FTX.com Review – Scam or Not?

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FTX.com offers versatile trading options for experienced traders. More than 10 different altcoins are available to trade with low fees and tight spreads. The deep orderbooks ensure fast execution and you can engage in margin trades up to 101x leverage. Among the first on the market, FTX.com also offers index futures for cryptocurrencies with stablecoin settlements. Lots of features, native token and mobile apps helps traders to make the most out of crypto trading on FTX.com

Review Contents

About the company

FTX’s mission is to build a professional trading platform for traders that want to experience the same environment with cryptocurrencies just as they would do on other professional trading platforms dealing with traditional assets. FTX has been built by real traders so owners of the platform are completely aware of the needs of the everyday market participants and aim to deliver a unique experience for them.

Alameda Research

FTX.com is a crypto exchange founded by Alameda Research which is one of the major cryptocurrency liquidity providers. Alameda Research was founded in 2017 ad manages over 100 million dollars in digital assets, trading over a billion-dollar volume a day across thousands of products. The company behind FTX.com is FTX Trading LTD, incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda.

Sam Bankman-Fried

The privately held company has been founded in 2018 with the current CEO and founder being Sam Bankban-Fried. Sam is working from the Hong Kong Headquarter of FTX, and he is also the CEO of Alameda Research. Prior to joining the crypto space, Fried was a trader at Jane Street, a tech-focused quantitative trading firm in New York. He holds a physics degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he graduated in 2014.

Gary Wang

The CTO of FTX.com is an ex-Googler, Gary Wang, prior to joining Alameda Research and FTX, he built a system for aggregating flight prices at Google and he was also working for Facebook for a short period of time. Gary is also graduated from MIT with a degree in Computer Science.

The company is active on a couple of social media platforms, you can find them on Facebook here where they often share pictures and stories from the everyday life of the CEO and the office. On Youtube, you may subscribe to their channel to get a deeper understanding of how the products on FTX.com works and how trading looks like in live-action. You may find them on Linkedin, but there are no content on their page. In their blog, however, there is plenty of useful information you can read about cryptocurrency trading, how the platform and the markets work in general and often interesting researches are shared in partnership with Alameda Research. These articles are also cross shared on Twitter. In case you want to contact FTX.com, you can reach them on Telegram and WeChat.

On Telegram, eight different channels help individuals from various countries to get in touch with the staff and each other in their own native language. Beyond English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Turkish, Taiwanese, French and Korean support staff can help you in your own language and you can join the team of traders to discuss live events and trading tips on these channels.

Getting Started with FTX.com

To sign up on FTX.com you will need an email and a password to get started.

FTX sing up

Upon signup you are immediately prompted to set a 2FA to secure your account. Although it is not mandatory to set 2FA, it is highly recommended to set it to protect your account in case of password leaks or other security breaches. You can also ignore this for now and set it up later on your profile page.

FTX

Once you have managed to sign up you are already good to start trading. KYC is not mandatory on FTX.com, however, your lifetime withdrawals are limited to 1000 USD and you can only deposit crypto without a verification.

There are three different levels are available to verify your identity. Level 1 identity verification allows you to withdraw up to 2000 USD daily from FTX.com and you can also trade with FTT, the platform’s native token. To pass the first level of verification you need to provide your full name, country of residence. They also ask you to provide a preferred chat app, like Telegram, WeChat or KakaoTalk so the support staff will be able to reach you more easily.  At this point, you are not required to provide any documents yet.

FTX Identity verification

If you want to get access to higher limits, you need to go through the identity verification process. For unlimited crypto withdrawals beyond providing your name and country of residence, you are also requested to upload a government-issued photo ID and a selfie holding your ID and a note that you have taken this photo exclusively for FTX verification on a given date. Fiat deposits and withdrawals FTX also request proof of your residence which can be proven in the form of a recent utility bill.

