BaseFEX is a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange offering futures contracts for BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, and BCH.
All contracts can be traded with up to 20x leverage, with the exception of Bitcoin’s perpetual swap, where the leverage limit is set to 100x.
The exchange differentiates itself from competitors like Deribit or Bybit by settling futures in both BTC and USDT.
Read this BaseFEX review to learn more about the exchange and see if it’s a good fit for your trading.
BaseFEX in short
|Available contracts||Futures (settled in BTC and USDT)|
|Trading Fees||0.02% maker fee, 0.06% taker fee|
|Available coins||7 coins|
|Excluded countries||China and USA|
|Customer Support||Email and Telegram. Decent Help Center.|
What exactly is BaseFEX?
BaseFEX is a modern cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform that has been in operation since October 2018. Like many cryptocurrency exchanges, BaseFEX is based in the Seychelles, a country known for its favorable regulatory landscape for blockchain and crypto businesses.
- Backed by prominent venture capital firms
- Offers a variety of cryptocurrency derivatives products
- Good volume for most contracts
- Residents of China and the US are prohibited from using the platform
- XRPXBT contract is relatively illiquid
- Only launched in late 2018
Despite being a relatively new face in the industry, the BaseFEX exchange is backed by several industry heavyweights, including big.ONE—one of the world’s largest spot exchanges, as well as prominent venture capital firms, including the likes of inBlockchain and Ceyuan Ventures.
As a derivatives trading platform, BaseFEX allows customers to trade a type of financial instrument known as a futures contract. In the case of BaseFEX, these futures contracts track the price of an underlying crypto asset, and can be used to speculate on the market and hedge without necessarily holding the underlying crypto asset being tracked.
They also allow traders to open leveraged positions—multiplying their exposure to the market, and hence multiplying gains or losses by the same factor. With a maximum of 100x leverage, BaseFEX allows traders to enter positions up to 100x larger than their account balance, and turn 1% market movements into 100% profits (or losses).
Despite being one of the newer cryptocurrency derivatives trading platforms, BaseFEX already has a good range of perpetual futures contracts available to trade, and covers the five largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, in addition to a few others.
As it stands, the BaseFEX exchange is currently listed on CoinMarketCap, but its trade volume isn’t yet displayed. However, trading statistics for the exchange are currently visible on CoinGecko, where we found that its BTCUSDT perpetual contract had a 24-hour trade volume of around $2.5 million, whereas the ETHUSDT perpetual 24-hour turnover was just over $13 million.
Most other contracts also have significant trade volume, barring XRPXBT, which only registered a 24-hour trade volume of $62,000 when we last checked. The volume of other contracts can also be checked directly on its contract spec via the BaseFEX website.
Compared to competitors, BaseFEX can be considered a platform that mostly targets beginner traders—owed to its clean, simplified user experience and mobile trading options. The platform is currently available to users in almost all countries, though customers in several countries, including the United States, Quebec (in Canada), China and a handful of others are prohibited from holding positions or entering into contracts on the platform.
In order for a trading platform to provide an ideal trading experience to its users, it needs to not only offer the tools and features necessary to execute both simple and advanced trading strategies, but also make these features extremely accessible.
Fortunately, the trading experience is one aspect in which BaseFEX excels, since the platform offers a sleek, easy to navigate user interface that is accessible to both novice and expert traders alike. In our opinion, the platform is simpler to use than BitMEX, and should feel immediately familiar to anybody who has used Deribit or Bybit, since the three exchanges all feature similar layouts.
Like many other derivatives exchanges, BaseFEX makes use of the popular third-party trading tool known as TradingView for its charting interface. This tool provides a huge variety of charting features, including a variety of trendlines, dozens of built-in technical indicators and a wide range of chart parameters to help customize your market view.
However, while the platform does feature a range of market, limit and trigger order options, it lacks some advanced order options such as trailing stop losses. With that said, BaseFEX does offer basic stop loss and take profit options that are enabled for currently open positions.
There is also a testnet function to test out new trading strategies and exchange features with zero risk, since the testnet platform doesn’t use real cryptocurrency for trading.
The website is available in five different languages (English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Russian), allowing customers to trade in their native tongue—further improving the accessibility of the BaseFEX exchange.
Adding to its accessibility and helping to further differentiate itself from the competition, BaseFEX also completing lacks know-your-customer (KYC) verification—allowing users to trade on the platform anonymously, since they don’t need to fork over their sensitive identity information when creating an account.
Although the platform offers a variety of perpetual futures, it only supports deposits in either Bitcoin (BTC) or Tether (USDT). Likewise, all futures are settled in either BTC or USDT.
- Simple to navigate user interface
- Absolutely no KYC requirements
- TradingView integration
- Lacks some advanced order options
- Only two deposit/withdrawal options
- No spot exchange functionality
BaseFEX coins and contracts
As a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, BaseFEX allows customers to trade a variety of different perpetual futures contracts. On the BaseFEX exchange, these are separated into two categories: BTC settled and USDT settled—which describes how settled contracts are booked to your account.
