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CEX.io Review: Should You Use This Exchange?

Whether you're a novice or an avid trader and investor, explore how CEX.io works and the features offered in our 2020 CEX.io review.

  • Dean Fankhauser
    By
  • Posted
  • Read Time10 minutes
  • Our score

CEX.io review

Our take

4.0

When Bitcoin took off on the stock markets in late 2017, everyone wanted in on the action. People had been skeptical about crypto before, but they were suddenly a hot commodity.

Even though the bubble popped, cryptocurrencies have become much more popular investment vehicles. They can be volatile, though, and you need to know where to buy them.

As a result, there are plenty of options out there. You could try your hand at trading on Binance, or you could grab the Robinhood app. You may even want to think about CEX.io.

What is CEX.io and how does it stack up against other apps, exchanges, and services? We take a deep dive in this guide to bring you the ultimate CEX.io review.

What Is CEX.io?

CEX.io is just one of many exchanges that allow investors to buy cryptocurrencies. The exchange has been around for quite some time, having started out in 2013.

At first, the company offered both exchange services and cloud mining. At one point, its mining operation comprised almost 50 percent of total network power.

In 2016, the company shut down mining operations. For the last few years, CEX.io has operated solely as an exchange.

What Coins Can You Trade on CEx.io?

When the CEX exchange started up in 2013, you could only trade Bitcoin. Bitcoin is one of the most established cryptocurrencies, so this makes sense.

Over time, the exchange has expanded to add more currencies. Today, you can trade some different coins, including:

CEX remains a popular choice for trading Bitcoin. If you’re using the brokerage service, you can buy several other coins, including:

There are a few others as well. The platform supports deposits in Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ripple, and other currencies.

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Accepted Payments

CEX.io allows you to buy coins using your credit card. You can also use wire transfers, including SEPA. In the US, domestic bank transfers are also supported.

In the EU and Britain, you can also use Skrill. You can make fiat deposits in USD, euros, British pounds, and rubles.

All cryptocurrencies can be bought with USD. Only some of them can be purchased with other currencies, like the euro or the pound.

Finally, you can also trade cryptocurrencies among themselves.

CEX.io Products and Services

CEX.io’s central product is its trading platform. Buyers and sellers can use the platform to trade different cryptocurrencies. They can also use the platform to track the market.

CEX.io also offers a mobile app. This allows traders to take their cryptocurrency investments on the go with them. You can trade from anywhere in the world, any time.

Since starting out in 2013, CEX.io has expanded into more services. Today, it also offers brokerage services. Users can allow CEX.io’s team of traders to manage their investments on their behalf.

The company offers SPOT trading and margin trading for traders. It also has business services.

CEX Direct allows businesses to turn their websites into money generators. Its Aggregator service offers liquidity.

The company plans to expand into more products soon. On the consumer side, it hopes to add loans and savings accounts.

Staking and Affiliate Program

Two of the more unique features CEX.io offers are staking and its affiliate program.

The staking option is of interest to many new cryptocurrency traders. This program allows you to earn money by holding coins in your CEX.io account for a set period of time.

The affiliate program allows you to make money by inviting other users. When someone you referred makes trades, you can earn a percentage of the trade fee.

How Does CEX.io Work?

Now for the nitty-gritty details. How exactly does CEX.io work?

The exchange bills itself as one of the most user-friendly. The addition of the brokerage service makes this true for the newbie crypto investor.

You can open an account and start trading. To do this, you'll use what are known as Fill-or-Kill (FOK) orders. These orders are executed immediately and in full, unlike other types of orders.

The drawback is that to use these orders, CEX.io must charge a premium. The higher rate ensures your orders will always be filled. The downside is the fee can differ quite a lot from the normal trading exchange rate.

The platform calculates the price of a trade you enter, then freezes it for a couple of minutes. You can then input the amount you want to spend and hit Buy/Sell. The system then checks to make sure you have the funds.

If the market is favorable, your order will be filled. If market conditions have changed and are worse than what you bid on, your order will be “killed.”

The Trading Platform Itself

If you’re experienced with crypto exchanges, you may want to use the CEX.io trading platform itself.

The bonus here is that the trading exchange is usually much lower than through the brokerage service. You can also use other types of orders, which will net different results.

If you’re unsure about how to execute different orders, then it might be worth sticking with the brokerage option. If you know your way around the many different types of orders, then you can save yourself quite a bit of money.

In the past, users were able to conduct margin trading via the platform. In 2019, the company launched a dedicated platform called CEX.io Broker.

This platform is even more advanced, with types of orders, technical analysis, and more. Margin trading uses CFDs and speculates on a coin’s future price. This option is only recommended for the most experienced cryptocurrency investors.

Pros of Using CEX.io

CEX.io has had some time to work out the bugs in their system. They’re also innovating, and their products serve a wide range of people.

