Phemex is the latest Bitcoin derivatives exchange on the block. This Phemex review will determine if this exchange is worth trading on.
Phemex seeks to provide institutional-level derivatives trading to traders en masse. The ex-Wall Street team is looking to bring their trading experience into action by expanding the pool of crypto derivative broker options for traders and investors alike.
The ex-Morgan Stanley executives launched their product on the 25th Nov. 2019 in Singapore, and have since been attempting to focus on a more user-centric approach for the derivatives trading platform.
To their credit, the exchange recently added the LINK/USD trading pair after receiving community feedback on new trading pairs to add to their exchange.
Phemex Growth Rate
Since its lunch date, Phemex as experienced an overwhelming amount of support, growth, and patronage from crypto traders all across the globe, with thousands of users signing up on the platform from the first day of lunch.
The company attributes the reason for this massive success and consistent growth to its user-centric approach to doing business and running its crypto trading platform.
The company in its report to shareholders also announced that it would continue to invest in aggressive expansion and growth of the trading platform with a goal of hitting the one million registered user mark before the end of 2020.
Phemex offers new users’ one of the highest Bonuses for completing various tasks on the platform.
These tasks are divided into three and have been listed below. The completion of all these tasks will see the user getting about $112 in bonus.
- Account Opening: Phemex offers new users a bonus of $2 for opening their first account on the crypto trading platform. This Bonus is automatically credited into your trading account and can be used to start placing trades immediately.
- First Deposit: Phemex users also get an additional bonus on their first deposit. The maximum bonus that can be gotten from this task is $60 and it would require to deposit at least 0.2 BTC to eligible.
- Social Media Shout-out: As part of the plan for its aggressive growth, Phemex offers users a bonus of $10 for following the company on social media and giving them a shout-out on your social media accounts.
Sign Up with My Invitation Code and Get $100 In Bonus
When you use my invitation code JDNRK to signup for your Phemex account, you can increase the Bonus you get on your first deposit of 0.2 BTC or more from $60 to $100.
This bonus will automatically get credited into your Phemex trading account and can be used to place trades immediately.
Phemex does not charge fees on deposits, meaning you can move money into the exchange at no cost. When it comes to trading fees, however, Phemex keeps it simple at -0.025% and 0.075% maker and taker fee respectively. These rates are similar to other exchanges in the industry.
Beyond this, Phemex also has a funding rate that depends on the leveraged position. As can be expected, a high leveraged position will have a significant impact on equity. This is reflected in the rate.
Presently, Phemex charges a flat 0.0005 BTC for every bitcoin withdrawal, which could of course change in the near future. Below is a fee info table in relation to specific trading pairs.
How to Sign Up
The signup process for owning a Phemex crypto trading account is quite easy and fast to accomplish. The steps to take have been outlined in detail below.
The first step to take to get a Phemex account is to visit the Phemex.com/register page. On this page, you would be required to input your
- Email address and
- A strong password you can easily remember.
Once done, you would need to confirm the validity of your email address by clicking on the link sent to your inbox. If you don’t see this email in your inbox, check your spam folder.
Your Email Security
It is very important that only you have access to this registered email you used for signing up on Phemex because this email will be used to send you your OTP codes, security updates and notifications, 2FA authentication, and security alerts in the case of an attempted breach of your phemex account.
The login process for Phemex is quite easy and security tight. The platform makes use of 2FA authentication, OTP (one-time-password) and a lot more to ensure that your account cannot be hacked
To complete your first login process on Phemex, please follow the instructions below.
- Visit Phemex.com (It is important you ensure that you are on the Phemex page and not being redirected to a fake hacker’s page trying to get your login details)
- Once on the Phemex.com homepage, click on the “Login” button
- Enter the correct email and password you created your Phemex account with
- A box will appear prompting you to enter the OTP (one-time-password) sent to your email
- Go to your email address, copy the OTP code, and paste it in the box to complete your login.
