OKCoin offers one of the best futures exchange in the market, but have consistently been tagged as manipulating their futures markets, as well as inflating their trading data.
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
Taker: 0.2%; Maker: 0.0%Trading Fees
- Bank Wire
- Great futures instruments for Asian audiences.
- Excellent product with advanced trading options
- Low fees, high volumes
- Support is a bit rubbish
- Constant executive turnover raises eyebrows
- Many recurring rumors of manipulation of their markets.
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|Gold Account||Paid upgrade from VIP 5|
|Maker Fee*||Taker Fee**|
|30 Day Trade Volume in btc||Fee||User Level||Fee|
*Maker fee is applicable when buying bitcoin
**Taker fee is applicable when selling bitcoin
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.
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.
OKCoin Might not be for you if:
You are a resident of a Western country.
While OKCoin does have an English-facing product, it can be a bit rough around the edges, and there are plenty of alternatives that are primarily focused on western audiences. If you are simply looking to buy bitcoin or crypto, coinbase is a good alternative for US investors, bitfinex for residents elsewhere. If you have come to OKcoin for the futures markets, we would recommend taking a look at bitmex instead. Still uncertain? Check out our exchange comparison tool for listings of products that fit your needs.
Do you live in China? Japan? South Korea? This is an excellent exchange for you. Western country residents will also appreciate high liquidity volumes and an excellent futures platform, but will most likely be better served elsewhere.