Given that, it’s little wonder millions of people have active accounts on the platform. It’s available in 99 countries, as well as 43 of the US states. That makes it more accessible to more investors as well.

Some trading platforms are limited in where they can operate. There are limitations to the CEX.io platform, such as currencies you can buy or currency you can use to pay for them.

Security

When it comes to Bitcoin trading, security is often at the forefront of people’s minds.

So, is CEX.io safe to use?

The company claims they’ve never lost customer funds. If you invest with CEX.io, you’re not likely to lose that initial investment.

They’re also registered with FinCEN in the United States. This agency deals with financial crimes, so it’s less likely that CEX.io is going to pull any kind of exit scam. That’s reassuring in a world where there are plenty of fake brokerages who will leave you high and dry.

The company also claims their platform is protected against DDoS attacks. They also use data encryption to enhance security.

They also make use of “cold” or offline storage to keep your coins safe. Some companies use a mix of hot and cold storage for accessibility, but this does increase risk.

On the financial side of things, CEX.io is compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s DSS standards. This standard lays out minimum levels of security companies must meet or exceed.

Of course, no trading platform is ever fully secure. Big ones like CEX.io are attractive targets for hackers. You may want to consider using a secure wallet to store your coins.

Ease of Use

Perhaps the biggest strength of CEX.io is how easy it is to use. The platform offers a clean and easy-to-navigate interface. Even the more advanced trading services benefit from this design.

The friendly design is excellent for helping beginners get a handle on the platform. It may not be quite as simple as a click and a swipe, but it also isn’t as complex as more advanced platforms like Binance. Advanced users may appreciate the clean interface, which makes it easier to focus.

If you’re having trouble with the platform, CEX.io also offers 24/7 support. There’s also an in-depth support section on the website itself.

You can take a look in the support section first, then get in touch if you’re still having trouble. You can contact their team via email, phone, or even chat to get answers fast.

The company has received plenty of complaints about their support in the past, and they appear to be trying to correct this.

Cons of Using CEX.io

You've had a good look at the advantages of using CEX.io. Now it’s time to consider the downsides. As with anything, there are a few cons of using CEX.io.

One of the biggest complaints is the limited number of coins you can actually buy on the exchange. If you’re looking to trade in Top 10 currencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, then CEX.io is a pretty safe bet.

If you’re looking for less popular currencies so you can get in on the ground floor, you’ll want to steer clear.

CEX.io offers more coin options to those using the brokerage service. Even then, you’re still looking at some of the more common currencies.

Fees

The other most common complaint about CEX.io is the fees. The company is fairly upfront about the pricing, but many people feel there are “hidden” fees.

In most cases, this refers to the premium pricing of the brokerage service. You’ll pay a much higher exchange rate for the brokerage service versus handling trades yourself.

These fees are usually under 10 percent, but they can still be quite high. That said, the platform does showcase exactly what you’ll get in exchange for your money. It also offers an explanation and breakdown of fees, accessible from the pricing page.

Still, the fee is quite high. If you buy $1,000 worth of Bitcoin, only about $920 of that will actually go to buying Bitcoin. The rest covers the fees.

The trading platform has a range of different fees. CEX.io offers a complete table of fees, so you can see what you’ll pay to make trades on the platform. The platform works on a maker-taker model, which means the person who creates the order pays less.

You’ll also need to pay fees for funding your account. Bank wires and SEPA transfers don’t have commissions added to them. Credit card fees, on the other hand, do.

Finally, you’ll pay to withdraw your money from the exchange. Fees can range up to about 3%, plus service charges. Credit cards are the most expensive option here.

Limits and Verification

Finally, there are limits imposed on the four different tiers of accounts. The tiers correspond to your level of verification on the platform.

Identity verification is the lowest tier. You buy up to $1,000 worth of Bitcoin per day with this account. You’ll only be able to use a credit card for these purchases.

If your account is address verified, then your limits will increase. The idea here is to prevent fraud, but some traders may feel restricted by limitations if they can’t move to the highest tier (Corporation).

Types
Platforms
Coins

Frequently asked questions about CEX.io

We’ve compiled some answers to questions we often get. Should you have any other questions, feel free to reach out below in the comments.
Is CEX.io available in the US?
Yes, CEX.io is available in 43 states in the US.
What are the Trading Fees on CEX.IO?

The trading fee on CEX.IO depends upon the trading volume over 30 days. If your trading volume on CEX.IO is worth less than five bitcoins, then you will have to pay a 0.25% taker fee & 0.16% maker fee. On the other hand, if your trading volume over 30 days is worth more than 6000 Bitcoins, then you will have to pay only a taker fee of 0.10%, and there will be no maker fee. 

