Comprehensive CEX Review: What’s all that noise about
Last Updated: 17 June 2018

I begin again by stressing the importance of security aspects any user must address prior to registering and making any trades, even if is a popular exchange. Always do your own homework and make your final decision based on evidence collected from multiple reputable sources. In this CEX review I will touch upon some of the most important areas of CEX history, performance, marketing and objectives. CEX is known for operating one of the leading bitcoin mining pools, prior to the inception of the most user friendly crypto exchange. CEX is extremely good at restructuring its business practices to meet the growing market demands.

Cex.io has launched its operations in early 2013. Being a UK based company, it was successfully operating GHash.io. It is considered one of the bigger bitcoin mining pools today. Eventually Ghash expanded, controlling approximately 42% of bitcoin hashing power. The company originated by – Oleksandr Ushchapovskiy and Oleksandr Lutskevych.

Exchange option was implemented to assist folks with selling and buying some shares of the mining pool via bitcoin. By using the cloud mining system, the cex exchange made it simple and a lot more convenient for many users to be able to enter and exit the mining operations. Any new miner upon joining the pool wasn’t required to purchase its own hardware, as result the hardware did not have to be disposed prior to exit from the mining pool.

Around september 2014, CEX active user database had reached to more than 200,000. Due to growing popularity, the exchange began taking deposits in USD, EUR as well as Rubles via credit cards, wire transfers & SEPA from folks interested in purchasing bitcoins or the Ghash mining shares. After the Bitcoin hard fork that led to the creation of Bitcoin cash, the CEX platform was opened for buying and selling cryptocurrency.

Some of the CEX’s strengths

  • Platform is loaded with lots of high tech trading features, as well is it provides superb user friendly experience.
  • There are many deposit and withdrawal options available, making the platform a convenient option for most traders.
  • CEX accepts credit cards deposits from most countries. Unlike Coinbase, Cex takes credit card payments from wider range of countries.
  • Margin trading is available for BTC/EUR, BTC/USD, ETH/BTC as well as ETH/USD pairs with decent loss-prevention tools in place. Some of CEX competitors like as Coinbase or Bitsamp offer absolutely no margin trading.
  • The orders are being Executed through fill-or-kill (FOK). As result the transactions are much faster & easier.
  • A mobile application is available. Its android app has already received over 100k downloads from GooglePlay.
  • An API is available for developers.
  • A very simple registration process through many popular social media accounts. Folks are welcome to register via GoogleID, Facebook Github and VK.
  • The platform is known for constantly adding new altcoins for trading.
  • There were no security breaches has been recorded yet.

Some of CEX’s disadvantages

  • There are some degree of delay in verification requests. Apparently the delay had to do with rapid increase in popularity which resulted in substantial increase of new registrants.
  • The customer support is inattentive. Nevertheless, a report from CEX management was released promising to recruit extra support staff.
  • Fewer coins are being offered for trading opposed to its competitors like Bitfinex nd Bittrex.
  • Wire transfers and credit card payments are not supported from all countries. Unlike, coinmama, where visa/mastercard payments are being supported from greater list of countries.
  • A mobile app requires improvement. Many web based features are unavailable via the mobile app.
  • Despite the efforts being constantly made to accommodate beginner traders, I believe by charging higher fees, the CEX is taking advantage of the newbie traders.

CEX Platform

Extra effort was made on designing the site opposed to some of its competitors like Coinmama or even Bitfinex. The design team made sure not to left out the beginner traders by making navigation menus super friendly. An extra layer of security was made by automatically enabling SMS & email two-factor authentication (2FA). A security expert Andreas Antonopoulos is still a bit sceptical about the truth behind the SMS 2FA.

According to many security experts, the most recommended 2FA tools are the custom made tools. A great alternative to SMS 2FA would be the Google Authenticator. The FOK or fill-or-kill feature makes CEX stand out among its close competitors.

One feature that makes Cex stand out from other exchanges is the implementation of the fill-or-kill (FOK) model to execute orders. When an order is placed, its is either filled as a whole immediately, or entirely cancelled.

