What is Emirex?
Emirex is a cryptocurrency exchange from the United Arab Emirates, but it is registered in Estonia. It has been active since 2019. The platform has - as is customary - two Estonian licenses
- Financial services, providing a virtual currency wallet service;
- Financial services, providing services of exchanging a virtual currency against a fiat currency; Number FVT000400
These licenses are both issued by the Estonian Police and Boarder Authority (Politsei - ja Piirivalveamet).
Middle East Region - Demand For Cryptocurrencies
Emirex is only one of many exchanges from the Middle East-region. According to a graphic from their website, the demand for cryptocurrencies in the region is divided among the countries as follows (the bigger the circle, the bigger the demand):
The Emirex platform promotes three things in particular as reasons to why you should trade there and not anywhere else. First, they state that they have the "highest security standards". It is impossible for us to verify which exchange out of the 700+ we have listed in our Exchange List that has the absolutely highest security standards, but we do agree that 99% of assets in cold storage is a good start. Emirex further promotes that the platform is easy to use. Finally, they emphasize that the trades are "lightning-fast". Security, ease of use and speed, are of course three things we deem very important with any cryptocurrency trading platform.
Emirex is a centralized exchange, but they also have a decentralized counterpart that they call Emiswap. Emiswap is apparently the first community governed decentralized exchange with non-fungible token mechanics. We have not yet listed and reviewed Emiswap.
Why do so many exchanges not allow US citizens to open accounts with them? The answer has only three letters. S, E and C (the Securities Exchange Commission). The reason the SEC is so scary is because the US does not allow foreign companies to solicit US investors, unless those foreign companies are also registered in the US (with the SEC). If foreign companies solicit US investors anyway, the SEC can sue them. There are many examples of when the SEC has sued crypto exchanges, one of which being when they sued EtherDelta for operating an unregistered exchange. Another example was when they sued Bitfinex and claimed that the stablecoin Tether (USDT) was misleading investors. It is very likely that more cases will follow.
It is unclear whether Emirex Exchange permits US investors or not. We have read their Terms and Conditions and have not found an explicit prohibition of US investors. We urge any US investors to form their own opinion on the permissibility of their trading at Emirex though, in particular considering that trade relations between the US and the Middle East have been quite "frosty", to put it mildly, from time to time.
Emirex Trading View
Every trading platform has a trading view. The trading view is the part of the exchange’s website where you can see the price chart of a certain cryptocurrency and what its current price is. There are normally also buy and sell boxes, where you can place orders with respect to the relevant crypto, and, at most platforms, you will also be able to see the order history (i.e., previous transactions involving the relevant crypto). Everything in the same view on your desktop. There are of course also variations to what we have now described. This is the trading view at Emirex:
It is up to you – and only you – to decide if the above trading view is suitable to you. Finally, there are usually many different ways in which you can change the settings to tailor the trading view after your very own preferences.
Emirex Trading fees
Every time you place an order, the exchange charges you a trading fee. The trading fee is normally a percentage of the value of the trade order. Many exchanges divide between takers and makers. Takers are the one who “take” an existing order from the order book. Makers are the ones who add orders to the order book, thereby making liquidity at the platform.
Emirex charges what we call flat fees, meaning that both the takers and the makers pay the same fee when it comes to spot trading: 0.10%. These spot trading taker fees are a bit below the global industry averages for centralized exchanges. Industry averages have historically been around 0.20-0.25% but we now see new industry averages emerging around 0.15%-0.20%. According to Cryptowisser.com's latest empirical study, the industry average spot trading taker fees were 0.229% and the corresponding spot trading maker fees were 0.185%.
Emirex Withdrawal fees
Emirex charges a withdrawal fee of 0.0005 BTC per BTC-withdrawal. This fee is substantially above the global industry average. The current global industry average is 0.0004599 BTC per BTC-withdrawal according to this report, so Emirex's BTC-withdrawal fee is more than 50% above that.
On the date of first writing this review (12 February 2021), 0.001 BTC corresponded to USD 47.50, which is a very high fee in this context. We hope - for the exchange's own sake - that they reduce these withdrawal fees within the near future.
Emirex lets you deposit assets to the exchange in many different ways, through wire transfer, debit card, and also by just depositing existing cryptocurrency assets.
Seeing as fiat currency deposits are possible at this trading platform, Emirex qualifies as an “entry-level exchange”, meaning an exchange where new crypto investors can start their journey into the exciting crypto world.