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OKEx Review UK 2021 – Features, Fees, Pros & Cons Revealed

Disclaimer Fact Checked

OKEx is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges and derivatives trading platforms in the crypto industry. The platform has become famous for its low fees and ease of use, especially for investors who might not have excess capital to conduct their trades. If you’re a UK trader looking to learn how to invest in Bitcoin and begin your journey, you might have a lot to gain from this OKEx review UK.

This OKEx exchange review dives into how OKEx works, the benefits you stand to gain and if there is a better alternative.

OKEx Review Summary

  • OKEx is a good and simple to use cryptocurrency exchange
  • It offers various trading options
  • However, our top recommended cryptocurrency exchange is eToro

What is OKEx?

okex logoOKEx is a global digital asset exchange that provides access to digital financial services. The platform offers exchange and trading services to cryptocurrencies and crypto-based derivatives, allowing traders to make money and capitalize on their holdings.

Launched in 2014, OKEx is based in Seychelles. The company initially operated out of China, but it moved to Hong Kong in 2017 after the Chinese government instituted a ban on trading Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens.

At the time, the exchange broke out of OKCoin, its sister company, to target advanced crypto traders. While OKCoin focuses on purely buying and selling digital assets and ICO tokens, OKEx provides a more sophisticated offering for advanced traders.

It boasts over 20 million active users and has a global presence in more than 200 countries worldwide. It offers traders over 400 trading pairs and has one of the most user-friendly trading platforms in the industry.

OKEx is one of the top twenty crypto exchanges in the world where you can trade cryptocurrencies, according to Coinmarketcap. It claims to process a daily turnover of $1.5 billion only from its Bitcoin futures trading product. However, critics say this number may be exaggerated.

OKEx, like fellow Chinese crypto exchange Binance and Bithumb, launched its own “utility token” OKB in 2018 for users to offset their trading fees. The OKB token is also utilized to pay for “exclusive services including dedicated customer support and enhanced API rate limits.”

OKEx also has a mining pool with 11 crypto assets. It is a proof-of-work (PoW) mining protocol that supports popular digital assets like BTC, BCH, BSV (SHA256), ETH (Ethash), LTC (Scrypt), DASH (X11), and many others.

It also boasts a learning platform (OKEx Academy) where you can learn more about cryptocurrencies and how to trade crypto on the OKEx trading platform. OKEx is also expected to launch its own rival DeFi platform much like Ethereum’s, although no official announcement has been made.

In general, OKEx provides the following services;

Digital Asset Transactions

OKEx allows buying and selling of Bitcoin and six other digital assets. The service enables transactions in over 40 fiat currencies, with support for 25 payment methods.
The exchange also allows for peer-to-peer transactions, although those are only available for Rupees, the Vietnamese Dong, and the Chinese Yuan.

Crypto Trading

OKEx allows users to trade via different options. The available trading routes on the exchange include:

  • Spot Trading: OKEx offers spot trading for over 150 different digital assets across 450 trading pairs. Markets are formed for trading pairs primarily with dollar-based stablecoins, Bitcoin, Ether, and the exchange’s OKB token.
  • Margin Trading: Margin trading is available for Bitcoin and several other large-cap cryptos. The exchange offers up to 10x leverage for spot cryptocurrency trading and 100x leverage for contracts. However, both are only available for professional traders.
  • Futures Contracts: Futures are basically an agreement to purchase or sell units of a digital asset at a specific price and a particular time. OKEx offers futures contracts based on assets like Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP. The exchange also offers Perpetual Swap Contracts, which differ from the traditional futures contracts in that they don’t have any expiry date.
  • Options Trading: An option is a contract that gives an owner the right to purchase an asset at a given price and at a particular time. Trading these derivatives requires an in-depth understanding of math skills, and OKEx only offers them to advanced traders.

Spot Trading

OKEx offers spot trading for over 150 different digital assets across 450 trading pairs. Markets are formed for trading pairs primarily with dollar-based stablecoins, Bitcoin, Ether, and the exchange’s OKB token.

Margin Trading

Margin trading is available for Bitcoin and several other large-cap cryptos. The exchange offers up to 10x leverage for spot cryptocurrency trading and 100x leverage for contracts.

However, both are only available for professional traders.

Futures Contracts

Futures are basically an agreement to purchase or sell units of a digital asset at a specific price and a particular time. OKEx offers futures contracts based on assets like Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP. The exchange also offers Perpetual Swap Contracts, which differ from the traditional futures contracts in that they don’t have any expiry date.

Options Trading

An option is a contract that gives an owner the right to purchase an asset at a given price and at a particular time. Trading these derivatives requires an in-depth understanding of math skills, and OKEx only offers them to advanced traders.

