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CEX.io is a trusted exchange where you can buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies. It’s one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges on the crypto market with over 1 million active traders. CEX.io makes it easy for anyone to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with Visa/MasterCard or bank transfer. They are one of few Bitcoin exchanges where you can buy bitcoin directly with your credit/debit card.
The Bitcoin Exchange also has a platform for professional traders with low fees. However, their fees are significantly higher for direct purchases which are targeted at bitcoin beginners (something that the company has been criticized for). We will go through that and all you need to know in this review. CEX.io has been on the market for a long time and have high trading volume. Because their order book has good liquidity, customers transact large orders, high-frequency trading such as scalping and more advanced strategies.
The site has a clean interface that is user-friendly. CEX.io has built a strong brand as the exchange has never been hacked since it was introduced in 2013. The company uses cold storage and other security measures to protect your bitcoin and ethereum. There is also 24/7 chat support, something that is rare in the crypto space. At the end of the review, we will help you open an account and buy bitcoin.
How Does CEX.IO Work?
CEX.io offers two different services for exchanging bitcoin and another cryptocurrency. You can place an order on their trading platform in the same way as on other exchanges. But you can also buy directly with their Fill-or-Kill (FOK) order that makes it easier for beginners to buy bitcoin.
With this order, you get a fixed price that is updated every 120 seconds. You specify the amount you want to buy and see what amount of bitcoin/ether you get in exchange. When you press the buy button, the exchange checks that you have enough funds available on your account. If you have, their system will automatically match your order with another in their order book.
The exchange guarantees that you get the minimum amount of bitcoin/ether at least. You can also get a larger amount if the price falls before your order is completed. Prices on the crypto market are constantly changing. You will be notified if your order is prevented from being executed on agreed terms (for example, if the price suddenly rises sharply). This is an easy way to buy bitcoin, but at the same time, the fees are higher than the usual trading on CEX.io. In this review, we will explain in detail how their fees and platform work.
Experience of Customer Support
We have tested their 24/7 chat support on the CEX.io website. Whichever page you’re on, you can click on the help icon, and then a chat widget run by Zendesk opens. It took no more than a few seconds to get a response, and it was very detailed. However, it was a canned reply but contained all the information that was needed.
Their customer support has also answered questions and complaints on other sites such as TrustPilot. This shows that the company cares about its customers and reputation. Of all the customer services we have tested on Bitcoin exchanges, no one has been better than CEX.io. The customer support is one big advantage of trading bitcoin at the CEX.io Exchange.
User Account and Fees
CEX.io has developed a platform with four different types of user accounts. In this way, the exchange is adjusted according to customer needs. This is a smart solution to offer both Bitcoin beginners and institutional traders a good user experience.
Further down the review we will explain the differences between their accounts and help you choose the right one. We have also made a Bitcoin Buying Tutorial with easy step-by-step instructions. If you follow it, you can buy bitcoin and ethereum directly with your credit/debit card.
Their trading platform has a fee between 0 and 0.2% depending on whether you’re the “maker” or “taker” in the transaction. This is one of the best rates on the crypto market. On the other hand, their FOK orders have a fee of 7% which is unusually high. In other words, the fees vary a lot.
To help you, we have created a price table in the “Fees and Limits” section. There you will find all different payment methods for different currencies, payment fees, monthly buying limits and more. We also talk about the company’s background, user experience, security and protection, verification process, supported countries, different account types and everything you need to know to get started. CEX.io is one of the oldest and safest crypto exchanges on the market.
CEX.io was launched in 2013 and was the world’s first bitcoin cloud mining provider. The company is based in London, England and is fully licensed. CEX.io started GHash.io which became the largest mining pool in the crypto market. Their mining pool accounted for over 42% of the total hashing power in the Bitcoin network during 2014 reported blockchain.info.
CEX.io great success with its mining pool posed a threat to the security of the network according to many. People were worried that GHash.io would grow too big and control a majority of the computer hashing power for Bitcoin mining. If this were to happen, Bitcoin would become more centralized because a 51% attack threat would occur. CEX.io made an official statement to ensure all miners and developers about the security of the network:
Although the increase of hash-power in the pool is considered to be a good thing, reaching 51% of all hashing power is serious threat to the bitcoin community. Ghash.io will take all necessary precautions to prevent reaching 51% of all hashing power, in order to maintain stability of the bitcoin network.
The CEX.io Exchange demonstrated that the company is reliable and have good intentions. The company announced in January 2015 that they would shut down their cloud mining services due to reduced profitability. This was because the bitcoin price had fallen and the difficulty level of bitcoin mining had risen.
