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FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Bahamas, offering advanced trading tools and access to a wide selection of cryptocurrencies. While it does offer low fees and a simple way to directly buy cryptocurrency, beginners may quickly feel overwhelmed with the platform and may want to look elsewhere to invest in crypto.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
Low trading fees
Access to leverage and other advanced crypto products
Advanced charting and trade tools available
NFT marketplace available
Trading tools and interface may be too advanced for new investors
Not available in the U.S. (though its sister exchange, FTX.us, is)
- FTX is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, trade, lend, and earn crypto.
- FTX offers advanced trading charts and order types.
- FTX is headquartered in the Bahamas.
- FTX offers margin and futures trading, as well as stock trading, and even prediction products.
- Year Founded 2019
- Official Website https://ftx.com/
- Cryptocurrencies Available 300+
- Customer Support Support ticket, email, Telegram groups
Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.
FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, and trade supported cryptocurrency. FTX also offers borrowing and lending of certain crypto, access to leveraged tokens and NFTs, and trading challenges and leaderboards. Over 300 cryptocurrencies are currently offered on FTX, with more being evaluated and added on a regular basis.
We’ve reviewed FTX’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.
FTX was launched by crypto trader Sam Bankman-Fried in 2019, after he made billions of dollars trading Bitcoin. As a trader himself, he created FTX “by traders, for traders,” a perspective that reveals itself in advanced trading tools and access to a wide range of products available to trade. FTX has become one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world, with over $2 billion in daily trading volume and partnerships with celebrities; purchasing the naming rights of the Miami Heat’s home stadium (and dubbing it “FTX Arena”) brought it even more fame.
FTX.com operates in over 200 countries around the world, but it's not available in the U.S., Japan, and a few other major markets. Citizens of the United States can only access FTX via its sister company, FTX.us. FTX offers a standard user interface, as well as an “advanced” trading interface, but both of them are designed for traders, and not for beginners. FTX also offers advanced charting, multiple order types, margin and futures trading, leveraged tokens, stock trading, and even a predictions market. In addition to a massive number of trading features, FTX has very low trading fees, keeping costs lower than many other crypto exchanges.
FTX.us is a much more limited platform for U.S. residents, and it features only a few dozen cryptocurrency pairs to choose from. See our picks for the best crypto exchanges for more options.
Cryptocurrencies That Trade on FTX
FTX provides access to over 300 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Ripple (XRP), Chainlink (LINK), and Avalanche (AVAX). New cryptocurrencies are being added regularly, and you can find the current list of all supported assets here.
A few notable cryptocurrencies are missing from FTX, including massively popular cryptocurrencies like Cardano (ADA).
FTX offers an in-depth trading experience for spot, futures, derivatives, and even stocks. Users can trade, buy, or sell crypto using the “Spot” menu at the top of the FTX homepage. The interface includes candlestick charts, live order books, and the ability to execute market, limit, and stop-loss orders.
Users can create trading bots and automations in the “Quant Zone,” allowing automatic transactions designed to execute based on predetermined conditions. FTX also has an NFT marketplace, allowing users to mint, list, buy, and sell NFTs from both the Solana and Ethereum ecosystems.
The NFT marketplace is hosted on the FTX.us website, but is available for both U.S. and non-U.S. residents.
FTX has an Advanced trading mode, which gives users the ability to create custom trading dashboard layouts. In addition to advanced trading, users can trade cryptocurrency futures, leveraged tokens, fiat currencies, and volatility products. The Advanced mode even allows you to trade popular U.S. stocks (in the form of tokenized stocks), such as Tesla, Amazon, and Facebook.
Overall, FTX offers a fantastic trading experience for advanced traders, but beginners may have a tough time figuring out how to place basic trades on the platform.
FTX’s basic trading fees are very low, and discounts are available to high-volume traders, as well as those that hold the FTX native token (FTT).
|Bank Account Transfer||0.020%–0.070% (Maker-Taker)|
|USD Wallet Transfer||0.020%–0.070% (Maker-Taker)|
|Debit/Credit Card Purchase||$0.3 + 0.29% (Deposit Fees)|
|ACH Transfer||No deposit fees|
|Wire Transfer||No deposit fees|
|Crypto Conversion||No fees|
FTX Trading Fees
FTX offers a tiered structure for trading fees, giving discounts to those who trade in higher volumes. Prices are based on a Maker-Taker fee assignment.
When users place an order at the market price that gets filled immediately, they are considered a “taker.” When users place an order that is not immediately matched, it is placed in the order book (until a match is found), and they are considered a “maker.” The fees listed below show the difference between makers and takers.
|30-Day Volume (USD)||Maker||Taker|
As mentioned, discounts are also available to users that hold the native FTT token. You can earn a 3% discount for holding $100 in FTT, up to a 60% discount for holding $5,000,000 in FTT.
FTX offers the latest in crypto exchange security, such as requiring two-factor authentication, the ability to lock accounts, and even the ability to set up passwords for withdrawals.
Here are a few of the security features offered by FTX:
- Two-factor authentication: FTX requires two-factor authentication (2FA) via an authenticator app like Google Authenticator. Hardway key 2FA is also available.
- Withdrawal lock: FTX locks withdrawals on accounts for 24 hours after major account changes, such as the removal of 2FA or a change in account password.
