Cryptocurrency Reviews

CEX.IO Review: Licensed Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange

CEX.io is one of the cryptocurrency sector’s more established exchanges - Read our complete review to find out more
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CEX.io is one of the cryptocurrency sector’s more established exchanges and dates back to 2013. The exchange was principally concerned with enabling its users to make Bitcoin purchases, and now allows anyone who signs up to also easily purchase cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and XRP.

The exchange supports a variety of currencies and payment options and CEX.io is well known for facilitating credit and debit card transactions at a relatively low cost.

Designed to service both beginner and more experienced buyers/traders, CEX.io now provides Bitcoin margin trading and the platform can also be accessed via its website, mobile app, WebSocket and Rest API.

Read on for our complete review of the exchange, we have compiled everything you need to know if you are thinking of using them.

Visit CEX

What is CEX.io?

CEX.IO LTD launched in November 2013, and got started as a cloud mining service and Bitcoin exchange. The mining services were closed down in 2015 with the team focusing solely on running a cryptocurrency exchange.

Based in the United Kingdom, CEX.IO LTD retains a correspondence address of 24th Floor One Canada Square, Canary Wharf London E14 5AB, United Kingdom and a UK VAT number of GB 307261820.

The CEX Website
The CEX Website

The exchange also operates as an entity registered in the USA which allows it to provide services across 31 US states, and CEX.IO Corp retains a correspondence address of 111 Town Square Place, Suite 1203, Jersey City, NJ 07310, United States of America and the 83-21-23130 EIN (Employer Identification Number).

As it is registered with the ICO in the UK and with FINCEN in the US, the exchange is well respected and anyone signing up can trade in USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB, as well as cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, and USDT.

User accounts can also be funded via bank wires and transfers or by using a Visa/MasterCard credit card.

The exchange aims to make the purchase and trade of cryptocurrencies as straightforward as possible and combines an easy to use interface, cutting edge security protocols, and extensive customer service for all its users.

CEX Features
Why Choose CEX

Opening an Account

Opening an account with CEX.io involves registering by providing an email and setting up a password, the exchange operates a range of account tiers, and various services require additional account verification and the submission of personal information including your address, telephone number, and the relevant supporting documentation.

Account signup page
Account signup page

CEX.io Account Types & Limits

There are four different account levels available on CEX.io which all have differing purchasing limits based on the amount of verification provided.

The four account verification tiers are as follows:

  • Identity
  • Address
  • Enhanced
  • Corporate

Identity Tier

The Identity tier allows users to purchase Bitcoin quickly using a credit card and by supplying basic verification with supporting ID.

Accounts are limited to deposits/withdrawals of up to 1000 USD/EUR (800 GBP) per day and 3000 USD/EUR (2000 GBP) per month.

This tier is also unable to use SWIFT or ACH bank wire transfers.

Address Verification Tier

The Address verification tier allows for unlimited total deposits via bank wire transfers although they are limited to 200,000 USD/EUR/GBP daily and 500,000 USD/EUR/GBP monthly deposits.

Credit card deposits are limited to 3000 USD/EUR (2000 GBP) daily and 30,000 USD/EUR (20,000 GBP) monthly, while withdrawals are subject to 200,000 USD/EUR/GBP daily and 500,000 USD/EUR/GBP monthly limits.

Enhanced Verification Tier

The Enhanced verification tier requires a selfie and bank statement has no limits for bank wire deposits, but credit card deposits are limited to 10,000 USD/EUR (8,000 GBP) daily, and 100,000 USD/EUR (80,000 GBP) per month.

While SEPA, ACH, and Faster Payments withdrawals are unlimited, withdrawals made by SWIFT are subject to 200,000 USD/EUR/GBP daily and 1,000,000 USD/EUR/GBP monthly limits.

Corporate Tier

Corporate accounts require company related documents in addition to selfies, and include the same features as the Enhanced verification account tier, namely unlimited bank wire deposits, and unlimited SEPA, ACH, and Faster Payments withdrawals.

