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AscendEX (formerly BitMax) is a beginner-orientated crypto exchange headquartered in Singapore. It offers users a cost-effective way to buy, sell, and trade 200+ crypto. AscendEX also offers a ton of extra features, including crypto interest accounts, DeFi yield farming, crypto staking, and even a copy-trading feature that allows users to follow top traders and copy their exact trades automatically.
In this review, we cover the details of the AscendEX platform including security, available crypto, fees, trading experience (on desktop and mobile), and customer service. We will assess how to create an AscendEX account, place a trade, deposit assets and gauge the trading platform's ease of use.
AscendEX is designed for both beginners and advanced traders with a simple order form for buying crypto. There is an advanced trading platform with hundreds of charting tools and indicators. AscendEX is also a margin trading platform with up to 25x leverage, as well as crypto futures trading. Overall, AscendEX offers a wide selection of features and very low fees for traders around the globe.
- Low trading fees with a maximum of 0.1%
- Earn interest on crypto in multiple ways
- Advanced trading platform
- Large selection of supported cryptocurrencies
- Not available to U.S. residents
- Unable to deposit fiat currencies
- Experienced a security breach previously
AscendEX is a global crypto trading platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade crypto. Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Singapore, AscendEX supports over 300 crypto trading pairs and 200 individual cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular altcoins. AscendEX also allows users to earn interest on deposited or staked crypto, earn tokens with DeFi yield farming, and receive trading fee discounts and other benefits using its native token, ASD.
Notable AscendEX features include:
- Low trading fees (0.10% or less)
- 300+ crypto trading pairs and 200+ crypto to buy, trade and sell
- CopyTrader feature allows users to mirror the trades of popular community members
- Multiple ways to earn interest on crypto holdings
- Outstanding security including the storage of assets in offline cold wallets
- A feature-rich mobile app (iOS and Android)
|Fiat Currency||60+ (via third-party gateway)|
|Payment Type||Cryptocurrency, Credit/Debit card|
|Trading Fee||0.00% - 0.20%|
|Deposit Fee||Free crypto deposits, fiat deposits are not allowed, but purchases are made through debit/credit card or third-party|
|Withdrawal Fee||Varies by cryptocurrency|
|Exchange||Crypto Assets||Trading Fees||Rating||Promotion||Website||Review|
|385||0.1% (spot) and 0.02% / 0.04% (Futures)|
|Up to $100 welcome bonus||Visit Binance||Binance Review|
|331 (608 trading pairs)||0% (spot), 0.06% / 0.01% (futures)|
|0% trading fees for 30 days (spot only)||Visit ByBit||ByBit Review|
|222||0.16% (maker) and 0.26% (taker)|
|None available at this time||Visit Kraken||Kraken Review|
|None available at this time||Visit AscendEX||AscendEX Review|
What is AscendEX?
AscendEX is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to buy, sell, and trade digital assets, as well as earn interest on crypto deposits, and even copy the trades of popular traders on the platform. AscendEX was founded in 2018 by George Cao and Ariel Ling to offer low-cost trading of Bitcoin and altcoins. It has grown to offer over 200 cryptocurrencies and processes nearly $100 million in transactions on a daily basis. Moreover, the platform has a strong user base of over 1 million traders.
Is AscendEX Safe?
AscendEX implements modern security measures, including cold storage of most assets, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and end-to-end encryption of user data. It also requires dual control at the executive level to access any funds stored. AscendEX carries an insurance fund with a portion of its principal balance sheet available to cover any customer losses due to theft.
That being said, AscendEX suffered a major exchange hack in December of 2021, losing over $70 million in assets from its company hot wallet. AscendEX quickly announced the hack on Twitter and promised to reimburse any customer losses. Overall, AscendEX is a fairly secure platform, and even though it suffered a major hack recently, the insurance fund and fast action protected user funds in the process.
Are US Investors Allowed?
No, investors from the United States cannot use the AscendEX platform. While most countries can access the platform, U.S. residents are not allowed to sign up for an AscendEX account or utilize its services.
Best Features on AscendEX
Wide selection of trading pairs
AscendEX supports over 200 cryptocurrencies and 300 trading pairs. The platform includes major digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP (XRP), and Polkadot (DOT). It also supports US Dollar Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT) stablecoins, as well as popular altcoins, including Dogecoin (DOGE), and ApeCoin (APE). Users can see a full list of supported crypto here.
While AscendEX supports most large-cap coins, there are a few top cryptos missing from the platform. These include BUSD (Binance USD), Sandbox (SAND) and STEPN (GMT). For serious traders, crypto exchanges such as KuCoin, Huobi, and Binance may be a better alternative as they support over 500 trading pairs.
Copy Trading Feature
One unique feature of the AscendEX platform is the copy trading platform for cryptos which allows users to subscribe to their favorite trader and automatically copy each of their trades. This feature does have a monthly cost which pays the trader for their service of researching and placing the trades.
Trades execute automatically when the trader places their own trade, and the amount traded can match what the trader selected, or be multiplied (up to 500x), depending on your accounts balance. Subscriptions can be canceled at any time.
