FTX Logo

FTX is a Top 3 cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume (avg. $10B daily volume as of Q4 2021) that was launched in 2019, making it one of the newer exchanges on the market.

FTX is incorporated in Antigua and headquartered in The Bahamas. 

Note that FTX is a global exchange that is not available for US persons, but US residents can browse the website. FTX operates FTX US which is a US-compliant exchange available to US residents and requires KYC (Know Your Customer) protocol to be completed. 

FTX requires all users to complete KYC (Know Your Customer) identity verification to trade futures but does not require full KYC verification to trade spot products. 

History of FTX

FTX CEO and Founder Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) is an MIT graduate and ex-Jane Street quantitative trader who worked at the international ETF desk before getting into the cryptocurrency industry. 

In 2017, SBF founded Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm in the cryptocurrency markets, and shortly after, he founded FTX, which started as a derivatives exchange offering cryptocurrency futures trading instruments in April 2019.

In August 2020, FTX acquired BlockFolio, a cryptocurrency portfolio tracking application for $150M. FTX raised $900M from Coinbase Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and SoftBank in July at an $18B valuation. FTX handles around 10% of the $3.4T face value of derivatives— mostly futures and options— traded by crypto traders and investors each month. FTX prides itself as being an exchange “built for traders by traders.”

In April 2021, FTX acquired the naming rights to the Miami Heat basketball arena for a 19-year, $135M USD deal to rename it FTX Arena. Today, SBF is well known for being the youngest billionaire in cryptocurrency today. He has been a public figure in the media in regards to the cryptocurrency industry as of late, frequently giving his opinion on regulations and the future of digital and crypto assets.

FTX is best for:

  • Professional and advanced cryptocurrency investors and traders with high trading volume, especially those who desire access to margin and futures pairs with up to 20X leverage, leveraged tokens, options, NFTs, and even tokenized stocks
  • Crypto-only traders (no stocks offered) who wish to obtain access to the entire FTX suite of products - FTX Pay, the OTC desk, lending and borrowing services, and more
  • Active spot and futures traders who desire very competitive, low fees with a clearly defined & tiered, trading volume based pricing structure and incentives


  • Competitively priced and low fee schedule
  • High volume of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs
  • Incentive structure
  • Leveraged tokens and options
  • Focus on liquidity
  • Custom-built trading engine
  • NFT-compatible
  • Multi-language customer support


  • NFT deposits and minting limited to FTX US partner site
  • Many features not available to US residents
  • Caters to advanced traders (may not be a con!)

Pros & Unique Features

The biggest perks of FTX are its competitively priced and low fee schedule with volume and other incentives structure, its extensive selection of listed cryptocurrencies and trading pairs along with other advanced derivatives products such as leveraged tokens and options, and its focus on liquidity and trade execution with a custom-built trading engine that is highly scalable and fast to meet demand, especially for the cryptocurrency futures markets.

FTX was created by a market leader in liquidity to solve the exact emergent liquidity needs of the cryptocurrency markets, and prides itself on offering top liquidity and performance for uptime and latency in its exchange. 

FTX offers over 323 cryptocurrency market offerings and over 492 pairs including margin trading and futures. FTX also offers advanced charting and advanced trading tools for advanced traders including advanced layouts and a global volume monitor, along with an easy-to-use user online and FTX Pro mobile app interface with full buy and sell functionality, plus futures trading functionality suited for all ranges of traders. The leaderboard of traders can be noted in the FTX Leaderboard. FTX also offers a margin lending service in the exchange with funding rates for many major spot pairs. 

Other unique products FTX offers include non-fungible tokens (NFT’s), which are tokens that verify ownership of digital assets. Users can bid on and purchase NFT’s, mint their own new NFT’s and sell them, and FTX offers featured collections. However, depositing and minting of NFTs is not supported on FTX International, and all users wishing to perform the noted NFT transactions must visit the FTX US partner site to mint, deposit, and trade NFTs. FTX US accepts both US and non-US users.