As with any exchange, a wide variety of different contract options is desirable—but not at the cost of illiquidity. Fortunately, BaseFEX appears to have recognized this fact, and provides a relatively small selection of cryptocurrency perpetual futures. In total, BaseFEX offers six BTC settled products: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Binance Coin (BNB), and three USDT settled ones: BTC, ETH, and EOS.
The maximum amount of leverage available varies by contract, with up to 100x available for BTC perpetuals, and up to 20x for all other crypto assets. The amount of leverage used can be manually adjusted in the trading options.
Beyond this, BaseFEX also implements maximum position sizes for its products. In brief, this is listed as a maximum of 1 million contracts for BTC and ETH products, with a minimum position size of 1 contract. The full spec of each product, including position limits can be seen here.
Overall, in terms of contract variety, BaseFEX is roughly on par with other similar platforms like Deribit and Bybit, but lacks the range offered by competitors like BTSE and FTX. Moreover, a maximum of 100x leverage is quickly becoming the standard in the industry, while several platforms, including FTX now offer even greater leverage.
- Up to 100x leverage available
- Small minimum position size
- Futures contracts available for seven different crypto assets
- Only up to 20x leverage for most products
- No traditional futures products, only perpetual futures
- No native settlement for altcoins
BaseFEX Trading Fees
When choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, the trading fees are often one of the most important considerations in the decision-making process, since a lower commission can make it easier to profit.
Unfortunately, not all exchanges are exactly forthcoming in this area, and it is not always a simple matter to identify the estimated commission for each trade. With that said, BaseFEX is an exception in this regard, since the platform pledges to be completely transparent with its fee structure, allowing traders to easily estimate their fees.
In line with this, BaseFEX fees include a flat 0.02% maker, and 0.06% taker fee for all of its contracts, though this can be reduced for high volume traders.
There are six levels of trading fee discounts for high volume traders, with level 1 users (trading in excess of 100 BTC per 30 days), charged a maker/taker fee of 0.02% and 0.05% respectively, whereas this can be reduced to as low as 0.005% and 0.03% respectively for level 6 traders (>60,000 BTC in 30-day volume).
BaseFEX also promises to provide an industry-leading maker rebate of up to 0.05% to participants of its market making program.
Beyond this, traders will also need to pay a variable funding rate, which is typically between 0 and 0.01% for long funding, whereas short funding typically yields a rebate of 0.01%.
The funding rate for each contract is calculated using the following formula: F = P + Clamp(I – P, -0.05%, 0.05%), where the values for each variable are shown in the contract spec of each product.
The funding rate for each contract is clearly displayed in the trading interface, and a detailed log of historic funding rates can be seen here.
Overall, BaseFEX taker fees are lower than most major competitors, whereas its maker fees are higher than the industry standard.
- Transparent fee schedule
- Funding rate rebates for short funding
- Low market taker fees
- Market making rebates only for participants of market making program
- High minimum threshold for volume-based discounts
- No fee reduction token
Security and trustworthiness
Since the exchange only launched in 2018, it certainly isn’t as battle-tested as some of its more-established competitors. Nonetheless, the platform has never been hacked and employs a wide range of security features to ensure it stays that way.
In terms of client-side security options, the platform allows customers to set an optional two-factor authentication (2FA) method (Google Authenticator) for logins and withdrawals, and set an anti-phishing code used to distinguish real from fake BaseFEX emails.
In addition to this, the platform also provides regular security reminders to its users, urging them to enable two-factor authentication, as well as other general security tips. Although these are typically sufficient, the platform lacks advanced security options found on some other platforms, including withdrawal address whitelisting and SMS verification.
Looking at the service-side security features, BaseFEX stores all customer assets in multi-signature cold storage wallets, obtained an A+ security rating in Mozilla’s Observatory Test and operates a bug bounty program to detect security issues early. BaseFEX reviews its security protocols regularly, and uses periodic stress tests and security audits to stay up to date with potential vulnerabilities.
The team behind the BaseFEX exchange is public-facing, but team members are not directly listed on the website. Nonetheless, the platform is owned by a Seychelles-registered company known as Base Investing Corporation and managed by CEO Jesse Wu and CTO Issac Zeng, in a team of around a dozen individuals.
On the whole, the team appears to have significant entrepreneurship and business development experience, but not a huge amount of experience developing or managing trading systems.
Like many other cryptocurrency derivatives trading platforms, BaseFEX maintains an insurance fund to protect traders against automatic deleveraging. As it stands, this fund is far smaller than similar funds operated by BitMEX and Deribit, though technically it doesn’t need a large fund since it also has fewer positions to protect simultaneously.
- Bug bounty program
- Optional 2FA and anti-phishing security methods
- Never been breached
- The team isn’t hugely experienced
- No withdrawal address or IP whitelisting feature
- Website is still relatively new
Customer Support and Education
Unfortunately, although many cryptocurrency exchange platforms make an effort to offer the ideal customer experience in terms of trading tools and features, many often forget that customer support is part of this experience, and are severely lacking in this regard.
Fortunately, BaseFEX doesn’t appear to be one of them, since the platform offers a wide variety of support options to ensure customer queries are resolved promptly. Among these options, the BaseFEX exchange operates a support email, live chat and can also be reached on Twitter.
