FTX is a relatively young cryptocurrency exchange. It was launched in 2018 and became fully functional in 2019. At the moment, the exchange has two offices, with the main one registered in Antigua and Barbuda and another one especially for the US clients.
In a relatively short time, FTX has become one of the leaders, growing continuously and offering its clients new trading instruments, including cryptocurrencies, tokenized shares and futures. This is partially facilitated by the fact that Binance, the undisputed industry leader, is one of the platform’s investors.
According to coinmarketcap, FTX is among the top three most liquid exchanges. It provides access to trading the majority of the 537 trading pairs and 253 assets without any issues in terms of opening a position of practically any volume. The real daily volume is nearly USD 2 billion and that is an excellent indicator for the cryptocurrency market.
When compiling this rating, we relied on specific facts and compared with other platforms, taking into consideration all substantial advantages and drawbacks.
|Security and regulation||8|
|Deposit and withdrawal||8|
Any trading platform needs to be evaluated based on the aggregate of criteria. There is no ideal exchange and each has its drawbacks, but different aspects are important to different traders. Therefore, let’s look at the basic pros and cons of FTX.
FTX is a relatively young platform and there isn’t much information about it online. We have collected all key facts that will help you quickly learn all basic information about FTX:
|Regulation||FTX – offshore, FTX.US – USA, MSB and MTL|
|Taker’s fee||0.070 – 0.040%|
|Maker’s fee||0.020 – 0.00%|
|BTC withdrawal limits||No limits with full account verification|
|USD withdrawal limits||$1,000 with minimum verification, no limits with full verification|
|Withdrawal in Fiat||USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, CHF, HKD, SGD, ZAR, BRL|
|Time frame for account opening||Quick registration within several minutes, full verification up to 2 working days|
Our assessment of the system of charging commissions and fees by the exchange is 8 out of 10. It is rather convenient and clear; there is no overload of conditions and combinations; it will not be difficult for a beginner to understand it. Let’s look at the pros and cons:
Contracts in the futures and options market are traded commission free. It is a popular practice, but many platforms still make money on it. As for the spot market, FTX has a system of commission reduction depending on the trading volume:
|Tier||Monthly volume, $||Maker’s fee||Taker’s fee|
|1||0 - 2 000 000||0.020%||0.070%|
|2||2 000 000 – 5 000 000||0.015%||0.060%|
|3||5 000 000 – 10 000 000||0.010%||0.055%|
|4||10 000 000 – 25 000 000||0.005%||0.050%|
|5||25 000 000 – 50 000 000||0%||0.045%|
|6||> 50 000 000||0%||0.040%|
The indicators are rather good, but it is impossible to achieve 0% for the taker. Even so, the traders’ expenses remain at a very low level, one of the lowest among cryptocurrency trading platforms.
FTX exchange does not charge a deposit fee or a conversion fee inside the exchange’s wallet or a fee for performance of out of exchange transactions (only wire transfers for an amount from $10,000).
Meanwhile, zero-fee withdrawal is only available for cryptocurrency and a small list of exceptions in the form of tokens:
If a client wants to withdraw fiat, the withdrawals up to $10,000 will be charged with a $75 fee, if you withdraw USD. For withdrawals in BRL, the fee is 0.3% of the amount and an additional R10. Creation and exchange of tokens is charged with 0.10% fee and an additional 0.03% is charged for administration.
Let’s see the average commission charged by FTX and competitors.
Based on the comparison, FTX offers rather good conditions, with the fees declining depending on the tier, while it is not difficult to achieve an average value of the commission.
FTX offers its clients leverage. Earlier, the traders could use leverage up to 1:100 in their trading, while now there is a limit of up to 1:20. This means that traders can use borrowed funds, which the exchange provides, to increase their trading orders. Reduction of leverage is viewed as a step towards improvement of stability of trading, as very high leverage led to serious, and most importantly, quick losses.