FTX is unique in offering fee discounts of up to 60% for users staking FTT tokens (FTX Token), its native exchange utility token. Staking FTT provides benefits ranging from increased referral rates, maker fee rebates, free NFTs, bonus votes, increased airdrop rewards, waived blockchain fees, and IEO tickets for IEO’s (initial exchange offerings) hosted on FTX. Note that unstaking FTT takes 14 days. FTT is not available in the US or other prohibited jurisdictions and US persons are not permitted to transact in FTT. 

FTX also offers competitions with prizes, a Lifetime Rewards program, and a voting platform for FTX community donations. The FTX Foundation contributes 1% of all net fees to the world’s most effective charities. FTX and its affiliates have donated over $10M to help save lives, prevent suffering, and ensure a brighter future. 

FTX has also recently launched an FTX Climate section to help contribute to reducing the impact of climate change, with goals to become a carbon neutral exchange long term, including other goals.

FTX Card is a product available only at FTX US, with which users can spend their FTX balance at merchants worldwide without needing to connect or withdraw to a bank account and pay for products using their crypto or their exchange USD balance. FTX Pay allows users to get paid in crypto and fiat with FTX”s fast and secure payment processor.

For customers who have the need for larger orders that cannot be filled with the liquidity available on the exchange itself, there is also an over-the-counter (OTC) trading portal available that offers zero fees, tight spreads, and fast settlement times for larger market participants. 

As for customer support, FTX offers support tickets users can leave or live chat, either online or through the mobile app via logging into their account or via requesting a support-only link if the account is inaccessible. The support team runs a blog for help topics for frequently asked questions as well as a YouTube channel for informative videos. Telegram groups in multiple languages are available as well. 

Cons & Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of FTX is that its ecosystem of products and crypto financial services is not accessible to US residents, and KYC requirements have recently expanded to using margin and futures products when there was previously no KYC required to use them before August 2021. KYC is not required in full (only in part) to trade spot products and maintain an open account.

US residents must make an account with FTX US instead which offers no leveraged tokens or futures trading, but does offer spot margin trading for qualified investors. 

Additionally, FTX focuses more on derivatives and caters to advanced traders for its range of products, so beginner traders who are not well-versed in the cryptocurrency markets may feel confused by the advanced features and functionality. 

US users who wish to transact with more functionality without KYC may opt to use competitors like KuCoin, thereby gaining access to a much wider selection of trading instruments such as margin and futures. 

FTX Options Screenshot

FTX Fees

FTX uses the common maker-taker model to assign the fee schedule with volume-based incentives based on the user’s trailing 30-day USD trading volume. Trading fees are incurred when an order is filled by the exchange’s matching engine. If an order does not execute, there is no fee charged until it does execute at a later point, or it can be canceled.

Taker fees are charged on market orders that are filled immediately (takers of liquidity from the market), and maker fees are charged on orders that are not filled immediately but rather are placed in the orderbook as limit orders (adding to the market liquidity). 

Market orders are always charged taker fees since they take volume from the orderbook, while limit orders are always charged maker fees since they add liquidity and volume to the orderbook. 

The table below shows the tiered fee structure for its futures and spot markets’ fee schedule and can also be found here. Funding rates for futures markets involve additional fees that can be found here.

FTX Fee Schedule Based on 30-Day Trading Volume (USD)


30-Day Volume (USD)

Maker Fees

Taker Fees






> $2M



















FTX also offers fee discounts for holders of its native exchange token, FTT.

The discounts for holding FTT in the user’s balance can be seen in the below table.

FTT Fee Discount

FTT Holding (USD)

Discount on FTX Fees

Other Privilege



























Automatically become Tier 4



Automatically become VIP 1



Automatically become VIP 2

FTT holdings cannot decrease taker fees below 0.015%. FTT stakers receive maker rebates up to 0.0030% and it costs only 25 FTT to have 0 maker fees. 

FTX pays interest to lenders for spot margin and charges borrow fees for spot margin to borrowers. Spot margin requires KYC. 

