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Cex.io Review 2019 – Pros and Cons of Trading on CEX
- established exchange with good levels of security.
- simple, intuitive and minimalistic interface.
- unlimited withdrawals
- high trading volume
- mobile app
- various payment methods
- relatively high fees.
- limited number of currencies supported.
- getting in touch with them is not as straightforward as it should be.
- no advanced order types
Cex.io was founded on January 2013 by Oleksandr Lutskevych, it was initially associated with the now closed cloud mining site GHash.io, which contributed to the early success of the exchange.
The daily trading volume of the site these days is around 2,242 BTC (approximately 5.6 million USD). Eight trading pairs are offered: ETH/USD, BTC/USD, ETH/BTC, BTC/EUR, BTC/GBP, BTC/RUR, ETH/EUR and GHS/BTC (GHS from their legacy mining venture), with the first three accounting for most of the volume (44.23%, 32.22% and 16.66% respectively).
This year the site has dropped support for some altcoins including Dogecoin, Namecoin and Litecoin (which used to be actively traded on the platform).
Services are offered worldwide, in about 95% of the countries, with exceptions depending on every particular deposit / withdrawal method. The following countries are partially restricted, with specific details available in the Cex.io website.
Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
Cex.io has adopted AML/KYC policies, as it holds an MSB status with the FinCEN, and notably requires American citizens to verify their identity before depositing fiat. Margin trading is as well restricted to people from the USA.
Using The Cex.io Site
The site does not offer demo or anonymous accounts, registration is mandatory to use their services.
The process is simple and straightforward, social login (via Facebook, Google Plus, Vkontakte and Github) is offered as an alternative, but the traditional e-mail / password combination is available too.
After signing up and clicking the confirmation e-mail, the site prompts to activate 2FA (either through Google Authenticator or with SMS / call verification). While it is possible to skip it, the site strongly encourages adding a second security step and makes the user acknowledge that he is responsible for anything that could happen if the extra protection is not set.
Cex.io prompts to enable 2FA after confirming an account
After having been optional formerly, Identity verification is meanwhile mandatory. The process is as easy as filling a couple of forms, scanning documents (ID and residence certificate) and taking a picture holding the ID, and then uploading them to the platform and waiting for their personnel to validate the provided information.
Using The Site: Funding The Account
Three options to deposit are offered: credit cards (VISA and MasterCard), bank transfers and through CryptoCapital (Bitcoin). Four fiat currencies are accepted (USD, EUR, RUR, GBP) and two cryptocurrencies (BTC and ETH). Deposits in Russian Rubles are only received from credit cards. There are minimum deposit amounts for cryptocurrencies, depending on the coin: 0.001 for ETH; 0.0001 for BTC, ZEC, BCH, BTG, and DASH each.
Concerning fiat withdrawals, there are suggested minima for every payment method (20 USD / EUR, 1,200 RUR and 15 GBP for credit cards and 100 USD / EUR and 80 GBP for bank transfers).
Deposit (as well as withdrawal) limits depend on the type of account. A brand new user starts with a Basic account, which can be upgraded to Verified submitting the required documentation. Verified members may apply to become Verified Plus or for a Corporate account.
The last two tiers have no limits, while the standard accounts do have as is listed below:
The fees on Cex.io are considerably higher than in other exchanges, principally when it comes to withdrawing. These fees are the ones charged by Cex.io and do not include any additional commissions generated by third parties.
Deposit / withdrawal fees
Makers are charged nothing, while taker fees depend on the personal traded volume in the last 30 days. The highest rate charged is 0.2%, which can get as low as 0.1% for volumes higher than 6,000 BTC.
Using The Platform: The Dashboard
The Dashboard is minimalistic and intuitive. Everything needed to trade is contained within the trade page.
On top of the page there are charts, by default candlesticks and market depth are shown. The charts are complex enough and quite configurable to better monitor the market. Currency pairs are displayed as buttons, which besides switching the data for charts also display value changes in real time (each button becomes green or red if the associated price goes up or down).
Currency pairs and charts
Scrolling down, there are three tabs: Limit, Market and Margin trading. The first two allow to place orders, the only two supported by the site. The last one gives access to margin trading, which is offered at a 1:2 or 1:3 leverage, with 0.2% opening and 0.01% rollover fees.
Active orders are listed on the lowermost part of the page, with options to manage them (listed in the “Actions” field for every position) and to close all at once.
Using The Platform: The App
Cex.io offers a mobile app, available both for iOS and Android, which gives access to market analysis, placing and canceling orders, monitoring prices and depositing BTC.
Configuring the app takes no more than a couple of seconds: going to account settings, choosing the appropriate tab and generating a new activation key. After that, the only necessary step is scanning a QR code from the app.
Enabling the app on a new phone
Security On Cex.io
There is no record of the website having been hacked, with only an isolated report dating back to 2013, whose authenticity is dubious.
As it was already mentioned, the site strongly encourages activating 2FA. Their procedures to securely store, process and transmit their customer’s credit card information are certified by the Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council (PCI SSC). The site also features an activity tracker, which lists relevant actions on the account with date and IP.
There is no option to enable SMS or email alerts, besides 2FA / SMS / phone verification. E-mails from Cex.io are not encrypted but sent over a VPN.
The site has received mixed reviews. Users on Trustpilot have given it an average 3.9/10 rating, with most complains being due to slow and extremely difficult verification processes and impossibility to withdraw funds from the site. Most reviewers are first timers, but the huge number of bad reviews and the level of detail given suggest legitimacy.
There are some critics on Bitcointalk and reddit too (also about buying btc from cex.io and is cex a sam?), with the first mainly focused on their now defunct cloud mining operations and the latter mostly consisting of mixed opinions about the site in comments.
The site formerly had live chat, but it was recently removed. The only means to contact customer support is through e-mail (email@example.com) or filling the contact form on their website.
- Established exchange with good levels of security.
- Simple, intuitive and minimalistic interface.
- Relatively high fees.
- Limited number of currencies supported.
- Getting in touch with them is not as straightforward as it should be.
- No advanced order types.
The Bitcoin broker is based in the United Kingdom, with physical offices in Level39, One Canada Square, London, E14 5AB; it is registered under the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with reference ZA059396.
Cex.io is for those who want an easy-to-use and secure platform. If you are looking for the best rates, the lowest fees, a wide offering of cryptocurrencies and excellent customer support, this is not the site for you.