cex.io chart

CEX.IO is a cryptocurrency exchange and former Bitcoin cloud mining provider. Founded in London in 2013, CEX first began as a cloud mining provider that owned the Ghash.io pool. As an online digital currency exchanger, CEX.IO offers the trading of cryptocurrency for fiat money, including USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB. The exchange charges commissions from 0% to 0.25%  on trades using the Maker-Taker fee schedule. The current list of cryptocurrencies available on CEX.io is Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, XLM, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Zcash, and Bitcoin Gold.

cex cryptoName: CEX
URL: https://www.cex.io
Total trading pairs: 15
Founded: 2013
Deposit fees: no
Withdrawal fees: no
Trading fees: 0.00% – 0.20%
Margin trading: no
USA accepted: yes
Verification levels and withdrawal limits:

Verification Level


Basic Daily: 1000 USD; Monthly: 3,000 USD
Verified Unlimited
Verified Plus Unlimited
Corporate Unlimited


CEX.io allows for initial registration using email, Google Oauth, or Facebook Oauth. To continue after Oauth, you will still need to manually input your email address. An email verification link will be sent to you. Upon verification, you are directed to the /buysell page, which has prices for currency available for purchase by Credit Card, good for the next 66 seconds. After that, a new price is populated, based on exchange rate, and you are given a further 120 seconds.

cex.io screenshot


A full guide to account verification is available here. With basic registration, you are allowed to buy and sell bitcoin with a daily limit of $1000 via credit card only, and a monthly limit of $3000. Verification allows you to make bank transfers and take commissions as well as removes the deposit/withdrawal account limits on basic registration.


CEX.io verification screenshot
CEX.io verification

The Verified level requires the submission of identifying documentation (DL, Passport, or ID card) and a tax reference number, such as a social security number. This will include your address and scans/photos of your identification documents.

CEX personal information verification
CEX personal information verification

In the personal information section, the registree will be required to submit their Gender, date of birth, first, middle, and last name, place of birth, and contact number. Optionally you can submit social media profiles as well. The following page is a simple address verification form.

From the CEX.io website:


Most popular methods: Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer (SWIFT, SEPA), cryptocurrency


Protection against DDoS attacks, full data encryption, compliant with PCI DSS standards


Providing services in 99% countries around the globe, including 24 states of USA


Registration in the UKMSB status in FinCEN, essential licenses and strong relations with banks


1:2 and 1:3 leverages, automatic funds borrowing, no extra accounts needed, negative balance protection.


Reasonable trading fees for takers and makers, special conditions for high volume traders, strong offers for market makers.


Trading via website, mobile appWebSocket and REST API. FIX API for institutional traders


Downloadable reports, real-time balance, transaction history with transparent fees


Fast order execution, low spread, access to high liquidity orderbook for top currency pairs

Founded in 2013, LakeBTC is a Shanghai-based cryptocurrency market that hosts 8 trading pairs. It offers an API for programmatic trading and finds itself at #17 on BlockExplorers top 25 Cryptocurrency Exchanges of 2017 list. While writing this review, LakeBTCs website went down for a little over a day, which could indicate some technical issues.

LakeBTC has some activity on all of its trading pairs. As such, LakeBTC would be recommended to mid or low tier traders looking for somewhere active but somewhat small to trade.

lakebtc crypto


URL: lakebtc.com
Total Trading pairs: 8
Founded: 2013
Deposit Fees: No
Withdrawal Fees: No
Trading Fees: Yes, 0.00%-0.2%
Verification: Yes, One level


Registration on LakeBTC is a two-step process. The first step to registering is entering an email address and password. Before you can log in, you are required to follow the link emailed to you in order to confirm your address.


LakeBTC offers a single verification level. You are only required to verify your account if you wish to deposit and withdraw fiat via a bank wire. The process of gaining the verification level has one step and involves a decent amount of personal information. Specifically, you are required to provide your full name, full address, proof of residence no older than three months, and photo government ID. An image of you holding the ID submitted is required if you intend sending “high volume bank wires”. Though what constitutes ‘high volume’ in this context is not stated.