In CEX.IO Broker, there is no deposit or withdrawal fees, both for crypto & forex. You will have to pay a 0.05% open fee, regardless of what cryptocurrency pair you opt for. A close fee of up to 0.05% is also applicable, and it is the same across all cryptocurrency pairs. Then, there is a rollover fee of 0.01% per 4 hours, which is also the same across all crypto trading pairs. As for forex, the open fee & close fee are in the range of 0.00164% to 0.00680%. Whereas, the rollover fee is in the range of 0.02000% to 0.02720%.

Is CEX.IO Safe to use?

CEX.IO keeps a majority part of user funds in a cold wallet. They only maintain a small part of it in a hot wallet to sustain the day-to-day trade on the exchange.

To keep their crypto exchange secure, CEX.IO monitors the activities that happen during the trading, along with the security breaches and potential hacks. When it comes to the security of user funds in fiat currencies, CEX.IO has inked many strategic partnerships with major banks around the world. The banks conduct due diligence of CEX.IO's processes to confirm if their systems are secure to prevent any security breaches. CEX.IO also runs similar tests on banks they partner with. 

The fiat funds of its users are kept in the custodial account of the banks that CEX.IO has partnered with. Similar to how CEX.IO keeps only a small part of crypto funds in the hot wallet & rest in a cold wallet, CEX.IO only keeps a small part of fiat funds in an account for day-to-day needs. The rest of the fiat funds are in a separate savings account. 

CEX.IO have gone one extra step to secure the USD funds of its US-based customer base. They have secured the USD funds of its US-based users under FDIC insurance for a maximum amount of $250,000.

What Fiat Currencies & Cryptocurrencies CEX.IO Supports?
CEX.IO supports only four fiat currencies. These are USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB. In terms of cryptocurrencies, CEX.IO supports 41 cryptocurrencies, and it includes BTC, ETH, BCH, DASH, LTC, XLM, TRX, BTT, ONG, & much more.
How can I Deposit Funds to CEX.IO?
CEX.IO supports both fiat & crypto deposits. There are several deposit methods available depending upon the type of fiat currency you are depositing to CEX.IO. They support credit/debit cards, Epay, Advcash, Skrill, Bank Transfers, ACH, SEPA, Faster Payments, and QIWI. Some of these payment methods are only available for a particular fiat currency. For instance, QIWI is only available for depositing Ruble, whereas SEPA is only available for Euro deposits.
Is CEX.IO Regulated by any Government Agency?

Today, CEX.IO has licenses in multiple jurisdictions and has grown into a group of companies. The company takes regulatory compliance & licensing very seriously, and they have already received multiple licenses to operate in different markets. CEX.IO holds a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. 

CEX.IO also holds Money Transmitter Licenses (MTLs) in 27 states in the United States and are registered as Money Services Businesses under the bureau of the US Department of the Treasury, known as Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). They are also awaiting a Digital payment token service license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

What Products & Services Does CEX.IO Offer?
The primary service of CEX.IO is a crypto marketplace where users can exchange, trade, and buy/sell cryptocurrencies instantly. Other products from CEX.IO include CEX.IO Broker & CEX.Direct.

Pros and cons of CEX.io

  • Been around and proven themselves since 2013
  • Ability to earn interest on cryptocurrencies with their staking feature
  • Available in 99% of countries around the world and 47 US states
  • CEX.IO takes security very seriously, and it is quite obvious from the fact that one of their users has lost their funds. When it comes to the Payment Card Industry, CEX.IO is compliant with DSS standards.
  • Perfect for both beginners as well as advanced level traders, CEX.IO is easy to use & navigate.
  • CEX.IO offers reliable & quick customer support.
  • With licenses to operate in multiple jurisdictions, CEX.IO is regulated by some of the most reputed government agencies in the world.
  • Can be more expensive than other options
  • It can take a long time to be verified
  • Limited number of supported currencies

Is CEX.io Right for You?

Now the trickiest question of all: Is CEX.io the right trading platform for you?

It might be, especially if you want to trade some of the top currencies. If you’re a beginner looking for a versatile platform that will let you grow as a trader, CEX.io offers some good options.

The platform makes payment options easy, and it’s widely available around the world. Not every payment type is supported in every country, though. Double-check to make sure the platform supports your preferences.

If you’re an experienced trader already, you may appreciate the friendly interface and the lower fees.

If you’re leery of fees or looking for less-popular currencies, then CEX.io is likely not the right platform for you. Don’t be discouraged, though. There are plenty of other exchanges and platforms out there, and one of them will suit you.

Discover Your New Favorite Exchange

You asked, “What is CEX.io?”, and now you have the answer. It’s a reliable platform for trading Bitcoin that’s been around for a while. It’s definitely not the only option for trading cryptocurrencies, so you may want to do more research before you commit.

If you’re looking for more insights and in-depth reviews, you’ve come to the right place. Check in often for the most up-to-date and insightful reviews about coins, exchanges, and more.

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