Introduction to CEX.IO
Established in London, England in 2013, CEX.IO began as a cloud mining provider for Bitcoin and a limited number of available altcoins at the time, soon shifting into a full-fledged altcoin exchange. In the years since, it has developed a reputation of being a trustworthy, well-put-together operation that makes crypto trading simple and safe for traders of any size.
Their platform has grown and expanded in recent times and now offers more advanced trading products, including a commission-free margin trading platform called CEX.IO Broker.
Why choose CEX.IO?
Having been in steady operation for over 9 years, CEX.IO boasts a customer base of over a million users, many of whom have been loyal to the platform through much of its existence. This is because they run a tight ship as far as customer experience is concerned; rarely are there complaints of deposits or withdrawals being held up or orders not being processed. What CEX.IO lacks in overall trading options they make up for by offering assurance that they will never lose the funds of their customers.
Before getting started
As a U.K.-based company that adheres to its regulations, CEX.IO is open to customers in most areas of the world, with a few exceptions. CEX.IO is a FinCEN-registered company and as such it takes its KYC/AML process very seriously, meaning that you cannot use any part of the exchange without first verifying your identity. If you are looking for an exchange with lax restrictions when it comes to KYC, CEX.IO is not for you. Note that you will also need to provide address verification to have access to the full range of coin pairs offered by CEX.IO.
CEX.IO is US-friendly, offering services in 48 states thanks to successful MTL licenses.
Registering an account on CEX.IO
After pressing the “Create an Account” button in the upper-right corner of the screen you will be asked to enter the following:
- Email address
- Country of residence
After checking the box to agree with the terms and conditions and proceeding, you will ask to confirm your email address by clicking a link contained in an email sent to you by CEX.IO. Next, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
Getting verified on CEX.IO
Identity verification is a necessary part of using CEX.IO. After your account has been created, you will be asked if you want to increase your limit. Press this button to begin with the verification process. There are four different “stages” of account limits:
- Stage One: Identity Verification – allows deposits up to $3,000 per day and withdrawals up to $10,000 per day
- Stage Two: Address Verification – allows daily withdrawals & deposits up to $10,000, bank transfers unlocked
- Stage Three: Enhanced Verification – allows unlimited deposits and withdrawals, priority support
- Stage Four: Corporate Verification – allows unlimited deposits and withdrawals for a corporate account
For most traders, Stage One or Stage Two will likely be able to satisfy all of their trading needs. To begin Stage one, click the blue “Start” button, confirm your country, state and county/province of residence, and enter in your Social Security Number or other government-assigned numbers. Next, you will need to enter a phone number and verify it by entering a 7 digit number sent to it via text. You will then be asked to upload a copy of a passport, national ID or driver’s license, along with a picture of you holding your ID.
The next step will be confirming your personal information and selecting your gender. After this, you will need to provide the ID number on your ID document (passport number, driver’s license number, etc) and the document’s expiry date. Note that the ID needs to be valid for at least 3 months from the date of expiry in order to be used for CEX.IO verification purposes. You will then be placed in a queue while your information is double-checked by CEX.IO. The verification process is automated and is usually completed within an hour. You will receive an email once the process has been completed.
If you want to increase your limits, deposit using bank transfer with no commission, or increase the number of trading pairs to which you have access, you will need to complete Stage Two: Address Verification. This will require the upload of a document that confirms your current address, such as a utility bill, tax return or bank statement. This document must have been sent within the last 3 months in order to be considered valid for the purpose of address verification.
Making a deposit on CEX.IO
To make a deposit, click the green “Deposit” button toward the upper-right hand corner of the screen. There are 5 different ways to make fiat deposits on CEX.IO (most of which will require address verification):
- Debit/credit card (VISA, Mastercard). Coin purchases can be made using credit cards, which have a 2.99% commission fee and a 7% exchange fee.
- Wire transfer (SEPA). Available to those in the EU only, SEPA wire transfers have no fees.
- Bank transfer. Domestic bank transfer (ACH) deposits do not have a fee, whereas International bank transfers may incur a fee on the end of the bank.
- Skrill. Available for EUR and GBP, does not require address verification, 3.99% deposit fee.
- QIWI. Does not require address verification, 1.49% deposit fee.
Note that each deposit method has different minimums, maximums and processing times. These values will be explained to you after selecting the option you wish to use.
How to trade on CEX.IO
Trading on CEX.IO works a bit differently than most other exchanges. They offer 4 main options of trading: Buy/Sell, Brokerage, Trade, and Margin Trading. These can all be found in the main menu bar toward the top left of the screen.
- Buy/Sell is used to make purchases using a credit card (VISA or Mastercard). From here you select the currency you wish to buy (or sell) and the currency with which you are paying (or receiving). This is the most expensive option and fees usually approach about 10%.
- Brokerage is for those who want to use fiat to make a simple buy or sell without having to put in a trade order. The fee for this option is about 7%.
