WARNING -- DO NOT ENGAGE WITH OR USE FTX -- WARNING
FTX was one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
However, in November 2022 they declared bankruptcy and ceased operations.
As such, you should not engage with their brand or deposit any funds in their platform.
We have left the below explanation of what they were below for anyone who's interested in the overview of their brand.
However, we have removed any links to FTX from this piece and others like it that offer info on their platform.
What is FTX Exchange?
The FTX Exchange is often among the top 3 exchanges, and with a good reason. The centralized exchange has a high trading volume and ranks in the top 10 as of 2022 as per our detailed crypto exchange report. .
FTX is a global exchange catering to traders all over the globe. However, traders from Cuba, North Korea, Crimea, Antigua, Barbuda, and Syria cannot use FTX. For US-based traders, FTX offers a dedicated exchange - FTX US.
The exchange is well-known for its trading products lineup, which includes futures trading on over 100 cryptocurrencies, leveraged tokens, Quant Zone, volatility contracts, and more. Beginners can learn about options, MOVE contracts, and a few more topics through the ‘learn’ section.
- FTX often ranks among the topmost exchanges, and it has a high-trading volume
- As per a 2021 report, FTX had crossed over 1 million users.
- For US traders, FTX has a dedicated FTX US exchange. The centralized exchange serves countries across the globe with a few exceptions.
FTX Company Overview
FTX was founded in 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang. The global exchange was created with aim of “earning to give”. This means FTX will earn as much as possible and then support charitable causes.
Before founding FTX, Bankman-Fried had gained experience with ETFs and trading in general at Jane Street Capital. FTX is headquartered in The Bahamas and has some presence in Antigua and Barbuda.
The centralized exchange advertises itself as an “exchange created by traders, for traders”. And sure enough, FTX features several advanced trading types and unique products for traders.
Even though the exchange is relatively new, FTX has managed to grab the #2 spot on CoinMarketCap. It has high trading volume and comes in second to Binance.
Earlier this year, FTX raised $400 million in its latest Series C funding round. The global exchange is valued at $32 billion and is one of the most valued startups. Investors include Softbank, Paradigm, and more.
Interestingly, FTX has always emphasized sponsorships. So far, the exchange has teamed up with celebrities like Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. Canadian businessperson Kevin O’Leary was signed on as their official spokesperson. NBA player Stephen Curry is also a brand ambassador.
The exchange has also acquired naming rights to Miami Heat’s stadium, which is now named ‘FTX Arena’. Esports organization TSM has signed on a 10-year naming deal, and was renamed ‘Team SoloMind FTX’.
Apart from this, in 2021, FTX signed a deal with MLB, so their logo can be seen on umpire’s t-shirts. Similarly, the exchange entered into a partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1. With this, their logo appears on Lewis Hamilton’s and Valtteri Bottas’ cars and uniforms.
Recently, FTX was also a sponsor for the 2021 T20 Cricket World Cup, which was hosted in UAE.
Fun Fact: FTX founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang are both MIT graduates.
How FTX Works
FTX is a global centralized exchange that offers trading services to users. The exchange features over 300 cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and other digital assets.
With an FTX account, users can:
- Buy and sell cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and other digital assets
- Trade cryptocurrencies with different order types including market, stop, limit, stop limit, trailing stop, take profit, and more
- Get access to spot trading, margin trading, derivatives, futures, and more
- Use innovative features offered by FTX including FTX Pay, FTX Card, Quant Zone, Volatility Contracts, and more.
- Stake digital assets and earn interest on them
- Get access to the mobile app,
How to Use FTX?
To get started with FTX, users will have to register themselves, complete the KYC procedure, and fund their account.
Here’s a quick rundown of the process:
- Visit the official website and tap on ‘register’. Fill in your basic details.
- You will be prompted to enter your email. Don’t forget to set up a strong password.
- Verify your email address
- Set up two-factor authentication via ‘account security’
- Depending on withdrawals you want to make, you can proceed to complete the KYC
FTX KYC (know your customer) Process
For trading and for withdrawals of up to $1000, users don’t need to complete KYC. However, fulfilling KYC will unlock some additional perks and expand withdrawal limits.
FTX has a tiered KYC system which looks like this
Does FTX Have A Token?
The FTX exchange has a native token named ‘FTT’ which can be used for staking, discounts, and other purposes in the FTX ecosystem. As FTT is useful and FTX intends to burn half of it, the token is likely to remain valuable.
Here’s how FTT holders can benefit from holding the token:
- Exchange the token
- Get a discount on trading fees
- Stake FTT and yield interest
- Increased referral rates
- Get bonus votes
Traders can buy the FTT token on FTX, Binance, Huobi Global, Ascend, and Bitfinex.
FTX Exchange Review: Pros and Cons
With its advanced trading features, FTX appeals to most pro traders. However, despite being the #2 exchange, the exchange could use some tweaks in a few areas.
