If you’ve seen the words “FTX” and “FTX US” floating around and you’re not quite sure the difference, you’re in the right place. This article will explain the differences between the FTX and FTX US entities and which one may suit your needs best.
Since crypto regulation is still nascent and underdeveloped, many companies in the industry are forced to divide themselves into various arms to accommodate the different rules in multiple jurisdictions.
FTX is a relatively new crypto exchange company launched in 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang. In 2020, the exchange opened up an American arm, FTX US, based in San Francisco, USA.
Traders in the US must use FTX US as the original version of the exchange is not available to them. FTX US is unfortunately not available to traders in New York state, and American traders can’t trade FTT, the exchange’s native cryptocurrency, which gives holders some perks.
Let’s get into it.
FTX vs FTX US Summary
Nassau, The Bahamas
San Francisco, USA
Regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas
Registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN
SPOT CRYPTOCURRENCIES LISTED:
FTT not available to FTX US
FIAT CURRENCY SUPPORT:
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, HKD, SGD, ZAR, CHF, BRL, MXN
USD, CAD, EUR, AUD, GBP
ACH Bank transfer, Wire transfer, PayPal, Credit/Debit Card, Blockchain transfer
ACH Bank transfer, Wire transfer, Credit/Debit Card, Blockchain transfer
Further on in the review, we’ll take a closer look at each exchange individually, but first, we want to give you an overview of our findings by comparing FTX versus FTX US.
FTX vs FTX US: Products Offered
In short, FTX US has a smaller selection of crypto assets available for trading than FTX. At the time of publishing, FTX US has 25 coins available for trading, including five stablecoins.
FTX, on the other hand, currently provides access to 300 crypto assets, including stablecoins. The broader range of options generally makes FTX a favorite among traders and gem hunters, but if you mostly stick to the major crypto assets and don’t need access to the more obscure altcoins, FTX US is a still great option for US traders.
FTX vs FTX US: User Friendliness
The FTX and FTX US platforms are almost incomprehensible to the uninitiated. Still, FTX US is arguably more user-friendly given that it has slightly fewer features and, therefore, can appear less busy to the eye. Like the FTX platform, FTX US has a very clean, easy-to-absorb layout yet still packs in a lot of bells and whistles in its attempt to be more than just a crypto exchange, including tools for futures, lending, FTX Pay, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which we’ll get into later.
FTX vs FTX US: Fees
The fees on both exchanges are similar, with a few main differences. Both exchanges used a tiered fee system that charge more for lower volume traders and less for traders moving larger amounts of capital.
While FTX has six tiers of trading fees, FTX US has nine. On FTX, tier-one traders pay a maker fee of 0.02% and a taker fee of 0.07%. Conversely, traders who put through at least $50,000,000 in gross margin can enjoy 0% on maker fees and 0.04% on taker fees.
FTX US is very similar, with a different set of numbers:
FTX US also reserves the right to charge a 1% USD fee for wire transfers, deposits and withdrawals, but currently, it is not doing so. Thankfully there are caps on these fees at a maximum of $35 and a minimum of $5. For ACH deposits, FTX US charges $0.50, but first-time depositors are exempt.
FTX US does not charge deposit fees for any blockchain transfers and will cover your costs for withdrawing via blockchain for all tokens except ERC-20 (ETH) and OMNI withdrawals. Anything below $5,000 incurs a $25 fee for fiat withdrawals, while withdrawals above $5,000 are free.
By the way, FTX US traders can click here to get the first $30 in trading fees FREE plus a nice 10% fee discount for life.
Similar to FTX US, FTX doesn’t charge any fees for crypto deposits and withdrawals, and fiat withdrawals under $10,000 incur a $75 fee, while anything above $10,000 is free.
FTX does not charge any fees on crypto deposits and withdrawals, and they even go as far as to cover the transaction fees on crypto withdrawals. However, fiat withdrawals under $10,000 are subject to a $75 fee. All withdrawals above this amount are free from fees.
On FTX, FTT holders can get discounts on trading fees, especially those with over seven figures in their accounts.
On FTX, wire transfers in USD can take up to 24 hours to process, while transfers in any other currency can take up to several business days. In addition, users on FTX can deposit and withdraw fiat straight from their FTX wallet and can convert foreign currencies into USD-backed stablecoins by clicking “CONVERT.”