Asset Lending and Borrowing

OKEx also provides asset lending and borrowing. Lending allows users to deposit their assets and earn interest. The assets themselves are lent to margin traders for their trading activities. Users can also stake proof-of-stake coins via OKEx’s platform.

OKEx Jumpstart

OKEx has a dedicated service that helps users make gains from new crypto projects with their Jumpstart platform. Much like Binance Launchpool, Jumpstart allows crypto projects to raise much-needed funds and awareness to showcase their offering to OKEx customers.

Investors have to use the OKB token to stake a claim in the project. The staked funds will be locked up for a particular period (let’s say 14 days) before they are released in the spot wallet of the user with the newly minted token of the crypto project. Expected returns vary depending on the crypto project’s offering.

Before users can stake with their OKB tokens, OKEx requires that they must have verified their account with the needed details.

Supported Coins

One of OKEx’s many benefits is that the platform supports different coins and currencies – whether for payments, transactions, or trading activities.

The exchange currently offers trading in over 240 different cryptocurrencies, which can be traded against Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Tether, EOS, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Its depth of altcoins is quite impressive, allowing you to enjoy optimal liquidity.

You can check the exchange’s complete list of supported coins on the exchange’s Markets page.

OKEx uses a buy-back scheme to slowly burn the 300 million circulating supply of OKB tokens every 3 months. This is done to drive up the token price by reducing the quantity of the tokens available publicly.

OKEx Fees

Another significant benefit for the exchange is its provision of low fees across the board. Compared to other top exchanges like Bithumb, Coinbase, and Binance, OKEx is relatively cheaper. Here’s a breakdown of the exchange’s fees:

Spot Fees

OKEx’s spot fees are based on the maker-taker model. If you palace an order into the order book, you’re a “maker” and will pay a lower fee. The reverse is the case for “takers,” who take the trades of others.

The exchange’s maker-taker model starts at 0.1 percent and 0.15 percent for users holding less than 500 OKB tokens. You could reduce the fees for spot trading to between 0.06 percent and 0.09 percent if you hold 2,000 OKB tokens or more.

Tier  OKB Holding Maker Fee Taker Fee
Level 1 Less than 500 tokens 0.1% 0.15%
Level 2 Over 500 tokens 0.09% 0.135%
Level 3 Over 1,000 tokens 0.08% 0.12%
Level 4 Over 1,500 tokens 0.07% 0.105%
Level 5 Over 2,000 tokens 0.06% 0.09%

OKEx also employs a dual-tiered fee structure. High-volume traders with volumes over 1,000 BTC in monthly volumes receive discounts. In fact, traders with over 15,000 BTC in volumes get negative fees – OKEx pays them to provide liquidity.

Futures and Perpetual Fees

Fees on non-spot trading stand at 0.02 percent for makers and 0.05 percent for takers. As expected, these fees can be reduced based on your OKB token holdings according to this table:

Tier OKB Holding Maker Fee Taker Fee
Level 1 Less than 500 tokens 0.02% 0.05%
Level 2 Over 500 tokens 0.018% 0.045%
Level 3 Over 1,000 tokens 0.017% 0.04%
Level 4 Over 1,500 tokens 0.016% 0.035%
Level 5 Over 2,000 tokens 0.015% 0.03%

Deposit and Withdrawal Fees

OKEx offers zero fees on withdrawals and deposits. However, note that you will need to pay a minimum Bitcoin network fee on all BTC withdrawals. Each asset’s blockchain load determines this fee. So, the prices primarily vary.

OKEx Buying Limits

There is no need for any identity verification process unless you plan on withdrawing over 10 BTC within 24 hours. The identification levels include:

  • Level 1: Enter your name and proof of nationality.
  • Level 2: Perform photo identification and facial verification.
  • Level 3: You will need to complete a video verification process.

The transaction withdrawal limits for users based on verification via OKEx include:

ID verification level Daily withdrawal limit 
No verification 10 BTC
Level 1 200 BTC
Level 2 500 BTC
Level 3 > 500 BTC

There are also cumulative peer-to-peer transaction limits on the platform based on verification levels. These limits include:

ID verification level P2P transaction limits
Level 1 £362.74
Level 2 £7254.85
Level 3 £72548.5

OKEx Wallet

OKEx offers the OKEx Wallet – a multi-currency digital wallet that allows you to store assets and ERC20 tokens. It is available on both the desktop platform and the mobile app.

You get access to the OKEx Wallet once you register and verify your identity on the OKEx platform. You get a wallet address for every token you’re looking to deposit, and you can make your deposits directly whenever you want.

Note that the OKEx Wallet differs from your funding account. The wallet allows you to control your assets by providing a seed phrase setup and proper backup procedures.

