OKX(formerly OKEx) is a Seychelles-registered cryptocurrency exchange. Featured in the Top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges as per CoinMarketCap, OKX adopts blockchain technology to build the next-generation financial ecosystem.
Marketing itself as being faster, stronger, and better than the average crypto exchange, it provides its users access to advanced financial services. It promises its customers the lowest fees, the fastest transactions, and powerful APIs.
OKX declares that its ultimate mission is to eliminate financial barriers and change the world for the better. It hopes to make cryptocurrency trading and investing available for everyone.
The exchange has its own blockchain called OKX Chain and native token OKB. Its OKX Wallet is described as the “Portal to Web3” by the company. The Wallet supports 40+ networks including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, and Polygon.
Introduction to OKX
OKX is a cryptocurrency and derivatives exchange based out of Seychelles. Originally called OKEx, it was founded by Star Xu(or Xu Mingxing) a Chinese entrepreneur who is also the founder of OKCoin. OKX is available in over 100 countries though notably, it does not offer its services in the United States.
Initially based in Beijing, OKX started shifting its operations out of mainland China after the country’s blanket ban on cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings(ICOs). The exchange is now headquartered in the island nation of Seychelles.
In May 2018, OKX found itself in controversy as it was alleged that the majority of the exchange’s reported trading volume was fake. In January 2022, the crypto exchange OKEx was rebranded as OKX. In the words of present CEO Jay Hao, the “E” from the name was dropped because OKX was much more than an exchange.
The rebranding also emphasizes OKX’s new roadmap of eventually shedding all intermediation in user activity thus, upholding the core crypto principles of decentralization and autonomy.
OKX offers its services in more than 100 countries to over 20 million customers. It hosts a decent collection of more than 350 coins that its users can access.
OKX is, however, not available in the United States due to regulatory reasons. It is also not available in Singapore, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Crimea, Malaysia, Syria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, and Malta. In Canada, its services are limited to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. On the other hand, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong residents cannot access OKX’s derivatives-related services for retail users.
When it comes to the availability of cryptocurrencies, users can access more than 350 coins. The top 10 cryptocurrencies on OKX by market cap are:
- USD Coin(USDC)
- Binance Coin(BNB)
Trading on OKX
OKX’s layout and design are quite compatible with the needs of beginner cryptocurrency investors. It is simple and intuitive enough that users can easily navigate the platform. The Basic Trading feature allows for spot and simple options trading.
However, beyond the basic crypto buying and selling, OKX also offers many advanced features. They include-
- trading tokens and trading pairs on spot, margin, and derivatives markets
- Exploring Decentralized Applications including DeFi apps and blockchain gaming
- Earning crypto in OKX mining pools and;
- Managing DeFi portfolios by connecting your Web3 wallet.
There is also an advanced trading platform for experienced traders. Here, users can take advantage of features like flexible market charts, advanced conditional trades, and support for stop, limit, and market orders. OKX also allows users to customize the layout as per their needs.
One thing about OKX’s advanced platform is that users have to specifically apply and then be approved before they can start trading. This ensures that only users who are able to are trading.
OKX has a complex fee structure with users divided into two tiers- Regular and VIP. These two tiers are further divided into multiple categories for the purpose of fee calculation. The categories for regular users are determined by their OKB holding. For VIP users, 30-day trading volumes and daily asset balances are noted for categorization purposes.
OKX operates on a maker-taker model where the fee charged is inversely proportional to the account’s level. In other words, the more OKB you hold, the lower the fees you pay.
Spot Trading Fees(USDT/USD/Crypto Pairs)
For a Level 1 Regular user, if their holding is less than 500 OKB, the maker/taker fee charged is 0.080%/0.100%. For a Level 5 account with greater than or equal to 2,000 OKB holdings, this comes down to 0.60%/0.080%.
When it comes to VIP users, a Tier 1 account with a 30-day trading volume greater than or equal to 10 million USD is charged a maker/taker fee of 0.060%/0.080%. A VIP 8 account pays a maker/taker fee of -0.005%/0.020% with a 30-day trading volume equal to or greater than 10 billion USD.
Futures Trading Fees(USDT-M Futures)
A Regular user with a Level 1 account will pay a maker/taker fee of 0.020%/0.050% with a total holding of less than 500 OKB. A level 5 account is charged a maker/taker fee of 0.015%/0.030%(OKB holdings greater than or equal to 2,000).