Other Fees

FTX charges the following deposit, withdrawal, and other fees:

  • No fees on settlement of futures contracts
  • Leveraged tokens have creation and redemption fees of 0.10% and daily management fees of 0.03%
  • No deposit fees except for ETH, ERC-20 tokens. Fees can be found here.
  • Withdrawal fees depend on the number of FTT staked, some ERC-20 withdrawals include waived fees, BTC withdrawal fees charged for < 0.01 BTC balances 
  • Accepted fiat currencies for deposit and withdrawal can be found here: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, SGD, and others
  • Credit card deposits are accepted 

There are no fees for signing up or for having an inactive FTX account, nor any fees for holding funds in a FTX account, and users may hold assets as long as desired. 

Account Tiers & Limits

FTX requires full KYC identity verification for all users wishing to participate in spot margin, futures, or leveraged tokens and tokenized stocks for regulatory reasons. 

US residents may not use FTX International and may instead make an account with FTX US.

FTX offers three different tiers of KYC requirements with varying limits for all. 






  • Must not be from a restricted jurisdiction (e.g. USA)
  • Email
  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth

No ability to trade, deposit, or withdraw. May only explore the site.


  • Country of residence and region
  • No restricted jurisdictions
  • Phone number check for jurisdiction
  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • 2000 USD daily
  • Enhanced diligence required for certain actions
  • May NOT trade futures, margin, or any leveraged tokens


  • Proof of address, proof of phone jurisdiction
  • Description of assets sources
  • Passport of other government ID
  • Facial verification

Unlimited crypto and fiat withdrawals and deposits

Crypto Security

FTX offers industry standard security, which includes a custom-built hot and cold wallet solution, full external backing of all hot wallet funds, and relationships with industry leading custodians. As of Dec. 2021, there have been no reported hacks nor other security incidents involving FTX. 

One important security feature FTX implements is mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA). Customers can choose to use either SMS via phone, Google Authenticator or Authy, or an even more secure option such as FIDO2 using a hardware authentication key such as sa Yubikey. 2FA is also supported for all withdrawals, along with a withdrawal password entirely separate from the user’s main password. 

For more security, FTX supports sub accounts for configurable permissions, whitelisting by IP address, and whitelisting by wallet address. If an IP address is whitelisted, only that specific IP address is allowed to log into an account. Whitelisting a wallet address makes it so that withdrawals can only be made to that specific address on the whitelist. 

Withdrawal lock is another security feature offered, meaning after an account status change such as the removal of 2FA or a password change, withdrawals on the account may be locked for at least 24H.  

FTX engages with firm Chainalysis to monitor suspicious cryptocurrency transactions and combat money laundering which involves occasional manual reviews of large suspicious deposits and withdrawals, leading to an additional layer of protection. 

FTX offers a Backstop Liquidity Fund that is calculated with FTT’s price and holds approximately $200M USD.

FTX Review Conclusion

FTX is an excellent choice of cryptocurrency exchange for all types of cryptocurrency investors and traders, though caters more to advanced traders who prefer derivatives products such as leveraged tokens, options, futures, margin trading, and even tokenized stocks.

Offering extremely competitive fees with rebates available for makers at higher volume tiers as well as fee discounts of up to 60% off of fees for stakers of the native FTT token, FTX offers a great mix of a top-tier high performance exchange with low fees and a wide selection of cryptocurrency to buy and trade.

  • With a tiered fee schedule based on 30-day USD trading volume and fee discounts for staking FTT, FTX’s trading fees compete favorably with other competitors such as Coinbase and Gemini, while also offering a larger amount of crypto coins and trading pairs than many other exchanges
  • Investors and traders of all skill levels who desire the choice between both a simple and high-performance platform for both spot buy-and-hold investing, active spot and margin trading, with a great user experience, advanced charting functionality., growing brand presence, and varying KYC limits will appreciate FTX
  • Advanced traders who wish to use 20X leverage futures trading with a much larger selection of futures pairs and users who wish to participate in margin lending or borrowing will prefer FTX, while US users or any user in particular who wishes to participate in FTX’s NFT marketplace and other US-exclusive products will prefer to make an account with FTX US, which is open to customers outside of the USA as well

Other Alternatives

For customers who desire access to a more simple user interface without as many trading options or products, or those who do not desire to participate in cryptocurrency futures trading, Bittrex, Coinbase, and Voyager can make great alternatives with a similarly competitive amount of cryptocurrencies offered to trade.

