An age-old saying states that there are only two certainties in life: Death and taxes. Whoever came up with that saying clearly coined the phrase before crypto, I would add one more to that list, and that is fees!
Not all exchanges are created equal in terms of fees, asset support, rewards distributions, features etc., which is why many crypto holders are plagued by having their coins spread across a dozen different platforms. My crypto holdings are about as sporadic as an overly caffeinated monkey on a trampoline if you are anything like me. I have crypto in one place for the lowest trading fees, in another for the highest security, another place for the highest yields, another for the best staking rewards, another for rare coin support and so on. I think you get the point.
It feels like a full-time job just trying to keep track of it all which can be a pain. While I am not saying that I have found the holy grail of exchanges, nor does one exist as they all have their pros and cons, I did come across a platform a while ago that checks quite a few important boxes such as rare asset support, low fee trading and fee-free staking rewards. I felt it was worthwhile sharing this find with the Coin Bureau community as feeless staking and rare coin support on a regulated exchange is, well…rare. The exchange I am covering today is OKcoin.
OKcoin At a Glance
|Headquarters||San Francisco, USA|
|Regulated||Regulated in the US, Licensed Globally|
|Transaction Fees||Maker- 0.10% to 0.00%
Taker- 0.20% to 0.02%
|Support||Email and Live Chat on Desktop|
What is OKcoin?
OKcoin was founded in 2013 by Star Xu and was initially based out of Beijing before expanding globally and is currently regulated in the United States, with its headquarters located in San Francisco. Xu has a background in technology management and has worked at Yahoo and Alibaba in technical departments and held the position of Chief Technology Officer at Docin.com. Star Xu was also the founder of the popular exchange OKEx.
OKcoin is globally licensed with offices located in Miami, Malta, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. They have over 100 employees, and customers enjoy the OKcoin platform from over 190 countries. OKcoin is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the USA, registered with FINTRAC in Canada, registered in Malta and with the Dutch Central Bank to legally serve European customers, and registered in Hong Kong and Singapore, providing legally registered services to the Asian markets.
OKcoin Trading Platform and User Experience
The OKcoin platform is very clean, easy to navigate and simple to use. The exchange is web-based and can be accessed from a computer or mobile device, and through the beautifully designed and intuitive mobile app on IOS and Android.
OKcoin features one of the most advanced trading platforms with highly liquid markets and a stable platform. The trading platform has all the trading features and technical analysis tools to make informed trading decisions. In addition, it is very smooth, with orders executed instantaneously, which is essential with how fast crypto moves. If you are interested in upping your trading game, be sure to check out Guy’s three-part series on how to perform technical analysis like a pro, link to the first part here.
OKcoin underwent a total rebranding overhaul in April 2021, changing the look and feel and the platform and what a fantastic upgrade it was. The company has discovered their identity, brand and niche in the crypto industry. The platform is very user friendly and is suitable for both advanced and beginner traders and hodlers alike.
OKcoin provides traders with advanced and straightforward trading types and technical analysis tools. The platform supports margin trading, futures, Iceberg orders, trailing stops, price alert notifications and TWAPs. In addition, traders can trade popular assets with up to 3x leverage.
OKcoin likes keeping things simple, which is why there is just one basic personal account type that is suitable for all users and a corporate account option for businesses. It is important to note that different verification levels grant traders greater deposit and withdrawal amounts.
The verification levels are as follows:
Level 1 Verification-permits up to $2000 per day but does not allow withdrawals. The following is required for level 1 verification.
Level 1 KYC needed:
- Full legal name that’s on your government issued ID
- Date of birth
- Country and state of residence
- Street address
Level 2 Verification– permits up to $50,000 in deposits and withdrawals per day for personal accounts and up to $500,000 per day for corporate accounts. All the standard verification is required plus:
- A photo of your passport or government-issued ID card
- A utility bill or bank statement showing proof of residence
OKcoin has a premiere option designed for professional traders and business partners. With a premiere account, traders enjoy access to dedicated coverage, accelerated fiat processing, and a range of exclusive product features.
