Last update: Apr 25, 2022
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OKEx Exchange Review: Is this crypto derivatives one-stop-shop solid? (2022)

It’s time to analyze one of the most controversial and interesting cryptocurrency exchanges out there. Born out of the still-active OKcoin, OKEx emerged as a completely autonomous entity focused on crypto derivatives. It’s goal is to serve professional and sophisticated crypto traders, and, to do that, it offers a wide array of products. This OKEx Exchange Review will tell you what it’s all about.

  • OKEx


    1. Operating Since 2017
    2. Currencies Supported 8, more than a hundred to play with.
    3. Fees Zero deposit or withdrawal fees. Check the chart for trading fees.
    4. Deposit methods Bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, WeChat, Alipay, IMPS transfers, and Google Pay
    5. Fiat currencies Yes
    6. Verification methods KYC
    7. Margin trading Yes
    8. Futures trading Yes

On the other hand, it’s been on the news for the wrong reasons on more than one occasion and their reported numbers of transactions and trading volume are still in question to this day.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll cover all that in a minute, but first…

OKEx history

OKEx Exchange

OKEx is part of the OKGroup. Their main product is OKcoin, which still sells Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most crypto assets. In 2017, OKcoin stopped trading futures and OKEx took over that side of the business. Originally based in China, OKEx and its sister company, OKCoin, moved to Hong Kong when the Chinese government banned the trading of Initial Coin Offerint tokens (ICO). OKEx is now focused on serving international clients.. In 2018, they incorporated in Malta, one of the most crypto-friendly nations on Earth.

Just like many big-name crypto exchange platforms out there, OKEx offers a simple trading form that works well for beginners alongside an active trading platform for experienced to seasoned and advanced traders.

Seasoned institutional investors finally had a home. Besides futures, OKEx quickly began to offer them spot trading, margin trading, options, perpetual swaps, DeFi services, lending, and mining services. A one-stop shop for crypto derivatives trading. An index tracker and trading between costumer are also available.

It’s supposed to be the second-biggest exchange in the world by daily trading volume, but that status is in question. At the time of writing, Coinmarketcap lists it as #16 and Nomics has it at #65.

In a move that mirrors that of other big-name Chinese crypto exchange platforms such as Huobi Pro and Binance, in 2018, the company launched OKB, its own utility token. The token can be used to pay for exclusive services including enhanced API rate limits and dedicated customer support or to settle trading fees on the exchange platform. Later that year, they beat Binance as “Crypto Exchange of the Year” at the Malta Blockchain Awards.

OKEx services are not available for United States citizens. Other territories they can’t do business with are Hong Kong, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Sudan, Malaysia, Syria, Bangladesh, and Kyrgyzstan.

OKEx’s founder is Star Xu AKA Xu Mingxing, a controversial character we’ll discuss later on, but first…

Is OKEx safe to use?

Exchange At Glance
Okex

OKEx is a secure crypto exchange that makes it easy to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more.

4.1/5
Visit Exchange

Technically, this digital asset exchange is as secure as they come.

On their side, they use Global Server Load Balance and distributed server clusters. Plus, they use offline private keys for hot wallets and hold 90% of their treasury in distributed hardware wallet cold storage. That is, distributed all over the world.

On the customer’s side, they offer two-factor authentication (2FA), they send verification codes to your cellphone for withdrawals and provide anti-phishing codes in their emails.

OKEx also runs a bug bounty program. Through it, they reward those who find and report vulnerabilities in their code.

On the other hand, there have been at least two hacking rumors that turned out to be false. In 2018, as BTC’s price fell, they had to socialize among their clients the losses from a $400 million future contract’s liquidation.

That procedure was stipulated in their rules and, after the incident, they changed those rules and injected the insurance fund with 2500 BTC, but still. Plus last year, they stopped clients’ withdrawals for a whole month. That’s our next story.

Keep in mind that unverified OKEx accounts can trade up to $500 and withdraw up to 10 Bitcoins per day, while higher levels have higher transaction limits and withdrawal limits.

What happened to OKEx's founder, Xu Mingxing, in late 2020?

Xu Mingxing

In October 2020, Xu Mingixing AKA Star Xu was taken by the Chinese police for questioning. The reason is still unknown. He had already cooperated with the authorities in 2018, regarding a fraudulent crypto asset. This time it felt different. There were rumors that Xu was heavily involved in a project called WFEECoin, but he quickly denied that. And the mystery took hold.