Once logged in, it is very important you update your account security by completing your:
- Account security settings and configurations
- Activate your Phemex account 2FA security features.
Deposit and withdrawal methods
Phemex wallets allow deposits and withdrawals with both bitcoin and credit cards. However, no option could be found on how to directly deposit USD on the platform at the time of writing this Phemex review.
Before using Phemex you have to buy Bitcoin. Users can either do it on Phemex once registered or they can deposit BTC into their BTC wallet and work their way into the market from there. In order to trade Bitcoin settled contracts, users then need to fund their Bitcoin trading accounts from a wallet with pre-deposited funds. Similarly, to trade USD settled contracts, users can exchange BTC from a wallet to their USD trading account at a real-time rate.
On the flip-side, withdrawing is simple. All a user has to do is enter their wallet address, the amount of bitcoin to be withdrawn and continue the process via standard 2FA features. Unfortunately, there appears to be no Bitcoin address white-listing function as with other exchanges like Coinbase. This could be seen as a security drawback.
Phemex is a relatively new cryptocurrency exchange that focuses on cryptocurrency derivatives. Phemex offers:
- BTC/USD (Bitcoin/US Dollar)
- ETH/USD (Ethereum/US Dollar)
- XRP/USD (XRP/US Dollar)
- LINK/USD (ChainLink/US Dollar)
- XTZ/USD (Tezos/US Dollar)
- LTC/USD (Litecoin/US Dollar)
- GOLD/USD (Gold/US Dollar)
These numerous trading options, (although not as vast as that of Binance) offers Phemex traders the ability to diversify and invest in numerous crypto pairs.
The Gold/USD pair also offers traders the ability to easily hedge their crypto holdings and invest in safe havens during a time of increased volatility in the crypto market.
Phemex Supported Currency Drawbacks
There are currently a few drawbacks I noticed with the Phemex list of supported cryptocurrencies.
- Phemex Does Not Support Fiat Currency Trading:
Unlike some of its competitors, Phemex does not allow trading in any fiat currency. All trades are made and settled in BTC.
- Phemex Does Not Support Options Trading:
Phemex currently supports only crypto perpetual futures contract trading. So, if you would like to have access to the crypto options market, you will need to check out other crypto brokers.
- Phemex Does Not Support Crypto to Crypto Pairs:
As at the time of writing this review, Phemex offers no crypto to crypto pairs like Bitcoin/Ethereum (BTC/ETH) on its platform. Instead, all cryptocurrencies are paired with USD. So, if you are looking to trade crypto pairs, you will need to check out other crypto brokers.
But apart from those few cons, the Phemex exchange platform is pretty solid and a good choice for crypto traders.
Buying and selling on Phemex
Since it is a derivatives platform, there is no actual transfer of BTC between buyers and sellers. Instead, contracts are settled in the underlying asset and quoted in USD.
Similar to other exchanges, Phemex accommodates three types of orders: ‘Market’, ‘Limit’, and ‘Conditional’ trading. A trader can choose from these options to open or close a position. Traders can also choose the amount of leverage they want to use. To execute an order, traders can choose from another three options, namely, ‘FillOrKill’, ‘ImmediateOrCancel’, and ‘GoodTillCancelled’. You can learn more about the types of orders here. If you are new to trading, make sure to read our guide on how to trade Bitcoin.
Phemex Supports All Trading Styles
The Phemex platform also supports all types of trading styles like high volume trading, long term trading, hedging, scalping, and algorithmic trading on its platform. This makes the trading platform very versatile, stable, and well suited for different types of traders including institutional traders.
Trading Gold/USD On Phemex
On the 30th of March 2020, Phemex became one of the few cryptocurrency trading platforms that offered users the ability to diversify their crypto trading portfolio into commodity trading.
The Gold/USD pair offered on the Phemex platform can be traded using Bitcoin with a maximum leverage of about 100x.
Traders can use this pair as a risk-off asset/ safe haven during times of extreme volatility and price spikes in the cryptocurrency market.
