Overall Score: 80
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Headquartered in Hong Kong, and with engineering offices in London, Interdax is an up and coming exchange with a strong focus on crypto tournaments. They rely on derivatives, primarily perpetual swaps and futures. Bitcoin only at the time of writing, but ETH products are already available for testnet and will be launching on main net in weeks.
Interdax launch video
They launched in January 2019, a few months after a very successful ICO. Interdax has been coded from scratch in optimized C++ by experienced professionals and is only the second crypto exchange in the world, alongside bitmex, to use KDB+/q, a high-frequency trading technology reserved for elite financial firms hat can handle over 300000 transactions per second. The company boasts a strong team of professionals who came from pioneering crypto projects and well-known financial institutions, and participated in building and deploying stock exchanges like Nasdaq, NYSE, TYO and MICEX/MOEX.
Liquidity is a little bit lacking, as is to be expected for a new exchange, with spreads pretty steep in times of high volatility. The website interface is neat, and easy to navigate although still a bit glitchy on mobile. Learning how to trade on it will be a breeze for anybody with very basic futures trading experience, and they also have a small but lively and helpful telegram community that can guide you through the process.
They offer 2FA protection for your account, which is standard, but always nice to see. Also cool that Interdax follows a maker-taker model with positive rebates for maker.
The fees charged depend on whether the trader is a market maker or market taker: Market makers (who provide liquidity and successfully submit limit orders that are rested on the order book) are paid a rebate of +0.025% of the value of a transaction. Market takers (who take liquidity from the order book by using market orders or limit orders that remove resting orders) are charged a -0.075% fee of the value of a transaction. Fees are charged in the settlement currency depending on the instrument: BTC, ETH, etc.
The most interesting and unique aspect of the exchange is of course clearly the tournaments. Every day you have a 0.025btc entry fee tourney with a winner takes all structure, and a 0.05btc added by the exchange. And then a 0.1 btc weekly tourney with a 0.25 prize pool added, divided amongst the top 3 finishers. These are all prizes added by the exchange, clearly providing a ton of extra value, especially considering fields are pretty small, a few dozens players at most. On top of all this, they regularly have bigger monthly battles, with up to a 100.000$ up for grabs, usually shared among the top 10 finishers.
So how does it work ? Basically once you registered to your desired tournament, which is just two clicks away, a sub account gets created and your “stack” – let’s use the daily 0.025 as an example – is there for you to trade independently from your main account.
Weekly tournament schedule
At this point you’ll just start trading as you usually would on any futures account, except you will be pitched against the other players in the tournament, wich creates a fun sublayer of metagame and strategy. You’ll be able to see how others are doing as well in a simple and effective dropdown infographic, and see if they are long or short, again contributing to the strategy element of tournaments : we are behind and very close to the leader, and he’s long going into the end of the trading day. Do we switch short to try and capture the first prize value, although our bias is still long ? Do we press our longs ? Do we just preserve capital and let the market take its course ? That’s the extra layers to decision making that tournaments bring to the table. At the end of the day, you get to keep any winnings – and take any losses of course – on top of the prizes.
Interdax also has a series of social elements that up the camaraderie created amongst players, encouraging banter and competition, further pushing the gamification aspect of their competitions. As being the very first crypto tournaments focused exchange, with daily choices for tournament grinders, they will have a very big first mover advantage, especially if they polish off those small growing pains that are pretty standard for a new exchange. Overall, we feel like they are doing a great job in filling a small but rapidly expanding niche in crypto trading.