FTX has made a name for itself in a short period and emerged as one of the fastest-growing crypto derivatives platforms. It is consistently ranked within the top-5 crypto derivatives platform by volume.
FTX is becoming one of the favorite crypto margin trading platforms among retail and institutional class traders with its unique positioning and several industry-first derivatives products.
So, what makes this exchange a unique one? And, as a trader, should you use this platform? Is the platform safe and legit? Let’s have an in-depth review of FTX.
FTX Exchange Review
FTX is a crypto derivatives platform founded in 2018 and launched its services in May-2019. It was initially incubated by Alamanda Research, a global liquidity provider to crypto exchanges.
Its website mentions that FTX is built by traders for traders and strives to build a powerful platform for professional, institutional firms.
Yes, it is true. The co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was once a trader at Jane Street Capital’s international ETF desk. Another co-founder and CTO, Gary Wang, is an ex-Google executive.
FTX is one of the most well-funded crypto exchange platforms, successfully raising $8 million in various funding rounds. The funding rounds participants included Binance, FBG Capital, Greylock Partners, Kinetic, One Block Capital, and many others.
FTX Supported Cryptocurrencies
FTX supports all the major cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, BNB, LINK, FTT, BCH, USDT, and XRP.
There are at least 275 supported coins and tokens on the global FTX platform. However, the FTX.US supports relatively fewer coins, as traders can currently only form trading pairs with around 22 coins.
It is also worth noting that a few notable coins are missing on the platform. They include Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Avalanche (AVAX), and Stellar (XLM). Therefore, if these are the assets you prefer to trade, the platform might not work for you.
The good news is that the FTX team is constantly updating the list of the supported assets for both their global and US platforms. The list includes the trading pairs the coins will form for both spot and futures markets and their network.
Other numbers to keep in mind is that FTX also offers perpetual swaps in over 30 major cryptocurrencies, spot trading in 28 tokens, leveraged trading in 45 tokens, 12 index futures, 9 MOVE contracts, 4 bitcoin volatility tokens, BTC option contracts, and fiat contracts.
FTX Product Offerings
FTX has a wide variety of products on both their global and US trading platforms, so you can be sure there are more than enough ways to use your crypto to make money.
Their product offering includes the more traditional ones you get on typical cryptocurrency derivatives exchange like futures, options, spot, index futures, commodities, MOVE contracts, and others such as predictions contracts.
Here is an overview of the main products this crypto derivatives trading platform has to offer:
1. MOVE Contracts: These are a version of futures, which expires to the amount of underline that has moved. It lets users trade on bitcoin contracts without having to know the direction of price. Therefore, provided the price of the underlying asset moves in any direction, you can make a profit.
2. FTX Leveraged Tokens: FTX offers up to 101X leverage, but by default, the maximum leverage is set at 10X on all accounts as a risk management practice. Traders on the platform get to trade over 45 different FTX leveraged tokens. Additionally, the exchange supports Bull and Bear token trading.
3. Futures Trading: FTX allows crypto traders to open futures contracts on 20 different cryptocurrencies, including primary coins like BTC and ETH. They have perpetual futures with no expiry dates and quarterly futures that expire after three months.
4. Predictions Contracts: Prediction contracts are a unique FTX product that allows traders to place bids on different events. They are more like betting on the potential outcome of real-world events such as upcoming elections.
5. Options Contracts: Option contracts are more like futures contracts. If you open an options contract, you have the right to buy/sell a certain number of digital assets at a predetermined price. However, unlike futures, they give you a right and not an obligation, meaning you can opt out of the contract.
6. Spot Market: The FTX spot market allows you to make money more traditionally by buying and selling cryptocurrencies. It is the simplest crypto trading method and also less risky, but many professional traders find it less rewarding than crypto derivatives trading.
FTX Derivatives & Order Types
FTX offers all the standard and advanced order types to its users. The different order types include market, limit, stop market, stop limit, take-profit, take-profit limit, and trailing stop.
It also offers three order life options viz immediate-or-cancel order, post, and reduce only orders. Here is a brief description of the main order types you get on your FTX account.
1. Limit Order
A limit order is placed to buy or sell an asset at a specific price. The order is only executed when the specified price is attained. This order type adds liquidity to the market, making you a market maker, leading to lower trading fees.
2. Market Order
A market order uses the current market prices and is hence executed immediately. The market order is ideal when you want to buy or sell an asset or contract immediately. However, going so makes you a liquidity taker, meaning FTX will typically charge you higher trading fees.
3. Stop Loss
Stop-loss orders are available in both market and limit order, and their main intention is to ensure you do not suffer massive losses if the market does not move your away. Here you have to choose a trigger price
4. Trailing Stop
A trailing stop is one of the advanced order types available for FTX trading accounts. The trigger price for this order type will move with the asset’s market price. Therefore, you have to set a trial value instead of entering the trigger price. Your order will only trigger if the asset’s market price moves by the trail value.
