CEX.io Exchange Review – My Personal Experience and Thoughts

Introduction

CEX.io is a very popular cryptocurrency platform based in London. If you are new to cryptocurrency exchanges, you should be aware that there are three main types of exchange.

  • Trading platforms: Trading platforms allow buyers and sellers to conduct instant trades with one another on the exchange and collect a fee for doing so. These platforms are usually highly liquid and the prices are constantly changing. Trading platforms typically offer advanced order options (like limit and stop orders) as well as advanced charting.
  • Cryptocurrency marketplace: In a cryptocurrency marketplace, the sellers set their own prices (sometimes called “advertisements”) and trade directly with buyers. Typically, the exchange acts as an intermediary or escrow service that verifies deposits and ensures each party gets what they are due. These types of trades are not typically instant and can take hours to days to complete.
  • Brokers: Cryptocurrency brokers set their own prices and charge a fee for their service.

CEX.io is both a broker and a trading platform that lets anyone register and start using fiat currencies to buy cryptocurrencies. There are several different types of broker exchanges:

  • Trading platforms: Trading platforms allow buyers and sellers to conduct instant trades with one another on the exchange and collect a fee for doing so. These platforms are usually highly liquid and the prices are constantly changing. Trading platforms typically offer advanced order options (like limit and stop orders) as well as advanced charting.
  • Cryptocurrency marketplace: In a cryptocurrency marketplace, the sellers set their own prices (sometimes called “advertisements”) and trade directly with buyers. Typically, the exchange acts as an intermediary or escrow service that verifies deposits and ensures each party gets what they are due. These types of trades are not typically instant and can take hours to days to complete.
  • Brokers: Cryptocurrency brokers set their own prices and charge a fee for their service.

CEX is a hybrid exchange. In this article we will go over the features of the exchange, what we like, don’t like, and if it is a good fit for you!

At a glance

 
Exchange LocationLondon
Account Minimum$0
Serving Customers InAll countries
Purchase OptionsCredit card, bank transfer, other cryptocurrencies
Trading Commission FeesCompetitive - Up to 0.25%
Withdrawal FeesUp to 3.5% on credit cards and fees vary for bank transfers
KYC or ID Verification Need to Trade?Yes
Social Security Number Required?No
Volume & LiquidityMedium
PrivacyMedium
Overall Reputation & Trust

Trusted

Withdrawal SpeedMedium
FDIC Insured?No
SecurityMedium. Offers 2FA authentification
Trading Platform FeaturesBeginner and intermediate trading platforms, limit and market orders, level 2 trading data
Mobile AppYes. For iPhone and Android
Customer SupportOk - It’s hard to say great when all support is only available via email. The support they do have is quick and helpful, almost always responding within 24 hours.

What is CEX.io?

One of the largest exchanges in the market, CEX is a digital currency exchange that offers the exchanging of cryptocurrencies for fiat money and BTC trading pairs. Due to its easy to use design, CEX is a great option for crypto newcomers. Traditional fiat currencies supported are:

  • US Dollars
  • Euros
  • British Pounds
  • Rubles

Launched in 2013, CEX.io started as both an exchange and a cloud mining service. In 2016 the company stopped the cloud mining services and started their focus as only an exchange. Supporting multiple countries, CEX.io operates from London, and provides services to millions worldwide.

What we like and dislike

Likes



  • Beginner friendly - Perfect for the person that doesn’t care about the more advanced side of trading

  • Easy payment methods - The ability to use a credit card to deposit makes it quick, easy, and allows a wider audience to enjoy the service

Dislikes



  • High fees - CEX charges a 7% premium on coin prices which is extremely high. The fees are higher than their competitor Coinbase

  • Lack of altcoins - It would be nice if they had a better choice of altcoins to trade

Commissions and Fees

The fees on CEX.io depend on whether you decide to use there easy buy and sell methods or you just trade within the exchange. If trading on the exchange, the fees are competitive at around .2%. However, if using the “easy buy and sell method” they charge a 7% premium on coin prices. It is very easy for the inexperienced to use, but you pay the price.

