Introduction to OKEx
With roughly 500 trading pairs and $3.5+ billion in daily trading volume, OKEx is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive cryptocurrency exchanges. Founded in 2014, OKEx is based in Malta and serves millions of customers in over 100 countries (although the U.S. is not one of them). They offer an incredibly diverse array of tradable products and are considered to be a safe and trustworthy operation.
Why choose OKEx?
There are a number of features which renders OKEx one of the very best of all cryptocurrency exchanges; among them are having a massive amount of liquidity and supported coins, 5 different types of trading options (including an incredibly easy-to-use credit card purchase system), and an incredibly leverage maximum of 125x for over a hundred different futures/derivates trading instruments. In this regard, OKEx is pretty much a one-stop-shop for all different types of traders and with very lax KYC requirements, there’s basically no reason why you shouldn’t have an account with them (so long as you don’t live in a restricted country).
Before getting started
Note that OKEx does not service customers in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- Other countries currently sanctioned by the U.S.
Registering an account at OKEx
Opening an OKEx account is incredibly simple and requires only the provision and verification of an email address. However, you will probably need to complete verification if you plan on conducting any trading on OKEx, which is also quite simple and explained in detail below. Additionally, you will need to secure your account using 2-FA by binding a mobile phone number of Google Authenticator code to your account.
Getting verified at OKEx
To complete Level 1 Verification (good for up to 200 BTC worth of withdrawals per day), first hover over the profile icon (looks like a head on a pair of shoulders) to the right of “Assets” and click on the “Verification” option. You will most likely want to set up an Individual account, so press the blue “Continue” button to the right of that option. You will then be asked to supply the following information:
- Full name
- Type of Document (Government-issued Card, Driver’s License, Passport)
- Document Identification Number
After entering all this information, press the blue “Submit Information” button to proceed. You will then be eligible to withdraw up to 200 BTC worth of coins every 24 hours. This should be enough for most users but in the event you need to up this amount, you can take a picture of your ID to obtain Level 2 verification.
How to make a crypto purchase on OKEx
Immediately after completing Level 1 Verification, you will be presented with an option that says “Deposit funds to start trading.” Clicking on this option will bring you to the Buy/Sell screen. Alternatively, you can find this screen by clicking on the “Buy/Sell” option located in the menu area toward the top right of the screen.
Here it is quite easy to make purchases of BTC, USDT, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH or BSV using a Visa or Mastercard. The fiat currencies supported by OKEx for Buy/Sell include USD, EUR, GBP, CNY, AUD, ARS, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, COP, CZK, DKK, HUF, IDR, INR, JPY, KRW, KZT, CLP, MXN, NGN, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, MAD, RUB, AED, SGD, SEK, TRY, TWD, UAH, and ZAR.
To make a buy, simply select the type of coin you wish to purchase, the currency in which you wish to pay, and an amount (either in fiat or coin amount), along with the payment option (Visa or Mastercard). After clicking the blue “Buy” button, you will be shown a best offer for your purchase from a number of different service providers, the average processing time, and a reference price. Note that this price adds in a fee which is usually somewhere between 4% and 5%.
After clicking “Buy” from this screen, you will then be transported to the service provider website where your purchase will be completed. From here you will enter in your payment and verification information. After successfully processed, your coins will be deposited to your OKEx exchange address, which may need to be generated from the Deposit menu before the purchase can be confirmed. The total purchase process usually only takes about 5 to 15 minutes to complete from beginning to end.
How to trade on OKEx
OKEx has a sophisticated array of trading options for traders of all levels. The different options can be found under the “Trade” menu tab located toward the top of the screen, and consist of the following:
- Spot. This is where regular trades can be made where one coin is exchanged for another. The easiest way to find the coin pairing which you wish to trade is to switch the display tab to “All” and search for the coin symbol you want to trade. Order types that can be placed include Market, Limit, Advanced Limit, Stop, Trigger, Trail, Iceberg, and TWAP. Spot screens are divided between Basic and Advanced, with the latter having additional charting options.
- Margin. Here is where coins can be traded on margin, meaning you can put up your coin balance as collateral to borrow coins from the exchange, for a fee. This means that the size of your trades can be amplified — along with the risk. OKEx offers over 90 different trading pairs which can be traded on margin, using either Basic or Advanced layouts (similar to Spot trades).
- Perpetual. This is for trading a specific type of derivative which similar to a futures contract that never expires. Instead of trading an actual coin, you are trading a financial product that represents the price of a coin. This allows traders to employ up to 125x leverage on their trades, which is far more than most other exchanges of its size. There are close to 100 different Perpetual options from which to choose on OKEx.
- Contracts. This is where 80 different futures contracts (with expiration dates, as opposed to Perpetual which have no expiration) can be traded with leverage up to 125x. Futures contracts settle to the price of the underlying coin being traded in the contract at the date and time of the expiration date. This is basically a way of betting on what the price of a coin will be at the date of expiration. As with Margin and Perpetual trades, both Long (buy) and Short (sell) positions can be opened with Futures trades.
OKEx trading fees
OKEx employs a multi-tiered trading fee system where discounts can be rewarded based on different factors, including the number of OKB (OKEx’s exchange token) held and/or a trader’s 30-day trading volume. Fees start at 0.10% for Maker (Limit) orders and 0.15% for Taker (Market) orders. For traders who hold more than 500 OKB in their OKEx account, trading fees are reduced (also at intervals of 1000, 1500 and 2000 OKB).
VIP traders (those who conduct over 1,000 BTC worth of trades every 30 days) are given additional discounts, starting at 0.06% Maker / 0.08% Taker fees and reduced all the way down to -0.01% for Maker fees for those who make over 150,000 BTC worth of trades a month.
Overview of supported coins
Somewhat amazingly, OKEx supports nearly 300 different coins and tokens, many of which have decent-to-good volume compared to most other exchanges on which they can be found. The following coins are used as pairing backs by OKEx: USDT, USDC, USDK, BTC, OKB, ETH, DAI. Fiat pairings are not supported on OKEx, but within this list are 4 dollar-backed stablecoins.
OKEx is quick to add popular coins; for example, they currently carry over 40 different DeFi related trading pairs. In addition, OKEx carries almost all of the top 100 coins by market cap and several small and micro-cap coins as well. In all, OKEx has about 500 different trading pairs, which makes it one of the most comprehensive and altcoin-friendly exchanges of its magnitude (or any other for that matter).
Benefits of OKEx (over competitors)
- Huge selection of listed coins and trading pairs.
- Comprehensive selection of trading and order options.
- Leveraged trading up to 125x.
- Reasonable fees for credit card crypto purchases.
Limitations of OKEx
- Not available to customers in the U.S. (and a number of other countries).
- Layout feels cluttered; not necessarily easy to find specific options.
- Low liquidity for at least half of the trading pairs offered.
- No fiat-based trading pairs; limited number of fiat purchase methods.
Wrapping it up
In all, OKEx is a great exchange that has just about everything a trader could ask for: high volume popular trading pairs, support for a vast selection of popular coins, multiple types of extremely-high leveraged trading, and a lenient KYC policy. It’s a trustworthy exchange with a low barrier to entry that can be used by traders big and small, old and new.
Pretty much any sort of trading option or crypto-related trading instrument for which you are searching can be found here. There’s so much packed in to a single exchange that it will undoubtedly take a number of hours to fully accustom oneself to all that it has to offer, but it’s surely a worthwhile endeavor for any serious or casual cryptocurrency trader.