CEX.IO Review

CEX.IO is a well-regulated exchange with a lot to offer

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Investopedia’s Rating

Our Take 

CEX.IO is a regulated global cryptocurrency exchange that enables traders and investors to buy, sell, borrow, and earn crypto. With its wide range of tradable assets and advanced trading features, experienced crypto traders will find what they are looking for on CEX.IO. However, beginners may find the platform’s many features overwhelming. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
  • Regulated and licensed

  • Supports a large number of cryptocurrencies

  • Provides an opportunity to earn crypto

  • Offers crypto-collaterized loans

  • The amount of products and services may overwhelm beginners

  • Lower liquidity than other leading global exchanges

  • Year Founded 2013
  • Official Website https://cex.io/
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 200+
  • Customer Support Support center, Email, Live chat

Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.

Company Overview

CEX.IO is a regulated multifunctional cryptocurrency exchange that launched in 2013 as a Bitcoin cloud mining provider and hashing power marketplace—powered by an in-house mining pool called GHash.IO. This Gibraltar-based crypto exchange supports over 200 digital currencies and tokens, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Uniswap (UNI), and more. 

The company’s goal was to enable individuals to earn Bitcoin mining rewards without having to deploy expensive mining hardware in their homes. Available in 99% of countries and 48 U.S. states, CEX.IO has built a global crypto exchange ecosystem that serves over 4 million users.

It offers products and services for three market segments, which it refers to as Everyone, Traders, and Businesses, as well as credit card processing services to customers in select European countries, and it has a commission-free margin trading platform, CEX.IO Broker.

Pros Explained 

  • Regulated and licensed: CEX.IO is regulated and licensed to operate in all jurisdictions where it offers its services, giving investors peace of mind that they’re using a compliant platform.
  • Supports a large number of cryptocurrencies: CEX.IO supports 200+ digital currencies and tokens, covering most leading crypto assets. 
  • Provides an opportunity to earn crypto: Users can stake multiple cryptocurrencies held on the platform to earn crypto income. 
  • Offers crypto-collateralized loans: Users can take out crypto-collateralized loans in fiat currency, allowing dedicated crypto holders to retain funds in crypto if a temporary need for fiat currency arises.

Cons Explained

  • The number of products and services may overwhelm beginners: CEX.IO offers a wide range of features targeted at different market segments, making it less user-friendly for first-time crypto buyers. 
  • Lower liquidity than other leading global exchanges: Despite the exchange’s global reach, CEX.IO provides less liquidity than its international peers. 

Investing in cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (DeFi), and other initial coin offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Cryptocurrencies Available on CEX.IO

CEX.IO supports over 200 digital currencies and tokens and regularly adds new cryptocurrencies to its roster. Here’s a look at some of the most popular cryptocurrencies that you can currently trade on CEX.IO:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Zilliqa (ZIL)

Trading Experience

CEX.IO is targeting three types of users, which it refers to as Everyone, Traders, and Businesses. 


Everyone can use the exchange’s Instant Buy feature to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using a range of payment methods, including PayPal, debit/credit cards, Apple/Google Pay, and more. Additionally, CEX.IO provides soft staking on 13 cryptocurrencies to allow users to earn crypto and crypto-backed loans that enable users to borrow fiat currency by providing crypto as collateral. 


Traders can make use of the exchange’s spot and margin trading platforms and the CEX.IO mobile app, which allows for on-the-go trading. 


Businesses can sign up for CEX.IO Prime, which allows institutional-size buyers to access liquidity. Additionally, companies can integrate crypto payments using CEX Direct, a payment gateway for cryptocurrency purchases operated by CEX.IO. 

If your crypto exchange account is hacked or you send cryptocurrency to an incorrect wallet address, you will most likely not be able to recover your lost crypto.


CEX.IO provides detailed insight into its fee structure, deposit and withdrawal commissions, and account limits. Different fees apply for different payment options. 

Maker-Taker Fee Structure

Trading fees are based on each user’s 30-day trading volumes, recalculated daily at 00:00 (GMT). New and low-volume users will pay a 0.25% taker fee and a 0.15% maker fee. 

30-Day Trading Volume, USD Taker  Maker 
≤ 10,000 0.25% 0.15%
≤ 100,000  0.23%  0.13% 
≤ 500,000  0.19%  0.09% 
≤ 1,000,000 0.17%  0.07% 
​​≤ 2,500,000  0.15%  0.05% 
≤ 5,000,000  0.13%  0.03% 
≤ 10,000,000  0.11%  0.01% 
≤ 20,000,000  0.10%  0.00% 
≤ 50,000,000  0.08%  0.00% 
≤ 100,000,000  0.07% 0.00%
≤ 200,000,000  0.06% 0.00%
≤ 500,000,000  0.05% 0.00%
≤ 1,000,000,000  0.04% 0.00%
≤ 2,000,000,000  0.03% 0.00%
≤ 5,000,000,000  0.02% 0.00%
> 5,000,000,000  0.01% 0.00%

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

In addition to trading fees, minimum deposit requirements apply for cryptocurrency deposits, and cryptocurrency withdrawal fees vary from asset to asset. CEX.IO offers several payment options, including the following. In addition to those listed below, users can also ACH, domestic wire transfer, Faster Payments, Skrill, and Epay.