5. Take Profit
Take-profit orders are meant to guarantee some earnings before the market price movement changes. Like stop loss, the order is available in both limit and market orders, and the trader has to input the trigger price when setting up the order. When the price gets to the trigger price level, your position is closed automatically. This guarantees you make a profit.
FTX Futures Platform Trading Fees
FTX has a tiered fee structure for the spot and the futures market. The system charges lower fees for high-volume traders and higher fees for those with lower volumes. It follows a maker fee-taker fee pricing model, and the rates are dependent on the last 30-day trading volume.
It starts with a maker fee of 0.02% and a taker fee of 0.07% for traders with a zero 30-day trading volume. The trading fees decrease with an increase in trading volume.
For FTX exchange users with a trading volume of under $2 million, the maker fee is 0.015%, and the taker fee is 0.06%. Once your 30-day trading volume goes beyond the $25 million mark, you will not need to pay any maker fees.
Besides not paying maker fees, traders with a 30-day trading volume of over $50 million will only pay 0.04% as taker fees, which is one of the lowest in the market.
Apart from having a high trading volume, another effective way of decreasing your trading fees on the FTX exchange is by holding the FTX native token (FTT) and using it to pay the transaction fee. Traders paying with FTT get a discount of up to 30% on trading fees plus many other privileges.
Overview of the FTX Native Token (FTT)
FTX has a native token, the FTT, like other top-tier crypto exchanges. Their native token has been gaining a lot of prominence in recent years after its impressive price gains. In 2021 alone, the token price grew by more than 1,000%.
Holding the token is the best way for FTX traders to reduce their transaction fees, given the massive discounts. Additionally, the high price gains over the years also make it a viable token for traders looking for a less volatile token they can hold for speculation purposes.
Moreover, holding the FTT will increase your FTX insurance fund as the company will give you up to 10% as socialized gains.
However, the FTT token will not be viable for US traders as it is not available on the FTX.US platform, given the stricter regulation in the country. According to the FTX website, US traders cannot hold or trade the FTT tokens.
FTX Account Funding Methods and Limits
Regarding funding options, the exchange supports both fiat and crypto deposits. It supports fiat deposits in USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, CHF, HKD, SGD, and ZAR.
At the same time, crypto deposits include BTC, ETH, BCH, BNB, LTC, FTT, BTMX, BiLira, and USD stablecoins.
The actual account funding methods you can use will depend on your country. However, the most common FTX account funding methods are bank transfers, credit/debit cards, Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), Signet, ACH, and wire transfer.
Traders need to check which of these deposit methods is available for their country before making the transaction. Also, FTX does not charge any fees for deposits, so any fees you pay when adding money to your FTX wallet will originate from these third-party platforms.
The deposit limits will depend on your verification level and the method you are using to fund your wallet. For example, if you use ACH and have KYC 1 verification level, you have a $500 limit for a 10-day rolling period. If you make a higher deposit than this within that time, it is halted automatically.
Can’t decide between FTX and Binance? Read our detailed comparison FTX vs Binance to know in detail
FTX Futures Trading Platform
FTX has a very robust trading platform and is very different from other crypto exchange platforms. First-time users will find it complicated at first sight, and it takes a little bit of time to get familiarized with the processes.
The platforms list all the coins available for trading in the ticker slide present on the website’s top. Now, if you want to trade in BTC perpetual, go to the BTC symbol present in the ticker slide and select BTC-PERP from the list of contracts available under the coin.
Upon selecting, the platform gets updated with the relevant data and chart to analyze and place your trade orders. The trading interface includes only four widgets, viz charts, order book, order form, and recent trades.
- TA tools & charts
FTX offers a charting solution from tradingview.com, a leading charting solution provider. It offers all the major and advanced technical indicators required for advanced technical analysis. You can use multiple technical indicators at once for a more comprehensive price analysis.
You can fully customizable your charting screen and adjust it according to your preferences.
- Order book
FTX has a pretty simple and easy-to-understand order book that allows you to make an informed decision. One of the unique features it offers is, you can group the order in nine different multiples. For example, you can see an asset’s price can be set nearest to 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 multiples.
How To Start Trading On FTX
FTX requires KYC verification of its individual users and has three different tiers of KYC verification which provides different capabilities. The following are the different KYC verification levels.
- Level 0: It requires only email verification, but it allows only $1,000 as a lifetime withdrawal limit.
- Level 1: It requires your email, identity, and country of residence verification. It will give you a daily withdrawal limit of $2000 and $9000 if daily higher trade than transfer value.
