AscendEX (BitMax) Cryptocurrency Exchange Review

Learn about the cryptocurrency exchange developed by Wall Street veterans that offers margin, derivatives, staking and more.

  • Good for the number of features on offer
  • Not so great for fiat deposits

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Details

Product Name AscendEX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Fiat Currencies None
Cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, BAT, ETC & 130+ more
Deposit Methods Credit card
Debit card
Trading Fee Credit/debit card: 5%
Spot trading: up to 0.1%
Futures trading: up to 0.06%
Margin trading: varies
Deposit Fees None
Withdrawal Fees Fees vary

AscendEX is a cryptocurrency exchange that targets both retail and institutional investors. The exchange was developed by a group of quantitative Wall Street trading veterans that felt there was a need for a more sophisticated trading platform.

In 2018, the exchange was originally launched as BitMax, with a native cryptocurrency token BTMX. Since then it has experienced steady growth and an increased user base. In early 2021, the exchange decided to rebrand to AscendEX and change the accompanying token to ASD(BTMX).

The exchange offers users the ability to actively trade the cryptocurrency markets through spot, margin and derivative products. Alongside more traditional trading options, AscendEX hosts features involving the decentralised finance (DeFi) sector. Both mobile and web applications are available.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What's it like to use AscendEX?

While targeting both retail and institutional investors, the platform at AscendEX is user-friendly and comfortable. For those who wish to actively trade, there are both standard and professional trading platforms. This limits unnecessary features when not required but still provides advanced options to those who want them.

While taking advantage of the competitive fee structure, users can also access staking and DeFi yield farming products. The native ASD(BTMX) token can reduce fees on the platform and be staked for rewards.

There is a dedicated Help Center and you can contact customer support directly via email or via an online help form.


Fees and limits

Fees for trading on AscendEX are within the competitive range for the cryptocurrency market. Spot and futures trading fees work on a maker/taker system. Those that make new orders in the exchange's order book are rewarded with slightly lower fees. All trading fees outlined below are based on the slightly higher taker fees.
The following fees are current as of 17 June 2021

TypeFee
Bank card payment (credit/debit card)5%
Spot trading fee (maker/taker system)Large Market Cap – 0.1%
Altcoins – 0.2%
Fees reduce with volume and ASD (BTMX holdings)
Futures trading fee (maker/taker system)Large Market Cap – 0.06%
Fees reduce with volume and ASD (BTMX holdings)
Interest rates for margin tradingVariable

Deposit and withdrawal fees

Deposit fees

There is no charge for depositing cryptocurrencies into AscendEX other than associated blockchain transaction fees.

There is no option to deposit fiat currencies onto the AscendEX exchange.

Withdrawal fees
TypeFee
Cryptocurrency withdrawal feeVaries depending on the cryptocurrency. Example withdrawal fees include 0.0005 BTC, 0.01 ETH and 0.1 XRP.
Transaction Limits
TypeLimit
Maximum borrowable limit for margin tradingVaries depending on the cryptocurrency.
Example borrowable limits include 22 BTC, 600 ETH, 12,500 DOT.
Minimum cryptocurrency withdrawal amountVaries depending on the cryptocurrency.
Examples of minimum withdrawal amounts include 0.01 BTC, 0.1 ETH, 21 XRP.

Fees for buying $1000 of Bitcoin

When purchasing bitcoin directly through the AscendEX exchange using the Bank Card Payment feature, a 5% transaction fee is incurred. For a $1,000 bitcoin purchase, the total amount payable would be $1,050.

There is not a spot market on AscendEX for BTC/AUD.

How do I create an account at AscendEX?

Go to AscendEX's website

Staking and rewards

AscendEX staking

Investors can stake cryptocurrency tokens through the AscendEX exchange to earn a potential annual percentage yield (APY). Staking involves users depositing and locking up cryptocurrency assets for a set period. The cryptocurrency tokens are then utilised by the associated blockchain in a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. This mechanism validates transactions, secures the network and keeps the blockchain running. AscendEX facilitates the transfer of tokens and can make the process of staking simpler. In return for locking away cryptocurrency tokens, users are rewarded with a variable APY. Learn more about staking in our guide here.

Within the AscendEX staking system, AscendEX has implemented an innovative feature called Compound Mode. Compound Mode allows users to redelegate staking rewards so that interest can compound with time.

As of 17 June 2021, 48 cryptocurrencies are listed for staking on AscendEX.

DeFi yield farming

Decentralised finance (DeFi) applications are dependent on user-supplied liquidity. For providing liquidity, users are usually rewarded through a combination of transaction fees and native DeFi tokens. DeFi applications can vary from lending protocols, derivative protocols to decentralised exchanges. Each application thrives on user-supplied liquidity.

AscendEX facilitates the provision of liquidity to some DeFi platforms through its DeFi yield farming product. This can offer benefits to the user such as reduced gas fees, reduced knowledge-gathering, and flexible deposits and withdrawals. This section of the exchange is currently in the earlier stages of development but will eventually offer users the ability to deposit cryptocurrency tokens into decentralised liquidity pools, lending and borrowing protocols, yield optimisation vaults and derivatives protocols.

As of 17 June 2021, 3 DeFi yield farming products are listed on AscendEX.
Decentralised cryptocurrency exchanges

ASD ecosystem

The native utility token ASD(BTMX) provides a level of functionality to the AscendEX exchange. Token holders are eligible for reduced trading fees and can stake the ASD(BTMX) token in the AscendEX ecosystem in return for rewards. 80% of the profits collected on the AscendEX exchange are distributed as a staking bonus.

