CEX.io is a bitcoin exchange that offers ETH/USD margin trading, among other unique features. Read our CEX.io review today.
What is CEX.io?
CEX.io is a bitcoin exchange founded in London in 2013. The company originally offered cloud mining services, but today focuses on offering an exchange. CEX.io is best known for its fiat/bitcoin currency pairs, including pairs involving bitcoin and USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB. Trades have a commission of 0% to 0.2%.
CEX.io was a major cloud mining provider back in 2013 and 2014. They possessed the Ghash.io cloud mining pool. In 2014, CEX.io’s Ghash.io mining operation contributed to over 42% of the overall bitcoin mining power. By October 2015, however, the Ghash.io pool closed due to the low price of bitcoin and the high cost of mining. From that point forward, CEX.io operated exclusively as a cryptocurrency exchange.
CEX.io is registered as a Money Services Business within FinCEN (USA). The exchange uses a PCI DSS certificate to store, process, and transmit payment card data. CEX.io also abides by KYC/AML standards, so you can expect some extra verification steps on signup.
Other key features of the exchange include two factor authentication via Google Authenticator or SMS/phone call.
At the time of writing, CEX.io was sitting in the number 32 position in terms of 24 hour trading volume. The exchange typically sits in the top 30 or 35 exchanges worldwide.
How Does CEX.io’s Trading Work?
CEX.io allows you to buy bitcoin using your credit card, a wire transfer, or a SEPA transfer (for EU residents). One of the unique things about CEX.io trades, however, is that they’re based on a “Fill or Kill” (FOK) system.
FOK orders are orders that are executed immediately and in full. On other exchanges, you submit an order, then wait for a seller to agree to that order amount. On CEX.io, this doesn’t happen, and your order is fulfilled immediately at your specific price.
Obviously, there’s a catch to this FOK system. For it to work, CEX.io has to charge customers a premium – which means you pay higher exchange rates. Expect to pay a premium of about 7%.
When you enter a trade, CEX.io will calculate the price and freeze it for 120 seconds. You input the amount of money you wish to spend, then you see the amount of bitcoin you can receive. After you press the buy/sell button, the system will check to see that you have enough funds available.
If the market allows the execution of your order, your order will be filled based on the agreed conditions. If there is a sudden spike in the exchange rate, however, that prevents the order on your agreed conditions, then you’ll receive a notification. After you confirm the trade, your order is matched to order orders on the exchange, and your balance is adjusted.
That sounds complicated, but it basically breaks down to this: sometimes, your amount will be greater than agreed upon. However, the amount will never be smaller.
The most popular currency pairs on CEX.io include ETH/USD, BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, ETH/BTC, ETH/EUR, and BTC/RUB.
CEX.io has faced criticism for its fee structure. The exchange appears to offer low fees (0.20% commissions on trades), but there are a number of “hidden fees” to consider. Here’s a breakdown of the most important fees:
Exchange Fees: CEX.io charges 7% fees on its exchange rate. So if you buy $1000 USD worth of bitcoin, you’ll only receive $930. This fee only applies for direct purchases, and does not apply to bank transfers or credit card purchases.
Bank Transfer Deposits: No fee
Credit Card Deposit: 3.5% + $0.25 commission
Trading Fees: 0.20%
CEX.io Account Limits
Here are some of the trading limits for CEX.io:
Basic Accounts: Can buy up to $500 worth of bitcoin per day, and $2000 worth of bitcoins per month
Verified Accounts: Can buy up to $10,000 worth of bitcoins per day, and $100,000 worth of bitcoins per month
Verified Plus and Corporate Accounts: No limitations
To become verified with CEX.io, you’ll need to supply government-issued photo ID and personal information about yourself.
CEX.io is a popular cryptocurrency exchange that is also a little controversial. The exchange has poor ratings on various review aggregator sites online (like a 3/5 review on TrustPilot) because of its unique trading structure. You can buy bitcoins directly at a fixed exchange rate set by CEX.io. However, this exchange rate takes a 7% fee. Aside from that steep fee, there are relatively small fees on trading (0.20%) and deposits (no fee for bank transfers, 3.5% fee on credit card transfers).
Overall, CEX.io is one of the world’s most popular bitcoin exchanges. You can start trading today at CEX.io.