Beginners, buy-and-hold investors, and low volume traders may prefer the easy-to-use features and functionality of Coinbase with its brand presence, US regulatory approval, and cryptocurrency education that even provides the chance to earn free cryptocurrency for learning, an area where FTX lacks.  

Coinbase is best designed for buy-and-hold investors or casual to intermediate cryptocurrency users though has a smaller selection of cryptocurrencies offered compared to FTX—402 pairs vs. FTX’s 492 pairs—while active traders who need access to order books and advanced charting functionality will prefer using Coinbase Pro, FTX, Binance, or KuCoin, though their fee structures and product offerings differ. 

For customers who desire to trade and invest in stocks in addition to top cryptocurrencies and do not mind having a smaller selection from which to choose or only desire access to the top 20 cryptos on the market, Webull and Robinhood are brokers that offer US equities and a small selection of cryptocurrencies. 

Other competitors to FTX include Gemini, Crypto.com, and eToro.

FTX vs Coinbase

The main advantage FTX offers over Coinbase is its much lower fee schedule and expanded selection of trading pairs and crypto coins, however FTX is not available in the USA while Coinbase is regulated in and available in the USA. 

Coinbase’s fees start at 0.5% for both makers and takers for the lowest fee tier, while those of FTX start at 0.02% for spot trading for makers and 0.07% for takers, which is significantly lower. FTX additionally offers up to 60% off of fees with discounts for staking FTT and fee rebates for higher volume market makers, while Coinbase offers no similar functionality.

Both exchanges offer the option of advanced charting and crypto-to-crypto trading pairs using Coinbase’s Coinbase Pro product and FTX’s online exchange or mobile app. Coinbase does not offer any margin or leverage futures trading products, while FTX is built primarily around offering such derivatives products and the best liquidity to trade them.

Coinbase is a public US company and offers transparency into its industry-leading security along with its brand reputation, while FTX is a top 3 crypto exchange by daily trade volume, and requires KYC for certain account actions, but is not regulated in the USA.

Ultimately, advanced users who desire both competitive fees and a greater selection of trading products than what either FTX or Coinbase offer may find the choices below equally valuable.


FTX and FTX US are exchanges run by the same parent company - FTX cannot be used by US persons, and instead offers a US version of its exchange whose trade offerings are far more limited than its parent global exchange and do not at all compare to FTX International’s selection, and FTX International’s fees are more competitive than FTX US’s low fees.

FTX US fees start higher than those of FTX International (0.10% for makers, 0.40% for takers at the lowest tier for FTX US). Both offer OTC portals for larger traders as well as advanced trading and charting functionality, though active and advanced traders who desire access to derivatives products including leveraged tokens, futures, options, and margin trading will prefer the product offerings of FTX, since FTX US does not offer leveraged tokens or futures pairs due to regulations, but does offer limited margin trading for US residents.  

FTX US offers only 24 coins and 54 trading pairs which is a far more restrictive selection than FTX International's 323 coins and 492 trading pairs.

FTX is known for its extensive futures pairs and top-class matching and liquidation engine for advanced derivatives traders, while FTX US is meant for US regulations and compliance catered to US users. 

Additionally, FTX US offers access to some exclusive products not found in FTX International at the moment, such as the NFT marketplace and the FTX Card.

FTX vs Gemini

FTX and Gemini are vastly different in regards to fees and range of product offerings. 

The minimum fee tier at Gemini starts at 0.35% for takers and 0.10% for makers, with a flat transaction fee between $0.99-$2.99 and 1.49% transaction fee for trades over $200, so there are extra fees per transaction and extra “auction” fees, which FTX does not have. FTX also offers fee reductions for staking FTT (3-60% fee discounts), much smaller base tier fees, and rebates for market makers with higher volume.

US investors and traders are allowed to use Gemini with KYC compliance since Gemini is regulated and based in the USA, however as a result, Gemini offers no margin or futures products. FTX prides itself on its advanced derivatives offerings that are not open for US users. FTX also does not require full KYC to use its spot trading features, unlike Gemini, but even this is not open for US users.

In comparison to FTX’s large selection of coins and trading pairs, Gemini only offers 62 coins and 86 trading pairs which is substantially lower, so traders looking solely for the most trading options, will prefer to use either FTX, or other options such as Binance or KuCoin. 

