Liqui.io is one of the smaller cryptocurrency exchanges, and also one of the newer cryptocurrency exchanges. Even though it’s fairly new, it already offers trading in roughly 60 different cryptocurrencies, including of course Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. They don’t support fiat currencies however, so all deposits and withdrawals must be done in cryptocurrencies from outside wallets.
When you first land on the Liqui website you’ll certainly be thinking about trading too. The homepage of the website looks like the trading area of most exchanges. I guess the folks at Liqui.io really don’t want you questioning why you’re there. It’s obviously to trade.
One marketing ploy that they had been using was to offer 24% APR on savings deposited at Liqui. That’s pretty darn good, but also reminds me of Bitconnect. I’ll take a deeper look at the whole savings vehicle aspect later in this review.
Liqui.io has its headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine and was launched in July 2016 with an announcement in a Bitcointalk forum post. The initial post stated there were 7 leading members, with remote workers also in Russia, Armenia and the U.S. That was 2 years ago, and the About page on the website still contains the same information. What it lacks is the name of any of these 7 leaders, including the CEO, as well as any mailing address, physical address, or phone number for the company.
Registering with Liqui.io
One nive thing about Liqui.io is the account creation process. It’s quick and easy! Simply go to the Liqui.io website and click the link in the upper right corner that says “Sign In/Up” and you’ll get a pop-up to Sign In, but at the bottom will be another link to Sign Up. Click that and the pop-up becomes a simple registration form asking for a userid, email and password. Fill in the fields and click “Sign Up” and wait for the system generated confirmation email to make it to your inbox. There will be a confirmation link in the email and once you click that you’re done. And I mean done as in no additional verification is required to deposit, trade, or withdraw.
One downside to this lack of verification is that Liqui.io does not accept fiat payments, so you can’t hook the account to your bank account or Paypal and use those for deposits and withdrawals. Everything is done exclusively with cryptocurrencies. They do support roughly 60 cryptocurrencies though, so this shouldn’t be too much of a hardship.
Trading with Liqui.io
Liqui.io is one of the very few exchanges that can have you trading soon after registering, thanks to their lack of verification requirements. The charts are provided by TradingView, making them some of the best cryptocurrency charts you’ll find. Placing an order is made as simple as possible, on both the buy and sell side. The order book is clearly visible at the bottom of the screen and you can click on any of the existing orders to prefill the order form. Then click “Buy” or “Sell” as appropriate and that’s all you need. You can literally do it in a second.
You don’t have to use the existing order book however. You can just as easily put in your own pricing and your order will be added to the order book to get filled when matched with a counterparty.
Liqui.io currently does not offer margin trading, but they have a link to information about margin trading on the site, and it looks as if they plan on adding the capability soon. With other exchanges adding margin trading they almost need to do so to keep up with the evolving industry.
Liqui.io Review: Fees
There are no deposit or withdrawal fees at, other than the obvious network fees from the blockchain. As far as trading fees go, they are reasonable and along the standard industry lines. Maker fee is 0.1% and taker fee is 0.25%. These fees used to be much higher when Liqui was using them to cover the interest costs, but since they’ve dropped that program (as you’ll see below), the fees are far more reasonable.
And in case you are wondering, the maker is the person who creates the order, providing liquidity to the order book, while the taker is the one who fills the order, or takes liquidity out of the order books.
Liqui.io Review: Interest Payments on Savings
Liqui.io began with a very compelling offer for users – 24% APR on deposits held with Liqui.io. That’s a darn good rate, but still low enough that people wouldn’t immediately think it’s a Ponzi scheme. Either Bitcoin or Ethereum could be used and the principle and any interest could be withdrawn at any time with no penalty or fees.
Initially there was a limit of 200 BTC, but that was soon raised to 300 BTC, and the Liqui team indicated that they would eventually raise the limit to 1,000 BTC. Note that this is the total amount allowed in the savings program, not per account.
They might be intending to raise that limit to 1,000 BTC, but when I checked while writing this article on July 8, 2018, the interest rate being offered was just 1% APR.
Security is industry standard on accounts with 2FA offered and API keys. There is no indication that coins are kept in any type of cold storage, nor are client funds segregated from the organization funds.
Note that users reported hacked accounts beginning in July 2017 and through October 2017. There was never an official response from Liqui admitting a hack took place, but online accounts indicate that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum disappeared from user accounts in that time period. Things have been quiet since, but the lack of response from Liqui is certainly troubling.
Liqui.io Review: Customer Support
Liqui.io primarily provides customer support through their ticketing system through Freshdesk. You can also email them @liqui.freshdesk.com or try to contact them via Twitter @Liqui_Exchange, but online reports indicate they only respond to the Freshdesk tickets and emails.
Online reports also indicate that support is extremely slow. Don’t expect a quick response, and even when you do get a response it could be a canned response that really doesn’t address your problem. Note also that withdrawals and even deposits can be extremely slow at Liqui.io. I’ve read quite a few accounts of deposits or withdrawals taking weeks.
Liqui.io Review: Conclusion
I worry about any exchange that isn’t transparent enough to let you know who runs the company, or even where their physical offices are. Combine that with the slow responses, the slow deposit/withdrawals, and the reports of missing coins and I’m worried. Even so, there seem to be a fair number of people trading here as Coinmarketcap.com shows the daily trading volume as more than $12 million.
The savings account feature was pretty unique, but obviously turned out to be a marketing ploy and has been discontinued. Still, they keep offering a small interest rate on savings, which is better than any other exchange I’ve seen and could be a good step for the industry.
Overall I’d be careful with this exchange, just based on the lack of transparency and the reports of slow deposit/withdrawals.