FTX Review: Is It Now The Best Crypto Exchange?
FTX is a platform that has grown a lot since its inception in 2018. Marketed as a derivatives exchange by traders for traders, it has gained massive popularity over the years. FTX is now sponsoring giant sports corporations like Team SoloMid (TSM) and the Miami Heat.
Just within a year of establishment, FTX grew into one of the most popular derivatives platforms with a daily trading volume of nearly $0.5 billion.
Nowadays, the platform continues its success. It consistently sits in the top 3 of derivatives exchanges in CoinmarketCap, with a daily trading volume of over $9 billion and rightfully so.
The founders grew FTX as a response to frustration with other top futures exchanges. As such, the platform grew from the experience of the founders, providing what was missing in the crypto world.
For one, the exchange is spearheaded by an all-star team of engineers. The team has extensive experience in wall street and leading tech companies. On their resumes, you can find employees who worked for companies such as Jane Street Capital, Optiver, Susquehanna, Facebook, and Google.
The massive rise of FTX was greatly influenced by the backing of Alameda Research, the largest liquidity provider in the crypto space. This partnership also attracted the backing of other big players in the digital space. In December of 2019, Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, announced a strategic investment in FTX.
Ever since then, FTX has been on a solid rise to get to where it is now. Just in the past few months, the exchange was able to raise $900 million in Series B funding. Among the investors were such names as Softbank, Sequoia Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Third Point, and the Paul Tudor Jones family.
This funding drive brought the platform to a valuation of a ridiculous $18 billion, cementing its place as one of the big names in crypto. The fact that the company only had a valuation of $1.2 billion prior to the round, really emphasizes the massive boom it has been experiencing.
This success has also translated to the end of FTX’s partnership with Binance as FTX has since re-bought the shares that Binance had in the company. This exit has been marked down as being due to a difference in how the businesses are run. On top of that, the exit looks to open further possibilities in what the company can do looking forward.
With its headquarters in Hong Kong, the company has been setting out to get its name out. In March, the exchange secured the naming rights to the Miami Heat stadium. They are also now in partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, putting their name on the car of the main Formula One Title contender.
Although the Miami Heat is an American sports team, FTX does not directly serve US-based customers. These have to make use of FTX.US. This is mostly due to the more stringent regulations that such companies have to comply with in order to make business in the United States.
Unfortunately, FTX.US offers a much-reduced range of products while requiring more significant account verifications steps.
Now, we’ve told you that the exchange has taken the crypto world by storm but how does that help you? In this FTX review, we’ll be looking at how you can make the best of the rising start in the crypto space. We’ll be looking to answer the following questions when reviewing the platform:
- How secure is FTX?
- What features does FTX provide?
- What customer support can one expect from FTX?
- What does the FTX fee structure look like?
- What cryptocurrencies are supported by FTX?
Finally, we’ll give you our final thoughts on the platform and tell you whether or not it is worth your time. Spoiler alert: It is.
How Secure Is FTX?
The most important aspect when considering an exchange is the security of the platform. You want to be sure that your hard-earned crypto is safe in the exchange that you are trading in. This is why we put this section at the beginning of our FTX review. So then, is FTX safe?
For one, we can see that the exchange is fully SSL encrypted. This means that any information that passes between your computer and the servers are fully encrypted. Any data sent, cannot be snooped by anyone intercepting it, which is great at a time when man-in-the-middle attacks are not uncommon.
FTX engages with the company Chainalysis to monitor and track any suspicious activity on the platform. That is done through the Chainalysis Know Your Transaction (KYT) product, the real-time anti-money laundering (AML) compliance solution for crypto transactions. While this makes FTX less convenient for those looking for anonymity, it improves security in general.
Two Factor Authenticator (2FA)
The platform also provides a few features for you to be able to take control over the security of your account. For one, when you set up your account, you will be prompted to set up a Two Factor Authenticator (2FA).
