Bittrex and Poloniex are two of the market leader and both of these exchanges are well respected. They share some similarities as well as differences.
In this Bittrex vs. Poloniex review, we’ll go over everything from the key features of each exchange, their similarities and differences, who and what each exchange is best suited for, and more.
What you'll learn 👉
Bittrex vs. Poloniex: Key Information
Whatever path led you to looking up either of these exchanges, one thing is clear – they exchange dozens of different altcoins, not just the typical BTC and ETH, but many new, up and coming cryptos such as Litecoin, Dash, GOLEM, Ripple, and many others.
However, these altcoins can be bought from a variety of exchanges across the web. With that said, not all exchanges were created equal, nor might they have all of the trading pairs you’re looking for. However, a couple of quick searches on Reddit or Google for the best altcoin exchanges will always contain two of the undisputed market leaders – Poloniex and Bittrex. Not sure which one is better? Check out this comparison below to find out which platform is best for your needs:
|Seattle, WA, USA
|Wilmington, DE, USA
|Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and 270+ more
|Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and 90+ more
It’s important to note that neither of these two exchanges accepts fiat currency (EUR, USD etc.) trading, deposits, or withdrawals. These two platforms exclusively deal in cryptocurrency.
The Court of Public Opinion
The public generally views both Poloniex and Bittrex positively. However, both these platforms do generate their fair share of complaints.
Many users mostly complain about how the Poloniex customer support has taken weeks or sometimes even months to respond to support tickets, which can be incredibly frustrating. I have to say that it is disappointing that many first-time users were ushered into the crypto-world with such a negative first impression.
On the other hand, Bittrex also receives a good amount of criticism for its customer service. However, this amount is far less than that of Poloniex.
When it comes to places you plan on exchanging your hard-earned money, first impression is everything. That’s the reason why both Poloniex and Bittrex have gone above and beyond to ensure their sites are also aesthetically appealing to the end-user.
When I picked my first altcoin exchange, I was actually in between choosing either Poloniex or Bittrex, finally making my decision based on which site looked more professional. Though it lacks the sexy “big bank” home page, Poloniex has a really nice, simple, and clean user interface. Poloniex boasts a very basic, database-esque look that gives it some extra weight from the start, and these characteristics really come out in the design and functionality of the trading side, though almost too simple at times.
For instance, finding the page that shows your balances and various wallets is a couple of clicks deep, under the “Deposit/Withdraw” page. This is certainly not the first place one would think to look.
On the other hand, when you first go to Bittrex it almost makes you feel like you landed on the wrong site. The homepage reminds you of a basic WordPress blog that just happens to have a “Login” button subtly placed in the navigation bar. If you’re curious to read anything detailed about the exchange, see screenshots, or do any research – good luck. You’ll need to first make an account in order to do any of these things.
However, the logged-in view of Bittrex completely contrasts the aforementioned design. Stuffed with a fluid user interface and active tickers, the Bittrex exchange certainly feels better designed and I find it to be more intuitive than Poloniex. The coin pages themselves also contain a plethora of tools for more technical research, and the fact that they show prices in USD is really helpful for me because Bitcoin prices tend to fluctuate wildly.
Try them both to see which one is better for you. However, in the end, I’d have to say Bittrex takes the win in this category.
When trading altcoins, the best returns (in most cases) will come from the small market cap coins which are only traded on one or two exchanges. Fortunately, both Bittrex and Poloniex offer a wide selection of coins to choose from, and as more and more tokens come out, both exchanges grab them up pretty quickly. This may end up for better or worse depending on your confidence and impulsiveness.
Poloniex is currently offering 99 different altcoins (at the time of writing this article), with the top 20 (by 24 hour volume) as follows:
96 altcoin options may be more than you ever need. However, Bittrex offers a staggering 270 trading pairs at the time of writing this article, with the top 20 (by 24 hour volume) shown below:
As you can see, both Bittrex and Poloniex are two of the best exchanges for getting access to a majority of cryptocurrencies currently available in the market. However, Bittrex definitely takes the win here in terms of variety of coins available to trade on the exchange solely due to the flexibility of scooping up small-cap altcoins and freshly released ICOs.