  • To create a wallet, follow these steps:
  • Go to the Wallet section on the OKEx home page.
  • Tap “Create”
  • Name the safe box
  • Set a password and perform a backup to safeguard your assets
  • Create a backup seed phrase and validate it

OKEx Mobile App

Like all wallets, OKEx has a mobile app available for all users. You can get it from the Apple Store and Google Play Store in all supported countries.

In general, the OKEx mobile stock trading app is an encompassing trading platform that supports cryptocurrencies. It allows you to buy and sell your digital assets in various forms (spot and derivatives), view prices in real-time, store your digital assets and make transactions.

The app is easy to use, with a simple interface that attracts both beginner and professional investors.

OKEx User Experience

OKEx maintains a stable user experience across all platforms. The mobile app has a simple, fresh layout that allows you to see everything and navigate your way seamlessly. The app also doesn’t freeze up on you mid-use – a problem that many bitcoin exchanges have encountered with their mobile apps.

We tested the mobile app for various functions, including purchases and transactions. With support for bank transfers, Mastercard, and VISA, you can top your account up and purchase digital assets in little to no time.

The trading platform is also quick, providing access to real-time rates and allowing you to place orders in a split second.

OKEx Tools & Features

As one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, OKEx provides access to some impressive market tools. These include:

  • A seamless interface that works for beginner and advanced traders.
  • Quick options to purchase digital assets in different local currencies
  • Support for bank transfers and payment in credit/debit cards
  • Spot trading with high liquidity and low spreads
  • SA secure wallet with offline cold storage
  • A functional, user-friendly mobile app
  • A referral and affiliate marketing program that pays rewards for marketing the exchange
  • Round-the-clock customer support

Interest Yield

OKEx also offers an earning platform where users can earn interest on their crypto portfolio. You get extra money in your crypto wallet when you lend out your cryptocurrencies or stake them in projects to secure a blockchain network. There are several great projects you can put your crypto on to make some extra income.
Featuring is MakerDAO, USDC, USDT, TUSD, ETH, BTC, and others. You will also see the crypto market that will pay you for staking your cryptocurrencies.

OKEx Payments

As explained earlier, OKEx allows trading in different coins. The most popular options are:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • XRP
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Litecoin

Note, however, that you won’t be able to buy or sell most small altcoins directly. You will need to trade them with popular coin-based markets like Bitcoin and Ether. Simultaneously, most of the other trading markets (like lending, derivatives, and margin trading) are majorly limited to the top cryptocurrencies.

When it comes to fiat withdrawals and deposits, you have different options. These include:

  • USD
  • GBP
  • EUR and others.

Digital payment options available include:

  • Mastercard/VISA
  • PayPal
  • Bank transfers
  • Apple Pay and others

OKEx Minimum Deposit

The minimum deposit amount on OKEx is 10 USDT (£7.25) or equivalent to other currencies. Once your account has been verified and you’ve deposited the funds, they will be automatically added to your account.

OKEx Regulation & Licensing

OKEx is not regulated to operate in the UK. This could be due to the current backlogs of application the FCA has to sift through. However, it has an operational license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. The firm was granted a preliminary license approval to provide securities and automated trading services in the country. OKEx was also granted approval from the Maltese regulators to operate on the island.

OKEx Contact and Customer Service

OKEx maintains a thorough customer service channel. You can contact them via phone, email, and different social media platforms.

How to Buy on OKEx

OKEx provides a platform where you can purchase digital assets directly. As explained earlier, you can use different payment methods.


Now that you are well-versed in what services and features OKEx offers, we will show you how you can get started in a few trading steps on the platform.

Step 1: Sign up

This can be done in either of two ways; you can download the OKEx app and create an account, or if you are more comfortable with a desktop, head down to their official website. Click on the “sign up” icon on the top right corner to get started. You will be asked to provide your email address and password. OKEx also gives the offer of signing up with just your mobile phone.

You will need to fill in your phone number and choose a strong, unique password.
OKEx will forward you some login details to your account.

Step 2: Verify your account

If you chose to go through the email path as we did, you will have to head down to your mail and click on the “verify” button for your account to be verified by OKEx. You might also need to provide other personal details like your name, address, driver’s license, official passport, and any other documentation they may ask of you.

But for the sake of this writing, once you verify your email, you can head straight down to depositing funds.

It is also recommended that you set up SMS and two-factor authentication for additional security. To do that, just go to the “Security Settings” section in your “Profile” page and fill in the prompt.

Step 3: Depositing Funds

OKEx allows you to fund your account with 30 different fiats and several digital currencies. You can fund your account using bank transfers or credit cards. Of course, you can also send cryptocurrencies from other cryptocurrency exchanges or wallet platforms.