Premiere members can benefit from instant funding options via SEN and PrimeX and wire pre-credit up to $100,000 to ensure they can begin trading instantly.
Premiere members can also benefit from additional market-making incentives and earn rebates and additional perks for consistent liquidity provision. Here is a look at the premiere benefits.
OKcoin is legally registered to serve 192 global markets but does not support sanctioned countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Sudan, Syria, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Kyrgyzstan.
While OKcoin is regulated in the US, customers residing in the following states cannot access the platform: Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, West Virginia
A complete list of all 192 supported countries can be found here.
One of the best things about OKcoin is that they are passionate about being the first to bring many great crypto projects to the mass markets and often beat their fellow regulated competitors in this regard. For example, they were the first US registered exchange to provide US-based users with access to Avalanche and rare, hard to find tokens like Axie’s Smooth love potion (SLP), the Star Atlas (ATLAS) Metaverse token, Pocket Network (POKT) and were the first exchange to list the revolutionary CityCoins both MiamiCoin (MIA) and New York Coin (NYC).
While OKcoin is great at beating rivals to the punch in offering new and exciting tokens that cannot be found on other regulated exchanges, being a regulated exchange is a double-edged sword in terms of what assets they can offer, which means coin support is limited.
OKcoin suffers the same restrictions as other US regulated exchanges such as Coinbase, which results in them supporting substantially fewer assets for users to choose from than many non-US regulated exchanges as they need to be careful not to list any assets which could be deemed securities. The complete token directory can be found here.
OKcoin currently supports over 50 crypto assets, and USD, EUR, SGD and BRL are supported for cash deposits and withdrawals.
Grow Your Crypto with OKcoinEarn
Users can earn crypto rewards and grow their moonbags from DeFi protocols directly integrated seamlessly within the OKcoin app. The platform has behind the scenes integrations allowing users to stake with DeFi protocols like Compound and Yearn seamlessly with one click and without the user needing to know anything about DeFi or navigating outside of the OKcoin platform.
Navigating the world of DeFi can be complex and overwhelming for many crypto users. OKcoin provides users with the ability to benefit from the power DeFi with the convenience of an easy to use and navigate platform that does the hard work for you. 100% of the profit generated from Earn goes to the user.
Earn up to an insane 145% APY on tokens like MiamiCoin and around 1.5-16% on over 20 different cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. OKcoin offers higher APY’s on average than many other exchanges as OKcoin utilizes DeFi protocols and allows users to keep 100% of the profits earned without OKcoin taking a cut, which sets them apart from much of the competition.
There are no fees charged for users who utilize the Earn section, which is great. OKcoin has also kicked things up a notch by removing any transaction fees associated with recurring buys set to happen automatically, meaning that users can dollar cost average into their favourite tokens like pros without any fees. Note that this has been a long-running promotional offer that may end at some point, but any users who participate are notified before this offer ends.
The only fees incurred are for spot trading in the form of maker and taker fees and some withdrawal and deposit methods which will be discussed later in the article. Similar to FTX and Coinbase, OKcoin’s fees are based on a tiered structure, with maker fees starting at a beautifully low 0.1% and taker fee at just 0.2%. This makes OKcoin competitive with price leaders such as FTX and Binance while being significantly lower than Coinbase. A capture of the tiered fee structure can be seen below:
Deposits and Withdrawal Options
Users can deposit funds by transferring crypto directly or depositing fiat, with the supported currencies being USD, EUR, SGD, and BRL.
Note that funds can be used to trade instantly, but any funds deposited or crypto purchased cannot be withdrawn for ten days.
The platform supports bank transfers, wire transfers, Apple Pay, and crypto purchases via debit and credit cards for fiat. The fees vary greatly depending on the user location and method, with zero fees for many wire and bank transfer options and up to 3.99% for debit and credit card purchases. I recommend checking out their deposit and withdrawal options and associated fees found here.
