Ease of Use
Additional Features (NFTs, Quant Zone, etc.)
Searching for your next crypto platform? FTX is a Bahamas-based cryptocurrency platform that includes a wide variety of crypto services. FTX offers spot trading, derivatives trading, stock trading, and OTC trading. In addition to these features, FTX also includes staking, NFTs, and a Quant Zone service that allows users to create trading execution rules. Should you make FTX your new crypto platform? Read our in-depth FTX review now to learn more before you decide.
- NFT marketplace
- Extensive spot and futures markets
- Very low fees
- Crypto stock equities
- Separate US platform
- KYC verification to use any services
- Limited stakable assets
- High capital requirements for borrowing
FTX is a Bahama-based crypto platform offering a wide range of services, including spot and derivatives trading, lending & borrowing, staking, NFT purchases and minting, crypto stock equity, and much more. The main platform (FTX international) is not available in the US, but they do have a separate platform called FTX US to accommodate US residents. The US version, however, has fewer features, higher fees, and various other differences that will be outlined below. That said, FTX is a very respected broker backed by the well-funded liquidity provider Alameda Research.
FTX Account Opening
To open an account with FTX, you will begin by adding an email and password (no email verification required) (referred to as level 1).
However, to enable trading, staking, and up to 2000USD daily withdrawals, you will have to verify your name, country, phone number, and date of birth (level 2). For unlimited crypto withdrawals, fiat deposits/withdrawals, and access to other services such as lending, you will have to complete additional identity verification (level 3).
FTX’s desktop platform is incredibly aesthetic and well organized. Although the number of tabs on the homepage can be a little overwhelming, they have done a good job of laying out their major services and market types for quick access. And if you click the four squares next to the ‘FTX’ at the top left of the page, a helpful dropdown window of all their services/features will make navigating the site extremely manageable.
FTX has a mobile app for both the regular and US platforms. The US version doesn’t have the home tab, but is still mostly comparable to its international counterpart. As for the regular app, it is very user-friendly and allows easy access to virtually all the same features as the desktop version. The graphics for the app aren’t quite as good as the desktop, but the trading interface is set up very well, and all the major services are easily accessible from the home tab. Overall, it is a simple, well-constructed app any user of FTX will want to explore.
FTX offers nearly 220 spot markets and an additional 63 tradable ERC20 tokens for 0.5 – 3x leveraged positions that correspond to various crypto assets.
The trading interface itself is very clean, with charts powered by TradingView and a very digestible order book and market trade book. They also have an exceptional order panel that clearly lays out your P&L, risk-to-reward, and even offers POST and IOC order types in addition to the standard market, limit, trailing stop, etc.
FTX has an extensive futures market with over 200 different contracts offering 1-20x leverage. The trading layout is identical to their spot market and, thus, equally as impressive. Users can choose between specified contract dates, perpetuals, and index contracts. Some of the index contract options include a basket of altcoins, a basket of defi coins, and even a basket of ‘shitcoins,’ leaving opportunities for all types of traders.
In addition to futures, FTX also offers options. The options interface is a little clunky and confusing to use, and the only asset for which options are available is BTC. They do allow you to request a specific options quote, which is unique, but it would be nice to see more markets and a better display/user experience for those markets.
An incredibly unique opportunity FTX affords its users is the purchase of tokenized equity in stocks. Users can choose from about 100 future and spot tokens representing equity in companies like Tesla, Apple, and Coinbase and ETFs like SPY and ARKK. FTX also allows fractional purchases of these stocks so you can easily trade the exact positions size you wish. They’ll even let you borrow and lend stock equity. I highly recommend looking into their crypto stock equities as it really is a unique service.
In FTX’s OTC section, verified users will be allowed to purchase a number of fiats, stablecoins, and major crypto assets with fiat or stablecoins. The benefits advertised are zero fees, tight spreads, and fast settlements. OTC trading is usually for institutions, but all verified FTX users are welcome, and it’s a great way to save on fees if you plan to purchase your crypto with fiat. The dropdown window suggests you can only purchase top crypto assets like BTC, ETH, and SOL, but FTX says they can offer quotes for all exchange-listed assets if contacted.
The quant zone is a service that allows users to create rules for their trades to automatically execute, similar to a trading bot. Creating these rules can require a certain expertise in both trading and coding, so it is not advised for everyone, but it remains an excellent feature nonetheless.
This is a service you won’t find with many, if any, other brokers. Not only does FTX allow you to browse and purchase a wide range of NFTs, but they also let you mint them. All you have to do is upload a file, and you can name it, add a description or attributes, select its value, and submit. You can’t yet withdraw your NFTs, but FTX insists that feature is coming soon. In the meantime, you can hold and display your NFTS in the FTX NFT gallery.
FTX lets you stake a number of assets quite easily through their platform. If you go to your wallet to see your assets/balances, you will see a ‘Stake’ option to the far right if staking for that asset is supported. There wasn’t a definitive list of what assets you can stake through FTX, but a YouTube review suggested FTX only supports staking of FTT, SOL, UBXT, SRM, FIDA, and RAY, which is a little underwhelming. If you are interested in staking, it could be worth looking into other platforms that support staking of major coins like ADA, LUNA, and DOT.
FTX has a tiered fee structure for all futures and spot markets. Tier 1 consists of traders with a 30-day volume under $2,000,000 and has a maker fee of 0.020% and a taker fee of 0.070%. These fees incrementally decrease up to tier 6 for traders with $50,000,000+ 30 day trading volume with a maker fee of 0.00% and a taker fee of 0.040%. While most traders will certainly fall within tier 1, FTX’s fees are some of the best out there, regardless of what tier you find yourself in.
For options, FTX will charge 0.05% of the value of the contract(s) purchased, which is also very reasonable.
