Not all exchanges are created equally. There are certain crypto exchanges which have features that make the trading experience safer, easier and more enjoyable for their users. Typically, as a result, the best cryptocurrency exchanges have the highest volumes and subsequently charge blockchain projects huge fees for listing.
So, what happens when two well respected and established exchanges go head to head? In this review, Blokt examines two popular crypto exchanges, Binance and Bittrex, and compares their security, fees, UI, supported trading pairs and more in this Binance vs. Bittrex exchange review.
General exchange information
Binance was established in 2017 by prominent crypto personality Changpeng Zhao, who is known in the cryptosphere as ‘CZ’. Zhao has previous experience of building high-frequency trading platforms, and has built Binance into one of the most popular crypto exchanges of all time.
Binance typically ranks within the top 10 crypto exchanges for daily trading volume, as reported on CoinMarketCap.
Bittrex, founded in 2014 in the USA, has long been one of the most popular and secure cryptocurrency exchanges. Bittrex was established by three cyber-security experts who previously worked for Microsoft, including its current CEO Bill Shihara.
Bittrex has long maintained its status as one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by daily volume, usually appearing within the top 20 exchanges on CoinMarketCap.
Registration and KYC/AML Process
Sign-up on both exchanges follows a similar process. Both Bittrex and Binance require their users to provide ID verification to make full use of the exchange’s features, such as higher daily withdrawal and trading limits.
Likewise, to complete KYC/AML, users will have to provide a proof of address for both exchanges. This is to ensure traders are not trying to access the exchanges from restricted jurisdictions.
Binance has recently announced that it will be tightening up its KYC/AML compliance procedures, so users in certain jurisdictions may find that Bittrex is the easier exchange to get whitelisted on in future.
Both Binance and Bittrex support a large range of assets, however, Binance is the clear winners in terms of active trading pairs, with over 460 cryptocurrencies listed on its exchange, compared to just over 340 on Bittrex.
However, despite the difference, each exchange lists virtually all of the major top 100 crypto assets users would expect, and both exchanges take a proactive approach to new listings.
Despite this, Bittrex has been actively delisting some projects from its exchange which it feels don’t adhere to its rules, as part of an ongoing effort to protect its users from fraudulent projects.
Both exchanges have recently launched initial exchange offerings (IEO’s) and continue to list new IEO projects, although Binance has launched more assets through IEO’s, and also allows its users to participate using its native BNB token.
There is a range of charting options available on Binance, however, users will have to select the ‘advanced’ trading tab to access them. On the basic trading interface, shown below, users have access to a simple candle based chart, with time intervals from 1 minute to 1 month.
Users may also choose to use TradingView charts when trading on Binance, instead of its original native charts. Binance provides limit orders and market sells, and also ‘stop-limits’, which prevent major losses if used correctly, a feature Bittrex doesn’t explicitly offer its users yet.
If users choose to trade using Binance’s advanced option, they will be able to apply a range of trading indicators such as Bollinger Bands, RSI, EMA and more.
Bittrex has a clean and simple user interface, with light and dark mode options. Users can set simple order types, either limit or market buys and sells, with conditional order types coming soon.
Likewise, Bittrex offers traders a number of indicators or ‘studies’ as it calls them, which users can apply to charts, like the Bollinger Bands used in the example below. This makes trading simple, without the need of always having to switch between other more advanced charting software.
The plus side of Bittrex’s trading UI is that users have access to a suite of trading indicators without switching to an advanced mode. Conversely, Binance’s advanced mode is likely unsuitable for many casual users, and Bittrex feels a little easier to navigate overall.
One of the most important aspects of any exchange is its fees on deposits, withdrawals, and trades. So, how do the fees compare with Binance and Bittrex?
Binance doesn’t charge any fees on crypto deposits. Withdrawals are subject to a charge equal to the assets network fee, i.e. the cost of processing a withdrawal on the blockchain at that time.
Trading fees on Binance for standard users are 0.10%, which makes it 0.15% cheaper than Bittrex’s standard fees. Binance also offers significant trading discounts for holders of BNB coin, its native exchange token, reducing standard fees to just 0.075%. There are also fee reductions for frequent traders.
Deposits on Bittrex, like Binance, do not incur any fees, however occasionally certain digital assets which are transferred to another address before they’re credited to user’s exchange accounts are charged network transaction fees.
Trades on Bittrex are charged at a flat rate of 0.25%, regardless of the asset or trading pair, which does make trading on Bittrex a more expensive option than Binance. All USD deposits and withdrawals on Bittrex are free, however, a user’s individual bank may charge a wire transfer fee.
Withdrawals on Bittrex aren’t something the exchange profits from, but in order to cover network transaction fees, there are small withdrawal fees depending on that assets blockchain. Each digital asset has its own minimum withdrawal amount.
Security and Customer Service
Binance’s security has become the source of a popular cryptocurrency meme when CZ remarked “Funds are Safu” in a tweet:
Big upgrade. Funds are safu! https://t.co/1DV1sVpI93
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) June 25, 2018
The phrase has since been used to denote how secure the exchange is. Binance launched its ‘Secure Asset Fund for Users’ (SAFU), which allocates 10% of trading fees to reimburse users in the event of a hack. Binance also uses AI to monitor transactions and accounts on its exchange to prevent funds from being stolen.
However, unfortunately, Binance did become the victim of a successful hack on May 7, 2019, and 7000 BTC were stolen. No users lost any funds and Binance refunded the amount stolen from its hot wallet using Bitcoin from the SAFU fund.
The customer service is excellent at Binance, with live chat online support, a large FAQ, and also a ticketing system for advanced issues. Overall, Binance is one of the most secure and trusted cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bittrex is likewise a very secure exchange. User funds are kept through what Bittrex calls ‘an elastic, multi-stage wallet’ strategy, where the majority of assets are kept in offline cold storage.
Users of the exchange are protected through 2FA, either through Google Authenticator, Authy, or basic email 2FA for all accounts. Likewise, logins from unknown IP addresses will require users to confirm their new IP via email.
Pro’s and Con’s
At a glance, here’s some of the major pros and cons of each exchange:
Our Verdict – Binance vs. Bittrex
Both exchanges offer great security, trading experience, a seamless new user onboarding process, and high levels of customer support – so it’s very difficult to choose which one is a better exchange.
Instead, Binance and Bittrex attract different types of customer. At Bittrex, the exchange interface is easier to use, the KYC/AML process is simple, and visually, it’s likely to appeal more to beginner and intermediate users.
Binance, on the other hand, has a greater suite of features, with basic and advanced trading, regular IEO launches, and its own native token, and therefore is suitable for a broader range of users.
In terms of innovation, Binance seems to be leading the way for the entire cryptocurrency exchange market, and the imminent full feature launch of the Binance Chain could bring droves of new users to its platform.
Higher fees on Bittrex does make Binance a more attractive option, especially for high-frequency traders who hold BNB, and for this reason, we’d recommend Binance to active users.
Overall, both exchanges offer a great trading experience, and continue to provide first-class and secure services to cryptocurrency traders.