If you're in the market for a new cryptocurrency exchange, you may be wondering how AscendEX stacks up against the competition. Lucky for you, our unbiased review of AscendEX covers everything from its strengths to its weaknesses, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn how AscendEX compares in terms of it's range of features, trading fees, deposit and withdrawal methods and much more.
AscendEX pros & cons
AscendEX, formerly known as BitMax, is a cryptocurrency exchange that has been operating since 2018. With over 70 employees, the exchange is headquartered in Singapore and available in 190 countries around the world with the exception of the US, China, and UK. AscendEX offer well known trading services that includes spot, margin, and futures trading with leverage of up to 100x.
AscendEX is a smaller exchange with a user base of 1 million retail users. Their Android app has over 500,000 downloads and an average rating of 3.7 based on 5,000 reviews. The exchange supports a solid range of over 280 cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, SOL, ADA, DOT and many others.
AscendEX Signup & KYC
For those interested to signup to AscendEX and deposit cryptocurrencies in order to trade, the good news is that KYC is not mandatory. The signup process is super simple and you can register using either your email or phone number. Once done, you can either deposit crypto and start trading or complete the full KYC process to buy crypto with a card or deposit fiat currencies.
For those that want to deposit fiat currencies or get access to higher withdrawal limits, passing the KYC verification process is necessary. The verification process will take a few hours to be approved in the best-case scenario and 1-2 business days in the worst case.
AscendEX Products & Services
AscendEX offers plenty of crypto products and services in order to satisfy the need of investors and traders alike. First off, AscendEX offers spot trading for over 280 different cryptocurrencies which means that you most likely will find the altcoin you are looking for. And with a respectable 24-hour spot trading volume of $250 million, you will find plenty of trading pairs with low slippage.
The exchange also offers margin trading with up to 25X leverage as well as futures trading with up to 100X leverage. Plus, they even have long and short leveraged tokens with up to 5X leverage, allowing traders to take advantage of market movements in both directions.
But AscendEX isn't just about trading, they also offer a range of earn programs and staking options, allowing users to earn interest on their assets and increase their holdings over time.
In terms of the user experience, the interface can be a bit overwhelming at times with lots of different things happening on each page. And while the exchange is generally reliable, we did encounter some bugs and annoying reward alerts during our testing.
Ways To Buy Crypto On AscendEX
AscendEX allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies through several methods, including spot trading and buying with a card. With spot trading, users can buy various cryptocurrencies directly from the exchange.
Additionally, they can purchase cryptocurrencies using third-party providers like MoonPay, Banxa, Mercuryo, and Simplex when buying with a card. The fees for using these third-party providers range from 1.5% to 5%, depending on the cryptocurrency being bought and the provider used.
Needless to say, buy cryptocurrencies through third-party providers comes at a much higher cost than using the spot order book. While it clearly is easier to buy using a credit card, we recommend beginners to get familiar with spot trading so that you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies much cheaper.
AscendEX Trading Fees
AscendEX charges spot trading fees ranging from 0.1% to 0.2%, depending on the cryptocurrency being bought. The maker and taker fees are lower if users are buying one of the 25 large cap coins such as BTC, ETH, BNB, and ADA. Users can also lower these fees further if their trading volume exceeds $100,000 during a 30 day period.
Futures fees on AscendEX begin at 0.02% for makers, with even lower fees possible for those exceeding $5 million in volume on a 30 day basis. The exchange fees offered by AscendEX for the largecap coins are competitive with the exchanges like Binance, OKX and Bybit. For those that want to buy altcoins, they will pay similar spot trading fees to exchanges like Gate.io.
AscendEX Deposit Methods
AscendEX offers a range of fiat deposit methods for users looking to purchase cryptocurrencies using fiat currency. They support over 40 fiat currencies such as AED, BRL, MXN, and PHP through third-party providers like Simplex and BANXA.
However, the only fiat deposit method available on AscendEX is through wire transfers with support for only USD. The good news is that wire deposits on AscendEX are free of charge, making it a cost-effective option for users. However, if you're looking to use other fiat currencies or deposit methods, you need to explore other exchanges.
How to withdraw from AscendEX?
AscendEX offers fiat withdrawals through wire transfers, which usually take 3-5 days to process. However, they do charge a withdrawal fee for this service. The wire withdrawal fees are $35 for US domiciled banks and $75 for international banks. These fees are much higher than exchanges such as Kraken, Binance and Uphold.
When it comes to withdrawing cryptocurrencies, AscendEX charges different fees depending on the blockchain. Withdrawing Bitcoin comes with a 0.0005 BTC fee while withdrawing ETH comes with a high 0.005 ETH withdrawal fee. Withdrawing SOL comes with a high 0.05 SOL withdrawal fee, and withdrawing ERC-20 USDT comes with a high 5 USDT fee.
Is AscendEX Safe?
AscendEX, despite experiencing a hack in 2021 resulting in losses, has implemented security features to mitigate external threats. To ensure the safety of customer assets, the majority of deposited assets are held in offline "cold" wallets.
Additionally, AscendEX maintains a portion of its balance sheet to cover potential loss of customer assets. Two-factor authentication (2FA) at the account level prevents unauthorized access, and the exchange monitors for suspicious activity 24/7, updating in real-time. The exchange does not offer proof of reserves at present and is not licensed in any jurisdiction other than Singapore.
In conclusion, AscendEX is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange that provides traders with a wide range of trading options. With over 1 million retail users and support for over 280 cryptocurrencies, most users will find the cryptocurrencies they are looking for.
With a respectable 24-hour spot trading volume of $250 million and leveraged tokens with up to 5X leverage, AscendEX is a great choice for traders who are serious about investing in cryptocurrencies.
The exchange allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies through spot trading and buying with a card, with fees ranging from 0.1% to 0.2%. AscendEX also offers fiat withdrawals through wire transfers.
While the interface can be overwhelming at times and the user experience could be smoother, overall, it's not a bad exchange to use.
What Happened To BitMAX?
In March of 2022, Bitmax rebranded itself to AscendEX as more of a market effort than anything else. COO Ariel Ling had this to say in its official announcement about the rebranding:
"As AscendEX continues the growth journey from BitMax days, we have been able to build a unique experience that brings together the best of both centralized finance and decentralized finance," said Ariel Ling, COO. "Going forward, we aim to further integrate more core tenets of DeFi and ascend to the pinnacle of our industry."
Has AscendEX Been Hacked?
While AscendEX advertises best security practices by storing crypto in cold storage, two-factor authentication (2FA), and its insurance fund, it did suffer an attack on one of its hot wallets and lost over $70 million in funds. No user accounts were affected, but this may cause users to question the overall security of the platform. In addition, no details are given about the cold storage of assets regarding what percentage are held offline, and if the vaults are distributed or centralized.