Leverage trading On Phemex
At the time of writing this Phemex review, Phemex offers 7 different trading pairs on its platform. The platform allows up to 100x leverage for its futures trades. This means that a price swing of 10% could result in a 1,000% appreciation or depreciation of any deployed capital.
Here they are:
- BTC/USD with leverage of 1:100
- ETH/USD with leverage of 1:20
- XRP/USD with leverage of 1:20
- LINK/USD with leverage of 1:20
- XTZ/USD with leverage of 1:20
- LTC/USD with leverage of 1:20
- GOLD/USD with leverage of 1:100
Essentially, this allows traders to multiply their exposure to price volatility. Presently, Phemex offers perpetual contracts. This is the exact same as BitMEX and Bybit. These contracts have no set expiry date at which they would automatically be settled.
What does 100x leverage trading mean on the platform?
After the 2017 boom and bust cycle, many traders and investors became attracted to the idea of using margin/leverage to trade cryptocurrency instruments. Since then, many exchanges have launched to cater to this growing market need, and Phemex is no exception.
As previously stated, the platform allows 100x margin/leverage on any trade. Simply put, this means that a trader is borrowing money from an exchange in order to buy a financial instrument (Bitcoin). In effect, it is a loan from the exchange that is used to buy more Bitcoin contracts than one would otherwise be able to.
Phemex offers the industry-standard margin requirement for opening trades and maintaining them.
- For BTC/USD and GOLD/USD: Opening new trades on these pairs require an initial margin of 1%+. To keep the position open, you need a maintenance margin of 0.5%+.
- For ETH/USD, XRP/USD, LINK/USD, XTZ/USD, LTC/USD: You need an initial margin of 5%+ to open a trade and a 1%+ maintenance margin to keep the trade opened.
Risk Management and Negative Balance Protection
Phemex offers users numerous tools for protecting their trading accounts and managing risk. This includes:
- Sub-Account Isolation: This feature allows you to set a different margin requirement, leverage, and an isolated trading balance on your various sub-accounts. This way trades on one account do not affect the leverage, balance, or margin available to trade on another.
- Stop-loss and Take profits: This feature allows you to limit your risk by setting a predetermined point of exit for your trades whether it be in profit or a loss. This tool is very important for traders who do not wish to actively sit and monitor their opened positions all day.
- Trailing Stops: This feature takes the stop-loss tool to a new level by allowing you to set a predefined amount of pips you want you’re your stop loss to trail your open position by.
There are other numerous tools like this littered all over the platform with the sole mission of helping you manage risk at all times.
Phemex Negative Balance Protection
The negative balance protection is an important risk management feature that Phemex uses to protect their clients from racking up loses that is more than their initial deposit.
This feature automatically implements on your account when you are over-leveraged, in massive drawdowns, and have no free margin to maintain your opened positions.
With this feature, Phemex will automatically start closing and liquidating your opened trades starting with the ones with the highest drawdown in order to free up margin for the rest of your opened position to keep running.
Understanding the concept of over leveraging, margin requirement, and negative balance protection is very important in your trading journey because misuse of any of these features will lead to huge losses.
Note to US investors:
Regrettably, US traders are barred from the platform. As per their terms of service, traders located in the United States of America or Québec (Canada), Singapore, Cuba, Crimea, Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan (or other restricted jurisdictions), are prohibited from trading on the platform.
As such, users from banned countries would have to use workaround solutions in order to access the platform. Most traders in restricted areas use a VPN to access the platform. The most popular one among Bitcoin traders is NordVPN.
Phemex Trading Platforms
The Phemex trading platform was created with simplicity in mind and can be used by both beginners and experienced traders.
Using the latest technology in web development and security, the Phemex broker firm was able to provide one of the best trading platforms in the crypto industry. This platform is always secured, stable, and efficient to use no matter the kind of volatility occurring in the crypto market.
And since its lunch, Phemex is yet to record any incidence of platform freezing or crashing unlike some of the big crypto brokers like Bitmex.
