CEX.io is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges around and happens to be quite popular among users in the United States and Europe. It’s one of the few exchanges that’s never been embroiled in controversies and offers a safe, affordable, multi-purpose platform to its users.
CEX.io provides two major services – trading and brokerage. The platform supports a large number of altcoins and, depending on the types of user accounts, has default limits to trading. This CEX.io review will unearth every major and minor detail about the platform and assist you in the lead-up to your decision about whether this crypto exchange is the right choice for you or not.
We’ll understand the major factors that should influence your choices, understand the ideal target audience suited to use CEX.io, and discuss the aspects where it has room for improvement where its competitors might pip ahead by a bit.
Origin And Overview
Founded in 2013 in London, UK, CEX.io started as a mining platform. It was one of the largest mining pools in the world, controlling over 42% of the mining power. It also owned one of the largest cloud mining providers of that time – GHash.io, alongside CEX.io.
In 2014, the prices of Bitcoin suddenly dropped, and the cloud mining front of CEX.io had to shut down all operations. However, as an established brand name by then, they continued providing their exchange services, meaning CEX.io would work solely as an exchange now, with GHash.io as the only cloud mining services provider the team owned.
At the time of writing this, CEX.io is one of the top 50 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world among over 300 others. With over 400,000 average weekly visits on CoinMarketCap, it is also one of the most popular choices in the world, boasting 189 markets, 80 altcoins, and almost 200 trading pairs supported at the time of writing this.
It has over 4 million registered customers worldwide and employs over 250 employees across offices located in the UK, the USA, Ukraine, Gibraltar, and Cyprus. Apart from the normal buying, selling, and storing of cryptocurrencies, the exchange has much more to offer.
Users can avail of services such as crypto staking, savings, and crypto-backed lending. The platform caters to its enterprise clients with special features such as REST APIs, FIX, WS, and much more. It also offers a wide array of payment modes and meets high-security standards that are globally recognized. We’ll see more about these and understand the ins and outs as we discuss every aspect in detail in this CEX.io review.
Their website has a very intuitive, user-friendly design. What stands out, though, is that the design is very clean and easy to grasp. Even if you’re a beginner, some websites throw crazy statistics or complicated features on your face the moment you land.
With CEX.io, it’s as easy as pie to figure out the controls and navigation of the website and understand which button does what, and how to access particular features within the site. They have well-divided content on the website with proper sections, so you needn’t look too much when you’re searching for a particular thing.
This also means, in a way, advanced users need to find the complex part of the website that they need to access, which can be daunting all the same. Not with CEX.io, though.
Great Tutorial And Support Section
As a beginner with CEX.io, each registered user is greeted with great support and tutorials about the usage and navigation of the website. Buying your first ever cryptocurrency for a beginner could be intimidating. Likewise, buying from CEX.io for the first time, even an advanced user would want to be sure of their steps.
The website has a few guiding pointers as you navigate through the web pages, which can come in handy. While these are limited, they’ve also got a separate FAQs page which is as comprehensive as it can get. It enlists the ‘how’ and ‘where’ of almost every single activity you can think of on the website.
If you somehow find all of this to be still inadequate, you can contact them through an email contact form and ask your queries. A very common thing you’ll observe when users write a CEX.io review is that they praise the customer support and the response time of the CEX.io support staff.
Multiple Payment Modes
The exchange supports a vast number of payment options,
This is indeed a huge advantage for traders who prefer not to have all their eggs in one basket and hence have funds divided. They can pick and choose which funds to transfer, using the method they find the most convenient.
The different modes of payment supported are:
- ACH (For users in the United States)
- Wire Transfer (both domestic and international)
- Faster Payments (in the UK)
- SEPA (Specifically for countries of the European Union)
- Skrill (for EUR and GBP fiat)
However, things may also get confusing at times because these payment modes all have differing fees applicable in addition to the fees charged by CEX.io. As you read on, be sure to check out the fees section for a detailed understanding of the charges you may incur depending on the different transactions you make.
While this isn’t recommended if you’re a newbie in the world of cryptocurrencies, this is a handy little advantage for pro users. Margin trading simply means borrowing money, investing it, and trading with that money as you see fit. The lender earns a commission, fees, or a rate of interest on the borrowed amount based on the pre-decided terms.
Margin trading is quite useful for traders with experience in the crypto market, especially for those who play in the big leagues. Although the idea may sound exciting, it involves many risks and probable losses if done without adequate research, so we reiterate, this is not recommended for beginners or users who don’t know enough about this concept.
Brokerage Services Makes Life Easier
Are you a new user? Are you confused about the process of buying new cryptocurrencies? Are you an advanced user who doesn’t have the time to invest in repeated market checks and understanding trends day in and day out?
Don’t worry, CEX.io will trade cryptocurrencies for you. Without needing to understand everything about trading, users can make trades based on FOK (Fill or Kill) orders. This means you set the conditions of the trade and instruct the CEX.io broker to execute the trade based on these conditions.
These trades will be executed immediately and in full, meaning once the conditions are met and the trade is initiated, it will be mandatorily executed in full. If conditions aren’t met or the trade is discarded before initiation, the trade won’t be executed at all. In one line, it’s the trading version of “All or nothing”. CEX.io charges brokerage fees on such trades, and these could be much higher than normal trading fees.
However, if you’re a beginner, or considering a bulk trade, this is a great option for you.
Trading Platform Fees Ideal For Advanced Users
While beginners can use brokerage services, the normal trading services are also accessible to all. It’s a matter of choice because you get more options and advanced features with fewer fees in the normal trading platform. The complexity does increase, but the fees are significantly lower.