For urgent issues, much of the team can also be reached on LinkedIn.
With that said, in our testing, it took us an hour to connect to a customer support agent during our testing on a Sunday afternoon, and instead received the message “We are not online. We will email you back.” Nonetheless, after reaching out on a Monday morning, we were greeted by the support staff within two minutes.
As such, while BaseFEX does offer 24/7 support, the time taken to reach an agent can be longer on weekends—which is understandable, since traders tend to be less active on weekends. Nonetheless, the BaseFEX support team is comprised of individuals with a professional finance background, allowing them to answer complex queries that other platforms might struggle to resolve.
Beyond this, the platform also operates a BaseFEX Trading Chat on Telegram, but this is largely inactive.
The first line of support at the platform is the BaseFEX help center, which contains basic details on how to use the platform, as well as a selection of short guides and reference materials.
The platform also provides educational content to help traders better understand how to work with perpetual contracts. This content is neatly organized into three main areas: Margin, Order and Liquidation, allowing users to quickly find the material they need.
These educational resources are roughly on par with similar platforms like BitMEX and Deribit, and it is clear that BaseFEX reviews customer concerns regularly to identify suitable content to produce.
- Multiple different customer support options
- Team members can be directly reached on LinkedIn
- One of the few platforms to offer live chat support
- Limited educational resources
- BaseFEX help center isn’t as fleshed out as some competitors
- Customer support is slower on weekends
How to trade on BaseFEX
Getting started on BaseFEX is very simple. Here’s a simple guide of the steps you need to follow before making your first trade on the margin exchange.
1. Sign-up and create account
Creating an account on BaseFEX is as simple as entering your email address, selecting a secure password and choosing a nickname.
Following this, the website will send a six-digit code to the email address you supplied. Enter this code on the account creation page to finalize the process and automatically log in.
2. Deposit funds
Once logged in, select ‘Account’ in the header menu and then select ‘Deposit’ in the left pane of the Account page.
Here, you’ll be provided two different options: BTC and USDT (ERC20). Selecting either one will reveal your personal deposit address. This is the address you’ll need to deposit your BTC or USDT to in order to credit your account.
BTC deposits will show in your account after 1 confirmation, whereas USDT deposits will be available after 12 confirmations.
3. Start trading
Once your deposit is available in your account, you’ll then be able to start trading on BaseFEX.
To begin, select the ‘Trade’ option in the header menu. This will redirect you to the BaseFEX trading interface.
Here, you will be able to choose from a variety of contract options under the ‘BTC Settled’ and ‘USDT Settled’ tabs. Select the one you wish to trade to open up the trading tools panel beneath the chart. For this example, we have selected the BTCUSD Perpetual contract.
In the trading panel, you will be able to select from three different order types: ‘Limit’, ‘Market’ and ‘Trigger’, as well as your desired leverage on the left-hand side.
Lastly, select an entry price and the number of contracts you wish to purchase, before clicking the ‘Buy/Long’ or ‘Sell/Short’ button to execute your order. Depending on your order type, your order will either be filled immediately or whenever the specified conditions are met.
What are some BaseFEX alternatives?
Although this is primarily a BaseFEX review, there is a huge variety of other platforms that are also worth considering—particularly if you have specific requirements. With that in mind, here are three popular BaseFEX alternatives worth taking a look at.
Arguably the dominant force in the cryptocurrency futures exchange industry, Seychelles-based BitMEX is renowned for offering huge volume and a wide variety of different cryptocurrency derivatives contracts.
Unlike BaseFEX, BitMEX quotes all its contracts in USD, but settles them in Bitcoin (XBT). Both platforms are similar in that they do not have any KYC requirements and both obtained an A+ security rating, though BaseFEX can be considered to be better for high-volume traders due to its potential trading fee discounts.
Beyond this, BaseFEX is the simpler of the two platforms, whereas BitMEX features a huge insurance fund to protect trader profits.
Launched in June 2016, Deribit is a Netherlands-based Bitcoin futures and options exchange that is now one of the most popular crypto derivatives trading platforms.
Like BaseFEX, Deribit has a strong focus on usability, and features a simple to navigate trading platform and mobile application.
One of the main factors that differentiate Deribit from BaseFEX and most other derivatives trading platforms is its European-style options. As it stands, Deribit offers options for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, with one of the largest range of expirations on the market, making it suitable for those who prefer the flexibility of options over futures.
Bybit is a Bitcoin and Ethereum futures trading platform that is registered in the British Virgin Islands and offers perpetual futures for Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, and XRP.
Like BaseFEX, Bybit places a strong emphasis on accessibility, which is why the platform only offers four futures contracts and an extremely user-friendly trading interface. Thanks to its limited array of futures products, Bybit also features impressive trading volume, despite launching in early 2018.
Pascal Thellmann is an investor and marketer focused on the intersection of cryptocurrency and the legacy financial system. He co-founded Bounty0x, which at the time was the largest crypto freelance platform. Now Pascal dedicates his time to CoinDiligent and trading. You can get in touch with Pascal Thellmann on LinkedIn.