OKEx Review

International crypto exchange for advanced and institutional traders

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OKEx

OKEx

overall rating
2.6

Our Take 

OKEx is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, trade, lend, and even mine crypto. OKEx is based in the Republic of Seychelles and is not available in the U.S., but it supports advanced trading services in over 200 countries around the world. Experienced traders may appreciate its vast selection of trading tools and order types, but beginner crypto investors may be better served elsewhere.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Large selection of crypto

  • Advanced security features

  • Margin and futures trading

  • Native wallet service

  • Proof-of-work mining opportunities

Cons
  • Trading interface may be too complicated for new users

  • Complex fee structure

  • Not available in the U.S.

Key Takeaways
  • OKEx is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange that is part of the OK Group of companies.
  • It offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, or online chat groups.
  • OKEx has a DeFi trading option available for access to NFTs and DeFi public blockchains.
  • OKEx is not available to U.S. users, but its sister company, OKCoin is available to U.S. users.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2014
  • Official Website www.OKEx.com
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 100+
  • Customer Support Online chat, email, phone

Introduction

OKEx is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, and trade supported assets. It also offers lending and borrowing of certain crypto, as well as the ability to join proof-of-work mining pools to earn crypto as a miner. Over 100 cryptocurrencies are currently offered on OKEx, including over 400 crypto trading pairs (such as BTC-ETH).

We’ve reviewed OKEx’s platform, fees, user experience, customer service, available crypto, and more to determine if it’s a good option for crypto investors and traders.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

OKEx was founded by Mingxing “Star” Xu in 2017, as a spin-off of its sister company OKCoin. OKCoin was forced to move headquarters from Beijing to Hong Kong due to China’s crackdown on trading of initial-coin-offering (ICO) coins on any platform. In response, OKEx was created and its headquarters moved to the Republic of Seychelles for more regulatory flexibility. OKEx now operates in over 200 countries around the world but is not available in the U.S.

OKEx offers advanced charting, multiple order types, margin and futures trading, and competitive (though, complex) trading fees. 

U.S. residents cannot trade on OKEx, but can purchase and trade crypto through its sister company, OKCoin. OKCoin has fewer cryptocurrency options, and margin and futures trading is not available at this time.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on OKEx

OKEx offers access to over 100 cryptocurrencies, as well as hundreds of trading pairs, such as ETH-BTC. Popular crypto offerings include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Dogecoin (DOGE). New cryptocurrencies are being added regularly, and you can check out its full list of all support assets.

OKEx also offers its own exchange token (OKB) but does not support other crypto exchange coins, such as Binance Coin (BNB) or U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC).

Trading Experience

OKEx offers a simple way to buy crypto directly through its “Buy Coins” mobile or desktop interface, allowing users to purchase with a linked bank account, debit card, credit card, or via a number of online payment methods, such as Google and Apple Pay. OKEx supports over 30 “fiat” currencies, such as U.S. dollars (USD) and Turkish new lira (TRY).

Those interested in trading crypto have the option for basic trading or leveraged trading. That said, even the basic trading option offers a wide range of advanced order types, charting and analysis tools, as well as access to live order books. Beginners may feel overwhelmed by the options under basic trading, as it is designed for advanced crypto traders and investors.

For leveraged trading, OKEx offers margin trading, options contracts, and derivatives trading in the form of perpetual swaps with up to 125X leverage. These types of trades require account activation, as well as signing a user agreement. 

Fees

OKEx offers relatively low fees for buying and trading crypto, but its fee structure is complex. Due to the vast amount of trading options available, OKEx has multiple fee schedules depending on the type of trade, type of currency used, volume associated with a user’s account, and whether or not a user holds OKB.

Overall, OKEx charges less than 0.10% per trade for most users, and around a 1.5% fee for using a credit or debit card. These fees are generally lower than what you’d pay with many other exchanges. 

OKEx Trading Fees

OKEx charges trading fees based on a maker-taker fee model, as well as user volume and the total native OKB coin holdings in a user’s account. Pricing is based on a sliding scale, with discounts available as users execute more transactions and hold more OKB coins.

In general, a “taker” is someone that places an order that gets filled immediately, while a “maker” places an order that gets placed in an order book (until a match is found). Fees charged for transactions vary between Maker or Taker classifications (as shown in the table below).

Here is a breakdown of the OKEx fee structure:

User Level  OKB total holdings  30-day trading volume (USD)  Maker Fee  Taker fee 
Lv 1 <500 <10,000,000 0.080% 0.100%
Lv 2 ≥ 500  <10,000,000  0.075%  0.095% 
Lv 3  ≥ 1,000  <10,000,000  0.070%  0.090% 
Lv 4  ≥ 1,500  <10,000,000  0.065%  0.085% 
Lv 5  ≥ 2,000  <10,000,000  0.060%  0.080% 

Volume discounts are given for more active accounts with a 30-day trading volume of $10 million USD (or more):

User Level 30-day trading volume (USD)  Taker Fee  Maker Fee 
VIP 1 ≥ 10,000,000 0.060% 0.080%
VIP 2  ≥ 20,000,000  0.040%  0.075% 
VIP 3  ≥ 50,000,000  0.020%  0.070% 
VIP 4  ≥ 100,000,000  0.000%  0.060% 
VIP 5 ≥ 200,000,000  -0.002%  0.050% 
VIP 6  ≥ 500,000,000  -0.005%  0.040% 
VIP 7 ≥ 1,000,000,000  -0.010%  0.030% 
VIP 8 ≥ 10,000,000,000  -0.010%  0.025% 

There are separate trading fee schedules for margin trading, options trading, and perpetual contracts. View the entire fee schedule for OKEx.

