Cex.io Logo

AUC:

 

Undisclosed

Number of cryptocurrencies:

 

114+

Fees:

 

Vary by platform and account type

Account Types:

 

Identity, Address, Enhanced, Corporate

Editorial Rating

Cex.io Logo

Editorial Rating

CEX.IO Review

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AUC:

 

Undisclosed

Number of cryptocurrencies:

 

114+

Fees:

 

Vary by platform and account type

Account Types:

 

Identity, Address, Enhanced, Corporate

Accepts Fiat:

 

Yes

Mobile App:

 

Android and iOS

Withdrawal Fees:

 

Vary depending on mode

Cex.io Logo

Editorial Rating

As far as cryptocurrency exchanges go, the founding script tends to be the same. A creator harbors a vision of changing the game. They study the market to see what’s missing and develop a solution to compete with the very best.

Seldom are cryptocurrency exchanges borne out of an initial failure, but this is how CEX.IO was reinvented. This background has shaped how the platform operates today.

Our CEX.IO review unpacks the exchange and how it transitioned from a setback to becoming a recognizable name in the industry.

What Is CEX.IO?

CEX.IO is a regulated London-based cryptocurrency exchange renowned for being one of the first platforms to make fiat-to-crypto transactions accessible through card payments and bank transfers.

It was launched in 2013 as a Bitcoin cloud mining provider and hashing power marketplace powered by an internal mining pool called GHash.IO.

The platform was initially designed to facilitate users to earn Bitcoin mining rewards without putting together expensive mining operations in their homes.

The company stopped its cloud mining operations in the latter stages of 2016 following the closure of GHash.IO due to a lack of profitability. Decision-makers then mooted the idea of transitioning it into an exchange which worked to a tee.

As of April 2022, CEX.IO is supported in 20+ countries and has four million+ registered users.

Who is CEX best for?

CEX.IO is a natural fit for retail and institutional investors interested in specialized crypto products like crypto-backed loans and staking. It is also geared toward investors seeking features like margin trading and order execution tools.

How Does CEX.IO Work?

CEX.IO is a multifunctional cryptocurrency exchange built to serve the needs of experienced traders. It offers several unique features. The only downside is that it is less liquid than other similar-sized exchanges.

Options available to users include:

CEX.IO lets users deposit and withdraw fiat money using several payment options, including debit cards, bank account transfers, and PayPal.

While some international exchanges offer separate platforms for the US market, CEX.IO provides one venue to all users. The only caveat is that CEX.IO’s US customers cannot access certain features like crypto loans and margin trading.

What are the account requirements?

To get started with CEX.IO, users must be at least 18 years of age.

CEX.IO Account

You are also required to provide some personal details such as name, nationality and date, and place of birth.

CEX.IO will then take you through a two-step identity verification process.

1. State your country of residence: At this stage, you will select your country of residence from a drop-down menu. You will then be prompted to select your state/province.  CEX.IO also requires USA residents to provide their social security numbers.

CEX.IO asks users to confirm their phone numbers by SMS code as an additional security measure.

2. Submit proof of identity documents: This stage involves users providing the relevant documents to authenticate their identity. These can be an international passport, government-issued identity card, or driver’s license. You’ll need to provide a photo of your document and a selfie with it.

The exchange also asks applicants to submit identity document details such as serial number, date of issue, issuing country, and expiry date.

KYC verification

To stop its platforms from potentially being used to facilitate serious crimes like money laundering, human trafficking, and terrorist financing, CEX.IO’s customer verification process is thorough.

As mentioned above, the exchange requires users to provide their social security number (for US users) and submit official documents such as a passport or government-issued ID to prove their identity. The exchange will then take steps to authenticate that information.

Conversely, CEX screens applicants against recognized Sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) lists. The exchange also screens existing clients monthly.

CEX.IO also monitors transactions for suspicious activity. Once a transaction is flagged, the exchange is obligated to report the case to the relevant authority through its compliance officer. CEX can also suspend or terminate a user’s account if suspected of illegal activity.

What can you trade?

CEX.IO supports fewer currencies in the US than it does globally due to tighter regulation. Staking is also limited to select currencies.

As of April 2022, the exchange supported 44+ coins in the US and 114+ currencies in the rest of its markets.

Conversely, only seven coins were available for staking in the US. They included:

  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Zilliqa (ZIL)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Polygon (MATIC)

Users could also choose between eight stablecoins:

  • Tether (USDT)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • TrueUSD (TUSD)
  • mStable (MUSD)
  • Binance USD (BUSD)

Are there limits?