The GHash.io mining pool was closed in October 2016. However, CEX.io has continued to operate and develop its crypto exchange for Bitcoin, Ether, Dash and more cryptocurrencies. Today, CEX.io is one of the most trusted and secure crypto exchanges on the market.
Why Choose CEX.IO?
As you can see in the image above, there are many reasons to choose the CEX.io exchange. They have several useful features that other exchanges don’t offer. However, there are not only advantages but also disadvantages with the exchange. At the end of this review, we have listed pros and cons. Below we have listed some advantages and features in detail:
- Many payment methods: There are many different payment options to choose from at the exchange. You can buy bitcoin with VISA/MasterCard, bank transfer (SWIFT and SEPA) or with other cryptocurrencies. CEX.io is one of few exchanges offering purchase of bitcoin and ether by credit/debit card. Besides, you can make withdrawals directly to your credit/debit card.
- Strong security: CEX.io is one of the oldest exchanges in the crypto space and has never been hacked. There is protection against DDoS attacks, all data is encrypted, and they comply with PCI DSS standards. We strongly recommend that you use two-factor authentication when logging in. You should also not store cryptocurrency at any exchange. Everyone should buy a crypto hardware wallet to store and protect their bitcoin and cryptocurrency safely.
- Available globally: The exchange is available in over 99% of all countries around the world, including 24 states in the United States. In the section “Verification and Limitations”, we have listed all countries with restrictions.
- Fully licensed and regulated: CEX.IO LTD is based in London, England and is a regulated exchange. The company is ICO registered in the UK and registered as MSB (Money Services Business) at FinCEN in the United States. The trading exchange has all the licenses required.
- Margin trading available: For active traders, CEX.io offers leveraged products, also known as Margin Trading. You can choose between 1:2 and 1:3 in leverage. Everything runs automatically, and your account is protected from a negative balance. Margin trading is associated with high risk and is not recommended for beginners.
- Very low fees: CEX.io has very low fees on its trading platform between 0 to 0.2%. If you are a maker (placing an order), the fee is 0% and if you are a taker (accepts a current order), the fee is 0.1-0.2% depending on the trade volume.
- Third party integration: You can link your CEX.io account with other platforms. Users can exchange cryptocurrencies via the website, mobile app, WebSocket or REST API.
- Advanced reporting: The exchange provides real-time account balance and transaction history with all information and fees. This makes it easy to analyze and evaluate your cryptocurrency trading. You can download all reports.
- High trading volume: CEX.io has a large trading volume with over 1 million active traders. This is positive because good liquidity reduces the spread (the difference between the buy and sell price) in the order book. In other words, the high trading volume makes trading faster and cheaper.
It’s not surprising that CEX.io has a user-friendly site. The exchange has improved its platform for many years and this becomes obvious when comparing CEX.io with other crypto exchanges. The trading platform is easy to use and you can make market, limit and stop orders. You can trade with the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash/Bcash (BCH), DASH and the fiat currencies US Dollars, Euros, Russian Ruble and British Pound.
CEX.io have relevant information on its web pages and an intuitive interface. The trading exchange also has a mobile app for Android and iOS available to download. At the end of the review, we have included screenshots from their platform. Their navigation menu include four different pages; “Buy/Sell”, “Trade”, “Finance”, “Cards” and “Affiliate”.
- Buy/Sell: Here users can buy bitcoin and ether at fixed prices with their Fill-or-Kill (FOK) order. This is the easiest but most expensive way to buy bitcoin on the platform. You will learn everything about their fees with different payment options in the “Fees and Limits” section.
- Trade: On this page, all crypto and fiat currencies that you can trade are listed. You can view all buy and sell orders in the order book together with order history. There are interactive graphs for the price and order depth. CEX.io also offers Margin Trading to trade cryptocurrency with 1:2 and 1:3 in leverage.
- Finance: CEX.io has compiled all your online wallets for fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies in the same location. You’ll see what balance you have and if you have any active orders in the market There are several subpages with account information such as your transaction history.
- Cards: You can add your credit/debit cards on this page. Here you manage all your credit/debit cards that are linked to your CEX.io account. There are not many Bitcoin exchanges that accept payment with Visa/MasterCard.
- Affiliate: Here is all information about their affiliate program. You can invite friends and be rewarded with 30% of their transaction fees at no additional cost to them.
Security and Protection
CEX.io is one of the oldest and safest Bitcoin Exchanges on the crypto market. Throughout the company’s history, no customer has ever experienced account funds theft on their platform. This is in a market that is constantly exposed to hacker attacks and fraud. CEX.io uses cold storage for a vast majority of bitcoin and cryptocurrency stored at the exchange. This means that private keys for bitcoin are stored offline, thus protecting users money against various types of hacker attacks.
