As the cryptocurrency world has exploded in popularity and usage in 2017, many people are itching to get in on the excitement and the investment opportunities that these new online currencies offer. Ever since the explosion in value of Bitcoin, people have been talking about cryptocurrencies more and more, despite that it has been nearly a decade since Bitcoin’s invention.
As the buzz continues to spread exponentially across the web, more and more websites are populating the internet in high numbers. More and more websites are being launched that dedicate themselves to allow users to invest in and trade coins with maximum ease.
What makes this comparison significant?
One of the reasons we chose to discuss Bittrex and Poloniex particularly is because they both tap into a very specific function of trading digital tokens: built-in wallets for individual coins.
The ideal way to trade and store your earned crypto is to store it in a dedicated wallet on your computer’s hard drive. Electrum and Bither are popular examples of wallets that many Bitcoin owners use. These give you direct access to your tokens instead of having them lingering in an online trading account such as Coinbase or eToro. The extra authentication and security that comes with storing your tokens in a dedicated wallet brings much more peace of mind than letting a 3rd party option deal with their storage.
The problem for many however, is that owning multiple wallets can be quite a hassle. For example, many who have earned during the Bitcoin rush of last year have begun trading some of those profits into other, less popular crypto tokens (often referred to as altcoins) to capitalize on their incoming rises and gains. Diversification is becoming more and more crucial as the digital age of e-trading continues, but it also makes many security functions more inconvenient. Having upwards of a dozen different wallets for as many different cryptocurrencies is a hassle.
What makes Bittrex and Poloniex so special and revered is their ability to have separate wallets embedded into their application. This makes security and storage, even if only temporary, much more convenient and intuitive for anyone who deals in trading that goes beyond the popular titans such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Now then, let’s begin the review:
The Customer Support and Team
This is an area that’s important to many, especially in the current social media landscape. Customer support is an essential aspect to any leading software development team, especially with relatively new services like crypto exchanges. Because many e-traders deal on multiple websites and platforms, there is always going to be inquiry into the conversion rates of any given exchange website. It’s a lot like walking into a grocery store and doing a price comparison and requesting if they’ll meet the prices of their competitors. Not to mention reporting any bugs or errors that occasionally pop up.
A crypto exchange’s long term success heavily relies on having good human resources and customer support teams, and Bittrex is easily the victor when it comes to this category.
It’s become somewhat well known in recent months, let’s say the past half a year or so, that Poloniex have had issues when it comes to responding to user comments and complaints. People have not yet been able to pin down what exactly is going on, but it seems that Poloniex has devoted very little manpower into their customer support. In fact, their contact support page is really just an FAQ.
Sure, they have a presence on social media, like Reddit and Twitter, but it isn’t much. In contrast, Bittrex is much more active, though still not daily. Contacting Poloniex for any kind of inquiry has consistently proven to be much more difficult than contacting Bittrex.
It should also be noted that despite both companies set up their Twitter page in January of 2014, Bittrex has amassed 510,000 followers, while Poloniex has only acquired 143,000. This should be a clear indication to anyone who the masses prefer and rely on when it comes to customer support and a public image.
In short, Bittrex has the public, transparent and frequent open communication practices that a service which offers secure transactions to its user base ought to have.
Best User Interface and Functionality
When we say we’re going to talk about UI and functionality in the context of crypto exchange services, we mean some very specific things and tools. Some so specific that Bittrex does not even have these features, though Poloniex does: margin trading and margin lending.
Margin trading and lending is basically an advanced feature that allows one account to lend coin to another user or account and impound interest. It is a unique feature that many exchanges still do not have, and is one of the reasons why some people still swear by using Poloniex as one of their main, or even their exclusive exchange platform.
The question to ask next is, is margin trading and lending right for you? Is it enough of a game changer to make you choose Poloniex over Bittrex? That answer depends. As it is considered an advanced feature, the people who will benefit most from margin trading and lending are probably going to be those who have extra capital to trade with, as well as being okay with lending out tokens to other users.
Many people are still perfectly satisfied with doing regular trades along the main crypto markets, and would probably never even consider dabbling in margin trading or lending. It really is the make or break factor in deciding whether Bittrex or Poloniex has the better features and functionality.
Here’s our take on this: if you’re new to cryptocurrency trading and just want to deal with a few different tokens with no interaction from other customers or users, you may be better off with Bittrex. We would give the same recommendation to intermediate users with some experience in e-trading as well. This is because if we take margin trading and margin lending out of the equation, Bittrex has the slightly better functionality and user interface.
While both services have relatively similar looking UIs, we say that Bittrex’s is slightly better. They’re both quite good: simple, not too cluttered, and not difficult to use. The graphs and the stats and the prices are both easy to follow, but Bittrex’s design is a little easier on the eyes and is a bit easier to navigate. The Bittrex graph also differentiates between gains and losses easier with usage of the colors green and red respectively.
Both sites have the standard two-factor authentication process for security purposes, and Bittrex has an extra security feature they call “elastic multi-stage wallet strategy”. This allows the vast majority of the coins stored in their wallet to be placed offline in case the site gets hacked. It’s still not better than using your own wallet, but it is a lot better than nothing.
It was a close finish but here’s the deal: our official winner for this category is Poloniex. The UI is almost as good as Bittrex’s and could arguably be considered the same if it weren’t for some slight advantages in intuitive presentation that Bittrex offers. Poloniex wins solely because of margin trading and margin lending, for reasons we’ve already discussed. Having said that, we do recommend Bittrex to beginner users who are confident they’d have no reason ever to use margin trading and lending, simply because of the slightly superior user interface. Take everything we’ve written into consideration and make a choice that best fits your needs.
This was another relatively close match, but not as much as the UI category. Both Bittrex and Poloniex are leading crypto exchange services and are ahead of the curb compared with most other crypto trading platforms. As such they often acquire whatever new cryptocurrencies that appear faster than most other options. Most people, unless searching for a particularly obscure token that hasn’t even really broken ground yet, will probably not notice much of a difference between either platform when it comes to the library of cryptos available.
In the end, we believe that Bittrex is the winner in this category. Both platforms have a great amount of tokens available to purchase and sell, but many report that Bittrex is usually even faster at acquiring certain new tokens than Poloniex is. This will very likely give anyone an edge who wishes to deal in the newest tokens available, allowing them to trade in volumes of whatever they wish before too many other platforms or buyers catch on.
Final Thoughts – Who is the Winner?
It must be said that both of these platforms are impressive in their reliability to deliver great e-trading quality to a high volume of customers. Thousands of people use one or both of these sites and to this day remain satisfied. In light of this, a winner must be chosen as our top dog among these two giants, and our winner is Bittrex.
The deciding factors in this final decision were clear. Poloniex’s inferior customer support proved to be too unreliable and barebones for such new services. Its one big pro above Bittrex, margin trading and lending, is too niche of a service that would only be used by the more experienced and risky crypto traders and would have little or nothing to do with the vast majority of users. We figure that margin trading is negated by the poor customer support, and the fact that Bittrex has the slightly better user interface and rate of acquiring newly supported tokens.
It’s hard to completely rule out Poloniex because despite their flaws they are a great service that simply needs to work on their transparency and create more of a social media image. Customers need to be able to rely on that when dealing with a new platform, or even simply deciding on what crypto exchange to select in the first place. If they worked on that and got some marketing for their truly underrated margin trading function, they’d be giving Bittrex a run for their money (and tokens).
The best thing to do is to try out both and see which one you like better. Many people use multiple exchange platforms in order to determine which is best for them, so try both out if you still aren’t sure and see which one you prefer for your cryptocurrency investments.