CEX.IO bitcoin marketplace review

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CEX.IO is a solid cryptocurrency platform. But watch out for high fees when buying and selling bitcoin.

If you’re looking into using bitcoin to send money to someone, you will need a cryptocurrency platform.

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Fiat currencies

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Cryptocurrencies

Details

Product Name CEX.IO Cryptocurrency Exchange
Fiat Currencies AUD, USD, EUR, RUB, GBP, DZD, AOA, SGD, KRW, CAD & 120+ more
Cryptocurrencies BTC, BTG, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC & 3+ more
Deposit Methods Bank transfer (ACH)
Credit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Faster Payments Service
Trading Fee Maker: 0-0.16%
Taker: 0.10-0.25%
Instant buy: 7%
Deposit Fees VISA & Mastercard: 2.99% (USD), (GBP), (EUR) , (RUB)
Bank transfer: None
SEPA: None
ACH: None
Faster Payments: None
Withdrawal Fees Mastercard and VISA: Fees vary
Bank transfer: 0.3% + $25 (USD), 0.3% + €25 (EUR), 0.3% + £25 (GBP)
ACH: None
SEPA: None
Faster payments: None

Pros

  • Competitive trading fees. CEX.IO’s tiered trading fee structure is competitive compared to other fiat to crypto exchanges.
  • Card payments. Card deposits and withdrawals are a convenient option.
  • Combined trading platform and broker. CEX.IO users can trade with each other, or buy directly from CEX.IO as a broker.

Cons

  • High card fees. Credit card deposits and withdrawals are fast and convenient, but expensive.
  • Limited coin selection. CEX.IO offers a limited range of cryptocurrencies compared to many other exchanges.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

How are CEX.IO’s exchange rates?

Exchange rates on CEX.IO are based on the platform’s market activity. Traders on CEX.IO buy and sell bitcoin; at the same time, the exchange rate will fluctuate.

Though the exchange rate can change, you’ll typically find that it’s within 0.5% to 2% of the mid-market rate.

WHAT IS THE MID-MARKET RATE??
The mid-market rate is what your money’s actually worth on the global market compared to another currency. It’s the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.
Use the mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates provided by your bank or transfer service. With it, you’ll discover which companies offer the best rates.

Overall, CEX.IO’s exchange rate is reasonable compared with other cryptocurrency exchanges. It’s more important to look at CEX.IO’s fees for buying and selling cryptocurrency, which can sometimes be high.

How much will I pay to buy or sell on CEX.IO?

Buying bitcoin

You first need to deposit fiat currency — government-issued money like PHP, US dollars or Euros — onto CEX.IO. Here’s what you’ll pay to buy bitcoin.

OptionFee
Credit card3.5% + US$0.25
Bank transferNo commission
Crypto Capital (for bitcoin)No commission

Next, you need to purchase bitcoin. Buying bitcoin comes with a 7% transaction fee for the instant buy feature and 0-0.25% for trading.

Sending the bitcoin to your recipient

To send cryptocurrency to someone, you transfer cryptocurrency to your recipient’s wallet.

Selling the bitcoin

When your recipient sells the bitcoin, they’ll be charged a 7% transaction fee for the instant buy feature and 0-0.25% for trading.

Withdrawing the fiat currency

Now that your recipient has sold the bitcoin for fiat currency, they need to get the money from CEX.IO.

Here are the fees for fiat currency withdrawals.

Withdrawal optionFee
VisaUS$3.80
Mastercard1.2% + US$3.80
Bank transferUS$50
Crypto Capital1%
Go to CEX.IO's website

How do I send money through CEX.IO?

A bitcoin-based money transfer involves a series of steps.

  • You use fiat currency to buy cryptocurrency
  • You send cryptocurrency to your recipient’s wallet address.
  • Your recipient sells cryptocurrency for fiat currency.
  • Your recipient withdraws the fiat currency to their bank account or credit card.

Here’s a hypothetical money transfer through CEX.IO for sending US$1,000 to someone in Germany.

US$1,000 to Germany

According to the mid-market rate at the time of this writing, US$1,000 is worth about 0.78 BTC.

