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OKEX

OKEX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:20 0.03%


OKEX is a digital asset exchange, under the umbrella of OKCoin. The situation with the two is similar to how GDAX is owned by Coinbase – one brand is targeting retail consumers, while the other one is dedicated towards serious traders.


 
The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
OKCoin.cn Inc China N/A

 

OKEX is the more trading-focused version of OKCoin. The company behind both projects is based in China. This can explain the relatively low popularity of this exchange in the west. This is also combined with the concerns about Chinese regulatory actions in the cryptocurrency space, as the country recently banned ICOs.



The most unique things about OKEX are the stand-alone desktop platform (which we will get to later) and the availability of Bitcoin and Litecoin futures contracts.



OKEX hasn’t been the target of major hacks yet. While this brings some assurance, in terms of security, it does not guarantee this will not happen in the future.



There aren’t many user reviews specifically for OKEX, but as the company is part of OKCoin, we can assume they offer the same level of service. Those who were frustrated with the way USD bank transfers support ended are the least happy customers.



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

The available assets at OKEX are BTC, ETH and LTC. They are being traded against the USD and CNY. That being said, BTC and LTC futures contracts are also available on this exchange. While they are presented as a way for miners to hedge their risk (which was the original idea behind futures contracts), we would not recommend beginners to delve into them as the liquidity may be substantially lower.



Minimum initial deposit
No information on the minimum initial deposit is available at OKEX. We are used to forex brokers providing a minimum level, which is usually around the $100 mark (as is the case with easyMarkets, for instance). However, in the cryptoverse, not demanding a minimum deposit isn’t anything special.


 
Leverage
The maximum leverage at OKEX is 1:20. While this may seem like nothing, when compared to the ratios which some forex brokers offer (like the 1:888, provided by XM), it is high. The main reason for that is that cryptocurrencies tend to be a lot more volatile than the traditional forex pairs, which rarely experience daily moves of more than 1-2%.


 
Fees
The fees at OKEX are probably the lowest in the industry, at the time of writing of this review. There is a 0.03% fee for opening a new position and nothing is charged for the closing transaction. This is a lot better than the average of around 0.20-0.25%, offered by most other exchanges. On the other hand, the forex brokers, who provide Bitcoin trading include their costs only in the spread. While it is a bit hard to compare spreads and commissions based on size, you can check out this post to get a better picture.



Trading platform


 
OKEX is one of the few crypto-exghanges which offers a stand-alone desktop platform. While you may be used to browser-based trading, there are a few advantages to having a separate piece of software. Most notably, if you are running on low to middle end hardware and like to open multiple tabs, you have probably already ran into memory issues. Having to run a trading platform alongside them doesn’t help in that regard. Additionally, the platform offered by OKEX allows multiple-monitor support. With a click of a button you can duplicate the entire layout multiple times and move it to another monitor. Here is a preview of how a single window in the platform looks:

 


 


Charting is provided by the OKCoin proprietary system, which is a lot better than many other solutions. The order book and tape are located on the right and while the numbers may appear to be rather small there probably is an option to increase the font. That being said, we come to the biggest weakness of the platform – it is only in Chinese (or at least we didn’t find the way to switch to English).



Methods of payment


 
OKEX is directly linked to OKCoin, so you can make a CNY transfer to the latter and trade on the more sophisticated exchange. Additionally cryptocurrencty transfers in BTC, ETH and LTC are accepted.


 
Conclusion


 
OKEX is a digital asset exchange owned by OKCoin. The company behind both of them is based in China and focuses primarily on the domestic market. OKEX offers extremely low trading fees when compared to the competition. That being the case, only three coins are available for trading. The addition of futures contracts may be nice for miners willing to hedge their “crops”, although we would not recommend trading in them unless you are very experienced. Here is a summary of OKEX:


 

Pros Cons
Very Competitive trading fees Few coins available
No major hacks yet Trading platform only in Chinese
Owned by OKCoin  
Desktop trading platform  
High liquidity  
BTC and LTC futures available  

 

bitFlyer

bitFlyer Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1: 15 Max 0.15% for BTC

 

BitFlyer is one of the most popular cyptocurrency exchanges in the Far East. It is also among the world leaders, in terms of volume.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
bitFlyer, Inc. Japan JFSA, NY BitLicense

 

BitFlyer is based in Japan. The local regulators have made some changes in the way they treat cryptocurrencies in the past. Currently, they are treated as assets, upon which capital gains (profiting from the price movement) is taxed. BitFlyer was one of the first companies to received the JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Agency) license, along with the major competitors from QUOINEX

 

Update: BitFlyer also received has the regulatory approval of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in November 2017. The company is set to start offering Bitcoin trading vs the USD, while adding altcoins in the future. We will update this review, when the service is fully implemented.

