Beginner’s Guide: OKEx Complete Review

Beginner’s Guide / 17.12.2018

OKEx is one of the most popular and largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It is multi-cryptocurrency exchange with a suite of algorithmic trading tools designed for professional traders. It offers a comparatively wide range of trading pairs, crypto-to-crypto trading with 4 base pairs (BTC, ETH, USDT & OKB – its native token), FIAT trading and digital asset based futures with multiple leverage choices.

Originally founded in 2014 in China, as the offspring of OKCoin exchange, OKEx is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume (according to CoinMarketCap, but you can see it often on 1st place too). Its Bitcoin future arm alone does nearly $1.5 billion in volume every day. Like other competitors, such as Binance, OKEx has recently relocated to the crypto-friendly island, Malta.

OKEx has a comparatively high standard among cryptocurrency exchanges; its services are not available in different countries, such as Hong Kong, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Crimea, Sudan, Malaysia, Syria, the USA and its territories, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Kyrgyzstan. Its decision to outright exclude the U.S. and countries with questionable legal status before the United Nations is more conservative than the decisions made by other comparable exchanges.

OKEx Account Sign-up

The first step to trade on OKEx platform is creating an account. The initial sign-in screen is straightforward. You can either sign-up via email address or a telephone number. A login password is also created at this time and you must check your email for a code to enter into the signup form within 60 seconds to continue.

OKEx offers several different verification levels, each with its own set of requirements and privileges. A level one verification grants access to most portions of the OKEx site with a transaction limit of $2,000, and it requires only a nationality, username, and ID number. A level two verification comes with access to all trading functions and a limit of $200,000. This is at the cost of a photo of yourself and your identification materials. A level three verification ups your transaction limit to $500,000 and requires a video verification of your identity.

If you have any issues during the account creation process, OKEx has a fairly comprehensive FAQ database (it will direct you to a different part of the site and to get back to the main site, you need to click on the small, pale gray OKEx link in the upper-right-hand corner) or you can use the Chat feature for live customer support. Their support team is ready to help you out!

Trading on OKEx

OKEx doesn’t allow you to visit its trading page without creating an account, but you can get a good idea of the sheer number of trades offered by accessing its “Charts” option along the top header. The charts are organized by trading pairs, including USDT, BTC, ETH, and the exchange’s native coin, OKB. OKEx also displays its available futures and a handy index for selected coins.

In its FAQ section, OKEx offers a short introduction to its main trading categories. It’s worthwhile to take a look at each one to get a feel for the diversity of trading experiences that OKEx offers.

At the top of the site, you will see a few options for trading:

  • Charts – Will show you detailed trading charts for each cryptocurrency
  • Fiat to Token – Will allow you to purchase some currencies directly with Fiat
  • Token Trading – Is the traditional crypto to crypto trading screen
  • Futures – Allows you to go long or short on a currency, to use this you have to pass their quiz showing you know how it works
  • Index Tracker – Is a statistical measure of the changes in a portfolio of trackers (tokens) representing a portion of the overall market. A weighting methodology is usually used for calculating the index.

The layout is again simple and intuitive. A tabbed box displays the option to either buy or sell, with the relevant pricing and volume information. A chart to the right of the main trading screen displays recent bids and asks. You can also navigate easily between the “Spot” and “3x Leverage” for margin trading.

If you access the trading screen from the “Charts” listing, you have the option for “Full Screen” view which offers a larger and more advanced layout, as show below:

Margin Trading

Token trading is the purchase or sale of tokens for immediate delivery. You can also earn the differences by exchanging between tokens, while leverage uses debt to maximize the potential return in spot trading. You can borrow tokens from OKEx, executing positions with 3 times of your capital. Your potential return is therefore multiplied, but so is your potential loss.

To activate OKEx Margin Trading simply click on the “3 Leverage icon” either in the normal trading layout or advanced and agree to its terms & conditions, as shown below:

NOTE: Margin Trading involves leverage that would amplify profits as well as losses. Investors should be aware of the forced liquidation when the leveraged positions meet a margin call. It is critical to understand fully about the risk before any investor starts on margin trading.

How Token Margin Trading Works?

Long a token: You can use your principal plus the borrowed token to buy another token and sell it until its price rises to a desired level. After repaying the loan and interest, the remaining amount is your multiplied gain.

Short a token: trading is more than “buying before a rise” and “selling before a fall”. You can gain from a price fall by borrowing the token to sell it, and then buying back when its price has dropped to repay the loan and capture the price difference.