The company has built a strong brand as the exchange platform has never been hacked since it was introduced in 2013. CEX.io encrypts all data on the exchange and has protection against DDoS attacks and similar. There are also other security measures available on all user accounts.
We strongly recommend that you use two-factor authentication (2FA) when logging in at the exchange. It creates an additional layer of protection that prevents unauthorized access. Under account settings, there are other security options such as email and SMS notifications, second verification email and more.
The CEX.io Exchange is fully licensed and regulated in England. It’s one few exchanges in the crypto market that has received a PCI DSS certificate. That allows them to store and process cardholder information. The company is also registered as MSB (Money Services Business) at FinCEN in the United States.
Although the exchange has all the required licenses and robust security, we advise against storing large amounts at Bitcoin exchanges. No exchange is 100% safe, and when you’re done trading, you should transfer your bitcoin to a secure private wallet.
Fees and Limits
|Payment Method||Funds Available||Currency||Deposit Fees||Monthly Buying Limits*|
|Credit / Debit Card||instant||USD||3.5% + $0.25||$1,000 – $100,000|
|Credit / Debit Card||instant||EUR||3.5% + €0.24||€1,000 – €100,000|
|Credit / Debit Card||instant||GBP||3.5% + £0.20||£800 – £75,000|
|Credit / Debit Card||instant||RUB||5% + ₽15.57||₽60,000 – ₽6,000,000|
|Bank Transfer||varies||USD||No fee||$100,000 / unlimited|
|Bank Transfer||varies||EUR||No fee||€100,000 / unlimited|
|Bank Transfer||varies||GBP||No fee||£80,000 / unlimited|
|Crypto Capital||instant||BTC / ETH||No fee||unlimited|
* Your monthly buying limit will vary depending on your account type.
Above we have listed different payment methods to deposit funds into your account. Deposits can be done with credit or debit card, Skrill, SEPA transfer, regular bank transfer and, of course, cryptocurrencies. As you can see in the price table, funds available, deposit fees and buying limits vary depending on the payment method you choose. Fiat currencies supported are USD, EUR, GBP and RUB, but deposits can be made with any currency.
CEX.io has fees that vary widely depending on your payment method. If you buy or sell cryptocurrency on their exchange platform, the fee is 0 to 0.2%. The fee depends on whether you’re the “Maker” or “Taker” in the order book. Maker’s fee is always 0% while the taker’s fee is 0.1-0.2% depending on trade volume. Margin trading has a fixed fee for all currencies of 0.2% at opening, 0.01% rollover fee and 0% when you close the position.
The alternative is to buy bitcoin or ethereum directly with their Fill-or-Kill (FOK) order for a fixed price. This is much easier but significantly more expensive with a fee of 7%. CEX.io has received complaints that their pricing is not transparent for users. The exchange has since then clarified their fee price. However, their FOK order fee has remained high something we hope will change in the future. The minimum deposit amount to your account is $20.
You can read more about their buying limits, fees, and account types on their information page or in the “Opening Account” section further down. The withdrawal fee will also vary between bank transfer, SEPA transfer, VISA, MasterCard, and CryptoCapital. However, you can always transfer your bitcoin to another wallet without paying any additional fee. Below we have listed fees for withdrawals to fiat currencies:
- VISA Card: USD: $3.80 / EUR: €3.50 / GBP: £2.90 / RUB: 2.5% + ₽30.00
- MasterCard: USD: 1.2% + $3.80 / EUR: 1.2% + € 3.50 / GBP: 1.2% + £ 2.90 / RUB: 2.5% + ₽30.00
- Bank Transfer: USD: $50.00 / EUR: €25.00 (SEPA: €10.00) / GBP: £30.00
- CryptoCapital: USD: 1% / EUR: no fee / GBP: no fee
Verification and Restrictions
CEX.io is not anonymous if you pay with by credit/debit card or make a bank transfer. In this case, you will need to verify your identity as the company complies with AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) rules to prevent money laundering and fraud. However, you can transfer bitcoin and cryptocurrency to your CEX.io online wallet without leaving any personal information.
If you want to trade with normal fiat currencies or increase you buying limit, you need to verify your identity. This means that you provide personal information such as your name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, address and phone number. You need to prove your home address by uploading a document containing your name and address. Lastly, you need to upload a picture of yourself holding your passport, driving license or ID card and credit/debit card. Read more about identification on this page.
