FTX Review 2023: Is It Legit? Features, Fees & Limits
Published 07 Aug, 2021 Updated 02 Feb, 2023
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Takeaways
- 2 What Is FTX?
- 3 Pros & Cons
- 4 Top FTX Features You Should Know
- 5 Is FTX Regulated?
- 6 Is FTX Safe To Use?
- 7 What About FTX Fees?
- 8 Accepted Countries
- 9 Getting Started With FTX
- 10 The FTX Trading Interface
- 11 The FTX Referral Program
- 12 Customer Support & Reviews
- 13 Mobile App
- 14 Alternative Exchanges
- 15 Frequently Asked Questions
- 16 Our Verdict
FTX and FTX.US are global cryptocurrency exchanges with derivative trading roots. However, the platform has skyrocketed in popularity due to the constant flow of new products and services and has become one of the world’s largest exchanges.
In this review, we examine the features of the platform that gave rise to its popularity, such as its trading fees, advantages, and limitations.
UPDATE: FTX is in legal trouble and has declared bankruptcy. It is no longer available to use.
Promotion: None available at this time
Trading Fees: 0.02% (maker) and 0.07% (taker)
Available Cryptos: 320+
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|Core Services||Futures, spot markets with fiat support, leveraged tokens, volatility products|
|Fiat Currencies||11 fiat currencies including USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, SGD, TRY, ZAR, CAD, CHF, and BRL|
|Deposit Options||Cryptocurrency, credit card (Visa/Mastercard), bank transfer|
|Trading Fees||0.02% / 0.07%|
|Withdrawal Fees||None (with exception of ERC20, ETH, small BTC withdrawals)|
|Leverage||Up to 20x|
|Mobile App||Yes (iOS and Android)|
What Is FTX?
FTX was founded by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang in May 2019 and backed by Alameda Research, a quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm that provides liquidity worldwide.
On the back of its assortment of derivative trading products, the exchange quickly rose to popularity and the exchange continued to expand. In August 2020, FTX acquired Blockfolio, a cryptocurrency portfolio tracking app, for $150 million. In 2021, FTX raised $900 million at a valuation of $18 billion from over 60 investors including Binance, which solidified its standing as a serious cryptocurrency exchange.
In terms of traffic, trading volume, and liquidity, FTX is currently ranked #3 in the world. The platform offers a suite of innovative products and services including futures trading, leveraged tokens, and Over-The-Counter (OTC) trading. FTX and FTX.US are now some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Pros & Cons
- Deep liquidity and very competitive fees starting at 0.02% (maker) and 0.07%. (taker).
- Holding the native FTT will enable several benefits including reduced trading fees.
- Advanced live charting package with TradingView.
- Up to 20x leverage on tokens.
- An abundance of markets and numerous trading pairs.
- Trading features unique to FTX including Quan Zone, Options, and instant OTC quotes.
- No crypto ‘quick buy’ feature for beginners.
- Crypto staking capabilities are limited.
- Expensive USD withdrawal fee of $75.
- 24/7 live chat not supported.
Top FTX Features You Should Know
Significant Trading Volume & Deep Liquidity
At the time of writing, FTX is ranked #3 in the world for trading volume, traffic, and liquidity. The exchange platform regularly clears more than USD$2.8 billion of completed trades daily and has an average liquidity score of 747, second only to Binance. To highlight the significant trading volume and liquidity that FTX offers, the 24-hour trading volume for the ETH-USD trading pair was over USD $671,000,000.
The trading volume and liquidity of a cryptocurrency exchange are important considerations for investors and traders alike. The depth of FTX’s order books and significant liquidity means that crypto transactions can be completed quicker with tight spreads and minimal market price slippage.
Extremely Low Trading Fees
FTX offers some of the lowest exchange maker and taker trading fees in the crypto market which start at 0.02% and 0.07% and can be reduced depending on trading volume, or the amount of FTT held.
