This CoinFLEX review shows you everything that you need to know before trading on CoinFLEX.
Throughout the guide, we analyze the pros and cons of CoinFLEX, its volume, fees, security, and more!
What exactly is CoinFLEX?
Billing itself as ‘The world’s first physically delivered cryptocurrency futures exchange’, Coin Futures and Lending Exchange, or CoinFLEX for short, is a Bitcoin & stablecoin futures trading platform with low fees and low settlement risk.
- Up to 20x leverage
- Physically delivered futures
- No KYC required
- Does not allow US citizens
- UI can be a bit challenging to understand
Backed by Polychain Capital and based in Seychelles, CoinFLEX is widely tipped to become a force within the industry, despite launching in just February 2019.
CoinFLEX volume currently averages at $43 million per day—an impressive number given the newness of the platform. Much of the CoinFLEX volume is attributed to its XBT/USDT futures contract, though its recent DOT/USDT contract is also picking up significant volume.
Among its many standout features is the CoinFLEX API, which enables up to 200 orders per second for super high-performance trading, making CoinFLEX suitable for institutional and professional traders.
Want to see whether CoinFLEX is a suitable exchange for you? See the rest of our CoinFLEX review below! At the end of our CoinFLEX review, we will briefly compare CoinFLEX with the competition, including BitMEX and Deribit, to help you make an informed choice.
CoinFLEX coins and leverage
CoinFLEX offers up to 20x leverage for all of its futures contracts and allows users to choose the margin they wish to use by simply setting their initial margin.
As it stands, the platform has a minimum position size of 0.0001 base currency units irrespective of CoinFLEX fees.
Currently, CoinFLEX offers 10 different futures contracts, some of which are perpetual, while others have a relatively short expiry (up to one month).
Supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin (XBT), Polkadot (DOT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and USD Coin (USDC).
All futures contracts on CoinFLEX are physically settled, longs will receive the digital asset they back, whereas shorts will receive USDT at expiry.
By delivering the underlying asset at expiry, CoinFLEX gives traders a simple way to get their hands on cryptocurrencies they believe will gain in value.
CoinFLEX reviews the market regularly and is always looking to bring new features to its users. Since CoinFLEX reviews the needs of its customers, additional futures options are likely to be added in the coming months based on market demand.
CoinFlex keeps its fees relatively simple, making it accessible to less experienced users. Unlike many other derivatives exchanges, there is no CoinFLEX volume-based fee discount, instead opting to charge all users a flat 0.03% maker or taker fee.
Being a cryptocurrency only platform, there are no additional CoinFLEX fees for deposits beyond the standard transaction fee. However, CoinFLEX does charge a 0.03% processing fee for withdrawals, with a minimum fee of 0.0005 XBT / 5 USDT / 5 USDC.
Beyond this, CoinFLEX also offers what is known as the “Designated Market Maker (DMM) program” which offers reduced fees in return for maintaining liquidity and a tight spread for a specific futures contract.
DMM members are instead charged a 0% maker fee and 0.01% taker fee.
Because CoinFLEX is physically settled, they do not charge a funding fee, unlike many of its competitors.
Since CoinFLEX is a margin trading exchange, it needs to employ a liquidation policy to ensure that its books remain balanced.
This is achieved using through auto-liquidation, which sees the exchange automatically buy or sell futures contracts to ensure that customers remain within a safe margin ratio.
Customers that fall below the minimum safety margin will be subject to a margin call to decrease their leverage and bring their margin back to safe levels.
CoinFLEX uses what is known as the ‘Ramp Up schedule’ to decide what margin ratio that customers need to adhere to, to prevent automatic liquidation.
As the futures contracts move towards expiry, the required margin ratio increases from 10% up to as much as 100% (fully collateralized) at 8PM on the Wednesday before settlement.
After this point, positions that are still open need to be over collateralized, using your spot balance to ensure the minimum margin ratio is met.
Like many modern cryptocurrency exchanges, CoinFLEX has its own native cryptocurrency, known simple as Flex Coin (or FLEX).
However, unlike most exchange tokens, FLEX coin is actually given out to traders free of charge as an added incentive for using the platform. The amount of FLEX coin awarded per day relates to both a user’s taker trade volume and the overall qualifying taker trade volume on the exchange.
As a utility token, FLEX coin gives holders the opportunity to use their FLEX to reduce their trading fees for the day. Reducing trading fees by 50% for 24 hours costs 100 FLEX, with no further reductions currently possible.
FLEX coin can also be bought or sold on the exchange, just like any other cryptocurrency. Currently, the exchange only features a FLEX/USDT orderbook but indicates that FLEX will be tradeable on other exchanges in the future.
Is CoinFLEX safe?
CoinFLEX is registered under the trading name Liquidity Technologies Ltd, and was incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles under the International Business Companies Act (2016).
The company has notable investments from Polychain Capital and Digital Currency Group (DCG) and has even attracted investment from Roger Ver—a well-known venture capitalist in the cryptocurrency space.
The team includes Mark Lamb, best known for founding UK-based cryptocurrency exchanged Coinfloor, and James Cunningham, who brings extensive experience in high-frequency trading to the platform.
Conforming with the industry gold standard, CoinFLEX keeps 99% of user funds in cold storage, ensuring that no single point of failure can lead to funds being compromised.
