Beginner’s Guide to IDEX Exchange: Complete Review

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2018 continues to see the emergence of a number of decentralized exchange platforms and IDEX is a new entrant to the market that is already making waves. IDEX is an Ethereum based decentralized smart contract exchange that allows for real-time trading and boasts a high transaction throughput. The team behind the project aims to make the platform one of the most advanced Ethereum DEXs and to attract traders looking to exchange the wide variety of tokens based on the Ethereum network.

Visit IDEX


The IDEX exchange is part of the Aurora project which is a collection of Ethereum applications and protocols that make up a decentralized banking and finance platform. The Aurora team aim to provide an advanced, open, and stable financial network, that is accessible to anyone in the world. Aurora is comprised of the IDEX exchange, the Boreal stable currency, the Snowglobe decentralized exchange protocol, and Decentralized Capital, a digital banking solution for the cryptocurrency community.


Aurora was founded by a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and Aurora Labs S.A., the company is located in the Republic of Panama. CEO Alex Wearn holds a dual MBA in Finance and Operations and MS in Design and Innovation from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and leads a dedicated team tasked with establishing both Aurora and IDEX.

The Aurora team conducted a token sale that ended on January 11, 2018 and raised a total of 5411.38 ETH. IDEX came into operation soon afterwards and has quickly begun to establish itself and currently generates over $10m worth of daily trading.

Despite only recently opening up its platform, IDEX is beginning to attract a significant amount of users as it allows ERC-20 token holders to quickly list and trade their favourite currencies, with the trading volume on the site currently being dominated by coins fresh from their ICOs such as Dock, Pundi X, Tomochain, and BABB. The team behind IDEX have benefited from the demise of EtherDelta and have also implemented a number of key features that allow IDEX to stand out.

IDEX Features

  • Functionality – The IDEX platform uses a simple but well designed interface, and incorporates features such as TradingView charts and encrypted wallets. IDEX provides a fast and user-friendly trading experience and also utilizes an off-chain trading engine that works alongside an Ethereum smart contract. The off-chain structure manages the trading experience, while the smart contract controls the funds, trade authorization, and final settlement. This allows users to trade continuously without having to wait for transactions to mine.
  • Security – The use of a smart contract, a trading engine, and a transaction processing arbiter, allow for all assets to be stored trustlessly on the platform and all executed trade settlements can only be authorized by the user’s private keys. IDEX also makes use of full private key encryption and also allows users to trade via Metamask and Ledger wallets.
  • Customer Support – A support team is on hand to deal with any issues, and users can contact the team by using the Contact Form. The IDEX team are very transparent and can also be contacted via their Twitter account and Telegram group. In addition, there is an FAQ section that addresses the most common issues, as well as a number of clearly written Guides that help users to navigate the platform.
  • Trading Options – IDEX provides a good range of trading options and users have access to supporting limit and market orders, gas-free cancels and the ability to fill many trades at once.
  • Technology – While being decentralised, IDEX provides all the benefits of a hybrid decentralised exchange system, and manages all user transactions. After users sign off on a transaction, the exchange broadcasts the transaction to the Ethereum blockchain, and updates account balances and order books in real time. As a result, IDEX provides a user experience similar to a more centralized exchange or a platform using a cutting edge hybrid model.

How to Create an Account on IDEX

When you first visit the site, you’ll be greeted by a pop up message that will give you the option to “Explore” the site or to “Unlock Wallet”. The main page also has tabs at the top right of the screen that allow users to unlock a wallet or create a new wallet.

Unlock a Wallet

In order to deposit funds into the exchange’s smart contract, you can integrate an existing wallet already in your possession. IDEX provides users with four options when unlocking a wallet on the exchange:

  • Keystore File: You can upload your private key via a Keystore file you already possess.
  • Private Key: You can enter your private key to access an Ethereum address you’ve created.
  • Metamask: You can log into your Metamask wallet and integrate it with the exchange.
  • Ledger Wallet: You can use your Ledger Nano S on the exchange and make transfers directly to and from it.

Using either Metamask or a Ledger Nano hard wallet are the safest options as your private keys are not exposed on the site and are therefore not susceptible to DNS hacks.

Create a New Wallet

To create a new wallet on the exchange, you can enter a password and IDEX will generate a private key and produce a downloadable JSON File for you to save.

How to Trade on IDEX

When you have integrated a wallet, you’ll need to deposit funds into the exchange’s smart contract. This keeps your funds safe and allows the exchange to broadcast transactions directly to the Ethereum network. By clicking on the “Balances” tab at the top of the page you can make deposits and also adjust the transaction gas price.


Once you sent your ETH or DAI from your wallet to the exchange you are free to make trades and utilize all the charting functions, and trading features.

IDEX offers trading pairs in ETH or DAI so once you have deposited funds in either of those, you can visit the “Exchange” trading screen to start trading. You will see in the left column the trading pairs of ETH and DAI so select which you’d like to choose and then under that is the list of tokens available to trade. Clicking one of these will load it up and you can view the price chart and depth chart on the right along with other information such as last price and 24 hour trading volume.