This 2FA is a security measure that has you verify a login on a second separate device before accessing the platform. Unless the person trying to use your account also has access to your phone, they will not be able to enter.
2FA can be set up for both SMS and the Google Authenticator application, with the former allowing you to receive an SMS to your mobile number with the verification code. On the latter, you would have to input a string of numbers that you see on the application.
On top of the initial access password and 2FA, you can also set an additional 2FA and a separate password up for withdrawals.
This means that even if a person has somehow been able to access your account, they won’t be able to drain it. This is another step for you to be able to take control over your own funds and ensure the security thereof.
Now all these are alright but what if someone were able to remove the 2FA or otherwise change your password? FTX has you covered in those cases as well.
Any withdrawals are locked for the first 24 hours after any password change or 2FA removal. This gives you time to react to any password changes or unwanted authenticator removals before your funds can be withdrawn.
You can even set up whitelisted addresses to make sure that no withdrawals to unapproved addresses can take place without your input.
You can also set up additional security features for your account. Among these, you can create custom logins for your existing account. These can be also set to different access levels, from read-only to trading or to just restrict withdrawing.
These logins are there for those that would usually have to share their accounts. Having a joined fund no longer means that you have to share the password with each other. Every person participating can have their own login access with features specific to their access level.
To answer the question: Yes, FTX is safe. With a track record of never being hacked, it does give you quite some peace of mind that your crypto will be safe.
The platform gives you all the needed tools to make sure that you are in full control of your crypto at all times. That being said, if after all this, you are still worried about the crypto you have, it may be a good idea to look into a separate wallet. You can always check out our wallet reviews here: https://turbowallet.com/wallets/
What Features Can You Find In FTX?
Now that we’re happily depositing our crypto into FTX, let’s take a look at the features offered by FTX.
As a derivatives exchange, FTX primarily caters to derivatives. These are assets that reflect the value of an underlying asset without trading the asset itself.
Derivatives are more of an advanced topic so if you don’t know what they are, don’t worry. FTX offers a ton of features for beginners as well.
Many of the features that can be found on FTX are entirely unique to the platform. These are great tools for experienced traders to be able to make full use of their knowledge to make more returns than normal.
Futures are contracts that are settled at a predefined price and date. With these, you basically agree to complete your purchase at a predetermined price sometime in the future.
If you believe that the price of an asset will go up during that period, you may want to look at settling a purchase of the token for the current price now. When the contract settles, you may end up buying the token for cheaper than it’s market price.
Another way to make use of it is to settle a sales price of the underlying asset while the market is high. If you believe the price of a token is going to crash in the near future, you can guarantee your sales price before the downwards trend.
FTX has three different contract types for all their futures. One that expires the running quarter, a contract that expires next quarter, and a perpetual future. The latter is one that updates every hour to keep up with the value of the underlying asset.
At the time of writing, FTX supports futures contracts for over 80 cryptocurrencies. On top of that, you can also set your eyes on their Index Futures. These allow users to trade a contract that tracks entire segments of the crypto market.
This really brings lots of people who are interested in futures to the platform. FTX blows all other exchanges out of the water when talking about the variety of contracts.
One thing to note when using FTX is that these futures are all settled with stablecoins. Collateral is deposited with stablecoins and then your profit and loss are also settled using the same currency.
This gives you great flexibility as you can use the same currency for collateral of all your contracts. No need to convert your coins if you’re looking to jump into another contract.
FTX also supports 20x leverage for these products. These leverage multipliers do go down for larger positions.
A similar contract to futures is options. The difference between both is pretty straightforward: While in futures you are required to settle the contract that you signed into, this is not so with options.
Options give you the right but not necessarily the obligation to complete the asset purchase. This gives you a little more leeway. Should the contract no longer be favorable, you can just not complete it.
At this time, only BTC options are supported on FTX. When using this feature, you design the exact option you would like to trade before moving to Request a Quote. Within 10 seconds, you’ll see a bid or offer for the option you designed.
