OKCoin Review
3.5 stars - "OKCoin Review" OKCoin Review
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OKCoin Review

Written on: May 8th, 2015 | Author: David M

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USD  CNY

BitCoin  LiteCoin

Important info
  • Trading Fees :  Taker: 0.2%; Maker: 0.0%
  • Order types:  Market, Limit, Stops, Conditional, Duration
  • venture capital:  $11m
  • Office location :  Beijing
  • Mobile:   iOS App  Android App
  • Advanced :  Margin Trading, Futures, lending market
  • Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • US Customers Accepted? :  Only Crypto Deposits
  • Institutional Accounts? :  Yes
Pros and cons
  • First or second most liquid exchange, depending on day
  • Excellent product with advanced trading options
  • Low fees
  • Doesn't accept US deposits

HP

Click Here for OKCoin

Summary

OKcoin, one of the big three Chinese bitcoin exchanges, made the first and most successful move into the USD market, strongly entrenching itself as the second largest USD/BTC behind bitfinex. This is a testament to its superior trading platform, competitive fee structure, continued product innovation and top notch international support.

With its low fees, advanced features such as futures, margin trading and a lending market, and some unique order types developed with larger traders in mind, OKcoin should be considered a top option for any serious trader. While restrictions are placed on deposits and withdrawals from US-based traders, and the bank location is not optimal from a wire fee perspective, an email and password is all it takes to open a bitcoin only account. It is worth considering using a local exchange as a deposit and withdrawal gateway, and OKcoin as the bitcoin trading platform.

Security

OKcoin offers sms or google authenticator two factor authentication (2fa) for fund withdrawal and transfer, password and security feature modification. Once 2fa is set, there is an optional admin password feature that, when initiated, is required when trading, withdrawing and modifying security settings. Users are allowed to determine the frequency at which the admin password is requested for trading. Additionally, there is a login history within the security section which details every login, including IP address and time. This can be utilized by clients to identify suspicious login activity.

According to support, a risk management system automatically examines a large number of different parameters meant to identify suspicious account behavior - for instance, curious account modifications prior to a withdrawal request. Should the account be flagged by risk, withdrawal will be blocked until verification.

The "majority" of funds are kept in multisig cold storage wallets - and in August of 2014, an okcoin audit showed 105% of overall customer funds were held in reserve. This would seem to allow 100+% of funds to be held in cold storage, while providing enough hot wallet liquidity to maintain fluid trading. Were there to be a hot wallet breach, OKcoin would have no problem absorbing the hit.

OKcoin stores no more than 1000 bitcoin per cold wallet address, each of which requires two keys to sign transfers. One is held in a bank safety deposit box located in Beijing, the other in a city on the West Coast of the United States. Two different people are required to gain access to the security box in either city. They don't travel together.

Gravitas

OKcoin is a main player in the bitcoin exchange market. The staff is composed on a number of extremely experienced and senior executives from mainstream finance and technology companies such as Barclays, TD securities, Alibaba and Baidu, for instance. CEO Star Xu has been extremely transparent as to how the company operates, the company has demonstrated a more than adequate reserve strategy, and has gone farther than any other company in describing cold storage security practices.

However, as of March 2015, there seems to be some internal upheaval brewing at the Beijing headquarters. Following the departure of high-profile CTO Chengpeng Zhao, a string of executives have left, including the Chief Compliance Officer, the International Operations Manager and the Director of International Operations. There has been speculation that the string of departures is related to changes in strategy from Mr. Xu. He has suggested that bitcoin's future depends on how it can be used, rather than how efficiently it can be bought, sold and traded on exchanges.

For a company that has excelled in setting new benchmarks in the latter, perhaps this provides clues as to the future direction of the company, one that was at odds with much of the senior staff.

opening an okcoin account

Individual Level 0 Level 1 Level 2
Daily deposit and withdrawal limits 0 $2,000 - no USD withdrawals allowed $50,000
Verification requirements Email and passsword personal information - birthday, name, nationality, passport/ID number, address  Passport/ID upload, residency verification - utility bill or bank statement
Corporate Level 0 Level 1 Level 2
Daily deposit and withdrawal limits 0 $2,000 - no USD withdrawals allowed $500,000
Verification requirements Email and password Company name, where incorporated, company number, date of incorporation, registered address contact support directly for additional requirements

[open an account]

OKcoin software review

The OKcoin platform is one of the most stable, liquid, and advanced in the market. It trails only Bitfinex in terms of BTC/USD trading liquidity, but for the professional trader it is unparalleled.

Dash

The trading platform is split into spot and futures trading categories, with litecoin and bitcoin offered on each. Short and long market/limit order are easily placed, along with a number of advanced order types such as trailing stop orders, Iceberg Orders and TWAPs. There is an order screen displaying the standard open orders as well as account trading history.

