Interview with Eugene Kovalyk Chief Marketing Officer of Cex.io
What is the history of CEX.IO?
We entered the market in 2013 with a pioneering platform for trading that worked in conjunction with cloud mining pool GHash.IO. Back in 2014, it was the largest mining pool that reached almost 51% of Bitcoin network hashrate. However, we blocked the inflow of new miners in order not to cross the line.
At that time, it was a great opportunity to buy GHashes without buying mining equipment with sufficient power supply or cooling devices. After the temporary fall of Bitcoin price and the growth of the mining difficulty, we decided to focus on CEX.IO project as a cryptocurrency exchange.
In January 2015, we suspended our cloud mining services, which allowed us to put all our efforts in CEX.IO development.Even with all the dismay and frustration on the side of our users, we believe that was a good decision.
Today, CEX.IO is one of the leaders among exchanges accepting fiat money, providing services to both beginners and professional traders, and covering almost the whole world. We are constantly working on the development of the platform, adding new features, extending our cooperation with banks, and contributing to cryptocurrency market development.
What are the most traded currency pairs on the platform?
Traditionally, more than 50-55% of our monthly volume accounts for BTC/USD pairs. Second place belongs to ETH/USD, and its volume is constantly increasing. Also, we are observing the growing interest in recently added Zcash and Dash. It makes us believe that these tokens have very nice perspectives. Still, it’s important to say that we don’t have a lot of pairs, mainly because we are very picky about the crypto coins. First, we are investing only in cryptocurrencies that cannot exist without blockchain. Second, they have to go through our due diligence procedure so that we are absolutely sure that any fraud is excluded.
How do trade executions work?
Basically, we have different types of trade execution that can really depend on the circumstances our users have. First ones are the limit orders for users who want to sell above and buy below market price. For this goal, we have an advanced order-matching algorithm that performs transactions. It provides execution at a better price; however, sometimes you have to wait to fill the order.
For the users who don’t want to wait, we have market orders to buy and sell at best available price that includes our standard 0,1-0,2% commission depending on a trading volume. And, the final one, is the instantly ready-to-use option is FOK (Fill or Kill) orders where customers can buy cryptocurrency in a wrapped bundles with the prices starting from $100 up to $1000.
What is the difference between a market maker and a market taker, why are the fees different for both?
A lot of cryptocurrency exchanges have special conditions for maker orders. Usually, they cannot be executed right away as long as there is no matching order available. In this way, this order increases the volume currently available on the market and also increases liquidity. On our platform, we have 0% fee for makers.On the contrary, a taker order takes liquidity from the market. It can be instantly matched with the one already available. And when it is completed, it’s volume is removed from the order book. The fee for takers constitutes up to 0.2%.
What are the fees for trading Cryptos with FIAT?
Deposit/withdrawal fees for fiat money vary on the currency and payment system our users prefer. For instance, if our user wants to withdraw/deposit money in USD to the VISA card, he or she is supposed to pay $3.80, for MasterCard it will be 1,2%+$3.80. Every potential customer can access it in open access in CEX.IO fee schedule section.
Is Margin lending possible on Cex.io?
We offer margin trading with 1:2 and 1:3 leverages on BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, ETH/BTC, and ETH/USD pairs. Meanwhile, we are also considering adding other options in the future. •
How can accounts be funded?
Deposits can be made with VISA/Master Cards, via wire transfer or crypto.
Where do most users come from?
I cannot point one exact country. We are providing the service in the locations where cryptocurrencies are legal. The biggest number of users come from USA, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Denmark. Eastern European markets, such as those in Russia and Ukraine, are also growing.
What score would you give Cex.io in terms of Security and why?
I think we are reasonably strong in terms of operational and technical security. Let me explain. If you are willing to be a leader in fintech world, you have to gain trust not only among the clients but also from the regulators, banks, and other institutions involved in financial control. Those measures make you transparent, and your clients’ investments would not be put at risk.
We are FinCEN (The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) registered and follow all the KYC/AML (Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering) regulation standards in the countries where we are operating. Though starting trading on the exchange may sometimes take longer due to verification and KYC/AML procedures, the precaution steps help us to avoid any interrogation and risks connected with a very volatile and still weakly regulated market.Aside from the external sources, we decided to improve our security with own internal Bitcoin Screen system. Basically, it means we are checking all the input and output transactions from which place they came and where they are sent.
Moreover, we are blocking all the transactions conducted through “blacklist” wallets and investigate all the suspicious patterns which are unusual for the legal operations. All these anti-risk procedures help us to stay absolutely transparent for people who want to hold their money in a reliable place.
The second part is the technical security connected to our users’ data. We are compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which means that we are constantly going through vulnerability scans. Apart from that, we use the 2FA authentication and notifications about logins and withdrawals, not speaking about the constant system security testing and searching for anomalies.
The User experience is very important for an exchange, what are the main strengths of Cex.io in this aspects?
Our fundamental goal is to make CEX.IO accessible to all cryptocurrency users. Thus, we have enabled almost instant card processing on input and output transactions, which has made our customer experiences much more enjoyable. In addition, we are working on UI/UX improvements.
For instance, we reduced almost twice the number of steps needed to buy cryptocurrency in bundles (ready-to-buy cryptocurrency packs).I have to say that the number of users is literally multiplying from day to day. So, today it’s a big challenge to improve and maintain customer experiences on a high level. However, challenges make us stronger, and we do our best to increase the satisfaction of our users.
What are the future enhancements that are in the pipeline?
The upcoming changes involve new tokens listed on our exchange and better payment options. The next ones concern the decentralized wallets located on our platform. Also, with the growing amount of operations, there are a lot of people who want to increase their trading activities and go to the next level, so we are currently redesigning our trading platform.
Cex.io has had a bad wrap about the “hidden fees” and “slowish user support”. How is Cex.io addressing these issues?
There are no hidden fees at our exchange, and you can find everything in the fees section. Sometimes, users’ banks and correspondent banks can take additional commissions for transactions or currency exchange. Unfortunately, it’s out of our control, since we do not have any influence on banks. Everything we can do is to work on improvements as well as coordinate and predict customers’ expectations.
The industry is too young and volatile. And it may take more than one year until all the transactional processes will be absolutely perfect.What concerns the work of support, this summer we had an incredibly huge inflow of users. I have to admit, we were not ready to it. And, honestly speaking, no cryptocurrency exchange can be ready if it follows the KYC/AML procedures.
You can also see it from the customers’ responses about similar platforms. At the same time, everyone can note that today we are the most responding business on this market. We are following all cryptocurrency communities, including social media and forums, and resolve all issues we find. It is a very expensive process. But we expect that customers will acknowledge what we do. Additionally, we set up our affiliate program with up to 30% lifetime commission so that our customers can earn working with us.
Now, we have already increased our support and compliance departments twice. And we teach them at a fast pace. This is already a big operational challenge for the company. Besides, we continue to fill up staff vacancies since we expect further growth. Step by step, we are on our way to set up most reputable crypto exchange company with excellent service where our customers can enjoy cryptocurrency world with us.
For more information please visit Cex.io
We thank Eugene Kovalyk for the interview and Lyudmyla Nesterenko for the coordination.