LakeBTC has two trading interfaces, both of which are a bright white with black text and blue highlights. The more simple interface has no chart and has tabs for buying and selling your selected trading pair, with an order book alongside the order placement form. This extremely simplistic trading interface feels very restrictive, as most of the information even novice traders would want is not available. Otherwise, the more advanced trading interface seems to use flash, which makes it impossible to use on most modern browsers.


LakeBTC has some good practices and some bad ones. It offers two methods of Two Factor Authentication. Specifically, SMS based and Google Authenticator based 2FA. Otherwise, LakeBTC still uses Adobe Flash, which is a known security vulnerability.

Launched and founded in 2015 by Joshua and Phillip Scigala, Vaultoro is a Bitcoin/gold bullion exchange. Vaultoro is the first of its kind, allowing its users to trade Bitcoin and gold bullion. It finds itself at #17 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 exchanges of 2017 list.

Vaultoro accepts Bitcoin directly, and altcoins via ShapeShift.io. It is recommended for all traders in its niche and there is also an API available for traders looking to trade programmatically.


vaultoro cryptoURL: vaultoro.com
Launched: 20 February 2015
Trading pairs: 1 (Gold/Bitcoin)
Deposit Fees: No
Withdrawal Fees: Yes, for bullion and for BTC
Trading fees: Yes 0.5%-0.2%
Verification: Yes


Vaultoro allows its users to trade Bitcoin for gold bullion, which is stored in a secure vault in Switzerland. When buying gold, some of the gold stored in the vault is marked as yours, which you can then withdraw. The gold you receive from withdrawal is not the same gold as that which was stored in the vault. Vaultoro sells the gold in the vault and sends you fresh gold from a refinery selected depending on your location.


Registration on Vaultoro requires only an email address and a password. Once entered, you will receive a verification email. Registration is complete once you verify your email address.


Vaultoro has a single verification level that is required to trade on the platform. Getting verified is a one-step process where you submit a large amount of personal information. You are required to submit your full name, date of birth, full address, a government ID, and proof of residence, with pictures to verify the last two.


When trading, there is a fee applied based on the size of the trade, measured in grams of gold. On the low end that is 0.5% for trades under 500 grams, and on the high end, it is 0.2% for orders over 5000 grams.

There are no fees on depositing Bitcoin, and for withdrawal, there is a 0.004 withdrawal fee.

For gold, you pay a 0.4% fee for storage per year, this fee is based on the current amount of gold you have, and is updated every 15 minutes. When withdrawing gold, as described above, you pay a fee which accounts for the smelting and forming of the bars at the chosen refinery. The specifics around the fees are based on which ‘zone’ your country is in, and there is a minimum of 100 grams for withdrawal. Note that you can only have gold delivered to your verified address.


The trading interface Vaultoro offers is rather simple, with a bright off-white background and muted colors. The off-white nature of the background makes it more comfortable on the eyes for late night trading than some of the clean white backgrounds on other exchanges. The interface has the current prices over time and your balances at the top. A combination chart and order book at the bottom. The current price and order submission in the middle.


Vaultoro offers two main account security features. Specifically, you can be notified via email for various account actions, such as login, withdrawal, and deposit, and you can secure your account by way of Two Factor Authentication.

Physical security-wise, the gold is stored in a Swiss vault operated by the German company Pro Arum.

Gemini is a New York-based, licensed digital asset exchange that also offers custodian services for digital assets.  The exchange was launched in 2015 by prominent bitcoin investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and ranks #12 on BlockExplorer’s Top 25 Exchanges of 2017 list. The exchange serves the U.S., U.K., Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

The platform allows investors to trade BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC. Its clean and easy-to-use interface is well suited for both beginners and advanced traders.

While a limited number of trading pairs might be a drawback for traders, the Winklevoss twins said their main 2018 goal for Gemini Exchange is expanding to other tokens such as Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

A major advantage of Gemini is their proactive approach to abide by regulations.  In 2015, Cameron Winklevoss stated, “Our philosophy is to ask for permission, not forgiveness.”  Before launching, it became a fully compliant and fully registered enterprise with FDIC coverage on client USD balances. It is also the first US exchange to be officially licensed for both ether and bitcoin trading making it one of the most legitimate exchanges in the world.

