Cex.io Review

cex logo

Do you ever wonder how safe Cex is for purchasing and selling cryptocurrency? All through this review, I’ll inspect everything that you need to learn. From being the prime bitcoin mining pool to become the most friendly cryptocurrency exchange for newbies- Cex is fairly capable to continue adapting its core business practices to the current market. A lot of my readers asked me about how this small-time platform entices a lot of new users, and come to compete for some of the huge players in the industry.

Cex.io was introduced in the UK in early 2013 as a holding company for GHaish.io, one of  The Best Bitcoin Mining Pools For Making Money. Ghash expanded to manage about 42% of bitcoin hashing power. The firm was established by Ukrainians- Oleksandr Lutskevych and Oleksandr Ushchapovskiy.

Cex has increased its user base to more than 200,000 in September 2014. The exchange began receiving deposits in US dollars, euros, and Russian rubles via wire transfers, credit cards, and SEPA from customers worldwide who liked to purchase bitcoins or GHash mining shares.

Following the August 1st Bitcoin hard fork that witnesses the making of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the exchange declared they had allowed selling and purchasing of the new cryptocurrency on their platform.

Before I advance to the central part of my Cex investigation, let me remind you that the firm stopped all cloud mining operations in January 2016. Assumedly this was to better concentrate on their cryptocurrency exchange services and bitcoin trading platform.

Advantages of CEX

  • Cex offers one of the best assortments of available features while ensuring an amazing beginner-friendly experience. The site is astoundingly easy to use, yet provides numerous services, pair trading, security features, and deposit processes.
  • Supports credit card deposits from the most number of countries. In comparison to coinbase, Cex welcomes credit cards from remarkably more countries.
  • Provides margin trading on BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, ETH/BTC, and ETH/USD pairs with great tools of loss-protection. Cex rivals such as Bitstamp or Coinbase don’t offer margin trading.
  • Performs orders via fill-or-kill (FOK), creating faster and simpler transactions for newbies. Even developed platforms like Kraken don’t yet provide FOK orders to their customers.
  • Offers a mobile application. The android app has been downloaded 100,000 times on GooglePlay.
  • Provides an API for third-party developers to create customized tools. Majority of the prime crypto exchanges are now discovering the additional revenue benefits of opening an API to third-party developers.
  • Easy to signup using social media accounts: users can create an account using their Facebook, GoogleID, VK, and Github logins.
  • New popular altcoins are actively being included in trading. Most lately we have discovered the inclusion of Zcash and Dash, two top privacy cryptocurrencies.
  • To date, there are no noted security breaches of user funds. Cex has managed well while other bigger exchanges like Coinbase, Poloniex, Bitstamp, and Bitfinex have all encountered comparatively severe thefts (though refunds were given in most cases).

Disadvantages of CEX

  • Card verification delays sometimes up to several weeks. Seemingly this was due to an increase in new users. We’re indeed witnessing reports of the delays resolving steadily.
  • Their customer support is not responsive. Similar to the above statement, though the operators divulged a statement guaranteeing the community about the recruitment and training of new extra support staff.
  • At present, Cex only supports seven cryptocurrencies, a small number as compared to other prime exchanges such as Bitfinex or Bittrex. However, this is relatively higher than Coinbase and roughly similar to Bitstamp.
  • Some countries aren’t supported by wire transfer and credit card payments. Other exchanges like Coinmama support more countries for Mastercard/Visa deposits. The Localbitcoins p2p exchange will function in each country.
  • Buggy mobile application provides only a small number of services available through the site. Reasonably the app is only rated 3 out 5 in the Play store.
  • While the site accommodates new bitcoiners very well, I think that unaccustomed users are imposed upon slightly higher fees. This is also the same case with Coinbase and Coinmama. Sites such as Kraken or Gdax are difficult to use, yet provide the lowest fees to everybody.

