If you want to dabble in the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, you need a proper digital asset exchange where you can purchase your first digital currencies from. Nowadays, this seems to be a very challenging task, the main stumbling point being the great variety of choices.
We wanted to make things easier for you, so we’ve created separate exchange reviews on the most popular and trustworthy platforms. This time, we’ll discuss OKEx, a Chinese crypto exchange that’s backed by a lot of leading firms around the world. Let’s see what the hype is all about!
OKEx Exchange Review
OKEx was founded in 2014 by Star Xu, and is currently led by CEO Jay Hao. The company was originally located in Hong Kong, China, and has, since then, expanded its offices in Belize and more recently in Malta, an island known for being a hub for blockchain-based and cryptocurrency projects. In their official post, the OKEx team said that Malta would be the perfect foundation for the platform’s future growth.
Before OKEx, there was OKCoin, a simple platform for buying and selling digital assets aimed at novices and less-experienced traders. OKEx, on the other hand, caters to the needs of a seasoned clientele and is backed up by world-leading venture capital firms and individual investors including Ventures Lab, Ceyuan Ventures, Longling Capital, and the Giant Network Group.
Gradually, OKEx has turned into one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, both by the number of traders and by trading volume (and remains among the top 20 according to CoinMarketCap). Its services are available in over 100 countries but unfortunately, the US is not one of them (yet). Apart from crypto-asset purchases and trades, OKEx supports margin trading, derivatives, futures, options, and other advanced order types.
Bitcoin and Other Supported Cryptocurrencies
OKEx supports an impressive number of cryptocurrencies, both popular and lesser-known but purposeful altcoins, and offers over 400 different trading pairs.
The best part about purchasing digital currencies on OKEx is that the platform supports various types of deposit methods: via bank transfers, using credit cards (Visa and MasterCard only), crypto assets, or via payment providers like iDEAL, ApplePay, and SOFORT. The payments can be made in over 30 fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CNY, BGN, ARS, etc. Recently, you can purchase some assets via Advcash as well.
In early 2018, OKEx launched its own “global utility token” called OKB Coin. The total supply of OKB is 1 billion distributed as follows:
- 60% or 600 million OKB are shared among OKEx users for community building through marketing campaigns such as OKB Red Packet, Loyalty Points Subscription, etc.
- 10% or 100 million OKB have been locked up for three years and used for company operations.
- 10% or 100 million OKB have been locked up for 2 years and allocated to initial investors.
- 20% or 200 million OKB are reserved for the OKEx team with 20 million OKB unlocked every year.
The token can be used to cover trading fees and earn certain discounts on the platform, pay for “dedicated customer support”, enhanced API rate limits, etc. Moreover, as a utility token, OKB gives its owners voting rights as well.
Fees and Limits
OKEx uses a trading fee schedule based on your trading activity and trading volume during the last 30 days, and whether you’re a maker or a taker. For a regular user, the fees go like this:
|Total OKB holding||30-day Trading Volume (USD)||Maker Fee||Taker Fee|
|< 500||< 5,000,000||0.100%||0.150%|
|≥ 500||< 5,000,000||0.090%||0.135%|
|≥ 1,000||< 5,000,000||0.080%||0.120%|
|≥ 1,500||< 5,000,000||0.070%||0.105%|
|≥ 2,000||< 5,000,000||0.060%||0.090%|
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
OKEx doesn’t charge any deposit or withdrawal fees except for a small network fee for the miners. For example, the network fee for a Bitcoin transaction is around 0.0005 BTC.
However, in order to withdraw your crypto assets, you need to pass the verification procedure (at least Level 1). This gives you the option to withdraw up to 200 BTC per day. If you upload a photo ID, you’ll upgrade to the Level 2 tier which allows you to withdraw up to 500 BTC per day. To increase the limit, you need to pass a video verification.
Let’s take a look at the withdrawal limit table for the most popular cryptocurrencies:
|Token||Transaction limit||Daily limit|
|Bitcoin (BTC)||100 BTC||500 BTC|
|Litecoin (LTC)||10,000 LTC||10,000 LTC|
|Ethereum (ETH)||1,000 ETH||1,000 ETH|
|Ethereum Classic (ETC)||10,000 ETC||50,000 ETC|
|Tether (USDT)||500,000 USDT||500,000 USDT|
How to Set up Your OKEx Account
Creating an account on OKEx is very simple and straightforward. Simply go to the official OKEx website and click on “Sign Up”. You’ll be asked to provide an email address or phone number and to create a password. Then, you’ll receive a confirmation code via email or on your phone. Although you’re not required to provide a copy of your ID to join the exchange, it’s better to complete the verification procedure and KYC check at the start, to avoid further delays when withdrawing funds later on.
Buying and Selling Crypto
OKEx offers three quick and easy ways of buying and selling crypto assets:
- Quick trade.
The quick trade option is basically purchasing digital tokens via 6 almost instantaneous payment methods.
- P2P trade.
A peer-to-peer trade means that the user is purchasing assets from another user, usually via bank transfer, Ali Pay, or Wechat Pay. You can browse through different offers before choosing one that works best for you.
- Block trading.
This is more or less like OTC trading meaning that you buy or sell a large number of crypto assets, again via bank transfer, Ali Pay, or Wechat Pay.
Disclaimer: We advise crypto beginners to inform themselves of the risks associated with the following trading features aimed at more experienced traders.
Margin trading on OKEx allows you to use up to 10x leverage to borrow funds and make an order at the right moment and maximize your returns, provided you pay interest on the borrowed amount. The larger the collateral, the higher the leverage amount.
