support Fiat deposits and trading pairs and trades the available coins against BTC, USDT, ETH and XMR.

Trading Platform

Poloniex has good charts with some technical analysis features. The platform works solid and is used by many people for their great buy/sell walls and order book feature to get a realistic impression about the trader sentiments.  The code for the trading interface is executed client-side, which means it is open-source and can be examined for additional trust. The exchange offers margin trading and lending services. Despite the challenging task to keep the UI simple with more and more assets, they managed to do it well, so you don’t get lost. Poloniex offers basic stop loss support

Verification Process & Support

Poloniex uses an automated verification system, which works fast for us. Unfortunately unlike the support which has been slow on this exchange as well.


Kraken


Status

Kraken is a major exchange, often used in Europe and also in many other parts of the world. Beside constant technical problems with the platform it has good liquidity and very low fees.  For many traders it is the first address when it comes converting fiat to crypto and versa vice. Fiat can be deposited with Euros, Japanese yen, US dollars, Canadian dollars and British pounds, where Euro, Canadian dollar, and Japanese yen can be deposited without any fees others are charged with a $15 fee for each deposit. The actual fees are Maker/Taker based as well, but are on the lower side (Maker: 0.16% – 0.00% / Taker: 0.26% – 0.10% – See the complete list here). With an overall amount of 45 pairs, the exchange has not much to offer asset-wise. Due to its unhandy interface The investor-funded project Kraken got a reputation as the “Nerd – Exchange”. Transparency is a topic for Kraken and they have been first with their proof-of-reserves auditing.

Trading Platform

The platform of Kraken is one of the most ugly we have seen. Even experienced traders often have to find their way through this.  The platform is well-known to be notorious for its slow and buggy order execution, sometimes the orders fail completely, sometimes they are executed 30 seconds later – which obviously can be critical with the fast moves in cryptoworld. The platform offers leveraged margin trading.

Verification Process & Support

Kraken takes it very serious and therefore the verification process can be a pain – and it takes ages unfortunately. Support is also not really edging and took quite long to answer.

 

Overview

[wptg_comparison_table id=”1″]

*Volume measured by the time writing this.

¹https://www.bitfinex.com/fees

²https://poloniex.com/fees/

³https://www.kraken.com/help/fees

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3 Comments

  1. I had no problems with Binance yet. Withdrawing daily here until now no problems (only my IOTA are stuck right now due to the wallet maintance). Other then that the Binance UI sucks a bit, yeah, but once you get familar it is currently the best exchange available to me.

  2. Binance is a garbage exchange. There support after weeks of delay loves to say “Well other exchanges wouldn’t even talk to you”. Now this works great in China, but if they want American/Europe business, they have to treat their client with respect. If Binance wants to be the best cryptocurrency exchange, they need to not tell customers to wait this long. Until I get my money, I am busy every day talking about them in other forums and review sites with my experience. Its a simple thing really. Give me my damn money back, and lets both get about our business. But see Binance is not very smart. They see all these people signing up and they think its not a problem. But they dont realize that other exchanges are opening up also and people will move their money. You think I am wrong? Go to their support forum on telegraph where you will see grown men crying to get their money back.

    • Thank you very much for posting this comment – we are always interested in a balanced view and to see what others experience.
      This is very contrary to what we have experienced with Binance. As there are always two sides of a medal, please elaborate what the actual problem was. Why do they decline the withdrawal? We never had any bad experiences with them, so we would love to get a better understanding of what is happening. The support we got has been very fast and efficient. Let us know so we can investigate in this case(s).

May we have your thoughts, please?


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