The main cause was that OKEx was forced to suspend withdrawals from all users. For over a month. The days after the announcement, OKB, the company’s digital asset, fell 11%.

The reason for the suspension was simple: Mingixing was in possession of one of the exchange’s master private keys, so withdrawals were simply not possible. That also means that he was cut off from the world for over a month. And not many people know exactly why.

Some people believe that Xu was suspected to be involved in some kind of fraud. Others that the Chinese government is planning a new crypto crack-down and was gathering information.

When things got back to normal, OKEx started a compensation plan for users who kept trading through their platform during those dark times. Depending on the amount they held and the volume they traded, users got between 100 and 1000 USD.

What about the reports about wash trading?

The setting of fake orders to make it seem that an exchange has more activity than it actually does is called wash trading.

In 2018, when OKEx was the #1 exchange in the world by daily trade volume, Sylvain Ribes shook the crypto world. His report on fake volume seemed to prove that 95% of the trading activity reported by OKEx was fake.

The other three biggest cryptocurrency exchanges at that time were Kraken, Bitfinex, and GDAX. He put their numbers in a chart and OKEx’s stuck out like a sore thumb. He then logged into their platform and found that a graph of their numbers formed a “perfectly neat and absurdly consistent sinusoidal volume.” Highly suspicious and nothing like the graphs from other exchanges.

As a response, Lennix Lai, Director of Financial Markets for OKEx, admitted to Crypto Briefing that the problem existed. The reason was “crypto market-driven behavior,” their then-unique fee structure provided an incentive for clients to artificially inflate their numbers. Those with high 30-day trading volumes receive increasing discounts, and users were placing fake trades to get to that sweet spot and trade on the cheap.

He didn’t admit to any wrongdoing on OKEx part.

In September 2019, the rumors reappeared. An analysis company called BTI claimed that 90% of the crypto exchange Trading Volume was fake. To crush the rumors, CEO Jay Hao bet them 100 BTC that he could prove that more than 10% of their volume was real. This created an uproar, but BTI didn’t respond and the news cycle turned the public’s attention to other topics.

In the present, Nomics still gives them a “C” (Fair) in their Transparency Ratings.

Payment methods

Depending on your location and the Fiat currency of your choice, you’ll be able to fund your account using bank transfers, bank account credit cards, debit cards, WeChat, Alipay, IMPS transfers, and Google Pay.

Be aware that you could also transfer the top cryptocurrency, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies from your personal wallet to the exchange’s one, and begin trading in derivatives in no time.

What Fiat currencies does it support?

Not too long ago, OKEx only received Chinese Yuans (CNY.)

Nowadays, they claim to receive forty different currencies from all over the world. Among them: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, BRL, CAD, JPY, NGN, PHP, RYB, TRY, ZAR, and more.

Their trick is that for some of those currencies they use the services of their “trusted partners,” third-party providers whose effectiveness varies.

Fees

This is where this cryptocurrency exchange distinguishes itself from the pack.

They charge zero deposit funds or withdrawal fees. ZERO.

All the action is on the…

Trading fees

These depend on two factors: your 30-day Trading Volume and your Total OKB holdings. And, as usual, on if you’re a Maker (adding liquidity to the network) or a Taker (taking liquidity.)

A regular user, with a volume of less than 5 million USD and with less than 500 OKBs, will pay a Maker fee of 0.08% and a Taker fee of 0.1%

In contrast, a regular user, with a volume of less than 5 million USD and with 2000 OKBs or more, will pay a Maker fee of 0.06% and a Taker fee of 0.08%

If you trade more than 5 million USD, you automatically become a VIP client. Your 30-day Trading Volume becomes your main measure, and you can go down from a Maker fee of 0.06% and a Taker fee of 0.08% to a Maker fee of -0.01% and a Taker fee of 0.03%

There’s a caveat to these numbers, they’re for “Class A” digital assets. Those are, BTC, ETH, LTC, OKB, OKT, BCH, BSV, ETC, EOS, TRX, and XRP.

For the rest of the cryptocurrencies they support, they offer low fees.

Cryptocurrencies supported

For sale, they only offer Tether (USDT), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), OKB, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and BSV.

For trading, though, the offer expands tenfold. They deal in hundreds of trading pairs and work with this impressive list of assets.