The monthly fee is $5 to $100 per month and is payable in USDT. Copy Trading is only available on perpetual futures trading, and comes with the risk of loss, as trades will be executed automatically. Each trader offers a 5-day free trial to test out the platform before subscribing. In short, the Copy Trading feature is a nice addon, however, there are similar social trading platforms like eToro that are free and a superior option.
Staking is the process of depositing a crypto token into a network validator’s wallet to partake in the rewards earned by validators. Essentially, users get paid for providing tokens to help secure the network and take part in the rewards. AscendEX offers staking of cryptocurrencies to earn interest, which locks a user’s assets onto the platform and pays interest in the form of the token deposited.
Instead of requiring a waiting period for staked assets, AscendEX allows instant access to withdrawal staked assets as they have a liquidity pool available for users to withdraw. Staked assets also can be used as collateral for margin and futures trading. This allows traders to borrow margin against their staked crypto. Staking pays out on a set time schedule (which varies by crypto) and can range from 1.0% APY to over 100% APY, depending on the coin staked. Compared to the best crypto staking platforms, the number of staking assets is limited, however, the ability to use the coins as collateral for margin trading is unique.
DeFi Yield Farming
DeFi yield farming is available on the AscendEX platform, depositing user assets into DeFi interest-bearing protocols such as lending, liquidity pools, and derivatives products. While some yield farming platforms can be confusing to understand, AscendEX makes it easy by simplifying the user interface on their platform and handling the yield farming on the back end.
Users can deposit funds to the protocol they choose, earn interest on a regular basis and withdraw funds at any time. Everything is handled on the AscendEX platform, so there are no gas fees for utilizing a protocol, and no lockup periods for tokens. To see how AscendEX compared to our list of the best yield farming platforms, read this article next.
AscendEX services institutional clients with access to highly liquid markets, 24/7 white-glove support, and REST and Websocket API access to connect third-party tools. There are favorable trading discounts for large investments as well, with AscendEX offering a rebate of up to 0.015% to market makers.
The API services are publicly documented, and allow institutions to connect third-party tools such as customized trading bots or market analytics platforms. The AscendEX platforms can support up to 400,000 transactions per second (TPS) and are able to handle even the most sophisticated trading bots.
Related: The best trading bots for crypto.
AscendEX Coin (ASD)
Formerly known as Bitmax Coin (MTMX), the newly launched AscendEX coin (ADS) offers a host of discounts and features for users. Users holding and staking ASD can earn up to 9% interest on ADS coins. There are discounts on trading fees as well, with up to an 80% fee discount for users holding 1.5 million ASD coins (or more).
ASD also offers several “multiple cards”, which multiply user rewards up to a maximum amount of ASD. This includes a 5x multiple for ASD investment profit over a period of 10 days, a 50% discount on margin loan interest, and earning 5x rewards on airdrops. While these cards promise more earned rewards, the up-front fee and confusing reward calculations may not be worth the cost. Moreover, the value of the ASD token has been going down in price since March of 2021n.
AscendEX does not require KYC verification to use the platform. Although, unverified accounts will have limited withdrawal access (2 BTC maximum per day) and won't have access to certain features. To verify an account, users will need to register for an account via email and click on the email verification link to finalize account creation.
Users will need to go to the “Identity Verification” section of their account which comprises three aspects:
- Provision of basic personal details such as their full name, address, and birth date details.
- A government-issued form of identification, e.g. driver’s license.
- A selfie photo to complete facial recognition
The AscendEX verification is usually instant after correctly submitting the required documentation.
Funding & Limits
AscendEX does not allow fiat currency deposits. There is the option to purchase crypto with over 60 fiat currencies by utilizing the “buy crypto” feature. These transactions are processed through a third-party partner with additional fees and are not the best option to buy crypto.
Crypto deposits are free but there are minimum deposit amounts required, which are different for each crypto. Crypto withdrawals also have a minimum amount that varies by cryptocurrency. The maximum daily withdrawal limit is 2 BTC for unverified accounts and 100 BTC for verified accounts.
Volume and Liquidity
AscendEX offers decent liquidity on Bitcoin and Ethereum trading. However, the liquidity on small market cap coins is very low. Overall, CoinMarketCap rates the exchange with a liquidity ranking of 432 (out of 1,000), suggesting that it offers less-than-average liquidity.
That being said, the BTC/USDT trading pair liquidity rating is 681, and the ETH/USDT trading pair liquidity rating is 631, suggesting better-than-average liquidity for Bitcoin and Ethereum trading on the platform.
AscendEX processes over $100 million in daily trading volume, which seems like a lot. But compared to the 40+ crypto exchanges that process over $1 billion in daily volume, the trading volumes on AscendEX are fairly small which can become an issue for filling large orders (i.e. slippage).
AscendEX Trading & Ease of Use
AscendEX offers a basic way to buy crypto with fiat currency and an advanced trading platform for crypto-to-crypto trading. The basic “buy crypto” interface on AscendEX is straightforward to use to either purchase crypto with a debit/credit card or choose to pay with fiat currency through a third-party partner, such as MoonPay, Simplex, or Banxa.