Account Verification
Account Verification

Funding an Account

It’s possible to deposit funds into your account in a variety of ways, and in a number of different fiat currencies, namely United States Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), British Pound Sterling (GBP), and Russian Rubles (RUB).

Deposits can be made by bank transfer and/or credit and debit cards and deposit payments are processed instantly.

CEX.io Fiat Deposits

However, only three daily successful transactions per each verified payment card are allowed for all countries where card payments are supported.

Deposits made via payment cards with a local currency different from USD, EUR, GBP or RUB will be automatically converted into the selected deposit currency.

The exchange rate and any fees associated with the transaction are calculated and deducted by your card issuer.

CEX.io Deposit Options

Users can also deposit supported cryptocurrencies by clicking the “Deposit” button and sending funds to the unique exchange account address for each digital asset.

The process is the same as sending cryptos to any other exchange, and cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP can be easily deposited into your exchange account.

Verifying Your Account

Before starting the verification process, the CEX team recommend that you prepare the following documents:

  • An international passport/national ID card/driver’s license. This document should be valid and internationally recognized. It should also be issued with Latin characters or with Latin transliteration of the main fields.
  • A piece of paper and a pen.
  • Your tax identification number (or social security number if you’re a US resident).

You will also need to take and upload pictures as well as scan documents so having a camera/mobile phone handy is another requirement.

The process can be broken up into the following stages:

Stage 1 Identity Verification

You will need to provide the following:

  • Personal information (name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, and country of residence)
  • An official government-issued ID document (passport, driver’s license, ID card )
  • A selfie and written note with you holding an ID document

Your social media profiles are optional extras that may also be submitted to make the verification process quicker.

CEX.io Identity Documentation

After submitting the necessary information you will need to take photos of your identity documents and upload them before also taking a selfie of yourself holding your ID along with a handwritten note that contains “I’m a CEX.IO customer, current date, signature”.

Stage 2 Address verification

Here, you need to provide:

  • Your country of residence, and address
  • Proof of residency (bank statement/utility bill)

The two main requirements are that the document must be in Latin characters or have Latin transliteration, and the document must contain the credentials of the institution (e.g. logo), your first and last name, and your residential address on one page.

CEX.io Proof of Address Documentation

Once again, you’ll need to take a photo or scan your proof of address documents and upload them. You can also scan the QR code on your screen with your smartphone and take a photo with your mobile phone to speed up the process.

Stage 3 Enhanced and Corporate Verification

This stage is for anyone opening or upgrading to an Enhanced or Corporate account and requires the provision of additional information such as official company documents and financial statements.

The entire process doesn’t take much time, however, the final approval make take days to finalise. The team outline the process here, and are on hand to deal with any issues.

What exactly can you trade on CEX.io?

The exchange currently supports the buying, selling, and trading of over 15 cryptocurrencies as well as the use of multiple fiat currencies.

However, various cryptocurrencies and/or purchasing and trading pairs are only available when using certain CEX services.

The currencies available across the platform are as follows:

  • Supported fiat currencies: US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), and Russian Rubles (RUB).
  • Instant buy cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) Stellar (XLM) Tron (TRX), BitTorrent Token (BTT), and MetaHash (MHC).
  • Each of the digital currencies listed can be purchased with USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB.
  • Trading cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) Stellar (XLM) Tron (TRX), BitTorrent Token (BTT), MetaHash (MHC), Cardano (ADA), OmiseGO (OMG), Ontology (ONT), Ontology Gas (ONG), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and Tether (USDT).
  • All the listed cryptocurrencies can be traded using USD and EUR trading pairs, while there are currently close to 13 trading pairs involving BTC.
The Trading Screen at CEX
The Trading Screen at CEX

Fees and Charges at CEX.io

CEX.io aims to operate as a relatively low fee platform and there are no charges for USD, EUR, or GBP deposits by bank transfer whether they are ACH, SEPA, or Faster Payments.