In addition to this, CoinFLEX keeps all customer data secure through the use of Transport Layer Security (TLS), ensuring confidential data remains protected at all times.
CoinFLEX is a rarity among exchanges because it offers support for several two-factor security (2FA) options, including Google Authenticator, Authy and the hardware-based 2FA solution—Yubikey.
CoinFLEX Customer Support
Where cryptocurrency exchanges are concerned, good customer support tends to be a sorely lacking feature.
Like most platforms, CoinFLEX features a comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) page as its first line of support. Here, users will find answers to basic issues they might encounter, along with simple guides about trading basics, cryptocurrencies and leverage.
Beyond this, CoinFLEX features two main customer support options, the first is its internal support ticket system, and the second is by email. However, the platform also offers prompt, albeit basic support in its Telegram community and can be reached via Twitter and LinkedIn also.
Being a relatively new trading platform, CoinFLEX hasn’t yet received much criticism over its customer support.
However, based on the responses seen in the CoinFLEX Telegram community and Twitter feed, CoinFLEX has fairly prompt customer support, with the executive team handling many issues directly.
How to trade on CoinFLEX
1. Sign-up and create account
To begin trading on CoinFLEX, create an account by heading to the registration page and entering your email address and a secure password, before clicking ‘register’.
Following this, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link you need to click to activate your account.
After verifying your account and logging in, you will then need to agree to some terms and conditions after which the ‘Proceed to EXCHANGE’ button will be enabled and you will be free to use the platform.
Finally, you will need to add a two-factor authentication method to your account. Here, select Authy, YubiKey or Google Authenticator as you see fit and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the link process.
2. Deposit funds
While logged into the exchange, navigate to the Dashboard and then select the ‘Deposit’ option.
In the deposit menu, you will be provided a list of cryptocurrency assets supported by CoinFLEX. Select the one you wish to deposit and read the information presented on the screen to check the minimum deposit and confirmation details.
Once you are happy to proceed, check the ‘I understand and accept all (…)’ box, before clicking the orange button below to request your deposit address.
After your deposit has reached the required number of confirmations, it should show in your account balance and then be tradeable.
3. Start trading
You are now ready to begin trading on CoinFLEX. To begin, head over to the exchange by clicking the ‘Exchange’ button in the header.
Now, you will be able to select the contract you want to trade on the top left of the trading. The middle panel is used to select the number of contracts you wish to buy/sell and your bid price.
Depending on whether you want to buy or sell, you will need to click the flip button.
You will be able to set your leverage in one of the lower tabs, before clicking Buy/Sell to open your position as desired. If this is a market order, it will be filled right away, otherwise, limit orders will be filled when the specified conditions are met.
What are some CoinFLEX alternatives?
Although CoinFLEX excels in many ways, it is definitely not perfect. Because of this, you may be tempted to look for an alternative that better meets your needs as a trader.
Although this is a CoinFLEX review, we will briefly touch on some of the major alternatives to CoinFLEX to better illustrate the range of options available.
The Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, otherwise known as BitMEX is arguably the most well-known cryptocurrency derivatives trading platforms around.
Founded in 2014 by a prominent team including Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed, BitMEX immediately exploded into popularity thanks to the unique products it offers and up to 100x trading leverage available.
BitMEX features a variety of interesting contract types, including UPs & DOWNs, volatility indices, and perpetual contracts, making it a suitable option for those looking for variety.
Unlike CoinFLEX, BitMEX settles all of its derivatives contracts in XBT, but quotes them in USD.
The platform has extraordinary liquidity but when comparing CoinFLEX vs BitMEX in terms of fees, BitMEX loses its edge due to its often high margin funding fee.
As a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, Deribit solely offers cryptocurrency options and futures. The platform went live in 2016, and has since grown into one of the foremost Bitcoin margin trading platforms.
Based in the Netherlands, Deribit is founded by a prominent team comprised of crypto enthusiasts, computer scientists, and expert traders, who have helped bring to market a competent exchange with plenty of room for growth.
Comparing CoinFLEX vs Deribit you will find a number of similarities between the two platforms. Both have a similar user interface, and both offer a variety of derivatives to trade.
However, unlike CoinFLEX, contracts on Deribit are instead settled in cash, rather than being physically settled.
Another relatively new derivatives trading platform, ByBit was launched in early 2018 with the goal of making cryptocurrency margin trading as accessible as possible.
ByBit stands out among new trading platforms thanks to its incredible liquidity, having already achieved daily trade volumes approaching $1 billion barely a year after first opening its doors.
Much of this is attributed to its BTC/USD perpetual, though its other contracts also have respectable volume.
Both ByBit and CoinFLEX are relatively new players in the margin trading space and share a few similarities. Both offer up variable leverage and great customer support, however, only CoinFLEX offers physically settled contracts, whereas ByBit settles in cash.
Although a direct CoinFLEX vs ByBit comparison is tricky, considering the different target audiences for each platform, both are worth trying to see which works best for you.
Does CoinFlex require identity verification?
Similarly to Bitmex and Deribit, CoinFlex also does not require its users to perform KYC to use the platform.
That said, CoinFlex strictly prohibits citizens from USA, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Afghanistan to use the exchange.
According to its terms and conditions, CoinFlex reserves the right to immediately freeze and liquidate all positions of a user if the exchange suspects the individual to reside in one of the above countries.