Trading Screen

To make a trade, look for the Buy and Sell boxes under the main charts where you can enter your price and amounts you wish to trade. Underneath that you will see the order book which lists Asks and Bids to get a feel of the current trading prices.

Buy and Sell Box

Supported Currencies

As an Ethereum based exchange, IDEX deals exclusively in Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. Well established coins such as OMG, BAT, REP, and ICX are all supported as well as newer coins such as MKR, TOMO, CPC, and HAV. IDEX will continue to provide users with access to a wide range of tokens as the Ethereum network expands and will also be a hotspot for tokens that have just been released after their ICO.

IDEX also incorporates the AURA token, the native currency that encourages users to stake the coin and help support the network. The AURA token enables stakers to earn a share of fees generated by IDEX and other Aurora products. By staking AURA, node operators will be rewarded proportionately to their percentage stake, and 50% of fees have been allocated to be paid to AURA stakers. Traders will also be able to utilize the Boreal coin as a payment for trading fees or as a stable base currency.


Market makers or users, who create a new order for the order book and improve liquidity, are charged a maker fee of 0.1%. Takers, or anyone who fills an order on the book and takes away liquidity, are charged a fee of 0.2%. Takers are also responsible for paying transaction gas fees; IDEX explains the process on its FAQs page.

Each trade costs approximately 140k gas, and gas costs are roughly 1.5x higher than on EtherDelta but IDEX users don’t compete for the same orders and risk wasting gas.  IDEX allows users to cancel trades without paying gas, as you can cancel trades on IDEX without paying extra because all trades are executed by the exchange. The exchange’s smart contract is in charge of broadcasting transactions to the network, and the exchange can rescind a transaction until it is sent to be mined.

IDEX also makes use of minimum order and withdrawal limits. There are minimum order limits of $20 for makers, and $10 for takers. The minimum withdrawal limit is $1.

Is IDEX Safe ?

IDEX uses a number of protocols designed to maximize security on the platform, and any private keys accessed directly on the exchange are encrypted and stored in browser memory and cannot be accessed from outside of the IDEX app. In addition, private keys are only accessed locally to sign transactions and when users sign out; their private keys are destroyed from memory.

In addition, the exchange’s smart contracts keep funds safely locked until the private key signs a transaction to transfer them. Users can therefore keep their funds on the exchange without worrying as funds are held in smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, and are always under the user’s control. IDEX cannot process any transactions without users signing permission in order for IDEX to complete them. The team has also included an “escape hatch” that allows users to withdraw directly from the smart contract after a set period of inactivity. As a result, even if the IDEX servers were to become unavailable users can still withdraw their funds.

The platform also incorporates Metamask and the Ledger Nano hardware wallet, and this adds a key additional layer of security as both methods allow users to trade on IDEX without having to reveal their private keys. With any cryptocurrency website, there is always the possibility of a domain name service provider being compromised, or of the URL being hijacked. However, as there is no requirement to manually enter your private keys the threat of being compromised is greatly diminished.


Despite only launching in January, IDEX has quickly established itself in the competitive field of decentralised exchanges and has attracted a significant number of former EtherDelta users. The exchange continues to grow in terms of both user numbers and trading volume and makes use of a unique transaction settlement model that allows IDEX to provide its users with one of the smoother trading experiences in comparison to other decentralised exchanges.

IDEX is able to support real-time trading and a high transaction throughput and the off-chain trading engine and smart contract combine to provide users with a secure and speedy trade execution platform. IDEX operates at a level of speed and user experience that is found on more centralised exchanges while also providing the security benefits of a decentralised operation.

Despite this, there are a number of decentralized exchanges that serve the Ethereum network and projects such as ForkDelta, Radar Relay, Paradex, Kyber Network and Ethfinex are all viable options for anyone looking to trade ERC-20 tokens. However, IDEX is a solid platform with a good level of trading volume and is well positioned to stay ahead of its competition due to it being a popular destination to trade coins recently released from tokens sales.

As a result, IDEX is a good option for anyone looking to purchase ERC-20 tokens that may be difficult to find on other exchanges. In order to access the exchange most securely, it’s wise to use the Metamask browser extension or make transfers via a Ledger hardware wallet.

Visit IDEX



Ease of Use






Customer Support


Payment Methods



  • Lots of Ethereum Tokens
  • Solid and Responsive Platform
  • Secure Use of Smart Contracts
  • Quick Access to New Currencies
  • Decentralized Exchange


  • Dependent on the Ethereum Network
  • No Bitcoin or non ERC-20 Tokens
  • Low Liquidity
  • New Exchange
  • No Fiat Trading

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Eugene holds a BA Honours Degree in Economics and remains passionate about the transformative potential of digital currencies. In addition to writing for Blockonomi, he is also conducts market analysis for Coincodex and Cyptocalibur. Contact

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