StepResult
Deposit US$1,000 onto CEX.IO via bank transferUS$1,000 in funds on CEX.IO
Buy US$1,000 in bitcoinReceive 0.72 BTC
Send the bitcoin to your recipient via voucherNo fee; your recipient receives 0.72 BTC
Your recipient sells the bitcoin for eurosYour recipient receives 810 euros
Your recipient withdraws the euros from CEX.IO to a Visa credit cardYour recipient pays approximately 4 euros in withdrawal fees, ending up with 806 euros

Case study analysis

  • In the case study, your US$1,000 buys you 0.72 BTC. That means you lose 0.06 BTC — about US$76 — from the purchase. Most of the loss comes from CEX.IO’s 7% transaction fee.
  • According to the mid-market rate, 0.72 BTC is worth about 868 euros. But when your recipient sells the bitcoin, they receive 810 euros. Again, most of the loss comes from the transaction fee.
  • After all is said and done, your recipient is left with 806 euros, which is about US$853. Throughout the complete money transfer, you’ve lost almost US$150.

Minimum transfer amounts and available countries

When buying cryptocurrency on CEX.IO, you need to purchase a minimum of 0.01 BTC (and 0.1 for DASH, ZEC, XRP), while the maximum amount is 10. The limits are the same for selling cryptocurrency.

You can withdraw an unlimited amount in cryptocurrency — this means you can send as many bitcoin to your recipient as you’d like. The minimum transfer amount is 0.01 BTC.

For fiat currencies, there are different deposit and withdrawal limits depending on which type of account you have:

  • Basic account. Deposit maximum of US$300 daily and US$1,000 monthly with a withdrawal maximum of US$500 daily and US$2,000 monthly.
  • Verified account. Deposit maximum of US$20,000 daily and US$100,000 monthly with a withdrawal maximum of US$50,000 daily and US$300,000 monthly.
  • Verified Plus and Corporate accounts. No deposit or withdrawal limits.

Because of these rules, the amount you can send to your recipient will be limited by the type of account you have.

Available countries

CEX.IO is technically available to all countries, like the Philippines. However, in select countries — like Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam — credit card and bank-based transfers to the platform are restricted. This effectively bars many people from using CEX.IO.

What types of transfers does CEX.IO support?

  • Bank transfers
  • Credit card
  • Crypto Capital
  • Vouchers (for bitcoin transfers)
  • Withdrawals to personal bitcoin wallets

What to look out for

  • Bitcoin transfers can be complicated. Typical money transfer services handle all of the steps to send money. But when you transfer money through cryptocurrency, you need to perform all the steps yourself.
  • Losing money on the exchange rate. When transferring through bitcoin, you’ll lose money twice on the exchange rate.
  • High buy and sell fees. CEX.IO charges a 7% transaction fee when you buy bitcoin. It also charges the same fee when you sell bitcoin.
  • Opaque support centre. It may be difficult to find the answer you need in CEX.IO’s help centre because the search function often returns irrelevant results.

Benefits and drawbacks

BenefitsDrawbacks
Global servicesOpen to all countries (subject to government regulations)Credit card and bank-based transfers are not available in some countries
Supported currencies
US dollars, euros, Russian rublesMany currencies not supported
Withdrawal optionsBank transfer, credit card, Crypto CapitalNo cash withdrawals
Competitive feesNo commission for bank deposits; reasonable fees for withdrawalsHigh fees for buying and selling bitcoin
Competitive ratesExchange rates based on market activity — often within 0.5% to 2% of the mid-market rateExchange rates can spike from moment to moment
Transaction limits
High maximums with verified accountLow maximums with basic account
ConvenienceOnline-based platformYou complete all steps yourself
Customer service
Online ticket, email supportNo phone support; help center can be confusingNext steps

Next steps

To get started with CEX.IO, register for an account at the platform’s website. Consider using two-factor authentication with your account, which provides extra security.

After you’ve registered an account and confirmed your email, you can start your bitcoin transfer. Add a payment source and deposit fiat currency, then purchase your bitcoin.

Go to CEX.IO's website

Bottom line

CEX.IO is a solid bitcoin platform that can help you complete an entire money transfer. However, be careful of the fees you’ll pay when buying and selling bitcoin.

Frequently asked questions

Image source: CEX.IO

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