- Advanced trading features
One of the biggest pros of FTX is its array of advanced trading features. With FTX, traders get access to spot trading, margin trading, OTC, derivatives, and even forex and the stock market. Traders can also devise their trading strategies and automate trading accordingly with Quant Zone.
- Low fees
Compared to Coinbase and Kraken, FTX has lower fees. Even the non-FTT holders have a maker fee of 0.020% and a taker fee of 0.070%. Active traders can benefit more as the fees decrease with increasing trade volume. FTT holders get additional discounts on trading fees.
- Decent collection of coins
Although FTX does not boast 1000+ coins, it has a great selection of over 300 coins. Users are likely to find the tokens that they’re looking for on this exchange. Additionally, new coins are listed frequently, so it’s always smart to run a check and see the available coins.
- Earn with your holdings
The staking program at FTX is quite impressive. At the time of writing, users can stake FTT, SOL, SRM, and RAY. The rewards for staking vary from 4% to 20%. FTT staking also unlocks additional perks like trading fee discounts, increased airdrop rate, and more.
- Might be difficult for beginners
As mentioned earlier, FTX is a trading platform made by traders for traders. Considering all the advanced trading features, you can expect a slightly steeper learning curve. Further, FTX’s ‘learn’ and ‘help’ sections do not really get newbies started.
- US traders have limited features
FTX has a separate, dedicated website for traders based in the US. Although FTX US provides advanced services to US customers, they cannot use the FTT token and get limited selection oc coins and volatility products.
FTX Supported Cryptocurrencies
At the time of writing, FTX supports over 300 cryptocurrencies for spot, futures, and other types of trading.
One of the perks of using FTX is its low cost. The fees are quite reasonable, and holding the FTT token will lower the fees further.
- Spot and futures trading fees
- Discounted fees for FTT holders
Check out FTX’s official fees page to know about any additional charges that you may incur.
FTX Deposit Methods
Traders can deposit funds into their FTX account in several ways. At the time of writing, the exchange supports 9 fiat currencies. Users can transfer funds via bank transfers or debit/credit cards.
Before making deposits or withdrawals, traders would have to complete level 2 KYC. Withdrawals over $5000 are free. However, it is best to check the T&Cs before taking any step. You will find all the relevant details regarding funding options on this page.
FTX Trading Services Offered
One of the strongest selling points of FTX is its wide array of trading options. Traders get access to spot, margin, derivatives, and more.
As discussed before, FTX has a lot to offer to traders of all kinds. To begin with, the exchange allows spot trading for over 100 cryptocurrencies. Apart from buying and selling, traders can place several order types, which includes:
- Stop Limit
- Trailing Stop
- Take Profit
- Take Profit Limit
Coming to derivatives, FTX offers futures, perpetual futures, and options. The exchange allows future and perpetual future trading for more than 200 digital assets.
- Future and perpetual future
Traders can gain benefits from leverage, and the exchange offers up to 10x leverage. Similarly, futures also opens up opportunities for arbitrage.
What are futures and perpetual futures?
A futures contract is a financial derivative, wherein two parties enter into an agreement to trade an asset in the future upon an agreed price. Perpetual futures contracts do not expire and the price of the underlying assets is updated frequently.
Unlike several other similar exchanges, FTX offers options trading for cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, FTX offers a Bitcoin option. However, traders can create and execute their own options.
What are options?
An option is a type of derivative, which is similar to a futures contract. However, users don’t actually have to buy the underlying asset. Instead, they buy the right (or, the option) to buy or sell that asset. Option holders can choose not to exercise that right and let the contract expire.
As mentioned before, FTX offers a wide range of unique products for traders, and one of them is leveraged tokens. These ERC-2- tokens bear the price of the underlying asset but with leverage.
FTX offers four variants of these tokens representing different levels of leverage:
- BULL = 3x leverage
- BEAR = -3x leverage
- HEDGE = -1x leverage
- HALF = +0.50x leverage
An example of how Leveraged Tokens work:
If USDT goes up by 1%, then:
- USDTBULL will go up 3%
- USDTBEAR will be down by 3%
- USDTHEDGE will be down by 1%
- USDTHALF will go up by 0.50%
To maintain the target leverage, the BULL, BEAR, and the HEDGE tokens adjust and readjust themselves. For instance, if you’re in profit, your profits will be automatically reinvested. This feature mitigates liquidation risk.
You will find the available markets for Leveraged Tokens here on the FTX exchange.
Another unique offering by FTX is Tokenized Stocks. Traders can invest in equity tokens via the FTX exchange. These tokens are backed by actual shares, which are in the custody of FTX Switzerland.
For instance, if traders invest in tokenized Tesla stocks, the tokens are backed by Tesla shares. Holders can redeem them for actual shares.
To know the procedure for investing in tokenized stocks, you can visit the dedicated page on the FTX site.
Traders who’d like to cash in the volatility of the crypto market should check out FTX’s volatility contracts. Users can invest in two types of volatility contracts - MOVE and BVOL.
