BitMEX is laser focused on serving experienced, professional traders with a product catalogue to match.  If you are new to trading, this exchange isn’t for you, but if you are looking for bigger profits by trading financial products with a little more complexity, than can be made simply buying and selling cryptocurrencies, then you’re in the right place. 

Nothing to do with Mexico, BitMEX is actually short for Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange.  Set up by Arthur Hayes, an experienced equity derivatives trader, Ben Delo, a designer of market making trading systems and Samuel Reed, a programmer of fast real-time web applications, BitMEX is a peer to peer trading platform offering derivatives contracts with high leverage of upto 100x.

This high leverage trading is aimed at traders who have the experience and are skilled in trading. You don’t open an account at BitMEX to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum or any other altcoin.  You open an account here to make money.  The available API allows access to all the features of the BitMEX exchange site to robots and automated trading strategies.  The combination high leverage and available API opens up the possibility of massive profits simply not available elsewhere.

The line-up at BitMEX includes various derivative contracts based on a select number of cryptos.  However, BitMEX handles only bitcoin.  They offer futures and perpetual contracts based on a number of altcoins but the profit and loss are still calculated in bitcoin and the altcoins are only used as an underlying index.   That means there’s no fiat currency on the exchange and the margin and PNL is calculated in Bitcoin. 

Using indices based on these altcoins (aka the underlying price index) for margin calculations rather than the last price traded at the BitMEX exchange itself, means the price is based on prices from a number of other exchanges.  This means traders cannot manipulate the BitMEX order book by attempting to move the market with a large order.

Of all the contracts available, the perpetual contract developed by BitMEX seems to be the simplest.  A futures contract without an expiry date, it aims to replicate the underlying spot market but with the added benefit of enhanced leverage.  Those looking to scalp on bitcoins movements against the dollar will find a nice home here.

The website itself is very simple, once logged into the backend.  Despite being a modern site has a very dated feel due to this simplicity.  The focus throughout is on ensuring information is easily accessible.  This focus on speed and utility will probably be most welcome for many traders.  You don’t need shiny bells and whistles that might slow down your experience when every tick matters.  Placing orders , including stops and take profits is quick and easy.  Furthermore, there are numerous guides, FAQ’s, examples and explanations of the structure of the products, the interface and margin.  Much of the language will be relatively simple to those familiar with derivative contracts, but anyone who is new to this type of financial product may be overwhelmed.

On top of this BitMEX offers a fully featured REST API and a powerful streaming WebSocket API for programmers who might prefer their own interface.

All said and done, it comes down to this. BitMEX is for Traders who are looking to profit from Cryptocurrency movements rather than buy or hold crypto for use.  Only Bitcoin can be deposited in or withdrawn from the exchange.  The 100x leverage is a powerful tool in making these profits and a compelling reason for traders to choose BitMEX.

If you are a trader looking to open an account with BitMEX, you can enjoy 6 months of discounted fees.