FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange Review

FTX is a latecomer to the cryptocurrency exchange market, having launched in February 2019. The exchange is registered in Antigua and Barbuda, headquartered in Hong Kong, and is backed by Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency liquidity provider which manages more than $100m in digital assets and trades up to $1.5bn per day. Founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang continue to develop the platform as CEO and CTO respectively (note that the duo also founded Alameda Research). Interestingly, the main investor during their funding rounds was Binance. In total, their funding rounds raised them a cool $8m.

When it comes to derivatives trading, FTX is one of the best options on the market, as there are more than 100 different crypto futures options to choose from, compared to rivals like Deribit (2) and Bitmex (8).

The Positives

  • The interface is simple, clean, and easy to navigate
  • FTX offers a quality mobile app that users rate highly
  • The platform focuses on derivatives trading and offers more than 100 different cryptocurrencies for futures trading, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple
  • Up to 101x leverage, which means users borrow from the exchange and can effectively trade with a balance 101 times greater than their actual funds
  • FTX also offers an innovative service called Leveraged Tokens. These tokens already have leveraged exposure applied, meaning that when a position is profitable, the leverage will automatically increase (max 3x), and when it’s in a negative position, the leverage reduces to mitigate risk and losses
  • Customer support is available by email ticket and, interestingly, by Telegram in groups supporting 10 different languages
  • Deposits are available in a number of cryptocurrencies, including:
    • TUSD
    • USDC
    • PAX
    • Bitcoin
    • Ethereum
    • Bitcoin Cash
    • Litecoin
    • Tether
    • Leveraged Tokens supported by FTX
  • Deposits can also be made in several fiat currencies, including:
    • USD
    • EUR
    • GBP
    • AUD
    • CAD
    • CHF
    • HKD
    • SGD
    • ZAR
  • OTC trading is enabled for users who want to trade peer-to-peer in large amounts
  • Easy stablecoin settlements and quick conversions within one quality margin wallet

The Negatives

  • Users who want to protect their anonymity can only withdraw $1000 (lifetime) and will need to provide forms of ID for KYC in order to climb the security tiers
  • There’s no telephone customer support available
  • Because of the niche nature of some of their products, liquidity can be an issue
  • Trading with futures options and leverages is not for beginners and so this platform is really designed for advanced traders – it even has a leaderboard
  • US investors are not allowed on the FTX exchange

Which cryptocurrencies are available?

With more than 100 crypto futures options, you’ll be sure to find some assets that work for you. Below, we’ve listed some of the more well-known names.

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Litecoin
  • Chainlink
  • Yearn.Finance
  • EOS
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Bitcoin SV
  • Cardano
  • Polkadot
  • Tezos
  • Zcash

FTX also has its native token, FTT. By holding FTT, users will get socialized gains from the insurance fund on FTX. The platform will also buy and burn FTT equal to 33% of all fees generated on FTX markets. FTT is also usable as collateral on FTX and the final benefit relates to fees, which we will discuss in the following section.

Some information about fees

There are no withdrawal or deposit fees for using FTX, aside from the mining costs, which makes FTX very competitive in the derivatives trading industry.

Transaction fees are as described in the table below:

Tier 30D Volume (USD) Maker Fees Taker Fees
1 0 0.02% 0.07%
2 >1m 0.02% 0.06%
3 >5m 0.015% 0.055%
4 >10m 0.015% 0.05%
5 >15m 0.01% 0.045%
6 >35m 0.01% 0.04%

It’s also possible for users to gain discounts on FTX fees by holding a certain value of FTX’s native token, FTT. Discounts vary from 3% for those holding $100 of FTT, scaling all the way up to 60% for those holding over $5m worth of FTT.

The final say

What FTX has achieved in a short amount of time is impressive, becoming a popular and reliable exchange for derivative and leveraged trading. Bitcoin options, cryptocurrency futures, and low costs make this a platform with a bright future. Combine all of that with 101x leverage, the use of some less common altcoins, and a native token that offers major discounts, and you have all of the ingredients for a reliable derivatives exchange.

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