14 min read

CEX.IO Review 2022: Wallet, Security & Privacy

CEX.IO was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Oleksandr Lutskevych. Initially, CEX.IO operated as a Bitcoin mining pool and cloud mining services platform.
Article review author
Laurel Murphy
Article head image
Rating: 3.8 / 5
5/5
Open Account
A breeze
4/5
Interface
Clean, uncluttered, and easy to navigate, but not the best we’ve seen
3/5
Customer Support
Some iffy moments, but overall solid
3/5
Security
Below industry standard, but no hacks
4/5
Fees
No fees for CEX.IO Broker, average fees for CEX.IO proper
4/5
Withdrawal
Easy, with plenty of deposit options

CEX.IO Overview

CEX.IO was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Oleksandr Lutskevych. Initially, CEX.IO operated as a Bitcoin mining pool and cloud mining services platform. It owned the notorious GHash.io pool, which was the only mining pool in history to control over 50% of the Bitcoin network. Theoretically, they could have pulled off a 51% attack, which would have radically changed Bitcoin’s trajectory. 

The exchange currently has 4 millions users, and offers a diverse array of financial services in addition to cryptocurrency trading. CEX.IO added card deposits in 2014, and have processed over USD $1 billion in payments since. Sure, this is chump change compared to big players like Coinbase, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. 

CEX.IO has repeatedly taken the path of most regulation. They attained their MSB (Money Service Business) license in 2015 from FinCEN, the US financial watchdog. They opened a US office in 2019, and have attained Money Transmitter Licenses (MTLs) in 31 US states.

Learn more

Pros / Cons

Advantages bg
Cons Icon
Cons

Lax security standards
Big on regulation

Pros Icon
Pros

Accepts credit cards
Relatively low fees, no fees on CEX.IO Broker
Big on regulation

Open a CEX.IO account

Security

As far as we know, CEX.IO has not been hacked (yet). Crypto exchanges are large and tempting targets for enterprising cybercriminals. A multimillion-dollar hack can be carried off with a little luck, a lot of skill, and a misstep on the behalf of the exchange. That’s why it’s always important to see what kind of security protocols a given exchange has in place.

CEX.IO gets points for being relatively transparent about its security measures. It loses more because many of those measures are inadequate compared to industry standards. For the sake of fairness, we’ll start with what CEX.IO does right.  

First up: CEX.IO has comprehensive insurance for some users. All United States residents’ USD funds are covered by FDIC insurance, up to a maximum of $250,000 per person.

Hot wallets hold a small percentage of funds and only hold company funds. Exposure to risk is entirely borne by CEX.IO. 100% of client funds are stored in cold wallets, and client funds are moved to cold wallets daily.

old wallets are protected by multi-signature wallets, which means that transactions require multiple confirmations. There’s also some serious security for those cold wallets, including armed security personnel protecting physical access to Hardware Security Modules. 

Unfortunately, there are no dogs.

Now we get to the not so good aspects of CEX.IO’s security. My major issue is that the security measures they list are either word salad, or the absolute bare minimum polished to a shine and presented as groundbreaking.

One of the big points of contention is CEX.IO’s self-proclaimed use of TLS 1.2 encryption of personal data, which is not the highest level of encryption. TLS 1.3 is currently industry standard. In an industry that lives and dies by encryption, this is a big misstep.

According to them, they “apply the top standard adopted by credit and debit card providers, PCI DSS Level 1, to our hot wallets and regularly audit the compliance elements associated with this process.” While PCI Level 1 is the highest achievable level, it only means that they get a third-party audit every year.

There have also been user complaints about 2FA resets taking over a week to go through.

Regulation

It can be difficult to dig up pertinent information on a crypto exchange’s regulatory status; legal details are often buried under an avalanche of fine print.

CEX.IO’s legal and security page has all the licenses and registrations for each country it operates from neatly organized. They definitely get points from us for not making this information impossible to find.

In the US, CEX.IO is licensed with FinCEN as a Money Services Business (MSB). It also holds a Money Transmitter License (MTL) in 30+ states.

In Gibraltar, CEX.IO has a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license and moneylending license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

In the UK, where CEX.IO is headquartered, the exchange has a certificate of incorporation from the Companies House. It applied for  temporary registration as a cryptoasset business with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Further information on CEX.IO can be found on its Companies House page.