You can also arbitrage or hedge exposure in combination with futures or perpetual swap trading.

Advantages of OKEx Margin Trading:

  • Hourly interest – High flexibility to suit your trading strategy
  • Super-low Interest- The rate is adjusted dynamically every hour
  • Multiplied Return- 3x leverage with controlled risk

Check out their full guide here.

In addition to the regular types of orders most of the exchanges are offering (limit & market), OKEx introduced a set of additional orders for advanced traders, through a system called Algo Order.

Algo order is a set of instructions for placing a trade at predefined price and volume. All logic of the algo orders is fixed and automated, therefore, instructions will be carried out according to the defined parameters without OKEx being needed to manually interfere the execution process of the order.

Algo trading tools allow users to enter trade information in advance to save time from execution when the right moment arrives. Users may also use algorithmic trading tools as reminders of the day’s trading strategy, to avoid bad executions due to the distractions from the live market.

Algo orders will not be executed if the conditions pre-set are not met and OKEx system will not place a hold on the funds of user’s account if an algo order is made. However, the algo order triggered will be canceled if the account does not have sufficient funds for its execution.

Trigger order – Trigger order is a trading instruction with pre-defined parameters by the user. When the last traded price has reached the trigger price, the system will send the trading instruction into the order book.

Trail order – Trail orders allows user to set in advance strategy for significant swings in the market. When the last price reaches maximum (or minimum) market price after trail order is submitted (1±user-defined callback rate), this triggers the order to be executed on the market.

Iceberg Order – An iceberg order is an algorithmic order type allowing users to avoid place a large order while avoiding slippage. An iceberg order automatically breaks up a user´s large order into multiple smaller orders. These orders will be placed on the market according to the latest best bid and ask price as well as the parameters set by the user. When one of the smaller orders has completely filled, or the latest market price has deviated significantly from the price of the current order, a new order will be placed automatically.

Time-weighted average price (TWAP) – Time-weighted average price (TWAP) is the average price of an instrument over a specified time. TWAP is a strategy that will attempt to execute an order which trades in slices of order quantity at regular intervals of time as specified by users. The purpose of TWAP is to minimize the market impact on basket orders.

See complete guide and information here.

Futures Trading

OKEx asks all prospective futures traders to read and agree to its proprietary user agreement. This is due to the relative complexity and high risk of the cryptocurrency derivatives market. Utilizing leverage can mean big gains and big losses in a short space of time, and OKEx goes out of its way to make sure its users understand that they are entering a whole new world far from the standard token-to-token trading floor.

Currently, OKEx supports seven coins for futures trading – BTC, LTC, ETH, ETC, XRP, EOS, and BTG. Full guide here.

OKEx Fees

OKEx’s service fees are remarkably streamlined for such a diverse exchange offering. The company charges a 0.1 percent maker and taker fee for all token-to-token trades.

The fees for futures trading are decided token by token.

  • BTC is assessed a maker, taker, and settlement fee of 0.015 percent.
  • LTC futures trades have a 0.025 percent maker fee, a 0.075 percent taker fee, and a 0.05 percent settlement fee.
  • ETH & ETC, both carry a 0.025 percent maker fee, a 0.075 percent taker fee, and a 0.05 percent settlement fee.

OKEx also has a tiered volume-based fee discount structure. The discounts are computed daily from a 30-day trading volume and also come with associated withdrawal levels.

The levels range from less than 600 BTC equivalent with maker fees of 0.15 percent and taker fees of 0.2 percent to greater than 120,000 BTC equivalent with maker fees of 0.02 percent and taker fees of 0.05 percent. There is a similar tiered discount structure for futures traders that is computed separately from spot market transactions. Those levels range from less than 10,000 BTC equivalent to greater than 300,000 BTC equivalent, as shown below. See full information on OKEx fees, here.


OKEx created the OK PiggyBank which is a digital asset value-added service that allows users to deposit and withdraw their digital assets anytime. If can transfer your balance into OK PiggyBank to enjoy profit every day. This service is characterized by depositing and withdrawal freedom, daily interest earning, and no minimum deposit requirement. The OK PiggyBank guarantees high security of your assets with OKEx’s sophisticated risk management system. The assets of OK PiggyBank are used for OKEx’s margin loan services.and OK PiggyBank only supports the digital assets available for OKEx margin trading. More details here.

Is OKEx Safe?

There isn’t much information on OKEx’s site regarding its internal security mechanisms but OKEx offer different ways for you to secure your account, such as Two-factor authorization, mobile authorization, Fund Password (required for trading and withdrawals), Email Verification, Anti-phishing code as well as a fund password validity which you can set based on your needs.