All in all, the FTX brand is known for being easier on the wallet than many exchanges, and everything is quite simple and transparent. The lower fees have likely contributed to FTX’s huge explosion in popularity in recent years.
FTX vs FTX US: Security
Security, arguably the most important of any crypto exchange, is taken quite seriously by the FTX brand. As a result, there has been no known hack or compromise of the company like at Mt. Gox, Bitfinex, or KuCoin over the past decade.
Both FTX and FTX US provide 2-factor authentication (2FA), where users must have separate keys generated by a third-party application like Google Authenticator on top of their passwords.
While 2FA is not mandatory on either exchange, it is widely recommended and recognized as a critical component of user protection. If a password gets compromised, 2FA provides another layer of defense while barely consuming the user’s time. Typing in a set of numbers from an app on your mobile phone is a small price to pay for securing your investments.
Speaking of passwords, both exchanges have standards for their users, i.e. they cannot secure their account with “password123.” All passwords must be reasonably secure in defending against hackers.
Both exchanges also have the option to put 24-hour lock periods placed on the account anytime a password is changed, or 2FA is removed. This is designed to slow down a hacker’s ability to do anything once they’ve successfully breached an account. Should they manage to get access to a user’s funds, they won’t be able to withdraw anything for 24 hours. Meanwhile, the user is getting email notifications about everything the entire time.
FTX and FTX US always alert users of suspicious activity on their accounts, like unusual login attempts or failed 2FA attempts. Both entities also require standard know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, which means there is no anonymous trading on FTX or FTX US.
The security protocols on both exchanges are ostensibly identical, with the only difference being that FTX has an insurance fund funded by a portion of its trading fees. This means that in the event of a hack or some other type of worst-case scenario, FTX would ideally be able to reimburse (at least partially) their users’ lost funds.
FTX US doesn’t have the same system, but since it’s US regulated, USD deposits are secured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
FTX is a centralized crypto exchange with a unique selling point of derivatives, futures and leveraged trading products. It has rapidly gained prominence and has an extremely well-connected ecosystem of investors and backers.
To view an up-to-date list of crypto assets offered on FTX, click here. Supported fiat currencies include USD, AUD, EUR, TRY, GBP, CHF, CAD, ZAR, and the Japanese Yen.
FTX is known for providing a fairly elaborate set of futures. It currently offers futures on many crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and more. Every asset has three futures:
a contract that expires this quarter;
a contract that expires next quarter;
and a perpetual future.
All futures on FTX are stablecoin settled, and stablecoins must be put up for collateral. FTX futures are supported by a backstop liquidity provider program that intervenes with accounts in danger of bankruptcy, helping to avoid clawback. In addition, FTX futures are said to have careful and measured margin calls to avoid significant price dislocations.
FTX Stocks is a fairly new addition to the FTX platform and hasn’t yet been developed into its fullest form. Recently, FTX partnered with Embed, a Swiss stock-clearing firm, to help provide the service.
As FTX US president Brett Harrison said,
“As I mentioned when we launched FTX Stocks, our new equities and ETF trading platform, our goal at FTX is to provide a comprehensive trading application that spans all asset classes. For equities and options trading, this necessarily includes services such as clearing and custody, and our partnership with Embed showed us that they have built excellent technology and infrastructure to provide these services. We’re looking forward to working together to integrate both our teams and our technology as we continue to build FTX Stocks.”
FTX’s stock-trading platform uses tokens backed by equities. When you trade the stocks, you are trading a token backed by a particular security and held in custody by Canco GmbH (FTX Switzerland). Stock tokens can be redeemed for the underlying security through FTX Switzerland. Extra KYC is required to become a customer of FTX’s Swiss branch and trade their stocks.
FTX Stocks is currently unavailable in the US and other banned jurisdictions. It is one of the various features not available to FTX US users.
Leverage trading on FTX is only available to accounts with a $100,000 balance.
If that includes you, you may be able to trade with up to 10X leverage. However, remember that margin trading adds risk to your trading, and it typically isn’t recommended for beginner traders. Even many experienced traders don’t use it.