Phemex offers a desktop version of its trading platform for users to trade with from anywhere in the world.
- The platform comes with a very simple and easy to understand interface that works well for both beginner traders and experienced traders.
- The Phemex platform comes with numerous inbuilt technical analysis tools and indicators for traders to easily carry out their technical analysis.
- You can also easily create and import custom-built indicators into the platform.
- Phemex makes it very easy to monitor and manage all your open and running positions from an easy to access panel at the bottom of your screen.
- The platform also provides you price alerts, conditional orders, and limit orders for better decision making when it comes to trading.
- You can also export your trading history to other programs for a better analysis of your performance during a time period.
All these features and more make It possible for you to participate in trading the crypto market in the most advanced and efficient way ever possible for retail traders.
Phemex is also one of the few crypto trading platforms that offer users the ability to create and manage multiple sub-accounts on its trading platform.
These sub-accounts come with very important features that can help traders better manage their trading accounts, test multiple strategies, segregate their trading funds, and generally perform better in the market.
These sub-accounts also give traders the ability to tweak the trading environment of individual accounts. This way traders can change the permissions, leverage, balances, and margin levels of the individual accounts to better suit the strategy being traded on it without affecting other accounts.
How to Switch Between Your Phemex Sub-Accounts
Phemex provides users an easy way to quickly manage and switch between the list of their sub-accounts. Follow the detailed instructions below to open, switch to, or from, and manage your list of sub-accounts on Phemex.
- Visit Phemex.com/subaccounts.
- Once here, you can create, delete, switch between, and edit the settings of your sub-accounts.
Another easy way to get to your subaccount page is to:
- Log in to your Phemex account
- Click on your profile name in the upper right-hand corner and click on ‘Subaccounts’.
This will take you to the sub-account page where you can do whatever you want with your list of accounts.
When Trading with the Phemex sub-account, it is important to remember that you can only trade with funds you moved into the account. This simply means that no matter what happens, you cannot lose more funds than what you moved into the sub-account.
Phemex also offers its users the ability to open new trades, close old ones, or monitor and tweak an opened position while on the go.
Their custom-built mobile trading app is top of the line when it comes to security, speed, and stability. This app is available for both Android users and iOS phones for free on the google play store and the iPhone app store.
Features of The Phemex Mobile Trading App
The mobile trading app comes with a lot of inbuilt tools, functionalities, and features that make using it for your trading activities while on the go very easy and efficient. These features include:
- A very clean and easy to navigate trading interface suitable for both beginners and experienced traders.
- A mobile version of the trading view charts for price analysis and decision making.
- Numerous built-in indicators and drawing tools for your technical analysis.
- Availability of multiple timeframes, making the app suitable for both scalpers and long-term traders.
- The availability of advanced order types, limit orders and buy stop orders.
With the app, traders can place new orders, close running positions, monitor and tweak their running trades, and complete other forms of transactions on the Phemex platform while on the go.
Charts & TradingView
From a user point of view, Phemex has implemented a modular design. This allows traders to customize the platform to their own preferences. The vanilla version features the order book, a TradingView-powered chart, live positions, the order menu, contract details, recent trades, an order book depth chart as well as a trading account display showing crypto and USD balance details.
The trading view chart features several time-frames. From these, a trader can gauge the market, including the 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15, minute, 30, minute, 1 hour, 4-hour, daily, weekly, monthly, 3-monthly, and yearly chart. While this is a good start, traders are unable to utilize custom time frames on Phemex. Essential trading view tools are also available on the platform. Traders can choose from all the available indicators on the platform. There are no limits on the number of indicators per chart.
One cool feature low-time-frame-traders would surely appreciate it the ping displayed at the top right corner of the screen, which indicates the lag time between a user and Phemex servers. Aside from that, the trading experience seems mostly similar to other high-end derivatives exchanges.
Is Phemex safe?
While conducting this review, it was great to find out that the CEO and founders aren’t hiding their faces, unlike with other some exchanges. In fact, they can be found either on the main site or on LinkedIn, where employee details are fully available. The public nature of their profiles is, of course, a healthy sign.
