The cryptocurrency exchange industry is one of the fastest growing segments of this evolving market. However, no matter how many new kids on the block surface with promises of the latest solutions and claims to revolutionize the way trading is done, a handful of established names remain synonymous with cryptocurrency trading mainly because they have been in operations since a few years.
HitBTC is one such exchange solution that has been providing trading services long before Bitcoin became a global phenomenon.
Known as one of those exchanges that give new coins and tokens a chance to grow, HitBTC comes to be the first choice of many when it comes to finding newer cryptocurrencies to trade.
However, with the growing competition, it is only natural to wonder if HitBTC should really be included in the list of top cryptocurrency exchanges.
To answer this question, we have put together a comprehensive guide that would go through various aspects of HitBTC, ranging from its trading to its fees and from its offered cryptocurrencies to its customer service.
Let’s get started and learn more about the exchange.
History of HitBTC
However, HitBTC’s official mailing address on its site is that of Hong Kong, while the exchange’s operations remain completely online just like its other counterparts.
With that being said, unlike its peers, HitBTC does not have a public face to represent itself and by the looks of it, likes operating under wraps. While that approach should not worry anyone as long as the services are there, the exchange’s cryptic ethos does make one wonder about the level of transparency which it places toward its overall business.
Despite this, HitBTC has gone on to be an operational exchange since around 5 years and remains one of the prime spots for newer cryptocurrencies.
HitBTC Review: What Does HitBTC Do?
HitBTC functions as a conventional cryptocurrency exchange with a focus on altcoins, where it lists some of the newest coins and tokens that hit the market.
The exchange allows new coins to be available to interested users for trading as soon as possible.
At the time of writing this guide, HitBTC has 319 cryptocurrencies under its belt, with more coins added almost every other week.
Data obtained from CoinMarketCap
HitBTC Review: How Does Trading On HitBTC Work?
While users can make an account on HitBTC without providing any verification, eventual verification is inevitable, and thus users are recommended to go through the process sooner than later. During the verification process, users have to provide their personal information, address, scanned copies of identification documents as well as bank account details. The verification takes a few days to be completed and according to HitBTC, is performed so the exchange could adhere with proper know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws accordingly.
Trading on HitBTC follows a maker-taker model just like most of the other cryptocurrency exchanges, with a clean and conventional interface that displays all the latest trades made on the exchange.
From the interface, users can enter their order into the books to identify as either a market maker or market taker and begin trading accordingly.
To clarify, a user is branded as a market maker when they enter an order which adds to the liquidity of the market, such as a sell order which doesn’t meet the requirements right away.
Whereas, a user is termed as a market taker when they post an order that gets fulfilled immediately, such as a request to buy cryptocurrency that is immediately matched by another pre-existing order on the books.
Users can post four different types of orders:
- Market Order
- Limit Order
- Stop Order
- Stop Limit Order
A market order is posted when the buyer or seller wants the order to be executed at the current market price. This is by far the simplest order to post and remains as the primary choice for new traders.
A limit order is put on the market by a user who wants to execute a trade at a specific price. When a buy or sell order is matched according to the posted order type, the trade gets completed.
A stop order is shared on the order books when a user wants to sell or buy at a price that goes beyond a specific limit. By default, a sell stop order is always set below the current market price, while a buy stop order is always set above the market price. This is an advanced order type and it is generally used by seasonal traders.
A stop limit order is an amalgamation of a stop order and a limit order. In this order type, a stop order has the ability to transcend into a limit order once a specific limit is reached, after which it gets executed only when a specific or a better price is met.
By offering these different order types, HitBTC covers the basics for both beginner and advanced traders in order to settle itself as an option to execute multiple trading mechanisms through various cryptocurrencies.
HitBTC also has a special wallet that is dedicated to trading. This means that while users can transfer their funds to their wallet at HitBTC, they have to transfer those available funds into a trading wallet for any trades to take place afterward.
Due to the clean interface mentioned at the start of this section, posting trades and seeing a live history of trades taking place over the exchange is easy. However, the system does have its drawbacks where it only shows canceled and rejected trades of a user for only a period of 24 hours, which means that they would not be able to see the history of canceled and rejected trades over their trading lifetime at the exchange.
Experienced traders who utilize trading bots on a day to day basis can also leverage the HitBTC REST-API, which according to the exchange is a low latency API with easy to run execution feeds.
HitBTC Review: What is The Fee Structure at HitBTC?
The fee structure at HitBTC is presented in a simplified manner for each section.