Pro tip for Cex: If you like to easily obtain current conversion rates, you should utilize the buy/sell page. For instance, you’ll know how much bitcoin you gain for 100, 200, 500, or 1000 usd. I admire the Cex’s transparency- especially in comparison to other exchanges where you only know the rates after you finish signing up.

The Overall Experience Of Users

My Cex analysis is mainly about the user experience. This is after all the primary takeaway opinion that users receive during and after their utilization. The firm serves its customers through a website, a mobile application, and an API.


their websiteCex’s website is far superior in terms of design than other exchanges such as Coinmama or Bitfinex. Newbies will be able to easily navigate the website from the sign-in page to the trading panel. The operators have taken a remarkable security measure to automatically allow SMS & email two-factor authentication (2FA). The 2FA is actually very simple to perform, yet maintains the safety of accounts for safety of accounts when signing in and cex.io withdrawal.

Keep in mind that bitcoin security expert Andreas Antonopoulos stays skeptical as to the degree of security offered by SMS 2FA.

The best forms of 2FA are made using tools that you only you manage. A nice alternative to SMS 2FA is Google’s Authenticator app- which Cex users are now able to make.

Another competitive advantage of Cex over other exchanges is its feature that uses the fill-or-kill (FOK) model to perform orders. This indicates the fulfillment of your order once you have placed an order. The order is canceled if the fulfillment can’t be accomplished right away.

Website analysis site Similarweb.com reports that the highest traffic to CEX.io (14.3%) comes from the US. Other nations that give a high visitor rate include Russia (5.4%), Turkey (5.3%), United Kingdom (4.5%), and France (3.2%).

The website analysis site also states that about 30% of traffic originates through mobile devices.

Mobile application

The cex.io app is available for Android and iOS users. You only need to use a QR code when depositing bitcoin, litecoin, and ether through the app. Placing limit market orders is also possible within the app.

Users can see their balances, active orders, and movements in price. Besides using a real-time data across different exchanges to evaluate cryptocurrency markets, you can also initiate, administer, and cancel orders.

There has been a mix of positive and negative feedback from users since its release in December 2015. Some users have considered the app a helpful tool to stay connected with the market while being away. I agree with these users but more improvements could be done to develop the features of the app.

There are also some disappointments expressed by other users regarding poor user experience. Common complaints include the failure to execute orders, difficulty in logging in, and not showing detailed graphs.

The app also provides a fraction of the services available through the website. For example, you can’t perform margin trading through the app.

mobile app


The application programming interface (API) is added by the team to help developers make customized application for trading and administering funds. The API is available in three types: Rest for retrieving market data, WebSocket for professional traders, and Fix for institutional traders.

The trading API is restricted to 600 requests for every interval of 10 minutes. To expand this capacity, developers will need to communicate with the customer support.

CEX Market Stats

Bitcoinity.org reports that CEX.io controls 0.78% of the world’s exchange market. When it comes to volume of trade, Cex ranks 15th in the list of all crypto exchanges.

CEX.io has a lower rank in terms of traffic as compared to most major exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, and Poloniex. It, however, gets the upper hand in the amount of traffic from Russia. Besides Yobit and Livecoin, only a few major global crypto exchanges have a high traffic coming from Russia.

The social media team are very active and they respond on Twitter, Reddit, and their blog. You can reach them whenever you need them.

Besides the purchasing and selling of cryptocurrencies, Cex boasts one of the best cryptocurrency trading platforms. It allows margin trading for cryptocurrencies with the leverages of 1:2 and 1:3. To make margin trading really accessible to beginners, this exchange offers some great features like automatic funds borrowing and negative balance protection.

CEX Account Registration

You can create account on Cex using your account from Facebook, Google, VK, or Github. This usually takes a couple of seconds. However, you need to get cex.io identity verification before you can make any cryptocurrency purchases through credit card.

To get your credit card verified, you need to fill out all necessary information on the form. Such information includes your name, the card number, and expiration date. As required by the exchange, you also need to upload three color photos to provide your ownership of the card.

