There are plenty of cryptocurrency exchanges you can use to start investing in digital assets. But if you’re a serious trader, many exchanges lack the order types and trading tools you need and mostly cater to beginners.
In contrast, FTX is one of the most comprehensive cryptocurrency exchanges out there. While it’s not available in the United States, its advanced trading features and competitive fees make it a compelling choice for international investors.
Our FTX review is covering all of the features, pricing, and pros and cons of this exchange so you can decide if it’s worth using.
- Global cryptocurrency exchange
- Supports over 275 coins
- Extremely low trading fees
Starts at 0.020% Maker Fee and 0.070% Taker Fee
What Is FTX?
FTX is an international cryptocurrency exchange that began in May 2019. The company was founded by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang and originally operated out of Hong Kong. Currently, FTX’s main office is in Nassau, the Bahamas.
Despite its infancy, FTX made headlines in 2020 after acquiring Blockfolio, a cryptocurrency portfolio tracker and broker with over 6 million users.
FTX isn’t as large as other international exchanges like Binance. However, with support for over 275 coins and a variety of trading features, it’s still a contender for one of the best international exchanges.
What Does It Offer?
FTX.com isn’t available in the United States and several other markets. But, like Binance.US, FTX.US is a workaround to let U.S. residents get in on the action. It currently has over 1 million users and lets you buy and sell dozens of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins through its mobile app. You can also trade NFTs and there’s even a crypto rewards card.
However, FTX.US isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the flagship exchange. And while it’s nice to easily trade crypto from your smartphone, FTX.US doesn’t have as many features as other U.S. exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini.
Ultimately, this means FTX.US isn’t the best choice for U.S. investors. But for international investors, FTX certainly has an impressive number of features you can take advantage of.
Features For Advanced Traders
One of the main reasons to use FTX over other exchanges are the advanced trading types you get.
Like most exchanges, FTX supports spot trading for popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Solana. But you have several order type choices which isn’t something you get with a basic Coinbase trade. FTX order types include:
- Limit order
- Market order
- Stop market
- Stop limit
- Trailing stop
- Take profit
- Take profit limit
These options give you more control over how you trade. Furthermore, FTX supports futures trading and gives you up to 20 times leverage. You post various stablecoins as collateral for future trades, including USDC, TUSD, USDP, BUSD, and HUSD.
You can also trade long and short move contracts. For example, you can buy a long daily move contract on Bitcoin if you think the value of Bitcoin is going to change a lot over a single day. Move contracts expire to the amount the price moves. So if you’re long and Bitcoin’s price changes significantly, you benefit.
FTX also offers tokenized stock trading on its exchange for companies like AMC, Netflix, and Tesla. This means international investors can buy tokenized versions of U.S. equities without actually owning actual shares of stocks or ETFs.
Overall, FTX has some of the most comprehensive trading options for cryptocurrency exchanges. The ability to trade on margin caters to more serious traders. And you can even make prediction-based trades on the results of things like presidential elections.
Cryptocurrency staking involves locking up Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrencies to help validate blockchain transactions. In exchange for using your cryptocurrency, stakers earn crypto rewards.
Staking is popular with cryptocurrencies like Cardano, Cosmos, and Polkadot. But you also earn rewards by buying and staking FTT, FTX’s native token.
You buy and stake FTT through your main account. Once you stake FTT, you earn different rewards and trading fee discounts depending on how much you stake. You also get higher referral bonuses, airdrop rewards, and extra votes on polls to decide on new platform features.
Here’s how FTX’s staking rewards currently work:
FTT currently costs approximately $42, meaning it costs roughly $1,050 to reach tier one.
The main benefit of staking FTT are maker fee rebates. FTX also rewards users with 500 or more FTT with Serum token (SRM) airdrops, which are basically free tokens of a Solana-based blockchain project. But owning this much FTT is a significant investment, so this staking rewards program certainly benefits early purchasers of FTT.
FTX also lets you stake SRM, Solana, and Ray. Staking Ray currently pays 20% APY. Overall, staking isn’t FTX’s focus, but it’s nice that stakeholders can earn trading discounts and some passive income with a few tokens.
If you’re really interested in earning passive income with crypto, you’re better off looking into Celsius and BlockFi which offer crypto savings accounts that pay rewards.
With FTX’s over-the-counter (OTC) trading portal, you can trade larger amounts of cryptocurrency and remain more private.
OTC trading is ideal if you want to buy or sell a large amount of crypto without potentially disrupting an exchange or having your transactions be public knowledge.
FTX’s OTC service lets you get instant quotes on most major coins and you set up an OTC wallet to make deposits and withdrawals. This service definitely caters to higher net worth crypto investors. But it’s another way FTX provides more trading options to its users.
NFTs are extremely popular as of late. So it’s no surprise that exchanges like Coinbase and FTX are opening NFT trading to users.
FTX.com lets you buy and sell single NFTs and collections with other users. You can also mint and deposit NFTs on FTX.US if you want more options.