Daily deposits and withdrawals are unlimited for CEX.IO’s Enhanced and Corporate accounts.

The Identity account has a daily deposit limit of $3,000 and a daily withdrawal limit of $10,000.

The Address account has a daily deposit limit of $10,000 and a daily withdrawal limit of $10,000.

How to Trade Crypto on CEX.IO

Trading crypto on CEX.IO is relatively seamless. To get started, click on the “Trade” section on its website and choose if you want to buy currencies through its advanced trading engine.

Buying crypto through the mobile CEX.io app is just as easy to navigate through the Instant Buy and Instant Sell features. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Log in to your account and click the “Buy/Sell” option
  • Choose the crypto you want to buy or sell.
  • Select an available pack or enter the amount you want to buy/sell.
  • Click “Buy Now” and choose your preferred payment mode (buying) and where you want to send your crypto (selling).
  • Go through the information and click “Proceed” to complete the transaction.

What Are the Perks of Using CEX.IO?

If you are shopping for a cryptocurrency exchange today, what are some of the reasons you would pick CEX.IO?

Staking: CEX.IO lets investors earn interest in their crypto. Users can stake their digital assets on the platform and net income.

Crypto Lending: CEX.IO also lets users borrow crypto in minutes which they can withdraw or invest in cryptocurrencies. The loans are backed by Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).

Multiple trading options: The exchange also offers multiple trading interfaces. The default spot trading platform offers charts and several types of orders.

These features are attractive to investors who seek more advanced options. But the biggest draw towards using CEX.IO is its low fees for spot trading. The fees are based on your trading volume, and the highest is just 0.25%.

Now, let’s look into the exchange’s pricing in more detail.

CEX.IO Fees

CEX.IO employs a maker-taker schedule where transaction fees are based on 30-day trading volumes for all pairs. The fees are recalculated daily at 00:00 (GMT).

Trade Volume, 30-day Taker Maker
≤ $10,000 0.25% 0.15%
≤ $100,000 0.23% 0.13%
≤ $500,000 0.19% 0.09%
≤ $1,000,000 0.17% 0.07%
≤ $2,500,000 0.15% 0.05%
≤ $5,000,000 0.13% 0.03%
≤ $10,000,000 0.11% 0.01%
≤ $20,000,000 0.10% 0.00%
≤ $50,000,000 0.08% 0.00%
≤ $100,000,000 0.07% 0.00%
≤ $200,000,000 0.06% 0.00%
≤ $500,000,000 0.05% 0.00%
≤ $1,000,000,000 0.04% 0.00%
≤ $2,000,000,000 0. 03% 0.00%
≤ $5,000,000,000 0.02% 0.00%
> $5,000,000,000 0.01% 0.00%

Deposit and withdrawal fees

Besides the trading fees, deposit and withdrawal fees also apply. These, however, vary from asset to asset and the payment option.

Deposit fees range from 0% to 2.99%. On the other hand, CEX.IO withdrawal fees are structured to factor in a service charge of up to 3%  and a commission of up to $25.

Security

But what about security? What measures has CEX.IO put in place to protect its users’ funds?

The exchange spreads and maintains digital assets between hot and cold wallets. Hot wallets are connected to the internet, whereas cold wallets are offline.

Each digital currency has both hot and cold wallets with separate private keys. The proportion in which the digital assets are divided between the hot and cold wallets is determined by the amount of crypto that can sustain day-to-day trading activity. Typically, only a small portion of funds are in active circulation. Therefore, hot wallets only hold a small percentage of the total funds.

CEX.IO explicitly states that only the company’s funds remain in hot wallets to support the daily crypto circulation. In case of a hack, investors are insulated from losses.

For major cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum, 100% of clients’ funds are stored in cold wallets.

Additionally, every transaction involving the movement of digital assets is vetted by authorized systems independent from each other. Consent from most internal CEX.IO signatories to accounts and wallets is required to initiate any transaction.

CEX.IO’s servers, hardware modules, and personnel with access are also distributed across different locations and jurisdictions.

The exchange also protects against DDoS attacks and complies with PCI DSS standards.

On the client-side, users can enable two-factor authentication “2FA” – an extra layer of security that helps keep your account and funds secure. Anyone trying to access an account or funds must authenticate their identity beyond their username and password. This makes the CEX.IO wallet one of the safest in the market.

Is CEX.IO Regulated?

CEX.IO is licensed in multiple jurisdictions.

United States

CEX.IO LTD is registered as Money Services Businesses (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a wing of the US Department of the Treasury.

CEX.IO Corp. also holds Money Transmitter Licenses (MTLs) issued by 33 US states.