OKcoin takes security seriously, as every good exchange should. The platform has several different layered protection systems in place that helps prevent, detect, and address risks and vulnerabilities of the platform. The security features supported are:
- Password on account access and optional secondary withdrawal password
- Mobile verification option can be enabled to confirm withdrawals or security changes
- Anti-phishing code in emails
- Email verification
- Round the clock transaction monitoring
- Users can set trusted IP addresses
95% of the funds held by OKcoin are kept in cold storage, away from hackers, and unlike many major exchanges, OKcoin has not suffered any known hacks to date. OKcoin works with external cybersecurity firms to address vulnerabilities and undertake regular security audits.
OKcoin has a fantastic self-help and educational area with dozens of beneficial self-help articles. It is great to see companies place such a strong emphasis on crypto education as education will be the key to mass adoption and ensuring users are comfortable as they venture into the cryptocurrency space. Self-help articles are also great as many issues are often just one article away from resolving yourself without needing to wait for a member of customer support.
OKcoin currently supports ticket submissions from the platform, email support, and chat support on desktop should you need customer support. From reviews online and my own experience, their customer support is quick to respond to emails, friendly and professional, which is a bonus as many crypto exchanges are notorious for deplorably slow response times.
OKcoin Cares about the Industry
I know this sounds corny, and many businesses claim to care, but OKcoin seems very genuine and passionate about the health of the entire crypto industry, which is one thing I like about them. Check out the recent interview between Altcoin Daily and OKcoin’s Head of listings, Alex Chizhik, where he describes part of their mission and vision for the company.
OKcoin has undertaken a challenging mission and is dedicated to being a cost leader in the space. They want as many people as possible to reach a level of financial health by offering the lowest fees and allowing users to keep 100% of what they earn in the Earn section.
But it is more than just what is best for the customers. OKcoin also helps develop the entire crypto space by offering tokens for early niche projects not listed on other regulated exchanges. They look to support projects that they feel are making a change in the space that have high potential. It is difficult for many early projects to see success without having their tokens available on major exchanges, and OKcoin aims to support as many of these projects as possible.
As if that isn’t enough, OKcoin also donates substantial amounts of money through their Developer grants which fund crypto projects that accelerate ecosystem growth. They primarily provide grants towards Bitcoin development by backing open-source developers looking to build out projects on the Bitcoin network. This is done to help ensure that the crypto ecosystem remains healthy and thriving, and OKcoin works closely with the Stacks protocol and foundation as they are the leading protocol for the Bitcoin network.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Stacks extends the use cases for Bitcoin as the protocol allows for DeFi and Smart contract functionality on the Bitcoin Network. OKcoin remains heavily focused on promoting new and exciting Bitcoin DeFi protocols that will be launching in the near future using the Stacks protocol.
How OKcoin has grown and evolved from its early days is truly impressive, and I highly respect what the team is doing. After undergoing their rebranding, it seems that OKcoin has found its identity, hit its stride and cemented its niche in the space, which is offering and supporting tokens for early projects before any other regulated exchange. They have been doing that very well.
OKcoin retains a deeply personal touch with their community, with many of their team members being available to be contacted through social media and are often keen to respond. It is refreshing to see a platform that cares so much about the crypto community by supporting the entire crypto ecosystem through funds and grants. It is not profit crazed, milking every bit of profit from its users like many other exchanges. Their support staff is friendly and professional, with much better response times than many other platforms.
The biggest drawback to using OKcoin is its lack of asset support. While it is awesome to see new and small-cap tokens like Star Atlas, LunarCrush, and Spell Token hitting OKcoin before any other regulated exchange, allowing users to get in early, there are many other large and mid-cap altcoins that would be nice to see. The most significant benefit to OKcoin is, without a doubt, the incredible staking APYs available in their Earn section and the fact that they are regulated means you can stake your crypto here without fear of the Fed coming along to crash the passive income party.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.