It’s also important to note that neither exchange allows for the exchange of fiat for cryptocurrency, which is a frustration that many users have had to fill by using a secondary exchange such as GDAX or Coinbase.
In terms of fees, both platforms differ slightly in terms of structure. These minute differences will hardly be noticeable for the small-time investor. However, even the fractions of percent can make a difference for large-scale investors and day traders.
On Bittrex, commission fees are very straightforward and simple, but more expensive than on Poloniex. All trades have a 0.25% commission – no matter how much you trade from either a volume or frequency perspective, nor whether or not you “make” a new order or “take” an existing order off the books. This feature is useful for those users who want to buy coins quickly and they don’t want to be concerned with whether a rapidly market cost beating their limit price will cost them an extra 0.10% on their trade.
At first glance, the fee structure for Poloniex appears slightly more complicated, until you really start to read into it:
Poloniex will calculate the last 30 days of trading volume on your account (spot and margin combine) every 24 hours. After that, it will dynamically adjust your fees according to the above schedule. However, to qualify for lower fees, you’d need to be trading more than 600 BTC worth of volume.
If you’re not familiar with the maker and taker terminology, don’t worry. They’re exactly how they sound. If you “make” an order by offering to purchase a coin at a lower market price than the lowest “ask” price, it theoretically wouldn’t fill immediately and you would only pay a 0.15% commission when it did.
On the other hand, if you “take” an order off the books, your order should fill immediately and you would be charged 0.25%. For every taker of an order, there was a maker of that order. This means that Poloniex is technically making 0.40% commission per complete trade.
Both Poloniex and Bittrex were both formed and operated in the United States (similar to many of the current popular exchanges). This increases the likelihood of higher quality support, and it also adds the additional reassurance that these exchanges are subject to US laws and protection by the legal system. Because of this, both platforms have placed a high priority on securing your digital assets through various means.
Bittrex was founded in 2014 by Ryan Hentz, Rami Kawach, Richie Lai, and Bill Shihara – four former security professionals with more than 50 years of combined experience. They come from large companies like BlackBerry, Qualys, Amazon, and Microsoft. In terms of storing your coins, they also use something called an “elastic multi-stage wallet strategy” which allows them to store almost 90% of the exchange’s coins offline. One more thing worth noting is that two-factor authentication (2FA) is required for all withdrawals and API usage. 2FA is pretty standard nowadays, but always a nice touch.
Poloniex also requires 2FA to both login and withdrawal currency from your account. The background of the founders isn’t published on the site as it is with Bittrex. However, many people, including knowledgeable Reddit contributors, still believe that Poloniex is the better option in many regards. With that said, in 2014 Poloniex was hacked and unfortunately the attackers made way with 97 BTC. Fortunately, Bitcoin was trading at less than $500 USD at the time, allowing Poloniex to pay their customers back very quickly. After the attack, people at Poloniex introduced new safeguards to ensure it didn’t happen again.
Bittrex vs. Poloniex: Which is Better?
Bittrex and Poloniex are two of the leading digital currency exchanges in the world, and when it comes to making a final decision whether to start your altcoin journey with either Bittrex or Poloniex, you can feel confident that there’s no right or wrong decision here. In the end, both platforms allow you to buy your coins safely and move them to their respective wallets in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Bittrex does hold the advantage of offering more coin options. However, there’s a good chance you’ll never even touch the majority of these exclusively offered trading pairs. Also, Bittrex is more open and transparent. So if research is important to you, then Bittrex is definitely the better option for you.
On the other hand, if high-volume trading or saving 10 extra basis points in fees is important to you, then Poloniex may be the better choice for you.
A mobile app is one thing that I feel both platforms are missing right now. Bittrex says it’s working on one. On the other hand, Poloniex has not mentioned anything about it.
I trade on both exchanges, and I encourage you to do the same. They’re both free and easy to create an account on, so feel free to try them both out.
Bittrex vs. Poloniex Pros and Cons
- Easy to navigate
- Great security
- Automated features
- Customer Service problems not being resolved on time
- Verification process takes too long
- Great liquidity
- Margin trading in altcoins
- Many altcoins to trade in
- Poor customer support
- Slow website
- No fiat currency trading