Clicking on the "full screen" button located directly above the order book will launch a sophisticated charting feature with an integrated trading book and depth chart. There is a wide variety of different technical analysis settings across multiple time frames, indicators, and chart types, and is available for both spot and futures trades. For the technical analysts among you, you can construct trend lines using fibonacci retracements, fans and lines. While some of the advanced trading orders are not available from the full screen trading platform, it is designed for one-click trading, with market and limit orders. A number of percentage buttons - 10, 20, 50 and 100% - allows a trader to conveniently invest the corresponding percentage of his account balance to any trade.

tradescreen

Margin trading

There is a "borrow" button prominently displayed just above the main trade slop, which offers leveraged trading financed by other users. depending on VIP level (explained below), users are allowed anywhere from 2 to 3x leverage, and loans can be taken from anywhere from 5 to 360 days. Borrow orders are placed on a separate exchange, where borrowers and lenders select their desired daily rate of interest, and matches are accordingly made. When we last checked, there was relatively scant liquidity on the borrow side, with two offers at .02% daily interest, for 90 days, or a total of 1.8%. On the loan side, there was some pretty massive amounts on offer, with a quarter million available at a .05% daily rate.

A margin call is made when the user balance is less than 20%, but positions are not forcibly closed until the user account balance drops to 10% of the open trading positions, at which point the positions are liquidated and returned to the trader, minus interest payment to the lender. Based on OKcoin's large trading volumes, lender funds should be relatively well protected at such margin call levels, but massive shocks to the market could result in an inability to liquidate positions and a loss of some or all of the borrowed funds. OKcoin assumes no responsibility in such an event.

OKcoin future trading

OKcoin was the first to offer futures trading in the BTC/USD market and remains the largest in terms of liquidity. 

Three buttons above the trading platform correspond to the settlement dates of contracts - which are each valued at $100 - one week, two week and quarterly. The last four digits, displayed on each of the buttons, indicates the month and day of the delivery date, with contracts settled at 08:00 GMT.

Futures

All the same trade orders available in the spot market are available when trading futures. Traders can pick 10x or 20x leverage - we highly recommend not exceeding 10 leverage - on short or long trades and input a limit or market order. The full screen option allows greater charting functionality, but offers limited order types.

OKcoin issues a margin call at 20% or less, and auto-liquidates positions at 10% or less. Traders are offered two margin variations - fixed and cross margins. The first sets a margin per position, while the latter averages all position performance to determine margin calls and liquidation levels.

As bitcoin futures market is generally less liquid and more volatile than traditional futures markets, it can happen that margin calls are not liquidated in time resulting in a negative account balance. To insure this does not occur OKcoin has an insurance fund. OKcoin funds the account with 25 BTC weekly, and adds to it the so-called "liquidation balance", or the remaining margin balance that would have been returned to the user after a position was auto-closed. This is meant to discourage users from allowing their accounts to reach auto-liquidation levels. In the event that large market movements result in negative balances exceeding the amount in the insurance fund, there is a socialized loss mechanism which deducts a percentage from the profitable futures positions of the same period.

VIP levels

A user's VIP level is determined by the number of accumulated "reward points", which are earned primarily through trading activity but also granted for completing KYC requirements.  The VIP level determines a user's fees, borrowing limits and allowable trading leverage. Reward Points never expire, so once a user has achieved a particular VIP level, they should maintain that status, although VIP policies are subject to change.

User Level Required Points
Basic User <8,888
VIP 1 >8,888
VIP 2 >88,888
VIP 3 >288,888
VIP 4 >588,888
VIP 5 >888,888
Gold Account Paid upgrade from VIP 5 

Fee structure

Trading fees

Maker Fee* Taker Fee**
30 Day Trade Volume in btc Fee User Level Fee
0 0 Basic User 0.2%
500 0 VIP 1 0.18%
2000 0 VIP 2 0.16%
5000 0 VIP 3 0.14%
15,000 0 VIP 4 0.12%
25,000 0 VIP 5 0.1%
- 0 Gold Account 0.1%

*Maker fee is applicable when buying bitcoin
**Taker fee is applicable when selling bitcoin

Deposit/withdrawal fees

There is a .0001 miner fee on digital currency withdrawal.

USD Deposit Minimum Withdrawal Amount
Wire Transfer (Deposit/Withdrawal) 0%/.1%, min. $15 $500 minimum
OKpay 1.5% fee No minimum
Perfect Money 3% No minimum

 *OKcoin charges no fees on deposit transactions. Please consult with bank to determine applicable fees on their end.

Mobile

All functionalities, including futures trading, are available on the okcoin android application. OKcoin is currently awaiting apple's approval for the inclusion of futures trading in the IOS store, but all other functionalities are available in the user friendly app.

Support

There is email and direct telephone support in addition to an "ask a question" ticketing system, accessible from the top right corner icon. SLA has been very good, with questions answered within an hour or two.

Bottom Line

OKcoin is a serious company with solid funding and a product that is setting new benchmarks in the bitcoin market. 

Visit OKCoin

Bitcoin Price (USD): 853.48