FTX is a new home of professional traders. This exchange has taken the crypto market by storm in 2021. It is “built by traders, for traders”. This article is an FTX review and a beginner’s guide. You’ll also find our FTX experiences and other useful information about the platform.
FTX is founded by Sam Bankman-Fried. He’s been more visible in the crypto news than any other exchange CEO in 2021. If you are an active follower of Crypto Twitter, it’s impossible not to see the handle @SBF_Alameda pop up constantly.
FTX has become one of the top five derivatives exchanges. It reminds us of the rise of Binance in 2017-2018. This is no coincidence because Binance is one of the owners of FTX. The partner list has other big names too, such as Paxos and Circle.
Sam Bankman-Fried has also founded a hedge fund called Alameda Research. It’s currently managing over 100 million dollars worth of assets. Below is a link to Bloomberg’s article on SBF.
On the latest Odd Lots, Joe and Tracy speak with Sam Bankman-Fried, a former international ETF trader at the prop shop Jane Street Capital. Now he's building a crypto empire with his hedge fund Alameda Research as well as his own exchange called FTX https://t.co/cWsXyxH320
— Bloomberg (@business) April 1, 2021
FTX was founded in 2019, which means it’s a relatively new operator in the market. Its popularity has exploded in 2021. FTX has truly got the vote of confidence from the industry professionals. Low fees, great trading tools combined with high volumes attract many.
Do you have FTX experiences? Help to improve this article and share your FTX experiences by writing a comment below the article!
The registration process at FTX couldn’t be simpler. Click the link below and you’ll be forwarded to the front page of FTX. By using our link, you’ll also get a 5% discount on trading fees.
A registration form should open automatically. If not, click the turquoise REGISTER button in the main menu.
All you need to input is your e-mail address and password. Next, click the row titled “Click to verify”. The purpose of this is to make sure you are not a bot. Agree to FTX Terms & Conditions and click the SIGN UP link in the bottom right corner.
The account is created in a matter of seconds, and you’re forwarded into the exchange right away. Next, you’ll see a popup titled “Take a tour”. This will present you with the most important features. After that, FTX asks you to enable 2-factor authentication (2FA).
FTX is designed the way that deposits & withdrawals are not possible until 2FA is enabled. You can ignore it for now and browse through the site first. We’ll show you how to enable 2FA shortly.
The site design
When you register a new FTX account, the exchange is running on night mode. This means an interface with a dark background and white text. We prefer the light version, so we’re going to make that switch next.
There’s a sun icon in the main menu, which opens the submenu for site design selection: Dark, Black, and Light.
Note, that this review is written from the desktop user’s point of view. If you are using a mobile device, some features and menu items might be placed differently.
Account verification at FTX
FTX is using a similar verification model you might have seen at Kraken. It means there are different levels of verification. These are:
- Tier 0
- Tier 1
- Tier 2
Every new FTX customer starts from Tier 0. This tier has no other requirements except for opening an account. It has a 1000 USD limitation for withdrawals. Note, this is a lifetime limit, not daily. It means Tier 0 is only suitable for testing FTX with small amounts.
If you want to make serious trades, you need at least a Tier 1 account. You need to give your name and country of residence to get to Tier 1.
Click the cogwheel icon in the top right corner and choose Identity Verification. You should land on the following page.
Click the button titled INCREASE WITHDRAWAL LIMITS to proceed. The following form is opened, where you’re asked to input your name, country of residence, and the state/province you live in.
Once you have done this, you can also proceed to Tier 2 and confirm your identity further.
Tier 1 has a $2000 daily withdrawal limit and a $9000 daily trading limit. These are enough for most of the small investors. Tier 2 gives you unlimited withdrawal & trading limits and enables fiat transfers too.
Account security settings (2FA)
FTX does not allow deposits or withdrawals before 2-factor authentication (2FA) is enabled. We like this limitation. You should always have 2FA enabled in every web service where it’s possible.
Click the cogwheel icon again in order to view account settings. Security settings should open automatically.
From this page, you can also change passwords and enable other security features such as whitelisting. 2FA is the minimum requirement. Click the row titled Two-Factor Authentication.
Next, you are given the following options: Authy/Google Authenticator, Security Key, or SMS. Since most people are using the Google Authenticator App, choose that option. Scan the QR code with your authenticator app. Remember to save the backup code as well!
You’ll get an e-mail confirmation after enabling 2FA.
FTX deposits and withdrawals
FTX is first and foremost a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange. Most traders are depositing cryptos and trading futures with leverage. The spot market is quite small, and not many of our readers are going to deposit fiat. We’ll also operate with crypto in this review.
Let’s make a deposit, then. Click Wallet from the main menu. This will list all supported assets and coins. Filter the list by clicking the [CRYPTO] link. Click the DEPOSIT button for the cryptocurrency you want to use.
As the image shows, we’re making a USDT deposit. There are different options available for USDT and other coins as well. Make sure you are using the correct network.
Withdrawals are made from the same page. Just click the WITHDRAWAL button for the coin you want to withdraw.
The image above is showing a USDT withdrawal. FTX supports withdrawals to different networks as well. With USDT, for example, you can input an Omni, Ethereum, TRC20, or SPL address to the withdrawal field.
You also need a 2FA code from your authenticator app to finalize the withdrawal.
