CEX.IO is one a site that you can buy and sell Bitcoins with mostly using credit cards.
CEX.IO started out in 2013 as the very first cloud mining company, offering contracts to the public that allowed people to “mine” Bitcoin. Their significant share of hashing power (42% at its peak) netted them some fame back in 2014 but CEX.IO would cease its mining operations in 2015.
Since then, it’s been registered with FinCEN and opened its doors to trading cryptocurrency and as of late 2016 offered margin trading in addition to main services as a cryptocurrency exchanger.
Currently, users can hold wallets in four fiat currencies (GBP, RUB, USD and EUR) as well as two cryptos (BTC and ETH). They have had several other currencies in the past, removing the Litecoin wallet most recently, so you can expect this to evolve over time.
You can buy BTC or ETH but at a premium… about 10% higher than standard market rates, at least from what we could tell at time of writing so that’s a big downside.
The margin trading options at CEX.IO allow you to trade in the following 8 pairs: BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, BTC/GBP, BTC/RUB, ETH/BTC, ETH/USD, ETH/EUR and GHS/BTC. You can also use leveraged trading at 1:2 or 1:3.
Our brief experience is that the buy/sell rates are competitive enough, but the trading page seems to freeze occasionally and lags with each click – something you’ll want to consider if you’re not running a high-end machine.
Payment and fees
You can deposit funds via credit card (Visa and Mastercard) for a 3.5% commission and $0.25 fee (5.25% + 15.57 RUB if you use RUB). This is the quickest method, and is often the reason people buy Bitcoin from CEX.IO. You can get the payment verified within an hour, provided your credit card has 3-D Secure or it won’t work.
If you’re willing to wait up to 5 business days, you can opt for a flat fee of USD/EUR 10.00 for bank transfers, although it’s free for RUB deposits.
If you want to sell your crypto, you can do so to your card for a 2.9% commission plus USD/EUR 4.99 or RUB 499 fee. Bank transfers are free of cost.
For trading, the fee schedule link on their own website gives a 404 error, but from what we can tell, there is at least a 0.2% “Takers” fee charged on each trade you enter, which is reduced as you accumulate a 30-day trading volume.
Things to note
Be forewarned, however! Verification processes is very rigid at CEX.IO due to their Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) commitments. While this is perfectly acceptable, we feel that customers should be forced to complete these processes BEFORE being allowed to make any deposits. As it is, you’ll only be asked for verification AFTER your payment is successful.
There’s a detailed guide on how to get yourself verified but in short, you’ll need to send them a high-resolution photograph of yourself holding your credit card, with your face and card details clearly visible. Then you’ll also need to provide them a picture of your passport or national ID.
Not many people will be comfortable with sharing this information, particularly as CEX.IO does not reveal exactly with whom they are sharing your information. That’s the price of being able to use your credit card!
Also, you won’t be able to withdraw your BTC until your account is over 48 hours. At time of writing, a lot of users are also complaining, providing proof that that they are not able to withdraw their fiat balances and are asked instead to buy BTC and withdraw that. Others are asked to wait for 20 business days for bank withdrawals, without any proof of transaction. We call that unethical.
With cross-platform trading via its website, mobile app. WebSocket and REST API on the top currency pairs in the market, CEX.IO continues to present itself as one of the heavyweights in the exchange and trading business.
The issues with their security measures, such as the difficulty to set-up 2FA.
But if recent feedback from disgruntled new and old customers are to be considered, you may have to be prepared for very long waits or unethical practices.