Mobile app

The Cex mobile app is available for both iOS & Android. Deposits can be easily made via the application. Simply scan the QR code and deposit bitcoin, ether, or litecoin. Any limit or market order can be placed using the app. You can also do things like view balances, place or cancel orders in real time. Although an app is definitely a handy tool to have on your mobile phone, a user feedback was both positive and negative. Some folks have expressed disappointment over lack of user friendliness of the application, others complained about issues with executing orders, lack of details & graphs as well as some difficulty with the login screen.

The API

Besides the mobile app, the CEX dev team have made an application programming interface or an API available for developers alike to be able to build cool apps for trading as well as managing cryptocurrency. There are three forms of API available: WebSocket for pro traders, Rest for fetching the market data & Fix for most institutional traders. Please note: the trading API has a limit of 600 requests for every 10 minute interval. To be able to raise the number of requests, you will have to contact customer support representative.

Market positioning

According to Bitcoinity.org, CEX.io controls 0.78% of the global exchange market. It is ranked 15th in the list of crypto exchanges in terms of trade volume. CEX.io ranks lower in terms of traffic than most major exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp and Poloniex. It outranks almost all of them in the amount of traffic from Russia, however. Aside from Yobit and Livecoin, few other major global crypto exchanges have Russia even in the top five countries in terms of traffic to their platforms. The social media team is very active and responsive on Twitter, Reddit, and their blog, reach out to them if needed. There are some very interesting articles that I would encourage everyone to follow:

CEX is known to be one of the better trading platforms. It offers margin trading for coins with 1:2 as well as 1:3 leverages. It provides many cool features like the auto borrowing as well as protection from driving an account into negative. CEX makes the margin trading as easy as taking a walk in the park.

CEX registration

on CEX is made easy via social platforms like Facebook, VK, Google as well as Github. Before fiat deposits could be made, ID verification will be mandatory.

ID verification process is similar across the board. A form need to be filled stating your full name, credit card number as well as three forms of identification matching the credit card credentials including a selfie of yourself holding the credit card and another government issued ID. In many instances, proof of address / residency will also be required. After the compliance team reviews your application, you will be notified by email. Incase something doesn’t check out, an office will explain the situation and possibly ask for further proof of identity. On average the verification process takes from 1 hour to 3 days, however in some cases it may take longer.

The Fees

The CEX charges transaction, withdrawal/deposit fees, as well as margin trading fees.

The transaction fees

The transaction fees are promptly paid by a trader responding to an offer to buy. However, the seller placing an offer to sell does not pay the transaction fees. The fees are based on a commission of the traded value ranging from 0.10% to 0.20%. The fees vary with traded volume.

Withdrawal and deposit fees

There are several factors that determine the value of the fee users would end up paying for deposit and withdrawals; the currency traded and the selected payment method. Deposits are made via bank transfers and cryptocurrency is always free. Unlike deposits, withdrawing via bank transfer can cost anywhere from $30 to $50 USD and anywhere from 0% to 1% via cryptocurrency. Deposits that are made via Visa/MasterCard can cost anywhere from 3.5% to 5% of the face value. There are some extra fiat fees of $0.20 to $0.25 may be involved.

Margin trading fees

Cex gracefully charges 0.2% for opening a leverage of 2 or 3 position, as well as some rollover cost of 0.1%. There are no fees for closing the positions.

CEX supported countries

The CEX platform could be accessed from around the globe, however there are some country specific restrictions imposed on deposit process. The currency deposits cannot be made from residents of the following countries.

  • Bahrain
  • Iceland
  • Vietnam
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Libya
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Yemen
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia

If you are a resident of the following country, bank transfer deposits are restricted:

  • Afghanistan
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Vietnam
  • Guinea
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

Despite having US business registration, deposits cannot be made from many states due to local regulatory requirements.

Some Cex Alternatives
  • Coinbase – popular alternative to coinbase for beginners. Check out my Coinbase review. Credit card & bank transfer deposits are accepted.
  • Bitstamp – built for both beginners & advanced users. Check out my Bitstamp review. Card & bank transfer are accepted as form of deposit. (Luxembourg)
  • Blockchain.info – a very popular online wallet. Unlike Cex, sale of BTC is restricted.