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By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 4/7/21 is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges around. The company supplies both a trading platform and brokerage services for Bitcoin, Ethereum and a range of other cryptocurrencies. In this post, I’ll review the company, its services and compare it to other exchanges around.

Don’t Like to Read? Watch Our 2 Minute Review Review Summary is one of the more popular options for buying and selling Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies. The site offers a brokerage service that supports multiple coins and a trading platform for trading BTC, BCH, ETH and XRP.

If you’re a beginner it’s recommended to use the brokerage option rather than the site’s trading platform.

That’s in a nutshell. For a detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Overview
  2. Services
  3. Currencies and Payment Methods
  4. Fees
  5. Buying Limits
  6. Supported Countries
  7. Customer Support and Reviews
  8. vs. Other Exchanges
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Conclusion

1. Overview started out in 2013 in London as a Bitcoin exchange and cloud mining provider. At some point its mining pool, known as, was so big it held 42% of the total network mining power.

In January 2015 the cloud mining operations were shut down and today operates solely as a cryptocurrency exchange. is registered with FINCEN and it applies standard KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) policies. This means you’ll need to verify your identity before you will be able to buy cryptocurrency via the exchange.

2. Services allows you to buy cryptocurrency using your credit card, a wire transfer, a SEPA transfer (if you live in the EU) or an ACH transfer (for US residents). The site supplies two ways for purchasing crypto – a trading platform and a brokerage service.

CEX.IO Brokerage Service’s brokerage service is a way for new users to buy cryptocurrencies through an easy (though somewhat more expensive) process. This means will trade cryptocurrencies for you at a premium. brokerage transactions are based on Fill-or-Kill orders (also known as FOK). FOK means are orders that are executed immediately and in full. This is different than placing your own order on the trading platform since different type of orders (i.e. market, limit, stop loss) will give you different type of results.

Bottom line – The brokerage service is a simplified way for beginners to get started with buying Bitcoin or any other crypto without needing to go through a complete course on trading.

The downside is that for this to work has to charge customers a premium so that they will always be able to fulfill their orders, hence the higher exchange rate.

The difference between the brokerage service exchange rate and a normal trading platform exchange rate can reach up to a 7% difference. CEX.IO has a very clear explanation on their site about how this service works, here’s a summary of it:

When you enter a trade, calculates the price and freezes it for 120 seconds.  You input the amount of money you wish to spend and you see the amount of coins you can receive. After you press the Buy/Sell Button, the system checks to see that you have enough funds available.

If the situation on the market allows the execution of your order on conditions not worse than you agreed on, the order will be filled (The order can also be filled on more favourable conditions).

If there is a sudden spike in the exchange rate, preventing the execution of the order on the agreed conditions, you will be notified. After you confirm the trade, your order is matched to other orders on the exchange, and your balance is adjusted. Sometimes the amount can be even greater than agreed on, but is never smaller.

CEX.IO Trading Platform

More advanced users can use’s trading platform. The upside for using the platform is that fees are extremely lower. Just for comparison, while fees on a brokerage trade can reach up to 7%, fees on the trading platform reach 0.25% at max.

The trading platform is pretty advanced and supplies all of the features you’d expect such as market and limit orders. The trading platform has decent liquidity, allows cross platform trading (via a mobile app and several APIs) and also supplies you with advanced reporting.

Bottom line – if you’re an experienced trader’s trading platform is where you should conduct your transactions (as opposed to the brokerage service). Margin Trading

In the past, allowed users to conduct margin trading, straight from its trading platform. However, since 2019 opened a dedicated margin trading service called Broker. Broker is a platform for cryptocurrency trading via CFDs featuring a variety of orders types, technical analysis instruments and advanced trading tools. It allows users to leverage their position and increase their profit possibilities (while also increasing the risk they are exposed to).

Margin trading is only recommended to experienced traders, when trading CFDs you aren’t buying actual coins, you’re just speculating on a coin’s price. This means you won’t be able to withdraw profits in the actual cryptocurrency you’re trading, only in fiat or Bitcoin.

At the moment margin trading on is available for Bitcoin and Ethereum and Litecoin only.

3. Currencies and payment methods

Supported cryptocurrencies for buying via the brokerage service:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • BitTorrent (BTT)
  • MetaHash (MHC)
  • Ontology (ONT)
  • Ontology Gas (ONG)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Neo (NEO)
  • Gas (GAS)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Matic Network (MATIC)

All currencies can be purchased with USD. Some currencies can also be purchased with EUR, GBP and RUB.

Supported cryptocurrencies for trading:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

The mentioned cryptocurrencies can also be traded between themselves (e.g. BTC/XRP, ETH, BCH, etc.)