For example, if a transaction X to Y is charged for a 7% commission for brokerage services – this is the highest fee for brokerage services – you’ll be charged only 0.25% which is the highest possible on the trading platform.
No Withdrawal Limits For Verified Users
A major thorn in the side of advanced users is that withdrawal limits make it hard for them to keep the liquid funds rolling, or convert these liquid funds into in-hand cash. If you’re a verified user, you needn’t worry about any limits whatsoever. We’ll see the types of accounts and the different limits applicable to users, further in this CEX.io review.
Multiple Trading Pairs Make Trades Cost-Effective
Users get to choose from almost 200 trading pairs without ever needing to go back to Bitcoin first. This is a major advantage that only a few exchanges boast of. Simply put, you can choose which cryptocurrency to buy against what fiat currency, and if a trading pair already exists, your job becomes quite easy.
The trading pair is a fixed rate of exchange for that particular pair of fiat and crypto, so you needn’t first buy Bitcoin with your fiat, then use the BTC to buy the altcoins you need. This means fewer transactions for you, which also translates to lower fees and higher yields.
The fiat currencies currently supported by CEX.io are USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB.
Although you get a lot of trading pairs and payment options, the number of options when it comes to altcoins could’ve been higher. At the time of writing this, the exchange supports over 80 coins, but you cannot carry all types of transactions with all these coins.
Having said that, 80+ is still a significant number, and unless you’re into investing in lesser-known cryptocurrencies, you’ll find that the one you need is in this list. You’ll have a better understanding of your options as we read further.
Since the exchange is KYC and AML compliant, users need to provide documents and details like their passports, gender, full name, date, place of birth, contact details, permanent address, and a temporary/current address. Then you must scan and submit your documents while adhering to their upload policies. The maximum upload size allowed is 15 MB. The supported formats are jpg, pdf, and tiff. Your picture must not be older than 90 days. This hassle may seem common, but this is just for registration.
Now comes the verification part, where you must take a selfie and carry out some more tasks as needed. There are many rules you need to follow while you’re at it, and while uploading documents, so it’s proven to be a pain point for many users in the past.
Is Your Country Supported?
Most countries across the globe are supported, but there are a few exceptions, too. Certain countries do not support specific features.
Credit Cards Not Supported
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The central African Republic
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
There are also some countries where wire transfers aren’t supported, and therefore you must make payments through credit cards. This will lead you to incur the highest charges since the highest fees are applicable on credit card payments.
Wire Transfers Not Supported
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The central African Republic
- Côte d’Ivoire
- North Korea
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- South Sudan
Do note, in the case of countries where none of the payment modes are supported, the exchange is not available at all in such countries.
Are All Your Coins Supported?
Similar to countries, coins are supported based on the purpose of the transaction. We’ll list all the major cryptocurrencies so this CEX.io review can give you a fair indication of whether this exchange works best for you or not based on your portfolio.
Purchase Using Brokerage Services
For trading, the supported cryptocurrencies are BTC, ETH, XRP, and BCH. You can also deposit some of the above cryptocurrencies with the exceptions of XLM, ATOM, GAS, NEO, ADA, ONG, ONT, MHC, BTT, DASH, XLM, and TRON.
Security And Regulation
Security and Compliance are the strongest points of this exchange. While we already saw that the exchange is KYC and AML compliant, there are many other aspects of security where it fares better than its competitors. These are as follows:
- Regulatory approval in all countries where it has its offices, including the USA (FinCEN) and UK ICO).
- It has almost procured a license from FCA in the UK and GFSC in Singapore.
- PCI DSS certificate – this certificate is the highest standard to prove its capabilities of storing, managing, and protecting your data, and is one of the most widely recognized accolades a company can earn for its security and data protection policies.
- Real-time monitoring of transactions
- Data stored in cold storages and custody accounts
- Complete Data Encryption and 2FA secured wallets
As we saw earlier, the maximum brokerage fees could be as high as 7%. For the trading platform, wire and SEPA transfers have no additional fees. A charge of 2.99% is levied on credit cards. Withdrawal fees go up to 3%, and the maximum service charge up to $25.
Depending on the traded volume, you’ll pay somewhere between 0.16% and 0.25% for trading, while margin trading is charged at 0.5%. You can find the fee by volume here.
Types Of CEX.io Accounts
There are four major kinds of accounts a user may have on CEX.io. Once you read this CEX.io review, you’ll be able to understand the verification and trading process, and the limits better. The types of accounts are:
You can only use a credit card to purchase a maximum of $1000 worth of BTC per day. Furthermore, you may deposit only a maximum of $3,000 and withdraw a maximum of $10,000.
If you have your address verified along with your identity, you’re allowed to deposit and buy Bitcoins worth up to $10,000 each day and withdraw a maximum amount of $10,000 per day. You can use bank transfers now.
Up until this point, you leveled up by verifying more of your details. From here on, you advance by paying. An enhanced user has an unlimited allowance of deposits and withdrawals and also gets priority customer support.
Along with unlimited deposits and withdrawals and priority customer support, you also get customized benefits to suit your business needs.
We can safely conclude from this CEX.io review that it’s an underrated exchange. Although it does charge above-average fees, it does offer services and features that rival the world’s best exchanges. As more and more users realize the potential, it is sure to gain more traction.
Laura has been interested in finance for a very long time, especially since her graduation in Economics. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency, she decides to read up more on the subject and soon became an expert. Laura has been dabbling with crypto ever since and started investing in them in 2017.