CEX USA also complies with a host of other regulations.

Gibraltar

CEX.IO Limited also holds a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license issued by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

Canada

In Canada, CEX.IO is registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).

United Kingdom

As of April 2022, CEX.IO had temporary registration as a crypto asset business by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Customer Service

Users seeking help can open a direct line of communication with CEX.IO customer support teams via:

  • Live chat
  • Email

Unfortunately, CEX.IO does not provide customer support via phone.

CEX.IO Mobile App

CEX.IO is available to Android and Apple users on Google Play and App Store, respectively.

The iOS app has a somewhat higher rating than the Android one. However, they both provide a full set of trading features, plus price alerts and order notifications.

User Reviews

Judging by the CEX.IO reviews on Trustpilot, the exchange seems to be living up to its billing. The most popular beliefs are that the platform is legitimate, reliable, fast, and offers a good experience. One or two users call CEX.IO a scam but don’t substantiate their claims.

CEX.IO reviews on Reddit are the antithesis of the consensus on Trustpilot. Most users lament not being able to withdraw their money from the exchange. They also fault the company for failing to assist them with the process.

CEX.IO Alternatives

Given that it’s a competitive industry, there is no shortage of alternatives. This review would be incomplete without comparing CEX.IO to other trading platforms.

CEX.IO vs Binance

The first place to start when comparing the two is that Binance has the lowest fees in the market. It also supports more cryptocurrencies (500+) than CEX’s 114+ coins.

The one area in that CEX stands taller than its peer is security. The exchange has never been hacked. On the contrary, Binance has been breached. In 2019, hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin from its coffers.

CEX.IO vs Crypto.com

The most apparent difference between the two exchanges is that Crypto.com does not charge deposit fees. Deposits on CEX.IO, on the other hand, range from 0% to 2.99%.

Another variation is Crypto.com has a daily deposit limit of $50,000. CEX.IO’s daily deposit limits range from $3,000 to unlimited, depending on the account type.

CEX’s security measures are also superior. The London-based exchange protects against DDoS attacks and complies with PCI DSS standards which Crypto.com doesn’t.

CEX.IO vs Coinbase

Coinbase users enjoy a lower minimum deposit requirement of $2 than CEX.IO clients who have to fund their accounts with at least $20 before making any transaction.

Coinbase also charges a withdrawal fee of $25, while the rate varies on CEX.IO depending on the withdrawal mode.

While both allow users to stake their currencies, the rate can be much higher on CEX.IO – up to 14% depending on the coin. With Coinbase, investors earn up to 5% APR on their crypto.

CEX.IO vs Kraken

Kraken supports a slightly wider range of cryptocurrencies than CEX.IO – 120+ compared to 114+ coins.

While both employ a taker-maker fee structure, Kraken’s prices are slightly higher at 0.26% (taker) and 0.16% (maker). CEX.IO’s fees are pegged at 0.25% (taker) and 0.15% (maker).

Final Thoughts

The adage that necessity is the mother of invention holds true in the crypto world.

Name it: Smart contracts, crypto lending, staking. The list is endless of the innovations churned out to solve a need.

And while most exchanges have been designed to solve a particular need and target a specific market, CEX.IO’s success story is more of a trial-and-error example.

What’s more, it’s safe to say that CEX.io’s failure as a different service is somewhat a masterstroke. Its reinvention from a Bitcoin mining provider to a crypto exchange has worked to perfection. Looking back, it’s something to marvel at.

Pros

  • Offers crypto loans. Investors can also earn interest on their digital assets
  • Supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • Licensed in the US
  • Strong security measures
  • Low fees for spot trading

Cons

  • Complicated fee structure
  • US users cannot access several features
  • Less liquid compared to other top exchanges
Cex.io Logo

Editorial Rating

FAQ

What is CEX.IO?

CEX.IO is a London-based cryptocurrency exchange. It is popular for being one of the first platforms to make fiat-to-crypto transactions accessible through card payments and bank transfers. It was started initially as a Bitcoin mining provider in 2013 but was repurposed to become an exchange in 2016.

Is CEX.IO legit?

CEX.IO is a regulated exchange and holds licenses to operate in multiple jurisdictions, including the United States. The platform also boasts of one of the tightest security and enjoys the status of not being breached. Our research did not yield anything to suggest that CEX.IO is not legit.

Is CEX.IO FDIC insured?

Yes. All US residents’ USD funds are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per person.

Is CEX.IO anonymous?

No. As explained in our CEX.IO review, verification is mandatory for all users. This is done to enhance security and comply with federal and state regulations.