- Subaccounts: FTX allows users to create subaccounts that have limited permissions. This is great for users that have multiple people accessing their accounts, and want to limit access.
- Whitelisting approved addresses: FTX requires all withdrawal wallet addresses to be whitelisted, which restricts access to external wallet addresses that are approved.
- Third-party monitoring: FTX partners with Chainalysis to monitor suspicious activity and transactions on the exchange; Chainalysis provides immediate alerts to the FTX security team.
Opening an FTX Account
You can create a free account using your email address and a password. Once you verify your email address, you are required to secure your account with two-factor authentication (using an authenticator app or hardware key 2FA).
Identity verification is needed for depositing funds, trading, and withdrawing funds. You will need to go through further verification to increase your withdrawal limits, following the FTX Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process.
There are three tiers of verification, each with increasing functionality on the platform:
- Unverified: Upon account creation, your account is considered unverified. You will be unable to deposit funds, trade, or withdraw. You can only explore the platform.
- Tier 1: This tier requires providing your full name, date of birth, country of residence, and phone jurisdiction. Passing Tier 1 verification allows you to deposit funds, trade, and withdraw up to $2,000 USD daily.
- Tier2: Tier 2 verification requires submitting a photo ID, providing proof of residence (with something like a utility bill), and providing your Social Security number or ITIN. You will also need to provide facial verification with a selfie photo. This upgrade allows you to trade futures, as well as have access to unlimited crypto and fiat withdrawals on your account.
FTX only offers customer support online, by email, and through its official Telegram chat groups. Users are asked to submit tickets online, and a team member will then reach out. There are no business hours listed on the website.
FTX encourages users to submit tickets, but if you’d like to email support directly, use: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several FTX Telegram groups for crypto help and discussion:
- Main group (English): https://t.me/FTX_Official
- Trading discussion: https://t.me/FTX_Trading_Room
- Quant Zone discussion: https://t.me/Ftx_Quant_Zone
FTX does not offer live chat or phone support at this time. It does offer a library of help articles and user education materials.
FTX has received customer complaints about the KYC process and loss of access to funds. Some also report a long delay when depositing funds or receiving a withdrawal. Without a phone number to call or live chat feature, users express frustration in the response times of FTX customer service agents.
Overall, there are a few complaints, but there are also satisfied customers as well. This is true for most crypto exchanges. While FTX is one of the largest exchanges in the world with a large number of users, complaints of lost funds should always be considered before signing up.
There are no formal governmental rating agencies for cryptocurrency exchanges. All user reviews are self-reported and may not be 100% accurate.
FTX is a web-based platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto, stocks, and other products. Users can log in using a web browser to access their account, monitor their holdings, deposit funds, or withdraw fiat or cryptocurrency.
FTX also offers two mobile apps, one each for its FTX.com and FTX.us platforms. These apps give access to user wallets, trade histories, and current market prices. Support tickets can be submitted directly from the apps as well. Overall, the mobile apps offer a simplified trading experience on the go.
How FTX Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies
FTX is a great option for advanced crypto traders who want access to leverage, futures, and derivative products, as well as very low trading fees. FTX also offers a wide selection of cryptocurrencies, continuing to grow its offers each month.
FTX is not for beginners, and new users may feel overwhelmed by the trading interface. Here’s how FTX compares to a large crypto exchange based in the U.S.
FTX vs. Coinbase
FTX and Coinbase are two of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world (by volume). Both offer access to hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and both have a focus on security to help protect user investments from cybercriminals.
But while Coinbase is designed for beginners that want to learn to invest in cryptocurrency, FTX is designed for advanced traders who want the features outlined above. Coinbase offers a simple way for users to buy crypto, while FTX offers some of the most advanced trading tools available, including custom trading bot programming. Both platforms are great for users, but for very different types of traders.
- FTX offers margin trading, derivatives, stocks, and even prediction investments, while Coinbase does not in its standard platform.
- Coinbase offers built-in user education tools and news stories in its mobile apps, while FTX does not.
- FTX does not charge a fee for crypto conversions, while Coinbase does.
- Coinbase is available in the U.S., while FTX is not (though its sister site is).
FTX is one of the newer crypto platforms on the market, but it has quickly become a favorite for active traders and institutional investors. With access to a wide range of advanced trading tools, leveraged trading, derivative products, and even stocks, FTX is a professional trader’s playground.
FTX offers some of the best security features we’ve seen, from 2FA on withdrawals, whitelisting wallets, subaccounts for limiting permission, and pausing withdrawals for 24 hours on account changes. This helps high-volume traders use the platform with confidence.
The exchange does have some poor user reviews, mostly due to delays in funding and withdrawals. While it doesn’t offer live chat or phone support, users can submit tickets online at any time from the FTX website or mobile app.
Overall, FTX is a good option for active traders that want access to a huge selection of crypto and other trading products, very low fees, and a secure platform. FTX continues to grow and innovate, and it's truly designed with the trader in mind.
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 were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the data collection and review processes and weighted data points, is available for review.
Miami-Dade County. "Miami-Dade County Announces New Naming Rights Agreement With FTX."
CoinMarketCap. "Top Cryptocurrency Spot Exchanges."