UPDATE 26 August 2020: At the date of first writing this review (26 August 2020), we were not able to access FOBLGATE's website. It was all light grey with no clickable links. Accordingly, we do not have any picture of the exchange (trading view, mobile compatibility, etc.) to provide. We apologize for this inconvenience and we'll be sure to post more pictures in the review as soon as they become available.
UPDATE 9 November 2020: This exchange is still not available. Accordingly, we have marked it as "dead" in our database and moved it to our Exchange Graveyard until further notice.
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FOBLGATE is a cryptocurrency exchange registered in South Korea. It has been up and running since July 2019.
On the date of first writing this review (26 August 2020), the platform had a 24 hour trading volume amounting to USD 27.9 million according to Coinmarketcap. This is a decent trading volume. Sure, it's far from the big dragons in the industry, but it still shows that this exchange has gotten out of first gear and is getting traction among traders. On this date, the most traded trading pairs were the following (picture from Coinmarketcap as well):
FOBLGATE 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. On the date of first writing this review (26 August 2020), we were unable to retrieve a picture of the trading view. At this date, the site was just light grey and could not be navigated.
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 FOBLGATE 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 FOBLGATE though.
FOBLGATE 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.
FOBLGATE charges what we call flat fees, meaning that both the takers and the makers pay the same fee: 0.05%. These taker fees are very competitive and substantially below the global industry averages for centralized exchanges. Sure, industry averages have historically been around 0.20-0.25% but we now see new industry averages emerging around 0.10%-0.15%. In any event, regardless of which industry average you compare against, FOBLGATE's trading fees are very low.
FOBLGATE Withdrawal fees
To our understanding, FOBLGATE does not charge any fees of their own when you withdraw crypto from your account at the platform. Accordingly, the only fee you have to think about when withdrawing are the network fees. The network fees are fees paid to the miners of the relevant crypto/blockchain, and not fees paid to the exchange itself. Network fees vary from day to day depending on the network pressure. In general though, only paying the network fees should be considered as below global industry average when it comes to fee levels for crypto withdrawals.
In addition to depositing cryptocurrency to the platform, FOBLGATE also lets you deposit fiat currency. However, only through wire transfer (not credit or debit card).
Seeing as fiat currency deposits are possible at this trading platform, this platform qualifies as an “entry-level exchange”, making it an exchange where new crypto investors can start their journey into the exciting crypto world.
The exchange reviewed above is what we call an “entry-level exchange”. This means that this exchange also makes it possible for someone to enter the cryptocurrency market with fiat currency. There are numerous entry-level exchanges out there, including (but not limited to):