To multiply rewards from staking, ASD(BTMX) holders are also eligible to purchase an Investment Multiple Card. The card can only be purchased with the ASD(BTMX) token and can multiply investment returns by up to 5 times.

BitTreasure

The BitTreasure platform offered by AscendEX is another way users can earn interest from cryptocurrency holdings. Similar to the process of staking, it involves locking cryptocurrency tokens up for a set period of time. In return, users are rewarded with a fixed-rate APY. BitTreasure products appear periodically and are only available for a limited amount of time.

Margin trading

Margin trading allows users to leverage (borrow) funds from AscendEX to place larger trades than otherwise would have been possible. This can greatly increase profits but equally greatly increase losses. The amount of leverage varies based on the market. The highest leverage available currently on AscendEX is 25:1.

Fees

The fee for margin trading is related to a daily interest rate paid for the borrowed funds. The daily interest rate is variable depending on the cryptocurrency being traded. Daily interest rates can be reduced with the AscendEX Point Card.

Derivatives

Alongside margin and spot trading, AscendEX offers users the ability to trade perpetual futures contracts. Whilst spot and margin trades are executed immediately, futures contracts offer users the ability to buy or sell a futures contract at the expiry date. However, AscendEX offers perpetual future contracts which do not expire at a certain date. Traders can still be liquidated on a perpetual futures contract if the price moves against them.

Future contracts can help traders hedge against market movements. Leverage on futures contracts can extend up to 100:1. Like spot and margin trading, both standard and professional platforms are available for trading futures.

Fees

The fees for futures trading work on a similar maker/taker system to the spot market; however, the trading fees are different.

Additional features

Withdraw to Polygon layer-2 blockchain

AscendEX offers users the ability to withdraw applicable cryptocurrency tokens to the Polygon blockchain. Polygon is a layer-2 scaling solution that increases the speed and throughput of transactions when compared with the Ethereum blockchain. Transaction fees on the Polygon blockchain are, therefore, considerably less.

When holding funds on the Polygon blockchain, users can utilise them on Ethereum-based DeFi applications for a fraction of the cost. AscendEX is the first centralised cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to withdraw funds directly onto the Polygon network.

Copy trading futures

The AscendEX exchange includes a copy trading platform for perpetual futures where users can choose to follow certain traders for a fee. Once the "Copy Trading" function is activated the exchange will automatically copy the chosen trader's instructions to the user's account. A user can follow traders with either a fixed or proportional amount.

Over the counter (OTC) trading solutions

For cryptocurrency purchases over US$100,000 AscendEX provides an OTC trading desk that can offer better exchange rates in comparison to smaller purchases. The OTC trading desk is facilitated by Prime Trust, an independent US regulated custodian. The OTC trading desk is limited to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT).

Customer support

Customer support on AscendEX is available via an online ticketing system. This can be accessed via the website and mobile application.

Is AscendEX safe to use?

  • Regulation. AscendEX, originally BitMax, is operated by BMXDM Technology Pte. Ltd, which is a Singapore-based company. The company abides by all anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding regulation as set out by the laws in Singapore. As a result, before a user can access AscendEX they must submit the required Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation as part of AscendEX's compliance program.
  • Verification process. Only verified users can access all features on the AscendEX exchange platform. The KYC data is collected at different levels that unlock different features within the exchange. KYC level 0 is provided upon registration. KYC level 1 requires a user's full name, country, ID type and ID number. KYC level 2 requires photographs of the ID along with a selfie of the user holding the ID. KYC level 3 can only be accessed via customer support.
  • Security. AscendEX implements 2-factor authentication for account access which usually requires the input of a time-sensitive 6-digit code. This code is generated from a third-party mobile application such as Google Authenticator. The exchange also distributes funds into both hot and cold wallets. Cold wallets are utilised to mitigate security breaches. Hot wallets are still required to ensure timely trade executions. The cold wallet facilities are hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Verdict

AscendEX is a very detailed and precise centralised cryptocurrency exchange, with a wide range of cryptocurrency markets. The influence from the team's veteran Wall Street quants is clear to see. Although still developing, the range of features certainly competes with some of the best in the industry, and innovative features such as allowing withdrawals to the Polygon network actually place AscendEX in a better position for the future.

While the exchange is easy to use for both experienced and inexperienced cryptocurrency investors, there are cheaper options when it comes to purchasing and entering the cryptocurrency world. That being said, for trading spot, margin and derivatives, AscendEX's fees are competitive.

With access to staking, DeFi and crypto interest-earning opportunities, AscendEX is likely better suited to those already holding cryptocurrency assets who wish to trade and earn interest at market-leading prices.

Pros and cons of AscendEX

Pros
  • Range of cryptocurrencies. The exchange offers a wide range of cryptocurrency markets, including both spot, margin and futures.
  • Features. The list of features on AscendEX is comparable to some of the best centralised exchanges on the market.
  • User-friendly. For such an advanced exchange, the interface on AscendEX is easy to follow for inexperienced cryptocurrency investors.
  • Fee discounts. Those holding the utility token ASD(BTMX) are eligible for trading fee discounts.
  • Crypto withdrawals to Polygon. Users can withdraw cryptocurrency tokens to
Cons
  • Fiat deposits. While users can purchase cryptocurrencies through a bank card, direct fiat deposits and spot purchases are not available.
  • Security. There is a lack of details for the security protocols implemented on the exchange.
  • Stablecoins. While offering many cryptocurrency markets, there is a lack of stablecoin options.
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Ready to sign up?

Go to AscendEX's website

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Frequently asked questions

Go to AscendEX's website
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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