Bit-Z is a Hong Kong based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2016. It is regularly in the top ten exchanges by volume, with roughly $200 million in trading volume daily, and in addition to its digital asset trading, it also provides over-the-counter (OTC) assets. The leadership at Bit-Z is surprisingly diverse. Unlike most other cryptocurrency exchanges, the management team comes not just from crypto, but also from the finance, gaming, social networking and ecommerce industries.
One of the goals of the exchange is to provide its customers the safest and most efficient trading experience, and to accomplish that it has included both bank level SSL technology for security and GSLB distributed servers to maintain the stability of the platform. So far Bit-Z is meeting their goal.
Bit-Z Exchange Features
When it comes to exchange features, you’re going to get everything you’d expect from a cryptocurrency exchange at Bit-Z, plus a bit more. They have an extensive list of cryptocurrencies to trade, as of April 2018 I found 70 different BTC pairs, several dozen ETH pairs, and four pairings with their proprietary DKKT token that I’ll talk about later in this article.
To support your trading efforts, the exchange has all the tools you require, including advanced charting, real-time market data, detailed trade histories and reporting, along with API access to allow for automated trading. Thanks to their broad knowledge and experience, the team at Bit-Z have thought of everything a cryptocurrency traders needs and added it to the platform.
And thanks to the bank-level SSL security built into Bit-Z you can have peace of mind, knowing your transactions are being handled securely. Lastly, you’ll enjoy quick transaction confirmations as the distributed server architecture allows for global synchronization that speeds everything on the network.
OTC Trades at Bit-Z
Bit-Z includes something they call Over-The-Counter, or OTC , trades, but you might know this type of trade better as a peer-to-peer marketplace, similar to those at LocalBitcoins or CoinMama. These are trades made directly with other users, and as such do not require any deposit to the exchange. In fact, the orders don’t even show in the exchange order book, but are on a completely separate area of the site labeled “OTC”.
This OTC area works as a completely separate peer-to-peer exchange, where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly with other users. Currencies accepted through the OTC market include BTC, ETH, and LTC as well as U.S. dollars and Chinese yuan. And you have multiple options for making payment, including Neteller, Western Union, MoneyGram, Paypal, as well as cash deposits or traditional bank wires.
To assist you in finding a trading partner that is trustworthy, the Bit-Z OTC platform includes member trading profiles and ratings. This way you can look for traders who have extensive history, and good feedback from the community.
Opening a Bit-Z Account
Like most cryptocurrency exchanges, opening a Bit-Z account requires little more than an email address. In fact, the only thing other than an email address that is required when you register for an account at Bit-Z is a password of your own choosing. Once you register you’ll need to verify the email by clicking a link sent to you from Bit-Z, and you’ll also need to do an additional verification the first time you log in.
That gets you registered, but if you wish to make withdrawals from Bit-Z you will have to go through some additional steps. These steps are designed to provide added security, not only for you, but also for Bit-Z. They need to ensure that they aren’t aiding in money laundering, or providing their services illegally.
Level 1 verification requires you to provide your full name and date of birth, as well as adding a trading password that is different from your login password. This takes just seconds and gives you the ability to withdraw up to 2 BTC per day.
Level 2 verification requires you to add your country, city, state, street address and mobile phone number. This also takes just seconds and increases your daily withdrawal limit to 10 BTC.
Level 3 verification requires you to upload a scanned copy of your passport or ID card, as well as a photo of yourself holding the passport or ID. This level must be manually approved, and the site gives no feedback regarding how long this might take. Online reviews indicate it shouldn’t take more than a week, and some users have reported getting approval within 24 hours.
Additional account security is provided by the use of 2-factor authentication, which is becoming standard on any accounts that require additional security beyond a simple password. While 2FA is not required by Bit-Z, it’s a smart idea to include it. It is recommended you use Google Authenticator for this function.
How to Trade on Bit-Z
You can get started trading by logging into your account and then clicking the “Exchange” link in the upper left corner. This will load the trading screen as shown below:
The left column lets you choose which trading pairs you’d like to use, with BTC, ETH and DKKT being the major currencies. Once you choose the major currency at the top of the column all the available pairs will show underneath. Click the currency you want to buy or sell and then use the boxes under the graph to complete the transaction. The green on the left is for buying, and the red on the right is for selling.
What is the DKK Token (DKKT)
You’ll notice that one of the major currencies available for trading is the DKKT or DKK Token. This is a stablecoin that was created by Bit-Z (similar to Tethers) and launched only on the Bit-Z platform. The DKKT is pegged to the value of the Danish Krona 1:1 and is currently used on Bit-Z for trading with four currencies, and more being planned in the future.
