Liquid is a Japanese-based exchange, previously known as QUOINE.
The Liquid platform launched in September 2018, after its parent companies, QUOINE and Quoinex, have been operating in the crypto space since as early as 2014.
The platform was originally set to introduce novel concepts explained in the QASH ICO that QUOINE held, in November 2017, which was successfully concluded at an impressive $104M raised. Since then, QUOINE and QUOINEX merged into Liquid, which is now, in our opinion – the best altcoin exchange no one talks about.
Liquid sports a highly responsive website and interface, the most user friendly experience in all workflows: account sign-up, security walkthrough, KYC process and support mechanisms.
The platform appears to have been designed meticulously and with the trader in mind, and it shows – it is the best performing platform we have used to date.
Upon registration, in order to start making use of the account – i.e depositing and withdrawing funds, Liquid demands the user go through a KYC process, which involves uploading a national ID, a selfie, and proof of address. While this might seem as a drawback for some traders who wish to avoid authorities and maintain their privacy, it is crucial in allowing Liquid to operate freely as a licensed crypto exchange in Japan, and we believe this benefit far outweighs the downsides of giving up these personal details.
Upon engaging customer support, both using the online chat and email, we were presented with professional representatives who did their best to aid in solving our issue, and received quality assistance from qualified people.
Liquid processes crypto withdrawals for free, regardless of which network the asset is using – and that is a big bonus. It comes at a cost, though: withdrawals are all bundled and executed once a day, after a professional has looked over the numbers, verified integrity of the requests and deemed all actions to originate from the assets’ owners as opposed to attackers. This is also combined with the fact that Liquid keeps all of the users’ funds in cold storage with no hot wallets – which further reduces the risk of a security breach in which assets are compromised.
At the time of rating, Liquid offers trading in 70 different coins and tokens, with a rich list of other features: margin trading in select pairs (up to 25x), a BitMEX-like perpetual swap contract (up to 100x leverage) and a sleek mobile app.
It also offers fiat-crypto trading against a wide range of fiat currencies, and allows fiat deposits in EUR using bank accounts or credit cards, with fairly competitive fees.
Our disappointment with one of Liquid’s features, however, is with its QASH token – it was sold in an ICO in November 2017 for a price around 2x higher than it is now, and aside from the occasional benefit and 50% trading fee discount it gives on the exchange, the token is seeing very little usage and reduced support. We would be happy if Liquid had done more to promote actual utility for their token or at least do right by its investors and introducing a buyback program, or some kind of other incentive to right the current situation.
The Liquid team, being a merge between the QUOINE, Quoinex and Qryptos teams, is an excellent one; aside from publicly displaying their team members on their site (a practice Cointelligence believes should become standard for exchanges), key members have rich business backgrounds and certainly seem like qualified people who can push the exchange in the right direction – which we are already seeing, provided Liquid’s recent $1B valuation.
Liquid is a moderately social exchange, and aside from frequent tweets from its account – we saw no meaningful discussions being held neither on Twitter, nor Reddit or Telegram. We believe in order to attract this niche of traders Liquid should put more emphasis on its social media presence, just to get that extra edge that it needs to really compete with the “altcoin incumbents”, such as Binance or Huobi.
Finally, Liquid manages to instill in us a fair amount of trust: they take account security very seriously, evident by the mandatory 2FA for all users, ability to withdraw only to whitelisted addresses and the decision to manually process withdrawals once a day and keep all funds in cold storage. This has proven successful so far – Liquid has not been hacked. Although we cannot predict the future, it is safe to say that Liquid goes to lengths to protect user funds from a possible breach.
However, no centralized exchange is completely safe, and Liquid doesn’t offer insurance for user funds; and so, we recommend, as always, to safeguard your own assets whenever possible.
To conclude, so far Liquid appears to us as one of, if not the top altcoin exchange out there; it offers a super attractive combination of trader flexibility, comfort, experience and trust.
While it is not perfect – no exchange is, and we believe the distance between Liquid’s current state and becoming “The Perfect Crypto Exchange” is the shortest out of all other altcoin exchanges today.