FTX vs Kraken

Kraken offers margin trading at up to 5X leverage even for US investors and several other margin offerings, while FTX offers none for US investors but does offer extensive margin, leveraged tokens, futures with 20X leverage, and options for international users.

Kraken also uses a maker-taker fee schedule, starting at 0.16% maker fees and 0.26% taker fees at the entry level which is not as competitive as the fee schedule for FTX. Kraken offers no other fee incentives such as rebates or reductions except for volume, which is typical of volume-based maker-taker fee schedules.

Kraken also offers a large variety of cryptocurrencies and pairs (93 coins, over 400 pairs), so users who value a large selection and advanced traders who seek margin may enjoy using Kraken but sacrifice the larger selection of spot crypto products that FTX offers. 

Kraken is accessible in 48 US states with KYC and is regulated and licensed by FinCEN in the USA, while FTX is not available in the USA. Neither exchange has ever reported any large scale hacks and both offer state-of-the-art security features.

FTX vs Binance

Binance is the leading global crypto established exchange by trading volume, offering a large selection of cryptocurrencies - over 351 coins and over 1300 pairs, which is only beaten by KuCoin when it comes to centralized exchanges. 

Traders looking solely for the most advanced trading options such as high leverage margin and futures products may prefer FTX, however Binance Futures offers many USDT futures pairs that are not offered on FTX at the moment. 

Binance’s base maker-taker fee is also similar to that of FTX, starting at 0.1%, and offering further 25% reduction in fees if paid in BNB. FTX offers fee reductions of up to 60% for high volume FTT stakers.

Both the Binance and the FTX brands are well-known and respected in the industry, but Binance offers a more extensive web and ecosystem of products, support, and liquidity, especially given its larger daily volume as compared to FTX, and being an older exchange. 

Both Binance and FTX lowered their maximum leverage offering to 20X in 2021 for regulatory reasons, however Binance is the most popular and well-known futures market in the global cryptocurrency industry and well-known for its extensive futures pairs. Binance also offers some leveraged tokens and other derivatives products so derivatives traders will need to compare and contrast which specific products they are interested in trading, the futures fee schedules and funding rates on each exchange, and likely make an account with both exchanges to have options.

The Binance exchange is not at all accessible to US persons and US customers will have to use Binance US which is a much more limited version of its global parent site, with only 64 coins and 130 pairs. FTX’s US users are in a similar predicament, but FTX US offers even less coins to trade than Binance US. Binance requires full KYC now to trade even spot products, while FTX requires partial KYC with account limits for non-KYC accounts, but this may soon change due to the developing regulatory landscape.

In summary, advanced traders and intermediate users alike who value a large selection of cryptocurrencies, products like staking, lending, and more, competitive fee structures, and futures and margin products may prefer Binance, but may also enjoy using FTX equally. Both exchanges are very competitive with similar focuses headed by the leading businessmen in the cryptocurrency industry.

FTX Feature List

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Is FTX Safe?

FTX is a leading (top 3 by daily trade volume) cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in The Bahamas, whose CEO has made significant contributions to and had discussions with US regulators, and the exchange offers leading security protocols for user accounts, along with having a large user and fan base. 

However, FTX International is not regulated in the US but is regulated in The Bahamas. FTX US, its US partner exchange, is regulated in the USA and compliant with US laws. The exchange appears to be safe for daily use and has not reported nor suffered any notable hacks of customer funds since creation.

How long does FTX Withdrawal take?

FTX strives to process all withdrawals and deposits promptly, with most being processed within a few minutes. Larger withdrawals can sometimes require a manual review and take up to a few hours. 

Note that withdrawal of stablecoins can be limited by their creation and redemption speeds; for larger withdrawals this can take up to 6 hours on weekdays and take up to one day on weekends. FTX maintains 24/7 withdrawal availability and has never had an outage of its deposit or withdrawal services. If the user changes the user account email, password, or resets/disables 2FA, then withdrawals are disabled for 24 hours for security reasons. 

Is FTX a good exchange?