Gemini Exchange Summary:

gemini crypto

URL: https://gemini.com/
Total trading pairs: 3
Founded: 2015
Deposit fees: No
Withdrawal fees: Free up to 10 withdrawals per month
Trading fees: 0.00% – 0.25%
Margin trading: No
Verification levels and deposit/withdrawal limits:

Verification Level


Individual ACH Daily Deposit/Withdrawal: $500/$10,000; ACH Monthly Deposit/Withdrawal: $15,000/$100,000; Cryptocurrency: No Limit
Institutional ACH Daily Deposit/Withdrawal: $10,000/$10,000; ACH Monthly Deposit/Withdrawal: $300,000/$100,000; Cryptocurrency: No Limit

Creating Your Account

Starting a new account at Gemini.com is simple — just go to the homepage and click on Register

Enter your full name, email address, and create a password — then select Create My Account

Open a new tab and check your email for an Activation Code, copy and paste it into the previous tab — then select Submit


Next is a three-step identity verification process:



  1. Link your cell phone number up with your account — this makes receiving login verification codes easy. Two-factor authentication is a standard requirement for most exchanges and enhances account security.
  2. Link your bank account using your online banking login credentials. The bank account must be in the same name as the new Gemini account holder. If you don’t want to fork over your login information, you can verify your bank account using a wire transfer instead.
  3. Finally, you must submit documentation that proves your identity and address, like a copy of a bank statement with your address clearly printed.

Conclusion: Is Gemini a Good Exchange?

Gemini has a solid reputation and suitable volume for institutional and individual investors. A smooth interface paired with real USD, regulatory compliance, and low fees makes Gemini an attractive alternative to Coinbase’s GDAX.

Binance is a China-based cryptocurrency exchange that launched in July 2017 and is at #15 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 cryptocurrency exchanges of 2017 list. After its launch, Binance rapidly expanded to serving over six million users across the world.

Binance’s 267 crypto/crypto trading pairs and over 6 million users make it an extremely large exchange, suited for traders looking for high liquidity and rapid trades, though only if they do not require fiat trading pairs. The addition of an API also makes it suited to traders looking for programmatic trading opportunities.


binance cryptoURL:  binance.com
Total Trading Pairs: 267
Deposit Fees: No
Withdrawal Fees: Yes
Trading Fees: Yes, 0.1%
Margin Trading: No
Verification: Yes, for higher withdrawal limits


Registering with Binance is rather simple, it requires an email address and a password. Note that you cannot use a ‘+’ in your email address. Once you have submitted the registration form you will receive a confirmation email that includes your IP address.


For trading, Binance charges a flat 0.1% fee on all trades. Withdrawal fees differ per currency and are changed often. There are no fees for deposits.

Simple and Advanced Exchanges

Binance has two different interfaces for its exchange. One is a simple interface for novice traders, and the other is a more advanced interface that has more information available for those that understand it.


Binance’s interface is different depending on whether you use the simple or advanced trading platforms. For the simple one, the interface is a bright white with yellow highlights and black text. And the advanced trading platform has a dark grey background with light grey text. Both feature a chart, order submission form, trade history, and order book. Though the advanced interface has a more complex graph and a different layout. Specifically, a chart on the left with various histories below it, and an order book, trade histories and order submission form on the right.


There are three verification levels on Binance.

Verification level 1 is set by default on new accounts and has a 2 BTC or equivalent withdrawal limit.

You cannot start the process of gaining level 2 without having configured 2FA on your account. Otherwise, level 2 requires some personal information and a few pictures. Specifically, you must submit your full name, gender, country, the number on your government ID, a scan of the cover of your government ID, a scan of the identifying page of your government ID, and a selfie of you holding your ID and a note with the date and the phrase ‘Binance’ on it. Level 2 has increased withdrawal limits, specifically, 50 BTC or equivalent.

Level three requires contacting Binance directly, and its benefits are not posted.


Binance’s security practices are very good. Otherwise, there is a popup explaining basic security practices that you are required to read when you log into your account for the first time. After which there are constant reminders to set up Two Factor Authentication, which is available via Google Authenticator.