Overview and History
CEX.IO is one of the OG’s in the crypto sphere. It was originally established in 2013 as a cloud mining service provider. Throughout the years, they have shifted their business away from cloud mining and evolved into a multi-functional cryptocurrency exchange, with over a million users worldwide. They have offices in the U.K and in the U.S. They are well known in the community as being one of the first to offer credit cards as a payment method for buying and selling crypto currencies. It was founded by
While CEX is trying its best to offer its services to the whole world, there are still some restrictions due to banking regulations and varying state laws.
The following countries are restricted from buying with credit cards: Iceland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
The following countries are restricted from buying with bank transfer: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
In the U.S, CEX does not support the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.
CEX.IO Simple Buy/Sell Service
Among the different services offered by CEX.IO, it is most well known for being a platform to buy and sell Bitcoin and other crypto currencies using credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers and even Paypal. VISA and Mastercard will charge 2.99% transaction fees while SWIFT will not charge any commissions.
You can buy different crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, BAT, and Tezos. You can buy it using USD, EURO, GBP or RUB. In reality, you can really buy it using any currency, your bank will be the one to convert it and the exchange rate will come from them. The price is calculated and locked every 120 seconds. This really simplifies the buying process for beginners especially those that find buying from an exchange to hassle. However, CEX.IO charges a hefty 7% fee for this service.
CEX.IO Exchange launched in 2014 offering the BTC and USD market. Since then, they have added more crypto pairs as well as more fiat markets for their users. Right now, they handle around $10m worth of volume everyday for 7 coins across 6 different fiat markets (USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, BTC and USDT).
All the quoted trading pairs are at the left side bar. You can choose if you want it filtered by quote or base pair. The candlestick chart is shown right in the middle. This is the basic chart which just shows the price action and candlesticks. It does not have any drawing functionalities or the different indicators available. When you click the chart icon at the upper right, a pop up will show you their full featured chart. Even with their full featured charts, it still lacks functionalities commonly seen in other exchanges through their integration with TradingView.
The CEX.IO broker platform is separate from the main trading page. It will open a new tab under https://broker.cex.io/. It offers more functionalities and tools but is also quite laggy especially during periods of higher volatility. The CEX.IO broker platform also houses the margin trading service.
CEX.IO was one of the first to launch margin trading. They started offering margin trading in 2016 way before others were offering it. Margin trading allows users to borrow funds from the exchange and then trade using these funds. This allows users to buy more using leverage. However, with the chance of greater rewards also comes greater risks. Using a 2x margin, a 50% move up could double your money and a 50% move down could bring it to zero.
With CEX.IO Broker, new users can take advantage of demo accounts to practice their trading with the platform. When on the live account, this will be seen at the top right corner which means you are using real funds. The max leverage being offered varies depending on your place of residence. It can vary from 2x to 10x.
CEX.IO Mobile App and API
CEX.IO offers multiple ways for you to access their services aside from their main desktop website. Mobile apps are available for both iOS and Android. The CEX.IO mobile app looks well designed and very simplistic. It offers both the simple buying and selling service as well as the main exchange interface.
While the design is good, the performance and functionality are questionable. While trying the app, there were multiple times when the data would not load for the charts. And one thing that is confusing about the UX is that the candlestick charts and the order functions are on two separate windows. This means you can’t place an order while looking at the charts.
CEX.IO also has WebSocket and REST API available for traders that would like to trade via their API. It shows ticker data, historical trade data and orderbook data. This is geared more towards algorithmic traders and those that use bots for their trading.
With 2020 seeing the growth of staking services offered for Proof of Stake coins, CEX.IO’s staking service follows this growing trend offered by other exchanges. What makes their staking service different is that you do not need to lock your tokens unlike in other exchanges. You just have to buy it and hold it. As long as you are still holding it, even when placed on order but not executed, you will still receive the reward.
Instead of your funds just sitting in your wallet and doing nothing, staking allows you to earn interest based on the network’s annual reward rate (inflation rate). Right now, they offer the staking service for NEO, ONT, TRX and Metahash. XTZ and ATOM staking services will be made available in the future. Your staking reward will be added to your balance automatically and the rewards are calculated every hour and sent to your account once a month.
CEX.IO offers a dynamic trading fee schedule incentivizing big volume traders. The more volume you trade, the lower the maker and taker fees will be. This is based on your 30 Day trade volume rolling average. The taker fee starts at 0.25% while the maker fee starts at 0.16%. But if you are trading USDT pairs, taker fees and maker fees are 0.1% and 0% respectively.
KYC and Deposit limits
As with all financial services, KYC is required especially when dealing with banks. When you first sign up, you are starting at level 1. This allows crypto deposits and withdrawals only. If you’d like to purchase with credit cards, you will need KYC level 2 which requires proof of identity using official government-issued IDs such as passport, national ID card or driver’s licence. This allows up to $1,000 daily and $3,000 monthly deposits. KYC level 3 requires proof of address. This allows purchases using bank transfers. The daily limit for credit cards is increased to $3,000 and $30,000 monthly. As for bank transfers, limits are at $200,000 daily and $500,000 monthly. The next two options are enhanced and the corporate verification with even higher limits as seen below.
Just as easily as you can buy bitcoin or transfer fiat, you can also cash out fiat balances into your preferred payment method. Credit cards will have a higher fee charging up to 3% while bank transfers are lower at 0.3%. You can see the fee schedule below.
CEX.IO Customer Support
CEX.IO offers the basic customer support options. Their FAQ covers topics ranging from account issues to step by step guides on how to buy Bitcoin. If you have a more specific concern, you can submit ticket requests and their 24/7 customer service will respond to your email.
CEX.IO offers multiple ways to keep you and your funds secure. They have a PCI DSS certificate (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) as well as strong relationships with banks. This is important especially since credit card crypto purchases are relatively new. When it comes to account safety they offer the following:
2FA – This has been a standard form of account protection. This involves using a separate device that generates a unique code or combination every few seconds, most common of whic is Google Authenticator. You will be asked to enter this code upon signing in so make sure you have it on hand.
Email verifications – Whenever you would like to withdraw funds, an email will be sent to your email address for you to confirm if this transaction is legitimate.
Hot and Cold Wallets – This is a standard procedure that separates revolving funds (hot wallet) and most user funds (cold wallet). The cold wallet is disconnected from the internet so it is less likely to be hacked. It is akin to banks not having all of their money locked in a giant safe. They only hold what they expect to be transacted that day.
CEX.IO is one of the oldest crypto services that are still around. They were one of the first to introduce credit cards as an option for buying Bitcoin and have now expanded to include other crypto currencies and fiat currencies. However, with this option being offered by bigger and more popular exchanges, CEX is losing its edge. The website doesn’t perform well either considering the lag as well as minimal features. It stands out more on the instant buy and sell side which has a good interface. What’s good is the product is always evolving and the team is quick to adapt to new trends.