Exchange Review: OKCoin

OKCoin
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 2.5 stars
  • 50%

  • OKCoin
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: November 4, 2016
  • Trades
    Editor: 74%
  • Funding
    Editor: 20%
  • Compliance
    Editor: 0%
  • Platform
    Editor: 76%
  • Help & Support
    Editor: 80%

OKCoin is a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange based in Beijing founded in June 2013. It is managed by OKCOIN PTE. LTD., registered in Singapore.Trades

With only Bitcoin and Litecoin support, there are not many cryptocurrency pairs available for trading on OKCoin. USD is the only fiat market. This is compensated by the fact that trade execution fees are low for the pairs that can be traded. Trade (taker) fees start at 0.20 percent per trade for standard users (the maker fees are lower starting at 0.10 percent), and the bid-ask spread for BTC/USD is roughly 0.35 percent on average. Order can be placed as either limit orders by default, or as a market order. Advanced order types are available as well, and the exchange even offers advanced financial instruments (derivatives).

OKCoin Advanced Orders

Futures trading has recently been made available on the platform, which can offer a valuable way to manage the high volatility in cryptocurrency prices. They can also be used to leverage a position in Bitcoin by a factor 10 at maximum. This is actually what OKCoin highlights on the home page as it states under BTC Futures: “Trade long or short with up to 10x leverage. Minimum investment, Maximum Returns.” This is a missed opportunity to highlight the hedging possibilities, as was done in the announcement. Leverage is already available through margin trading at several exchanges, and is a not a very interesting feature given that cryptocurrencies are already the most volatile asset type. The way it is marketed, however, does not have any impact on the review score.

Funding

Most exchanges struggle with regard to funding options, even more than when it comes to compliance. OKCoin is no different with limited ways to fund an account. Wire transfers are the default for international customers and only available for USD, either directly or through third party services. This limits the funding options, and makes it very slow and costly.

Update August 31, 2015: OKCoin has ceased accepted any deposits from US customers, even including BTC, citing regulatory reasons. As a result, it’s looking like OKCoin’s international adventure has largely failed.

Compliance

On May 23 2015 Roger Ver published cryptographic proof of OKCoin manipulating a legally binding contract it had with him. Both parties had entered into an agreement in which OKCoin agreed to pay at least $10,000 per month to rent the domain Bitcoin.com for a period of five years. After failing to pay for 3.5 months OKCoin forged a new contract, which stated OKCoin had the right to terminate the contract early. Solely this type of fraudulent activity would turn OKCoin into an exchange you probably want to avoid, as it wipes out all credibility of a company. OKCoin’s amateurish response to the matter just adds to the previous. Lastly, it also raises questions regarding the exchange’s ability to pay its debts (solvency).

OKCoin’s former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Changpeng Zhao subsequently posted a public statement on May 30 2015 in which he revealed that the exchange did not only forge a contract, but is also guilty of using bots to manipulate market volumes, operating on fractional reserves, faking its proof-of-reserves and lying to its auditor. The CTO’s signature was also forged on bank transfers, even after he had left the exchange in January 2015. OKCoin has denied all accusations, but does acknowledge it had a contract with Roger Ver. OKCoin therefore still owes Roger Ver at least $35,000 as this would follow from any version of the contract, the dispute only concerns the right to terminate early. OKCoin breached the contract by not paying at all, significantly damaging its trustworthiness as a counterparty.

Platform

OKCoin has a mobile website, and also offers an App. This makes the platform very accessible. More importantly, the platform also scores high on the ease of use. Logging in takes users immediately to the trade screen, which could not be more straightforward to use.

OKCoin Trade

Of course, accounts can be secured with two-factor authentication as well. The platform could further improve by adding some research amenities or providing portfolio performance analysis tools.

Help & Support

OKCoin sets an example when it comes to support. Customer service can be contacted by email (ticket system), live chat or by telephone (24/7). The help section offers a fairly extensive FAQ, with most attention going towards the Futures section. Other areas could receive a bit more attention and contain some more educational information or extensive descriptions. Also the navigation could be improved to make the different parts connect better, but overall these are just minor comments.

Pros

• Futures trading

Cons

• Untrustworthy exchange and possibly engaged in fraudulent practices
• Might be insolvent
• Not accepting any US customer deposits

  • arodrigues

    what is OneCoin ?