  • Class A” – BTC, ETH, LTC, OKB, OKT, BCH, BSV, ETC, EOS, TRX, and XRP.
  • Class B” – ADA, DIA, the popular DOGE, DOT, IOTA, IQ, ITC, JST, KAN, KCASH, KLAY, KNC, KP3R, KSM, LAMB, LBA, LET, LINK, LRC, LSK, MANA, and many more.
  • Class C” -AERGO, ALV, ANC, ANW, API3, APIX, APM, BCHA, BETH, BHP, BLOC, BOX, CELO, CFX, CNTM, CTC, CVP, CVT, DEP, DHT, DMD, DMG, and many more.

Trading options

We’re not just talking about crypto trading. This is a derivatives exchange for sophisticated investors, so look no further if that’s what you need.

Remember, though, that these instruments will increase your reward but also your risk, so be careful.

OKEX also offers the standard crypto-to-crypto trading most common for crypto exchanges and fiat to cryptocurrency trading.

For the most popular crypto coins and altcoins, OKX has an instant buy/sell box without any order books, graphs, or charts.

Also, take note that to access all the trading features OKEx offers, you must complete the exchange’s KYC first or Know Your Customer process.

Spot trading

Exchanging one digital asset for another is called Spot Trading. Here, you can do it with a 10x leverage. OKEx offers spot trading with high liquidity order-book with low spreads

Margin trading

You’ll have a 20x limit, the highest any cryptocurrency exchange will go. For example: place a 1 Bitcoin bet and the exchange will cover you, and count it as a 20 Bitcoin bet. For a price, of course.

Futures trading

The exchange offers Futures contracts and Perpetual Swaps (Futures that don’t expire) with a 100x leverage limit. Those can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contracts.

Options trading

You can set up call options (buy) or put options (sell) contracts, with BTC, ETH, or EOS as the underlying asset. Those can be for one-day, two-day, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, and bi-quarterly. OKEx follows the European rules, which means the buying and/or the selling only takes place at the date of expiry.

To help new traders, the exchange offers an Options Discovery Tool. It helps you do just that.

Options have an extra exercise fee of 0.02%.

Algorithmic trading tools

Last but not least, the exchange also offers Algo Orders or algorithmic trading tools. Using them, you can place an order with previously defined instructions and the system will run them for you when the desired scenario presents itself. For example, buying or selling at a certain price and volume.

OKX Mobile App

The trading exchange also offers a mobile app for access to account management, portfolio monitoring, and live trading. OKEx mobile app’s trading tools and advanced charting tools are almost identical to the tools on OKEx web-based trading platform.

OKEx's unique characteristics

OKEx

  • The OKEx wallet is a non-custodial, multicurrency software wallet that’s totally compatible with the exchange. That means that you don’t have to leave your coins in the exchange’s custody.
  • Their trading platform is available in-browser, sure, but there’s also a downloadable version. Considering OKEx is for professionals and provides all kinds of data, taking the processing to your own machine is advisable.
  • Users can trade digital assets among themselves through the platform.
  • Users can transform the small amounts of crypto that always ends up in their wallets into OKB with just one click. This is an immense idea.
  • They provide a full-fledged mobile version of their professional trading platform for both Ios and Android.

Customer Support

Most of your OKEx account needs will be self-service. You need to handle your account and trading updates yourself. However, if you’re looking for extra help, OKEx has a chat customer support and help page. There’s also a phone number on their official website. As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange that offers over a hundred of digital currencies and NFTs, you can also contact customer support via Telegram.

How OKEx exchange fares when compared with the big dogs in the industry?

Let’s make one thing clear: OKEx is one of the big bitcoin exchanges in the industry.

They’re on a league of their own. It could be argued that they don’t even compete with Coinbase, Kraken, or the other classical exchanges that just trade crypto.

This exchange has big ideas, big products, and a personality.

But, does something seem off?

OKEx Exchange Review Australia: Is this crypto derivatives one-stop-shop solid?

Are you an Australian crypto enthusiast and looking for one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges that has user-friendly platform and offer real-time features as well as solid security measures? If yes, you might want try OKEx. It’s not only for new users but also for seasoned or experienced traders out there.

OKEx was established in 2017 with offices around the world. OKEx is the 18th largest crypto exchange platform in the world by volume according to CoinMarketCap. OKEx claims more than 20 million users in over 100 countries. The company doesn’t take customers from the United States because of the regulatory and compliance concerns.