For comparison, the table below presents initial maker and taker fees amongst other major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi Global, Kraken, Binance, and Crypto.com. Trading fees for these exchanges range between 0.04% to 0.4% per trade.
|EXCHANGE||MAKER FEES||TAKER FEES||FEE DISCOUNTS|
|FTX||0.02%||0.07%||30-day USD trading volume, amount FTT staked|
|Huobi Global||0.04%||0.05%||30-day BTC trading volume, amount HT token held|
|Kraken||0.16%||0.26%||30-day USD trading volume|
|Binance||0.1 %||0.1%||30-day BTC trading volume, amount of BNB held|
|Crypto.com||0.4 %||0.4%||30-day USD trading volume, amount of CRO held|
Leveraged Margin & Derivatives Trading
FTX is a top margin trading platform in the USA. It offers a number of cryptocurrency margin and derivative products that can be traded on the exchange using a single margin wallet, including spot, futures, leveraged tokens, MOVE, and options.
Spot trading refers to the purchasing, trading, or selling of a digital currency without the application of leverage or margin and follows the market price of that asset. At the time of writing, there are over 240 trading pairs that can be traded using USD, BRZ, BTC, EUR, TRYB, and USDT.
There are over 150 trading pairs with BTC, ETH, EOS, XRP, and USDT where contracts can be set for the current quarter, the following quarter, or perpetually. Futures trading with FTX is unique compared to other major cryptocurrency exchanges in the following ways.
- FTX futures are stablecoin settled where USD or USDT can be deposited as collateral. This means that profit and loss outcomes are measured by USD without the need for a bank account.
- A backstop liquidity provider is in place to help mitigate clawbacks.
- Futures margin calls are carefully measured to avoid significant price deviations.
The leveraged margin of up to 20x on long and short positions can be executed to take advantage of small fluctuations in market price movements. The high degree of leverage means that trade can maximize the performance of their capital.
Leveraged are innovative ERC20 assets that provide you with leverage exposure to cryptocurrencies. FTX currently offers four leveraged tokens for every future contract:
- Bull (+3x)
- Bear (-3x)
- Hedge (-1x)
- Half (+1/2x)
Bull, bear, and hedge tokens are useful risk mitigation tools as FTX will automatically reinvest the profits on a 3x position. Conversely, if these tokens lose money then the risk is reduced if the position is negative.
MOVE contracts represent the absolute value of a digital currency irrespective of whether the market price, expressed in USD, decreased or increased over a period of time (daily, weekly, or quarterly). This means that trading is based on the volatility of the crypto market. For example, if a MOVE-Ethereum contract is initiated at $50, then the trade expires when the price of ETH decreases or increases by $50.
Options contracts are contracts where you can choose to buy or sell at a predetermined price but are not obligated to complete the transaction. Similar to futures trading, you can take a long or short position using leverage. FTX provides a feature to trade crypto options long or short using leverage. At the expiration time, the contract is settled to an amount in USD.
High-Net OTC Trading
Investors and traders who take advantage of FTX’s low trading fees and trade high-net volumes of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies will enjoy the convenient and transparent service that is offered through the FTX OTC Portal. If you complete account verification to KYC Level 2, then you will be able to instantly deposit funds into the OTC wallet.
The uniqueness of the FTX OTC Portal lies in the instant quotation feature where you can get an understanding of what the transaction outcome will be. The downside of an instant quote feature is that negotiation of the trading fees is not available.
Other major cryptocurrency exchanges typically require you to contact the OTC desk which takes time, however, the fees may be negotiated. Despite this, FTX’s trading fees are some of the lowest in the crypto market and this should provide you with a level of confidence.
OTC quotes provided on the portal last for approximately 15 seconds and can be acted upon if there are sufficient funds in your wallet. If there are insufficient funds to complete the OTC trade, then the quote will be indicative.
