Jan 262014

Bter Review

In this Bter review, I want to show you the pros and cons of Bter as an altcoin exchange, and also share with you my personal experience with this exchange, to buy and sell, deposit and withdraw altcoins.

Update: Due to a hack, Bter is no longer safe anymore. Do not use it to trade.

Bter is an altcoin exchange that allows you to trade currency pairs in BTC and LTC. It is one of the very few altcoin exchanges that also has a fiat currency component, in CNY. If you’re in China or have access to a Chinese bank account, Bter will allow you to buy your favorite altcoins with Chinese Yuan. Exchanges like Cryptsy don’t allow you to buy altcoins with USD, in comparison. Also, it was positively surprising that Bter was able to retain the CNY component of its exchange even after the Chinese Government gave guidelines to banks not to deal with crypto-currencies and large exchanges like BTC China shut off fiat deposits.

I have personally moved more and more of my trading and investing activity away from Cryptsy and into Bter and I wan to share with you my thoughts and experiences with this exchange.

Before going deeper into Bter review specifically, I want to recount the things that I expect from an exchange –

What Should an Altcoin Exchange Provide?

  • Ability to buy/sell altcoins I am interested in, i.e, having adequate number of altcoins to trade.
  • Adding new promising altcoins as soon as possible after they are launched, taking the lead.
  • Ability to quickly deposit/withdraw into the exchange, especially during fast moving markets.
  • Trades should be filled soon and not lag, especially in a fast moving market. You’d be surprised how many exchanges fail this simple criterion during market peak times.
  • Reasonable trading fees.
  • Resolving support issues when they arise.

These are my six main criteria while evaluating an exchange. There could be several other minor features that others might require in their altcoin exchange, but I think this is a fair list.

How Well Does Bter Perform?

Time to evaluate this Bter review with respect to how well Bter performs in the above mentioned points –

  • The list of altcoins that Bter provides is good. You have all the main altcoins and plenty of lesser known ones too. I think it is a good mix. However, on this single point alone, Cryptsy definitely beats Bter, in that Cryptsy has more number of altcoins that you can trade. Also remember that since Bter is a Chinese exchange, you have pairs available in CNY. Also, altcoins like ChinaCoin are available on Bter that are not usually available for trade on other exchanges. Bter has better inventory than older exchanges like BTC-e or Vircurex although these older exchanges tend to be more robust 3.5/5
  • I think Bter is very good with adding promising altcoins. I have written about this earlier, but Bter was the first ‘mainstream’ exchange that started a market in Protoshares. This was followed by Cryptsy more than 2 weeks later. More recently, Cryptsy became the first major exchange to add NXT (like it or hate it, it isn’t another copy-paste coin), while Cryptsy has no such plans and Vircurex is following Bter’s lead in adding NXT soon. I really like the fact that Bter is quick to add new idea coins to the list. In comparison, the last coins that Cryptsy added? RonPaulCoin, Mooncoin and BattleCoin. 4.5/5
  • Deposits and withdrawals are definitely quick at Bter. I’ve personally never had any problems or lag in scores of deposits and withdrawals at this site. However, if you browse through the Bitcointalk forums, you’ll see a few people complaining about this. There were also some issues during the peak December time when Bitcoin and altcoin trading was at its highest. To be fair to Bter though, its nearest competitor, Cryptsy was far far worse during this time, and still remains slower than Bter to this day. More recently, the whole experience with using Bter has been very pleasant and deposits and withdrawals have been consistently fast and reliable. 4/5
  • Trade lag is very minimal at Bter. Even during the peak of trading season that happened a couple of months ago in December, Bter was able to handle the load reasonably well, although there were some lag issues in some markets. Contrast this with Cryptsy where I had seen delays of up to 6 hours (yes, that isn’t a typo) to fill an order where the buy price was higher than the sell price. It was atrocious at Cryptsy. You can read on Bitcointalk forum about how a lot of people lost a lot during this time on Cryptsy. 4/5
  • Trading and withdrawal fees on Bter is one of the lowest in the industry. True, it might be pressured on this front with some new entrants who want to attract traders with lower fees, but among the major exchanges, Bter is definitely great. How does it compare to Cryptsy? The altcoin buying fees is the same on Cryptsy and Bter (0.2%) and the altcoin selling fees at Bter is 50% less than on Cryptsy! (0.2% for Bter vs. 0.3% for Cryptsy). 4.5/5
  • Bter can get better with responding to emails/support tickets. Most exchanges in this space suffer from this, but Bter isn’t particularly good either. On the plus side, you can contact them at Bitcointalk forums under the usernames Bter or freeworm. 3/5

So that’s my Bter review in the different categories that I consider important for any altcoin exchange. I like the way Bter is progressing forward, as it seems to get better and better. They also seem to have a pulse of the industry and add promising coins soon, which is a huge plus for this exchange. It is established and well-run. Overall, I am quite happy with my experience so far with Bter.