- MOVE Contracts
MOVE is an innovative product of FTX and can be found only on the exchange. As the name suggests, MOVE contracts represent the cryptocurrency movements. Traders can speculate on the movements of the assets over a period of time.
Based on their expiry, traders get access to 3 types of MOVE contracts - daily, weekly, and quarterly. These contracts can also be traded with leverage.
Here’s an example of MOVE contracts work:
If you predict that ADA will move $50 in a week, the contract’s value will be $50.
- BVOL Contracts
BVOLs are similar to MOVE contracts, except that BVOL contracts are specially for Bitcoin. Traders can speculate on Bitcoin’s daily movements. Traders can opt for short or long investments. BVOL is for 1x long volatility, meanwhile, iBVOL is for 1x short volatility of Bitcoin.
Prediction markets on FTX are interesting. The feature lets you speculate on an outcome of a real-life event. For instance, at the time of writing, you can speculate on the 2024 US election. If your predictions are correct, you win.
FTX’s trade view is clean and uncluttered. Traders can customize the layout as they see fit. By default, the main panel takes up the majority of the screen space and on the right, details of the selected currencies are displayed.
Below the main panel, you have the order book, order form, and market trades. With the order form, you can place various types of orders and execute the trade.
Other Features At FTX
The FTX exchange offers a wide variety of features for traders. Here’s a brief on some of the prominent features that include an OTC desk and automated trading.
The staking rewards at FTX are quite impressive. Users can stake the FTT token and earn interest as well as get some additional perks.
Depending on the amount of FTT staked, traders can earn up to 14% interest. By staking FTT, users get to increase the weightage of their votes and discounted maker and taker fees.
FTX offers ‘Quant Zone’, a feature that enables traders to build trading strategies and automate trade. Users can set up rules for trading, and then the bots can do the work for you.
However, unlike other trading bots, FTX offers more flexibility. For instance, Quant Zone lets you create rules with price action and triggers. You can set multiple conditions for trade. You can easily pause or disable the automated trading.
Here’s a tutorial by FTX on how to use Quant Zone:
With the FTX OTC portal, institutional traders can settle transactions almost instantly for free and with tight spreads. Traders can also get instant quotes for major cryptocurrencies. The deposit and withdrawal process is straightforward as your wallet is connected to the OTC desk.
The FTX Pay service lets users pay with cryptocurrencies as well as fiat currencies. Users can add this widget to e-commerce or regular websites. FTX Pay allows users to send and receive payments at a low cost. The app is quite flexible and users can customize the payment conditions. Note that FTX Pay is available on FTX US, but it’s open to users of all jurisdictions.
For the full list of products, you can visit the official FTX Exchange website here and FTX US here.
Security: Is FTX Safe?
Security at FTX is advanced and top-notch. So far, there have been no security breaches or hacks reported. The exchange follows best industry practices to ensure complete safety of its assets.
To counter suspicious transactions, FTX has partnered with Chainanalysis. With the Know Your Transaction (KYT), the exchange manually monitors transactions. All the large deposits and withdrawals are monitored for real-time ALM compliance. Users get notified about suspicious activity on their account via email.
In case of clawback, the FTX has created a Backstop Liquidation Fund. This fund ensures that users who lose money but it’s not their fault, are compensated.
How can users can secure their FTX account
Here’s how users can safeguard their account:
- 2FA for logging in and withdrawals
- Additional different password for withdrawals
- 24-hour locking period after a password or 2FA change
- Subaccount login configuration
- Whitelisting IP addresses
- Whitelisting wallet addresses
FTX Alternatives: FTX vs Coinbase
FTX faces competition from Coinbase, Binance, and KuCoin.
- For beginners, Coinbase’s primary platform would be more suitable. Even casual traders can use Coinbase or Coinbase Pro for spot trading. However, Coinbase has higher fees than Binance or FTX.
- If you are looking for just spot trading and derivatives, Binance offers those as well. Unlike FTX, Binance doesn’t offer the more “complex” features like options or tokenized stocks. Further, Binance has over 600 cryptocurrencies, but the fees are slightly higher than FTX.
- On the other hand, KuCoin has over 600 cryptocurrencies and offers spot trading and derivatives. The exchange also has a trading bot. Fees are more or less on par with FTX (as FTT holders can get additional discounts on FTX). As FTX was made for traders, it appeals more to the pro traders. Users looking for a beginner-friendly platform can consider KuCoin.
FTX Customer Satisfaction
FTX is a solid cryptocurrency exchange. IN our recent analysis of the best exchanges, we found FTX a high performer in all key metrics.
They rank in the top 10 by market presence.
Basically shows that they are well known and trusted by traders all across the world.
In addition, their trading volume is also high.
Again, they rank in the top 10 of the crypto exchanges with the highest trading volume. According to CMC, they may also now have higher trading volume since we released our crypto exchange analysis report.
All this points to FTX being a well liked and trusted platform for trading cryptocurrency exchanges.