If you’re thinking about registering for a Bittrex account, one question sure to cross your mind would be “Is Bittrex Safe?” Bittrex is one of the safest, as well as one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Founded in 2014 by Bill Shihara, Richie Lai, Rami Kawach and Ryan Hentz, and based in Seattle, Washington. Today it trades in over 200 different cryptocurrencies with a 24-hour trading volume just under 300 million US dollars. Considering that the founders had many years of working in security for companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Blackberry, expectations are naturally quite high. And those expectations have been well met.
How Long has Bittrex Been Around?
Bittrex was founded in 2014. The founding team felt that to succeed, Bittrex had to provide security for its users. So they decided to put all their security experience into Bittrex.
Is Bittrex Regulated?
Initially, Bittrex was fully compliant with US regulations and securities laws, even being among the first companies to apply for a New York BitLicence. However, this application was eventually rejected. According to the state of New York, rejections were based on inadequacies with Bittrex’s anti-money-laundering and due diligence when listing new coins. Bittrex disputes these claims but still cannot offer its services to New York residents.
So, at the moment, Bittrex is not a regulated exchange under US securities law. However, Bittrex does operate under the regulations established by the European Union and the Maltese government, including the Malta Virtual Financial Assets Act.
How Safe is Bittrex?
Bittrex aims to offer its users a fast, safe and reliable platform for their crypto trading needs. It uses a custom-built trading engine based on what is known as scalable elastic computing to make sure the platform can adapt itself to the user’s needs and maintain a fast, safe trading environment.
Bittrex also offers 24/7/365 customer service. However, because the number of users is very large, responses can be slow at times. Some users have reported waiting for weeks for an answer from the support team. The company has said they are doing their best to improve on this issue.
How Secure is Bittrex?
The founding team had security in mind right from the start. So far, Bittrex is one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that have yet to be hacked. Considering how attractive crypto exchanges are for potential hackers, this does help build confidence in the platform’s security.
Security is accomplished by several different practices. First, around 80-90% of all tokens are stored in offline cold wallets, so even if the platform were compromised, most funds remain out of reach. While this low liquidity may mean slower transactions for users trading large amounts of crypto, it is a security measure welcomed by most.
Second, Bittrex relies heavily on two-factor authentication or 2FA via software like Google Authenticator or Authy. These apps generate random six-digit passwords which are only valid for one minute. 2FA passwords are required for all withdrawals and for using the Bittrex API for linking accounts to trading apps like TabTrader or others.
As additional security features, a notification will be sent to a user’s registered email account upon each login, and there must be a minimum two-minute wait after logging in before any withdrawals.
Are Bittrex Wallets Safe?
While Bittrex itself has never been hacked, some individual users have stated that their accounts have been accessed and their tokens were stolen. So far, all of these cases have been attributed to not enabling security measures like 2FA. Among users who have security features properly enabled, there appear to be no such issues. So, wallets on Bittrex are safe, but the extent of said safety ultimately depends on each user.
However, users don’t receive the private keys to their wallets. This means that technically speaking, users don’t really own their wallets. This is actually the norm for crypto exchanges, which is why it is recommended to users on any exchange not keep large amounts of tokens on their exchange wallets for extended periods.
Is Bittrex Trustworthy?
Bittrex aims to maintain the proper balance between offering the best security possible and taking as little personal information as possible from its users. It does this by using a service called Jumio. Users from over 200 countries all over the world need only enter their names, addresses, and dates of birth, and Jumio can verify them.
This first level of verification grants the user a basic account, which has a withdrawal limit of 3 BTC (bitcoins) per day. Enhanced accounts are available, after providing scans of government-issued ID and selfies holding said ID.
So far, there have been no reports on the misuse of personal information by Bittrex.
If what you read above has given a satisfactory answer to your question “Is Bittrex safe?”, you might be wondering how to register and start trading.
How to Get Started on Bittrex?
Registering an account on Bittrex is quite simple.
- First, head over to the Bittrex home page and click on the “Sign Up” button in the middle of the screen:
- Enter your email address, choose a secure password and click on “Submit”. An email will be sent to the address you provided.
- Open the email, and click on the “Verify Email” button.
- Read and accept the terms of service.
- Now you must complete your basic profile info. Fill in all the required fields. The required profile data are country of residence, street address, apartment or unit number, city, state or province, postal/zip code and birth date. After all, fields have been filled in, click on “Continue”.
- The next step is ID verification. Instructions here state that while ID cards and drivers licenses can be used, the process may be expedited by using passports. You may use existing scans you have at hand, or take pictures of the documents with your webcam right from the page. However, you must have a high-resolution camera. If your webcam resolution is too low, only the upload option will work for you. Once you have the appropriate scans or documents on hand, click on “Start Verification”.
- A window will open, allowing you to select your country of residence and ID type: passport, identity card or driver’s license. Once you click the proper document type, you will be asked if you wish to take a photo or upload an image. Have in mind that both front and back images of your document might be required. You might also be asked to provide an unedited, color image of your face.
- Once all images have been uploaded, click on “Submit”. The verification process can take a few hours. While this is being done, you will have access to the system and are free to start looking around. You must wait until verification is completed to do any actual trading.
That’s it. You now have a verified Bittrex account. There is a myriad of possibilities for trading digital currencies (there is even an actual token called “Myriad” that you can trade-in). How to do the actual trading is beyond the scope of this article, but even relative newcomers to the cryptocurrency world will be able to trade on the platform without too much trouble. And if questions or problems do arise, there is always customer support, even if it can sometimes take a while.
If there is one downside to Bittrex for new users, it’s that there is no support for fiat currencies. This means that you can not use your dollars, pounds, yen or euro to buy crypto tokens on this platform; you must already own some digital coins to get started. So you must first either earn tokens by any number of means available or buy them on a fiat-supporting exchange like Coinbase or Kraken and then transfer those tokens to Bittrex.
But, in conclusion, if users comply with enabling 2FA, Bittrex offers a fast, scalable and overall safe and secure platform for trading cryptocurrencies. Its reputation as one of the world’s top crypto exchanges is more than justified. In short… the answer to the opening question “Is Bittrex Safe?” is yes. Bittrex is as safe as they come.
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Jesus Cedeño is a certified doctor turned cryptocurrency expert, writer, and investor who lives in New York City. Jesús specializes in cryptocurrency product reviews, tutorials & technical analysis. Follow him on LinkedIn to stay up to date on his latest work on blockchain, decentralization and crypto investments.