If you find it acceptable, you can enter into a contract. You can also choose to leave the RFQ open for a while and wait to see what prices people show later.
The FTX move contracts are another type of derivative contract offered. This contract doesn’t check for the price of the underlying asset but the volatility thereof.
In this manner, it lets you trade based on the absolute value of the cryptocurrency. This means that you can bet on the stability of a token. With these contracts, a long position will win if the token moves a lot. A short position will win out if the token stays stable.
This just gives you another avenue to trade. This benefits people who have their ear to the ground in crypto.
If you see turmoil coming in either direction, you can make use of these contracts to benefit. This means investing is no longer limited to expecting the value of a token to rise or drop in the future… If the market is turbulent or not, you still can profit from it!
While the exchange focuses on the derivatives market you aren’t limited to that. If you are a traditional crypto investor, FTX also has the feature you are most likely to use. Like with other exchanges, you can still settle to buying and selling the assets directly on the spot market.
This means that you don’t have to leave the platform to switch between spot and derivatives. While the currency support is not as large as with other dedicated spot trading platforms, this is a great tool to have.
FTX does also provide access to a suite of different leveraged tokens.
These are innovative ERC20 assets that can give you leveraged exposure to the crypto space. The benefit of these tokens is that they simplify these leveraged positions. You don’t have to deal with the management thereof.
With your one token, you can see multipliers for the movement of the underlying asset. This can be done all without having to manage collateral, margin, liquidation prices, or anything of the sort.
For example, take ETHBULL, a 3x long ETH token. Every 1% ETH goes up in a day, ETHBULL goes up 3%; for every 1% ETH goes down, ETHBULL goes down 3%.
On top of that, these are ERC20 tokens. Unlike margin positions, you can withdraw them from your account. You can transfer to any ETH wallet or another exchange without any problems.
FTX also provides its native token to its users. FTT is an ERC-20 token, built on the Ethereum blockchain that offers great benefits to holders on the exchange.
On top of simply holding, FTX provides the option to stake your FTT tokens on the platform. With this, users can start earning interest on their token holdings while receiving added bonuses on the platform. You already get significantly discounted fees and other benefits when staking just 25 FTT.
Depending on how much FTT you hold, you can receive benefits without even needing to stake them. Such rewards include the likes of socialized gains via the FTT insurance fund and the use of FTT as collateral. All of this makes holding some FTT a great idea if you are planning to use FTX intensively.
Another great tool that FTX provides is their ‘Quant Zone’. This feature lets users set rules to be checked and followed every 15 seconds should given conditions be matched.
This really does make things very interesting when it comes to creating investment strategies. You can have the system check the prices of a certain asset and even execute complex functions when triggers apply.
Now, all your active rules will run simultaneously unless you have set the conditions for them to pause or cancel. You can set them to cancel after a certain amount of repetitions or they cancel once the triggers no longer apply.
If you have some coding experience, picking these rules up is quite intuitive. If you don’t however, you are not entirely out of the game.
The Quant Zone lets you share or otherwise copy rules and strategies that other traders have shared. This really does open up the possibilities you have when trading. You no longer have to actively monitor charts for triggers when you can have your code do that for you.
These are only a few of the different trading paths that you can find in FTX. Our list here is certainly not exhaustive. If we were to talk about all of them, our FTX review would be a 2-hour read.
We can clearly see that FTX provides all the needed tools for veterans to be able to flex their trading muscles. While probably not the best for beginners, this is a great platform to use should you know what you’re doing.
How Good Is FTX’s Customer Support?
Even experienced traders do sometimes need to ask for help when things go wrong or they use an unfamiliar tool. What can we veterans look forward to when dealing with Customer Support and documentation resources?
For one, the documentation provided by FTX is very extensive and it offers clear information on all their services. In their documentation, you can find examples and clear figures that describe whatever it may be you are looking for.