Using the “Buy Crypto” feature only offers a limited selection with less than 50 cryptos available for purchase. There are also additional fees charged, depending on the purchase method and third-party used. However, the overall process is very easy to fund an account.
The AscendEX trading platform has more advanced features and tools, as well as over 300 crypto trading pairs between over 200 individual cryptocurrencies. Charting is provided by TradingView, with hundreds of technical indicators and charting tools. There are live order books, and a host of order types, including market, limit, and stop-loss orders.
The TradingView chart integration offers chart customization with different views, as well as the ability to add multiple indicators to overlay on the chart. There are multiple drawing tools and time frame options, as well as the ability to customize the chart properties and colors. Some of the indicators that can be applied include:
- Moving Averages
- Bollinger Bands
- Relative Strength Index (RSI)
- Average True Range, and more.
The advanced trading platform can be used for spot, margin and futures trading with up to 100x leverage. AscendEX also offers access to 3x and 5x leverage tokens that allow users to invest in leveraged long or short positions with a single token.
To place an order on AscendEX, users can select the crypto they wish to trade, choose the “Buy” or “Sell” tab at the top of the order window on the trading interface, and select how much to purchase. The window is well laid out. Limit orders are the default option, but users can also select market or stop-loss orders as well. Margin is available up to 25x on standard trades, and up to 100x on future trading. Once the parameters are selected, the order is submitted.
AscendEX charges low fees for traders based on a maker and taker fee schedule. The fees start at 0.1% per trade with volume discounts available. Moreover, there are discounts for holding ASD coin. Large-cap coins top out at 0.1% fees and altcoins charge up to 0.2% fees. Here’s a breakdown of the trading fees on the AscendEX platform.
|Trailing 30d Trade Volume (USDT)||Trailing 30d Avg ASD Holdings||Maker / Taker Fee (Large Market Cap Assets)||Maker / Taker Fee (Altcoins)|
|≥ 0||≥ 0||0.1000% / 0.1000%||0.2000% / 0.2000%|
|≥ 100,000||≥ 5,000||0.0900% / 0.1000%||0.1800% / 0.2000%|
|≥ 1,000,000||≥ 20,000||0.0750% / 0.0850%||0.1600% / 0.1800%|
|≥ 5,000,000||≥ 100,000||0.0600% / 0.0700%||0.1300% / 0.1500%|
Overall, the trading fees on AscendEX are very competitive in the market. Compared to the popular platforms for crypto trading, AscendEX is one of the cheaper options. Here’s how AscendEX fees compare to Binance, Huobi, Gemini and Coinbase Pro.
|Exchange||Trading Fee||Token Discounts|
AscendEX Mobile App & Reviews
AscendEX offers a mobile app that is available for Android and iOS devices, with over 500k downloads on the Android marketplace alone. The app offers most of the same features as the web app, including account signup and verification, buying and selling crypto, advanced trading, margin, and futures, as well as earning interest through staking or DeFi.
AscendEX’s exchange app has an overall 4.0/5 star rating in the Android store based on more than 4,000 reviews, which is a decent rating for a crypto exchange app. Negative customer feedback appeared to primarily relate to KYC verification issues and long withdrawal wait times. Further, it appeared that the AscendEX customer service team does not seem active when responding to comments.
Security of Assets
AscendEX implements industry-standard security measures to protect the integrity of user funds and assets. The majority of crypto assets are stored securely in offline using access-controlled vaults. There are limited details on whether these cold storage vaults are geographically distributed, or hosted by a third party, as AscendEX does not provide exact details on this. Some client funds are stored in hot wallets for the purposes of meeting the withdrawal liquidity needed to service customers.
AscendEX also carries a balance on its books as an insurance fund for the loss of customer assets to protect users from loss due to theft. These funds we actually used in a 2021 hack of an AscendEX hot wallet which resulted in over $70 million in lost funds. No user accounts were impacted and AscendEX absorbed the loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
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."
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.
AscendEX is a full-featured crypto exchange that offers much more than just trading crypto. From access to over 200 cryptos, to margin and futures trading, to DeFi Yield Farming, to Copy Trading, AscendEX is a feature-rich platform for crypto enthusiasts. The advantage of using AscendEX is the very low trading fees and rebates for market makers that trade very high volumes.
Overall, AscendEX is a great low-fee trading platform with a lot of features available to most people around the globe (except U.S. residents). With a decent coin selection, interest-earning opportunities and an intuitive mobile app, AscendEX is not a bad choice for active crypto traders.
|Review Categories||HedgewithCrypto Rating|
|Features||4 / 5|
|Supported Fiat Currencies and Deposit Methods||4.5 / 5|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies and Trading Pairs||3.5 / 5|
|Fees||4.5 / 5|
|Ease of Use||4.2 / 5|
|Customer Support||3.3 / 5|
|Security Measures||3.5 / 5|
|Mobile App||3.7 / 5|