If you are in a region that supports OKEx, you can create an account that will give you access to to trade 343 spot currencies. OKEx also supports cryptocurrency-backed loans, earning cryptocurrency through savings and staking, margin borrowing, and advanced crypto products such as the company’s own blockchain, called OKExChain and mining pools. OKEx could work as a crypto exchange you use aside from your main place for cryptocurrency-related activities and 3rd-party cryptocurrency wallet.

OKEx may be a solid choice for global crypto traders looking to buy and sell with low exchange fees. With an account at OKEx, you can easily buy crypto using a mobile wallet, bank account, PayPal, and a card. The exchange platform also offers exceptionally high yields in some cases if you participate in saving or staking features.

Even though it is not the biggest crypto exchange platform in the crypto world, it does a great job of supporting a great number of currencies and a broad range of services. To sum it up, if you are looking to manage your cryptocurrency activity with one login, OKEx could meet your crypto needs.

OKEx Exchange Review Canada: Is this crypto derivatives one-stop-shop solid?

According to CoinMarketCap, OKEx is the 18th largest crypto exchange company in the world by volume. Founded in 2017, OKEx claims it has over 20M users in 100+ countries. However, the company doesn’t accommodate traders from the US due to regulatory and compliance concerns.

In 2021, they also stopped accepting Canadian crypto traders and investors that are based in Ontario and Quebec. So, it seems like you can still use OKEx in Canada as long as you’re not in the mentioned Canadian cities. More details about that here.

OKEx supports crypto-backed loans, earning crypto through savings and staking, and margin borrowing. OKEx also offers advanced crypto products including their very own blockchain, OKExChain. They also have mining pools. This crypto exchange platform is a great choice for global crypto traders out there looking to buy and sell with low exchange fees. If you have an account in OKEx, you can effortlessly buy bitcoin, stablecoins, and other popular cryptocurrencies using these payment options: PayPal, credit card, bank account, and a mobile wallet. OKEx also offers unusually high yields in some cases if you participate in their saving or staking features.

Even though OKEx is not the biggest crypto brokerage in the crypto space, the the crypto exchange platform still does an amazing job of supporting a plethora of cryptocurrencies as well as a great number of crypto services. All in all, if you want to manage your crypto activities with one login, OKEx is a solid choice.

If you want to learn more, have a look at our list Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Canada.

OKEx Exchange Review UK: Is this crypto derivatives one-stop-shop solid?

OKEx was established in 2017 and maintains headquarters in Seychelles, with extra offices worldwide. According to Coinmarketcap.com, OKEx is the 18th largest crypto exchange in the world by volume. Their website claims more than 20M+ users in over 100 countries. However, the exchange doesn’t take customers from the USA because of regulatory and compliance concerns.

OKEx supports margin borrowing, earning crypto through staking and savings, and the exchange supports crypto-backed loans. Aside from those, OKEx also offers advanced crypto products such as mining pools and their very own blockchain called OKEXChain.

OKEx is a very good choice for global crypto traders and investors out there looking to buy, and sell with low fees. If you have an account on the platform, you can easily buy crypto assets through PayPal, credit card, mobile wallet, and bank account.

The crypto exchange platform offers exceptionally high yields in certain cases if you participate in their staking or saving features. Even though it is not the biggest crypto exchange platform out there, OKEx still does a great job by supporting hundreds of cryptocurrencies and by providing many crypto services.

If you’re a crypto trader, you can select between an iceberg, trailing stop order, stop-limit order, advanced limit order, limit market orders, market order, and time-weighted average price order (TWAP). So, if you wanna manage your crypto activities with just one login, OKEx is an ideal pick.

On a side note, if you have already tried OKEx and was not satisfied with their service for some reason, then you might want to try eToro. Tap here to learn more about this amazing platform.

For a list of UK-based crypto exchanges, have a look at our comparison of the Best Crypto Exchanges in the UK 2022.

Conclusion

In the crypto sphere, derivatives are a controversial subject. But it could be argued that they opened blockchain technology’s gates to Wallstreet. And they’re here to stay. And OKEx is perhaps the best crypto exchange in that role.

Now, are all of their number real? Where they hacked and covered it up? And, what was their founder doing with the police for a month? All those questions remain unanswered, and for each user to consider.

But, this is not your typical exchange and they’re definitely offering much-needed financial services to the industry as a whole.

 

 

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author Marco Vela

A crypto obssessed digital marketer passionate about making a difference in the world. When he's not behind the computer he can be found hiking, camping and relaxing with his dog.