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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  

 

Kraken

Kraken Review
Trader's rating 1.4
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker fee Taker fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:5 Max of 0.16% Max of 0.26%

 

Kraken is one of the most popular crypto currency exchanges. It is currently the world’s leader, in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Payward, Inc, USA N/A

 

The Kraken exchange is operated by the San Francisco-based Payward Inc. The company is not under direct regulation by any agency, but this is not unusual in the crypto currency space (at least for now). 

 

The company’s overall reputation is pretty solid. It hasn’t experienced any major hacks yet. Furthermore, it was chosen as the platform, through which payments to creditors of ill-fated Mt.Gox received their claims. If you are not familiar with the case,  Mt.Gox was a huge Bitcoin exchange in Japan, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, following a shady turn of events, which are another topic altogether. The company was then under special administration, which chose Kraken as a reliable partner, in order to facilitate payments to creditors.

 

Most of the coins on Kraken are kept in cold storage, with the exception of the ones currently used for trading, of course.

 

User reviews on Kraken are fairly mixed. Complaints vary from slow processing of deposits, lack of response by the customer support to stop-loss orders not triggering. While the latter is concerning the former two may be related to lack of staff, similarly to the issues which Poloniex currently has.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

 

Kraken offers quite a few trading instruments. Although the exchange is most famous for its Bitcoin and Ethereum to cash (EUR and USD) markets, altcoins are also available. Here is a list of all the coins you can trade one way or another: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Iconomi, Zcash, Augur, Gnosis, Stellar Limens, Dogecoin, Melon. Kraken plans to add new coins in the future.

 

It is worth mentioning this is one of the rather few exchanges which provides trading Bitcoin against currencies like the CAD and GBP. Although majors in the forex market, these are not often provided at crypto-exchanges. That being said liquidity may be an issue.

 

Minimum initial deposit

 

No minimum deposit level is specified by Kraken. Although this is not unusual in the cryptoverese, forex brokers (some of which allow Bitcoin trading) specify this on their websites. As an example, the industry leaders at IG proudly claim they do not have a minimum deposit requirement.

 

Leverage

 

Leverage is only offered for some of the instruments at the Kraken Exchange. It varies from 1:2 to 1:5. These levels may seem low, if you are used to forex trading, where a lot of brokers offer 1:500 in leverage. That being said, even they provide lower levels for crypto currency trading. For instance, the FCA-regulated industry veterans at HYCM currently offer 1:10 for Bitcoin trading.

 

Kraken charges a fee for leveraged trading. It varies from 0.01% to 0.02%, based on the instrument and is applied every four hours. This is a hassle you will not have if you chose to trade Bitcoin with a forex broker. Do keep in mind there is a huge difference between the services provided by forex brokers and crypto-exchanges. For a full breakdown, read this article

 

Fees

 

Kraken charges different fees for market “makers” and “takers”. At the time of writing of this review, they are 0.16% for the makers and 0.26% for the takers (for the lowest volumes). 

 

For those of you who are unaware of what these terms mean, trading on an exchange is slightly different than, forex trading. If you want to buy a particular instrument, you can do this directly, by getting it from the lowest available ask price (offer). This is an “aggressive” entry, which takes away market liquidity and is connected to a bigger fee (the taker fee). On the other hand, you can place your own bid in the order book, which then has to be triggered by another trader, who would sell his asset to you. In this case, you are providing liquidity to the market and pay a lower fee (the maker fee).

 

Overall, the fees provided by Kraken are in line with offerings by other exchanges.

 

Trading platform

 

When it comes to the trading platform, Kraken provides their own solution for some of the functionality, while relying on TradingView for the charting, similarly to Bitfinex.

 

There is pretty detailed access to the short term market dynamics. The tape, includes a historical bid/ask chart, which can be useful. Here is a preview:

 

 

The depth of the market is also presented in an easy to understand manner. Here is a preview:

 

You can see the book on the right side, with a graphical depiction on the left. 

 

The charts, provided by TradigView are a good tool for technical analysts. They are available via a click of a button next to the instrument list. The chart pops-up as a small external window, which you can later move, resize and so on. You can create an entire layout (even on a separate monitor) of your PC can handle the hardware requirements of modern browsers. Here is a preview:

 

 

Kraken also offers a mobile app, which is currently only available on iOS. Hopefully an Android implementation will come soon.

 

 

Methods of payment

 

Fiat currency payments at Kraken are only done via Bank Transfer. There is a slight advantage, if you have a bank account within the European Economic Area, since the SEPA payment system is supported. Crypto currency deposits are also available, but instant real money options such as Credit Card, PayPal or Neteller are not.

 

Conclusion

 

Kraken is a US-based crypto currency exchange. That being the case, the company operates a lot with Europan customers, as it is the world’s leader in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. Kraken is as reputable, as one can get in the cryptoverse, with no major hacks or scandals so far. The trading environment feels good, providing detailed tape-reading potential. Commissions are in-line with the current industry averages. Here are Kraken’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Reputable company, no hacks yet  Credit cards and Paypal not accepted
High Bitcoin to EUR liquidity  Mobile app available only for iOS
Solid charting, by TradingView  Recent negative user reviews
Commissions in line with the industry  
Bank Transfers available  

 

Forex
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