BitMEX is a trading platform and derivatives exchange, which offers leveraged trading of cryptocurrencies to advanced traders. Thus, it is different from traditional exchanges like Kraken. It is not suitable for novices, as some preliminary knowledge of traditional options and futures is required before one can get a good grasp of its trading environment.
Account balances and results of trading at BitMEX are always listed in Bitcoin. It is also the only deposit and withdrawal option. This can cause some inconvenience to clients looking to generate profit systematically.
BitMEX is generally considered safe to trade on – it has never been hacked in its history on the market. Of course, this does guarantee its future stability on the cryptocurrency market. It is a relatively complicated exchange with few reviews, and almost no complaints related to the services.
BitMEX offers perpetual swaps, which resemble futures contracts somewhat with the exception that they never expire. Only XBTUSD is currently available as a perpetual swap.
BitMEX offers a maximum leverage of 1:100. The fees on leverage, however, are relatively high. Users can change their leverage per position. In other words, you can set a maximum sum that you can afford to lose, after which the position is liquidated. Your whole account serves as a position guarantee with Forex brokers.
The fees on some futures and all perpetual swaps are currently 0.075% for the market takers and -0.025% for the market makers.
Kraken’s taker and marker fees are currently 0.26% and 0.16% respectively (for the lowest volumes). It is a very popular cryptocurrency exchange – at present it has the highest BTC-EUR trading volume in the world.
Kraken offers a large number of trading tools. It is best-known for its Bitcoin and Ethereum to fiat (USD and EUR) markets, but Altcoins are also available. These include, but are not limited to Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Ripple, Augur, Iconomi, Gnosis, Zcash, Stellar, Dogecoin, and Melon. The exchange has plans to add new Altcoins in the future.
It is worth noting that Kraken is one of the few exchanges that offer trade of BTC against fiat currencies like the GBP and CAD.
Like BitMEX, Kraken does not require a minimum initial deposit. The leverage is much lower at 1:2 – 1:5. The fee on leveraged trading is 0.015% on average, depending on the tool. It is charged every four hours, compared to every eight with BitMEX.