The trading fee is segregated between the maker-taker model, where market takers are charged a flat fee of 0.1% from each trade, regardless of the cryptocurrencies the trade is being executed in.
Whereas, market makers remain free of any fee, and actually get compensated upon the execution of a trade where they receive 0.01% of the trade as a rebate from the exchange, which is to encourage them further into making more trades through the HitBTC order books.
There are no fees for deposits except for the network transaction fee for each cryptocurrency, but the withdrawal fee depends upon the cryptocurrency that is being withdrawn. The full list of withdrawal fees for each cryptocurrency is available in every registered user’s account section, with the withdrawal fees for the most popular cryptocurrencies being featured on a support page on the site.
HitBTC Review: How to Deposit or Withdraw Funds on HitBTC?
Since the exchange does not accept fiat deposits, this lack of a feature actually works in its favor when it comes to depositing or withdrawing funds, as it promises almost instant deposits and withdrawals in cryptocurrencies with the only depending factor being the respective network’s speed.
Users can deposit funds into their wallet address at HitBTC, and can withdraw their funds from the exchange by providing any wallet address of their own.
However, despite the promises that HitBTC makes, making withdrawals through the exchange is notoriously difficult, with users from different parts of the cryptocurrency community coming forward to make their case. The following instances are only from the last few days on the HitBTC Reddit.
On May 18, 2018, a HitBTC user complained about their account getting hacked, with more users commenting on the post to confirm that the same had happened to them with the HitBTC team not responding to their complaints.
On May 7, 2018, a different user expressed frustration about not being able to complete the verification process due to never receiving emails that HitBTC claims to have sent. Another user backed the same claim and stated that verification emails never come through despite the exchange maintaining that they were sent.
Yet another user shared their experience about not being allowed to access their funds despite having deposited them earlier. The comment from May 7, 2018, like the instances above, also saw other users sharing similar situations that they had experienced themselves.
HitBTC, on the other hand, maintains that withdrawal issues are related to verification, and recommends its users to have their verification completed as soon as possible so that they do not have to face any issues while performing deposits and withdrawals on their accounts.
HitBTC Review: Security
HitBTC had reportedly been hacked in 2015, even though the exchange divulged no other details at the point and maintained that no user funds were stolen.
In terms of security, HitBTC implements two-factor authorization (2FA), which adds an extra layer of security to its overall operations by asking users for verification through a secondary device/identification method in their control.
Other than that, the exchange also implements cold storage and advance encryption features when it comes to its infrastructure so users’ funds could remain safe and secure at all times.
However, as mentioned above, users who have traded on HitBTC find that their account often gets hacked or their funds get misplaced with the exchange taking no responsibility for these instances except for delays – which it attributes to verification.
HitBTC Review: How is The Customer Service on HitBTC?
HitBTC has a dedicated support platform; however, in order to contact the support team, users first have to navigate their way through a series of frequently asked questions and help articles which offer troubleshooting options for various scenarios.
Only after going through these help articles do the users get to receive an option to connect to the support team through a contact form, after which their question is answered accordingly.
While the reasons for this can be understood since the team wants to help resolve basic issues as soon as possible, it creates problems for those who are in need of active support. Since the HitBTC team reportedly answers to questions after days on end – and when it does, it does so unsatisfactorily with either providing non-helpful answers or getting their emails lost in the void.
Should HitBTC be Selected as a Primary Trading Platform?
With all the issues and controversies surrounding user experience, it would be a logical choice to find another option to trade new and obscure coins. It is only because other exchanges that need verification – even while dealing with fiat – have clear and concise guidelines which users can follow and have their accounts verified before they start trading on the exchange so that their funds are not stuck in limbo when they need to withdraw them.
However, the same is not the case when it comes to HitBTC, which even after having its users follow stringent verification requirements, does not get to verify their account in a justifiable timeframe. If it was just an instance of 1, 2 or even 10 users within thousands, then it could have been written off as an isolated incident for each of them. However, with several users coming forward every week about the issues that they have been facing with HitBTC, it seems that trading with the exchange proves to be more trouble than it is worth.
That is why, looking at the information that we gathered and presented, we would recommend users to not use HitBTC as their primary exchange at the very least. If they have to try the exchange’s services, then do so with minimal funds and see how it goes for them. Most of all, having the verification process completed before getting any deposits made to the account would also be helpful, because users would then not have to remain apart from their own funds while HitBTC goes on with its extensive verification processes.