FTX Quant Zone
The FTX Quant Zone is a feature that is unique in the cryptocurrency market. The zone acts as a library of trading rules which can be created and shared. These rules then instruct the nature of market orders placed in the trading interface. For added trading flexibility, several rules can be created and strung together to perform a series of actions for the rule.
Active rules will check if the trigger is true every 15 seconds and will execute the action on the trade if this is the case. Conversely, rules can be paused if the action on the trade is not wanted at a given time.
Buying, auctioning, and selling Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) is new a service offered by FTX. The FTX NFT Marketplace is the platform where digital artworks and collectibles can be traded using FTX’s blockchain infrastructure and community. The FTX marketplace aims to bring together artists, creators, and crypto enthusiasts to buy, mint, and sell NFTs.
You can purchase NFTs using USD. FTX charges zero trading fees to the buyer, however, a 2% fee applies to the NFT seller. US residents are only able to trade NFTs on FTX.US. Buying, bidding, auctioning, or selling NFTs in FTX Marketplace can do so with the following easy steps:
- Create and verify an FTX account (or FTX.US account is located in the US).
- Deposit USD into the your account.
- Start trading on FTX NFT Marketplace.
Stake FTT To Receive Trading Benefits
FTT is the native exchange token of FTX and is the backbone of the FTX ecosystem of products and services. FTT can only be purchased through the OTC portal and there is a maximum limited supply of 350,000,000 FTT. Once you successfully verify your FTX account to KYC 1, you are able to own and stake FTT. Verification to KYC 2 must be completed to be eligible for all FTT staking benefits.
Purchasing and staking FFT will bring you several trading benefits, including:
- Increased referral rebate rates where you are paid a higher fraction of their referees’ fees.
- Depending on the amount of FFT staked, maker fees can be reduced from 3% to 60%.
- Receive bonus votes in FTX polls including new coin listings.
- Increased airdrop rewards of between 2% and 14%.
- Waived blockchain fees where you will receive several free ERC20 and ETH withdrawals per day.
- Receive tickets for IEOs hosted in FTX.
If you’re located in the United States then you’re not allowed to own and stake FTT due to regulatory reasons.
Is FTX Regulated?
FTX Trading Ltd (FTX) is an incorporated company in Antigua and Barbuda, and is headquartered in the Bahamas. FTX Digital Markets Ltd, a subsidiary of FTX Trading Ltd, is licensed under the Bahamas Digital Assets and Registered Exchanged Act 2020, and complies with regulations set out by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.
FTX provides its services to investors and traders residing in Australia through subsidiary Hive Empire Trading Pty Ltd, an AUSTRAC registered digital currency service provider, and IFS Markets Pty Ltd, an Australian Financial Services Licensee.
If you reside in the USA, then the buying and selling of FTT on FTX is not supported. Instead, you can trade with FTX.US, a separate trading platform that is not owned by FTX. FTX.US holds multiple licenses and is permitted to provide cryptocurrency services.
Is FTX Safe To Use?
FTX uses several bank-like security features to ensure the safety of your personal information and the security of stored funds and assets. In addition to the industry-leading security features and internal procedures, FTX implements, the exchange regularly engages specialist third parties to monitor and assess transaction alerts.
At the account level, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a mandatory security protocol that is used for all deposits and withdrawals made on the platform. Your IP and wallet address will be whitelisted to restrict access to unauthorized persons and protects the wallet from potentially harmful applications.
What About FTX Fees?
