CEX.io Exchange Review
3 stars - "CEX.io Exchange Review" CEX.io Exchange Review

CEX.io Exchange Review

Written on: April 12th, 2016 | Author: David M

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Important info
  • Trading Fees :  0.2% exchange; 2% brokerage
  • Order types:  Market, Limit
  • Office location :  London, England
  • Mobile:   iOS App  Android App
  • Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • US Customers Accepted? :  Yes
  • Institutional Accounts? :  Yes
Pros and cons
  • Large user base thanks to mining pool crossover
  • Sister company of Ghash
  • Closure of cloudmining has hit liquidity
  • Depositing is expensive


Try out CEX


CEX is quite a large operation, boasting over 600,000 registered accounts. This is due in good part to cross over from its now discontinued cloud mining service offered through sister company Ghash. When it became essentially impossible to make money through mining, CEX made the decision to close their cloud mining service. This allowed them to focus on improving their exchange and efforts in this regard over the past year - the launch of a very good mobile product and an aggressive regulatory strategy that saw the exchange open in the US, to name two points - has borne fruits.

However, the loss of trading volume from cloud mining has diminished trading volumes on the sell side. Additionally, the closure of altcoin markets, aside from LTC, as well as the closure of the ghash multipool which allowed mining of tons of different coins, has perhaps diminished trading volume as well. So while CEX offers a more complete, quality exchange to the market, a few very important USPs that were bolstering trading volumes have disappeared.


Two factor authentication is offered on sign up - and CEX (almost) won't take no for an answer there. Funds are held in cold storage, according to the site, although there is little explanation as to what percentage, or what the methodology.


CEX.io has been around for a good three years now, and while they started in the dodgy cloud mining marketplace, they maintained a reputation as being one of the few honest operators. After pivoting away from mining, which was proving to be an impossible investment for retail clients, CEX has redoubled focus on their exchange activities, licensing with FINcen to offer exchange services to the majority of US clients, and investing into their product. With offices in London and a team of approximately 20, CEX has established itself as a reputable exchange.

Opening an Account

Please find below the CEX.io account verification requirements.

  Basic Verified Business
Details Required Standard Registration Proof of ID, Proof of Residency, Picture holding your ID, SSN or tax reference number Same as Verified and articles of incorporation, signatures of directors, shareholders
Daily Limit $€400 $€10,000 No Limit
Monthly Limit $€2,000 $€100,000 No Limit
Deposit Options Visa, Mastercard Visa, Mastercard, Bank Wire/SEPA, Skrill

Visa, Mastercard, Bank Wire/SEPA, Skrill

After registering, you will pay the following rates on deposit and withdrawal:

  Visa/Mastercard Bank Transfer/SEPA Skrill
  Deposit Withdrawal Deposit Withdrawal Deposit Withdrawal
USD 3.9%+$0.25 NA Free $50 NA NA
EUR 3.9%+€0.20 NA Free €15 / €3.99 2%+€0.15* NA
RUB 5.39%+RUB 15.57
NA Free RUB 1,750 NA NA

 *Net of customer side fees, if any, payable to skrill

Please note that withdrawal processing can take up to 20 banking days, though generally speaking funds are delivered much more quickly.

While accepting credit cards is a great feature, the fee is relatively high which might discourage some users. For US traders, a $50 withdrawal fee could be prohibitive, provided willingness/the ability to use Coinbase, for instance, that offers free ACH transfers.


CEX offers both a brokerage service and an exchange. The brokerage service, which is perhaps a remnant of pre-FinCEN days, meant as an alternative for US traders, still offers novice traders an extremely simple way to buy bitcoin.

Users must simply click on one of the predetermined buying denominations or input their custom amount below and hit buy, which will lock in the price quoted. The prices seem more or less in line with the prevailing rate, and CEX earns their bread with a 2% service fee on the transaction amount.


The exchange offers market and limit orders - known on the platform as "trade" or "instant Buy/Sell", respectively, and offers decent market depth in a number of different markets, particularly in the BTCUSD which ranks 11 on coinmarketcap in terms of liquidity contribution, followed by BTCEUR and a small but relevant Rubble exchange. If you are (still) the proud owner of GHASH, your only chance of unloading it is through the CEX exchange, where there is an extremely small but existing demand.


The interface itself is well designed, with an integrated charting feature taking pride of place at the top of the screen followed by a depth chart. We are not entirely sure why the order slip is hidden so far down the page, just above the order book and trade history, but this is a minor point. Speaking of the order slip, market and limit orders are separated into two different interfaces, which perhaps isn't the optimal set up.


But this is all a bit nitpicky, trading is intuitively and easily done, and CEX has enough liquidity for most orders.


CEX charges a 0.2% fee for buying and selling through via the exchange. When we last checked, there was a negligible spread betwixt buy and sell in both EUR and USD bitcoin markets, but this is of course subject to change at a moment's notice. As we mentioned previously, there is a 2% fee on the broker side.


First, big ups to CEX for their excellent method of linking the mobile and desktop accounts. After downloading the app, simply click on "scan QR code". You can find the QR code to be scanned within the profile tab of your account - located in the upper right hand corner, shown below:


Click on the "scan QR code", and then enter on your phone a four-digit passcode. You are now within your fully functioning CEX.io mobile app, where all the trading and buying and selling of bitcoin is literally at your fingertips. And as a matter of fact, we prefer the exchange interface on the mobile device to that of the desktop version - for one, the order slip is more smartly designed.


Bottom line

CEX offers good exchange and brokerage products with decent liquidity across multiple currency markets. Their 2015 roadmap focused on improving their exchange offerings, which can be seen in, for example, a very nice mobile product. Users in less exchange-saturated markets have a good option for trading in CEX. There is little reason, however, to use CEX in for instance the United States, where large, well-funded, and high-volume exchanges are available, and with no deposit or withdrawal fees.

Buy Bitcoin at CEX.io

Bitcoin Price (USD): 853.48