The first photo is a picture of yourself holding the card with its information shown clearly. The second photo is a picture of yourself holding a government-issued ID and your credit card. Again, information should be clearly visible. The third photo is a picture of yourself holding the back of the ID.

After you have filled out the form and submitted all the three photos, you’ll be directed to confirm the validity of all the information provided. You’ll also need to permit a company compliance officer to see the information.

If everything conforms to Cex’s requirements, you’ll be notified via email regarding the readiness of your card for use on their platform. If you have provided a false information, the compliance officer will contact you for clarifications.

The cex.io verification process usually lasts from a few hours to 24 hours. Some users, however, have disclosed that the waiting can take more than a day.

open a cex account

Cex Fees

Cex has three forms of fees: transaction fees, deposit/withdrawal fees, and margin trading fees. As compared to most other exchanges, Cex charges customers with higher fees.

Transaction fees

The buyer (a trader who takes heed of an offer) pays all the transaction fees. The trader (or seller) who make the offer on the platform isn’t liable for any transaction fees. The fees pertain to a commission of the value engaged and they can range from 0/10% to 0.20%. The higher the volume engaged, the lower the fee rate.

transaction fee

Deposit and withdrawal fees

There are two factors that identify the amount of fees you pay to cex.io deposit or withdraw from the exchange. Such factors are the currency used and the payment method you opt to use.

There are no fees involved if you deposit through bank transfer and cryptos. However, withdrawal through these two payment methods may cost you $30-$50 for bank transfer-depending on the flat currency- and 0%-1% for cryptos. I’m alright with paying a small rate for cryptocurrency withdrawing, but for me, the 10€ SEPA withdrawal fee is a bit extravagant- provided that Kraken only imposes 0.09€ for the same method.

Deposits created via Visa and Mastercard cost 3.5%-5% of the value engaged. You also need to pay a flat fee of $0.20-$0.25, depending on the flat currency. There’s a charge of 1.2% of the value involved in withdrawals and a flat fee of $3.80.

After allowing the trading of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the operators make the deposits of BCH without any charge, but withdrawals cost 0.01 BCH.

deposit withdraw fees

Margin trading fees

Cex imposes 0.2% to open positions with a 2 or 3 leverage, along with a rollover cost of 0.1%. The platform doesn’t charge for closing positions.

Unsupported Countries

The services of Cex is accessible from anywhere around the world. However, there may be some countries that may limit your use of service due to the unavailability of supported payment methods. Here are the following countries where the use of credit cards is unavailable to deposit flat currency:

  • Bahrain
  • Iceland
  • Vietnam
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Libya
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Yemen
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia

If you live in any of these following countries, bank transfer deposit is also unavailable:

  • Afghanistan
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Vietnam
  • Guinea
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

Although the exchange is registered in the US as a money service enterprise, it’s unavailable in most states due to restrictive regulatory requirements.

open a cex account

Alternative Sites to Cex

Specific sites also provide the same beginner-friendly features. Here are some of the best options to Cex.io:

  • Coinbase – also a famous and beginner-friendly exchange. Check this Coinbase analysis to get a good overview. Allows credit card and bank transfer deposits. (USA)
  • Bitstamp – in comparison to Cex, Bitstamp caters to both beginners and advanced users. My Bitstamp inspection explains everything. Allows card and bank transfer purchases. (Luxembourg)
  • Coinmama– quite the same to Blockchain.info- only for purchasing BTC or ETH. Read the pros & cons of Coinmama first. Allows credit card and cash transactions via the Western Union. (Israel)

Did you have a good or bad experience with Cex. Is there something that you want to add to this review? Tell us everything in the comment section.

2/5 - (3 votes)


Kevin Lee is a former tech advisor who cut his teeth in Silicon Valley. He now spends his time sharing his passion for investing in diamonds and jewelry. You can reach Kevin for any comments by using this form.