• Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Dash
  • Monero
  • Ripple
  • Zcash
Additional info
  • 0.2% exchange; 2% brokerage
    Trading Fees
  • Spot Margin
    Margin Trading
Target Market
  • Russia, Eurozone
  • Offers margin trading
  • Good option for Russian and Eastern European Markets
  • Credit card deposits
  • Closure of cloudmining has hit liquidity
  • Depositing is expensive


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.

Gravitas 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 account verification requirements.

Details RequiredStandard RegistrationProof of ID, Proof of Residency, Picture holding your ID, SSN or tax reference numberSame as Verified and articles of incorporation, signatures of directors, shareholders
Daily Limit$€400$€10,000No Limit
Monthly Limit $€2,000 $€100,000No Limit
Deposit OptionsVisa, MastercardVisa, Mastercard, Bank Wire/SEPA, SkrillVisa, Mastercard, Bank Wire/SEPA, Skrill

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

 Visa/MastercardBank Transfer/SEPASkrill
EUR3.9%+€0.20NAFree€15 / €3.992%+€0.15*NA
RUB5.39%+RUB 15.57NAFreeRUB 1,750NANA

 *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.



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 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.

CEX Might not be for you if:

You are based in the US.  

There are plenty of good alternative options catered towards a US clientele – you can find them listed in our best US exchange guide.

Getting the best price is important to you.

Getting the best price seems like a universal requirement, but convenience and ease of payment are important considerations as well.  As we have mentioned, CEX prices are often well higher than the rest of the market on both the buy and sell side.  If you are a frequent buyer – or plan to buy large amounts – bitfinex laps the market in terms of liquidity, it is probably your best bet.

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.