OKEx is regarded as one of the must trusted and secure exchanges but in October 2017, hackers were able to access some OKEx accounts, mainly because those accounts were victims to phishing attempts, not a failure of the OKEx’s security system itself. See OKEx statement below:

“Recently, there were some OKEx accounts were abnormal accessed,” the exchange wrote in an update. “Due to OKEx security system, all withdrawals were unsuccessful; however, the transactions were chaotic and caused certain losses.”

OKEx details the causes of the breaches as improperly kept and set passwords, personal computers affected by malware or users logging into public computers. To prevent future breaches, OKEx recommends the use of all its security options such as two-factor authorization, fund password, etc.

OKB Token

OKEx’s native token is OKB, and it serves to incentivize trading on the OKB platform while the company develops its blockchain. The token carries a total supply of 1 billion – 70 percent of which is locked up – and the company distributes 50 percent of its service fees collected during the week each Friday to OKB holders. The actual amount distributed is weighted by the volume of OKB a user holds. OKB entitles OKEx traders to certain privileges, like service fee rebates, encouraging its users to use and hold OKB. The overall goal of the OKB token project is a worldwide network of cryptocurrency trading assets.

“OKB will act as a base token to allow global blockchain teams to participate in the construction of a global exchange,” the company stated.

OKEx Global Partners

OKEx Global Partners is a market initiative by the exchange. The system is structured around OKB holdings and referrals, with awards distributed in the form of special prizes and OKB rewards. Consideration for the OKEx Global Partners program is fairly wide open. It just involves owning at least 5,000 OKB and referring 50 people to the site monthly. The reward for this entry-level tier is 30 percent of the associated trading fees collected from your referrals for the next six months.

“We are looking for influential global partners like you to join our mission of spreading blockchain technology far and wide,” OKEx said on its introductory website. “We are building a blockchain ecosystem. A system that connects us to the communities across the world. And we need your help in promoting the expansion. In return, you will earn a fair amount of reward for your effort. Interested in joining us? Apply today.”

You can find more info about this program here.

OK Blockchain Capital

OK Blockchain Capital is the investment arm of the OKEx platform. The business division solicits partners for new blockchain projects and provides auxiliary services, like consultation, technology, resources, and capital. This is the avenue for white paper submission and possibly token registration within the OKEx platform. OK Blockchain Capital claims to have at least $100 million set aside for new blockchain technology products and services. More info on this program, here.

OKEx Prime Investors Program

OKEx launched the “Prime Investors” program on May 10, 2018 (Hong Kong time) to attract more token projects with high qualifications, and construct the first blockchain ecosystem and digital asset trading platform which combines multiple resources including professional investors and blockchain projects. See more details here.

OKNodes Program

Through this project you can create your own world-leading digital asset exchange with 0 (zero) tech investment. OKNodes program is designed to share liquidity with OKEx and its partners as well as the users pool. All the users can access OKEx and its OKNodes program with a single account.

OKEx Project Info

OKEx Project Info is an information platform which offers token projects’ basic information, roadmap and development progress, and third-party reviews. OKEx created this platform with the mission of helping its users to gain a better understanding of the projects before they make any trading decisions.

OKEx Customer Support

OKEx provides 24/7 live customer support via phone & chat in order to effectively and promptly address any cryptocurrency trading or exchange related issues and concerns you might have. In addition, the users can access the email and ticket support as well as several messaging apps and social media channels, such as Facebook, Telegram, etc.


OKEx’s relatively strict stance to user registration might be more forward-thinking than most. Cryptocurrency regulations are in their infancy worldwide, and it is not entirely clear which direction they will swing in established markets, like the U.S., or developing economies. Playing it safe might be the best right now, or at least until some of the regulatory dust settles. Furthermore, OKEx is big and can’t afford to take many risks, but it has the ability to influence future policy by the risks it does decide to take.

Overall, OKEx platform supports a wide range of tools and trading venues for every level of investment need. Their interface is quite well designed and provides lots of different trading options and views. Newcomers to the cryptocurrency sphere and professional traders alike will find something useful on OKEx; it combines cutting-edge technology with features that makes it the perfect exchange for professional traders and provides enough tools and information to enable you to start trading as a professional.

Sources: BlockonomiOKEx

Born in Bucharest, Marius is the founder of Crypto Adventure. Since his first contact with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, he never stopped believing that they are one of the most important innovations of our time, which will forever change the way business is done.