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OKCoin

OKCoin Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed None Max 0.20%


OKCoin is one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges, at the time of writing of this review. They focus mainly on the Chinese market and more specifically on retail customers.


 
The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
OKCoin.cn Inc China N/A


 
OKCoin is based in China and also has a second brand. The company has a structure similar to Coinbase and GDAX, one of the brands is focused on the needs of basic customers and the other on more serious traders. OKEX is the name of the more trading oriented solution.



While OKCoin accepts real money transfers, they can only be done in Chinese Yuan (CYN). This is simply the company’s focus, which also carries on to the trading instruments offered (more on them later in the review). That being said, OkCoin used to accept USD deposits, but “issues with intermediary banks” caused the company to cease this activity, much like Bitfinex. Additionally OKCoin stopped accepting US clients, probably because of pressure to comply with US regulators.



While we are on the topic of regulation, we must mention the rather obvious (for some, at least). While China is not strictly against Bitcoin and cryptrocurrencies altogether, the country recently banned ICOs. With that in mind, they may be planning on applying rules on all crypto-transactions, which may affect OKCoin.



OKCoin has not been involved in major hacking scandals so far. The non-Chinese user reviews on the company aren’t that many, but are generally positive, which can’t be said for all cryptio-exchanges.



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)
There are a few altcoins available at OKCoin, but this is definitely not an exchange which list a lot of coins. The options currently available are: BTC, LTC, ETH, ETC and BCC. The addition of Etherem Classic and Bitcoin Cash will be appreciated by some users. Trading at OKCoin is only done against the Chineese Yuan (CNY), while the other brand owned by the company provides more products.


 
Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum deposit at OKCoin. This is rather odd, especially given the fact they accept deposits in Yuan. We are used to forex brokers, disclosing their entry barriers. For instance FXCM only requires a $50 deposit, for the opening of a new trading account.


 
Leverage
Margin trading is not available at OKCoin, while it is at the company’s other brand OKEX. In essence OKCoin is the company which takes fiat currency deposits (only in Yuan), while the other website is the more trader-oriented exchange. Leverage at crypto-exchanges is usually lower than the one provided for forex trading, where brokers often allow 1:500 or even higher ratios. That being said, cryptocurrencies are a lot more volatile, so margin trading is a lot riskier, in general.


 
Fees
Fees at OKCoin are competitive with the current offers by other brokers, going as high as 0.20%. With greater volumes, the rate declines, which is also a procedure applied by multiple exchanges. Luckily for the more aggressive traders there is no difference for market “makers” and “takers”. The forex brokers who offer bitcoin trading on the other hand include all of their costs in the spread. They also mostly provide CFD trading. For a full comparison of the two types of services read this post.


Trading platform


 
The platform provided by OKCoin is web-based and a bit simplistic, especially when compared to the one provided by the other brand owned by the company. That being said there are a lot of options, when it comes to charting. Traders can choose between several styles of charts. There are simple ones, the solution provided by trading view, as well as a proprietary solution. Here is a preview:




 

 

The charting is very nice, with some technical indicators being pre-loaded, to stimulate more active trading. The order book at OKCoin is also very user-friendly. Here is a preview:




 

One can clearly distinguish between the bids and asks. The tape is also conveniently located to right.

Overall this is a solid platform. The company’s other brand OKEX offers an even more sophisticated solution.


 
Methods of payment


 
Money transfers in CNY are accepted at OKCoin. Other than that crypto-currency transfers in BTC LTC ETH ETC and BCC are also accepted. Essentially you can open a wallet for each of the coins and use them to transfer funds.


 
Conclusion


 
OKCoin is the largest Chinese cryptocurrency exchange, which is mainly oriented towards the domestic market. The company targets retail customers, while also providing another brand OKEX, for the more sophisticated traders. Trading volumes and liquidity for the major coins are quite high. Here is a summary of the pros and cons:

 

Pros    Cons
No major hacks yet  Trading against CYN
Accepts CNY payments Few altcoins available
Competitive commissions Does not accept US clients
Relatively nice trading platform  
Has another brand for sophisticated traders (OKEX)  


 

Coinbase

Coinbase Review
Trader's rating 2.8
Editor's rating 4.1

Our Experience

 

When testing the direct purchasing service, provided by Coinbase, we were relatively satisfied. After entering our debit card details it was saved as a payment method. We must notе that our card was 3D-secured, which appears to be a mandatory condition. Having your card stored in the website, as opposed to having to enter the details a second time (which is the case with some websites, dealing with external payment providers) is a huge benefit.