- Level 2: It requires your full KYC verification, including the source of income, passport, and picture of you holding your ID and a handwritten note with today’s date and FTX. It will give you unlimited withdrawal capability.
- Level 3: Apart from all the documents required in level 2, you need to provide recent address proof and bank statements. It will give you unlimited crypto withdrawals and unlimited OTC fiat wire transfers.
FTX Mobile App
FTX supports both web-based and mobile app trading. The exchange has a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices to allow crypto traders to trade on the go.
The FTX app incorporates most web-based trading functionalities and includes features like a full-screen trading chart. Also, traders can assess basic chart indicators.
You will also be able to place and edit orders, review your trade history and view almost any market information when using the FTX mobile app. The fully functional trading app means that some traders will never have to use the FTX web app at all.
FTX Supported Countries
The FTX exchange platform markets itself as a global crypto trading exchange that caters to traders from anywhere across the globe.
Given its global presence, the exchange supports various other languages besides English, such as Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Therefore, besides using the platform from different parts of the world, you can also access it in a language you understand best.
Although the primary FTX trading platform is not accessible to US traders, you can still trade on FTX if you are a US resident as the company has a separate platform for this, the FTX.US. However, it is essential to note that some functionalities like the FTT token are not available in the USA. Also, US traders have access to a smaller catalog of crypto coins and tokens as FTX.US only supports 22 digital assets.
FTX is a global platform, but there are still a few countries where you cannot use the FTX crypto exchange. In some countries like Canada, it is primarily due to strict crypto and other financial regulations. In other countries, sanctions by the UN, the USA, and other countries are the only reason FTX is unavailable. Such countries include Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba.
Now, coming to the registration process, it’s swift and easy. Click on the “register” button on the top right corner of the website.
Enter your email id and password to create an account. You can use our FTX Referral code while signing up. After successful registration, it will ask you to set up your 2FA for account security.
Go to the profile page, and under “Two-factor authentication,” click on Authy/Google Authenticator or SMS to set up your 2FA. Simultaneously, you can also complete the Level 1 KYC verification.
Under Margin, select the leverage level as per your preference from the given options (1X, 3X, 5X, 10X, 20X, 50X, 100X, 101X).
The profile page allows you to manage your account settings. Now, Your account creation process is complete.
Click on the “Wallet” option present in the menu bar to deposit your funds. Select the crypto coin you want to deposit and proceed accordingly.
Once you have deposited the funds successfully, click on “Market” to start your trading journey.
KYC Verification Process
FTX enforces mandatory KYC verification to ensure only genuine traders can join and use their platform. If you do not do any verification, you will only be able to explore the site and check other things like the restricted jurisdictions. You cannot trade or even deposit and withdraw fiat or crypto.
The actual verification prices you have to follow depends on the verification level you want to get and also whether you want an individual or institutional verification status. However, here are the overall steps to follow when doing KYC verification.
- Step 1: Go to the verification center
Go to your profile from the FTX homepage or click https://ftx.com/profile. Next, click on “Verify Identity” to fill out the KYC verification form.
- Step 2: Choose verification level and type
When filling out the form, you first need to decide the level of verification your want. Also, you will be prompted to choose whether you want to do individual or institutional KYC verification.
Note: For KYC level 1 verification which gives you a daily withdrawal limit of $2,000 per day, you will only need to enter your full names, country of residency, and state, region, or province. You do not need to fill out the KYC form for this verification level.
- Step 3: Fill out the KYC form
You have to fill out the KYC form for level 2 and other higher verification levels. It is vital to ensure you have all the documents you need for verification, such as your ID document, before starting, as this will speed up the process.
You have to enter your full names, country of residency, and source of funds. Next, you should upload your ID document and a document that proves your address. You can then submit the document for verification.
FTX KYC verification is often auto-approved, but the system can sometimes flag your verification for a manual review that typically takes 1 to 3 business days.
FTX offers extensive customer support to its account holders. And so you can be sure of swift resolution of any challenges and queries you might have when trading in the platform.
It provides support through multiple channels. Many traders prefer their live chat because it allows for quicker resolution of issues as you get live help from a person. Their live support is available through WeChat and other social media platforms with a chat function like Twitter. Also, you can get support in more than 10 different languages.
FTX also has some of the most active Telegram communities that are often very helpful when having issues with your account or just wanting more information from other traders.
Additionally, you can contact FTX support via email ticket. Although the actual response time depends on the number of tickets in queue, the support team will typically respond in under 24 hours.
FTX also has a detailed knowledge base, explaining different features of the platform and how to operate. Their knowledge base center includes several articles on how to do everything from setting up your account to trading and making withdrawals. Also, some easy to peruse through FAQs will answer most questions traders might have.
FTX Assets Security Features
Speaking of the platform and asset security, it has a pretty robust risk management system in place. FTX team uses SSL encryption to secure its website traffic, 2FA for account security and follows other risk management processes.