There are no deposit and no withdrawal fees on FTX except for ETH, ERC-20 tokens, or small BTC withdrawals (<0.01 BTC). FTX will actually pay the network fees for withdrawals of coins not falling within the above categories.
Other fees include those for NFTs, which are 5% for both the buyer and the seller, 5% on each sale or trade, and leveraged token creation/redemption fees of 0.10% and daily management fees of 0.03%.
Disclaimer: Fees for FTX US are notably different. Tier 1 maker and taker fees, for example, are 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively. There is also a 1% fee on wire deposits and withdrawals and a $0.50 fee per ACH transfer. Though FTX US says they are not currently charging for wire deposits or withdrawals.
FTT is FTX’s native token and provides holders and stakers with a number of benefits. For starters, holding FTT will afford various degrees of trading fee discounts. These discounts will range from 3% for holding $100 worth of FTT all the way up to a 60% discount for holding $5,000,000 worth of FTT.
There are also benefits associated with staking FTT, such as increased referral rates, maker fee rebates, bonus votes, and free ERC20/ETH withdrawals.
As alluded to, a benefit to holding FTT is voting rights for FTX’s community donations. The more FTT you hold, the more voting power you have in deciding what charities FTX donates to with the 1% of trading fees they have dedicated to philanthropy.
FTX allows users to lend and borrow 95 different assets such USD, USDT, BTC, ETH, and even equities like GOOGL and AAPL. Interest rates fluctuate according to supply and demand and are not fixed by FTX. Rather, lenders themselves submit their minimum hourly or yearly rate for borrowers to pay and let the market decide what is reasonable or too high. Interest paid by borrowers to lenders is calculated hourly, and lockups for funds are also hourly. There are estimated interest rates for each asset, such as 7% for USD, 5% for USDT, 0.88% for BTC, and 2.99% for ETH.
Given I am a US resident and unable to go through the verification process for borrowing through FTX international, I was unable to confirm some of the specifics regarding the process, but for borrowing through FTX US, it is advised you should have at least $100,000 in your account or be an entity or have a guarantor with at least $1 million in assets. As one can imagine, this rules out borrowing for most people. This is a little disappointing considering other brokers and exchanges with lending and borrowing, such as Bitrue and Gate.io, do not have such unobtainable requirements.
FTX Pay is a widget that you can use to accept both crypto and fiat payments for your site, app, or store. Through FTX pay, users can easily send and receive assets between FTX accounts, external digital wallets, or via API integrations. If you want to receive in USD, but clients/customers/friends only have EUR or BTC, for example, FTX will facilitate the exchange automatically and deposit your desired currency in your account. You can even add your business name/logo for customers to see when they pay, add memos, and see exactly who paid you. FTX Pay supports payments via your FTX account, credit or debit card, and even ACH. They also have an option for open-ended payment amounts if you want to set up donations. In essence, FTX Pay is a Stripe or AWS that supports fiat and crypto and is absolutely worth looking into if you have an online business or just prefer to do your transactions through services like Venmo, Stripe, or the like.
A rather fun feature of FTX is all the competitions they run, allowing users to battle for various prizes like a share of Berkshire Hathaway ($320,0000), fee rebates, free FTT, or just straight-up cash. Competitions can be anything from best stock P&L to man vs. machine (normal trading vs. API/quant trading) battles. These are, but a few of the many competitions they run, and all you have to do to join is create a subaccount for each challenge. If you’re an avid trader and are looking for a little more excitement, I would highly recommend checking out all the competitions they offer.
Like most brokers these days, FTX allows users to enable 2-factor authentication for logins and withdrawals. They also have the option to enable a withdrawal password and wallet destination whitelisting. A smaller security advantage of FTX not often seen with other exchanges is their requirement that passwords include special characters, numbers, etc., which makes it more difficult for hackers to crack. Another interesting feature FTX offers is custom logins, where you can create credentials with configurable permissions. This may not be relevant to most, but it is still a fun feature. As for FTX’s actual asset storage, there isn’t much information on how they manage their funds. I would expect or at least hope most of their assets are cold stored, but there wasn’t a definitive answer available and no mention of insurance in the event of hacked or lost funds. Keeping that in mind, it might be worth using or investing in a hardware wallet to cold store your assets yourself.
FTX Customer Support
After making an account with FTX, you will be immediately prompted to visit their “Features Overview,” which goes through nearly everything you will need to know about their platform. Though the overview is not exhaustive, it is beautifully organized and details most of their futures and services with simple step-by-step walkthroughs that include reference pictures. You can also search through their help center for anything else not found in the overview or reach out directly to support by submitting a request via email.
Conclusion: FTX Review
After just a few minutes exploring FTX’s platform, it will be clear to anyone they are a very professional, top-tier broker. Virtually every crypto service you would be interested in is offered, and they have a huge selection of tradable markets with an exceptional trading interface and some of the lowest trading fees out there. FTX’s inclusion of crypto stock equities and the NFT marketplace is also a huge differentiating factor that will attract a lot of users. Truthfully, FTX is probably one of the best crypto brokers I have used to date, but sharing that opinion will depend on what services in which you are most interested. Borrowers, for example, might struggle to reach the capital requirements; stakers will be very limited in what assets they can actually stake; and there is some uncertainty around the platform security on the back end. US residents may also be underwhelmed by FTX US given the higher fees and absence of certain services like the Quant Zone or competitions. Notwithstanding those concerns, however, FTX is still an amazing broker, and even FTX US will beat out most of the competition. The differentiating factors (NFTs, stock trading, etc.) alone make it incredibly unique, so whatever minor concerns you have will almost certainly be outweighed by the numerous benefits of using FTX’s platform.