- Trade is the normal trading screen option and recommended to everybody except for the most novice of traders, as its fees are far lower (0.25% for new accounts). The order options available are limited to Market (“Instant Buy” option that is immediately filled) and Limit (“Maker” order set at a specified price away from the current market price that remains open until filled).
- Margin Trading is for more expert traders who want to amplify the size of their trades by up to 10x by borrowing coins on margin. Both long and short positions can be entered, and your account fund is used as collateral until the position has been closed.
For Trade and Margin Trading options, use the search tool on the left side of the screen to find the coin you wish to trade and select the coin pair you will be trading. Alternatively, you can click on one of the popular coin pair tabs above the chart area to go straight to that particular pair. For those who prefer more advanced charting options, there is a “Chart” button to the right of the volume that will open a popup chart that has all the standard TA overlay options.
CEX.IO trading fees
CEX.IO uses a tiered, Maker/Taker fee model on a rolling 30-day trading volume basis. For new traders and traders that conduct less than 5 BTC worth of trades per month, the Taker (market order) fee is 0.25% and the Maker (limit order) fee is 0.15%. If you perform over $10,000 worth of trades per month, these rates drop to 0.23% for Taker fees and 0.13% for Maker fees. The tiers continue all the way up to over $5 billion per month in trades, at which point Taker fees are 0.01% and Maker fees are 0.00%. For a complete breakdown of CEX.IO trading fees, click here.
Overview of supported coins
CEX.IO carries a little over 225 different trading pairs spread across 105 coins/tokens and 4 fiat currencies. Note that you must have Stage Two verification completed in order to have access to all available trading pairs. The list of coins and tokens carried by CEX.IO includes but is not limited to:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Tether (USDT)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
- Stellar (XLM)
- TRON (TRX)
- Neo (NEO)
- Matic (MATIC)
- BitTorrent (BTT)
- #MetaHash (MHC)
- 0x (ZRX)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Holo (HOT)
- Dash (DASH)
- OMG Network (OMG)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Tael (WABI)
- Neo Gas (GAS)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Ontology (ONT)
- Ontology Gas (ONG)
- Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
Fiat currencies supported by CEX.IO include USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB.
Making a withdrawal on CEX.IO
To make a withdrawal, click the blue “Withdraw” button toward the upper-right hand corner of the screen. Using the menu on the right, select the type of currency you wish to withdraw. The withdrawal fee for Bitcoin is 0.0005 BTC, which is pretty standard for the industry. Withdraw fees are less for all other coins in terms of the dollar amount.
Fiat withdrawal fees on CEX.IO vary quite a bit depending on the method being used. The most expensive method is withdrawing to a debit/credit card, which can be 3% plus a $25 service charge. SEPA withdrawals are free, whereas SWIFT withdrawals have a charge of 0.3% plus $25. Skrill withdrawals have a fee of 1% and QIWI withdrawals have a fee of 1.49%.
For those who value peace of mind knowing their funds are in good hands, CEX.IO takes their security very seriously, holding several different licenses and insurance policies for the sake of protecting their customers from potential loss. Among CEX.IO’s accreditations are:
- FinCEN Registration
- PCI DSS Compliant
- Money Services Business (MSB)
- ICO Certificate of Registration
This basically means that CEX.IO will fully reimburse their customers should they be the victim of any sort of hacking or other security breach. In addition, CEX.IO has never actually been hacked in 9 years of service, which is a testament to their dedication to good security practices.
Because CEX.IO also values the security of their customers, two-factor authentication (2-FA) must be activated before a deposit can be made. This can be found by hovering over your user ID in the top right of the screen, selecting the “Profile” option, and then going to the “Security” tab.
CEX.IO Mobile App
The CEX.IO exchange has a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. The mobile app allows access to all of the main features of the exchange, such as Instant Buys/Sells, order placement, deposits and withdrawals, and a portfolio tracker so you can keep tabs on the current value of your holdings. The app has very mixed reviews online, with some customers reporting no problems and others reporting that their trade orders or withdrawal requests don’t go through. It would appear that the app is best suited for simply checking in on your portfolio from time to time and leaving most other actions to the web version.
Benefits of CEX.IO (over competitors)
- Highly secure and reputable exchange
- Makes purchasing crypto easy for new users
- Good customer support
- Available to customers throughout much of the world
Limitations of CEX.IO
- Credit card and Brokerage fees are high
- KYC is mandatory for all users
- No advanced order options (only simple Market and Limit orders)
- Limited selection of trading pairs
Wrapping it up
In all, CEX.IO is a worthy operation that is frequently overlooked by traders as it does not offer the bells and whistles that many modern exchanges advertise. It does not offer any sort of fancy futures trading or crazy amounts of leverage that are becoming more the norm; nor does it support a whole lot of different coins or fiat currencies.
What CEX.IO does offer, however, is competent management that is fiscally responsible and a mindset of looking after the interests of their customers. This makes it a good choice to keep in mind, especially for newer traders that are just looking to get in and out of a trade without much hassle.