Payment Method Daily Deposit Limit  (Min to Max)  Daily Withdrawal Limit (Min to Max)  Deposit Commissions  Withdrawal Commissions 
Visa $20 to Unlimited $20 to $50,000 2.99% or 3.99% (for GBP deposits made by UK-issued cards) Service charge: up to 3% + $1.20 Commission: up to $3.80
Mastercard  $20 to Unlimited  $20 to $2,500  2.99% or 3.99% (for GBP deposits made by UK-issued cards)  Service charge: up to 1.8% + $1.20 Commission: up to 1.2% + $3.80 
SWIFT  $300 to Unlimited ($5,000 min daily deposit/withdrawal for U.S. residents) $300 to Unlimited ($5,000 min daily deposit/withdrawal for U.S. residents) $2.99 0.3% + $25 ($50 minimum)
Domestic Wire Transfer (ACH) $20 to $100,000 $20 to $100,000 $2.99 $2.99
PayPal $20 to $1,000 $20 to $100,000 Service charge: 1.49%; 2.99% to 3.99% + service charge; Commission: No fee Service charge: 1% + $5 Commission: 2% cap $16


CEX.IO puts a strong focus on regulatory compliance and security. 

Compliance and Licensing

The exchange is regulated and licensed in all countries where it operates. In the United States, CEX.IO is registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business(MSB) and has obtained money transmitter licenses (MTLs) in 33 states. In Canada, the exchange is also registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with FINTRAC.

CEX.IO is also regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) as a DLT Provider and has also obtained a Moneylending license to serve the European market.

In the United Kingdom, CEX.IO has been granted temporary registration as a crypto asset business by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allows the exchange to carry out crypto asset activities, while the FCA reviews the company’s application.

Security Features

To ensure the security of its users’ funds, CEX.IO holds the majority of user funds in cold wallets and only a small portion of funds in hot wallets. Cold wallets are not connected to the internet, while hot wallets are, making the former more secure. The amount needed to cover day-to-day trading activities on the platform determines the proportion of how much crypto is held in cold versus hot wallets. 

It’s important to note that most funds held in CEX.IO hot wallets are company funds, while user funds are kept primarily in cold wallets. What that means is that if the exchange is hacked, the company’s funds could be stolen, but user funds should remain mostly unaffected. Newly deposited client funds are moved to cold wallets in a daily wallet reconciliation procedure. 

Though leading cryptocurrency exchanges typically provide a high level of security, you could still end up losing your funds if you fall for a phishing scam or inadvertently download crypto-stealing malware. Make sure you follow basic online safety practices and install antivirus software on your devices to keep your crypto safe.

Opening a CEX.IO Account

Signing up for an account at CEX.IO is reasonably straightforward and very similar to signing up for a traditional online brokerage account.

To sign up for a personal account, you’ll need to provide your name, email address, password, and country of residence. When you’ve shared this information, you will need to confirm your email address by typing in the confirmation code you receive via email.



At this point, you can start exploring the CEX.IO platform. To complete your registration and start trading, however, you’ll need to undergo an identity verification process that involves uploading government-issued ID documentation and sharing your address. When completed, your deposit and withdrawal limits will increase. 



Additional verification stages allow users to increase their deposit and withdrawal limits. Signing up for a business account requires more information and documentation. 

Customer Service

CEX.IO provides customer support through an online support center, live chat, and email. The exchange has also added a University section to its website to educate its community on blockchain fundamentals.

Customer Satisfaction

Given the lack of quality customer services at several leading exchanges, CEX.IO has made sure to provide good customer support to its user base. On Trustpilot, for example, CEX.IO has a 4.6-star rating out of 5, which is exceptionally high for a cryptocurrency exchange.

When CEX.IO halted its mining services due to a lack of profitability, many customers weren’t pleased. However, because the company has shelved its mining operations, customers seem largely satisfied with the exchange’s products and services.  

Account Management

CEX.IO provides a web-based platform and a mobile app that allows users to utilize the full plethora of available features. 

From advanced order-matching algorithms and analytical tools for experienced traders to simple Instant Buy/Sell features for first-time investors, CEX.IO’s crypto trading ecosystem can be easily accessed online and on mobile.

How CEX.IO Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

Though some crypto exchanges target specific regions, CEX.IO’s global approach and availability in 99% of countries make it stand out among its competitors. However, CEX.IO doesn’t have the user base or liquidity of top exchanges like Binance or Coinbase.

In terms of fees, the number of supported assets, and additional services such as lending and staking, CEX.IO is on par with competitors, thus providing a viable platform for anyone looking to buy, sell, borrow, and earn crypto.

Though market-leading crypto exchanges offer a high level of security, crypto investors should store large holdings in personal wallets—preferably offline in a hardware wallet—to ensure that a hack or an operational error at a third-party wallet provider, such as an exchange, cannot compromise their funds.

Final Verdict

For first-time investors, the exchange may be a little overwhelming due to the plethora of products and features it offers. Experienced traders and investors, however, will find that CEX.IO should meet all of their crypto needs.


Is CEX.IO better than Coinbase?

Prevailing opinion according to most third-party analysis indicates that Coinbase ranks slightly better overall in terms of metrics such as overall score, ease of use, and security. However, CEX.IO may still be the better choice for investors seeking greater liquidity and more advanced features.

Is CEX.IO safe?

Though CEX.IO has weathered limited attempts at hacking here and there, it has never lost any of its customers' funds. As a result, it is reasonable to consider CEX.IO safe to use.

How long do CEX.IO payments take?

Domestic payments typically take one business day to process, while international payments usually take anywhere from two to five business days.

Can I withdraw from CEX.IO to my bank account?

Withdrawing directly from CEX.IO to your bank account requires you to submit to the exchange's address verification process. When you have sent CEX.IO your proof of residence and it approves your application, you will then have access to that particular payment method.


Investopedia is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.

Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered whether the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the review process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources
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  1. Securities Investor Protection Corporation. "What SIPC Protects."

  2. TrustPilot. "CEX.IO."

  3. CoinMarketCap. "Top Cryptocurrency Spot Exchanges."