Security

OKEx offers advanced security features to help protect user accounts, including private keys that are held in different countries for the same wallets, as well as the use of a proprietary network communication protocol for transmitting user data over long distances.

Here are a few of the unique security features offered by OKEx:

  • Multi-signature hot wallet: The OKEx hot wallet private keys are managed by three separate private key managers in geographically dispersed locations. 
  • Mandatory two-factor authentication: OKEx allows users to require two-factor authentication (2FA) via Google Authenticator for fund withdrawals and account logins.
  • Anti-phishing code: Users can enable an anti-phishing code, which is provided in all email communications from OKEx to prove that emails are authentic and help avoid phishing scams. 
  • Cold storage: OKEx keeps 95% of all crypto assets in cold storage vaults that aren't connected to the internet, and the private keys for these vaults are held in geographically dispersed locations.
  • Funds password: OKEx allows users to set up a funds password to provide when withdrawing funds.

Opening a OKEx Account

To sign up for an OKEx account, you can use a phone number or an email address. Users can also sign up with a Telegram login, or by using their Google credentials. Once new accounts are verified via email or SMS message, users are required to set up two-factor authentication.

OKEx has four different account verification levels. Higher tiers give users access to more features on the platform.

Unverified: Accounts with no verification are limited to a 10 BTC daily withdrawal limit, and cannot purchase crypto using fiat currency.

Level One: Basic verification requires users to enter their nationality, name, and document identification number. This increases the BTC daily withdrawal limit to 200 BTC and allows users to purchase crypto with fiat currency. There is also a $500 cumulative P2P transactions limit.

Level Two: This verification requires users to verify their identity with photo identification. They are also required to perform facial verification via Netverify. This increases the BTC daily withdrawal limit to 500 BTC and a $10,000 cumulative P2P transactions limit.

Level Three: This verification simply requires users to read and agree to the OKEx disclaimer via the mobile app or website. This has the same BTC daily withdrawal limit as level two, but a higher $100,000 cumulative P2P transactions limit.

Customer Service

OKEx offers 24/7 phone support for customers, which is unique for a cryptocurrency exchange. It also offers live chat support via WeChat and its official Telegram channel. Additionally, OKEx provides basic customer service via Twitter and other social media channels.

OKEx offers a vast library of help articles in its support center, as well as educational articles and tutorials on its website.

Customer Satisfaction

OKEx receives several positive reviews, though a few customers have complained about loss of access to funds. While this seems to be a common complaint about most crypto exchanges, it is nonetheless concerning. Understanding the process for withdrawal, as well as know-your-customer (KYC) user identification protocols for account verification is important before depositing any funds into a cryptocurrency exchange.

Overall, OKEx offers a variety of support options for customers, including 24/7 phone support and various social channels to connect.

There are no formal rating agencies for cryptocurrency exchanges. All user reviews are self-reported and may not be 100% accurate.

Account Management

OKEx is a web-based platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto, as well as stake crypto, to earn interest and join miner pools to earn crypto rewards. Users can log into their account using a web browser and easily deposit funds and start buying crypto. 


OKEx also offers a mobile app for access to live trading, portfolio monitoring, and account management. The OKEx mobile app’s advanced charting and trading tools are nearly identical to the tools on its web-based trading platform.

Users in non-supported countries (such as the U.S.) will be re-routed to OKCoin, if available.

How OKEx Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

OKEx is a great option for advanced crypto traders who want access to margin, futures, and options trading, with very low trading fees. OKEx offers multiple ways to deposit funds, supporting over 30 fiat currencies around the globe.

OKEx offers a large selection of cryptocurrencies to purchase and trade and even allows users to join mining pools to earn crypto. While OKEx is not available in the U.S., it is available in over 200 countries worldwide. 

Here’s how OKEx compares to Coinbase, a popular crypto exchange in the U.S.

OKEx vs. Coinbase

OKEx and Coinbase are two of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, and both support hundreds of cryptocurrency trading pairs. Each offers secure cold storage of most crypto assets, and institutional over-the-counter (OTC) services for corporations and fund managers. 

But while OKEx is designed for advanced traders who want access to margin, futures, and options trading, Coinbase is made for new investors who want a simple way to start buying crypto. Coinbase offers an intuitive mobile app and trading interface, while OKEx offers advanced charting, order types, and trading pairs.

Here are a few other differences between OKEx and Coinbase:

  • The Coinbase mobile app offers current news and educational videos about each crypto token it supports.
  • OKEx offers access to perpetual swap trading, which are a derivative product
  • Coinbase is available in the U.S., while OKEx is not.
  • OKEx is available in 200+ countries, while Coinbase is only available just over 100.

OKEx gives active crypto traders access to a huge selection of trading tools and options, as well as the ability to trade on margin. Coinbase, on the other hand, offers simple trading tools and charts for beginners, and it's ideal for users who are new to crypto investing.

Final Verdict

OKEx is a great platform for non-U.S. residents that want sophisticated trading tools and low fees. It offers some unique trading options, as well as the ability to mine crypto.

OKEx offers a wide range of security features as well, including offline cold storage with geographically dispersed private keys, multi-signature hot wallets, and anti-phishing codes for email communication.

OKEx does receive complaints of user funds being locked into accounts, but with 24/7 phone support, customer service is readily available. Overall, OKEx is a decent option for active traders who value security and want access to a wide array of crypto trading options.

Methodology 

The Balance is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.

Exchanges are only considered for review if they are safe, secure, liquid, and either regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1.  OKEx. “Markets.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2021.

  2. OKEx. “OKEx.com.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2021.

  3. OKEx. “Fiat Gateway.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2021.

  4. OKEx. “Buy Crypto.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2021.

  5. OKEx. “How to perform identity verification on OKEx.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2021.

  6. Coinbase. “Asset Directory.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2021.