Yes, FTX is a leading derivatives exchange for active traders. Multiple top traders on various cryptocurrency community forums, including Twitter and Reddit, support and trust FTX; they move large trading volumes using the exchange. FTX is a great choice of exchange for any advanced or intermediate trader who desires access to margin trading, leveraged tokens, tokenized stocks, options, and futures trading products, as well as standard spot trading products.

Where is FTX located?

FTX is incorporated in Antigua and located in The Bahamas, where it is registered and regulated. FTX Digital Markets Ltd, a subsidiary of FTX Trading Ltd, is licensed under The Bahamas’ Digital Assets and Registered Exchange Act, 2020, and regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

Worldwide users can access the exchange, except users from the US and a few other countries. See restricted countries list.

Does FTX require KYC?

FTX has three KYC tiers for accounts and requires either partial KYC (without photo identification or facial verification) or full KYC. 

Partial KYC only grants access to spot trading products, while full KYC grants access to limitless deposits/withdrawals and all derivatives products.

What are the Deposit and Withdrawal Methods and Fees for FTX?

FTX’s deposit methods include: credit card, 10 fiat currencies via wire transfer and instant bank transfers for some currencies (USD and EUR), and cryptocurrency

FTX’s withdrawal methods include: 10 fiat currencies via wire transfer and bank transfer for USD and EUR and cryptocurrency 

There are no fees on deposits and withdrawals, except for ETH, ERC-20 tokens, and small BTC withdrawals. FTX users will pay the blockchain fees for all ETH and ERC-20 tokens unless they have FTT staked. The number of fee-waived ERC-20 withdrawals allowed for those who stake FTT can be found here, along with other blockchain deposit and withdrawal specifications.

What is the Minimum Withdraw Amount for FTX?

The minimum withdrawal amount for FTX is $100 USD or equivalent value for wire transfers.

How do you withdraw from FTX?

Users can withdraw from FTX by logging into their official website, going to the “Wallet” tab, and clicking the “Withdraw” button next to the desired digital asset the user wishes to withdraw. The withdrawal options including the blockchain network and any associated fees will then populate on the screen. Finally, the user enters the exact amount he or she wishes to withdraw, the destination wallet address, and clicks the “Submit” button.

Is FTX a wallet?

No, FTX is a full-featured cryptocurrency exchange which provides a multicurrency wallet inside of the user’s exchange account for custody with the exchange.

How to use FTX?

Using FTX can be done by going to ftx.com, creating an account on the platform, undergoing the bare minimum needed KYC procedures to use the account, deposit any trading funds into the account, and then get access to the spot market offerings, unless full KYC is performed which requires a wait time to get access to the additional derivatives offerings.


FTX.com User Reviews

  1. When a Reddit user expressed concern over not finding any reviews on the platform, and asked for people's experience, it was split about 50/50 with people who supported the platform and those that hated it. u/radracse says: "is my main exchange, never had a problem tbh." One person linked to a TrustPilot page where most reviewers say they tried to withdraw their fiat funds and weren't able to. 
  2. u/GrossBit describes FTX’s leveraged tokens offerings having "huge negative convexity". u/cbct73 agreed: "Agree. Most investors are not aware that these inverse/leveraged ETFs are only supposed to match their advertised target over a time period of (typically) one day. So if your holding period is much longer than one day, you should expect very different results. The deviation will typically not be in your favor, independent of whether the market moves up or down."
  3.  Reddit users realize that FTX and FTX US have different phone apps that do not use the same login as the desktop browser version. However, apparently there is some interoperability. u/skimo_fry says: "Yeah, their support is iffy and documentation lacks a lot of useful knowledge, I figure a lot of things out just by experimenting. That being said, the combo of FTXus and Blockfolio app is a juggernaut of a service, functionally, that anyone using crypto in the US should be using."
  4. FTX Exchange did an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit about FTX and secondary markets in March 2019. A Google doc is linked on the page that gives an overview, in FTX's own words, of what they are, why they are different, and their goals.

About the author 

Whiteboard Crypto Team

We are a team of blockchain enthusiasts dedicated to creating high-quality resources for anyone wanting to learn about the space. In fact, what inspired us was our grandparents - they didn't understand crypto. We aim so create all our content so that even they can understand it!

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