CEX.io

CEX.io is another cryptocurrency exchange service which is available in countries around the world. It also provides brokerage services. You can not only but Ethereum but also other crypto coins such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash and more.

Availability of CEX.io

However, keep in the mind that you cannot purchase Ether with credit card if you are living in the following countries: Iceland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

CEX.IO services are available in 24 states in the USA. Here are the states that aren’t supported by CEX.IO:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

You cannot use bank transfer to buy crypto coins if you live in the following countries:

Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

People living in Eurozone can use credit cards, wire transfers and SEPA transfers to purchase Ether or other crypto coins. Their website interface is very intuitive and you can easily find the best options to buy Ether. You can reach their customer support service at support@CEX.IO.

The fee structure for buying ether or other crypto coins is as follows:

Payment Method

Credit Card

Credit Card

Credit Card

Bank Transfer

Bank Transfer

Bank Transfer

Funds Available

1-2 Days

1-2 Days

1-2 Days

Varies

Varies

Varies

Currencies

USD

EURO

RUB

USD

EURO

RUB

Fees

3.5% + $0.25

3.5% + €0.20

5.25% + 15.57 RUB

$10.00

€10.00

N/A

CEX deducts a 7 percent service charge and this charge is included in the displayed price of Ethereum or Bitcoin. But you don’t have to pay this service charge if you aren’t purchasing cryptocurrency directly from CEX. 

For trading cryptocurrency, CEX has a different fee structure. The fees for trading starts from 0.2 percent. But if you use credit or debit cards or make bank withdrawals, fees goes higher. As far as exchange rates are concerned, they fall in the mid-market range. These rates aren’t cheap but still reasonable given the reliability CEX has to offer.

Account Limits

You can have three types of CEX.IO accounts and each of those accounts have different buying limits.

Basic: If you get the basic account, you can buy up to $400 of crypto coins per day and $2,000 of crypto coins per month. With the basic account, you can’t use bank transfer to buy the crypto coins.

Verified: If you get your account verified, you can buy $10,000 worth of crypto coins per day and $100,000 worth per month. Both credit card and bank transfer options are available in this membership.

Individual Business & Corporate: These type of accounts can buy unlimited number of bitcoins.

Safety at CEX.IO

Before signing up for any ethereum exchange service, you must know about its safety level. The thumb rule with safety is that, as long as the exchange service stores your funds online, they are at the risk of being attacked by hackers. Thankfully, according to CEX.IO the customer funds are stored offline. But it hasn’t given any concrete details on how this offline storage is implemented.

The second way of securing your funds is making sure that access to your account on the website is 100 percent secure. To accomplish this purpose, the company employs two-factor authentication, which might be a bit taxing for some users but does a good job at securing your account in the long haul.

Unfortunately, when the company had just started into business, back in 2013, it was hit by a security breach. The company took corrective measures at the time and since then, there has been no further incident of security breach over the past four years.

Privacy of Your Information

For the first part of verification, you don’t need to give much information to the CEX.IO website. But if you want to increase purchase limits, you need to give extensive personal info as well as present scanned documents. When upgrading your purchase limits to the verified level, you need to give them scanned copies of your passport, driver’s license, or other ID. But this is not all. You also need to give them a picture of yourself holding your ID, holding your credit card and present a document for proof of residence.

You can make purchases after the first part of verification almost instantly. But getting a “verified” level account is a long process. Once it is done, buying ether takes just a couple clicks. And verification is just there to increase security levels, so it is for your benefit only in the long run.

CEX.IO doesn’t reveal which third party companies they partner with for users’ verification. But they have confirmed that user IDs and credit card information are kept in their database for a minimum of five years after deletion of accounts.

In order to add your credit card to your account, the company charges a small amount of money to your account. You have to enter the exact amount on the website to complete this part of verification and start using your credit card. This nominal charge gets refunded after the card is verified. You can also use bank transfer but only USD, Euros and Rubles are accepted. Bank transfers are done for a flat fee of 10 euros or dollars.

How the CEX.IO Exchange Service Works

Once a trade query enters the CEX.IO service, it determines the value of the trade and freezes this price for two minutes. Users see these frozen prices and decide the amount of Bitcoin or Ethereum they want to buy. 

They enter the purchase amount in regular currency (fiat). Upon entering the amount, users can see the amount of Ethereum or Bitcoin they will get in the transaction. After clicking on the buy/sell button, the system will check whether your account has enough funds.

After this sequence of actions, the CEX system processes the transaction, but with a condition. The condition is that the transaction will be done on terms not worse than those on which the user agreed upon. For example, if the price of Ethereum drops, you will still pay the amount you agreed upon for your transaction. If the price of Ethereum increases, the transaction won’t process through and you’ll have to start the transaction again at the new price.

Hidden Charges

Some customers have reported that CEX.IO deducts some hidden charges on their exchange service. But this issue hasn’t gone unaddressed by the company. Their take on the issue is that they offer a premium service and always fulfill their orders at the offered rates which is not the case with other exchange services. 

Such transactions are also called ‘Fill or Kill’ orders in the trading world, except that according to CEX, they don’t kill any promised orders. In simple terms, this means that your order for Ethereum (or Bitcoin) will be fulfilled immediately (usually a few seconds) in its entirety (no partial fulfillments).

This premium service has its advantages. You can buy Ethereum instantly at guaranteed price. With other services like Bitstamp, you need to wait for a seller who is willing to sell at your requested price.

Customer Support

CEX.IO customer support service has garnered good reviews from users. Most cryptocurrency exchange platforms may provide the currency at competitive pricing, but they often lag behind when it comes to offering a responsive and reliable customer service. CEX.IO breaks such stereotypes with its responsive support system.

You can send an email to their support representatives explaining your query. You can also check their in-depth Frequently Asked Questions section before, in case your query is already answered in their online documentation. In my experience, no customer support service does it right 100% of the time. CEX.IO does receive complaints about their support service, but overall, they are still reliable and more responsive than many other exchanges in the market.

Overall Value

Overall, CEX.IO is a considerable good exchange service. But keep in mind that it has received some criticism from users about some hidden fees in its exchange rate, problems with verification and issues with customer support.

Despite this criticism and significant service fees, the CEX.IO exchange service is reliable for buying and selling Ethereum and Bitcoin. The website interface is easy to use. So people who are just starting out in the crypto exchange sphere will find it easy to learn about and buy ethereum or other crypto coins. With its cross-platform application (website, mobile app, WebSocket and Rest API), you can track your account activity on the go.

Pros

  • Specially good for beginners because of its simple interface
  • The service has a very user friendly website and app
  • Easy to get started with the initial verification process
  • The company is registered with Fincen in USA and ICO in UK and EU. So it is pretty reliable when it comes to safety of your funds
  • There are multiple payment options
  • Fees on purchase of crypto coins with credit cards is low as compared to the 5.9% fees of Coinmama or the 5% fees of BitPanda
  • Purchases with bank transfer are free of any additional fees

Cons

  • The verification process for increasing credit card limits is long and complicated
  • It deals in limited number of currencies unlike other popular exchanger services such as Coinbase
  • Received criticism from users for hidden charges, customer support issues and problems with verification

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