However, there is a fee for using leverage. The fee is calculated automatically based on the assets that the trader has, and borrowed funds are paid for at their own specific rates. Here are the main ones:
|Currency||Annual rate, %|
FTX exchange is registered in Antigua and Barbuda, which is an offshore jurisdiction. In addition, FTX.US is a separate company that has the MSB and MTL licenses for performing transactions with digital assets in the US. The official name of the legal entity is FTX Trading LTD; the address is not listed and the license number is not provided.
Despite it all, the exchange operates with good faith, requiring verification of accounts for enabling the services. In September 2021, a rumor was spread about the theft of bitcoins from a wallet of the platform, but it was not confirmed. The company takes special care of the security of the clients’ funds. As a part of the latest upgrades, which provoked the theft rumor, FTX distributed the funds among wallets in order to ensure a higher level of security.
The platform’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried is politically active. He supported, including financially, Joe Biden in his presidential race. You can say with a high degree of confidence that the political elite of the USA would definitely not be involved with “dirty” money.
FTX does not offer an amazing number of trading instruments, but the ones it provides access to are more than enough for the majority of traders. The exchange provides access to trading all popular coins, offers many pairs, various futures and even a ‘betting pool’ where you can bet on the result of an event. This is clearly not related to crypto, but it was worth mentioning such a feature.
Let’s review the pros and cons of the list of markets the exchange offers:
Tokenized shares are also not related to cryptocurrency, but many traders use this opportunity. Just remember how closely Elon Musk and his Tesla were connected to cryptocurrencies. Some people even analyze the correlations between the rates of the coins and securities.
FTX exchange offers access to trading tokenized shares that are backed by real securities. If desired, a client can exchange tokens of the shares he bought for real securities. A special organization CM-Equity, which holds a Germany license, deals with these kinds of transactions.
Trading digital assets for USD is another important aspect. This means that in addition to the popular stablecoin USDT, there is real USD here. At one time, there were rumors about possible collapse of USDT, as there is no certainly that it is really fully backed by fiat dollars. This was a topic of heated discussion, and therefore many traders and crypto investors have started to pay attention to this.
Let’s now review the markets. There are rather many of them and they are divided by categories. There are the traditional ones and rather innovative ones. Below is the comparison of what FTX offers and what its competitors offer:
|Cryptocurrency funds (a basket of cryptocurrencies in one lot)||No||No||No|
As you can see, FTX has fewer trading instruments than its direct competitors. However, it is common knowledge that the majority of traders don’t trade everything that the exchange provides access to. Usually, it will be several dozen coins. Therefore, the 253 cryptocurrencies available on the platform are more than enough to meet the needs of the majority of traders. The exchange is growing continuously, adding new instruments and providing an opportunity to buy and sell also recently emerged tokens.
Also non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have recently become very popular, are available. They represent a kind of a digital artifact, the ownership of which is spelled out cryptographically. To put it simply, it is a digital certificate confirming the ownership of the token. It could be an image or an art object. The value of such a token can increase if the crypto society shows interest towards it.
This is the key market both investors and traders are interested in. On FTX, the cryptocurrency market is represented by 537 pairs, which include many pairs of altcoin and bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and USD and USDT, and there is also Brazilian digital token BRZ. There are no exotic pairs where an altcoin is traded with another altcoin.
Overall, there is a good choice of pairs, including with fiat, which is important to many traders. If a trader is after the newest tokens, FTX is not the best choice. It is, however, suitable for portfolio investing.
Futures market is fully represented on FTX. The traders can trade various futures and options here. There are 111 instruments available and the list continuously grows. There are futures of two types:
There are also options, a classic instrument derived from the stock market. Usually, it represents a certain trading condition, which a trader needs to meet in order to receive the ‘reward’, for example growth or decline of price to a specific point. You can buy options at FTX with the following conditions:
FTX offers its clients staking of its token FTT. It is a rather interesting option, which implies ‘freezing’ of tokens and earning a profit. In other words, you buy FTT, stake it and over this period, you get a number of benefits:
The right to receive a share of the insurance fund of FTX. The profit depends on the circumstances, but even at minimum values you get more than 7% annual in tokens.
Reduced trading fees.
Increased referral rebate rates.
A possibility to withdraw ETH and tokens charged with a fee without paying the fee several times a day.