There are also fees for withdrawals and deposits. Here is a simple breakdown of most of the fees:

  • Deposits – Free for bank transfers and up to 3.5% for credit cards
  • Trading commissions – 0.15% to 0.25% per trade
  • Withdrawal fees – Up to 1.2%

Here is a breakdown of their trading fees:

Sign up & Privacy

My initial sign up was quick and easy! As with most exchanges that accept fiat currency, you need to verify your account before you can deposit. I needed to upload my ID, take a selfie with my ID and take a selfie with my credit card.

I also had to upload a proof of residency (utility bill etc.). The whole process was a bit tedious but unlike some of other exchanges, their instructions were detailed and easy to follow. My account was verified quickly without a hitch, and I was ready to go within 24 hours.

I felt relatively secure when it came to my privacy. When creating the account, CEX suggested I set up two-factor authentication (2FA) to log in. As always, take advantage of this feature. It makes it next to impossible for someone to breach your account!

Deposits & Withdrawals

As a test, I purchased $100 worth of Bitcoin. My purchase was available instantly, and I was able to trade it back to fiat using their trading platform just as quickly. Withdrawals take around 1-2 days to complete. I withdrew the $100 and saw it my bank account in 2 days.

The quickness and ease of use are a great feature of CEX. It took me almost no time understand and utilize their platform. You can get any of the cryptocurrencies you want with a click of a button.

Limits

For both deposits and withdraws, a verified account has a max limit of $10,000 daily. After a month, you can deposit or withdrawal up to $100,000 monthly. I have been told some people have requested to increase their limits even higher with success, so if you have a need for that, it is worth asking.

Security

It is never recommended to leave too much money in an online exchange at any given time. The BEST and SAFEST way to store your cryptocurrencies is in an offline wallet. However, when comparing CEX’s security to other exchanges, they rank high.

CEX.io follows all the regulations and government laws that a company operating out of the United Kingdom are required to. They are registered with multiple security associations, including:

There is not a lot of information on their back-end storage or security. I found a couple statements that say they use cold offline storage, but I didn’t find anything too specific.

Security History

Before researching, I was not aware of any issues of security breaches. After searching the web, I found no legitimate issues that have ever plagued the exchange. That is a great sign you can trust the exchange to keep your funds, identity, and information safe. Most of the large exchanges have experienced some sort of breach, so the fact that there are no bruises on CEX’s record is pretty impressive.

The only complaints I’ve seen in the past about CEX were related to longer than usual registration and ID verification wait times in 2017 and early 2018. This was a problem many exchanges had during the crypto rally towards the end of 2018.

When choosing an exchange, CEX is as secure as they come in terms of track record. You can feel safe when you use this site, which should be one of your top priorities.

Cryptocurrencies Supported

Currently, the exchange supports the following currencies:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Bitcoin Gold
  • Dash
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Stellar Lumens
  • Gigahashes
  • Zcash

The lack of altcoin options is frustrating, but what they do, they do well. And I do wish they’d add additional trading pairs for the currencies they currently support.

For example, if I wanted to trade Ethereum for Zcash, I have to first trade Ethereum for fiat or BTC and then buy Zcash. If I could trade ETH/ZEC directly, it would make things much easier and would probably attract some more advanced users.

Buying & Selling

CEX makes buying coin as easy as pressing a few buttons. When making basic purchased, they use a Fix-or-Kill order type to guarantee the price you put in for a certain amount of time.

The site gives a very easy to understand explanation of how it all works. If you want a fully detailed explanation, be sure to head over to their site. I have listed a summary of points below.