In Canada, CEX.IO is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Privacy

Also known as the section where we read the Privacy Policy so you don’t have to, even though you were definitely planning on it.

CEX.IO does collect extensive personal data including name, photo ID, email, address, employment details, and video footage. CEX.IO may share personal information with affiliates, payment services providers, contactors, financial institutions, and insurance companies. The exchange will cooperate with law enforcement. 

Personal data can be used for marketing purposes, though the exchange does ask for consent. Users who don’t want their data used for marketing can either uncheck the marketing preferences box on their profile, or by contacting the exchange’s data protection officer at dpo@cex.io.

Great news for users: CEX.IO’s users – all personal information that the exchange collects is held on servers within the European Union. That means that user data is subject to an impressive and very strict set of privacy laws. CEX.IO also follows the terms set by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. Users can contact the commissioner’s office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ to voice any concerns they have about their data.

Users can access their personal information and request corrections and updates of inaccurate data by sending an email to dpo@cex.io. It is also possible to request the transfer or deletion of their data by sending an email to the same address. 

CEX.IO does specify the security measures they take to protect user data in their Privacy Policy, though some of the measures are very vague. On the upside, personal information is definitely encrypted. The exchange is also compliant with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), the information security standard for payment service providers.

User Experience + Interface

CEX.IO has a clean, uncluttered user interface that is easy to navigate. The website is available in both English and Russian. The trading interface is both easy to use and jam-packed with information. Users can choose the currency pair, and use pre-selected categories to see prices. 

We have two nitpicks regarding the interface – the text is on the small side, and dark mode is difficult to find. Night traders might need to suffer through the blinding light for quite a while while searching for the blessed relief of dark mode.

The interface does not appear to be customizable, unlike other trading platforms like Kraken. CEX.IO takes a more bare-bones approach. There’s a lot of easily accessible information in a spartan package.

How does CEX.IO compare?

CEX.IO isn’t as high-profile as other big names like Kraken, Coinbase, or Binance, but it does have plenty to offer. While the relatively low amount of coins on offer might put some off, the fact that financial services on CEX.IO Broker are all commission-free will be a powerful draw to some. If you’re looking to trade with well-established coins, CEX.IO is a solid choice. The main drawbacks for CEX.IO are its security standards and small stable of coins. If you want access to niche altcoins, try KuCoin or Gate.io. If you’d prefer state of the art security and are willing to suffer through fees, go for Kraken or Coinbase.

Customer Support

Well, the official CEX.IO account accused one unhappy customer of defamation. Not great!

Trustpilot reviews are polarizing; though the vast majority (78%) are 5-star, there are many complaints about customer service, high commission process, and long waits for assistance. Their overall Trustpilot score is 4.7, with 19,928 reviews, so they must be doing something right.

There is a 24 hour chat functionality on the web browser and app, though users will be initially routed to a relevant help center article. With enough persistence, it is possible to reach a human being.

Complaints CEX.IO can be sent to complaint@cex.io. Their correspondence address is 33 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4JS, United Kingdom, and support phone is +44 20 3966 1272.

There is also a support center with articles on common problems written by members of staff. CEX.IO does have a chat service, and responds to most requests within a day, although wait times can be longer depending on the demand.

Opening an Account and Trading

Wondering how to open a CEX.IO account? It’s easy and straightforward. Keep reading for a step-by-step explanation of the onboarding process.

01
Visit the official CEX.IO site at https://cex.io/. Click on the ‘Get Started’ button in the center of the page.

02
Choose whether you want to create an individual account or a business account by clicking one of the respective buttons.

03
Enter your personal details, agree to the Terms of Use, and voila! You’ve made your CEX.IO account.
04
Unfortunately, unless you cough up some documentation your trading limit will be a whopping $0.00. CEX.IO has verification requirements in place for any amount of trading. You can update your verification by choosing a deposit method, or by navigating to the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner and choosing “Verification.”

Choose “Increase Limit” to navigate to the Identity Verification page 

05
Once you’ve entered the required information and provided sufficient documentation, you’ll have to wait for up to 24 hours for your account to be verified. There are up to four verification stages: identity verification, address verification, enhanced verification, and corporate verification, with different limits depending on the amount of information provided.