An interesting piece of information regarding the KYC process at FTX that if you would like to proceed to Level 3 verification that lets you to withdraw unlimited fiat and crypto funds from the platform, FTX requires a bank statement issued to the address given on the utility bill for proof of address and you are also requested to provide information about where did you source the funds you deposit on the exchange. Usual KYC processes on other exchanges do not require to disclose personal finances in such manner.

After passing the KYC process in any form you are ready to deposit to your FTX account. Remember, you can use the platform even with an email and password, but in this case your withdrawals are limited to 1000 USD in total. Giving them your name and country of residence lifts the all-time limit to daily 2000 USD in both crypto and fiat withdrawals.

You also need to turn on 2FA verification to be able to deposit and withdraw. You can use both 2FA authentication apps like Authy or Google or use an SMS authentication with your mobile.

FTX wallet

Go to your wallet in your FTX account and select the currency you would like to deposit. You can deposit in USD in the form of stablecoins, like TUSD, USDC, PAX, BUSD, and HUSD. You can also deposit in Bitcoin and 10 other altcoins, including the platform’s native token, FTT.

Once you have selected coins you want to deposit, you are given a unique deposit address where you can send the funds to. If you have passed level 2 verification, you are also offered to buy bitcoin with a credit card using Simplex’s services.

FTX Deposit BTC

Make sure you send the correct type of the coins for your unique deposit address as FTX is unable to reallocate coins if they have been sent to the wrong address. This is especially important if you want to deposit for Bitcoin tokens that enable you to trade with leverage on FTX as in this case you need to send ERC 20 token on the Ethereum blockchain NOT Bitcoin to the given address. You can also send Bitcoin to the platform in the first place and convert later on to other coins, just make sure the coins you deposit matches with the address type you are given. This can be a bit confusing for newbies, so make sure you understand how ERC 20 token works and the differences between the blockchains.

Once you have funds on your account, you are ready to trade.

Markets on FTX.com

You can trade on the spot market on FTX.com com with various coins, including BTC and ETH against the USD. For FTT, the platforms native token, you can trade against both USDT and BTC.

FTX Chart 1

FTX.com is a bit different compared to other exchanges where you can only trade with bitcoin and altcoins as it also offers some unique instruments, including futures, options moves and leveraged tokens.

FTX

Futures lets you to bet on the future price of an instrument or even events! You can bet on the winner of the 2020 US Presidential election for example, but of course, you can speculate on the price of Bitcoin at given future dates.

FTX Chart 2

MOVE contracts show the absolute value of the underlying instrument for a period of time. So if bitcoin price move 100 USD a day, the move contract with expire at 100 USD no matter if the movement was up or down. Long MOVE lets you speculate on the volatility in bitcoin prices and short move will profit you in case bitcoin price is stable. You can also use leverage on MOVE contracts.

FTX

Bitcoin options are also available on FTX.com, you can buy and sell put and call contracts with various expiration dates. These bitcoin options are settled in cash in USD stablecoins and it is also possible to trade on leverage with options.

FTX Chart 2

Beyond the 12 different altcoins, you can also deposit and trade with various ERC 20 tokens enabling you to engage in leveraged trading with direct exposure. For example, the 3X Long Bitcoin Token, called BULL lets you buy an ERC 20 token which price moves together with 3 times the daily return of Bitcoin. Similarly, the 1X Short Bitcoin Token is an ERC20 type of token that seeks a return that corresponds to -1 times the daily return of Bitcoin, thus letting you hedge your long position. There are quite a lot of similar leverages and short tokens are available on FTX for various coins and various amounts of leverage.

FTX Chart 3

You can convert BTC and USD (stablecoins) into BULL token. You can create a BULL token directly with depositing USD or you can redeem BULL token to receive USD (stablecoins).

Order Types

All of the most popular order types are available at FTX.com. Market and limit orders are the most frequently used order types to take profit or limit your loss on your portfolio. Stop and take order are available in combination with market and limit orders.

