FTX Review

A global crypto exchange with several useful features

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FTX

FTX

Investopedia’s Rating
4.7

Our Take 

FTX is a fast-growing cryptocurrency exchange that offers advanced trading options like margin and futures trading. While residents of the United States can’t use it due to strict regulations, a separate exchange—FTX.US—is available, but with fewer crypto offerings. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Supports margin trading

  • Access to futures, stocks, forex, and other advanced markets

Cons
  • U.S. residents can’t trade on FTX’s global platform

  • There is no live chat support option

Key Takeaways
  • FTX is known for its market-leading liquidity.
  • FTX offers a wide array of services in addition to spot trading. It supports Bitcoin and Ethereum derivatives trading, as well as NFT trading.
  • To garner customer confidence, FTX is focused on adhering to compliance regulations in the jurisdictions where it operates, including emerging regulations of crypto spot and derivatives markets.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2019
  • Official Website ftx.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 300+
  • Customer Support Help page, support tickets

Pros Explained

  • Supports margin and futures trading: FTX offers several advanced features, such as margin and futures trading. This can be appealing to sophisticated traders who can handle the risks.  
  • Access to advanced markets: FTX offers many advanced features that aren’t common on other exchanges. This includes access to markets like stocks, leveraged tokens, volatility, and forex.

Cons Explained

  • U.S. residents can’t trade on FTX’s global platform: Due to strict regulations for the crypto space in the United States, residents of the U.S. have limited access to FTX. The exchange has a U.S. partner, FTX.US, but its offerings are more limited than the global platform.
  • There is no live chat support option: FTX does not offer live chat support. And while it does provide a comprehensive help center, finding the information you need can be time-consuming.

Introduction

FTX is a centralized global cryptocurrency exchange that separates itself from its competitors by offering innovative products like derivatives, options, and leveraged tokens. It also supports more than 300 cryptocurrencies, which is a very large number compared with some competitors.

However, FTX comes with risks that are inherent in the cryptocurrency space, including token volatility and even losses due to hacks of exchanges. However, more people are becoming comfortable with crypto investing and trading as more companies have become active in the space. 

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.

Company Overview

FTX, based in the Bahamas, made its way onto the cryptocurrency scene in 2019 with the goal of becoming the world’s leading platform for trading tokens. Now, just a few years after its founding, it’s a top centralized crypto exchange valued at over $18 billion.

FTX offers several products that may appeal to both crypto newcomers and sophisticated traders. For new investors, FTX offers spot trading on its platform. For experienced traders, FTX supports the trading of futures, stocks, and leveraged tokens.

Cryptocurrencies Available on FTX 

FTX offers more than 300 cryptocurrencies for spot trading. Here’s a partial list of assets available on this exchange:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ether (ETH)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)

Make sure you review FTX’s articles related to fees, as there are several factors that may affect your out-of-pocket costs.

Trading Experience

FTX offers a wide variety of features, and it acknowledges that new users may find it hard to find them. To address this, the exchange provides an overview guide. 

Crucial information is also stated clearly throughout the FTX website. For example, for those interested in staking FTX’s token, FTT, the exchange succinctly spells out the rules. It notes that unstaking takes 14 days, and that tokens slotted for unstaking won’t factor into staking rewards. It also mentions that users who want to unstake quickly can choose to pay a fee.

There is a bounty of articles posted under various subjects that explain FTX’s various offerings, terms, and rules. Take margin trading, for example. This is an important product for FTX. Given the complexities of margin trading, FTX does a solid job explaining its terms for these transactions. One of the most important things people who dabble in margin trading want to know is what triggers a margin call.

FTX makes it clear that a user’s account can be liquidated if their so-called Margin Fraction falls below their Maintenance Margin Fraction. FTX uses the example of a customer’s maintenance margin fraction being 6%. If the customer is 16.66x leveraged, liquidation will begin. 

Fees

FTX has a tiered maker/taker fee structure, and trading fees vary based on 30-day trade volumes. FTT token holders can receive discounts on their platform fees. 