Supported cryptocurrencies for deposits:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Matic Network (MATIC)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Supported fiat deposit currencies:

  • USD
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • RUB

Supported payment methods:

  • Credit / debit card
  • Wire transfers (including SEPA)
  • Domestic bank transfer (ACH)
  • Skrill (for EUR and GBP)

4. Fees

One of the biggest complaints users have about is the amount of fees and hidden charges the company has. For example, can take up to an 7% fee from the amount of fiat currency you pay for a service.

For example, if you buy $1000 worth of Bitcoins you’ll get only $920 worth. This means that the high exchange rate you see on already includes the service fee within it, but no other fees will apply.

However, the fee stated above is only relevant to the brokerage service. Different fees apply to the trading platform. In order to trade you’ll need to fund your account with either a bank wire, SEPA transfer  (both have no commission on’s part) or a credit card (2.99% fee).

Withdrawal fees can reach up to 3% plus service charges up to $25, depending on your currency and payment method (credit cards are the most expensive option).

Transaction fees work on a maker-taker model. This means that the person who created the order (the maker) usually pays a lower fee than the person who fulfilled the order (the taker).

Depending on your side in the transaction you’ll pay anywhere between 0.16%-0.25% at the most. A complete table of’s trading fees can be found here.

For margin trading there’s a 0.5% fee.

5. Buying Limits

There are four different account verification tiers on

  • Identity
  • Address
  • Enhanced
  • Corporate.

Identity verified accounts can buy up to $1000 worth of Bitcoins per day. These users can only use a credit card to fund their purchases.

Address verified accounts can buy up to $10,000 worth of Bitcoins per day and withdraw $50,000 per day. Enhanced Corporate verified accounts have no limitations on the amount of Bitcoins that can be bought.

In order to become verified you’ll need to supply a government issued id and personal information about yourself. For a complete list of accounts and limits visit this page.

6. Supported countries has strong worldwide support for most countries and states except for the following exceptions:

Countries not supported for credit card purchases:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Cuba, Algeria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Iceland, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Also MasterCard withdrawals for users from India are disabled.

Countries not supported for wire transfers:

Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republicc, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, 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.

7. Customer support and user reviews

TrustPilot  gives a rating of “Average”. Reddit also has its share of reviews but I couldn’t find anything particularly good or bad Redditors had to say about the exchange.

For the TrustPilot reviews, it seems that the majority of dissatisfied user reviews are either complaining about the hidden fees (i.e. high exchange rate), the identity verification process or the site’s customer support.

The first two issues are usually related to people not understanding the fine print, and has made relatively clear how much will you pay for your coins. As can be seen below:

cex fee explanation

Regarding support, the main thing I can say is that is definitely making an effort to improve on this aspect. I say this mainly because of two things:

  1. I see their representatives continuously replying to angry commenters on 99Bitcoins and also on TrustPilot (you can take a look at the comment section below).
  2. While not too encouraging, the company’s TrustPilot rating used to be 3.9 and now it’s 6.1 – that’s a 56% increase which is not something to take lightly.

While I can’t say the exchange is free from support issues, I can testify as an exchange user that whenever I had an issue in the past I always received a relevant answer in a timely manner.

8. compared to other exchanges

Here’s a short comparison of’s brokerage service compared to other popular services around.

Supported countries:
Supported countries:
Supported countries:
Supported countries:
IMPORTANT – The fees for credit card purchases can be pretty confusing. First, you have the exchange fee, and then you have the credit card clearing fee. In’s case, the credit card fee is 3% and the exchange fee is 7%. so it’s a 10% fee in total. VS Coinmama

Coinmama charges a 5.9% fee on credit card purchases which is cheaper than’s 7%. However, their credit card clearing fee is an additional 5%. Comparing the final price of the two exchanges you’ll get more or less the same result. Read my Coinmama review here. VS Coinbase

Coinbase charges a 3.99% fee for credit card purchase which is higher than the 2.99% charges. However, Coinbase’s exchange fee is much lower than

When comparing the actual cost of buying 1 Bitcoin through both companies it turns out that Coinbase is 4% cheaper than and is probably the cheapest option than all of the compared exchanges in this post. You can read my complete Coinbase review here. VS Bitstamp

Bitstamp is a respected Bitcoin exchange that supplies both a trading platform and a brokerage service for buying Bitcoins. Buying through Bitstamp’s service will actually be cheaper by 2.5% than through’s brokerage service. Using your credit card you can purchase up to $1500 a day or $15,000 monthly.

You can read my complete Bitstamp review here. VS Binance

Binance has partnered with Simplex to allow credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies on their site. Compared to they offer an exchange rate that is 3% lower. However this does not take into account Simplex’s fees (i.e. credit card clearing) which I believe bring the final price to be more or less the same.

You can read my complete Binance review here.

9. Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Wallet?

No. is a cryptocurrency exchange. While you can hold your funds on the exchange’s web wallet, it’s highly recommended to move them to your own wallet.