 

Here is a preview of the order screen:

The commission charged was slightly lower than the maximum of 4%, and we had full price transparency. When compared to the 8%, charged by Bitstamp (for direct card purchases), this is obviously preferable. The rate at which we bought Bitcoin was around €14 off the current market price, at GDAX. This is quite reasonable considering the fact we are talking about a volatile asset, trading around  €6,500 at the time of purchase. We tried comparing it with the rate provided by other exchanges, but the price differences (especially since we are talking about EUR trading) were much wider.

 

Trading Accounts

 

 

Account type Initial weekly limit Leverage Fees
Standard €325 None Up to 4%

 

Coinbase is one of the leading US companies in the world of crypto currencies. It operates two separate brands. One of them is Coinbase, a more retail consumer oriented platform for buying Bitcoin with fiat currencies, much like Bitstamp. On the other hand, GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) is a more advanced crypto currency trading platform. This review will be focused on Coinbase.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

Coinbase operates out of the US, with many subsidiaries around the world. It was the third company to be awarded the New York BitLicense. The story behind this license is quite controversial. In short, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) wanted to make the Big Apple a “Bitcoin trading hub”, much how it is one of the major centers of traditional finance. The idea, dating from 2015 wasn’t met with much enthusiasm by the leading companies, as many of them preferred to avoid application. Among the dozen who did, Coinbase obtained the license in January of 2017. The entire process is apparently so time (and effort) consuming, a lot of other major players opted out of it, which makes the license borderline useless. 

 

When it comes to crypto exchanges, hacking is an important topic. That being said there haven’t been any major hacks at Coinbase, although numerous individual cases have been reported. Some involve the hackers going past the two-factor authentication barrier, which one would believe to be very secure.

 

As we mentioned above, Coinbase is the retail-oriented brand of the company. As such it accepts fiat currencies and allows an instant purchase of several coins (more on the list, later). The vast majority of user complaints against Coinbase involve the size of the commission fees which the company charges. They vary by region and payment method, but go as high as 4%.

 

In 2018, Coinbase acquired an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allows it to provide payment services in the UK and issue e-money. Abiding by the FCA requirements, Coinbase will be keeping clients in segregated funds and will observe operational standards on par with the other regulated financial institutions.

 

Additionally, Coinbase is backed by a lot of investors, including major players in “traditional finance”. This is another factor which fans of the decentralized aspect of crypto currencies do not enjoy. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only a few coins are available at Coinbase, but they are the majors – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Don’t forget this is an entry-level service, which is aimed at people who are not that familiar with the world of crypto currencies. If you would like to buy less known coins (or altcoins), you could do that at another exchange, after transferring your newly acquired BTC/ETH/LTC there.

 

Weekly Limits

After verifying your e-mail, telephone, ID and credit card, at Coinbase, you can beginning purchasing coins. Our initial limit was €325 per week (via Credit Card). This may vary for you, based on your location (US clients will surely get a USD level). This level can be increased after you reach the maximum and some time has passed. This is done as a security measure and one should not feel frustrated about it.

 

Leverage

Coinbase does not offer margin trading. This is the more accepted practice, when dealing with crypto currencies. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, on the other hand mostly provide CFDs on it and margin trading is allowed. For a full comparison of trading crypto currencies on an exchange and with a forex broker read this post

 

Fees

The commission structure at Coinbase is one of its criticisms. If you decide to deposit via Credit Card, for instance, you can buy your chosen coin directly. While this may appear to be convenient, it comes at a price – for most countries the commission fee on such a purchase can go as high as 4%. 

 

Alternatively, you can fund your account with fiat currencies, which you can then use to trade. In that case the fees are set at 1.5%, which is pretty high. However if trading is what you are looking for, the company’s other brand – GDAX (as well as many others) are alternatives.

 


Trading platform

 

Coinbase does not provide a platform, as much as it offers an interface similar to an online banking application. Here is an overview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a basic chart in the top section, allowing you to switch between the three supported instruments and multiple timeframes. On the bottom you have a column with all of your wallets with the company as well as a transaction history column. Overall, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. That being the case, we must reiterate, this is only the “real-money payments” brand of the company, while a more dedicated platform is also available at GDAX.

 

Methods of payment

 

When it comes to the methods of payment available at Coinbase, they include Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and PayPal (only for US clients). While we discussed the transaction fees above, it’s worth pointing out that no additional fees are charged for crypto currency transfers to other exchanges or wallets.

 

Conclusion

 

Coinbase is one of the major players in the crypto currency space. The company is focused on allowing people who are not familiar with Bitcoin and allows them an easy way of acquiring crypto currencies. While there isn’t any trading platform to speak of, the company has another brand (GDAX) which provides exactly that. We feel it would be much better for Coinbase to honestly state their trading fees are higher, but you can use your account at their other platform, in a big banner upon account cration. Here are Coinbase’s pros and cons: 

 

Pros

Cons

New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
No major hacks yet High trading fees
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards  
Easy to use interface  
Ability to transfer crpyto to wallet  

 

Forex
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