We have so far good FTX experiences from crypto transfers. Withdrawals and deposits are processed quickly.
How to buy cryptocurrency (spot)
Even if FTX is mostly used for margin trading, it’s possible to make standard spot purchases too. There are just fewer spot pairs available compared to popular spot exchanges. Some people might also open an FTX account just to buy the FTX exchange token, which has been a great investment so far.
Click MARKETS from the main menu and choose SPOT from the sub-menu.
Filter the coins you want to see from the row, which has buttons [AUD][BRZ] etc. These are currency pairs available. Since we made a USDT deposit, we’ll filter all available USDT pairs.
We’re going to buy the FTX token. Note that the ticker is FTT, not FTX. We’ll choose the FTT/USDT trading pair and click that.
Next, a trading window opens. This is a typical exchange view for making purchases.
When making spot purchases, the Limit Order is selected by default. Click the dropdown list for more options. If you want to make an easy purchase, choose Market Order. This option will purchase the coins with the current market price.
There’s a blue bar, which you can stretch from left to right. This changes the percentage of your funds used for the purchase. Alternatively, you can also input the amount you want to spend in FTT or USDT. Click the green Buy button to finalize the trade.
A popup should confirm your purchase. Coins should be visible in your wallet in a couple of seconds.
How to sell cryptocurrency (spot)
Making a spot sell is easy as making a spot buy. Click MARKETS from the main menu, choose SPOT and filter again the coins you want to see.
In this example, we are selling some of the FTX tokens previously purchased back to USDT. The currency pair we have selected is therefore FTT/USDT again.
The sell form is similar to the one used for buying. The limit order is again selected by default. Change it to Market order or use any other option you wish, such as POST or ICO. Move the blue bar or input the desired amount as FTT or USDT tokens.
Complete the sale by clicking the red Sell button. Your funds should be visible in the wallet in a matter of seconds. Click WALLET from the main menu and select FILLS. This will show your trading history.
FTX futures, stocks, and other trading options
FTX is an exchange designed for active & professional traders. The highest volumes are found from the future markets, where you can trade Bitcoin with up to 100x leverage. We recommend margin trading for industry professionals only.
Trading futures and options is such a large topic on its own, so we don’t go into details in this article. You’ll find dozens of tutorials on Youtube. FTX has also a Youtube channel with lots of useful guides in it.
Click the MARKETS link from the main menu. You’ll see it’s also possible to trade stocks. This is the current trend in the crypto exchanges: more and more traders want to trade the most popular stocks too, like Apple, Tesla, and Amazon.
FTX offers a long list of stocks and stock futures. You can even find companies like Nokia (NOK) from there. Of course, Coinbase stock (COIN) is also available.
Leveraged tokens are also becoming more and more popular. They offer an easy way to buy your favorite coin using leverage without actually going to the derivative market. For example, when purchasing an ETHBULL token, the value of your asset goes up (and down) 3x faster than regular ETH.
These leveraged tokens derive their value from the futures market. Yet, they are standard ERC20 tokens, which can be withdrawn and held in the most popular wallets. We recommend checking the T&C carefully before purchasing such tokens.
There are tons of different assets available at FTX. It’s no wonder this exchange is so popular among professional traders.
FTX fees and the FTX token
FTX has extremely competitive fees. This is a must for an exchange targeting professional traders.
For example, the market-leading exchange Binance has fees starting from 0.1% (maker and taker). FTX has just 0.02% for the maker and 0.07% for a taker. You can get them lowered further when your trading volume grows.
The image below is from January 2021. Fees might change over time.
The FTX token is used for getting smaller fees. This is how other exchange tokens work as well. The more FTX tokens you hold, the larger discount you get. The first tier (3% discount) is reached for holding just $100 worth of FTX tokens. Discount tiers go all the way to 60%.
On top of this, FTX has also a VIP program.
FTX holders get additional trading benefits. You can use FTX tokens as collateral in margin trading. It’s also possible to stake FTX tokens and earn interest. The exchange is committed to burning FTX tokens over time, which will reduce the supply and increase the price (in theory).
The FTX token can be also bought from Binance.
FTX experiences and overview
FTX is one of the most popular exchanges in the crypto market when it comes to margin trading. It’s not yet a threat for Binance, but the popularity has grown immensely during the past 12 months. The volume numbers of FTX speak loudly.
We have few FTX experiences so far. Everything works as promised, and there are more than enough features for professional needs. It’s no surprise so many active traders have joined FTX.
There is also a high-quality mobile app available for iOS and Android.
We like the fact that small investors can use FTX without going through the KYC process. Tier 1 gives you $9000 daily volume and $2000 daily withdrawal limits. These are enough for many small traders.
The motto of FTX is “built by traders, for traders”. This is visible in the exchange design and features. It’s a service built for professional traders. If you are a newbie making mostly spot purchases, there are better-suited exchanges in the market than FTX.
We recommend FTX for all active & professional traders who operate in the futures markets.
You should also follow FTX on social media. The Twitter handle is @FTX_Official, and the official Telegram channel is t.me/FTX_Official. It’s smart to follow FTX founder Sam ‘SBF’ Bankman-Fried too (@SBF_Alameda). He’s quite active on Twitter.
We hope you found this article useful! Please write your FTX experiences and thoughts below.