It uses a unique liquidation engine and backstop liquidity provider system to handle margin calls and limit clawback so that traders never suffered massive losses. Apart from this, it sends warnings to close any positions if maintenance margins fall below 4.5%.
An insurance fund to cover for any loss arises due to sudden market movement or market manipulation. Also, it discourages users from making high leveraged trades by imposing higher trading fees on high leveraged trades.
FTX secures backing from some of the leading names in the crypto market segment. All deposits and withdrawals are subject to third-party audits from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
All this means is that the platform is secure enough, and it will be hard to lose any of your assets when trading on FTX. The fact the exchange is one of the few licensed to operate in the USA is also a good indication it takes security seriously.
- FTX is licensed to operate in the USA
Another thing that should give you some confidence that the exchange is secure enough and trustworthy is that it is one of the few trading platforms worldwide licensed to operate in the USA.
FTX operates the FTX.US platform for US-based crypto traders. The USA has some of the strictest crypto regulations globally.
Therefore the fact that FTX can meet these strict regulatory requirements is a good indication that it is a company you can trust to keep your crypto safe.
- There is an FTX insurance fund
You will never suffer massive losses when trading on the FTX platform, no matter how the market moves, as the company has set up an insurance fund to prevent this.
The FTX insurance fund ensures traders do not suffer massive losses due to crypto price volatility and helps prevent trader position auto-deleveraging.
- FTX stores most of the assets offline
You do not stand to lose anything in the unlikely event that hackers were to somehow breach the highly advanced FTX security systems. The exchange stores most of the assets in offline cold storage, with multiple security protocols, meaning they will always be out of reach for hackers.
While FTX is a trustworthy company, crypto trading is highly risky given the volatile nature of these digital assets. Therefore, it is always good to seek professional investment advice before venturing into crypto trading on the FTX exchange or any other platform.
- Can FTX be trusted?
FTX is a secure and legit centralized crypto exchange that you can trust to keep your assets safe. It is a registered and regulated company that uses bank-like security features, so you can trust them with your investment.
The company has been live for a few years now, and in that time, there have not been any significant security issues such as hacking or data breach.
- Does FTX pay interest?
FTX allows you to earn interest through crypto staking, the same way you would earn by keeping your money in a bank account.
The FTX Earn app is available for customers in all countries where the crypto exchange operates. Users can earn interest on any crypto and fiat currencies that the crypto exchange supports.
You are eligible to earn up to 8% APY for your staked deposits and purchases. However, the actual interest yield depends on how much you stake. FTX pays 8% APY for the first $10,000 you stake or its fiat and crypto equivalent. Any amount over $10,000 will earn 5% APY.
Therefore, if you stake $20,000 worth of BTC, you will earn 8% APY for the first $10,000 and 5% for the next $10,000, meaning your average interest earned is 6.5% APY translating to a total yield of $1,300 ($800 + $500).
Besides allowing you to stake both crypto and fiat currency, FTX will also not lock your deposit, meaning you can withdraw it anytime without losing any interest already earned.
It is also worth noting that the FTX exchange does not consider these earnings as interest, and neither does it guarantee you will earn the yield.
Conclusion: Is FTX Safe & Legit?
FTX is a fully legit and safe crypto derivatives exchange platform and is more suitable for serious traders who want to profit immensely from the crypto revolution. With several industry-first crypto derivatives products, it has not only expanded the market but established its unique identity in the market. However, the platform may look a bit complicated at first look but is very easy to understand and manage.
Let’s have a look at FTX in a gist:
- Fiat support
- Competitive trading fee
- High leverage and can adjust the default leverage level.
- Wide range of trading assets
- Deep liquidity level
- Robust and reliable trading platform
- Strong risk management processes in place
- Suitable for retail and institutional class traders
- No deposit/withdrawal fees
- Good customer support
FTX provides institutional-grade services and is suitable for high-frequency traders. In short, FTX is an excellent platform and gives you a rich trading experience in the evolving crypto margin trading segment.
- 1 FTX Exchange Review
- 1.1 FTX Supported Cryptocurrencies
- 1.2 FTX Product Offerings
- 1.3 FTX Derivatives & Order Types
- 1.4 FTX Futures Platform Trading Fees
- 1.5 Overview of the FTX Native Token (FTT)
- 1.6 FTX Account Funding Methods and Limits
- 1.7 FTX Futures Trading Platform
- 1.8 How To Start Trading On FTX
- 1.9 FTX Mobile App
- 1.10 FTX Supported Countries
- 1.11 Registration
- 1.12 KYC Verification Process
- 1.13 Customer Support
- 1.14 FTX Assets Security Features
- 1.15 Conclusion: Is FTX Safe & Legit?