GDAX vs Bittrex | What Separates These Two Exchanges
Bittrex and GDAX are two of the most popular and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. Both platforms been around for a relatively long time for crypto exchanges and have thus far proven themselves to be secure, high liquidity options to acquire cryptocurrency. However, the two U.S. based exchanges are often used for different, complimentary purposes.
GDAX (which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange) offers only a few cryptocurrencies for trade, but allows for fiat deposits and withdrawals, while Bittrex offers many more cryptocurrencies but only allows for cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals. Because of this, the two exchanges are often used together by traders to first get their fiat money into cryptocurrency using GDAX, and then transfer it to Bittrex to trade it for one of their many cryptocurrencies.
In this Bittrex vs GDAX comparison, we’ll look more deeply into both exchanges while covering the following topics:
- GDAX vs Bittrex: A Side-by-Side Comparison
- Exchanges Background Information
- Are GDAX and Bittrex Safe?
- Platform Interface and Features
- GDAX vs Bittrex: Summary
|Buy/Deposit Methods||Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Cryptocurrency, Coinbase Transfer||Cryptocurrency|
|Sell/Withdrawal Methods||Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Cryptocurrency, Coinbase Transfer||Cryptocurrency|
|Purchase Fees||~0.3% or less||0.25%|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash||190+|
|Location||San Francisco, California, USA||Seattle, WA, USA|
|Review & User Guide||GDAX Review||Bittrex Review|
|Site||Visit GDAX||Visit Bittrex|
GDAX is owned and operated by Coinbase and was founded in 2015 as ‘Coinbase Exchange’ before later being rebranded to GDAX. As a result, one’s GDAX account is directly linked to their Coinbase account, and cryptocurrency transfers between them are easy and free.
Based in San Francisco, California, USA, GDAX offers the ability to deposit and withdraw fiat via bank transfers and to then trade in USD, GBP, or EUR for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, or Litecoin. GDAX is designed to be simple to use, with a streamlined interface and minimal clutter. Along with Coinbase, it is one of the main ways people in the USA and elsewhere get their money into the cryptocurrency market.
GDAX is currently the number 10 cryptocurrency exchange in terms of volume of cryptocurrency traded daily.
Learn more about about the relationship and history of these exchanges in our GDAX vs Coinbase comparison.
Bittrex started in 2014 and is based in Seattle, Washington. With no current security breaches, it is considered a secure and trusted exchange. Bittrex has been listed in the top 10 exchanges by volume throughout most of its existence. At this moment, Bittrex is the 12th largest exchange by daily trade volume.
GDAX follows the same security practices as its parent company Coinbase. Since GDAX is based in the US, it must comply with various consumer protection and financial service laws including The Bank Secrecy Act and The USA Patriot Act.
Additional security measures at GDAX include:
- Customer funds are kept separate from company funds and are not used for any company spending.
- 98% of all cryptocurrency funds are stored in cold storage (offline).
- Online cryptocurrency funds are insured, and USD balances are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000.
- 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) is standard, making it difficult for a hacker to hijack an account (we recommend using Google Authenticator).
- As with Coinbase, time delayed withdrawals are possible, and new device verification is required
Although Bittrex doesn’t have insured balances as GDAX does, it is still widely considered secure and safe. As with GDAX, Bittrex is fully compliant with State and Federal legal requirements, and includes features such as:
- 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)
- IP whitelisting
- Cryptocurrency address whitelisting for withdrawals
Since Bittrex was actually founded by cybersecurity experts, they also know to keep the majority of their users’ funds offline.
GDAX is not as straightforward as Coinbase, but it still has a fairly simple and intuitive interface. GDAX offers basic charts and tools on the same page as the order book, making it easy enough to select the cryptocurrency you wish to purchase, view the basic chart and make up your mind about whether it’s a good time to buy. It also offers Market and Limit Orders, Conditional Orders, as well as Stop Limit Orders.
Bittrex also has a fairly simple interface. As with GDAX, you can execute Market, Limit and Conditional Orders (including Stop Limit Orders) on the same page as charting and information tools. Bittrex recently completely overhauled their user interface, but all of the same basic tools are there as before including a candlestick graph, depth chart, and volume indicators.
Herein lies the major difference between the exchanges. Whereas GDAX only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, Bittrex offers 190+ tokens — more than any other major exchange — and the list is still growing. However, Coinbase has announced that GDAX will offer some additional tokens in the future based on the ERC20 token standard.
For those looking to trade a huge variety of altcoins, you may want to check out Binance. In recent times, Binance has been far more active than Bittrex in adding new cryptocurrencies. Read our Bittrex vs Binance comparison for an in-depth comparison of these exchanges.
As seen in the comparison chart above, GDAX allows US and European citizens to deposit and withdraw via bank transfers (either ACH bank transfers or wire transfers). One can, of course still deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies, and uncharacteristically of most cryptocurrency exchanges, there are no fees for either depositing or withdrawing them.
Since Bittrex is a cryptocurrency-only exchange, there are no payment methods other than their supported cryptocurrencies.
The GDAX trading fee schedule is based on a maker-taker system. For makers (the person who places an order to the order book), there’s no trading fee. For takers (the person who fills an order from the order book), fees range from 0.10% to 0.30% depending on their 30-day trading volume.
Bittrex has a flat fee rate, with fees of 0.25% on all trades.
The cryptocurrency exchange landscape shifts so fast that it’s hard to keep up with the latest popular exchanges, including which ones have the best liquidity, security, interfaces or the lowest trading fees. GDAX and Bittrex are in separate classes when it comes to cryptocurrency trading, however, so it may not be useful to compare them in an either-or manner.
While GDAX offers the ability to bring fiat money into the market with a limited number of cryptocurrencies, Bittrex supports a large number of currencies with a slightly more advanced trading interface. For the limited cryptocurrencies it does support, you may wish to purchase them directly on the GDAX platform. Otherwise, you may find it useful to get your money into the market with GDAX, and then use Bittrex or another exchange to select from a wider range of cryptocurrencies for purchase.
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