cex.io

CEX.io Review

CEX is a UK-based cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2013. It began as a Bitcoin exchange and a cloud mining service. It managed to become one of the largest Bitcoin mining operations, with 42% of the total mining power on the whole network. It moved to just being a cryptocurrency exchange from January 2015 – allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Zcash and Dash.

CEX allows users to trade across platforms and has its own Android and iOS app and REST API. This is an ideal site for beginners as the user interface is easy to use.

Pros

The site is excellent for beginners and allows the user to adapt the site for their level of expertise as they grow more confident. The user interface is simple but can become increasingly more technical with competency.

Once the user sets up a price to trade it freezes for two minutes to allow for the buying process to be complete. The only reason that this trade won’t be completed at this price is if the there has been a spike in the exchange rate in the interim period.

Cons

Some users have complained that there are hidden charges. When using a credit card and debit card there is a 3.5% charge and there is a 7% charge when buying currency from the site. This makes CEX relatively expensive, though not the most expensive. CEX also claim that these costs help them guarantee completion of deals.

There is no live chat, so any problems require a pause whilst you wait for a response to an email.

Payment Methods Accepted

CEX accepts credit and debits cards – including VISA, MasterCard and virtual credit cards – once the site thoroughly verifies the identity of the user. You can also buy using Bitcoin and Ethereum, using a wire transfer in the EU and a SEPA transfer elsewhere.

The site accepts US dollars, Euros and Rubles. There is a charge for use of bank transfers for dollars and Euros at a set rate of 10 Euros/ Dollars.

This is one of the few sites that allow withdrawal onto a credit card.

Supported Countries

CEX is a global company. There are some restrictions depending on where in the world you trade. There are countries that restrict use of credit card purchases and other countries restrict bank transfers. The company is only registered in 24 US states and is therefore not supported in the other 26 states.

Privacy

CEX is registered in the UK with the ICO and in the US with FINCEN. This provides regulatory overview that offers trust but also means that the company is required to know its customers. The level of verification is therefore higher than for other sites. There is a requirement to provide an email, a telephone number and a password. If you wish to use credit and debit cards you will need to send a picture of yourself holding the credit card. A small amount will be taken from the card by the site and the user will be expected to enter the exact price, which will be refunded once the account is open. The site will keep the details of the user’s ID for five years after the account has been closed.

Limits and Liquidity

The minimum amount is 0.01BTC with the maximum set at 10 BTC. There are three levels of account: basic ($500 per day/ $2000 per month), verified ($10,000 per day/ $100,000 per month) and verified plus/ corporate (no limits).

Speed

Credit card transactions are instantaneous.

Verification can take three days and going up the levels of verification to gain access to the higher limits can be lengthy.

The biggest delays reported have been in withdrawals. Some users have claimed it can be up to a month before they receive the funds they have requested. It is likely that a month is a rare event.

Reputation

The site is popular for two reasons. It takes the time to build multi-layer accounts so that you can increase the level of sophistication of trading options. It is good for beginners, but it grows with the user and allows a bespoke adaptation of the user interface. The second reason is the reputation for safety. The KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) policies ensure the site is secure. The site operates 2FA – with SMS, automated phone call or through the Google authenticator app.

The site also has cold storage facilities for holding assets offline and away from the reach of hackers. CEX is closed-mouthed about security features and does not give details of companies use for verification or any architecture of the site.

CEX has experienced at least one hacking incident in 2013 – but the is when the site was relatively new and there have been no other reported incidents since.

Fees

The charges for the site will seem quite high. There is a 3.5% charge for credit card deposits, which some have complained appear like hidden charges. CEX explain that this charge allows them to ensure that all orders are fulfilled.

There is a 7% service charge included in the price of the cryptocurrency if the coins are bought directly from the site. If trading with another user then there is a basic trade fee of 0.2%.

Customer Support

This is a strong point of CEX. There is a speedy response via email and there is an FAQ section that responds to most of the questions you are likely to have. The downside is no live chat – but responsive email times makes it superfluous anyway.

CEX.io Alternatives

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HitBTC

HitBTC is a Bitcoin exchange and platform for trading in altcoins. This site is aimed at professional traders and offers robot-friendly API access.