With OKEx, you can start with a minimum deposit of just £7.25, making it easy for you to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies with little capital. And you don’t necessarily need to supply all your details before you can get started. But OKEx will reduce your deposit and withdrawal amounts until you complete your KYC process.

To deposit, click on the “Assets” tab on the top right corner and select “deposit.” Then, choose the fiat you want to make your deposit with and the payment network and proceed. When you are done with the currency, you will need to select the account you want the funds to head to.

The available options are spot, funding, perpetual swaps, and options. Choose any and complete the deposit. You will need to make the payment on a wallet address that the OKEx platform generates.

Step 4: Buying Your First Cryptocurrency

To buy your first cryptocurrency, you have to click on the “Buy/Sell” icon on the top left corner, where you will be directed to the page below. Select the cryptocurrency you wish to buy, the fiat you want to pay with, and how much you want to invest. It takes about 1-15 minutes for your funds to be credited to your account.

Another option is to use peer-to-peer (P2P) trade. This option will let you select the best deals for that cryptocurrency from a list of sellers. Note that there is a timeline for you to make the transfer if you select a particular seller you want to buy from. Once you make the transfer, select the “I have made the transfer” button to have your funds credited to your account.

Once the funds arrive, you can begin trading.

Step 5: Trading Cryptocurrencies

Like stock trading apps, OKEx does its best to simplify the crypto trading process for you. It has a clear and intuitive interface, complete with charting tools and different order types. The OKEx dashboard is also pretty easy to use.

On the mobile app, you can find different markets and asset pairs easily. Simply click on one, and you will be navigated to a trading screen where you can fill out all the crucial details.
OKEx allows you to select different order types. These include:

  • Limit order
  • Advanced limit order
  • Trigger order
  • Market order
  • Stop order
  • Iceberg order

You can easily select the type of order you want to implement. Once done, input your details and parameters and complete your trade.

OKEx vs. eToro

eToro is another platform that allows traders and investors to make bets and possibly earn returns. However, while OKEx focuses exclusively on cryptocurrencies, eToro has a broader scope.

eToro allows for forex trading, commodity trading, and much more, in addition to a dedicated and ever-expanding cryptocurrency trading portfolio. You can even get access to CFDs, bonds, the best ETFs, and other investment products on the trading platform.

The company has registered offices in the United States, Cyprus, and Israel, with licenses from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
The table below provides additional insights into the two platforms and how they compare with each other:

Parameter eToro OKEx
Minimum Deposit  £36.25 £7.25
Maximum Leverage  30x 100x
Payment Methods Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Yandex, Webmoney, etc. Bank transfer, credit/debit card, Apple Pay, gift cards, Google Pay, Skrill, Crypto Transfer, Alipay, WeChat Pay
Trading Fees No commissions, no management fees,  No trading fees
Available Platforms Web, mobile Web, mobile
Withdrawal Fees £7.25 Based on blockchain load
Account Opening Fees?  No No

EToro and OKEx are relatively similar. However, thanks to its exposure to traditional stocks and other financial instruments, eToro provides a better and broader trading experience than OKEx.

eToro also has several impressive features, including and especially the Copy Trading feature that lets you directly duplicate exact trades from some of the most popular traders on the platform. For newbies looking to get the hang of day trading, this feature is beyond essential.

The Verdict – eToro – Best Broker to Buy Cryptocurrency in the UK

OKEx is undoubtedly an incredible platform to trade with. It is simple to use and affordable, and its variety of trading options means you have different avenues to make money.

With all of this, OKEx can hold its own against any other top exchange available. However, when it comes to a service like eToro, it might not be much better. Investors are interested in much more than just cryptocurrencies, and eToro provides access to a much broader asset class. So, you will be better-served trading with eToro than OKEx.

With the fact that eToro offers an in-housed investment portfolio called the CopyPortfolio, it can be a great way to better diversify your investments across different sectors and regions without much of a fuss.

OKEx also does not offer a demo account. Neither does eToro, but the good thing about using the FCA-approved broker is that eToro lets you learn from more experienced traders with its CopyTrade feature.

CopyTrade lets you assume the trading position of these experts. You also get to review and choose which trader suits your risk appetite, as you will be provided with the necessary details about the trader. This can be very useful, especially if you are starting in trading.

eToro also welcomes you with a $50 (£36) as a new customer. You get this once you register through a referral link. The person who referred you will also be credited with a $50 compensation package, so it’s a win-win for all.

So if you are looking for the best online broker to invest in crypto, you can trust eToro to give you the access you need.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.


Where is OKEx based?

Does OKEx allow U.S traders?

Does OKEx require KYC verification?

Is OKEx legit?

Does OKEx have a Mobile App?

Does OKEx have a referral program?

Jimmy Aki author check sign Pro Investor

Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He currently has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.


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