Phemex: Crypto Exchange Review

Phemex is a young and fast-growing crypto exchange with a lot of disruptive potential. Instead of charging trading fees, the Singapore-based exchange has implemented a membership model. Let us take a closer look at the various features Phemex has to offer to crypto traders.

Derivatives and Spot Trading

Phemex is one of the relatively few exchanges that offer derivatives trading. Founded in November 2019, it is the newest addition to the derivatives exchanges listed on CoinMarketCap and has already claimed the seventh rank with a daily trading volume of over 200 million USD.

Specifically, the exchange provides markets for perpetual contracts on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Chainlink, and Tezos. This makes Phemex one of only three options for derivatives traders interested in the latter two cryptocurrencies. Additionally, traders can speculate on the gold price with a GOLD/USD perpetual contract.

All of the contracts are quoted and settled in USD, except for the BTC/USD contract, which is settled in BTC. Both the BTC and GOLD contracts can be traded with up to 100x leverage, while the maximum leverage for altcoins is 20x.

At their inception, Phemex started out with four spot markets for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Chainlink. Recently, they have listed TRON and Ontology as well. Their fee page also mentions Tezos, Litecoin, and Cardano, indicating that these cryptocurrencies will be added in the near future.

Fee Structure

For spot trading over the Phemex web interface or the mobile app, Phemex does not charge any trading fees. Instead, traders can purchase a premium membership in order to gain access to the spot markets. These membership packages come at a price of only $9.99 for 30 days or $69.99 for 365 days.

This means that regular traders can easily save hundreds of dollars with a premium membership. Before having to purchase a membership package, new users can test out the exchange with a free trial premium membership.

The membership however covers only manual trades. For automated trades done via their APIs, Phemex charges a trading fee of 0.1%, which is still in the lower end, compared with other exchanges. For derivatives traders, the taker fee is 0.075%, while market makers are rewarded with a negative maker fee of -0.025%.


Phemex is led by a team of professionals, who were formerly serving as executives at Morgan Stanley. Together, they sport over 40 years of combined experience in High-Frequency Trading Technology. The CEO is Jack Tao, who was previously the MSET BXS global development leader for Morgan Stanley. His primary field of experience is In the development of large scale algorithmic trading platforms.

Having witnessed a lack of professionalism in the crypto exchange industry, they founded Phemex in summer 2019 with the goal of developing a simple, efficient, and trustworthy trading platform.


Thanks to the team’s experience, Phemex is a highly secure crypto exchange that is hosted on segregated Amazon Web Service machines. For the various trading activities, these machines have separate zones with firewalls in between them. Many of the most vital functions can only be accessed by whitelisted entities.

On the user account level, Phemex uses double-entry bookkeeping in order to detect any accounts that may have been tampered with and keeps all user funds in multisignature cold wallets. All withdrawal requests are rigorously checked for any malicious activities, before being carried out.

Other Features

Phemex has a simulated trading feature with which traders can use to test out their strategies before applying them to real money. New traders not only receive a trial premium membership, but can also qualify for a welcome bonus of up to $80.

Additionally, there is a referral program that lets users gift a trial membership to their friends and receive free premium membership time on their own. High-value referrers can earn 50% of all trading fees of their recruits as commission through the Phemex All-Star Program.

Lately, Phemex has partnered with various payment providers (Banxa, Koinal, Coinify, and MoonPay). Moreover, Phemex is seeking another partnership with Simplex. This makes it possible to deposit fiat money and instantly convert it into crypto. Besides the usual Visa, Mastercard, and bank transfers, a total of 10 fiat deposit options are available, including ApplePay.


Phemex is an upcoming Crypto exchange that is experiencing fast-paced growth and taking a unique approach by introducing a membership model. The team’s experience as Morgan Stanley executives clearly shows up in their security concept, creating a fast, reliable, and secure platform for both derivatives and spot traders.

Especially high-volume spot traders could greatly profit from zero trading fees, based on a premium membership business model. Another convenient feature is the recent addition of numerous fiat deposit options.

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