Bit-Z chose the Danish Krona because it is already a stable currency itself. The blockchain based DKKT is issued at a 1:1 rate based on the market value of the DKK. So, 1 DKKT = 1 DKK. The aim was to provide traders with a stable cryptocurrency to use in their trades since most cryptocurrencies are so volatile and Bit-Z doesn’t accept fiat currencies. The DKKT gives traders a place to park their capital while waiting for trading opportunities to develop.
Bit-Z Key Statistics
Bit-Z was founded in 2016 in Hong Kong, and as of April 2018 it is the tenth largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume as measured by Coinmarketcap.com. The past 24 hours have seen the exchange trading 23,972 BTC or nearly $200 million in total. The largest volume was in the ETH/BTC pair, which saw $35,620,000 in trading volume. The next largest pairs were TRX/BTC and LTC/BTC. There are currently 70 BTC pairs available for trade, 37 ETH pairs, and 4 DKKT pairs.
Bit-Z tries to keep its fees lows to encourage new traders. There are no fees for deposits of any coins. Withdrawal fees are typically 0.5%, but can differ for some cryptocurrencies as the withdrawal fee is a flat rate number of coins. Trading fees are also quite reasonable at 0.1% of each currency in the pair being traded. For example, if you are buying LTC/BTC the fee is 0.1% LTC, but if you’re selling LTC/BTC the fee is 0.1% BTC. You can find a complete chart of both trading fees and withdrawal fees here.
Is Bit-Z Safe?
Being based in Hong Kong, Bit-Z is unregulated, but this is common for cryptocurrency exchanges in 2018, and certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t safe to trade with Bit-Z. You will need to ensure that your local laws allow for trading through a Hong Kong based cryptocurrency exchange, and Bit-Z does not accept clients from the Federal Republic of Germany or from New York in the United States due to legal restrictions in these two jurisdictions. There are other restrictions based on the legality in certain countries and jurisdictions.
Bit-Z has not been the victim of any hacks since it opened up for trading in 2016, which is a positive for its security systems. Given the exchanges focus on security it is safe to say that they are very vigilant for potential hacks or any compromise of their systems.
I should also note that Hong Kong is very Westernized when compared with its mainland neighbor China. While there are no guarantees, it is quite likely that Hong Kong will follow the lead of the U.S. and other Western nations in regards to regulation of cryptocurrencies. Where China has moved to ban ICOs, this isn’t likely to happen in Hong Kong, and it is actually a benefit to the exchange because Chinese investors will move to Hong Kong exchanges like Bit-Z, increasing trading volume, liquidity, and of course profitability for the exchange.
Even though we feel Bit-Z is as safe as cryptocurrency exchanges can be at this time, we still recommend not keeping large amounts of capital on the site. Transfer large balances back to your own wallet, where you control the private keys. This is just smart with any cryptocurrency exchange.
User Complaints about Bit-Z
It does bear mentioning here that some users have been complaining on online forums and sites that the withdrawal process from Bit-Z is extremely long. There are several reasons this could be happening, but one is directly related to security, in that Bit-Z will often manually review withdrawal requests. I think some of the complaints are also a result of the country of origin of those attempting to withdraw. It is possible that Bit-Z is asking for additional documents and identity verification for residents of some countries, which naturally extends the length of the withdrawal process. If a potential delay in withdrawal is concerning for you, it may be better if you choose to trade elsewhere.
There have also been complaints regarding the customer service at Bit-Z. This is nothing new for cryptocurrency exchanges, but in addition to complaints regarding delays in response, there have been some users complaining that the Bit-Z customer support is unable to communicate in English. If this could cause an issue for you it might be best to choose a different exchange.
As an example of the types of complaints against Bit-Z you can quickly have a look at the Facebook page of the exchange, where you’ll notice that the exchange has a rating of 3 out of 5 from users. Looking more closely shows this rating is split mostly between users giving the exchange 5 stars, and users giving the exchange 1 star. It’s easy to figure that the 1 star reviews are coming from those who are having withdrawal issues, or communication issues with the Bit-Z support staff.
As it is breaking into the top 10 of all cryptocurrency exchanges based on volume, Bit-Z bears watching. It already has a large selection of cryptocurrencies to choose from and continues adding more, and the use of the DKKT stable coin is a draw for some users who like the stablecoin idea, but are turned off by the controversies and questions regarding Tether. You can also find some cryptocurrencies that aren’t listed on the larger exchanges.
The question is whether they will streamline the withdrawal process, and hire more English speaking support staff. This would go very far in fixing the current reputation problems they’re having.
Overall Bit-Z has been doing quite a few things right, from security to trade executions. The exchange has seen steady growth, and can be expected to see more growth, especially from mainland Chinese who need to come to Hong Kong to purchase ICOs. Keep your eye on Bit-Z and see if it isn’t the next Huobi.