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
FTX charges zero fees to deposit or withdraw funds from your account, with exception of ETH, ERC20 tokens, BTC withdrawals less than 0.01 BTC, and USD withdrawals of less than $10,000. For these exceptions, you will be required to pay for the blockchain network fees unless FTT is staked. If you hold and stake FTT then you will be rewarded with free ERC20 withdrawals as per the table below. A withdrawal fee of USD$75 applies if an amount of less than $10,000 is withdrawn.
|FTT STAKED||NO. FREE ERC WITHDRAWALS PER DAY|
Spot and Futures Trading Fees
FTX spot and futures trading fees are very competitive in the crypto market and follow a maker/taker structure. Maker/taker trading fees start at 0.02%/0.07% and can be reduced depending on the volume traded over the last 30 days. For example, if the total volume traded over the past 30 days exceeds USD$2 million, then the taker fee is reduced from 0.07% to 0.06%.
|30-DAY TRADING VOLUME (USD)||MAKER FEES||TAKER FEES|
|> 2 million||0.015%||0.060%|
|> 5 million||0.010%||0.055%|
|> 10 million||0.005%||0.050%|
|> 25 million||No fees||0.045%|
|> 50 million||No fees||0.040%|
Trading fees can be reduced by buying and holding FTT where the percentage discount is based on the amount of FTT held. FTT holdings cannot decrease taker fees to below 0.015%.
|FTT HOLDING (USD)||FEE DISCOUNT|
Personal FTX accounts are available in all countries except for residents located in the United States, Cuba, Crimea, Sevastopol, Iran, Syria or North Korea, Antigua, or Barbuda. Partial restrictions may be applicable to residents located in Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and Canada.
Corporate accounts are not permitted for entities residing in the United States, Cuba, Crimea, Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Antigua, and Barbuda. The Canadian city of Ontario and non-professional investors from Hong Kong are also included in this list.
Whilst US residents are not able to trade on FTX, they can trade on FTX.US. FTX.US is a partner entity serving United States citizens and is regulated under US law.
Getting Started With FTX
|Unverified||Explore the FTX site only – no ability to deposit, trade, or withdraw.|
|1||Email, full name, date of birth, country of residence||USD $2,000 daily|
|2||Email, full name, date of birth, address, proof of address, government issued identification, facial verification, photo holding your ID, description of source asssets||Unlimited crypto and fiat withdrawals|
Account Creation & Verification
Creating an FTX account will require a valid email address and a strong password. These are the minimum requirements for you to log in and explore the FTX platform without using any of the features. Before users can deposit, trade, or withdraw assets, users will need to submit information to confirm their identity to ensure KYC compliance.
As shown in the table below, achieving a Tier 2 account is slightly more onerous compared to KYC processes on other exchanges. Additional tasks comprise the submission of a utility bill or similar to confirm the residential address, and a photo holding your ID is required. Nevertheless, the overall process is streamlined and can be completed in 5 minutes.
Deposit Methods & Limits
Completing KYC Level 2 will allow you to fund your wallet by depositing fiat currencies. FTX supports USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, SGD, ZAR, CAD, CHF, and BRL with TRY and NGN to be included in the future. FTX deposit methods include cryptocurrency transfers from another exchange or external hardware wallet, fiat transfers from a bank account, and credit cards. There are also no limit restrictions in terms of the amount that can be deposited.
The FTX Trading Interface
The FTX trading interface is clean, visually appealing, and intuitive. You can easily navigate to futures, spot, or leveraged token trading panels as well as individual trading pairs at the top of the interface. The live charting is integrated with TradingView and you will have access to all the advanced tools and indicators the package offers.
Market orders can be created by clicking on the trading pair link at the top left of the live chart panel. The order book is located adjacent to the live charting where you can review bids and ask prices for the selected trading pair.
The FTX Referral Program
FTX features a referral program where you can share your unique referral code to friends and family to receive between 25% – 40% of their trading fees as well as get back 5% of their own fees. The percentage of the referral reward is dependent on the amount of FFT staked. Simply put, you will be rewarded with a higher referral percentage if they stake more FTT.
|FTT STAKED||REFERRAL REBATE|
Customer Support & Reviews
FTX features a comprehensive library of detailed and informative articles to help beginners understand the concepts of various topics including the FTT token, general crypto and derivatives trading, fees, and how to deposit and withdraw funds. Articles are organized in an easy-to-find fashion and the search function was highly functional. The library can be found at the top of the main page under “Docs” or at the bottom of the page under “Help”.