VIP users with Tier 1 accounts pay a maker/taker fee of 0.010%/0.030%(30-day trading volume greater than or equal to 50 million USD). A VIP 8 account, however, with a 30-day trading volume greater than or equal to 20 billion USD pays a maker/taker fee of a mere -0.015%/0.020%.
Level 1 Regular accounts have a maker/taker fee of 0.020%/0.030% with total OKB holdings less than 500. For a Level 5 account, the maker/taker fee is 0.015%/0.030% with greater than or equal to 2,000 OKB holdings.
Tier 1 VIP users pay a maker/taker fee of 0.010%/0.020% with a 30-day trading volume greater than or equal to 5 million USD. With a 30-day trading volume greater than or equal to 20 billion USD, Tier 8 VIP users are charged a maker/taker fee of -0.010%/0.013%.
Note that this is a simplified summary of OKX’s fee structure. Visit their website for more detailed information about the same.
Security- Is OKX Trustworthy?
OKX adheres to the industry standard for secure trading and asset storage. It keeps 95% of the funds in offline cold storage. No more than 1,000 BTC are stored in one cold wallet address. Further, the network’s private keys do not interact with the internet or USBs.
To prevent hacks, at least two authorized employees are required to access cold wallets. Plus, only one withdrawal per cold wallet address is possible. This reduces the possibility of unauthorized wallet access.
Since hot wallets are connected to the internet, they are more prone to hacking and malware attacks. To prevent this, OKX has its own semi-offline multi-signature mechanism for quick and secure transactions.
There is also an asset risk reserve fund called OKX Risk Shield to safeguard user assets. A percentage of the exchange’s earnings are deposited in the fund and as per OKX, the Risk Shield stands at approximately $700 million.
Of course, users should also exercise caution on their end and set a strong password for their account. It is a good idea to enable 2-factor authentication, anti-phishing code, and mobile verification for added security.
Customer Support and Reviews
OKX is a largely self-service platform. There is a comprehensive FAQ section where users can find an answer to most of their queries. They can also choose to chat with an AI chatbot if they require further assistance.
There is also an option to connect with the OKX team and other traders via Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. All of these are available in multiple languages. Users can also send an email to the support team to resolve their issues.
When it comes to customer ratings, OKX has a rating of 2.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot with 375 reviews. Most of the reviews complain about bad customer service, app glitches, lost funds, and frozen accounts. But it is also praised for its relatively low fees and easy-to-use user interface.
Reviews complain about receiving lots of spam
OKX is praised for its low fees and user-friendly interface
App glitches and difficulty in identity verification are common complaints
Users warn others to avoid P2P trading on OKX
Benefits of OKX
Low Trading Fees
The trading fee on OKX is relatively low at 0.10% for most trades. It goes down further with larger trade volumes and the increasing level of the user account. A VIP Tier 8 account, for example, pays a maker/taker fee of -0.005%/0.020% on spot trades.
Buying Crypto is Easy
You can easily buy cryptocurrency on OKX with a debit or credit card, bank transfer, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. OKX offers users a decent collection of more than 350 cryptocurrencies to choose from.
OKX gives customers opportunities to earn high APY on staking certain cryptocurrencies. Staking SOL, for example, has an established APY of 90.00%.
OKX Learn features videos and tutorials to help users learn the basics of blockchain and cryptocurrency. It also regularly publishes industry trends analysis and informs users about trading ideas.
A user can practice trading on OKX in the demo trading mode. Users can experiment with basic and advanced features without the fear of any financial loss.
Drawbacks of OKX
Unavailable in the USA
OKX is not available for traders in the USA. Though users in America can use OKX’s sister exchange, OKCoin, it does not have all the features and services that OKX offers on its global platform.
Poor Customer Support
Reviews have generally expressed dissatisfaction with OKX’s customer support. There have also been reports about scams and lost funds on OKX that have understandably made customers wary of it.
Complex Fee Structure
While OKX charges a low fee, the structure for calculating the same is extremely complex with multiple categories of users and the categories is further divided into several tiers. Getting a hang of it can take some time for users.
Even though OKX features in the top-10 exchanges, certain cryptocurrencies on its trade with a low liquidity level.
