Bittrex is one of the largest exchanges in the cryptocurrency market, competing with the likes of Binance and Poloniex.
With a variety of trading pairs and altcoins available plus a relatively easy-to-use interface, Bittrex is an ideal place for both new users wanting to buy altcoins and those who have experience trading cryptocurrencies.
Overview of Bittrex
The company was founded in 2013 by Bill Shihara and two other business partners. The founders had previously worked as security experts for Microsoft before deciding to open up a cryptocurrency exchange. Bittrex is based in the US but is not regulated by US securities law.
The exchange recently had its application for a New York BitLicence rejected. The reasons cited were inadequacies with its anti-money laundering process – something that Bittrex disputes. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) also questioned the due diligence Bittrex conducts when listing new coins. This means that Bittrex is not able to provide a service for customers in New York.
Cryptocurrencies, IEOs, and a stablecoin
There are currently over 200 cryptocurrencies available on the Bittrex exchange. The firm also announced in January it was introducing an OTC desk for institutional investors, as reported by Coin Rivet.
The company has been keen to explore the idea of Initial Exchange Offerings as well. IEOs are seemingly in pole position to replace ICOs following the craze of 2017. However, a recent IEO for the Raid token has since been shelved by the exchange. VodiX is another IEO that is due to take place on May 21.
The success of IEOs have not matched the hype of the ICO market though, with many of them failing to keep up their initial launch price, meaning investors have been making losses on their purchases.
Like many other exchanges such as Poloniex and Gemini, Bittrex has its own stablecoin known as TrueUSD. According to a recent audit by Cohen & Co, TrueUSD is fully backed by USD, which will ease the fears of many people using the stablecoin. Despite this audit and the audit of the Gemini Dollar, Tether remains the dominant stablecoin on the market. This is even with the controversy currently surrounding Tether and the New York Attorney General’s office.
During the bull run of 2017, it was clear that many exchanges were not prepared for the amount of traffic that they were receiving. Outages on exchange websites were common, and Bittrex was no different. Like Binance, there was a period of time where Bittrex had to stop allowing new members to register due to overwhelming demand.
Since then, interest in cryptocurrencies has died down somewhat. It is expected that Bittrex will be better prepared should such a wave of interest arise again, and the system should not slow down to the point where it becomes unusable.
For newcomers to the space who have only ever heard of Bitcoin or Ethereum, Bittrex is unlikely to be their first port of call. The exchange does not offer a fiat on-ramp, meaning that if you would like to trade there, you would first need to purchase Bitcoin with fiat currency from a different exchange. Exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken still have these markets fairly tied down.
However, for those interested in branching out to different altcoins, Bittrex is definitely an attractive prospect. This is further enhanced when you take into account that the fees for trading are smaller when compared to major exchanges such as Coinbase.
Unlike many of its competitors, Bittrex is one of the few exchanges that has yet to suffer from a hack. Whilst this may make Bittrex sound more secure than its competitors, there is always a risk in leaving your cryptocurrencies on an exchange. Past history is no guarantee of protection in the future.
Bittrex is in a similar market to both Poloniex and Binance. All three offer a wide variety of altcoins and similar trading fees. Binance has been able to build a large customer base through an impressive PR campaign despite Bittrex’s first-mover advantage. Coupled with this, there is less regulatory uncertainty surrounding Binance due to it being based in Malta.
Bittrex remains one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry at the time of writing. Whether the issues regarding regulation in the US will bite back is unknown, and it also remains to be seen whether it can make a success of the IEO platform as well.
For people brand new to crypto, Bittrex is unlikely to be where you head first, but for those who are beginning to invest in the plethora of altcoins, then Bittrex is one of the safer options.