Markets move quickly, and with the cryptocurrency industry being a 24/7, 365-day market, it moves even faster than most. We are now halfway through 2019, and things have changed significantly.
New exchanges have emerged, old ones have fallen, and other crypto exchanges who previously didn’t offer margin trading have since entered the arena now that so many traders demand such advanced trading tools and features.
Here is our updated list of the best Bitcoin margin trading platforms of 2019, helping traders to stay on top of which trending platforms offer which assets and at what leverage.
BitMEX has earned notoriety across the internet due to the platform’s outspoken CEO mouthpiece, talk of “REKT” big budget liquidations from over-leveraged traders, and it offering traders the ability to take long and short positions. While other platforms offer similar positions to be taken, BitMEX earned its clout because of it.
The Seychelles-based trading platform is one of the largest exchanges by volume, however, it doesn’t openly welcome US traders who are forced to hide behind a VPN. Those who take the risk could have their accounts closed.
BitMEX has also earned itself a reputation for frustration, due to the commonly discussed “order submission error” issue that continues to plague traders to this day. During times of peak volatility, BitMEX servers become unresponsive. Traders are often unable to close positions due to this, suffering liquidation and losses.
Still, BitMEX commands much market share, and continues to stay a hot button topic across the crypto trading community.
Maximum Leverage: BitMEX offers up to 100x on BTC, and varying leverage ranging from 5x to 50x across other crypto assets.
Assets Offered: Cryptocurrencies are offered via a variety of fiat currency pairs, as well as BTC pairs.
PrimeXBT takes some of the best features found across all of the platforms offered here and puts them under one roof.
The trading platform was built on decades of traditional market experience, and it shows via the platform’s more sophisticated feature set and asset offering. PrimeXBT offers advanced trading tools, charting software, customizable UI, the ability to take long and short positions simultaneously, a reliable trading engine with ultra-low latency, and much more.
PrimeXBT started with Bitcoin-based trading of crypto assets, but recently expanded its offering to include even more crypto pairs, forex, commodities, stock indices, and spot contracts for gold and silver, making the platform highly attractive for portfolio diversification.
A lucrative referral program has helped the platform grow and keeps its traders engaged, loyal, and earning income through more channels beyond just trading alone.
Maximum Leverage: 100x leverage across all cryptocurrency trading pairs, with up to 500x on forex currency trading pairs.
Assets Offered: The most popular cryptocurrencies are available as a trading pair against USD or BTC, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and EOS. The platform also offers traditional financial assets such as forex currencies; commodities; stock indices; and spot contracts for gold and silver.
Bitfinex is often considered among the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and once enjoyed the #1 position by trading volume. Over the years, competitors introduced many features that have now made Bitfinex look like a fossil by comparison.
The debut of the recent LEO token and the Initial Exchange Offering boom has helped them capture interest once again following the New York Attorney General’s Office accusation of Bitfinex’s parent company misappropriating funds.
Additional controversy surrounding the exchange’s sister subsidiary Tether and their USDT, fiat-backed stablecoin, have further tarnished the exchange’s reputation and prompted a mass exodus from the exchange weeks ago.
Regardless, Bitfinex remains popular among top tier traders for its liquidity and is known for the “whales” that trade there who often lead market movements.
Maximum Leverage: Bitfinex offers a maximum leverage of 3.3x using peer to peer margin funding.
Assets Offered: Cryptocurrencies are offered via a variety of fiat currency pairs, as well as USDT and BTC pairs.
Kraken is among the longest standing crypto exchanges, and was one of the first exchanges to pick up the pieces of the Mt. Gox disaster, making it a sort of sweetheart of the crypto industry.
A recent inquiry from the New York Attorney General’s Office caused the firm’s CEO to lash out over Twitter, condemning them and the state’s ruthless BitLicense. The regulatory license is said to be strangling innovation in the industry when it comes to the state of New York – where Wall Street currently rules.
Of the US-based cryptocurrency exchanges that suffer heavy regulation, Kraken is one of the least popular despite its longevity. It has also made headlines for flash crashes in Bitcoin that could hint at liquidity problems, or other underlying issues.
Maximum Leverage: Up to 5x across on select crypto assets including Augur, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Ripple, and Tether. The leverage available varies across these assets with a maximum ranging from 2x to 5x.
Assets Offered: Kraken offers many of the top cryptocurrencies and even features some of the more recently launched assets such as Cosmos and Tezos, along with many other more common crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more.
Poloniex in 2018 was acquired by the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle and its been downhill ever since. It has a sleek user interface and strong liquidity, however, it has fallen out of favor over recent years.
The acquisition did make Poloniex the first Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA-registered exchanges in the market, adding an additional layer of trust for institutional investors.