NFT-swag. In other words, participation in the draw of free NFTs.
Increased SRM airdrop rewards.
In addition, FTX regularly burns tokens, which has a positive effect on their value. This means that fiat is used to buy FTT, and the number of tokens decreases in the course of the platform’s functioning, which exerts deflationary pressure and leads to an increase in value.
The exchange offers a convenient and functional referral bonus program, which is also linked to staking. It operates on the following principles:
Under the referral program, every new user gets their own referral link. They can use it to invite other traders. During the registration a sequence of 7 digits appears, which is a part of the link. Unfortunately, in 2020 the changes were introduced making the referral system a single-tier one. Another limitation that can be applied is stopping of the ‘rewards’ to the referrer six months after the registration of a new user.
The bonus amount changes depending on the volume of staked funds. For 0 FTT, the rate is 25%, and then it increases, reaching 32% for 1000FTT. The maximum possible value for referral bonuses is 40%, provided that 1,000,000FTT are staked. The company monitors any abuses, preventing the traders from registering new accounts by themselves. If a suspicion arises, the company may cancel all bonuses. Notably, the company also states that the referral bonuses are not guaranteed.
When a new user registers and starts working, all payments are performed within 72 hours; that’s the limit. Additional bonuses are possible, depending on the number of referrals of the client or other criteria. This, however, is done solely at the company’s discretion and is not regulated in any way.
The process of account opening and verification on FTX is rather easy. You can quickly pass it and start using the account with limited features within 10-15 minutes. Verification takes some time, usually a couple of hours and on rare occasions – up to two working days.
FTX is an international company and therefore the geography of its clients is rather wide. Nonetheless, there are a number of exceptions. The list of countries and regions the residents of which cannot trade on FTX is as follows:
At the time when this review was written, the residents of all other countries could open an account by default. In the case with US residents, the situation is simpler – they can work with FTX.US, which was mentioned above.
The registration on FTX is rather simple and won’t take much time. Let’s review it step by step.
Click “Register” in the top right corner of the FTX website. www.ftx.com
Fill in your email and come up with a password. Pass the anti-spam check.
The account has now been created. Now head to authentication. Click on “Individual”.
Provide your full name and country of residence. Then fill in your phone number, to which the text with the code will be sent, and your date of birth.
After you enter the code, you will be assigned Level 1. This means that you can trade and withdraw cryptocurrency in the amount up to $2,000 per day.
Next you need to start identity verification.
Select a document and fill out the information. You will be offered to either use your mobile phone or the web camera to take a photo of your document.
After you upload the documents, the verification process will begin. The registration process on FTX is not difficult and takes no more than 15 minutes.
Many platforms are currently moving towards removal of limitations on the minimum deposit. FTX is an example of such an exchange; the deposit can be of any amount. The competitors Binance and Huobi have similar practices. Transactions via Simplex will require at least $50. However, unlike FTX, the aforementioned exchanges limit withdrawal at the level of certain coins; it could be 0.001 BTC or 0.01 ETH.
Certain account limits are formed depending on the scope of information the client provided. Let’s review the verification levels and the possibilities of the account they offer:
|1||None, you can also move within the website||You only need to provide your email|
|2||$2,000 daily, up to $9,000 if your trading volume is high||In addition to email, you need to provide your full name and country of residency, withdrawals only in crypto|
|3||Unlimited||Requires full information – full name, address, passport, photo with the passport, etc. Withdrawals in crypto||4||Unlimited + fiat||Proof of address and bank account, unlimited fiat withdrawals|
The exchange offers a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options. Let's look at fiat first, as it is the simplest way to deposit funds. FTX offers the following currencies:
There is also Brazilian digital real BRL. Now, let’s see cryptocurrencies; their list is rather long.
Withdrawals in USD are the fastest, as USD is the main fiat currency. The deposits and withdrawals are processed up to one day by the exchange, while other delays are usually related to the banks. It is possible to convert currencies in order to withdraw money in the one you need.
Notably, deposits in cryptocurrencies are not charged with a fee; it is also the simplest and most convenient method of deposit – it saves time and money. Withdrawals are the same, with the exchange processing transactions quickly. You won’t have to wait long.