The most basic verification allows users to deposit up to $3,000.000 USD and withdraw $10,000 USD. The highest level of verification is reserved for corporate accounts, and has no deposit or withdrawal limits.

Deposits / Withdrawal

Transaction fees are based on 30-day trade volume for all crypto pairs. CEX.IO’s trading fees are easy to find, which wins them points. Fees hover at about the middle of the industry average range.

The deposit and withdrawal fee schedule can be found under the Deposit/Withdrawal Fees tab on the Fee Schedule page. Fees for card payments are 2.99% across currencies. Deposits incur a service charge of up to 3% as well as commission and an added fee.

Bank transfers in EUR, USD, and GBP  incur a hefty 25 (or USD/GBP) fee. SEPA transfers are free for EUR deposits.

There are no fees for any of the products on CEX.IO Broker

CEX.IO was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Oleksandr Lutskevych. Initially, CEX.IO operated as a Bitcoin mining pool and cloud mining services platform. It owned the notorious GHash.io pool, which was the only mining pool in history to control over 50% of the Bitcoin network. Theoretically, they could have pulled off a 51% attack, which would have radically changed Bitcoin’s trajectory. 

The exchange currently has 4 millions users, and offers a diverse array of financial services in addition to cryptocurrency trading. CEX.IO added card deposits in 2014, and have processed over USD $1 billion in payments since. Sure, this is chump change compared to big players like Coinbase, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. 

CEX.IO has repeatedly taken the path of most regulation. They attained their MSB (Money Service Business) license in 2015 from FinCEN, the US financial watchdog. They opened a US office in 2019, and have attained Money Transmitter Licenses (MTLs) in 31 US states.

Learn more

News

CEX.IO partnered with data monitoring provider Chainalysis. Chainalysis will provide CEX.IO access to its Reactor investigation software and transaction monitoring suite. 

CEX.IO Broker launched CFD (contracts for difference) trading on stocks in March of 2021. Users can trade CFDs for key stocks and commodities including Apple, Netflix, Google, silver, and gold. 

Speaking of silver and gold, CEX.IO partnered with luxury jewelry and watch manufacturer Jacob & Co. The watch manufacturer will use CEX.IO’s digital asset payment gateway, CEX.IO Pay to accept crypto as payment for goods.

FAQs

Does CEX.IO have a wallet?

CEX.IO does not currently offer a wallet, though there is one coming soon. Details can be found in the web browser. They do have a mobile app which is available on the App Store and Google Play.

What coins are available on CEX.IO

1INCH, AAVE, ADA, AKRO, ANT, ATOM, AWG, AWS, AWX, BAL, BAND, BAT, BCH, BEL, BNB, BNT, BTC, BTT, BUSD, CAKE, COMP, COTI, CREAM, CRV, CVC, DAI, DASH, DNT, DOGE, DOT, EDGT, ETH, FUN, GAS, GLM, GUSD, GZIL, HAPI, HOT, ICP, INJ, JASMY, KAVA, KNC, KSM, LAMB, LINK, LRC, LTC, MANA, MATIC, MHC, MKR, MTA, MUSD, NEO, OCEAN, OMG, ONG, ONT, PAXG, RARI, REN, RENBTC, REPV2, RSR, SHIB, SNX, SOL, SRM, STORJ, SUSHI, TON, TRX, TUSD, UMA, UNI, USDC, USDT, UTK, WABI, WBTC, XLM, XRP, XSGD, XTZ, XVS, YFI, YFII, ZAP, ZIL, ZRX, ZWAP

What is the minimum deposit for CEX.IO

CEX.IO has no minimum deposit.

Has CEX.IO been hacked?

At the time of writing, CEX.IO has not been hacked.

How do I access CEX.IO support?

Complaints can be sent to complaint@cex.io. Their correspondence address is 33 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4JS, United Kingdom, and support phone is +44 20 3966 1272. 

There is also a support center with articles on common problems written by members of staff.

Supported Countries

CEX.IO currently supports over 220 countries. Countries that are excluded from CEX.IO include Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guam, Guyana Guinea Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Uganda, US Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

CEX.IO provides support to US residents in 48 states, though New York and Virginia are not supported. CEX.IO staking is currently not available to US customers.