To put it bluntly, OKX is known more for its controversies than its work. From fraud allegations to technical glitches to fake trading volume, OKX has often been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
In 2018, OKX(then OKEx) was investigated by the Dongguan Municipal Public Security Bureau for suspected “illegal futures trading” or simply put, a “fraud” case. In the same year, veteran trader Sylvain Ribes alleged that 93% of OKX’s trade volume was nonexistent. He called OKX a ghost town where most of the trading volume was fake.
Further, in September 2018, a Chinese publication reported that user accounts on OKX had faced liquidation due to sudden APP flashbacks, and inability to log in. Users were unable to view contracts and positions as well.
The major drama though was in October 2020 when it was reported that OKX founder Star Xu had been taken away by the police for questioning. Just before the news was broken by the Chinese news agency Caixin, OKX had temporarily suspended withdrawals from the platform. A month later, the exchange announced that withdrawals would resume on or before November 27, 2020.
Perhaps the January 2022 rebranding of OKEx as OKX will help the exchange start afresh and achieve its goal of removing barriers to wealth creation.
OKX vs. Coinbase- Which is Better?
Both OKX and Coinbase are some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. They enable users to easily buy, sell and trade in cryptocurrencies. But when it comes to selecting an exchange, the ultimate question is- which exchange is better? Which one should I choose? Let’s compare the features of OKX and Coinbase to make that choice easier.
Both OKX and Coinbase have a simple easy-to-use interface. Buying cryptocurrencies is a matter of minutes in the case of both. They both offer an advanced version with more features for experienced traders.
OKX and Coinbase both have a global presence with millions of users. However, for US residents, Coinbase is a better option since OKX is not available in the country. The former is also a publicly traded company so it has to adhere to certain standards for financial transparency.
Availability of Coins
When it comes to the number of crypto coins, OKX wins hands down. It has a wide range of more than 350 coins. And even though Coinbase has a decent selection at around 150 coins, it is nowhere near the level of OKX.
Trading fees on OKX are dependent on the type of user and the tier the user account falls in. The fee is generally, though, around 0.10% or lower. Coinbase, on the other hand, does not list the exact fee it charges. It states that the fee charged depends on multiple factors such as payment method, order size, and geographical location of the user etc.
Coinbase as well as OKX adhere to the industry standard for best security practices. They are KYC-compliant and have enabled 2-factor authentication and mobile and SMS verification. Coinbase has also insured its funds in case of a system breach while OKX has an asset risk reserve fund called OKX Risk Shield.
Coinbase however has an overall better reputation among the two. It is a publicly-traded company and is, therefore, obligated to publish quarterly financial statements and get annual audits conducted by an independent third party. OKX meanwhile has been involved in a number of controversies that have made users cautious of the platform.
Unfortunately, both exchanges fare poorly in this segment. Both have several complaints against them about unhelpful and inaccessible customer service.
Ultimately, which is the best exchange depends on your needs. If you are based in the USA and want to trade on a regulated entity, Coinbase is the way to go. If you want a large selection of coins and some innovative features, OKX is a great option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is OKX good for beginners?
OKX is fine for beginners looking to buy their first cryptocurrency. It has a simple and intuitive design and customers should be able to navigate the platform and buy and sell cryptocurrencies easily.
Is OKX legit?
OKX is among the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges as per CoinMarketCap. It is Virtual Financial Asset Act(VFAA) compliant and has never been hacked. However, there have been complaints about OKX and it has been at the center of some controversies. So, it is better to exercise caution while using OKX.
Is OKX available in the USA?
No, OKX is not available in the US due to regulatory reasons. But it is available in over 100 countries where it serves millions of users.
The Bottom Line
OKX is a cryptocurrency exchange with active users in multiple countries. It is a good enough platform for a person to begin their crypto journey. The UI is beginner-friendly and easy to navigate. There is an extensive FAQ section to answer nearly all possible queries.
There is also a suite of advanced features available for seasoned traders. It also has a native token and integrated wallet with support for more than 40 networks.
However, the technical problems, a number of legal run-ins, and bad experiences with customer service have made some users wary of parking their funds with OKX. It is, therefore, better to exercise utmost caution while using OKX. Security of your data and funds should be the top priority when using an exchange. Hence, employ the best security features and practices while using OKX.