  • Bank transfer withdrawals accrue a service fee of 0.3% plus a standard charge of $25/€25/£25 depending on the currency used, however withdrawals processed via ACH, SEPA, or Faster Payments are fee free.
  • Visa/MasterCard deposits in USD, EUR, GBP, or RUB accrue a fee of 2.99%, and USD withdrawals to a Visa card face a service charge of up to 3% + $1.20 and a commission of up to $3.80. Visa card withdrawals in Euros come with a service charge of up to 3% + €1.50 and a commission of up to €3.50, while withdrawals in GBP face a service charge of up to 3% + £2.10 and a commission of up to £2.90.
  • USD withdrawals to a MasterCard accrue a service charge of up to 1.8% + $1.20 and a commission of up to 1.2% + $3.80. MasterCard withdrawals in Euros face a service charge of up to 1.8% + €1.50 and a commission of up to 1.2% + €3.50, while withdrawals in GBP face a service charge of up to 1.8% + £2.10 and a commission of up to 1.2% + £2.90. Both Visa and MasterCard withdrawals made in Russian Rubles accrue a standard fee of 3% + 50 RUB.

CEX.io Fee Schedule

Transaction Fees

CEX.io operates the following maker-taker fee schedule with transaction fees based on your 30-day trade volume for all pairs. This is recalculated daily at 00:00 (GMT) and includes the current day`s trades.

Trade Volume 30d, BTCTakerMaker
≤ 50.25%0.16%
≤ 300.23%0.15%
≤ 500.21%0.13%
≤ 1000.20%0.12%
≤ 2000.18%0.10%
≤ 10000.15%0.08%
≤ 30000.13%0.04%
≤ 60000.11%0.00%
> 60000.10%0.00%

Supported Countries

Countries where card payments aren’t available:

Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Cuba, Algeria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Iceland, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Countries where SWIFT payments aren’t available:

Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, North Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

In addition, MasterCard withdrawals for users from India are disabled while ACH payments are only supported for residents of the United States.

The exchange currently serves 31 US states and has been granted money transmitter licenses in 15 states including Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.

CEX.io also operates in the following 16 states that do not retain any requirements for exchanges to be licensed as money senders:

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

How Suitable is CEX.io for Beginners?

Due to CEX starting out in 2013 as a location for people to purchase Bitcoin easily, the exchange still makes it easy to buy Bitcoin and maintains an instant buy feature.

Here, anyone can select the crypto they want to buy and the fiat currency they want to use to complete the purchase. You will then receive your coins after entering the amounts, your credit card information, and entering your verification details.

Simple Buying Page for Cryptocurrency
Simple Buying Page for Cryptocurrency

The website is generally well designed, and the trading interface is easy to use, with the entire platform aiming to be user-friendly.

As can be expected, the exchange provides a Support system which allows anyone to submit requests and the team can be contacted by email or phone, as well as across their various social media channels.

There is also an extensive FAQ section which covers common question related to accounts, finance, and trading, while the official blog covers a range of topics and news articles.

More experienced users can take advantage of CEX.io’s trading platform which incorporates all of the usual features.

These include market and limit orders, extensive charts, and technical indicators as well as advanced reporting, and cross platform trading (via mobile app and/or API).

More advanced trading page
More advanced trading page

Margin trading is also on offer for the savviest of traders, although this service has moved from the CEX.io trading platform to a dedicated margin trading service called CEX.io Broker.

This new service caters specifically to margin traders and features advanced trading tools, and a comprehensive range of technical analysis instruments.

As expected, the service also enables margin trading via CFDs (Contracts for Difference) as well as increased trading (and risk) possibilities via the use of leverage of up to 10x.

As a result CEX is a viable option for anyone looking for an easy way to purchase cryptocurrencies as well as more seasoned cryptocurrency traders; however, there are some complaints online regarding the exchange’s customer support response times, and extensive verification process for the higher account tiers.

Margin Trading
Margin Trading

Is CEX.io Safe?

CEX has a good reputation with regards to security and suffered a hacking incident in 2013 when the exchange was just getting started. The vulnerability was patched soon afterwards, and the exchange has been free of any known security breaches since then.