 

The company has been around since 2014 and has not had any hacking issues yet. The most important thing to note, from a western trader’s point of view is that trading is done (mostly) against the Japanese YEN (JPY), unlike most exchanges where you can trade cryptocurrencies against one another, the US Dollar and occasionally the Euro. You may need an account with a forex broker, such as FXTM, just to hedge your currency risk.

 

The user reviews on BitFlyer (written in English) are mostly positive. This is a good sign, as the company maintains multilingual support. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

As mentioned above trading at BitFlyer is done against the Japanese Yen. This applies for the plethora of Bitcoin instruments, which include Spot BTC trading, Margin BTC trading, and BTC Futures (not to be confused with Bitcoin Cash Futures). Furthermore Etereum is available for trading, against Bitcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

BitFlyer does not give any guidelines about a minimum deposit level. Forex brokers, on the other hand usually announce their minimum entry barriers. For instance, you can open an account with XM, with only $5.

 

Leverage

BitFlyer offers a maximum leverage ratio of 1:15. However, in order to be allowed to trade on margin, one must go through a tougher verification process. This type of ratio may sound very small to someone who is used to forex trading, as lots of brokers provide 1:500 or even higher levels. 

 

Do keep in mind cryptocurrencies often move far more wildly than fiat currencies. While a major pair will rarel move more than 1.5 – 2% percent per day, the Bitcoin often has gains or losses exceeding 10%. This explains the lower leverage offering by BitFlyer, which by the way is one of the highest offers provided by crypto-exchanges. For a full comparison of trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and on an exchange click here.

 

Fees

Fees at BitFlyer vary slightly for the different services, which they provide. They offer directly exchanging JPY to BTC, the fees for which go as high as 0.15% for the lowest volume traders. As a comparisson, Bitfinex charges this type of fee only for the market "makers", while takers pay a slightly higher one. The maximum fee for ETH/BTC is 0.20%. Here is the full information, as provided by the company (click to zoom-in):

 

 

Lightning FX stands for the margin trading of BTC/JPY. Futures on the other hand are similar to exchange traded futures. However the liquidity in them appears to be far lower, which is to be expected. We would not recommend them to inexperienced traders.

 

 

Trading platform

 

BitFlyer provides two trading platforms. They are both web based, which is not unusual for cryptocurrency exchanges. One of them is the so called Bitcoin Easy Exchange, which serves, to facilitate direct JPY to BTC transfers. It is what people, who want to get their funds converted to Bitcoin, before transferring them would use. Albeit simple, it does the job. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

The company also offers the BitFlyer Lightning platform. It feels much more like a forex trading platform, as it is designed with the trader in mind. This is the platform where the 1:15 leverage ratio is provided. Here is what platform looks like (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a chart on the left, with lots pre-loaded indicators. The order book looks pretty solid (in the middle) and the tape is locate on the right. Several more fields are located below these, similarly to the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminal. Charting appears to be decent, with several technical indicators in place. Furthermore the charts can be set to full-screen mode.

 

There are multiple themes available, if you do not like the black and orange feel. One thing we must mention are the maddening sounds, which are turned on by default. Every time a transaction is made, more importantly, every time there is a movement of a bid/ask in the order book, play a sound. Luckily, these can be turned off quite easily.

 

Methods of payment

 

BitFlyer accepts Bank Transfers, Credit Cards issued in Japan and Bitcoin transfers. Although the company has a clear focus on its internal market, a foreigner can still use their services, albeit not with his credit card. Users of online payment systems, such as Skrill are also left out.

 

Conclusion

 

BitFlyer is the number one cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. It also rates pretty highly among the global volume charts. The most specific thing is that trading is done against the Japanese Yen (JPY). There are multiple platforms and services available, including margin trading. Despite being focused on its domestic market, the company appears to be reaching out to the rest of the world and with commission levels so low, customers will come. Here is a summary BitFlyer’s pros and cons:

 

Pros Cons
No major hacks yet Trading against JPY
Accepts Bank Transfer and Japanese Credit Card Does not accept Credit Card, from countries other than Japan
Competitive commissions No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
Relatively nice trading platform  
Allows margin trading and futures  

 

Forex
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