Let’s review the information above as a table:
|Cryptocurrencies||Usually up to one hour, depends on the specific coin||None, except for ETH, tokens ERC-20, Omni|
|Wire transfers||1-3 working days, processing by the exchange is up to 1 day||$75 fee for amounts up to $10,000|
FTX offers a rather traditional choice of platforms for trading that doesn’t differ much from what the competitors offer. There is a certain set of features that is considered standard and very few exchanges deviate from it, at least from among the large trading platforms.
FTX exchange does not offer a desktop platform. However, taking into account the wide features of the browser version, there is no need for it. Mobile applications are identical for iOS and Android. Let’s review the three available platforms:
|Time frame range||From one minute to one month||From one minute to one month||From one minute to one month|
|Order types||Full list, including Limit, Stop, Trailing Stop, Take, including Limit||Basic set, containing Stop orders and limit orders||Basic set, containing Stop orders and limit orders|
|Number of indicators||Over 100||Over 30||Over 30|
As we’ve already said before, FTX offers a standard choice of platforms. Let’s view this in the context of competitors:
As you can see, everything is the same except for the desktop version. It’s not that it is necessary, but it wouldn’t be bad to have one, especially when the competitors do. Maybe it will be launched later, although no plans have been announced.
First, let’s review the common features of all platforms of the exchange:
Now, let’s look at the differences. Web platform is more functional and has more features, including:
Mobile platforms for iOS and Android are completely identical. You can download them on GooglePlay and AppStore, and also on the FTX website.
There is no analytics on the website of the exchange; it is largely provided on the FTX YouTube channel. It contains various videos, the most interesting ones being podcasts featuring well-known personalities from the cryptocurrency world. The following topics are discussed:
You can’t say that there is a lot of information, but definitely more than other cryptocurrency platforms offer. Let’s review pros and cons:
Taking into account that the analytics is provided in the form of videos, it is not very convenient to use it, as it takes a lot of time to watch the videos. It is always longer than reading some short excerpts. Accordingly, it would be nice if FTX created a newsfeed and a calendar of events that may impact cryptocurrencies. Otherwise, independent analytics is available on the trading platform – there are many instruments for technical analysis.
FTX publishes video tutorials on how to use the platform and work with cryptocurrencies. You can watch them on the official channel of the exchange. There is also a detailed guide on the website that can help a novice trader learn about the conditions and options of working at the exchange.
Quantum Zone deserves special attention. It is a platform where anybody can share their trading strategy. It usually contains a full description: the direction of the strategy, conditions when you need to open a trade, levels of limiting losses and profit.
Customer support operates at a high level. FTX specialists explain each step and action patiently and calmly and answer all questions. Their level of competence enables them to quickly and efficiently provide a detailed explanation on any issue.
There are many ways for the clients to contact customer support, including:
FTX groups on Telegram:
Due to its wide geography, FTX offers multilingual customer support:
FTX cryptocurrency exchange does not offer any bonus programs. There are no deposit, trading volume bonuses or other bonuses that are often used in the promo offers of other trading platforms. Some see that as a drawback, but there is a simple observation – either developing platforms or those who will soon shut down usually use this method to attract clients. Therefore, you can’t say that absence of bonuses is a drawback. FTX has simply grown to the level of a serious market player with a sufficient number of clients.
FTX cryptocurrency exchange cannot be titled as the industry leader. However, taking into consideration its young age and growth rates, it will definitely be on the top list. It is even possible that it will take the second spot on it after Binance. At the moment, the platform is universal and is good for:
Meanwhile, FTX may not be suitable for the investors, who make up crypto portfolios of hundreds of coins, for one simple reason – the spot market does not offer such a big diversity as, for example, Binance. Investors work for the long-term goals and select the tokens, which could grow tens and even hundreds times. As a rule, these are rare tokens, new and promising altcoins that are unknown to the wider audience. And the earlier they appear at the exchange the better. Maybe FTX will catch up to the leaders by the number of cryptocurrencies in time, but this won’t happen for a while.
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