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bitFlyer

bitFlyer Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1: 15 Max 0.15% for BTC

 

BitFlyer is one of the most popular cyptocurrency exchanges in the Far East. It is also among the world leaders, in terms of volume.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
bitFlyer, Inc. Japan JFSA, NY BitLicense

 

BitFlyer is based in Japan. The local regulators have made some changes in the way they treat cryptocurrencies in the past. Currently, they are treated as assets, upon which capital gains (profiting from the price movement) is taxed. BitFlyer was one of the first companies to received the JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Agency) license, along with the major competitors from QUOINEX

 

Update: BitFlyer also received has the regulatory approval of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in November 2017. The company is set to start offering Bitcoin trading vs the USD, while adding altcoins in the future. We will update this review, when the service is fully implemented.

 

The company has been around since 2014 and has not had any hacking issues yet. The most important thing to note, from a western trader’s point of view is that trading is done (mostly) against the Japanese YEN (JPY), unlike most exchanges where you can trade cryptocurrencies against one another, the US Dollar and occasionally the Euro. You may need an account with a forex broker, such as FXTM, just to hedge your currency risk.

 

The user reviews on BitFlyer (written in English) are mostly positive. This is a good sign, as the company maintains multilingual support. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

As mentioned above trading at BitFlyer is done against the Japanese Yen. This applies for the plethora of Bitcoin instruments, which include Spot BTC trading, Margin BTC trading, and BTC Futures (not to be confused with Bitcoin Cash Futures). Furthermore Etereum is available for trading, against Bitcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

BitFlyer does not give any guidelines about a minimum deposit level. Forex brokers, on the other hand usually announce their minimum entry barriers. For instance, you can open an account with XM, with only $5.

 

Leverage

BitFlyer offers a maximum leverage ratio of 1:15. However, in order to be allowed to trade on margin, one must go through a tougher verification process. This type of ratio may sound very small to someone who is used to forex trading, as lots of brokers provide 1:500 or even higher levels. 

 

Do keep in mind cryptocurrencies often move far more wildly than fiat currencies. While a major pair will rarel move more than 1.5 – 2% percent per day, the Bitcoin often has gains or losses exceeding 10%. This explains the lower leverage offering by BitFlyer, which by the way is one of the highest offers provided by crypto-exchanges. For a full comparison of trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and on an exchange click here.

 

Fees

Fees at BitFlyer vary slightly for the different services, which they provide. They offer directly exchanging JPY to BTC, the fees for which go as high as 0.15% for the lowest volume traders. As a comparisson, Bitfinex charges this type of fee only for the market "makers", while takers pay a slightly higher one. The maximum fee for ETH/BTC is 0.20%. Here is the full information, as provided by the company (click to zoom-in):

 

 

Lightning FX stands for the margin trading of BTC/JPY. Futures on the other hand are similar to exchange traded futures. However the liquidity in them appears to be far lower, which is to be expected. We would not recommend them to inexperienced traders.

 

 

Trading platform

 

BitFlyer provides two trading platforms. They are both web based, which is not unusual for cryptocurrency exchanges. One of them is the so called Bitcoin Easy Exchange, which serves, to facilitate direct JPY to BTC transfers. It is what people, who want to get their funds converted to Bitcoin, before transferring them would use. Albeit simple, it does the job. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

The company also offers the BitFlyer Lightning platform. It feels much more like a forex trading platform, as it is designed with the trader in mind. This is the platform where the 1:15 leverage ratio is provided. Here is what platform looks like (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a chart on the left, with lots pre-loaded indicators. The order book looks pretty solid (in the middle) and the tape is locate on the right. Several more fields are located below these, similarly to the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminal. Charting appears to be decent, with several technical indicators in place. Furthermore the charts can be set to full-screen mode.

 

There are multiple themes available, if you do not like the black and orange feel. One thing we must mention are the maddening sounds, which are turned on by default. Every time a transaction is made, more importantly, every time there is a movement of a bid/ask in the order book, play a sound. Luckily, these can be turned off quite easily.

 

Methods of payment

 

BitFlyer accepts Bank Transfers, Credit Cards issued in Japan and Bitcoin transfers. Although the company has a clear focus on its internal market, a foreigner can still use their services, albeit not with his credit card. Users of online payment systems, such as Skrill are also left out.