Spot trading makes sure you get your assets for a spot price, predetermined based on the order type in question. You can choose to make a limit order to select the maximum price you’re willing to pay for those assets, a market order which means you buy or sell the asset for the current market price or a triggered order with instructions and predefined parameters.
According to the 2020 Exchange Review Report released by the global crypto market data provider, CryptoCompare, OKEx is one of the largest spot trading and derivatives exchanges. The platform offers futures, perpetual swaps, and options.
Futures trading is when the two parties agree to buy and sell digital assets on a predetermined date in the future. There are two types of futures contracts: coin-margined (settled in BTC or another crypto) and USDT-margined.
Perpetual swaps or futures are similar to regular futures contracts except there’s no predetermined date and you can hold the position open for as long as you like. Here, the leverage is up to 225x and you can choose from 23 different cryptocurrencies.
Options is another derivative trading agreement whereby you can place a call or a put option. In the former, the holder can buy the assets within a predetermined timeframe, while in the latter, the holder can sell the assets. Most importantly, holders can back down from the order.
OKEx Financial services
You haven’t seen all of OKEx’s services as we still need to cover the platform’s Earn program and the so-called C2C Loans.
The OKEx Earn feature gives customers the opportunity to earn interest by lending their crypto assets. This way, they can make a profit simply by holding onto their coins and subscribing to one of the existing contracts that come with a yearly interest rate. Moreover, these contracts still give you the freedom to transfer or withdraw your funds if you decide to do so.
C2C Loans, or Customer to Customer Loans, on the other hand, are special types of loans requested by other users of the exchange. When a customer places his/her request, another customer can sign up to fulfill the request, provide the tokens, and earn interest. For the time being, OKEx only accepts collateral in BTC, ETH, and OKB to take out USDT loans. Ripple (XRP) and LTC might be added soon.
A lot of online platforms feel pressed to deliver rapid and effective customer service in order to avoid customer complaints and bad reviews. This can be really challenging, as customer queries increase during busy times when the exchange’s capacities and staff are overloaded with work as it is.
For now, OKEx seems to do just fine balancing between the two. Its customers can submit support tickets via email or contact the support team directly via live chat. You can also follow the exchange on social media and visit its help center via the official support page. The page is divided into four categories: Announcements, Terms of Agreement, FAQ, and Issue Description (a page that informs the users of any new updates or issues that are taken care of).
One of the most important things that you should care about when searching for a crypto exchange is how much attention does the platform pay to protect its customers’ money and data. Luckily, OKEx is one of those platforms with sophisticated high-tech security measures both platform- and account-wise.
For one, the platform stores over 90% of customer funds in cold storage, i.e. offline wallets distributed across a number of locations. The remaining funds stored in hot wallets have an offline private key which lowers the chances of hacking attacks.
Moreover, users can activate two-factor authentication to add another layer of security to their accounts. This means that when they try to log into their OKEx account or request a withdrawal, they’ll receive a verification code on their mobile device. On top of that, the platform has a bounty program that promises to reward users who identify suspicious activity and software vulnerabilities.
OKEx has also implemented a feature called Official Channel Verify which lets customers select one of the following channels to verify: phone number, email, website, WeChat, Sina, Telegram, or Facebook. This way, whenever you receive some kind of message in the platform’s name, you can check the authenticity of the sender.
Frequently Asked Questions
What countries does OKEx support?
As an international digital assets exchange, OKEx is available to clients from all over the world with the exception of a few countries that have stricter regulations on crypto activities. The following countries are NOT allowed to trade on OKEx: the United States and US territories, Hong Kong, Sudan, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Sudan, Cuba, Malaysia, Syria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Kyrgyzstan.
Does OKEx have a mobile app?
Yes. The OKEx app is free and available for both iOS and Android users. This app shares all the amazing features of the web-based platform including the advanced order types, futures/perpetual swaps, spot trading, trading history, etc. The app comes with multi-language customer support available 24/7. Trading on the go has never been easier!
Does OKEx have a wallet?
Yes. Under “Account”, you can find the feature “My Wallet” which functions as your bank account and lets you send, receive, and store digital currencies. Whenever you make a deposit or withdrawal, you’ll be using this wallet and its wallet address. Also, if you want to trade futures or spot, you’ll need to transfer your funds from this wallet to your Futures or Spot Account. It’s quite simple and convenient but although it’s safe enough, it’s still not the best option for long-term asset storage. In such cases, we recommend purchasing a hardware wallet instead.
Summing It Up
Why should you choose OKEx before other cryptocurrency trading platforms?
First of all, OKEx has an amazing offer of cryptocurrencies with high liquidity as well as payment methods that let you make a deposit in a range of fiat currencies. This is especially useful for beginners who lack crypto assets to start trading.
Overall, the platform is best suited for experienced traders because of its advanced order types and trading options (margin, derivatives, futures, put, call options, etc) but if you stick to its basic buy and sell platform, you’ll have no trouble executing a simple trade without previous trading experience. Moreover, using the OKEx Earn program, you can make passive income by lending your stored crypto assets.
When you take all these things into account and add the accessible and helpful customer support team (with VIP option for verified users), reasonable fees, and discounts, OKEx is one of the best crypto trading platforms – as long as you don’t live in the United States.
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Disclaimer: Digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are volatile and can involve a lot of risk. Their prices and performance is very unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consult a financial advisor or obtain your own advice independent of this site before relying and acting on the information provided.