Poloniex caters to professional traders and its user interface can be complicated for newcomers. However, the platform’s security is an added bonus for newbies who haven’t yet learned to take steps necessary to protect their crypto assets.
Maximum Leverage: Poloniex only offers leverage up to 2.5x. However, the platform removed margin trading for US customers late in 2018. It is still offered to other regions.
Assets Offered: Poloniex offers a massive list of crypto assets for trading, though some are limited from US traders.
Huobi Pro is a Singapore-based exchange, and has earned a strong reputation amongst international traders, especially in the Asian market. The platform does not accept US-based traders and recently opened HBUS, though that platform is lacking many of the features and assets found on the International platform.
The platform features hundreds of cryptocurrency trading pairs, against BTC, ETH, and USDT. Cryptocurrency can be purchased via fiat currencies or deposited for trading. It also features some of the best security across the industry, both through its own internal infrastructure and with the assistance of Goldman Sachs.
Like Binance, Huobi Pro offers its customers a token, though it doesn’t offer the extensive utility that Binance Coin does, or has captured the interest of investors and traders the same way.
Maximum Leverage: Up to 3x leverage is available across Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum Classic, EOS, Ripple, OmiseGo, and Z-Cash.
Assets Offered: Huobi Pro offers most of the top crypto assets across the market.
OKEx is another cryptocurrency exchange offering Bitcoin margin trading that dominates the crypto market by trading volume. The platform is also yet another exchange that blocks US-based traders along with many other countries.
The OKEx user interface is clean, somewhat easy to use, but offers an incredibly complicated fee structure.
The platform recently made news for increasing its leverage to 5x, up from the 3x previously offered. It also recently made news for a bizarre incident where a trader threatened to commit suicide at the company headquarters following a substantial liquidation. The liquidation was caused by OKEx futures price crashing 30%-40% more than every other margin exchange.
Maximum Leverage: OKEx had previously been capped at 3x leverage, but recently raised max leverage to 5x for select crypto assets.
Assets Offered: Dozens upon dozens of crypto pairs, although only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, and EOS are available at 5x.
eToro is one of the more interesting of the cryptocurrency exchanges, stepping into the world of traditional assets, not only digital ones. It actually began long before cryptocurrency ever existed, and while it’s become known for offering the asset class, it did not begin its life that way.
The exchange offers a number of crypto assets, stocks, commodities, indices, ETFs, and forex currencies, making it among the most complete offerings anywhere. However, the platform being off-limits for a number of jurisdictions limit its trading volume for cryptocurrencies.
eToro also has become well-known for its marketing efforts, including its Senior Market Analyst Mati Greenspan and his commentary that is adored and often cited across the space.
Maximum Leverage: eToro’s leverage options vary greatly by asset class. Crypto pairs are max 30x, while crypto CFDs are just 2x. Currency pairs, gold, and major indices are offered at max 20x. Commodities other than gold and major equity indices are max 10x, and CFDs for stocks and ETFs are just 5x.
Assets Offered: eToro offers many major crypto pairs, forex currency pairs, ETFs, stocks, indices, commodities, and more.
Deribit is a newcomer, touting itself as one of the many “BitMEX killers.“ However, trading volume shows that they have failed to capture market share thus far.
The platform attempted to appeal to traders frustrated with BitMEX notorious order submission errors, by offering 100x leverage and even sending the rival CEO chocolate bars adorned with the an “order-submission error” screenshot commonly shared across the crypto community as a painful reminder of the experience.
Deribit also only offers Bitcoin-based trading – no other crypto or traditional assets are offered, limiting its allure to traders.
Maximum Leverage: 100x is the maximum offered by Deribit.
Assets Offered: Bitcoin only.
Technically, Binance hasn’t yet rolled out its margin trading officially, although the beta version of the platform is live and been trading for weeks now. One might expect Binance to feature a wide range of exotic altcoins as its reputation across the market would suggest, the asset offering is very limited – as is the amount of leverage possible.
Binance makes the cut due to the sheer power of the brand and how massive the trading volume is, providing great liquidity. Binance is also known to be easy to use for new traders and still offer an experience professional traders can utilize.
While the margin trading may not be Binance’s strong suit, the rest of their ecosystem is so vast, traders may find themselves so engrained elsewhere that margin trading there is a natural fit.
Maximum Leverage: A maximum of just 2x leverage, however, the exchange also revealed an unreleased Futures product that will be offering up to 20x leverage on Bitcoin Futures contracts.
Assets Offered: Five of Binance’s most popular crypto assets: Bitcoin, Binance Coin – its native exchange token, Ethereum, Tron, and Ripple.