HitBTC review: controversy, fees, KYC, safety
Use if you absolutely have to
Ease of withdrawals and deposits
HitBTC is a cryptocurrency exchange operated by Hit Solution Limited, registered at Unit 19, 7/F., One Midtown No.11 Hoi Shing Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong.
It’s a large exchange for altcoins, listing a ton of altcoins and tokens. There are nearly 400 BTC pairs to trade as well as other cryptocurrency pairs:
The fact many people come to HitBTC just because the exchange lists so many smaller coins and tokens. Mostly to exchange them into BTC or ETH and withdraw to their own wallets.
HitBTC business model wraps around it perfectly, employing high withdrawal fees and often sketchy KYC requirements that complicate withdrawal process and make more people keep their funds at HitBTC.
HitBTC trading platform
Everything’s fine here. The platform lets you open market orders, limit orders (good till cancelled, immediate or cancel, fill or kill, day, good till date/time), and scaled orders.
There are no glitches and the trading process is smooth.
The HitBTC fee on trading orders is 0.1% with a 0.01% rebate.
However, withdrawal fees are the point of many complaints – the fees to withdraw your funds are really high. BTC withdrawals require a flat fee of 0.001 BTC, and ETH withdrawals cost 0.00958 ETH in flat fee.
This is a lot higher than the necessary Bitcoin network fee, so we can say HitBTC makes a decent chunk of their money from withdrawal fees, considering people are afraid of keeping money at exchanges. (the fees are still lower than “minumum withdrawal fees” @ Spectrocoin)
HitBTC withdrawal glitches
First, when you try to withdraw your funds for the first time (go to Account -> click “Withdraw” under balances) you will see warning messages along these lines:
“Our monitoring systems show that BTC daemons are not stable now. Either BTC network is highly loaded or our servers are overloaded. We are handling it right now and your coins are safe. However, proceeding with withdrawal right now could lead to your transaction being delayed or stuck, until we manually process it, which in the worst case can take up to 4 weeks.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
This message seems to appear randomly without relation to actual state of mempools.
Then as you are processing withdrawals, they simply fail 6 times out of 7:
In order to not risk your account getting locked some users suggest withdrawing Bitcoin in batches of 0.8 BTC. Anything below 1 BTC does not seem to be triggering their KYC mechanism that locks the user’s funds.
As for the KYC – reports have been that HitBTC user can be asked to provide excessive information – source of income, balances on other exchanges, gmail and Facebook accounts (!).
Here’s a Reddit thread from October 10th, 2018 with user complaints about extraordinary KYC requirements. The fact that only withdrawals, and not deposits, trigger KYC, seems extremely suspicious and makes one think HitBTC is just interested in complicating withdrawals.
Is HitBTC a scam?
Not in a direct way, even though the scam reports are getting out of control even in the official subreddit of HitBTC:
However, the practices used by HitBTC to complicate withdrawals and make users keep their funds at HitBTC are extremely shady.
Has HitBTC been hacked?
Not officially – not that we know of at least. However, the amount of users who had their accounts hacked and lost money is gruesome.
What are some of the HitBTC alternatives
Most people have to use HitBTC to liquidate some of the tokens they bought before, won, or got paid in. If the token you are after is only listed @ HitBTC then you could look for alternatives on sites like Coinmarketcap. You could also use Shapeshift (or Shapeshift alternatives) for exchanging some of the more popular tokens.
HitBTC alternative for buying Bitcoin:
HitBTC review verdict
Use it if you absolutely have to. Be aware of the high fees, stay below 1BTC limit for withdrawals if you do not want to trigger KYC.