CEX.IO Payment Methods

CEX.IO supports four fiat currencies: Euros (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), Russian Rubles (RUB) and US Dollars (USD). 

CEX.IO supports an array of payment methods

Payment methods for USD

USD: Customers using USD to deposit money can use a credit or debit card, domestic bank transfer, international bank transfer, Skrill, Advcash, and Epay. 

GBP: Customers using GBP to deposit money can use credit or debit card, domestic bank transfer, international bank transfer, and Skrill. 

EUR: Customers using EUR to deposit money can use credit or debit card, SEPA, international bank transfer, Advcash, and Skrill. 

RUB: Customers using RUB to deposit money can use credit or debit card, and Advcash.

CEX.IO’s Services

CEX.IO Broker

For users looking to take advantage of multiple financial services with low fees, CEX.IO Broker is a very attractive opinion. It offers margin trading, spot trading, and staking. The major draw is that CEX.IO broker is commission free across the board.

CEX.IO Broker also offers informational resources for traders, as well as a free demo version for those looking to try before they buy. Broker also offers a more customizable interface and, thank heavens, dark mode. Not to belabor the point, but at CoinCub we love dark mode.

Users should keep in mind that Broker is based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and has a different Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

CEX.IO has a staking program https://earn.cex.io/ where users can both stake coins and put them into a savings account to earn interest. Maximum automatic loan size is USD $100,000, which is insane. Crypto loans are not available in USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, American Samoa, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Japan, and countries facing economic sanctions.

Loan

Users can automatically get crypto-backed loans with a 14% annual interest rate. The minimum loan amount is 500 euros, minimum loan length is 7 days

App

CEX.IO has a mobile app for trading that is available on the Apple Store and Google Play. The app has all the functionality of the CEX.IO platform, so users don’t need to use the web version as well. Users have both an instant buy/sell interface as well as high liquidity order books.

CEX.IO was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Oleksandr Lutskevych. Initially, CEX.IO operated as a Bitcoin mining pool and cloud mining services platform. It owned the notorious GHash.io pool, which was the only mining pool in history to control over 50% of the Bitcoin network. Theoretically, they could have pulled off a 51% attack, which would have radically changed Bitcoin’s trajectory. 

The exchange currently has 4 millions users, and offers a diverse array of financial services in addition to cryptocurrency trading. CEX.IO added card deposits in 2014, and have processed over USD $1 billion in payments since. Sure, this is chump change compared to big players like Coinbase, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. 

CEX.IO has repeatedly taken the path of most regulation. They attained their MSB (Money Service Business) license in 2015 from FinCEN, the US financial watchdog. They opened a US office in 2019, and have attained Money Transmitter Licenses (MTLs) in 31 US states.

Learn more
Helpful?
FAQ

New to crypto? Here’s our guide!

FAQ Image #1 01 Why Bitcoin? It seems like the buzz around Bitcoin just keeps growing. Bitcoin is a constantly evolving technology with a passionate community. What is it about the digital asset that makes it such a controversial topic and attractive investment?
FAQ Image #2 02 How to Get Started with Bitcoin It can be difficult to get past the technical jargon surrounding bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies in order to figure out how you can buy and store them. Beginners can purchase Bitcoin, for example, on many exchanges using fiat currency like U.S. Dollar, Euro or British Pound.
FAQ Image #3 03 Blockchains 101 Blockchains are a type of database where data is stored in blocks that are chained together. As new data comes in, it is entered into a block, which is then chained to the previous block. The Bitcoin blockchain serves as a ledger that records every Bitcoin transaction in history.
FAQ Image #4 04 Bitcoin in the Real World Ok - you’ve found an exchange, bought your Bitcoin, and stored it safely. What’s next? By now you can buy just about anything with Bitcoin if you try hard enough, from Amazon gift cards to an old master painting. You can also convert your BTC to fiat with ATMs, an exchange, and more.

What people say about us

Aayush Bhatnagar JIO - Senior Vice President

Coincub is a novel crypto exchange aggregator that helps investors to compare different exchanges before taking their decision.

James Gillingham Co-Founder and CEO at FINXFLO

The most comprehensive analysis I found. Have a look, you might be surprised.

Jonathan Knegtel CEO Blockdata

Coincub looks dope! Nice one!