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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  

 

GDAX

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

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:3 0% Up to 0.25%

 

GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, is a company owned by Coinbase. While some of you may know Coinbase for the ability to purchase Bitcoin directly by Credit Card, GDAX is the other part of the company – the exchange aimed at traders. Trading fees at GDAX are much lower and margin trading is available.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

As mentioned above GDAX is actually a part of San Francisco – based Coinbase. The company holds the New York BitLicnese, which is by its nature an interesting piece of legislation. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to make the city a major Bitcoin trading center, the same way it hosts the world’s largest stock exchange. One may argue the idea backfired, as a lot of the key players backed-out of the 2015 proposal. This is due to the burdensome and slow regulatory procedure. As of the summer of 2017 only three companies have received the license and Coinbase is one of them.

 

When it comes to hacking, a major attack has not struck GDAX or Coinbase. That being the case, there was a “flash crash” in Ethereum prices, which raises suspicion. The coin was trading at around $317, when it suddenly spiked to an alleged value of 10 cents and quickly retraced. The company proceeded to halt trading and later claimed this was merely a “fat finger” - single large trader accidentally placed a market sell order, which triggered a chain of stop-loss orders to be executed. Here is а live video, shot by a trader, who has connected a MetaTrader4 platform to his GDAX account (the interesting thing happens around 2:50):

 

 

The public’s concerns, of course, come from the fact GDAX offers margin trading. The company could have manipulated the price, in order to wipe-out traders who were long. All of this is purely speculation.

 

 

Other than this case, the user reviews for GDAX generally match the ones for Coinbase. One of the major concerns of the fans of decentralization in the cryptoverse, is the fact a lot of the investors behind the project are well-established in the traditional financial sector.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only three crypto currencies are available at GDAX, namelyBitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Trading is done against USD and EUR, with BTC/GBP also being available, alongside the crypto-crosses ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum initial deposit at GDAX, which is not that unusual in the crypto currency sphere. On the other hand, most forex brokers have such a level and disclose it on their websites. For instance the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG (who also offer some coins as CFDs) proudly announce they do not have a minimum – you can open an account for as low as you want.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is available on GDAX, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:3. While this may sound like nothing in comparison to the 1:500, which a lot of forex brokers offer, keep in mind such high levels only apply for fiat currencies, which rarely have price movements bigger than 1-2% per day. 

 

When it comes to crypto, the aforementioned broker IG offers 1:13 in leverage (a 7.5% margin requirement). For a full comparison between crypto-exchanges and forex brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, read this article.

 

Fees

The costs of trading at GDAX are a lot lower than the ones available at Coinbase. When trading on the exchange, market “makers” (the people who place passive orders and wait for other traders to trigger them) do not pay a fee. Market “takers” (i.e. the “aggressive” traders who directly buy/sell with a market order) pay fees starting from 0.25% and going down for the bigger traders. Both of these levels (especially the free of charge passive trading) are very competitive.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by GDAX, which is web-based, is a lot better than the one offered at Coinbase. That being said, we find the charting lacking when compared to the charts provided by TradigView (which other exchanges have integrated, as well as MetaTrader4, of course. Only a couple of predetermined moving averages are available, in terms of technical indicators. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located at the left and the more bizarre design decision to place the “ask” column on top of the “bids” is made. While this may seem strange to experienced traders it does provide a nice graphical representation for beginners. The tape is located to the left, with the middle ground being taken by the chart (which is nothing special) and the open positions tab. 

 

Methods of payment

 

While Coinbase is obviously the main source of clients (and funds) for GDAX, money can also be sent directly to the exchange. This is a massive convenience tool, as accounts can be funded, without the need of paying the hefty Coinbase fees. That being said, Credit/Debit Card deposits can only be made via Coinbase, while GDAX accepts Bank transfers.

 

Conclusion

 

GDAX is a part of Coinbase and more specifically the part of the company, which is targeting more active traders. The fee structure is very competitive, especially with the free market “maker” trades. The selection of trading assets is not great, but the trading platform feels relatively nice (although charting is nothing special). Here is a summary of GDAX: 

 

Pros Cons
New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
Competitive trading fees Suspicion regarding the ETH spike
No major hacks yet  
Accepts Bank Transfers  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Forex
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