 

Conclusion

 

BitFlyer is the number one cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. It also rates pretty highly among the global volume charts. The most specific thing is that trading is done against the Japanese Yen (JPY). There are multiple platforms and services available, including margin trading. Despite being focused on its domestic market, the company appears to be reaching out to the rest of the world and with commission levels so low, customers will come. Here is a summary BitFlyer’s pros and cons:

 

Pros Cons
No major hacks yet Trading against JPY
Accepts Bank Transfer and Japanese Credit Card Does not accept Credit Card, from countries other than Japan
Competitive commissions No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
Relatively nice trading platform  
Allows margin trading and futures  

 

FP Markets

FP Markets Review
Trader's rating 4.3
Editor's rating 4.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage Typical Spreads
Standard  $100  0.01  1:500 1.45 pips 
ECN Raw $100  0.01  1:500  0.45 pips + AUD $3.5 / lot (per side)

 

FP MARKETS offers its clients a choice of two live account types: Standard commission-free one, and RAw account which provides tighter spreads, but also involving a commission.


Micro lots are available for trade on both account types and, of course, the broker also provides free Demo accounts, which are always appreciated by inexperienced traders.


The Company. Security of Funds


FP MARKETS (FPM) is a CFD and forex provider specializing in Direct Market Access (DMA) trading, that has over 10 years of experience.


The company behind the FP MARKETS brand is First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd., which holds an Australian Financial Services License and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). 

 

ASIC requires licensed companies to meet certain requirements and to comply with various rules. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing. In comparison, UK’s FCA requires forex brokers to possess at least 730 000 EUR and Cyprus’ CySEC – 1 000 000 EUR.


Unlike many EU-based brokers, however, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. FCA-regulated brokerages, for example, fall under Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers up to £50,000 per person per company.


Despite the regulation and the requirements set to Australian brokers, one should be aware of the risks of trading Margin FX and CFDs. Returns and gains are not guaranteed. ASIC, the Australian Government nor any other person guarantees any funds in your account.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $100 in order to open an account with FP MARKETS, which is an average initial amount.


Average Spreads & Commissions

FP MARKETS offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.45, and the ones on the ECN Raw accounts averaging to 0.45 pips on EUR/USD. Considering that commission of $3 per standard lot per side applies on the Raw account, trading costs of such account holders amount to a little over 1 pip, which is a competitive pricing.


For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage
Clients of FP MARKETS use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage level is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to levels significantly lower than this (i.e. 1:50 in the US), because higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses in excess of initial investments.


Trading Platforms


FP MARKETS offers its customers several trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5, and its in-house IRESSTrader, specialized in CFDs trading.


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to FPM’s clients as PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, extensive back-testing environment and a wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs). By using EAs traders may sit back, while the software does all the work, as Expert Advisers allow full automatization of trades.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is Internet connected 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and FP Markets has partnered with TradersColo and BeeksFX VPS, to provide a customized low latency solution for their clients. The VPS seamlessly connects traders to the Equinix NY4 grid using cutting edge technology and providing excellent execution.


What is more, there are Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4. MetaFX has developed a stand-alone console to assist Multi Account manages in trading. The MAM/PAMM offered are customizable and user friendly.

 

As MT4 will soon be phased out, the broker launched trading in the latest version of MetaQuotes software - MetaTrader 5. It has most of the great features of MT4 (such as the great charting, and EAs), as well as some new ones. Most importantly, the MT5 offer traders the opportunity to trade an extended number of instruments from a variety of asset classes. 


As regards FP Markets’ proprietary platform IRESSTrader, it provides its clients with access to DMA CFDs with industry leading execution, a wide ranges of order types, stop-loss, live news feeds, international data, complete market depth and charting facilities.


IRESSTrader is a web based platform you can access from any PC or even a mobile device.


Methods of Payment


FP MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, AstroPay, Neteller, Skrill, China UnionPay.


Depending on the depositing method, clients may use the following currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


FP MARKETS is a reliable Australian STP broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in variety of assets, including Bitcoin (with leverage 1:10). These can be traded on three trading platforms with NDD execution (no conflict of interest). To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to FP MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low cost of trading, NDD execution No significant doisadvantages
ASIC-regulated  
Many platforms available (MT4, MT5, as well as a proprietary one)  
High leverage levels  

 

Headquarters: FP Markets Pty, Ltd Level 5, Exchange House, 10 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Country: Australia

Regulated by: ASIC

Forex
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