Mar 092014

Bter vs. Cryptsy

Bter vs. Cryptsy, which is a better altcoin exchange? If you want to trade altcoins, where should you trade them? Here I present a comprehensive overview of both these exchanges, and you can make up your mind which exchange suits you best.

First off, both Bter and Cryptsy are good altcoin exchanges that have proven that they are not scams. This is an important first step, considering the plethora of new exchanges cropping up. Next, both seem to have good security, which is a good thing. Now, I evaluate Bter vs. Cryptsy based on a number of different parameters. Also, Bter is based in China and Cryptsy in the US (both being huge markets for altcoin trading).


Both Bter and Cryptsy have been around for a good amount of time. That being said, when it comes to trading reliability, I would definitely prefer Bter over Cryptsy. Bitcointalk forums are full of stories of how unreliable Cryptsy trading can get. I’ve personally seen and experienced this too. The trading lag can be incredible, and on countless occasions I’ve seen the bid price greater than the ask price, which just shows that as the market moves, Cryptsy just lags behind. For instance, look at this screenshot below for a trading pair SXC/LTC on Cryptsy –


This delay is inexcusable. I’ve never experienced this on Bter, even during peak trading times. Sure, there are some delays on Bter too but they are usually a few seconds, not hours like it can get on Cryptsy. I would hand reliability to Bter if I am comparing Bter vs. Cryptsy. Some newer exchanges seem to have even lower delays but they are too new and I don’t want to risk putting in a lot of my Bitcoins on those exchanges.

Number of trading pairs

Cryptsy wins this round hands down. Cryptsy has more number of altcoin trading pairs than any other exchange. In fact, sometimes it can just feel hard to find the pairs you’re looking for to trade, just because you need to scroll through so many of them.

If your goal is to try to trade as many altcoins as possible, Cryptsy should definitely be in your arsenal. Major markets are in BTC and LTC – XPM markets are usually inactive. Some altcoins are traded both against LTC and BTC so take a look. It is also a good platform to have an account on, overall, since it tends to remain active and can have a much higher market depth than other smaller exchanges that might trade the same pair. Bter too has a very good market depth when it trades the same pair, but it has a lesser number of altcoins listed.

Adding new, promising altcoins

This may not be a major concern for some, but it is a major factor for me. There are many promising altcoins that are not copy-paste of other already existing ideas. These are rare but they do happen once in a while, and it is important for my choice of exchange to list them as soon as possible. These are the ones that have a high potential for success and I would be comfortable holding them for a longer time.

In this aspect, surprisingly, Bter beats Cryptsy hands down. All the coins with innovation get listed on Bter much before Cryptsy. The effect is that it is possible to buy them cheaper on Bter and then they get listed on Cryptsy and the world knows about them and is able to buy them, thus pushing the price up. I’ve seen this scenario play out with multiple promising altcoins, such as Protoshares, NXT, Counterparty … in each case, Bter took the lead and listed coins much before Cryptsy. I want to be able to get my hands on interesting crypto-currencies as soon as possible, and Bter allows me to do that better.


To be very honest, the support at both Bter and Cryptsy is pretty terrible. I’ve had better success with Bter’s support than Cryptsy’s but that’s not the case with everyone, and I do realize that Bter’s support is nothing to boast of. Both these exchanges have a long way to go before their support improves to an acceptable level. If you’re outside China, contrary to my experience, I might be inclined to give an advantage to Cryptsy, considering it’s based in Florida US as opposed to Bter which is in China and could have inadequate resources to address issues in English. Bottom line is, both these exchanges need to work on their support issues.


This is probably the most objectively verifiable Bter vs. Cryptsy issue I can find. For buying altcoins, the fees is the same at both these exchanges – 0.2%. However, for selling altcoins, Bter charges 0.2% but Cryptsy charges 0.3%. This means when you’re selling altcoins, the fees at Cryptsy are 50% higher than Bter, an insignificant amount. Consider this before you initiate frequent or large trades on either one of them.

Other Considerations

If an altcoin that I wish to trade is traded on both Bter and Cryptsy, my preference is to go to Bter personally, since it is in general a smoother transaction.

Also, remember that a lot of pumps and dumps happen on Cryptsy as opposed to Bter. Not saying this as a good or bad thing, just stating a fact.

Also, it can sometimes be a good thing to have accounts on both Cryptsy and Bter. This way, if there is any price differential especially in fast moving markets, you might make use of them to make some profits in an almost risk-free manner through arbitrage.

If you’ve used Bter or Cryptsy to trade altcoins, I would like to know your experience.

Photo Credit: najeebkhan2009

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