Do you trade at Bter? Have you used them at all? Happy or unhappy? Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit: fdecomite

  12 Responses to “Bter Review: A Look Inside a Promising Altcoin Exchange”

  1. I’m a big fan of Bter. The Bter Points system and is a little confusing, especially if you’re on the English language portion of the site (you have to manually type in “BTR_cny” as the trading pair if you want to trade points), but they have a great variety. They were the first major exchange to add NXT and their customer service has been very responsive in my experience.

    • That’s great to hear, I’ve been increasingly using Bter of late too. Wow, I did not know about the URL trick for the Bter points, thanks for letting me know! They were definitely the first major exchange for NXT and that’s also when I bought my first NXT. I am glad to hear you had good experience with their customer service. I didn’t have to contact them yet for any issues (thankfully!) but it is good to hear they are responsive in case of any need.

  2. So I converted 3 WorldCoins to Bitcoin and then to DOGE and had those measly 750 dogecoins sent to my dogewallet. When I withdrawn I got a ‘page not found’.

    Well, they are gone, they don’t show up on bter and definitely not in my wallet. And since nothing happened in about an hour, I believe I’m done using this exchange.


    • Yeah, the DOGECoins are gone. It’s been 2 hours more and bter doesn’t show me any transaction regarding my doge withdrawal. My wallet doesn’t either.

      I had half a worldcoin left and with it I tried another exchange which worked fine. In 5 minutes I had send my WC currency, bought BTC, bought DOGE and withdrew those 120 coins to my wallet.

    • Yes, they’re gone, they’re gone, my whole 75 cents worth of dogecoin are forever gone and bter is the main protagonist of the heist.

    • Did you ever try contacting them? I ran a giveaway for Dogecoin on my blog – https://btcgeek.com/buy-dogecoin-dogecoin-exchanges/ and every single payment was made from my Bter wallet, not my personal wallet. Everything was smooth with absolutely no issues. I withdrew from my DOGE wallet on Bter more than 50 times without a problem. And several other crypto-currencies too. Did you never get a transaction ID to check on the blockchain?

      • Yeah, I sent an e-mail to their support address which hasn’t resolved anything.

        Could it be they simply hate little o’ me?

    • They replied to my support e-mail after these number of days. How many were they? Two or three. In any case they’ve returned my dogecoins to my bter account and the withdrawal worked this time without errors.

      And I see them coming to my wallet. So there, bter works. Even if not pristine.

      • Glad it worked out well for you, thanks for the update!
        The whole industry is very new, and there are bound to be issues all around. It is good to know Bter at least resolved them for you.

  3. I used Bter since June with no problems…until recently they have proved to be either totally incompetent, or scammers.
    I have a locked account that I cannot withdraw from until I pay 4425 WDC that they claim was credited to me in error. This cannot be the case.
    Also around .6 BTC went missing from my balance.
    I have had few replies, none of them satisfactory, and none of them recently as I escalate my attempt to resolve this issue.
    No proof is provided. They do not seem to care.
    Perhaps someone here can be of assistance is resolving this – I have about 14 BTC there mostly in alts.
    As WDC drops I am considering buying it to pay the bribe to see if they then let me take the remainder of my funds out to never return.

  4. Stay away from BTER if you want to keep your coins. 3 of my BTC were part of the first “hack” they had and they replaced with BTC-B and said they would repay me within 6 months. 2 years later, 12 calls and 45 emails and they told me my coins are gone and leave them alone. STAY AWAY.

  5. BTER Smeel bad, very bad…
    They have deactivated the BTC Withdrawl, then I try to withdraw Feathercoin and nothing happens

    I try again with NXT (that previously I Deposit) and nothing

    I have 1.5 BTC lose at this time… It’s my Family Capital, I feel so bad…

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