Bittrex is one of the most popular crypto exchanges for trading altcoins in the U.S.. Its complexity can be intimidating, but the learning curve is worth it.
On Bittrex you can trade BTC for almost any altcoin, compare that to GDAX where you can only trade a few different “trading pairs” (USDT/BTC, BTC/ETH, BTC/LTC, etc) and you’ll immediately see the value of Bittrex.
Its not like Bittrex is the only exchange that offers a wide selection, it is only that it is one of the more popular choices for altcoin exchanges in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
NOTE: Trading crypto to crypto can be risky for more reasons than I can list (I’ll include a list of reasons on the site shortly). Consider using caution and not doing any big orders until you are 110% confident in your abilities. If you are trading alts then I strongly, strongly, strongly [strongly] suggest using stop losses and averaging into positions with small buy-ins. See: How To Set A Stop Loss On Bittrex and Risk Management for Trading.
TIP: I’ll write an in-depth guide on Bittrex shortly, in the meantime see Steemit’s Bittrex.com Cryptocurrency Exchange Trading Tutorial with Bitcoin + Steem + 179 Altcoins!, Medium’s Getting started with trading on Bittrex, and Bittrex’s FAQ. Otherwise ask me any specifics in the comments below and I’ll answer them. An in-depth guide is on its way.
NOTE: Stop loss orders are a little strange on Bittrex. You have to set the price you want the order to trigger at, and the lowest price you want to bid. You have to set the price you want to sell at (the ask price) lower than the price you want it to go on the books at (the condition), or you risk your order not going off. So for a stop loss on Bittrex (called a “conditional” “less than or equal to” in this case) set “type” to “conditional,” set “condition” to “less than or equal to,” and then set your “Ask” lower than your conditional “less than or equal to.” Then when the condition is hit your ask will go on the books. Its a strange choice of semantics, but this is how it works. Of course, that is for a stop loss, you can also use this tool to set buy orders if a certain price is hit (for those set your bid price a little higher than the condition for the same reasons). Otherwise you just set limit buys/sells in Bittrex (don’t use market orders). One last note, it doesn’t matter how low you set the price, Bittrex will sell for the best price it can when the stop goes off. Thus, if you think the coin could plummet and you want to get out no matter what, try setting your ask a few points lower than your condition (if its too tight and the coin falls hard, it really could end up skipping over your order… that is never fun).
TIP: There are generally fees associated with trading crypto (unless an exchange says otherwise for specific order types). Bittrex takes a .25% commission on all trades. So you have to make more than .25% on a trade to turn a profit on Bittrex. Meanwhile, there are generally no fees for withdrawals or deposits. However, you should note that this is subject to change and you may pay transaction costs moving to and from Bittrex if the other entity you are using charges transaction fees or other fees. For example, Ether uses “gas” and Bittrex can’t do anything about that (and third party applications like Coinbase may charge their own fees as well). See What fees does Bittrex charge?
(To the Above Point) Keep transaction costs in mind, as you can’t fund Bittrex with USD. To use Bittrex you need to have coins already. That means you’ll likely want Coinbase/GDAX first. What you’ll do is sign up for Coinbase (and/or GDAX), buy your Bitcoins (or Ether or Litecoins), then transfer that to Bittrex (by clicking the wallet link in the top right and then hitting the plus sign next to the related wallet). This will cost you a pretty penny in transaction fees. Thus, you will need a good bit of profit to cover all the transaction fees in and out of Bittrex (especially if you want to turn your coins back to USD at some point). Not only that, but Bitcoin often goes on bull runs leaving alts behind. If Bitcoin goes flying to the moon, and you are paying transaction fees and waiting out other coins, you could take a net loss vs. staying in Bitcoin. If that doesn’t make sense, you probably aren’t ready for Bittrex and should play around with GDAX and Coinbase more. Bittrex is not a novice level exchange, but once you a ready for it, it is a place where a lot of digital money can be made!
WARNING: Exchanges have inherent risks. They can get go down for a while, they can get shut down, they can get hacked, the owners can go rouge. It isn’t common, but problems like that aren’t unheard of. Realize you are taking that risk and try not to leave all your funds on an exchange (especially those you aren’t actively trading).