NFT marketplaces like OpenSea are still king when it comes to trading volume. However, it’s encouraging that more cryptocurrency exchanges are adding NFT support since this adds another asset class investors can consider.
FTX Pay lets you accept fiat and cryptocurrencies as payment. If you run an online store or accept online payments as a freelancer, this simple widget helps you get paid without suffering high fees.
You add the FTX Pay widget to your online store, website, or app. From there, customers can click the button, quickly create an account, and then pay you with credit card, ACH, or crypto. There’s a 1% transaction fee. But this is much lower than payment processors like PayPal which charges around 2.9% per transaction.
FTX Pay is available for legacy international users who already have payment accounts. But the service is currently migrating to FTX.US.
Are There Any Fees?
One advantage of using FTX.com is its relatively low trading fees. Like other exchanges, FTX charges a maker/taker fee. But fees depend on your 30-day trading volume to benefit more active traders.
Here’s how FTX’s fee structure works:
FTX Trading Fee Structure
As mentioned, you can get trading discounts if you stake FTT. Furthermore, FTX grants trading discounts just for holding FTT. For example, if you hold $100 worth of FTT, you get a 3% discount on trading fees.
FTX doesn’t charge deposit fees. And you don’t pay fees for withdrawals unless you’re withdrawing ETH, ERC-20 tokens, or small amounts of Bitcoin. In these cases, you pay blockchain fees unless you’re staking FTT which can grant bonus free withdrawals.
Overall, FTX has some of the lowest trading fees out there. And the fact that you don’t pay deposit fees and can often avoid withdrawal fees are big pluses.
How Does FTX Compare?
FTX is a popular international cryptocurrency exchange. However, it’s not necessarily the best choice if you want more staking features or support for more digital assets.
Here’s how FTX compares versus Binance and KuCoin, two other leading international exchanges:
Starts at 0.10% in Maker/Taker Fees
Starts at 0.10% in Maker/Taker Fees
FTX’s competitive advantage is its low trading fees and extensive number of trading options. However, it’s behind Binance or KuCoin if you want more coin support and more opportunities to earn passive income.
How Do I Open An Account?
You create a FTX account by providing your email and creating a password. But if you want to deposit crypto or fiat and begin trading, you need to meet know your customer (KYC) requirements.
Your trading and withdrawal limits will be impacted by your verification level as shown below.
Reaching verification Level 1 just requires your name, date of birth, and country of residence. Level 1 users are granted a $2,000 USD daily withdrawal limit, but might not have access to futures.
Level 2 verification grants unlimited crypto and fiat withdrawals. To reach this level, you’ll need to provide government-issued ID and a selfie. This is similar to exchanges like Binance that also require KYC verification.
Is It Safe And Secure?
FTX.US holds USD in FDIC-insured banks, but you don’t get the same perk with FTX.com. Like other international exchanges, FTX isn’t FDIC-insured or subject to U.S. regulations.
That said, FTX has various liquidation steps in place to reduce platform risk, especially for margin traders who are at risk of bankruptcy. There’s also an insurance fund in place to help prevent customer losses. Overall, FTX takes the same steps as many other exchanges to reduce unnecessary trading volatility and defaults.
You also have several account security features in place. Two-factor authentication is mandatory for accounts. Furthermore, you create a withdrawal password. IP and wallet address whitelisting is also available so you can control who logs in and what crypto wallets are eligible for withdrawals.
You should still avoid keeping large amounts of crypto on any exchange unless you’re trading frequently. To maintain complete control over your digital assets, hardware wallets like Ledger or Trezor are probably your best choice.
How Do I Contact FTX?
FTX offers email support for customers and also runs a Telegram group with over 50,000 members. If you encounter problems with your account or have questions about trading, these two sources are your best option for receiving assistance.
There’s also a FTX subreddit where users post questions about the exchange. Some threads have multiple users complaining about extremely slow email support.
It’s nice that FTX has an active Telegram and multiple methods to get in touch. But slow response times, which is one of the most common complaints we hear about crypto exchanges, again seems to be an issue.
Is It Worth It?
For U.S. investors, FTX.US is a simple, cost-effective way to buy and sell cryptocurrency from your smartphone. However, this exchange isn’t as comprehensive as leaders like Coinbase, Gemini, or Kraken.
As for international investors, FTX has much more to offer. Low trading fees and advanced trading features are the two main reasons to use this exchange.
Staking rewards can get a bit complex. And you don’t have many options for what coins you actually stake. But for regular crypto traders who also want to trade futures or on margin, FTX is one of the best choices.
FTX uses a tiered pricing structure that gets more affordable with higher 30-day trading volumes
None unless you’re withdrawing ETH, ERC-20 tokens, or small amounts of Bitcoin. These fees can also be avoided by staking FTT to earn bonus free withdrawals.
Available globally with the exception of restricted jurisdictions which include:
In the follow jurisdictions, services may be restricted to certain users:
FTX has a Telegram group and also offers email support for customers
Web/Desktop Account Access