Here’s what users can expect in terms of maker/taker fees.

FTX
Fee chart from FTX.com.

FTT token holders can receive discounts on their platform fees. Tiered discounts are as follows:

FTX
Fee discount chart from FTX.com.

In addition to its trading fees, FTX users may also be subject to withdrawal fees and fees for trading or creating leveraged tokens. 

Security

FTX offers industry-standard security features, including the following: 

  • A custom-built hot and cold wallet solution; 
  • Full external backing of all hot wallet funds; 
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) for each account;
  • Optional 2FA and password for crypto withdrawals;
  • Relationships with industry-leading custodians.

Opening an FTX Account

Opening an FTX account is simple. The exchange walks you through the process, step by step, from the beginning to the end.

To start, you will be required to enter your email address twice and create a strong password. 

After setting up an account, FTX requires new customers to verify their identities in order to trade crypto or make deposits. Unverified users can simply log in to their accounts to explore the platform. 

Those who provide some basic information, including full name, birthday, and country of residence, get limited access to the platform and are subject to withdrawal limits. Users who go through FTX’s full verification process, which requires providing proof of address, sharing a government-issued ID, and undergoing facial recognition, receive the benefits of full platform access as well as unlimited deposits and withdrawals.

Customer Service

FTX does not offer 24/7 phone support, nor does it have live chat. It encourages customers who require assistance to submit support tickets through its platform. FTX does not specify the average amount of time it takes for a member of its team to respond to a request for support.

In addition to submitting a support ticket, you may also reach out to FTX via Telegram.

FTX Telegram groups are public so users should be careful about sharing their information. 

Again, FTX has an extensive library of articles that address many of the questions new users may have about the exchange. 

Customer Satisfaction

As with many other cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX receives mostly negative reviews from customers. User complaints are primarily related to FTX’s customer service. The common theme among the complaints was the amount of time it took customer service to respond to support tickets.

As noted above, FTX provides no specific amount of time it takes to respond to customers who submit these tickets. Some customers complained of very serious issues, such as having to wait months for their withdrawal requests to be approved.

Positive reviews praise the FTX platform’s user-friendliness and relatively low withdrawal fees. 

Account Management

Traders can handle their transactions via FTX’s web platform, or they can use its mobile app. The online dashboard offers a similar user experience to the FTX mobile app. Users can review markets; buy, sell, and trade crypto; check their holdings; and view their account information.

FTX
The FTX mobile app.

How FTX Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

FTX’s main competitors include Coinbase, Bitfinex, and Binance. FTX ranks third on CoinMarketCap’s list of “Top Cryptocurrency Spot Exchanges.”

Here’s how FTX compares to Binance, one of its top global competitors.

FTX Exchange vs. Binance

FTX and Binance are both cryptocurrency exchanges offering relatively low fees compared to competitors. Also, like FTX, Binance has a partner exchange for U.S. citizens—Binance.US.

However, there are also some important differences between the two platforms, including:

  • Binance launched a live chat option in 2021 as part of an upgrade to its customer service system. FTX does not offer a live chat option.
  • Binance’s fees are slightly higher than FTX’s fees. Users can expect to pay maker/taker fees ranging from 0.02% to 0.10% on Binance, while FTX maker/taker fees are between 0.00% to 0.07%.
  • Binance supports just under 400 cryptocurrencies, and FTX supports over 300.

Read our full Binance review.

Final Verdict

In just three years, FTX has grown to be one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the market. This exchange has also become a leading advocate of cryptocurrency regulations, and FTX officials say they are committed to remaining compliant with regulators. In addition, FTX also offers low trading fees and features that appeal to both new investors and experienced traders.

All of this makes FTX a solid choice for crypto traders in search of quality, value-driven exchange to meet their needs.

Methodology 

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 if 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

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. PR Newswire. "FTX Trading Ltd. Closes $900M Series B Round -- Largest Raise in Crypto Exchange History."