Avenues to get in touch with the customer support team are particularly limited with no 24/7 live chat available. If you are experiencing problems or require assistance then a ticket will need to be submitted.
The limited number of feedback on TrustPilot for FTX and FTX.US are predominantly negative and appear to be from fake accounts. Customer comments on popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram are more supportive and positive.
FTX Pro is an iOS and Android compatible mobile app that offers most of the crypto and trading features available on the desktop version. The Android-compatible version has been downloaded over 500,00 times. Features of the app include but are not limited to the following:
- Biometric fingerprint login for additional account security.
- Account and wallet management including depositing and withdrawal of funds.
- Access to FTX features including staking, leveraged tokens, crypto conversions, and borrow/lending.
- Advanced live charting powered by TradingView with full access to trading tools and indicators.
FTX is a leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchange platform that offers future, leveraged tokens, and OTC trading. Investors and traders located in the United States can access FTX through FTX.US. Alternative cryptocurrency exchanges with similar features to FTX include the following:
- Binance – Binance offers margin trading or futures trading to speculate on the price of digital assets with leverage. Compared to regular trading, margin trading allows you to access greater sums of capital with leveraged positions.
- Crypto.com – Crypto.com is a global crypto exchange that is well-known for its ecosystem of innovative products and services that make it a one-stop-shop for crypto users. The Crypto.com app has been downloaded by over 100 million users and allows you to buy, sell crypto, stake, earn interest, and shop using their digital currencies.
- Kraken – Kraken has established itself in over 190 countries where investors have access to 54+ digital currencies. Features include futures/margin trading, staking, and the ability to trade on multiple exchanges through a single platform. It is suitable for investors who want to maximize their portfolios through the use of advanced trading features.
- Bybit – Bybit is a leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchange with an emphasis on leveraged margin trading. The platform has attracted over 3 million users and offers an advanced trading interface full of high-level features.
- Swyftx (best Australian exchange overall) – Available for Australian investors and traders, the platform has a wide variety of features including a well-designed user interface, deep liquidity, low spreads and trading fees (0.6%), DCA, and advanced trading tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is FTX Regulated?
FTX Trading Ltd (FTX) is a legitimate cryptocurrency derivatives exchange that is regulated in Antigua and Barbuda. Its subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets Ltd, is licensed under the Bahamas Digital Assets and Registered Exchanged Act 2020 and complies with regulations set out by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.
In Australia, FTX is regulated by AUSTRAC and is an Australian Financial Services Licensee. Users in the United States are able to trade with FTX.US which holds multiple licenses and is allowed to provide cryptocurrency products services.
Can You Stake SOL on FTX.US?
FTX.US users in the US are able to deposit or purchase Solana (SOL) using USD and stake the coins to earn up to 6% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). Staking Solana tokens that are sitting idle in a wallet is a great way to start earning interest. SOL can also be staked on other major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi and Binance.
Can I Use A Credit Card To Deposit Funds On FTX?
You can fund your FTX account wallet using a Visa or Mastercard credit card. The feature is provided by a third-party Simplex and the minimum amount that be deposited is $50 while the maximum is $20,000.
FTX has quickly proven itself as a world leader in the trading of cryptocurrency derivatives. But its high-quality offerings do not stop there with the exchange regularly releasing new and innovative products and services. Investors seeking high liquidity and extremely competitive trading fees will find FTX to be highly appealing. Experienced traders will find the FTX trading interface to have no shortage of advanced trading tools and indicators to help in identifying and maximizing their trading activities.
Based on our review, FTX is best suited for intermediate to professional investors and derivatives traders who value high liquidity and low fees. Since there is no ‘quick buy’ feature, beginners may become overwhelmed by the trading interface and vastness of crypto features.
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