FTX

Post only orders guarantee that your order will be executed at a market rate otherwise, it is canceled. Immediate or cancel orders guarantee that your order will be a limit order at execution, otherwise it will be canceled.

Trading Fees

FTX.com has a 6 tier trading fee structure where the fees are declining according to the trading volume in the past 30 days. Maker fees start from 0.02% and taker fees from 0.07%. Market makers can join the exchange’s VIP program, which offers lower (even zero!) trading fees with dedicated account managers both on the trading and technical side.

You can get a discount on trading fees up to 60% if you are holding FTT tokens, the platform’s own native token.

For leveraged token creation and redemption, FTX charges a 0.10% fee and the daily management of leveraged position ost 0.03%. Above 50x leverage trading fees increase by 0.02% and above 100x you need to pay an additional 0.03% for increased exposure to risk.

There are no fees on deposits, withdrawals or future settlements at FTX.com.

Supported Trading Pairs

Cryptocurrencies:

BTC/USD, ETH/USD, LTC/USD, BCH/USD, USDT/USD, FTT/USD, BNB/USD, FTT/BTC, FTT/USDT, TRYB/USD, BTMX/USD, PAXG/USD, XAUT/USD

USD means the following stablecoins: TUSD, USDC, PAX, BUSD and HUSD.

Leveraged tokens:

BEAR/USD, BULL/USD, ETHBEAR/USD, BSVBEAR/USD, XTZBULL/USD, BSVBULL/USD, ETHBULL/USD, LINKBEAR/USD, ALGOBULL/USD, LINKBULL/USD, TRXBULL/USD, XTZBEAR/USD, XRPBULL/USD, BCHBULL/USD, EOSBULL/USD, BNBBULL/USD, ETCBEAR/USD, ALGOBEAR/USD, ATOMBULL/USD, OKBBULL/USD, XRPBEAR/USD, LTCBULL/USD, BEARSHIT/USD, BNBBEAR/USD, ALTBULL/USD, BCHBEAR/USD, MATICBULL/USD, ALTBEAR/USD, TOMOBULL/USD, MIDBULL/USD, OKBBEAR/USD, LTCBEAR/USD, ETCBULL/USD, EOSBEAR/USD, HTBULL/USD, DOGEBULL/USD, BULLSHIT/USD, DRGNBULL/USD, DOGEBEAR/USD, MATICBEAR/USD, BTMXBULL/USD, ATOMBEAR/USD, ADABULL/USD, EXCHBULL/USD, TOMOBEAR/USD, PAXGBULL/USD, PAXGBEAR/USD, LEOBEAR/USD, TRXBEAR/USD, ADABEAR/USD, PRIVBULL/USD, XAUTBULL/USD, MIDBEAR/USD, PRIVBEAR/USD, HTBEAR/USD, DRGNBEAR/USD, BTMXBEAR/USD, EXCHBEAR/USD, TRYBBEAR/USD, TRYBBULL/USD, LEOBULL/USD, USDTBEAR/USD, USDTBULL/USD, XAUTBEAR/USD

FTT is the native trading token of FTX.com. It is an ERC20 utility token that allows holder of FTT to enjoy several benefits, including lower fees, rebates, colletarals, insurances and weekly burnings.

Supported Countries

FTX.com is currently not supporting users from the United States and other restricted countries listed in the terms and conditions.

Restricted countries include the United States of America, Cuba, Crimea and Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, North Korea, or Antigua and Barbuda.

If you are from a country not listed above, you may use FTX according to their terms and conditions.

FTX

Website Features

FTX.com has a lot of features which might deter newbies from using the platform. However, the team did their best to help everyone in the onboarding. Upon each step from the start of the registration until lacing the first trade, the site has many references, breadcrumbs that help you to stay on track and get to know the platform.

FTX

The user manuals, articles, and videos help you to speed up the learning curve, but the platform itself is very userfriendly. There are plenty of hints around the pages, where if you hover your mouse over, it explains what a certain button or feature does.