It’s clear that the platform caters to the trader who already knows what they’re talking about. In many articles, you will simply find the acronyms of common terms used in the industry without explanation.
On top of that, the website lacks any of the academy services that we have come to expect due to other services. While we would usually point these out as being negatives, in this case, we don’t consider it so. Those academy services would see very little traffic given their target audience.
They also offer other platforms for communication with the community. These include the likes of Telegram, WeChat, Twitter, and Youtube. The telegram groups are public and provide a great place to keep in touch with the community and keep track of any outages.
Their Youtube page also provides great stuff to make sure you’re not resting on your laurels. They provide multiple different long-form podcasts for you to keep up to date with the crypto world. This means that most times, you will find that all the information you need is readily accessible without submitting a ticket.
Should you still have questions regarding any issue, you can always contact their customer support.
While they don’t offer telephone support, you can contact them over their contact channels. This can be done through email through email@example.com. FTX’s customer support team is pretty good at responding to inquiries, with most people reporting being satisfied and having their concerns being addressed the same day.
We believe that FTX pays close attention to their community and strives to keep that afloat. Should you just want to stay in the loop or are looking for help with your specific concern, you should be covered.
What Does The FTX Fee Structure Look Like?
Another essential aspect of a trading platform is the fees that you’re going to be paying when using it. It’s of no use to have a plethora of different trading tools if the fees for those are too high. Making use of those tools is only useful if the fees don’t eat all the profits that you’ve made.
Futures and Spot
FTX follows a Maker/Taker fee model for the Futures and Spot market. This is in place to encourage a larger order book on the exchange.
If you are creating a contract that does not complete immediately, you are considered as a maker and receive that corresponding fee. If you are, however, creating a contract that completes immediately, you are looking to be paying the taker fees.
This tiering system is based on your 30-day trading volume on the platform. At tier 1, you are looking at maker and taker fees of 0.02% and 0.07% respectively. As you go up in tiers, your fees are reduced.
At the maximum tier 6, your maker and takers fees are reduced to 0.000% and 0.04% respectively. Now, the amount that you need to trade is quite significant. Getting up to tier 6 requires a trading volume of over 50,000,000. This means that only a few will actually be looking at the higher tiers.
Settlement of futures contracts does not come with any additional fees. This makes the platform a favorite among futures traders, which is one of the reasons why the exchange has grown so much.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
When using FTX, blockchain deposits do not incur any additional fees except for the fees you would usually pay to the blockchain network for the transaction itself. If you’re staking FTT, you’ll be glad to know that your ERC20 withdrawals can be waived depending on how much FTT you have staked.
Starting at 25 FTT staked, you will start receiving a certain amount of ERC20 withdrawals with fees waived. This can range from 0 to 1000 depending on how much you stake.
Did we mention the number of withdrawals waived renews each day? This is great, as it means that by staking as little as 25 FTT you will already receive an average of 30 waived withdrawal fees!
For these free withdrawals, you do also need to consider another aspect. If your withdrawal exceeds your trading volume, FTX does reserve the right to add a withdrawal fee of up to 0.10%. If you’re unsure if this would apply to you, rest assured. The FTX team will contact you either way.
If you’re looking to deposit fiat, you can be happy knowing that depositing fiat does not incur any additional fees. Fiat withdrawals on the other hand do come with a $75 fee for any withdrawal below $10,000. There are no other fees on any other currency.
On top of that, there are also other discounts to be had depending on how much FTT you’re holding. This ranges from a simple discount that ranges from 3% to 60%, to giving you additional privileges like automatically bringing you to tier 4 or even a VIP trader.
Staking FTT also gives you added perks. FTT stakers receive a different maker fee structure altogether. These can result in rebates of up to 0.0030%. On top of that, it costs only 25 FTT to have 0 maker fees with the new structure.