The team behind CEX make use of a range of security protocols including protection against DDoS attacks, full data encryption, offline cold storage, and two-factor authentication (2FA).

User accounts must have 2FA enabled to make a withdrawal, and the mobile app allows for a Withdrawal Pin Code (WPC) to be set up to confirm mobile withdrawals.

Digital assets stored by the exchange are spread between hot and cold wallets and there are hot and cold wallets with separate private keys for each digital currency. In addition, only a small percentage of all the digital assets kept in active circulation are stored in hot wallets which helps to secure funds against malicious actors.

The team also incorporates physical segregation, encryption, and strict access controls including 24/7 surveillance, alarm systems, and secure vaults to further enhance the security of funds held by the exchange.

CEX.io Contact Details

Clients’ fiat funds are stored in custodial accounts with the exchange’s banking partners and these fiat funds are held separately from the company’s own accounts, meaning that only customers have a claim on these funds.

Furthermore, only authorized individuals can initiate transactions with clients’ fiat held in the bank accounts, and the exchange places its employees through a stringent background checking process.

For clients based in the United States, their USD funds are covered by FDIC insurance, up to a maximum of $250,000 per person.

The team adhere to current banking/financial regulations and uphold KYC/AML verification for all users; and the exchange also uses an “Expert System” which continuously monitors all digital asset transactions for irregular activities.

Account verification requires personal ID; proof of address documentation scans, as well as a picture of you holding your ID or credit card, and CEX maintains compliance with PCI DSS Level 1 standards.

CEX.io Key Security Features

This is the highest level of compliance, and ensures that any merchant, processing over 6 million Visa transactions per year stores, transmits or processes credit card data to the highest standards and maintains a highly secure environment.

As a result, CEX is a highly transparent operator, and maintains high security standards and is registered with the ICO in the UK and with FINCEN in the US. The team are quite open with their security protocols and legal setup and more information can be found here, and here.

Conclusion

CEX.io is an established operator having been on the market since 2013, and the exchange is also one of the more transparent in operation.

Being registered with the FCA in the UK and with FINCEN in the US helps significantly with regards to trust, as does the fact that funds are covered by FDIC insurance, up to a maximum of $250,000 per person for US users.

The instant buying feature is a major benefit for anyone looking for an easy way to buy cryptos, and CEX.io is one of the few exchanges that supports fiat and credit card purchases, while also allowing users to deposit and withdraw funds in four different fiat currencies.

Experience traders are also well served as the trading platform offers the full range of standard features and order types as well as technical analysis tools.

CEX also generates significant liquidity levels, and provides margin trading with leverage of up to 10x which benefits the most adventurous and experienced of traders.

There are some complaints circulating online regarding customer support and fees, however, the exchange is generally transparent in terms of its pricing and it’s worth going over the company’s fee schedule before conducting any purchases or trades on the platform to make sure the charges fit in with your requirements.

All in all, CEX.io offers a relatively easy to use service with support across a wide range of countries, and allows people everywhere to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with the minimum of fuss.

While the verification process may be a turnoff for some, for anyone looking for an easy way to purchase cryptos using traditional banking methods then CEX.io is a viable option.

The same is true for anyone interested in margin trading and purchasing cryptocurrency CFDs. While this form of trading increases the amount of risk exposure, it also allows traders to maximise their profits, and margin traders may find the fees and services advantageous when compared to other platforms that over leveraged margin trading.

Visit CEX

CEX

8.2

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Fees

7.0/10

Reputation

9.0/10

Customer Support

7.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Multiple Fiat Currency Support
  • FCA / ICO / FINCEN Regulated
  • Credit/Debit Card Support
  • Mobile Trading App
  • Margin Trading

Cons

  • Stringent Verification
  • Customer Support Response Can be slow
  • Fees can be high for some purchase methods
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Eugene holds a BA Honours Degree in Economics is passionate about Fintech and the transformative potential of digital currencies. In addition to writing for Moneycheck, he is also conducts market analysis for Blockchain publications Blockonomi, Coincodex and Cyptocalibur. Eugene@moneycheck.com


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or credit card issuer and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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