  • The FOK orders are done immediately, or they are canceled. (you are guaranteed the amount you requested, at the price you requested it at.)
  • Calculates the price and freezes it for 120 seconds.
  • At any given time, you can enter the amount requested, or the fiat amount to spend and it calculates an exact transfer.
  • Once you press buy/sell, the system immediately checks if you have the funds available. If you do, it asks to confirm the transaction
  • At this time, if the market allows the execution of the order you requested AT OR BETTER than what you requested, the order fills.
  • If the rate suddenly spikes, the order cancels and you are notified.
  • The amount is possible to be more favorable, but never worse.

Again, while easy to use, the site does charge a 7% premium for the service (it is factored into the coin price.)

Trading platform

Their trading platform is simple and intuitive but lacks some of the advanced features more experienced traders would use. I feel this is targeted towards users who are just getting into trading crypto.

CEX trading platform review

Their charting offers some fairly advanced features including support of financial indicators and studies. They offer the standard market depth chart, open orders and trade history of the entire market. All essential items when making short term trades.

The trading volume on CEX is decent for the average trader and I didn’t have any problems getting my orders filled. However, if you are day trading crypto, I’d suggest using an exchange with more volume.

One feature missing that I truly miss is the ability to place stop limit orders. Currently, CEX only supports limit and market orders. That’s a huge missing piece for those wanting to protect their profits.

Ease of use

Amazing. As easy as can be. If you are new, or just want an easy stress-free experience, this is the site for you.

Exchange is best for:

Rookies (Beginner)

Enthusiasts (Intermediate)

Power Users (Advanced)

CEX.io is simple, and that is what makes it great. If you need an exchange with advanced trading options, this is not the site for you. An exchange like Binance would be a better option. If you are someone who just wants to buy some Bitcoin quickly and forget about it, then this is a good choice.

The exchange does offer margin trading for BTC, EUR, and BTC. However, if that is what you are looking for I would recommend using a more advanced trading exchange as well.

Customer Service

When I think of great customer service, I think of being able to call when I need to, talking to a real person, and having an issue fixed right before you hang up. Unfortunately, CEX.io does not have phone support. All the support is via email. I’m not the biggest fan.

No phones aside, CEX DOES have great email service. I emailed the support about an issue and I received a real response in about 3 hours. While no phone is frustrating, what they do have they do well.

Mobile App

CEX does offer a mobile app for both Android and iPhone, but I don’t recommend using it. Last time I check the app had around 100,000 downloads but their ratings were low.

CEX exchange review screenshot

The chief complaint is that the app crashed a lot, which is definitely not something you want happening when trading Crypto. Overall, the app is still pretty buggy, so if trading on your phone is a must, I’d recommend a different exchange with better mobile capabilities.

Common Questions

  • Is CEX.io the best place to hold my cryptocurrencies? No, as always, you should not use an online exchange as your storage wallet. It is critical you use an offline private wallet to hold any of your cryptocurrency long term.
  • Can I use a credit card or bank account on CEX.io? YES! You can use credit cards and bank transfers for both deposits and withdrawals!
  • Is CEX.io Safe? In general, yes. You can never be too cautious with your money, but with no major security issues, a good 2FA feature and a thorough ID verification process, I feel my money is safe at CEX.

Countries supported

You can use CEX almost anywhere in the world! The only drawback is a handful of countries cannot use credit cards for deposit. Those countries are:

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

Conclusion

CEX.io is a great choice for the beginner cryptocurrency investor. If you don’t mind a few higher fees, it is a great site to use for ease and simplicity. While it does offer some margin trading features, there are other sites that have lower fees if you go down that route.

I recommend CEX.io for newcomers to the crypto world that want to buy crypto with little headache, who want more coin choices than on an exchange like Coinbase and who aren’t looking to make daily trades or short term trades for quick profits.

CEX.io Review
  • Volume & Liquidity
  • KYC & Privacy
  • Ease of Use
  • Trading Platform
  • # of Coins Traded
  • Commissions & Fees
  • Customer Service
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Summary

CEX.io is a simple to use platform for purchasing some of the most popular cryptocurrencies with a credit card. Great for beginners and useful for more experienced traders as well. Currently supports deposits in USD, EUR, GBP and RUB.