There are different specific limits and rules for various countries. Below we have compiled a full list of all countries with some form of restriction with CEX.io user accounts.
Countries with Restrictions
The following countries have restrictions for either credit/debit cards, bank transfers or CryptoCapital: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, North Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
US States NOT Supported
The following US states are NOT supported on the CEX.io Exchange: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.
Four Different Account Types:
The exchange has four different types of user accounts. Your account type depends on how much you have verified, and the buying limit will increase accordingly. Here you can open an account at the CEX.io Exchange.
- Basic: The most basic account that doesn’t require verification of any personal information. With the basic level account, you can buy bitcoin up to $300 per day and up to $1,000 per month. This account does not work with bank transfer.
- Verified: Once you have submitted your personal information and verified, you will receive a verified account. With this account, you can buy bitcoin up to $10,000 per day and up to $ 100,000 per month. This account works with both credit/debit cards and bank transfer.
- Verified Plus: If you have a verified account, you can apply for “Verified Plus”. This means that you receive priority customer support and can trade cryptocurrency without any limits on the exchange.
- Corporate: There is also a company account without buying limits. Corporate accounts can also get custom terms for trading at the CEX.io Exchange.
1. Registration of Account
2. Verification and Information
Once you have verified your email address, you will receive a basic account that you can trade with on CEX.io. You can buy and sell bitcoin with other cryptocurrencies or with your VISA/MasterCard up to $300 per day and $1,000 per month. If you verify your identity as we discussed in the previous section, your buying limit will increase to $10,000 per day and $100,000 per month. In the section above we have listed all different types of CEX.io accounts.
3. Deposit of Money
Deposits can be done by credit or debit card, Skrill, SEPA transfer, regular bank transfer and, of course, with other cryptocurrencies. There is no fee for transferring money to your account, but it may take a few days. Otherwise, you can buy bitcoin and cryptocurrency instantly with your VISA/MasterCard. This is the easiest way to buy bitcoin and is recommended for beginners. The fee for buying with a credit/debit card depends on which currency you use. In the fees and limits section above, there is a price table and more information. Below we have made a tutorial on how to buy bitcoin with credit/debit card.
Bitcoin Buying Tutorial
We have made a buying tutorial on how to buy bitcoin and cryptocurrency instantly with your credit/debit card. You can buy Bitcoin with a bank transfer, SEPA transfer, Skrill, CryptoCapital or directly with VISA/MasterCard. For more details, visit their payment card verification guide. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions below and buy Bitcoin directly on CEX.io!
1. Create Account
Above we went through how to open an account at the exchange. Enter your email address and password or sign in with Facebook, Google Plus or other platforms. It can’t be easier, and it only takes a few seconds to open an account at CEX.io. Once you have created an account, you will be logged in immediately, and you will receive an email that you need to verify.
2. Add Credit / Debit Card
When you are logged in, click on “Cards” in the navigation menu to add your credit/debit card. There you fill in the details of your Visa/MasterCard (which is the card number, cardholder’s name, and expiry date). You can add how many debit cards you want as long as your name is on the card.
3. Upload Photos That Prove Ownership
In the next step, you need to upload three photos to prove your ownership. You will take a selfie holding your ID and photos on your identification (passport, driving license or ID card) together with your credit/debit card. As you can see in the image below, take a picture of the front and back of your ID card and credit/debit card side by side.
(Their payment card department may want you to write down today’s date on a piece of paper and take a self-portrait. You may find it annoying, but because the exchange complies with KYC rules, this can be required. This type of verification is used on all popular exchanges to provide a safe service).
4. Enter CVV / CVC Code
Next, you need to enter the CVV/CVC number on the back of your credit/debit card to verify that you have your payment card.
5. Verification of Small Amount
Finally, CEX.io will check your payment card with a small amount (less than $1.00) to complete verification with your payment card issuer. If you log into your bank, you’ll see the small amount that automatically will be refunded when your credit/debit card is verified. Fill in the exact amount of the verification charge, and you’re done. (This is usually done directly, but it may take up to 48 hours to link a payment card to your account).
6. Buy Bitcoin!
When your credit/debit card is linked to your account, you can immediately buy Bitcoin. Log in and click on “Buy/Sell” or “Trade” in the navigation menu to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other cryptocurrencies.
Screenshots of CEX.IO
Pros and Cons with CEX.IO
- Popular bitcoin exchange platform
- Instant buy with VISA/MasterCard
- Margin trading options for leverage
- Advanced chart tools for trading
- Easy to get started
- Premium price for their Fill-or-Kill orders
- Should be more transparent with fees
- Extensive verification process to increase limits