FTX

The interface is clear, it is using the standard chart from TradingView which is common to most experienced traders anyway with its charing tools. You can change the grouping of the order book and talk with others in the Trollbox chat window.

The trading platform is also available for mobile devices in the Play Store and in the iOS App Store. You can also connect to the exchange using the REST API to automate trading completely.

User experience

Although FTX offers a wide range of services and features it easy to get around the platform. The breadcrumbs help you to find your way on the website and there are also a lot of information that helps you to get started quickly.

KYC is not mandatory on the platform but can increase your limits. One thing to note is that for higher-level verification FTX also requests you to provide personal financial information including bank statements and source of funds.

The website and the content of their supporting pages are available in 12 languages, including, English, Korean, Turkish, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese.

As of now, no one has reported FTX.com as a scam even though their users are not very active on social media channels. Users just warning others regarding the volatile nature of leveraged tokens in various posts, like this in Reddit. Indeed, trading with leverage, especially with these tokenized assets involves high risk.

Customer Support

You can reach FTX.com on various platforms in case you have a question beyond their in-depth FAQ page. Telegram is available in 8 different languages and you can send them a mail even in Korean – besides English.

Security

There are not too much information available about the security measures FTX.com employs.

2FA is essential for trading, depositing and withdrawal at FTX.com that increase.

Beyond this, FTX encourages anyone to report any incident and supporting “whistleblowers” during investigations.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about FTX.com

What are the fees on FTX.com?

FTX.com uses a volume-weighted maker-taker fee schedule, starting from 0.02%-0.07%. Holding FTT, the platform’s native token can further decrease the trading fees. Even holding $100 in FTT decreases the trading fees by 3%. Leveraged trading fees start from 0.1% and increasing with 0.02% at 50x and 0.03% at 100x. The daily management fee of leveraged trades is 0.03%.

What are FTX’s volumes?

The trading volumes for FTX.com trading pairs are listed on the exchange’s volume monitor. They take reporting very seriously as 80% of the reported trading volume on the cryptomarket seems to be fake according to recent researches. According to this list FTX is currently the 5th biggest exchange based on reported trading volume after Huobi, Binance and OKex.

Which coins are listed on FTX?

The following cryptocurrencies are supported on FTX.com at the moment: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Tether, FTX Token, Binance Coin, FTX Token, FTX Token, BiLira, BitMax Token, PAX Gold, Tether Gold. FTX.com also list 60+ combination of leveraged tokens which are the following: 3X Short Bitcoin Token, 3X Long Bitcoin Token, 3X Short Ethereum Token, 3X Short Bitcoin SV Token, 3X Long Tezos Token, 3X Long Bitcoin SV Token, 3X Long Ethereum Token, 3X Short Chainlink Token, 3X Long Algorand Token, 3X Long Chainlink Token, 3X Long TRX Token, 3X Short Tezos Token, 3X Long XRP Token, 3X Long Bitcoin Cash Token, 3X Long EOS Token, 3X Long BNB Token, 3X Short Ethereum Classic Token, 3X Short Algorand Token, 3X Long Cosmos Token, 3X Long OKB Token, 3X Short XRP Token, 3X Long Litecoin Token, 3X Short Shitcoin Index Token, 3X Short BNB Token, 3X Long Altcoin Index Token, 3X Short Bitcoin Cash Token, 3X Long Matic Token, 3X Short Altcoin Index Token, 3X Long TomoChain Token, 3X Long Midcap Index Token, 3X Short OKB Token, 3X Short Litecoin Token, 3X Long Ethereum Classic Token, 3X Short EOS Token, 3X Long Huobi Token Token, 3X Long Dogecoin Token, 3X Long Shitcoin Index Token, 3X Long Dragon Index Token, 3X Short Dogecoin Token, 3X Short Matic Token, 3X Long BitMax Token Token, 3X Short Cosmos Token, 3X Long Cardano Token, 3X Long Exchange Token Index Token, 3X Short TomoChain Token, 3X Long PAX Gold Token, 3X Short PAX Gold Token, 3X Short LEO Token, 3X Short TRX Token, 3X Short Cardano Token, 3X Long Privacy Index Token, 3X Long Tether Gold Token, 3X Short Midcap Index Token, 3X Short Privacy Index Token, 3X Short Huobi Token Token, 3X Short Dragon Index Token, 3X Short BitMax Token Token, 3X Short Exchange Token Index Token, 3X Short BiLira Token, 3X Long BiLira Token, 3X Long LEO Token, 3X Short Tether Token, 3X Long Tether Token, 3X Short Tether Gold Token

