CEX.io

If you are a bitcoin or Ethereum enthusiast, or just a bystander that is curious about cryptocurrencies, then you will have seen CEX.io, if not even visited this site.

CEX.io is one of the major bitcoin exchanges that was founded in 2013 and provides a comprehensive service that includes the ability to trade in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, ZCash, and Dash. So, what’s great about that?

You get to buy them with your credit or debit cards instantly.

Another great feature is that this is a comprehensive trading platform, which means it works on all operating systems and hardware, including a website, a mobile app for Android and iOS, WebSocket and Rest API.

Let’s take a closer look at this interesting cryptocurrency exchange and try to understand why it is so damned good.

CEX Website

I will open up with the fact that this is a professional site with exceptional GUI. This means it is as useful and easy to use for a professional trader as it is for a beginner.

Registration is fast and easy; however, you need to understand the security features behind the registration process. CEX is a private company that is registered in the UK and has an ICO registered in both FINCEN US and the UK. The process they use is “Know Your Customer” KYC, and they integrate “Anti-Money Laundering” AML policies. These policies require a mandatory identification process where the client gives CEX their email address, telephone number, and setting up a password. This is then verified by telephone and email. CEX also provides a two-factor authentication system; this allows the client to choose between SMS, automated phone call or through the Google Authenticator app.

How to Purchase

After registration is complete and your identity is verified, you can now add your payment method into the system. The option includes credit or debit card, a wire transfer or if you are in the EU, a SEPA transfer.

The credit and debit card verification process usually takes around 48 hours, so take this into consideration as well. In fact, take note, the whole process to register and verify payment can take up to 5 days. This process includes taking a selfie with the payment method (card) you intend to use, and a copy of an ID, passport or driving license is also required. Make sure the file is under 15MB but is readable and clear, or the security representative will demand you send another photo.

Now, once you complete this stage, you can begin trading in Bitcoin and Ethereum instantly through your CEX account.

Take heed, during the verification process your credit card details are stored by CEX for 5 years, even after you delete your account, the information is stored in their system. Personally, I find a preloaded debit card to be the best solution for online purchasing, including cryptocurrency trading. A preloaded (non-bank linked) debit card is only as good as the amount you load into it. This means that once the card has been hacked, you will only lose the value of the card.

Purchasing

When you want to purchase cryptocurrencies, you will need to use either your credit/debit card that was authorized online, or uses the alternative methods. These methods include bank transfer in US dollars, Euros and Rubles. The bank transfer fees in USD / EUR are set a flat rate of $/€ 10.

Calculating the Trade & Fee

The trading process is simple when you decide to buy a currency, you make the request, and the price of the trade is frozen for two minutes. This gives you time to review the amount of crypto you can purchase for the hard currency you will use to buy it. The moment you press the Buy / Sell button, the system checks to see if your account has sufficient funds, and then completes the transaction.

Take heed that during the trading interval, the market continues to fluctuate. If the currency conversion rate (exchange) rate goes down, you will get it at the better rate; however, if the currency has gone up, then the transaction will not be completed. You will be notified that the transaction was canceled due to a spike in the trading price.

The fees are fixed, and they are 3.5% plus $0.25 / £0.20 fees for credit card amounts that you deposit into your account. This is a “hidden fee,” and yes, it’s annoying, but this is all part of the so-called decentralized cryptocurrency revolution. Having stated this, the reason that CEX.io claims this fee is to assure you of a trade, no matter what.

What?

OK, some basics, cryptocurrencies are not like hard currencies, every crypto is owned by a someone, there is no central banking system that trades automatically. As such, cryptos require both a buyer and a seller, just like on the stock exchange. If there is no seller, then you cannot buy. The same goes for selling; if there is no buyer, then you cannot sell. As such, most exchanges do not verify a trade until it is fulfilled. CEX verifies all coverable trades, if the cash is in your account, you will get your crypto, and vice versa.

Bottom Line: Fluidity costs.

Now let’s look at the service charge. Yup, it wasn’t over with the trading assurance fee, CEX also charges you 7% for service. So, now you understand that if you make one trade, you have a 10% (+ small change) fee. This 7% fee is when you buy from CEX, all basic exchange trades generate third party 0.2% trade fee per trade.

Exchange Rates

Since there is no regulatory body governing prices, every exchange has a little delta in the trading prices, and you should consider factoring these when trading. Check out more than one platform, and review the differences in exchange rates. Then calculate the fees and see which platform gives the best results per exchange price and fees. CEX is considered to be in the middle of the range.

Limits

Trading in cryptocurrencies, just like in stocks, comes with a limit. This means you cannot buy less than a certain hard currency value, or crypto amount per trade.

On CEX the minimum Bitcoin purchase amount is 0.01 BTC, and the maximum is 10 BTC.

Since large transactions are more lucrative to CEX, they offer upgraded accounts with different exchange rates and fees for the larger transactions.

The account types are:

  • Basic: This allows you to trade up to $500 of Bitcoin or Ethereum per day, with a monthly maximum of $2,000. A basic account requires only basic ID verification.
  • Verified: This account allows you to trade up to $10,000 of Bitcoin or Ethereum per day, with a monthly maximum of $100,000. Verified accounts require proof of residency as well as the basic requirements.
  • Verified Plus & Corporate: These are company accounts and are unlimited.

Withdrawing Funds

CEX.io allows you to request fund transfers to your credit or debit cards as well as to bank accounts. The withdrawal limit is set to an equivalent of €2,000 per day, and €50,000 per month to credit/debit cards.

Fees

Yes, if you thought that withdrawing funds was free, guess again. CEX takes a flat rate of $3.80 / £2.90 for credit card withdrawals, and an additional 1.2% for MasterCard.

Bank withdrawals are expensive; they cost you a flat fee of $50 per bank transfer.

Withdrawal Times

Sometimes withdrawing fees can be a problem, and yes, delays of months have been recorded for withdrawing funds from CEX.io. This is not just a CEX issue; it’s a global crypto issue. In fact, it is easy to buy crypto, but selling and withdrawing the funds is a totally different matter.

Security

CEX has been secure since 2013 and claims it uses offline cold storage to secure funds. The fact that until now, only one incident was recorded, and that was in 2013 when CEX was a baby and was fixed, shows that this is a secure platform.

Supported Countries & States

CEX operates in many countries, here is the list of countries and US states, and their modes of operation.

Countries that restrict credit card purchases: Iceland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Countries that restrict from buying through 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.

CEX is NOT supported in 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.

Customer Support

CEX.io has an extensive online FAQ, with this, their customer support is efficient, and based on forum and reviews, CEX customer support takes the time to solve issues. However, there are always those that grumble. So, there is a lot of complaints online, but that is to be expected, after all, in general, only the unsatisfied leave responses.

Conclusions

CEX has high service fees; I don’t buy into” hidden” fee syndrome. If you read the pages, you will see the information in front of you. Don’t expect crypto changes to be charities; they are all set up by “loan shark” type institutions that are only interested in one thing: Making hard currency from cryptocurrency. Which is like operating a casino, where you will be enticed and hypnotized into playing against the house for a few free drinks…do not complain when you lose.

On the bought side, CEX is a great platform for trading, and if you like diving into the digital waters of the blockchain, then CEEX is a great beginner site.