Bittrex vs Bitfinex | Cryptocurrency Exchange Comparison
Bittrex and Bitfinex are very popular cryptocurrency exchanges and are regulars in CoinMarketCap’s top 10 exchanges. At time of writing, in fact, Bittrex is 9th and Bitfinex is 5th by 24-hour trade volume.
If you live in the U.S. and you are reading this article to find out which exchange is best for you, let us save you some time: Bitfinex unfortunately does not accept U.S. residents so opt for Bittrex or one of the many other exchanges in the crypto space.
Still, it’s good to know how these platforms operate and why they can be so different from each other. So stay with us for a few more minutes and learn more about Bittrex and Bitfinex.
In this article we’ll cover:
- Background Information
- Are they Safe?
- Platform Interface and Features
- Trading Fees
- Bittrex vs Bitfinex Summary
Bittrex is a U.S.-based platform, operating out of Seattle, Washington, and is considered to be one of the most secure crypto-only exchanges in the industry. Founded in 2014 by Bill Shihara, Richie Lai and Rami Kawach, Bittrex managed to surpass Poloniex in trade volume within 3 years of its launch and has since become the go-to exchange for many traders due to its solid reputation.
Founded in 2012 and currently based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Bitfinex has for a long time been one of the most active and controversial fiat exchanges in the industry. While consistently being one of the top platforms by traded volume, its history features big hacks, customer support issues, reuse of code belonging to a failed exchange and involvement with a company suspected to manipulate Bitcoin prices.
Even though Bitfinex stopped catering to U.S. residents in 2017, it still serves hundreds of thousands of users around the world. Last year its popularity became so overwhelming that it was forced to temporarily halt new signups, as the platform couldn’t handle the heavy load of new users. Once Bitfinex reopened its doors a few weeks later, a new policy was implemented demanding new accounts to hold funds valued at $10k or above in order to be able to trade.
While Bittrex is renowned to be a pretty safe exchange, security is a painful topic for Bitfinex. Having suffered a major hack in August 2016, in which $ 72M worth of Bitcoin were stolen, Bitfinex had to carefully take apart and look into its security measures to prevent similar attacks from happening again. Bitfinex eventually refunded its customers and has not experienced another security breach since.
Today, both platforms are well-equipped with safety measures that have become standard in the cryptocurrency exchange industry.
Besides fully complying with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, Bittrex offers 2-Factor Authentication, IP whitelisting and cryptocurrency address whitelisting for withdrawals.
Bitfinex also uses 2-Factor Authentication, together with other measures such as Universal 2nd Factor (U2F), a number of advanced verification tools to monitor account integrity, and email encryption with OpenPGP. For more details on Bitfinex’ security policies visit this page.
Catering to more experienced traders and investors, both Bittrex and Bitfinex are characterized by complex but clean interfaces.
- Bitfinex mobile app: for on-the-go traders
- Customizable interface: allowing users to set up their preferences and workspace according to their needs.
Check out Bittrex’s and Bitfinex’s interfaces below.
Bittrex is definitely the winner here. With support for 190+ coins and tokens, the U.S.-based exchange is one of the platforms with the largest offering of cryptocurrencies in the industry.
Bitfinex offers the opportunity to trade 35+ different cryptocurrencies, which is still a pretty good number if we consider that other big platforms such as Coinbase only support a handful of popular coins.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Bittrex is a crypto-only exchange, which means that fiat is not accepted for either deposits or withdrawals. While this is not a big hurdle for experienced cryptocurrency traders, it may prevent newcomers from choosing Bittrex as their first trading platform, as they will need to go to another exchange and buy cryptocurrency with fiat to get started.
Bitfinex accepts both cryptocurrency and fiat (USD and EUR bank wire) as payment methods. Using crypto is much faster than using fiat; in order to deposit USD or EUR, users need to first verify their account, which is a process estimated to take between 6 and 8 weeks.
In comparison to other exchanges such as Binance, Bittrex charges pretty high fees at 0.25% for all trades.
Bitfinex, by comparison, uses a maker-taker fee schedule. This system offers different transaction rebates to makers—users that put orders on the books—and takers—those who fill orders from the books—with a slightly lower maximum rate of 0.20%.
For more details see the table below.
As we have seen in this article, Bittrex and Bitfinex have both major limitations and advantages. The former doesn’t accept fiat currency as payment method but supports 190+ cryptocurrencies; the latter doesn’t serve U.S. residents, suffered a large hack less than 2 years ago, but offers a mobile version, accepts payments in USD and EUR and charges cheaper fees.
If you are new to trading and cryptocurrencies, it’d probably be a good idea to check out more beginner-friendly platforms (see more exchanges reviews here).
If, of the other hand, trading is a daily routine for you, both Bittrex and Bitfinex can be good options as long as you keep in mind their pros and cons.
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