FTX Prediction markets are where traders can bet on things other than financial assets. For example, at the time of writing, there is currently a “TRUMP2024” instrument on FTX where users can bet on whether or not Donald Trump will win the US presidency in the 2024 election. Basically, you buy a contract that will expire at $1 if Trump becomes president and zero if he loses. The TRUMP24 contract costs $0.42, meaning Trump bulls could make nearly 2.5 times their money if he wins.
For (American) football fans, FTX also has annual Superbowl prediction markets to try your luck on. As with crypto trading, responsible gambling is recommended.
BVOL tokens are ERC-20 tokens that track the volatility of certain assets like Bitcoin. This means you can bet on the volatility of an asset by either buying or selling the BVOL token.
The purpose of BVOL tokens is for traders who don’t necessarily have a directional bias but believe that a certain amount of volatility will come to the market. For example, perhaps Bitcoin has been trading sideways for longer than usual, and a trader believes a break to either side will occur soon. This may (or may not) be an opportune time to go long on BTC MOVE, but that’s not financial advice.
Each BVOL token’s price action derives from MOVE and BTC-PERP contracts. BVOL tokens can be redeemed for their net asset value on FTX, which will destroy the token and force the BVOL account to sell back the MOVE contracts, buy back the BTC PERP contract and credit the account with what it’s owed. This creation and redemption system helps keep the tokens worth what they’re supposed to be.
FTX US Review
What is FTX US
FTX US is the US arm of the FTX franchise that opened in 2020 to accommodate American regulations. To follow regulations, traders in the US must use FTX US. It is more or less the same platform as the regulator FTX but with less tradable assets and features due to the tighter rules and restrictions in the US.
Besides the USD, FTX US also provides support for Canadian dollars (CAD), the Euro (EUR), the British pound (GBP), and the Australian dollar (AUD).
FTX US NFT marketplace has become a popular way for traders to buy, mint and sell non-fungible tokens. NFTs on FTX and FTX US can be minted, bought and sold on the Solana (SOL) and Ethereum (ETH) networks. FTX US charges a 2% fee to the seller on each sale or trade and $1 to mint or list NFTs.
The FTX Card
The FTX Card, which is only available to FTX US users, is a debit card powered by Swipe Visa that allows users to make payments in crypto. Funds do not have to be sold into USD like most other crypto debit cards. Instead, cardholders can select the token of their choice, which will then be automatically converted to USD at the time of purchase.
The card is available to US residents with a valid SSN/ITIN, but FTX has plans to roll it out to other jurisdictions in the future. The FTX Card comes in virtual and physical forms.
FTX Pay allows FTX US users to pay or be paid in crypto or fiat using FTX’s low-fee payment processor. Users can place the FTX Pay widget on a website, app, or store, which will allow for payments using the currency of their choice. Merchants can receive money either to their FTX account or an external wallet.
FTX’s OTC (over-the-counter) function caters to institutional investors who want to buy or sell large portions of cryptocurrency to another individual party without the need for FTX’s market systems. FTX’s OTC platform has no fees, tight spreads, and lightning-fast settlements.
FTX US offers call options, put options, futures, swaps, volatility products and leveraged tokens. Some cryptocurrencies may come with all or none of these derivatives, and some coins are available with more leverage than others.
FTX or FTX US: Conclusion
Whether you choose to use FTX or FTX US will probably depend on your location. However, given a choice, most traders would probably opt for FTX given the larger set of crypto assets and products offered. With that said, FTX US has a few unique selling points, such as its NFT marketplace, FTX Card, and US-compliant regulation that can give American crypto traders peace of mind knowing Uncle Sam is happy.
Other than the different selection of crypto assets, a few features, and a couple of things under the hood, FTX and FTX US have a very similar feel with similar fees, security, KYC processes, and deposit/withdrawal methods.
Both exchanges have a very public and established presence in the industry, with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX US CEO Brett Harrison frequently making media appearances and interacting with the public to solidify their image and reputation.
FTX and FTX US rank 2nd and 14th respectively as far as the largest crypto exchanges in the world by USD volume, so the franchise is obviously a seasoned and well-oiled machine with no known hacks or crises in its lifetime.
Education, Review, brett harrison, FTT, FTX, FTX US, Sam Bankman-Fried
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