Is FTX.com available in the USA?

No, at the moment, FTX.com does not provide service to US residents as detailed in their terms and conditions. Up on registration you are prompted to select the country of residence but you are only required to provide proof of address at level 2 verification.

Which are the supported countries on FTX.com?

FTX supports almost all countries globally, except for the United States of America, Cuba, Crimea and Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, North Korea, or Antigua and Barbuda.

What is FTT token?

FTT token is the native ERC20 token of FTX.com cryptocurrency exchange. There is 85M tokens are in circulation out of the total 346M coins with the last price around 2 USD. You can buy FTT using BTC, USD and USDT and the token is also listed on several other exchanges, like Binance, BitMax, CoinEx, Huobi and Bitfinex. Holding FTT token can help you reduce the trading fees on FTX.com.

What is the maximum leverage on FTX?

FTX.com supports leverage up to 101x, depending on the instrument. On the spot market there is no leverage option. On the perpetual futures, MOVE and markets, you can trade up to 101x leverage. You can also use leveraged tokens to increase your exposure to the market.

What are FTX’s leveraged tokens?

Leveraged tokens are ERC20 tokens which represent a position in a future contract where the price of the token follows the underlying asset. Currently there are -1x (short), and +/-3x leveraged tokens are available at FTX.com in the following coins: BTC, ETH, BSV, XTZ, LINK, ALGO, XRP, BCH, EOS, BNB, ETC, ATOM, OKB, LTC, SHIT, ALT, MATIC, TOMO, MID, HT, DOGE, DRGN, BTMX, ADA, EXCH, PAX, LEO, PRIV, XAUT, MIDB, HTBE, TRYB, LEOB, USDT.

Can you bet on Trom on FTX.com?

Yes! There is a unique market on FTX for the 2020 US Presidential Election. You can buy futures contracts with the names of the various candidates including Trump, Sanders, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Warren and Biden where the price of futures are depending on the demand on the market. Each contract expires to 1 USD if the corresponding candidate wins the 2020 US presidential general election, and zero otherwise.

How is Alameda Research connected to FTX.com?

Alameda Research is a quantitative trading firm that is focusing on digital assets and currently managing over 100 million USD worth of instruments. The founder and CEO of Alameda Research is Sam Bankban-Fried who is also the founder of FTX.com cryptocurrency exchange.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • low fees
  • various exotic products: bitcoin options, altcoin futures, president election futures
  • possible to buy bitcoin with a credit card using simplex 
  • no (or low level) KYC is required to use the platform

Cons:

  • might not be suitable for newbies
  • leveraged tokens can be risky
  • fiat is not supported, only stablecoins

Conclusion

FTX.com is a relatively new cryptocurrency trading platform that offers several exotic crypto products, like bitcoin options, altcoin futures, and futures for the coming presidential elections. Trading fees are fairly low compared to other exchanges that can be reduced even more with holding the exchange’s own token. Their leveraged tokens give you exposure to even more to the market movements, however, due to the nature of these products they involve significant risk and might not be suitable for newbies. Overall the platform’s features are easy to understand and use even for starters, but the product scope might not be the best fit for everyone but for more experienced traders.

 

Go to FTX.com