Professional traders also get significant bonuses when trading on the platform. These include such bonuses as:
- Significantly lower fees
- Dedicated account managers
- Higher API limits
- A direct line with a senior developer for API questions
- A line to provide input on upcoming launches.
All of these fee structures are designed to provide frequent traders with additional benefits. The more you trade and sustain the FTX ecosystem, the more benefits you receive. It is a blissful feedback loop of rewards and benefits.
What Cryptocurrencies Are Supported In FTX?
If you are looking for a crypto supply, you’ll be happy to know that will be covered for most use cases.
The platform has one of the greatest selections for futures contracts out there. This vast array of futures covers over 80 different tokens. Among these, you can find the following 20 tokens:
|Bitcoin (BTC)||Ethereum (ETH)||Polkadot (DOT)|
|Chainlink (LINK)||Litecoin (LTC)||Bitcoin Cash (BCH)|
|SushiSwap (SUSHI)||yearn.finance (YFI)||Cardano (ADA)|
|Ripple (XRP)||Bitcoin SV (BSV)||Aave (AAVE)|
|EOS (EOS)||Stellar Lumens (XLM)||The Graph (GRT)|
|Uniswap (UNI)||1inch (1INCH)||Solana (SOL)|
|Cosmos (ATOM)||FTX Token (FTT)|
The platform also provides different index funds to make full use of the crypto world as a whole. These include the likes of:
- Altcoin Index: Tracks the price of a basket of altcoins, using a weighted average of the prices of the top ten altcoins.
- Shitcoin Index: Tracks the price of low-market-cap coins, using a weighted average of the prices of 50 different coins.
- DeFi Index: This tracks the price of a weighted average of 25 different Decentralized Finance coins.
- Medium Index: tracks the price of medium-market-cap coins, using a weighted average of the prices of 24 different coins.
- Exchange Index: This index tracks the price of a basket of exchange tokens. This index exposes you to a weighted average of 5 different tokens.
When looking at the spot market, you may be disappointed by the fact that they have a smaller selection than those exchanges that focus mostly on the spot market. Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have anything to trade.
You’ll be happy to know that even with a smaller selection of tokens, you have a selection of over 60+ tokens. Among these, you can find the likes of these coins:
|Bitcoin (BTC)||Ethereum (ETH)||Tether (USDT)|
|FTX Token (FTT)||Binance Coin (BNB)||Bitcoin Cash (BCH)|
|Chainlink (LINK)||Aave (AAVE)||Serum (SRM)|
|yearn.finance (YFI)||SushiSwap (SUSHI)||Uniswap (UNI)|
|Litecoin (LTC)||Swipe (SXP)||Solana (SOL)|
|Cream (CREAM)||1inch (1INCH)||MobileCoin (MOB)|
|Ripple (XRP)||Synthetix (SNX)|
As this list is always expanding, you will want to check the full list to ensure the currency you are interested in trading is supported. You can find a list of all supported assets by checking the official article.
After this extensive FTX review, you’ll probably have come to the same verdict as we have. It’s clear to see that the platform has been built from the ground up as a space for traders by traders.
The extensive tools that have been created by the founders are there to plug those holes found in the crypto space. This really brings the platform to be the place for people who have grown out of other exchanges.
The platform also does take an active interest in the crypto community. For one, their CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is an active participant in the crypto space. His Twitter is worth a look and reflects a person who is well respected in the digital space.
It’s clear to see why the exchange has become such a big player in the crypto community. One downside that we can see is that the platform may not be the best to get your feet wet. Their derivatives focus means that they will naturally attract traders who are already familiar with them. That being said, if you have been in crypto for a while, it’s really worth a look.
If you are looking for an exchange that offers you advanced trading tools that go beyond spot trading… FTX might be the right exchange for you. However, if you are new to the crypto market or just looking for a more traditional way to invest in crypto… You might want to check some of the other exchanges we have reviewed.
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