Is Phemex a secure trading platform?
From a security point of view, Phemex boasts a hierarchical Deterministic Cold Wallet System which assigns separate cold wallet deposit addresses to each user. All the deposits are periodically gathered to the company’s multi-signature cold wallet via offline signature. The platform processes withdrawal requests three times per day, which might explain relatively long withdrawal wait times.
The platform uses Amazon Web Service (AWS) Cloud in order to secure its servers, which is a leading industry standard and bolsters security and safety expectations. On top of that, Phemex also deploys firewalls to separate trading zones within its internal network.
From a more technical standpoint, the trading platform is comprised of two core components: the CrossEngine and TradingEngine, in which it matches client orders based on price and time priority.
The developers have also said that traders should expect to experience virtually zero downtime. In fact, Phemex claims that users will not notice any abrupt system maintenance periods. This is due to its recovery system that gives users 99.99% high availability. If this stands the test of time, this would, of course, be considered crucial for exchanges that are open 24/7. That said, since Phemex is a relatively recent derivatives platform, only time will tell how it will handle malicious attacks when they inevitably come to pass.
Competitors – Bybit & BitMEX
- Bybit is the most popular exchange in crypto. It has high liquidity and excellent customer service. Bybit has been around since 2018 and has never been hacked and has never had a system overload. Make sure to read our full Bybit review or our complete Bybit tutorial.
- BitMEX is the Bitcoin trading exchange with the most liquidity. BitMEX has been around since 2014 and has never been hacked. However, traders are leaving BitMEX because of some recent problems. For example, in highly volatile moments, the BitMEX order engine gets overloaded. This means that traders can’t submit their orders. This is the main reason why traders are leaving for Phemex & Bybit.
What sort of customer support does Phemex provide?
As with most exchanges, Phemex has a direct line of customer support as well as an FAQ bundled up with its help center. The platform also leaves the line open for users to contact the CEO directly on telegram, which is a nice touch.
Unfortunately, though, the company does not offer any direct telephone support. They handle most of its more technical issues through its dedicated e-mail support. If you want an exchange with perfect customer support, try Bybit. The platform has a presence on most social media platforms. That includes Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Telegram, however, email seems the preferred ticketing method.
Again, since Phemex is a very recent exchange, there are practically no reviews available at this stage. However, based on personal prior interactions with the exchange, I can say that support is quick, informative, and helpful. It remains to be seen whether this improves as the company grows – though I’m confident that it will.
Phemex Affiliate Program
Unlike most of the other cryptocurrency firms out there, the Phemex affiliate program is totally free and is available for all Phemex users.
This program offers users the ability to make about 50% in commission on all fees generated and paid by their referrals. You can also make 10% gains in commission for all sub-affiliates referrals.
This unique payment structure of the Phemex affiliate program makes the best and highest commission rate ever offered by any crypto company in the industry.
Phemex offers a lot of benefits and opportunities for crypto traders with relatively few drawbacks. The platform is very easy to use and suitable for both new and experienced traders.
Phemex’s main specializations are two-fold: the fact that you can create sub-accounts within an existing account, and their user-oriented approach – which isn’t guaranteed in the future as the company scales. These features might help it to gain a competitive advantage over other exchanges such as Bitmex & Bybit in the future.
With some work, Phemex has the potential of taking the derivatives market to the next level. However, given the increasing competition in derivatives trading, this might be an uphill struggle for the platform. Phemex is a great competitor to Bybit, but Bybit still has the best customer service in crypto.
It is also important to remember that the Phemex exchange platform is still relatively new and yet to face any major hacks or large scale security breach. So we don’t know how the company will handle that kind of incident if it did happen.
Needless to say, I encourage you to do your own research beforehand, but at the onset, it appears to be an attractive exchange that ticks most of a trader’s boxes.
You can also check out my complete list of Best Bitcoin Trading Platforms.