itBit is a New York-based exchange catering to large bitcoin traders, individual or institutions.
Taker:0.2%; Maker: 0.0%Trading Fees
- Singapore, United States
- Bank Wire
- USD, SGD
- Federally regulated – available in all 50 states
- Good liquidity, low fees, a great OTC trading desk
- Bitcoin held in cold storage, backed by audited reserve minimum
- No ACH transfers
- No mobile product
itBit came out of nowhere with a massive $25 million Series A funding round and announced that they had been regulated as a bank in New York. At least as far as itBit’s sizable compliance department is concerned, this means itBit can offer exchange services to all 50 states in the United States, and this is exactly what they have been doing.
Good fees, good liquidity levels, a great OTC market, and exchange services to all 50 states – itBit has set itself up as a serious option for active US-based bitcoin traders.
Itbit offers customers two factor authentication on login, and each login triggers an email notification with login time and IP to ensure the account has not been hacked. 100% of customer funds are held in cold storage, which is verified by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). itBit is required by Trust statute to maintain a mandatory minimum capital reserve against both bitcoin and fiat customer deposits.
itbit’s impressive financial backing is complemented by an extremely prodigious board of directors, including former Senator Bill Bradley, former Chairman of the FDIC Sheila Bair, and former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board Robert Herz. itbit has established a trust company regulated by the NYDFS, a new standard in the bitcoin market. That itbit submitted itself to the extremely thorough review required for NYDFS licensing and was deemed fit to receive the charter speaks volumes as to the exchange’s standards of compliance, security and overall operations.
The trust requires all customer assets are held with NYDFS oversight, including a continuous audit to ensure mandatory capital reserves are upheld. All fiat currencies are held in FDIC-insured bank accounts. From a consumer protection perspective, this basically sets the bar amongst bitcoin exchanges. Moreover, the oversight provided by NYDFS is recognized by all 50 states, which has allowed itbit to allow actual, bonafide bitcoin trading on their exchange to the entire United States. While other exchanges go through the arduous state by state money transmitter licensing process, itBit seems to have find quite the shortcut to federal-esque exchange regulation.
Opening an account
|Biographical Details||Standard biographical, social security number, a few “agree/disagree” checkboxes pertaining to IRS W-9 status||Tax ID (EIN), company address, date of incorporation, CEO name|
|Proof of Identification||Take a photo of your passport, driver’s license, or other government issued ID and upload or send to support.|
|Proof of Residence||Uploading a copy of your latest online banking statement allows the entire process to be completed without moving from your computer desk. Otherwise, find a utility or phone bill, scan or take really clear photo, and upload orsend to support.|
How to Deposit with itBit
|Currency||Deposit Type||Deposit Fee||Withdrawal Fee|
|USD||SWIFT||$5.00||$15.00+any intermediary bank fees|
|EUR||SEPA||€3,64 if <€50,000;|
€34,68 if >€50,000
|€8,03 if <€50,000;
€69,36 if >€50,000
Please be advised that the amount quoted above does not include bank charges generated from the client’s bank.
The itBit Exchange
Ah, the joys of liquidity. It is evident immediately that itBit has succeeded in capturing a healthy chunk of the institutional trading volume, demonstrated by a number of very large bids and asks in the order book. The spreads are also quite narrow, with generally no more than 20 cents separating bids and asks, sometimes much less.
Post login, traders are redirected to the trading dashboard, which displays the aforementioned healthy order book as well as the trade slip. Traders are able to place only limit orders, and entering the desired price and quantity will populate the buy and sell boxes with the max associated fees and the total cost should the trade be executed at the desired level. Larger traders will appreciate the “display” functionality, which sets up an iceberg order. Iceberg orders allows only a small portion of the trade to be displayed at any given time, thus avoiding influencing market behaviour to the detriment of the trader.
Just to the right of the trade slip account balances in bitcoin, usd, eur and Singapore dollars are displayed, as well as a “rebate balance” box, which will be discussed in the fees section.
Recent orders – open or completed – are listed directly below, just above the order book. For more comprehensive reporting requirements, simply navigate to Trade History from the Account tab located in the upper right hand corner of the site. There customers can generate csv files with all account activity over a specified time period.
We were impressed by itBit’s euro liquidity. The spreads were similarly narrow to the USD market, with massive orders at the top sure to be enough for any retail trader, and many institutionals as well.
itBit utilizes a maker/taker fee structure, which is meant to ensure a healthy, deep book. On the buyer side, a maker would be a trader whose bid is priced lower than the highest current offer, such that the order will be filled only if the market moves in his direction. On the seller side, this is the exact opposite – the ask price would be priced higher than the current best offer. Not only does itBit waive the fees for makers, they provide them a rebate against future taker fees.
|30 Day Trading Volume (in BTC)||Taker Fee||Maker Fee||Maker Rebate|
The rebate is shown in the dashboard, just above the account balances. The balance is automatically applied against future taker fees.
itBit has not yet developed mobile applications for iOS nor Android devices. While the site is mobile friendly and trades can be executed, the web-based product needs a bit of love from a UX expert. Not a point in it’s favor, but also not any reason to avoid making itbit your primary exchange.
With offices in Singapore and New York, itBit is able to offer 24/7 email support to customers. The friendly and knowledgeable support team generally responds to queries within an hour or two.
You Might want to trade elsewhere if:
You are a retail investor.
And to be honest, a lot of their institutional trader branding is just that, branding. There are other high volume, low fee solutions in the US bitcoin exchange market. Coinbase is the obvious alternative.
You are open to non-US options.
Retail investors who might consider using a VPN should check out derivatives exchange bitmex, which offers the highest volumes, lowest fees, and most aggressive margin (though entirely adjustable) out there. Bitfinex has the most liquidity of any bitcoin exchange, due largely to it’s popular 3:1 margins on the spot market. You will need to buy bitcoin elsewhere to work with either of these exchanges.
itBit has earned the right to be considered a top US exchange. It is the only product offering exchange services to all 50 states, they offer excellent liquidity volume due to robust institutional trading, and their fees are competitive.