Does require ID?

Yes. All verification levels on require An international passport/national ID card/driver’s license. This document should be valid and internationally recognized. Check that it’s issued with Latin characters or with Latin transliteration of the main fields.

How do I Buy Bitcoins on

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “buy/sell”
  3. Choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy and your payment currency
  4. Choose an amount to buy
  5. Click on “buy”
  6. Complete the sign up process and verify your identity
  7. Enter your payment information
  8. Withdraw the coins to your wallet

10. Conclusion – Is Trustworthy?

Until today I have used several times and haven’t had any issues. I think it’s a solid exchange, with the only downside being the high fees they charge for their brokerage service. If you’re a more advanced user, you can cut dramatically on fees by using the trading platform and not the brokerage service.

In the past year or so the exchange has leapfrogged forward and has become one of the leading exchanges around. The user interface is very intuitive and even complete newbies will manage to buy cryptocurrencies with it.

Bottom line – you’re good to go, as long as you are aware of the fees and the verification process needed to buy more substantial amounts of Bitcoin.




Ease of use







  • Established company reputation
  • Easy buying process
  • Fast support
  • Advanced trading options


  • Relatively high fees

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Trey Von
Trey Von

Oldest also may mean some very deep racism going on within this organization. Black and Brown beware of your dealings. I would suggest you look elsewhere.


AWEFUL!! I got in and I can’t buy any TRON, Only top 4, bitcoin, bhc, eth, lit, thats it! WIsh I would have read these other reviews as well how BAD this site is!


André Andrade 6 reviews 1 star: Bad 2 days ago Avoid CEX.IO – CAN’T WITHDRAW – SCAM You won’t get your money back! Check all the complaints of people that NEVER saw their MONEY BACK when tried to WITHDRAW! DANGEROUS SCAM. I will be reposting and updating this info quite often so at least i can help other people like me to don’t fall into this scam… My own withdrawal request has been now going on for 1 month and 29 days! Let me make this clear, i tried to contact them countless times and most of my communications were… Read more »


99BTC must have been paid for this review. It is clear that CEX is, at best, an utterly incompetent group of people in over their heads who will make getting your money out basically impossible. At worst, it’s an international scam operation to steal money from newbies to the crypto space. I’ll just leave here this review from Trust Pilot, which summarizes well what this company is all about: André Andrade 6 reviews 1 star: Bad 2 days ago Avoid CEX.IO – CAN’T WITHDRAW – SCAM You won’t get your money back! Check all the complaints of people that NEVER… Read more »


CEX is a “high level” scammer, therefore I will go restless after CEX, Your commission is very high, your order execution is bad and unfair, it is difficult to know what is my account value, and on top of that u issue an issue with withdraw u but sure u don’t have an issue with deposit.


@99bitcoins – DO NOT USE CEX.IO!!!!! YOU need to look at this company with a Hyper-critical eye. I am unable to withdraw funds/coins as everyone In this thread seems to be experiencing. I signed up to CEX.IO based on your review and Specifically the review of the online reputation you site. I was verified to deposit funds with the verification and photo requirements which was arduous enough. Then upon learning our bank was flagging our daily max deposit of $900, we received a “Suspicious Activity” flag from CEX.IO. When we try to find out from the company what exactly is… Read more »

Faith Chen
Faith Chen

I have issues withdrawing funds from CEX.IO. I send in my selfie with bank card, they did the verification but the funds remain in the wallet. When I try to put in another transaction, the card is no longer reflected in the notification tab! Any tips?

Vladimir Jurišić
Vladimir Jurišić

I have a problem retrieving access to my account, I used in 2017 and invested a little in btc. I changed phones and my google Authenticator update screwed something and I lost access to my account because the 2fa code isn’t valid. It’s about 0.1btc, since btc wasn’t much in the meantime I left it be. Now I’m trying to get my account access I sent them emails they asked me for documents, phone numbers, account details, transactions details, notes , pictures of me and the documents etc. they processed it and said it was fine and that… Read more »


I initiated a $3000 ACH deposit to my new account last week, my bank said it cleared Monday, Feb 8. It has shown in pending status on Transaction tab since then. At this point it’s been 4 business days, well past the 1 business day estimate they provide. Additionally no one has responded to my chat question I sent yesterday. No one answers their phone. Any have any suggestions what my next step should be?

Zeyad Abd El-Azeem
Zeyad Abd El-Azeem

It’s a TRAP!!!, I’ve deposited money and bought Bitcoins in CEX.IO, and they didn’t allow me to withdraw them to my wallet,, CEX.IO lets you pay easily and buy easily..but then they put their hands on your own money, and won’t let you control it,, under cover of surprising terms, they never mentioned before the deal .. but they say fake conditions to make you pay then the canceled it and set another restriction that never allows you to control your money.. and I have evidence.

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