The site definitely has some smart features. For example, you can practise trading before you do it for real - in fact they encourage you to do this. The trading dashboard has information on the current order book and a number of useful charts which are interactive and can be customised. By the way, BitMEX uses XBT as their bitcoin shorthand to align it with the way silver and other metals are abbreviated.
You can use the dashboard to view recent trades, look at your stops and fills, view your order history and so on. You can also customise the dashboard to get the view that you want.
What can I trade?
BitMEX allows you to trade bitcoin against the dollar, yen and South Korean won. You can also trade bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin, ripple and cardano. The site offers futures contracts - these are an agreement to buy or sell a digital currency, at an agreed price sometime in the future. Its futures contracts are cash settled.
BitMEX is also offering a new type of trading contract called a “perpetual contract”. This is aimed at those traders who want to take out a position and hang on to it for a while. They don't want to have to manage large value fluctuations caused by big swings in the underlying commodity - for example Bitcoin. Underlying this contract is the BitMEX index which uses Bitstamp and GDAX prices. (Bitstamp is a Luxembourg based bitcoin exchange and GDAX is the Global Digital Asset Exchange which offers trading pairs for digital currencies).
Essentially, the perpetual contract doesn’t have an end date as a typical futures product would. It keeps on tracking the underlying spot price of the digital currency. Note that the margin for these trades is posted in bitcoin, so it is possible to take a long or short position using bitcoin only.
Use the Trollbox for chat
The online chat opens in a pop-up window labelled “Trollbox” so BitMEX definitely has a sense of humour. The box in question features pretty technical queries and answers which point to the type of users on the site - they are well versed in complex trades, cross margins, mark prices and so on.
BitMEX is a well designed and interesting site, and if you know what you’re doing with trading digital currencies, and are prepared to take a risk, it is definitely worth looking at - and there’s lots of information on the site too.